Autism Movies

Best 16 Autism Movies

What are the best autism movies? Let’s find out. Art, Music, and Movies are some of the unconventional ways we learn about new things in life. When nothing makes sense in our lives, a good movie can help us connect with our suppressed feelings. 

Autism Movies

Children and Adults with Autism go through emotional and social hardships more than others and may find solace in a good movie that is relevant to their experiences. 

Here is a related article that might intrest you on 10 Famous Females With Autism – Some Will Surprise You!

This article compiles all the amazing movies that are based on the unique challenges a person with Autism goes through. 

List Of 16 Best Autism Movies

1. Temple Grandin (2010)

  • Genre: Biography, Drama
  • IMBd Rating: 8.3
  • Length: 120 Minutes
  • Rating: TV-PG

Temple Grandin is based on the real-life story of a prominent figure in the autism community. Because the film revolves around the real-life challenges and experiences of a young autistic girl, Temple Grandin, the film delivers a highly accurate yet interesting portrayal of autistic people. 

It is a great way to teach children self-confidence and to have belief in their potential. The young girl’s character is all about overcoming the limitations and stigma caused by her diagnosis. 

We discover that Grandin faced delayed language skills and had a hard time getting through high school. The realistic scenes in movies are perfect for instilling resilience in both children and adults with autism. 

It concludes with a very positive ending where the main character is able to graduate in the degree that inspires her and becomes an expert in her field. 

2. Inside Out (2015)

  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
  • IMBd Rating: 8.2
  • Length: 95 Minutes
  • Rating: PG

While Inside Out is not about people with autism, it is one of the greatest movies made on emotions. The Pixar creation is full of wonderful, vibrant characters that represent distinct emotions. 

We follow the story of a young girl, Riley, who is having trouble coping with her emotions and the stress of moving out. She luckily has Joy, the cheery emotion of literal “joy” in angel form, to help her through the new changes in her life. 

The story of Riley is relevant to every other child who has a problem with readjusting to new routines and being open to new adventures in life. The movie has great messages in the form of heartwarming dialogues throughout the movie. 

Both adults and children can learn to deal with their emotions more effectively, release any suppressed emotions, and value all of their emotions, including sadness and anger. 

3. A Boy called Po (2016)

  • Genre: Drama, Fantasy
  • IMBd Rating: 6.6
  • Length: 99 Minutes
  • Rating: PG

The movie follows the ups and downs of a busy father and his autistic son. It shows an incredibly accurate and realistic portrayal of the challenges autism can cause to parents. 

The father struggles to keep up with the demands of his job, his uncompromising employer, unsupportive school, and the multiple therapy sessions for his son. But it is not just about him; the movie forms a complete picture of what life with autism is really like for both the affected person and their family members. 

The little boy, Po, is overwhelmed with emotions after the death of his mother and has to face bullies at school. Amidst the overwhelming circumstances, he begins to find solace in his own imaginary worlds of sunset beaches, tropical forests, and cowboy adventures. 

The movie comes with moving messages about keeping close with family, never giving up, and sharing emotions when needed. 

4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

  • Category: Drama
  • IMBd Rating: 6.9
  • Length: 129 Minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

The heartwarming movie follows the emotional and overwhelming journey of a young autistic boy, Oskar, determined to retrieve the last letter from his father, who died in the 9/11 attack. It is an accurate and touching depiction of what every child with autism goes through as they try to navigate the overly complicated and always busy world. 

Oskar is determined to find out what the key his father left leads to and will fight any trouble his autism causes to solve the mystery. The movie comes with uplifting scenes that highlight the gift and unique strengths of autism. 

Because of his condition, Oskar is able to decode the complex world easily with the help of his imagination and problem-solving skills. It’s the perfect way to teach a child that their condition does not make them lacking in any way. 

5. The square root of 2 (2015)

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2
  • Length: 90 Minutes
  • Rating: PG

The Square Root of 2 is another touching movie based on true events. The movie follows the college experience of a young girl with undiagnosed autism. She has to face many challenges to reclaim her freedom and autonomy as her overprotective parents plan to keep her away from harm. 

Her high hopes for a great college experience suddenly go downhill as reality hits and a less than supportive roommate and manipulative mother try to pursue their own goals. The movie is filled with positive messages and involves uplifting scenes where the main character fights an uncompromising and rigid school system.

