9 Big Movies with a Big Data & Analytics Angle

If you thought the only place you’ll find Big Data is in the world of business analytics, you are in for a surprise. Analytics & Big Data has transcended real life to enter reel life many times and lots of films have weaved in analysis and Big Data into their plots. It would be a big miss for data scientists and business analysts alike if they don’t know these iconic cultural references to their field of work and passion!

Here are 10 interesting movies with Big Data, predictive analytics, and machine science angles that are hard to miss:

1. Ex Machina


Actors: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Director: Alex Garland

Plot: A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

The movie is a lesson in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It follows a prodigy programmer’s experiments with building an artificial intelligence system inside the body of a robot girl by using personal data gathered from a fictional social networking website.

2. I, Robot


Actors: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood

Director: Alex Proyas

Plot: In 2035 a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.

A super computer called VIKI, which stands for Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence, uses truckloads of data and computational powers to take control of the world’s robots. VIKI and its evil plans are eventually defeated by the protagonist with the help of a friendly robot

3. Minority Report


Actors: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton

Director: Steven Spielberg

Plot: In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Crucial to this movie’s story are the PreCogs, a small team of humans who can see into the future to predict when the murder will be committed, by whom it will be committed, and who will be the victim.

The PreCogs are the source of future data for the PreCrime police unit, who are really the super-smart “data scientists” doing the hard work. It’s down to this team to solve the time-bound challenge of sifting through visual data and piece together information that nails down the final details in order to prevent the next crime.

4. 21


Actors: Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey

Director: Robert Luketic

Plot: "21" is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

The movie is based on a true-story of five highly intellectual Ivy League students who get trained by their professor in card counting at blackjack. Using a combination of code talk and hand signals, these students manage to win hundreds and thousands of dollars at casino after Casino in Las Vegas. A treat for all math fanatics out there!

5. The Imitation Game


Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

Director: Morten Tyldum

Plot: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

The movie focuses on the British government's effort to crack the secret codes created with the help of a typewriter like device called Enigma used by Germans to communicate during the war. Alan Turing, who is enlisted for help, creates a primitive computer to analyze all possible permutations. He and his team manage to crack the code, helping the Allied forces the war against the Nazis.

6. Her


Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Spike Jonze

Plot: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need.

A highly advanced operating system that takes the personalities of all the programmers who have written it and has the ability to grow or evolve through its experiences…who wouldn’t fall in love with her? Viewers need to decide if the smart OS Samantha is predictive analytics & programming at its zenith or a turn for the worse.

7. Live Free or Die Hard


Actors: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant

Director: Len Wiseman

Plot: A tenacious police officer and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.

Evil cyber terrorists attempting to hack into every government and commercial computer network with the goal to analyze the data to start a fire sale of financial assets that would bring down the country’s financial system. They are pitted against a good cop and a data scientist hacker.

8. War Games


Actors: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood

Director: John Badham

Plot: A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

The movie features a supercomputer programmed to gather all sorts of data and continuously run predictive modeling and military simulations to come up with the best strategy to win a nuclear war.

9. Moneyball


Actors: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill

Director: Bennett Miller

Plot: Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

With the use of historical data and predictive modeling to build a champion baseball team, this true story is sure to delight both data scientists and sports enthusiasts.

Business analytics & Big Data has not only got the business and technology industry excited, but seems to have influenced many movie-makers across the last few decades. Watching these movies will leave you wondering if today’s science fiction is indeed, tomorrow’s science.

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