Suspense of belief tends to be the primary justification for many movies’ use of science, but there are a few notable exceptions.
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Often, it appears that the worlds of science fiction and reality are at odds when it comes to the relationship between the two. After taking some (probably limited) ideas and suggestions from real-world scientists, fiction writers and filmmakers are likely to come up with outlandish notions that are not supported by the real-world scientific research that inspired them.
Though this isn’t always a bad thing; after all, it’s called “fiction” for a reason. In some cases, filmmakers will consult with real experts and get so many details right that both the scientific community and the general public will be pleasantly surprised by the results.
There have been a slew of scientifically correct films released in the last few years. The scientific community and the general public can often draw connections between features of the films and the actual research they are based on when deciding which movies are the most scientifically accurate. Many films, such as Arrival and Ex Machina, have made a name for themselves by portraying scientific topics in a visually stunning manner. As a result, these works are among the most scientifically accurate in film history.
1. Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo’s animators and writers spent a lot of time doing research in order to create a film that was scientifically correct when it was released in 2003. No, the scientifically true portion is not the talking fish and seagulls.
Marine biologists were brought in to help the Pixar team create the sea vegetation, swimming mechanics, and even the social behavior of fish. In the summertime, tropical fish (e.g., clownfish) are carried away by the East Australian Current and end up in Sydney Harbour.
2. Her (2013)
There are few original ideas in science fiction today, but Spike Jonze’sHer is built on a solid foundation of theoretical science that could become reality within the next decade.
It’s widely accepted that the idea of a “human and loveable” computer program is both possible and not too far-fetched. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything like Samantha before the year 2029, according to prominent computer specialist and futurist Ray Kurzweil. The cursing computer game character and tiny facial cameras, on the other hand, may arrive much sooner.
3. Contact (1997)
Contact, an adaptation of Carl Sagan’s sci-fi novel, is widely regarded as one of the most accurate movies ever made. Contact is a story about the search for alien indications of life, and what happens when they are discovered through interstellar contact.
Based on real-world physics or Sagan’s views on where true theories may lead the story uses radio waves to imitate SETI’s work. Using mathematics, the extraterrestrials in Contact communicate with each other, as scientists believe they might.
4. The Andromeda Strain (1971)
When an alien infection known as the Andromeda Strain is accidentally unleashed in New Mexico, a group of scientists are called in to deal with the situation. Under certain conditions, extraterrestrial microbes could reach Earth and cause humans to become ill, despite the film’s implausible plot.
So, the bacteria would have no way to fight off the organisms, and the result would be somewhat like in the movie. Scientists have now verified that bacteria can survive in the fatal expanse of space, notwithstanding the fear-mongering of the ’71 Andromeda Strain.
5. Minority Report (2002)
Prior to its debut, Spielberg’s sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise, based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report,” appeared to be just another action flick. However, after its release, it gained a devoted following. Minority Report, set in the year 2054 (which seemed a long way off in 2002), benefited from Spielberg consulting with a variety of experts to help develop the movie’s futuristic future, in which law enforcement can anticipate crimes.
Several of the film’s other technologies are already a reality, even though beta versions of the pre-crime tactics are still being examined in the United States (which sounds really frightening) (e.g., retinal scanners, motion-trailing computer interfaces, and personally targeted advertising).
6. Gattaca (1997)
Gattaca, which depicts a futuristic society in which genetic changes have been universally adopted and every embryo is evaluated for desired traits, has only grown more unsettling as the technology it depicts has come closer to becoming reality.
In reality, most of the genetic testing technology depicted in the film is already feasible or will be in the near future. The practice known as “designer babies,” in which parents can choose the gender of their child and alter their genetic code, is becoming increasingly popular among the wealthy, though the surgery itself is becoming more affordable.
7. The Martian (2015)
Like the book’s author, Andy Weir, the production crew for The Martian sought to achieve the highest possible level of scientific accuracy. NASA blueprints and spacesuit models were studied closely by the set designer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Actors and crew members eventually had the opportunity to spend time with and learn from a variety of astronauts.
The Martian uses nine distinct technologies, according to NASA. On the International Space Station, astronaut Mark Watney uses an ion impulsion drive to propel himself across space. He’s even wearing a suit that differs from what most astronauts wear in space because it’s based on concepts currently being worked on by NASA.
