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Pro-Science & Pro-Skepticism Movies

Skepticism Atheism Atheism vs. Agnosticism The Role of Science The New Atheists
Don't Be A Dick Woo vs. Religion FAQs Skeptical Slang Dictionary Skeptical Atheism Activism
Atheist Music Videos Skeptical Movies Skeptical & Science Podcasts Skeptical Reading List Atheist Meme

These are all movies that celebrate science, skepticism, and rationality. In some, the heroes save the day using science or rational inquiry. In some, the bad guys use mysticism, woo, pseudoscience, or religion for their own, evil or misguided, ends. Some are non-fiction that use the medium of entertainment to teach or encourage critical thinking, rational inquiry or science. Some movies may use a "magical" component as a story-telling device, but in a universe that is internally consistent with that magical element, the features still include using rational thought & critical thinking as a positive force in the plot. Some just poke fun at irrational or illogical ideas.

What this list does NOT include are movies that show science out of control, or mad scientists "playing god" and ending the world (i.e. Jurassic Park), or movies in which the science is so bad, that it ruins the enjoyment of the movie by those who have even a mild understanding of how the universe works (and that might be a subjective judgement).

These are all movies I have personally watched and verified for the required criteria. Others may exist that I have not seen. If you know of a movie or show that you think should be on this list, you can ask me to review it. Most of these movies are available on Netflix.


Pro-Skeptical & Pro-Science Movies at Listal

And for those without flash enabled, a simple list:


MOVIES
Agora
As Christianity gains steam in Roman Egypt toward the end of the fourth century A.D., a young slave (Max Minghella) weighs his desire for freedom against his growing love for his mistress (Rachel Weisz), an atheist as well as a professor of philosophy. Alejandro Amenábar (The Others) directs this epic drama based on the life of Hypatia of Alexandria, a noted Greek scholar and mathematician. Rupert Evans co-stars.
A History Of The World: Part 1
Mel Brooks's comic genius is unleashed in spades in this episodic spoof of history's seminal moments (narrated by Orson Welles), which begins with a brilliant send-up of the cinematic classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brooks goes on to lampoon the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition and ends with a clever takeoff on the French Revolution. The all-star-cast includes Gregory Hines, Madeleine Kahn, Dom DeLuise and Harvey Korman.
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - any version
When Earth is destroyed by a Vogon Demolition Fleet to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, Arthur Dent joins his friend Ford Prefect on a galactic voyage that takes them from the remains of Earth to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Leap of Faith
The Reverend Jonas Nightingale (Steve Martin) is far from holy; in fact, he uses his spiritual influence for financial gain, lining his pockets with the faith of generous believers he encounters as a traveling evangelist. When his tour bus gets stranded in a small town, however, Jonas meets an affirmed skeptic with whom he miraculously falls in love. Is it a match made in heaven?
Life of Brian
Born on the original Christmas Day in the stable next door to Jesus, Brian (Graham Chapman) grows up to join an anti-Roman separatist group. But as he tries to escape trouble with the law, he finds himself reluctantly thrust into the role of the Messiah. Monty Python legends John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin co-star in this classic religious satire that pokes fun at fanaticism and hypocrisy.
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
The Monty Python comedy clan skewers King Arthur and his knights of the round table as they quest far and wide for the Holy Grail in this inspired piece of lunacy that's utterly quotable -- particularly the bit involving knights who say "Ni." John Cleese stands out as the Black Knight, who suffers gory, slow dismemberment at the hands of the mighty king himself yet maintains that "It's just a scratch" after every whack.
Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr., in a Golden Globe-winning role, stars as the legendary London sleuth Sherlock Holmes, joined by Jude Law as Dr. Watson, in this Guy Ritchie-helmed reinvention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective series. Based on a comic book by producer Lionel Wigram, the story follows Holmes and Watson as they face off against the villainous Blackwood (Mark Strong). Rachel McAdams co-stars as sharp beauty Irene Adler.
Wizard of Oz
There's no place like home for young Dorothy (Judy Garland), who's been swept away from her farm in Kansas to a wonderland of munchkins, flying monkeys and different-colored horses. She must follow the Yellow Brick Road to the all-knowing Wizard of Oz to find her way home. Along the way, she meets the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Tin Man (Jack Haley) and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), who help her fend off the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton).

