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Here is our list of the best movies on Aspergers Syndrome and Autism.
These are all movies we have enjoyed watching in the past and have found many of them very moving and inspirational. Many of these films feature adults and children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.
We hope you enjoy them too and please let us know if there are any that we have missed out.

Adam – Rated PG13


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam is a brilliant love story that debuted in 2009 and takes place in bustling New York City. The movie is about Adam’s life as a shy and lonesome man with Asperger’s Syndrome. Actor Hugh Dancy stars as Adam and his keen abilities as a performer shine through as he portrays Adam with very real and believable Asperger’s mannerisms. Dancy’s performance draws the viewer in to understand Adam’s plight as he meets and develops a friendship with his new neighbor, a pretty kindergarten teacher named Beth played by Rose Byrne. Adam struggles to communicate with Beth and often finds it easier to recite interesting facts that he knows about various subjects, including his favorite, space exploration. Adam knows everything about astronomy in detail and his knowledge intrigues Beth. Through their many awkward and often comical moments, a meaningful relationship unfolds between Adam and Beth.

Adam

My Name is Khan – Not Rated


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Name Is Khan

The movie, “My Name is Khan” is a story that becomes undone after September 11, 2001. The United States changed rapidly after the terrorist assault, and much of the country became fearful of Muslim people. Rizvan Khan, played by actor Shah Rukh Khan, is originally a Muslim from India. He is a gentle person who endures the difficulties caused by Asperger’s Syndrome. Until that fateful day, Rizvan lives a somewhat normal life in America. He meets and marries a Hindu woman named Mandira played by Kajol Devgan. They create a good life together, but once Mandira’s son becomes a victim of an attack on Muslims, she sends Rizvan away. The remainder of the movie finds Rizvan on a quest to make things right and win back his wife. My Name Is Khan sends a message of open-mindedness to the world and sheds some light on understanding both the difficulties of Asperger’s and the sometimes ominous Muslim ways.

 

Mozart and the Whale – Rated PG13


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The movie Mozart & The Whale is based on the book about the lives of Jerry and Mary Newport, two adults who fell in love and are each affected with Asperger’s Disorder. In the movie, the couple is Donald played by Josh Hartnett and Isabella played by Radha Mitchell. The two become acquainted through a group Donald creates for autistic adults to interact with each other and to help prevent the loneliness that often occurs for people with Asperger’s. As the two become a couple, they grapple with their differences in daily social situations and learn various coping methods. Donald and Isabella each possess unique talents, but the difficulties of their pasts give them something in common that helps create a strong bond between them.

The actors do an excellent job of portraying the couple. The story is well written, believable and at the same time, it gives the audience a new understanding of the fact that everyone faces challenges in life. “Mozart and the Whale” was filmed in 2004 in the heart of Spokane, Washington. The movie highlights the beauty of the city and its special attractions. It is a must see movie for anyone interested in Asperger’s Disorder.

Mozart & The Whale (Widescreen)

 

Temple Grandin Rated PG


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temple Grandin

This movie is the real life story of Temple Grandin. It illustrates Temple Grandins’ struggle with autism and her subsequent achievements in life. Not only did Temple find a way to overcome the emotional distress, but she also gained a Phd in animal science and became an internationally recognized speaker in the Autistic community. Inspired by generations of people diagnosed with Autism Temple Grandin is truly an example to us all.

 

Little Man Tate – Rated PG



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Little Man Tate came out in 1991. It is about a young genius who has some Asperger’s traits and his single, loving, hard-working, and very protective mother. The child is Fred Tate played by Adam Hann-Byrd. He has the ability to solve complex math problems in his mind and is an expert piano player. Fred gets nervous when too many adults give him attention and he depends on the sheltering of his mom Dede, played by actress and the “Little Man Tate” director, Jodie Foster.

As Fred’s obvious talents gain more attention, a child psychologist who owns a school for gifted children enters the picture. She pressures Dede to enroll Fred in her school but Dede struggles because she knows her child and puts major importance on Fred’s life being lived as normal as possible.

Little Man Tate is a story about triumph over adversity. The characters learn wonderful things about themselves and each other. The movie looks at the life of a young child prodigy and determines how to find a healthy balance in a world that can sometimes be less than kind to those who are different.