8. Interstellar (2014)
The aesthetics and CGI in Interstellar are renowned for their accuracy. Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist, contributed to the creation of Gargantua, the film’s gigantic black hole through which the astronauts go. The film depicts Gargantua in a way that adheres to all of the accepted rules of physics. The enormous gravitational pull of the planet around which Gargantua orbits would seem to be enough to rip it apart.
Thorne, on the other hand, came to the realization that, in the case of supermassive black holes, a planet could survive. Because of Gargantua’s enormous gravitational pull, the cast and crew also attempted to show the passage of time in a relativistic manner. According to science, astronauts who went to other planets aged considerably more slowly than those who stayed on board the ship.
9. Apollo 13 (1995)
However, Ron Howard’s 1995 movie should be complimented for its efforts to stress the mission’s science. With Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton as the main actors, Apollo 13 comes close to being a documentary because of the film’s reputation.
The film’s accuracy can be attributed to the actors’ extensive training (i.e., astronaut training, studying NASA records, even physics 101). The director was given the green light to film on a low-gravity plane in order to simulate the weightlessness of space.
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
One of Stanley Kubrick’s greatest films is a sci-fi masterpiece and one of the most scientifically accurate films. When 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in theaters, the STEM community was taken aback by its realism, thanks to Kubrick and co-writer Arthur C. Clarke (author of “The Sentinel,” the film’s inspiration).
Among the things that many space films overlook are the genuine vastness, the solitude, and the food that astronauts eat. Although it has been 52 years since the film’s premiere, 2001 still has one of the most accurate portrayals of artificial intelligence (AI), notably HAL 9000, whose transformation from a friendly to a hostile machine is still considered entirely credible.
11. Arrival (2016)
In addition to being one of Denis Villeneuve’s best pictures, Arrival is also one of his most accurate. Rather than the aliens themselves, it is the linguist Louise’s attempts to communicate with them that are accurate to science in this case.
For the film, they had to come up with a novel writing system and alien language as well as a narrative that was unique to the project. Several linguists and a phonetics expert were consulted by the researchers to ensure that the alien language is genuine. The hauntingly realistic exchanges between the protagonist and the aliens in the film are so profoundly unsettling because of the meticulous work that went into preparation for those scenes.
12. Deep Impact (1998)
No one will question a film’s “very good science” if renowned astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson says so. In an interview with BuzzFeed in 2014, he said exactly the same thing about Deep Impact of all movies.
Even while it may come as a surprise to some, Tyson points out that the site of the asteroid impact and the sequences in which astronauts use grappling hooks out in space are likely to resemble what astronauts would see on a real comet if they ever had to land there.
13. Ex Machina (2014)
Ex Machina is one of the most visually stunning and scientifically realistic sci-fi films of our decade. The Turing test, which has been utilized in the scientific world since the 1950s, is at the heart of the entire problem involving the AI Ava, her inventor Nathan, and the gullible Caleb.
Ex Machina takes the Turing test to a whole new level by demonstrating that a human is unable to tell the difference between a machine and another human. With the ability to feel human emotions, Ava also has the ability to be clever and manipulative. Despite the fact that no machine has yet passed the Turing test in the real world, it isn’t hard to conceive that something like Ava will come along in the future.
13. Moon (2009)
As Sam Bell fights to complete his mission on the dark side of the moon in his final days, the critically acclaimed sci-fi film Moon depicts his story. Since 2011, he’s been mining helium-3, which NASA plans to undertake in the future.
NASA even screened a copy of the film as part of a lecture series immediately after its debut because the scientific community was so pleased. According to Popular Mechanics, there was an interesting post-film Q&A with the director and scientists, engineers, and aspiring astronauts.
14. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
It’s safe to say that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has become a cult classic, thanks to the devastating story of Joel, Clementine, and Lacuna, Inc.’s unique memory-wiping technology. Despite the fact that no such equipment exists, the film’s depiction of neuroscientific principles is quite realistic.
It shines in showing how memory formation is tied to emotionally charged circumstances.. Emotional memories stored deep in the amygdalae of Joel and Clementine elicit a faint recognition of each other despite the fact that the surgery has erased their memories of each other. Memory erasing technology may be possible in the future if we understand how these deeper cognitive mechanisms work.