From Contagion to World War Z, Hollywood has produced many entertaining microbiology and genetics-related movies. Some are scientifically accurate while others require you to ignore logic and just enjoy the show.
So, which films are worth a watch? Our microbiologists and virologists have assembled a list of their ten favorite micro-movies of all time. Here they are in order of year released:
- World War Z (2013): This movie is packed with zombie jump scares. Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) combats a zombie pandemic that’s sweeping the globe. We also like the book the film is based on.
- Contagion (2011): Starring Matt Damon, this film shows an all-to-realistic way an outbreak can destroy populations.
- 28 Days Later (2002): It only takes 28 days for a deadly virus to decimate the UK. This film is not for the faint of heart!
- Mission: Impossible II (2000): Special Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must stop a genetically modified disease named Chimera.
- Gattaca (1997): Ethan Hawk, Uma Thurman, genetics and space travel – what more could you ask for?
- Twelve Monkeys (1995): Set in 2035, a deadly virus released in 1996 has nearly wiped out all of humanity. A troubled convict, James Cole (Bruce Willis), is sent back in time to find the original virus to help scientists develop a cure.
- Outbreak (1995): In this star-studded flick, a virus discovered in the African jungle is spread rapidly throughout the United States when a monkey that hosts the virus is released.
- Jurassic Park (1993): Jurassic Park was one of the most successful movies of the 1990s. The film also introduced many children to genetics including one of our Molecular Research and Development Associates.
- The Fly (1986): Eccentric scientist Seth Brundle’s (Jeff Goldblum) experiment goes horribly wrong resulting in him transforming into a human-fly hybrid.
- The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936): This classic film shows how the French microbiologist changed the world.
What’s your favorite micro-movie? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.