 

I Am Sam – Rated PG13


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Sam : Widescreen Edition

“I Am Sam” is an emotionally powerful movie about the love between a parent and his child. Actor Sean Penn is Sam Dawson, a developmentally disabled single father who is raising his little daughter Lucy, played by Dakota Fanning. The child’s mother abandoned them shortly after Lucy’s birth, but Sam has done an excellent job of loving and caring for his daughter. Sam also has a marvelous support group of mentally challenged friends and a neighbor woman that help him care for Lucy.

As Lucy gets older and is attending school, she begins to realize that her Daddy is different from the other Daddies and she understands that he has learning disabilities. The other children tease her, but Lucy and Sam have a strong and loving bond that is unshakable. The authorities enter the picture and eventually move Lucy to a foster home where they feel she will receive better care, but Sam and Lucy will not have it.

As Sam prepares to fight for custody of his daughter, he seeks help from attorney Rita Harrison, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Each of the actors delivers exceptional performances and “I Am Sam” sends out an overwhelming message of the power of unconditional love. The music soundtrack that is comprised of favorite Beatles tunes, offers a delightful addition for moviegoers.

 

If there are any movies that you think should be on the list but arent, leave us a comment below about why you like it and we’ll be sure to add it to the list 

About by admin

Founder of the Aspergers Test Site and blogger on all things Autism / Aspergers Syndrome related. The website was setup in 2012 to enable a free and effective diagnosis for all.

71 thoughts on “A list of the best Aspergers movies
  1. Great list … we just watched Nancy Drew tonight and my Aspie recongnized Nancy as an Aspie! Great movie you may want to add to your list (rated PG)

  2. lynn says:

    Yes, Max and Mary should be on the list. Amazing animation and a very bittersweet story. I related too well to the character of Max, who has Aspergers. Following Max’s life it is easy to see some of the many difficulties that Aspies face in the world, and in maintaining relationships.

    http://www.maryandmax.com/

    • Aspie Girl says:

      Max and Mary is one of the absolute best portrayals of Aspergers.
      Not every Aspie is exactly like Max, but that’s only because no two Aspies are exactly alike. He is a far more believable portrayal than almost any other character.
      This movie portrays the painful aspects of Aspergers, and yet shows how Max does not feel deficient, and feels proud to be an Aspie.
      And the movie’s treatment of him, and of Mary, is touching.

  3. Alan says:

    Forest gump has no place on this list

    • Shelley says:

      In Forest Gump the book he is 100% Asperger’s. Unfortunately the movie went off in a different direction. I still love this movie, it is an inspiration to all of us.

  4. Sarah Greer says:

    “Snowcake” with Sigorney Weaver was quite good. She was more Autistic, though.

  5. Ieuan says:

    One good film I know of is Simple Simon, a Swedish film about a guy with Aspergers who accidentally makes his brother’s girlfriend dump him, and then tries to find his brother a new girlfriend. It should be easy to find an English subbed version

  6. Christine says:

    While not a movie, the television show “Bones” (available on Netflix) does an excellent job showing how someone with Asperger’s traits can be successful. The title character, a brilliant anthropologist, often shows lack of empathy, inability to read other people’s intentions, and takes everything literally. Her friends are always showing her how to read people better and understand society’s ways.

  7. e. cassidy says:

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is about a boy who has symptoms of Asperger’s.

    • daryl says:

      Yeah it’s a really good movie for portraying some aspey traits and tells the story of how a father attempts to prepare his son to live in the big wide world in spite some of his aspey hang ups.

  8. Emma says:

    There’s a charming Australian film from 1986 called Malcolm that should be on this list. It’s about a boy with Aspergers (in a time before there was such a designation) who is obsessed with streetcars/trams and builds electronic devices. He takes in a pair of bank robbers, who end up befriending him. Worth hunting down, if you can find it. It’s quite irrepressible.

  9. Sarah says:

    Clay Marzo just add water, real life story of Clay Marzo, a professional surfer with aspergers. Great film, great guy.

  10. Ann says:

    Please add Ben X to your list. Its a Belgian film about this Asperger teen having a hard time with bullies but who eventually manages to shame them in public. Its very heart wrenching to watch him suffer so much and it made me want to hug him so badly.

    • Ken Westmoreland says:

      I second that, although it is very hard to watch if you were bullied at school, even if it weren’t as vicious or as humiliating as what Ben experiences.

