Spoiler Alert! The 50 Best Movie Twists

40. Nash's friends were all delusions.

Movie: A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Writer: Sylvia Nasar (original novel), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)

A Nobel Prize-winning mathematician should be expected to have quite a few quirks, but imaginary friends and walking/talking delusions? That’s a whole other level of eccentric, and it’s precisely what’s going on with John Forbes Nash, Jr. (Russell Crowe) in director Ron Howard’s Academy Award-winning, 2001 biopic.

Tweaking the real-life Nash’s hallucinations for Hollywood’s sake, the only auditory presences are given visual representations here. There’s the Pentagon (played by Ed Harris) who gives Nash the task of uncovering Soviet messages stuffed into magazines and newspapers; his former college roommate (Paul Bettany); and his young niece (Vivien Cardone). None of whom are real, and all of whom make A Beautiful Mind one psychologically tragic character study.

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