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30+ Movies Like ‘Hidden Figures’ That'll Give You Hope For Humanity

In a world so bleak, these movies are what you need.

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Movies Like Hidden Figures
20th Century Fox

There’s nothing like a good historical drama, especially when the movie tells a story that very few people actually knew. When Hidden Figures was released, that’s exactly what drew people to the film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe. Set in the 1960s, Hidden Figures is about a trio of genius mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson working for NASA. While it takes some fictional liberties, as any historical biopic does, Hidden Figures was a bonafide hit upon its release, even winning Best Picture at the Oscars in 2017. If you found the movie inspiring — accordingly so, as it told the story of three Black women behind the iconic launch of John Glenn into orbit, a field usually reserved for white men at the time — these other movies like Hidden Figures might hit the spot.

What else makes Hidden Figures such a fantastic watch? The Atlantic wrote at the time of the film’s release, “Hidden Figures doesn’t hide its efforts to be a crowdpleaser — depending on audience size, you can expect clapping and cheering after moments of victory, and loud groans whenever egregious acts of racism take place (there are many). A buoyant soundtrack by Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer, and Benjamin Wallfisch and regular doses of comic relief help keep the tone light and optimistic despite the serious issues at hand.”

So, as you can imagine, those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but these movies come very close.

Inspirational Movies Like Hidden Figures

1. Molly’s Game (2017)

OK, while the women in Hidden Figures were working for the greater good, this movie tells the true story of an inspiring young woman who went the other way. Starring Jessica Chastain, this is the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier who ran one of the most infamous, highest stakes poker games in the world — until the FBI took her down in the middle of the night.

2. On the Basis of Sex (2018)

What’s not to love about the story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her journey to the Supreme Court? Settle in and watch Felicity Jones play a young Ginsberg as she takes on a groundbreaking case that would eventually change the way courts ruled on gender politics forever. Even back then, she was a badass, more than worthy of her notorious RBG nickname.

3. Marshall (2017)

Starring Chadwick Boseman in one of his final roles, this movie tells the true story of a very young Thurgood Marshall, working for the NAACP. He ends up taking on a case in which a wealthy woman named Eleanor Strubing accuses a driver, Joseph Spell, of rape and murder. He ends up working with a Jewish lawyer, meaning that they have to face all sorts of racist and anti-Semitic bias in a very white, conservative Connecticut to try and prove Spell’s innocence.

4. The Best of Enemies (2019)

Starring Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson, this movie tells the true story of civil rights activist Ann Atwater. She ends up battling with a Ku Klux Klan leader, C.P. Ellis, over the desegregation of schools in 1971 Durham, N.C. By the time the credits roll at the end, viewers get to see real pictures of the two together and learn that Ellis ended up giving the eulogy at Atwater’s actual funeral. Still, some critics found that the movie focused too much on redeeming Ellis and not enough on Atwater’s struggle, but it’s worth queuing up to see for yourself.

5. Radioactive (2019)

If it was the science more than the history that drew you to Hidden Figures, then this is for you. Rosamund Pike stars as Marie Curie after the death of her husband and as she researches radioactive elements. You watch her struggle with her greatness throughout, as she knows that people could use her work for both good and evil. As we all know, she wasn’t wrong, either.

6. Spotlight (2015)

This film tells the true story of how the Boston Globe exposed the child molestation scandal happening throughout the Catholic Archdiocese. Although we know how the story ends, it’s filled with twists and turns that give an inside look into investigative journalism and what goes into uncovering the truth. It’s a classic tale about a newspaper facing a powerful institution and making a difference.

More Movies Like Hidden Figures to Watch

  1. Detroit (2017)
  2. Infinity (1996)
  3. North Country (2015)
  4. The Help (2011)
  5. Fences (2016)
  6. Loving (2016)
  7. Gifted (2017)
  8. The Post (2017)
  9. Just Mercy (2019)
  10. The Soloist (2009)
  11. 42 (2013)
  12. Race (2016)
  13. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
  14. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)
  15. Unbroken (2014)
  16. Harriet (2019)
  17. Selma (2014)
  18. Temple Grandin (2010)
  19. The Great Debaters (2007)
  20. Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
  21. Glory Road (2006)
  22. The Banker (2020)
  23. Suffragette (2015)
  24. Erin Brokovich (2000)
  25. The Glorias (2020)

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