  11. Michael Larson says:

    The anime series Death Note has a lead detective “L” who is a shoe-in for a brilliant (though socially clueless; and emotionally detached) genius.

  12. Michael Larson says:

    (sorry, I should have been more complete in my description about “L” in Death Note. I strongly suspect the character was modeled after an Aspie. He hides away from the public. One of his traits is that he is never seen (until the case of the anime series.) He has strange eating habits and postures; can not empathize, and fails miserably when he tries to emulate normal social interactions. But he is a great and brilliant character.

    There were live action films made as well as the anime and Manga, but they didn’t capture the feel as well.

  13. Nice list. I saw ‘Adam” in the cinema and liked it. I thought it was a positive portrayal of Asperger’s.

  14. John says:

    I watched OC87 the other day on Netflix and loved it! Director Bud Clayman documents his struggle with OCD and Asperger’s Syndrome and how it derailed his plan to become a filmmaker.

    Here’s a link to the film’s website:

    http://oc87.com/home

  15. John says:

    Also, while Ken Burns’ documentary about Thomas Jefferson (also available on Netflix) isn’t about Asperger’s, I noticed that he seemed to have a lot of traits. :)

  16. Glenda says:

    “Doc Martin” series – aired on PBS, Netflix & Hulu.

    Netflix: “Crippled by a sudden fear of blood, a curmudgeonly surgeon leaves his city practice to be a country doc in a seaside village populated by eccentrics.”

    I really enjoyed the quirky humor of Doc Martin; Aspergers behaviors are quite evident as he is abrupt and his attempts to connect with others are strained at best.

    • Jack says:

      Yes Doc Martin is an Awesome series. Most enjoyable and memorable. There is a documentry online comparing his behaviours to AS. Very funny and nice production. Series 1 to 5, with series 6 coming soon.

  17. Glenda says:

    McLeod’s Daughters

    Netflix: Two long-lost sisters reunite and hire a group of tough, hardworking women to bring their late father’s financially troubled farm back to life.

    This series addresses relationships, communication, death, compassion, solutions and in a rural setting. Interesting to notice the patterns of the writer, every now and then an unexpected twist – especially the ending of series 3. This series leans more towards Highly Sensitive Personality / autistic.

  18. Glenda says:

    Ally McBeal

    Netflix:Ally McBeal, an unlucky-in-love attorney, takes on peculiar cases while resisting feelings for her ex-boyfriend, who still works at her firm.

    This series has Ally moving in and out of relationships attempting to find happiness, filled with quirky humor and drama, drama, drama; her character is reflected throughout the others within the firm. There are many messages woven in this series; to tap into the mind of an autistic/ apsergers person – David E. Kelley’s writing is excellent.

  19. Bill says:

    I know it’s not a movie but the game To The Moon by Freebird Games is incredible. Two characters in the game have some form of PDD with one diagnosed in early childhood while the other wasn’t diagnosed until around her 20’s-30’s you can try it for free or buy it for $10. I totally recommend it myself, having pdd-nos that is very close to aspies.

  20. Anabriel says:

    My all-time favorite example of a fellow Aspie is Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1 as portrayed by Michael Shanks. I swear, if I was the paranoid type, I would’ve thought someone was following me around, taking notes, and then writing the entirety of my personality… the good, the bad, and the ugly of it… into his character while the show was airing. X-) I find the character development of Daniel Jackson over the course of the series to be a very positive example of what we actually are, and gunfights with aliens aside, what we can really be capable of… it’s as inspiring as it is revealing. :-) So I recommend Stargate SG-1 very highly. :-)

  21. Don says:

    Rainman, excellent movie which shows a ‘normal’ brother dealing with disabled bother, and his amazing memory. The scenes where they have physical interactions show how aspies deal with physical touch. If you have an aspie in your life the scene where the brothers hug with make your eyes water.

  22. zuzana klembarova says:

    and what about Big bang theory, american new sitcom, mainly charakter named Sheldon, but there are more more or less aspergers :-)

  23. Don R. Holloway says:

    One of my favorite films is “Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic” a documentary by filmmaker Todd Drezner. It is not specifically about Asperger’s but about the Autism Spectrum in general. Todd has a son who is Autistic, and he discusses the whole idea of Neurodiversity as he interviews people with Autism. Well made film.

  24. Nathaniel Rayner says:

    There’s another film That I know of. Ben X.

