Folks, all these comments are appreciated--but please, let's restrict your suggestions to realistic and viable engineering-oriented films, not science/speculative fiction--that's another subject altogether!
Not strictly engineering but related: Good Will Hunting, about a brilliant young man finding his own path to maturity and adulthood. I think it was a great treatment, showing the interaction of the bright and dark sides of a geek mind---very relevant to engineers.
OK, one last post: "Lost in Space" (about 1965-67); in one good episode (some were really bad!), Will is beamed back to earth to get a needed chemical. He tells a friend he meets something that the show promptly forgot: When he sees an ugly, angry alien about to attack him, *he* (Will) is the *real* alien, since it is the aliens home. Will tells this friend that he must always remember to consider who he sees from the other life form's viewpoint.
Speaking of The Prime Directive, readers may not know this Law was part of "My Favorite Martian" (1963); a Martian crashes on earth; he cannot call home for help because he will be prosecuted for interfering with our development. While it ended up a silly comedy, it was supposed to allow writers to point out problems we have, and to suggest solutions.
i also want to tell readers about the 1973 *Animated* Star Trek series: in one episode ("One of Our Planets is Missing"), the enterprise has to stop an immense cloud creature from eating a planet that has 30 million people on it. Kirk is stuck; the cloud is too big to be killed by Enterprise weapons, and, of course, the Prime Directive does not allow the creature to be harmed. But they only have 12 hours to evacuate the entire planet; clearly this will not be possible either.
As my last post, readers will have to find the DVD to see how this episode turns out !
i beg the moderator, and ask that engineers on TV shows also be allowed to post. In 1966, ABC-TV has a series "The Time Tunnel" where American scientists create a huge, nuclear powered time machine. Their aim was to go back in time, and change history for the better. In one excellent and touching episode, the two time travellers go back to 1941 to prevent the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a 'twist', the younger time traveller grew up on the Navy base; his Dad was a Captain in charge of all base radio communications.
i do not want to 'spoil' this episode for you; please find a DVD and watch it.
OK, one last movie: "Real Genius" (1985): Cal Tech students have to create an extremely powerful,yet small Laser. Un like the other movie that came out in 1985 ("Weird Science"), R G shows the reality of life at a very tough school. It took hard work, and a creative touch to get the Laser to work, and meet it's specs.
Paycheck! He trades in an 8 figure paycheck for some seemingly random bits of junk in an envelope.
Brainstorm - a neural prosthesis allows a person to record his/her thoughts (Yep - you guessed the 1st use) and play them back for someone else, who actually experiences what was recorded. I'd still like to work on that one!