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From 'A Beautiful Mind' to 'A Christmas Story': The Best Movies About Breaking Codes

mendhak via flickr Creative Commons

Cryptography is a complex field of mathematics that gets more complicated every day, and yet movies that feature ciphers, code breaking and puzzles that would break the minds of most math students make cryptography seem quick and easy. 

Here are five movies that feature code breaking and manage to make math seem more magical than logical.

The Imitation Game

This film based on Alan Turing who was a pioneer in computer science and cryptanalysis , won a Best Writing Oscar plus 7 other nominations including Best Picture. Maybe it's the magic of Benedict Cumberbatch and not the code breaking that made this movie so compelling, but we have to admit, watching the Enigma in action was pretty sweet.


A Beautiful Mind

There's something about the way Russell Crowe starts to *see* the code in the numbers makes us all wish Algebra II had been that easy.



A star studded cast of quirky, genius criminals who manage to steal the most amazing code breaking machine ever and hack into the Pentagon? Hilarious hijinks ensue, plus Sydney Poitier is in the movie and that alone makes it worth watching.


A Christmas Story

If you've never experienced the childhood heartbreak of saving up to order something that promises to be fabulous from a cereal box/chocolate milk powder container only to discover once it arrives that it's just another elaborate shill, tell us the secrets to your success.

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Ok, so this one is maybe not really code breaking, but figuring out how to play chords on a skeleton piano is a challenge that is exciting to watch.

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