    Ben X is a 2007 Belgian drama film based on the novel Nothing Was All He Said by Nic Balthazar, who also directed the film. The film is about a boy with Asperger syndrome (played by Greg Timmermans) who retreats into the fantasy world of the MMORPG ArchLord to escape bullying. The film’s title is a reference to the leet version of the Dutch phrase “(ik) ben niks”, meaning “(I) am nothing”. The novel was inspired by the true story of a boy with autism who committed suicide because of bullying.

  25. Mary Moraites says:

    the movie ” Mercury Rising” with Bruce Willis – 1994.. with a young autistic boy who’s parents get shot in front of him…it’s a great story.

  26. Maria says:

    “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a 2011 British romantic comedy and drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Ewan McGregor (Aspie rol), Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Paul Torday.

  27. manijeh says:

    The movie The Hedge Hog.

  28. melissa robinson says:

    my 22 year old son with asperger’s syndrome shed tears when he watched I Am Sam. Great movie and very inspirational

  29. Helen says:

    Wondering whether the British BBC drama ‘Sherlock’ could be portraying a character with asberger traits? Benedict Cumberpatch plays an interesting interpretation/portrayal of the fictitious character Sherlock Holmes. A brilliant but ‘troubled’ mind, a ‘difficult’ person to those working with him. I guess it makes for great tension in drama, and this is a fast paced, lively, ‘fantastical’ drama. See if you agree…

  30. Justin says:

    Surprised to not see Punch Drunk Love mentioned yet. Always thought people were saying Barry (played by Adam Sandler, my fave performance of his by far) had Aspie traits. Though I’m a possible undiagnosed Aspie myself, so I can’t say for sure. Just that I saw some traits in him I related to. Pretty dark movie and painful but also with streaks of hope. Not like the usual Hollywood fare, much more “honest” IMO, so it was a breath of fresh air at the time, to see a character resemble me so much. Oh, and I just watched Adam – loved it (related to many of his traits as well).

  31. natasha smith says:

    Lars and the Real Girl, and Punch Drunk Love. How have these not been mentioned??

  32. Juba says:

    The Norwegian movie “Elling”

  33. Anthony says:

    Napoleon Dynamite may not intentionally be an Aspergers character, but he shows all the signs. Great movie.

  34. Denise Jack says:

    I think the T.V. series Elementary could be a useful addition to the list. The main character, Sherlock, seems to have quite a lot of the traits associated with Asperger’s syndrome. He is a highly motivated, passionate detective, but whose social skills lack empathy and understanding of another person’s point of view. He is very blunt and uncompromising. It is interesting to see the relationship with his companion, Dr Watson (who is a woman) blossom, as Sherlock begins to respect her insight and considers her of value in his fight to bring criminals to justice.

  35. Salvo says:

    Cosa piove dal cielo? (Un cuento chino) di Sebastián Borensztein

  36. daryl says:

    The Danish movie Superbror is a sort of magic realism fantasy film. The main thrust of the film is that ten year old Anton is fed up being responsible for his fourteen year old autistic brother Buller and wishes that he had a ‘normal’ older brother who’d look after and protect him just like he thinks older brothers are supposed to do. It’s a heart warming story and both boys do an excellent job of playing the roles. Some of Buller’s ‘quirks’ definitely struck chords with me.

  37. daryl says:

    Atticus Shaffer as youngest son Brick in the US TV series The Middle has enough aspey traits to fill an encyclopedia. He manages the difficult task of being both amusing and quirky without being condescending or offensive towards genuine aspeys. Actually as he’s mentioned several times in interviews that in reality he shares many of his character’s traits he probably is on the autistic spectrum.

  38. Nancy says:

    The Boy Who Could Fly…an 80’s film. The boy is more
    low-functioning than an Aspie, but still a sweet movie!

  39. Astrid says:

    Great list and comments…

    I’m sure we can add the TV series HOUSE to this list over,
    Dr House has loads of Aspie traits..

  40. John gaskill says:

    The truth about Luke

  41. Jessica Boren says:

    What about “extremely loud and incredibly close.”

  42. Roger says:

    “Griff the Invisible”. 2010
    http://www.grifftheinvisible.com

    Though just described ass “socially awkward”, the two main characters seem to have Aspergers to me. I love the lines “What were you like as a kid?” “Small”.

