30 Movies Like Good Will Hunting

30 Movies Like Good Will Hunting

Human intelligence is an asset that many admire and praise. Some use it to its full potential, while others take...

Human intelligence is an asset that many admire and praise. Some use it to its full potential, while others take...

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Human intelligence is an asset that many admire and praise. Some use it to its full potential, while others take it for granted. Psychological drama productions like “Good Will Hunting” focus on this theme.

It is a film about a janitor named Will Hunting at MIT who happens to be a genius. A professor discovers his talent and decides to help him reach his full potential.

Will had bad experiences and refused to embrace the positive change. He then meets another professor who builds camaraderie with him. Will then begins to rethink his life.

There are other movies like Good Will Hunting. Majority tackle how intelligence can be a blessing or curse depending on the individual who utilizes it.

1. Dead Poets Society (1989)

“Dead Poets Society” is a comedy-drama about young men trying to find their place in the world. Similar to “Good Will Hunting,” this 1989 film revolves around the concept of embracing the worth of a person. The students of Welton Academy, a fictional school, are often trapped in the old traditions of the institution and the ideals of their family. A group of boys from the same class decided to create a club. They named it “Dead Poets Society.” They developed camaraderie and realized their dreams.

2. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Intelligence can be a blessing and curse. It is the truth for esteemed mathematician John Nash. John Nash, like Will Hunting, is a math prodigy who finds joy in solving equations. Tired of the mundane routines, John finds renewed enthusiasm after receiving an invitation from the Pentagon. They were asking him to study encrypted messages. Things turn ugly as John begins to develop mental instability due to his frequent engagements with decoding. It turns into a battle of reality and fallacy. John has to choose where he wants to stand.

3. As Good as it Gets (1997)

“As Good as it Gets” is a comedy romance film that bagged two prestigious Academy Awards for Acting, the Best Actor and Best Actress. It is for the convincing portrayals of Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. This story is about an obsessive-compulsive novelist whose life changed after he had to take care of the dog of a neighbor and help a waitress he likes. In “As Good as it Gets,” the protagonist Melvin, played by Nicholson, learns to embrace change. It occurred when he realized the value of the people around him.

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4. Rain Man (1988)

“Rain Man” revolves around the story of two brothers. The elder has autism and savant syndrome while the younger is of sound mind. The elder named Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman, has a great memory. The younger sibling, Charlie, played by Tom Cruise, decided to use his talent to get him out of debt. Similar to “Good Will Hunting,” this film features a man of extraordinary intellect but does not make use of it. Throughout the movie, Charlie realizes the value of his brother and manages to appreciate his true worth.

5. Finding Forrester (2000)

“Finding Forrester” is a drama about a boy named Jamal downplaying his abilities because he wants to do other things. Similar to “Good Will Hunting,” his talent is accidentally discovered by William Forrester, played by late Sean Connery. The elder nurtured Jamal to improve his writing skills. It became an asset for him, but prejudice and doubt got him into trouble. Thanks to his deep friendship with Forrester, Jamal managed to redeem himself and still secure his future.

6. Awakenings (1990)

The mind is a powerful tool to overcome challenges. It is the message of the movie “Awakenings.” The plot revolves around the treatment of catatonic patients, where one man manages to awaken. He developed a good relationship with his doctor, like Will Hunting and his professor, and managed to live normally. Unfortunately, his health condition was short-lived. But it did not stop the duo from pursuing a solution. And thanks to their dedication, small changes were made, and the future seemed brighter.

7. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

Prodigies are not limited to intellect like Will Hunting in math. They can also be in sports like chess. And this story is covered in the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” It revolves around a boy who has a natural talent for the game. He learns it by watching people play. His talent came to light after playing a small match. A frequent player in the park became his mentor and friend. Bobby then progressed to National Chess Championships despite the difficulties and made a name for himself.

8. Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Unlike the previous titles, “Manchester by the Sea” is similar to “Good Will Hunting” due to the character of the protagonist. Lee has not gotten over a family tragedy that he feels responsible for. Due to this guilt, he hinders himself from being happy. Lee’s life changes when he is assigned as legal guardian of his orphaned nephew. Feeling inadequate, Lee tries to walk away from the responsibility. However, his affection for the boy deepened. It made him rethink his life all over again.

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9. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Acting is a talent. But to get away with deception through acting is on another level. If Will Hunting is an astounding mathematician, Tom Ripley is an amazing actor. “The Talented Mr. Ripley” revolves around Tom Ripley, who initially was sent to convince Dickie Greenleaf to go back to America. After he meets Dickie, Tom begins to have an obsession to live his life. It led to a series of events in which he wittingly took away everything from Dickie. How did he manage such a big fraud? Watch it to find out.

10. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” is another story about a great mathematician like “Good Will Hunting.” The film tells the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian man who has outstanding skills with numbers. Ramanujan managed to get into Cambridge under the wing of G.H. Hardy, a well-known mathematician. Ramanujan had difficulty adapting to both the weather and the environment of England. Despite the odds, he managed to get the recognition he deserves.

11. Antwone Fisher (2002)


Child abuse is something that scars the victim forever. In “Good Will Hunting,” Will Hunting suffered abuse and lost interest in the world. In the film “Antwone Fisher,” Antwone is a temperamental man due to his past bad experiences. He is ordered to take psychiatric treatment with Dr. Davenport. As the therapy progress, he discloses his internal wounds. By being able to set things straight, Antowne found peace.

12. Little Man Tate (1991)

Having too much is hard to handle, especially if you are a child. Like “Good Will Hunting,” the film “Little Man Tate” revolves around a boy genius named Fred Tate. He is talented in math and plays the piano very well. Fred’s mother, Dede, is determined to give the best for him. She enrolls him in a school for the gifted. From there, Fred tries to socialize and adjust to genius status. 

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13. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

“Good Will Hunting” show hints of a family tragedy as Will reveals his past. The film “The Squid and the Whale” also deals with the theme. But in the point of view is in the present. The plot is about two brothers who deal with their parent’s divorce. The separation led the two boys to commit bad decisions. The film tackles heavy themes that drama fans will surely appreciate. 

14. Wonder Boys (2000)

The “Wonder Boys” is a comedy-drama film that stars Micheal Douglas. He portrays a professor for creative writing named Grady Tripp. He is currently in a slump at finishing his second novel. He also mentors two students who are excellent writers. Like in “Good Will Hunting,” Grady, the professor, got involved in the mental health issues of his student. It added up to the personal matters he has to attend to.

15. School Ties (1992)

The story of “School Ties” deals with prodigies like “Good Will Hunting.” David Greene, played by Brendan Fraser, is a gifted football player. Thanks to his skills, he got into a good prep school. However, he had to hide his identity as a Jew due to the prejudice he might encounter. David’s secret got leaked, and the results were not pretty. Will David be able to pull himself up? It is a journey everyone should watch. 

Can’t get enough? Here are more movies like Good Will Hunting to watch. 

– Billy Elliot (2000)

– The Social Network (2010)

– School Ties (2006)

– The Great Debaters (2007)

– Legally Blonde (2001)

– Whiplash (2014)

– The Theory of Everything (2014)

– October Sky (1999)

– Proof (2005)

– Scent of a Woman (1992)

– The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

– Catch Me If You Can (2002)

– Liberal Arts (2012)

– Mona Lisa Smile (2006)

– Starter for 10 (2006)

The following titles tackle similar themes like self-realizations, social issues, campus life, and friendships. These films remind viewers that dealing with gifts is just as difficult as facing your problems. But with the proper support system, the learning process is more bearable. 


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