STAND-UP AND LIVE SHOWS
George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya
In his final filmed performance and 14th HBO special, counterculture comic George Carlin urges Americans to just say no to BS, serving up sharp-witted takes on society's ridiculous obsessions, the self-esteem movement fallout and spoiled kids. Ever dubious of authority, the 70-year-old Carlin lets his antiestablishment flag fly by riffing on America's follow-the-leader mentality and skewering politicians and other so-called experts.
George Carlin: Life Is Worth Losing
Irreverent counterculture comedian George Carlin riffs on everything from high-technology to election returns in this stand-up comedy performance filmed at New York's Beacon Theatre -- his 13th HBO special. No topic is too shocking for Carlin, who serves up his outrageous takes on sex, suicide, religion and other controversial topics. Since the 1960s, Carlin has entertained audiences with his in-your-face, caustic and decidedly adult-themed humor.
George Carlin: Complaints & Grievances
Legendary comic George Carlin skewers everything from being stuck in gridlock and long-winded email newsletters to charging cheap items on credit in this riotous stand-up appearance at New York City's Beacon Theatre in November 2001. Skits include the titular "Complaints and Grievances," "Traffic Accidents," "You & Me (Things That Come Off of Your Body)," "Parents of Honor Students," "Guys Named Todd" and "Why We Don't Need 10 Commandments."
George Carlin: You Are All Diseased
Loved by critics and audiences and vilified by censors, comedian George Carlin picked up where the original provocateur, Lenny Bruce, left off. This movie features Carlin's trademark scathing wit in a series of routines never before seen on disc. In this performance originally filmed for broadcast on HBO, Carlin takes aim at airport security, germs, cigars, "man stuff" and one of his favorite targets -- religion.

TV SHOWS (fiction)
The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) know quantum physics and the Klingon language. They don't, however, have a clue about women. That's too bad, because attractive, newly single Penny (Kaley Cuoco) just moved into the building, and she could use some companionship. If these two nerds are ever going to score with the ladies, Penny will need to give them a crash course in life in this sitcom from the creator of "Two and a Half Men."
Firefly - and the follow-up movie Serenity
Set almost 500 years in the future, this short-lived but much-loved TV series follows the adventures of the ragtag crew (including Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk) of the transport spaceship Serenity, who view no job as too small, too dirty or too close to the line of illegality. When a passenger is wanted by the ruling Alliance regime, the Firefly must hide out in the dangerous fringes of space.
House
Fox's hit hospital drama stars Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie as the ornery Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant diagnostician who demonstrates his palpable loathing for his patients with a brutal bedside manner. Along with his handpicked team of specialists -- including neurologist Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), immunologist Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) and oncologist James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) -- House looks into obscure medical disorders.
The Mentalist
Simon Baker stars as Patrick Jane, a rogue detective and case-cracking consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation -- a far cry from his last gig as a semi-famous "psychic medium" with no paranormal abilities. Despite his bogus past, Patrick's charm and powers of observation endear him to the CBI team -- except for Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who doesn't care for his antics.
Numb3rs
FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) recruits his math whiz brother Charlie (David Krumholtz) to help solve some of the bureau's most challenging crimes. Despite their different approaches to life and work, when the two team up they become a brilliant crime-fighting machine. Inspired by true-life cases, this fascinating TV series explores the details of criminal investigation and the crucial role mathematics can play.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? - the original 1969 cartoon series, not the later cartoons
Ghosts, zombies, goblins and werewolves beware: Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the other young sleuths of Mystery Inc. are on the job and exposing the misdeeds of creepy crooks in this beloved cartoon series. Originally aired between 1969 and 1971.
Southpark
Comedy Central's groundbreaking, foul-mouthed series featuring some of the most original pint-sized characters ever to mouth off in the cartoon world. Nothing is sacred, nothing is off-limits, as the creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone examine, parody, satarize, and insult everyone and everything.
Star Trek: Original Series
"Space ... the final frontier." Easily one of the most beloved television series of all time, atheist & skeptic Gene Roddenberry's groundbreaking sci-fi classic has captured the minds and hearts of fans across generations. Joined by Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) leads the crew of the USS Enterprise on an intergalactic search for new worlds and new civilizations.