    • Aspie Girl says:

      The main characters of Griff the Invisible are definitely both Aspies. Better protrayals than some or most of the characters on the above list. I also like Lars in Lars and the Real Girl.

    • Aspie Girl says:

      Yes, The main characters of Griff the Invisible are definitely both Aspies. Better protrayals than some or most of the characters on the above list. I also like Lars in Lars and the Real Girl.

  43. Steve says:

    Shouldn’t Bones, Dr. Temperance Brennan by on the Aspie list too?

  44. Veronica says:

    The TV show “Bones” is a perfect example of this -

  45. Richard Rodriguez says:

    I would like to recommend the movie White Frog

  46. Eddy Van Damme says:

    one of the best crime series I have ever seen is the Swedish-Danish serie ‘The Bridge’, in which Saga Norén plays an authistic female detective in a splendid way.

  47. Shaun says:

    “Extremely loud and incredibly close” great film!

  48. mick goeman says:

    Isn’t Ross Geller (Friends)
    Asperger?

    m

  49. Colin Izumo says:

    How about Christian Slater’s character in the 1993 film Untamed Heart?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108451/

  50. Vesku says:

    Movie named “Mary and Max” should definately be on the list. It’s wicked good, touching, hilarious and a great example of aspergers. Beautiful animation movie.
    Aspergers are the best.
    Peace.

  51. miyu says:

    The newest I know is a Korean Drama titled Good Doctor. It’s not a movie, it’s a drama tv with 20 episodes. The story is about an autis savant who becomes genius pediatric surgeon

  52. Simon says:

    Aspergers the Movie. This documentary came out about a week ago and it’s great for getting a solid understanding about Aspergers.

    http://aspergersthemovie.com/videos/

  53. Brom says:

    Love this thread. Thank you all for your suggestions. My girlfriend has Aspergers and she likes watching movies with “off” characters, as well as reading books about strange syndromes. This list really gives me clues to movies we can watch together.

  54. Blaine Bailey says:

    Where can these movies be purchased. Some I see are general and Netflix available, but not all. Lin

  55. Colleen says:

    I loved Benny and June growing up. This started my infatuation with Johnny Depp, as I totally got his character in this movie. Honestly, he’s played several characters over the years that could fall on the spectrum. Now as an adult I’ve been diagnosed with Aspergers.

  56. SCA says:

    As Good As It Gets! Jack Nicholson’s character Melvin Udall in my opinion was spot on. Although he is diagnosed in the movie with OCD and not necessarily AS, he possesses all of the Aspire traits that I do – being blunt, needing routine, liking things a certain way, being rude and not understanding why. No matter what other movies or tv shows I’ve seen, As Good As It Gets is the only one that is familiar to me and I can relate to as a disagnosed Aspie.

    • Kath Erebus Rushworth says:

      I’ve been thinking on this and I think Kinsey would be an interesting addition. Note: this is an adult title, based on fact, about an entomologist who wishes to investigate what is “normal” sexual practice. His work is most remembered in the Kinsey Scale of hetero/homo sexual attraction. I would hazard to say that his meticulous attention to scientific method, his efforts to understand his own emotions, and his need to understand the unknown even if it means stepping over social convention and taboos, is typical of many people with Asperger’s. Just feels like an Aspie movie to me.

  57. Stasia says:

    You should add White Frog (2012) on the list, it’s about how a teenage boy with Asperger’s deals with the loss of his brother. Also add The story of Luke (2012), which is about Asperger’s boy who has to learn to deal with the world outside his home which he’s not familiar with. Another good one would be Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The character has had to be written with Asperger’s in mind for sure, it only doesn’t say it in the movie.

  58. Lulu says:

    Can the character ‘Monk’ from the series of the same name, played by Tony Shaloub, be considered an Aspergers character?

  59. Phil says:

    I loved Salmon Fishing in Yemen (mentioned above)

    also:

    How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (very funny, produced by Toby Young who says he may have ASD)

    American Beauty (the videographer may have AS)

    A Zed and Two Noughts (and other Peter Greenaway movies)

    A Clockwork Orange (The director Stanley Kubrick had AS appaently

  60. Janelle says:

    I am looking for a movie for my 10 y/o son to watch so he can understand a little more about his behavior. Talking to him does not help but he loves movies and talking about them after.

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