6. My Name Is Khan (2010)

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMBd Rating: 8.0
  • Length: 165 Minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

My name is Khan is a heartwarming story of a young man, Rizwan Khan, on the Autism Spectrum. The movie shows an accurate depiction of the troubled childhood, stigma, and lack of support that is present in most cases of autism. After moving to America, he finds a group of supportive friends who love and understand him. 

However, his happiness is short-lived when his stepson is killed in a hate assault against Muslims. The movie follows his journey of trying to connect with the president and tell the world that he is not a terrorist, only to win back his wife, who blames him for her son’s death. 

Rizwan perfectly portrays the social and communication troubles and barriers people with autism often go through. He can be seen getting confused in an overwhelming situation, taking words too literally, and still being able to connect with his friends, son, and wife. 

7. Adam (2009)

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • IMBd Rating: 7.2
  • Length: 99 Minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

This is a great movie showing the challenges an Autistic person goes through when trying to form a romantic relationship. The main character, Adam Raki, is a 29-year-old engineer who doesn’t seem very friendly. The movie follows the sometimes distressing and sometimes sweet interactions between him and his new neighbor, Beth. 

Adam Raki is a poignant and realistic depiction of personality traits and social behaviors present in people with autism. He is very strict about his routine and eats the same breakfast and dinner every day. 

The movie touches on the painful experiences a person can go through as they try to hide their condition and avoid interactions simply to avoid judgment from others. It ends on a very positive note where the main character learns to be comfortable with his condition and no longer finds it a thing to be sad or embarrassed about. 

8. Mozart and The Whale (2005)

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • IMBd Rating: 6.9
  • Length: 94 Minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

This heart-touching movie revolves around the love story of two people diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. The main characters, Donald, a shy yet smart taxi driver, and Isabelle, a straightforward and sometimes rude young woman, end up feeling drawn to each other. 

It is an accurate and entertaining portrayal of how social disparities between two people can harm an otherwise strong relationship. The movie is based on the true story of Jerry and Mary Newport, who crossed paths in an autism support group and managed to save their relationship after much struggle. 

The movie will make a great watch for both teenagers and adults who sometimes struggle to regulate their emotions when it comes to romantic relationships. At the end, it delivers a strong lesson that despite difficulties in understanding one another, people can still find a way to stay in love.  

9. Snow Cake (2006)

  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • IMBd Rating: 7.5
  • Length: 112 Minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated

Snow Cake is a drama movie based on the unusual friendship of two people facing emotional ups and downs. Linda, a middle-aged woman with high-functioning autism, and Alex, a man going through grief after his daughter’s fatal car accident, form an unlikely bond as they try to learn more about each other. 

Traumatized by her daughter’s death, Alex meets with Linda to deliver her a gift his daughter bought for her. But the interaction takes an unexpected turn when the two feel reluctantly drawn into each other’s unique lives. The movie might not be as thrilling but touches heavily on the emotionally isolating aspects that both autistic and non-autistic people go through at some point in their lives. 

It’s a great movie with great lessons for the whole family. The accurately distressing and imbalanced interactions are a perfect depiction of how autistic people struggle to interact with people even when they make serious efforts to do so. 

10. Simple Simon (2010)

  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy
  • IMDB Rating: 7
  • Length: 85 Minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated

The movie revolves around the lives of Simon, an 18-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, and his brother, Sam. Their sibling bond is tested when the brothers’ parents force Sam to take care of his brother in his own home. It is an excellent portrayal of how autistic and non-autistic siblings can often miscommunicate and make lives unintentionally harder for each other. 

The story revolves around the overwhelming yet fun experiences Simon goes through as he tries to find his brother a new girlfriend. The main character is a realistic depiction of how someone with autism can go through emotional meltdowns, misunderstand others and still find a way to care for them. 

There is a lot that an autistic person will find relevant to their own experience. Simon has a hard time engaging with others, navigating the outside world, and making sense of how others’ emotions work. It can instill confidence in anyone who is scared to get out of their comfort zone and live their life to the fullest. 

11. David’s Mother (1994)

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.3
  • Length: 92 Minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

David’s mother shows a poignant portrayal of what a parent goes through as they try to care for their autistic child and fight against the world for them. The movie follows the hardships and mixed feelings of a young mother, Sally, who is devoted to giving her son all the love he deserves. 