TV SHOWS (non-fiction)
Bad Universe (not available on Netflix)
The universe is a dangerous place. Threats can come from any direction. But pop culture has played fast & loose with the facts. Quite often the things we know are all wrong, when you re dealing with the universe, ignorance can be deadly. That's where Phil Plait comes in. He's an Alpha Nerd with a PhD in Astronomy, on a mission to debunk all the junk science out there reveal the truth. In each episode, he'll show you the real science behind the mysteries of this planet, our solar system the Bad Universe we all live in. It might just save your life. Watch online at http://tv-dump.org/shows/Bad.Universe/#S01
Carl Sagan's Cosmos
Renowned astronomer and author Carl Sagan explores the mysteries of the universe in this award-winning series, presenting fascinating and controversial insights into astronomy, biology, religion, evolution and more. With a focus on mankind's place in the grand scheme, universally speaking, Sagan takes viewers on an educational intergalactic journey through topics such as the Big Bang theory, early civilizations, purported UFO abductions and more.
Mythbusters
Special-effects guru Jamie Hyneman and his spirited co-host, Adam Savage, test the validity of old wives' tales, urban legends and other far-fetched phenomena in their hit cable series, "MythBusters." Science and entertainment collide in this set of mythbusting episodes that investigate the truth. This Discovery channel program separates fact from fiction through the hard work of enthusiastic team members Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.
Penn & Teller
In-your-face magician-comedians Penn & Teller stick their satiric pin into some of the most cherished beliefs about American pop culture. The dynamic duo endeavors to expose the fakery behind television psychics, alien abductions, end-of-the-world theories, bottled water and secondhand smoke (to name just a few targets). This Emmy-nominated series exposes the phony in every corner of society. Penn & Teller crusade to separate fact from fiction and expose the nonsense behind many of the country's hot-button issues, commonly accepted beliefs, urban legends and oft-debated theories.

DOCUMENTARIES
A Brief History Of Disbelief (not available on Netflix)
Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first 'unbelievers' in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic. So few representatives of atheism provide a compelling and earnest account for unbelief, let alone with the lucidity and intellectual vigor of Jonathan Miller. He is sincere and moving in this attempt to explain and understand the origins of the truth of disbelief of religious superstition and faith. Watch online at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/brief-history-disbelief/
Letting Go of God
Comedian Julia Sweeney reflects on religion, her search for God and her eventual non-belief in this entertaining monologue. After two Mormon missionaries at her door pose a simple question, the debate begins. From her roots as a Catholic to her flirtations with Buddhism and New Age philosophies, Sweeney takes viewers on a smart and humorous spiritual journey as she seeks out truth and deals with the family fallout from her skepticism.
Religulous
Politically provocative talk show host Bill Maher skewers the current state of organized religion in this hot-button documentary that derives its title from a blend of the words "religion" and "ridiculous." Making stops in Jerusalem, the Vatican and other holy destinations, Maher travels the world to talk to believers from a variety of faiths to find out why they're so sure their religion is right -- and why they're so certain others are wrong.
The Republican War on Science (not available on Netflix - in production)
A look at the U.S. government and the right-wing approach to scientific topics such as stem-cell research, global warming and and sex education.

The Inn Between © 2002