It forms a very clear picture of how overwhelming and confusing it can be for a parent to make tough decisions on choosing the best for an Autistic child. David, the smart yet shy son, delivers an exceptional depiction of the continual meltdowns, challenges, and distress a young child goes through when trying to cope with their emotions. 

The movie is made more realistic with the addition of common social and communication problems people with autism go through. David has trouble communicating with his teachers and classmates and struggles with making eye contact. It’s a highly educational yet entertaining movie to teach children about how they can rise above their condition and enjoy their life. 

12. Rain Man (1988)

  • Genre: Drama, Road
  • IMDb Rating: 8
  • Length: 133 min 
  • Rating: R

Rain Man has gathered the most praise for its accurate and touching depiction of two brothers who don’t really have much in common. After Charlie, a selfish and struggling car dealer finds out that his father transferred all his wealth to the mental institution taking care of his autistic brother, Raymond, he conspires a plan to kidnap him. 

Raymond has a hard time coping with disruptions in his routine and often has meltdowns throughout his journey with his brother. While Charlie only comes close to Raymond to manipulate him and take all his inheritance, their bond takes an unexpected and life-changing turn. 

It’s a moving story to show to your children and teach them about coping with their autistic sibling. It also positively sheds light on the many gifts and strengths that autism comes with but can go unnoticed by the other siblings. 

13. Jane Wants a Boyfriend (2015)

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • IMDb rating: 6.7
  • Length: 101 min 
  • Rating: R

This is another great movie portraying the affectionate bond of two siblings who need each other when it comes to matters of the heart. The main character, Jane, has autism and struggles to find her own autonomy and independence in life. When she is forced to move in with her elder sister Bianca, her life takes a turn as she grows more assertive and finds a voice of her own. 

The movie also pivots to the challenges and emotional meltdowns she faces when trying to find a love interest who will accept and understand her. It delivers a vivid picture of how unregulated and unstable emotions in a young autistic person can be. 

The story of Jane will resonate with every young adult who struggles to cope with isolating aspects of autism that can be hard to explain to a family member.  

14. Miracle Run (2004)

  • Genre: Biography, Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3
  • Length: 120 Minutes
  • Rating: TV-PG

The movie is based on a true story of a single mother, Corine, and her autistic 5-year-old twins, Philip and Steven. It shows the resilience and determination of the mother to give her children the best life despite the unsupportive school system and family members. 

The emotional and social challenges of autistic young children are perfectly portrayed with poignant scenes of meltdowns, deviant behavior, and unregulated emotions. The movie is unique from other movies based on autistic characters as it follows the characters’ development through childhood to adulthood. 

This makes it an entertaining and relevant watch for anyone struggling with autism. In the end, the movie ends on a very positive note, with the children turning out the be highly successful and productive people in society. 

15. Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love (1979)

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2
  • Length: 120 Minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated

While it is a fairly old movie, it still resonates highly within the autism community. It clearly depicts the emotional and challenging experience of both an autistic child and their parents. 

After two parents Bears and Suzi, find out that their son, Raun has autism, they set out to treat their child rather than lose hope in his abilities. While doctors consider his condition untreatable, the parents come up with therapeutic methods to help their child strengthen his social and emotional abilities. 

The movie made honorable strides in the autism community as the methods portrayed were later used to treat children with autism. It comes with strong lessons on how parental determination and resilience can make a challenged child’s life more hopeful. 

16. The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

  • Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
  • IMBd Rating: 6.5
  • Length: 114 Minutes
  • Rating: PG

The movie portrays the life of a teenager with autism who is forced to live with his uncle after the tragic death of his parents. The main character resonates with typical autistic children who go through social withdrawal, language challenges, and difficult behaviors. 

He soon finds a girl who understands him and helps him learn about managing and sharing emotions. It is a heartwarming tale of how a young kid learns to connect with the outside world and becomes more aware of his surroundings. 

The movie also sheds light on how unsupportive some family members and relatives can be when it comes to dealing with a mentally challenged child. In the end, the boy finally finds liberation as he begins to show assertiveness and improved decision-making skills to live life his own way. 

The movie can play a pivotal role in helping shy and unconfident children to come out of their comfort zone and understand the value of friendships.