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Hidden Figures (2016)

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The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.


Theodore Melfi


Allison Schroeder (screenplay by), Theodore Melfi (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
483 ( 166)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 83 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Taraji P. Henson ... Katherine G. Johnson
Octavia Spencer ... Dorothy Vaughan
Janelle Monáe ... Mary Jackson
Kevin Costner ... Al Harrison
Kirsten Dunst ... Vivian Mitchell
Jim Parsons ... Paul Stafford
Mahershala Ali ... Colonel Jim Johnson
Aldis Hodge ... Levi Jackson
Glen Powell ... John Glenn
Kimberly Quinn ... Ruth
Olek Krupa ... Karl Zielinski
Kurt Krause ... Sam Turner
Ken Strunk ... Jim Webb
Lidya Jewett ... Young Katherine Coleman
Donna Biscoe ... Mrs. Joylette Coleman


As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They wanted a chance to change their lives, but they got a chance to change history. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

6 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidden Figures See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$515,499, 25 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)| Auro 11.1 | SDDS


Color | Black and White (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This marks the second time Taraji P. Henson and Mahershala Ali have played love interests. The first was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). See more »


While the film does depict SOME of the problems faced by the African American female protagonists, for the most part the attitudes displayed by the majority of the men at the space center reflect 21st century mindsets rather than those of the early1960s.

Virginia was still a Southern state, so the women would have had to endure numerous difficulties related to both their race and their gender. See more »


Mary Jackson: I plan on being an engineer at NASA, but I can't do that without taking them classes at that all-white high school, and I can't change the color of my skin. So I have no choice, but to be the first, which I can't do without you, sir. Your honor, out of all the cases you gon hear today, which one is gon matter hundred years from now? Which one is gon make you the first?
See more »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 24 January 2017 (2017) See more »


The Toilers
Written by Roger-Roger
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
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User Reviews

Hidden Figures launches as a entertaining, hopeful movie about race relations and the space race
13 January 2017 | by RforFilmSee all my reviews

The journey to space has been a daunting one. Even in this day and age, the physics and mathematics have only gotten us to the edge. Having the Voyager satellite exit the solar system may seem like a major accomplishment (which it is), but it's still small compared to the size of the universe. Who can blame us considering how we've come within the world of transportation. Even getting to space took some time to figure out. It's something we've been trying to do for a while, but everything was set on a hurrying motion once the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.

The 1960's had us racing against the Soviets for everything; power, technology, and especially the accomplishment of space. It was all about being the first and the US government wanted to make sure that NASA could make that happen. Like I said, the problem was solving a lot of problems that it took to get people to space and making sure they could get back. NASA had hired some of the most intelligent people around, yet they were still having trouble finding the right solutions. The answers seemed to be found within the minds of outsiders as shown in Hidden Figures.

In the early 1960's, racial segregation is still an issue. Things seem to be a bi more progressive at NASA as they have employed several African-Americans to do a lot of the computing that complicated things. Here we focus on three individuals; mathematics genius Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe). They seem to be doing well at NASA, even though they still face some discrimination from their white superiors. Once the Soviets get the first people into space, NASA is looking to get an astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Katherine is hired up to help compute launch and landing numbers for the Space Task Group, being directed by Al Harrison (played by Kevin Costner) and his assistant Paul Stafford (played by Jim Parsons). Meanwhile, Dorothy sees that her and her fellow computing workers are about to be out of a job now that new IBM computers are being installed. To ensure work, Dorothy takes it upon herself to learn to new computer and see if she can get her coworkers to understand it. Also, Mary is being recommended to become an engineer, but company regulations require a certain course from a college that's white only.

Unlike Moonlight, which was a bleak and human look at a struggling African-American, Hidden Figures is more upbeat and hopeful portrayal of changing times. Does that make it better then the latter? No, as Moonlight is something that'll be studied in a lot of college courses in race relations, Hidden Figures is more general with it's approach and will be played in the high schools as a history lesson. That is definitely not a bad thing as this movie is still entertaining, especially considering that the majority of the plot is solving a complex mathematical formula.

All three main actors (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe) are fantastic and carry their own stories well enough that your never disappointed that the movie is cutting away to their segment. I was curious about how all the of them were going to proceed, given the unfortunate rules of the time. I liked the majority of the cast around them (with the exception of Jim Parsons, who only seems to be playing a version of his Bing Bang Theory character). The film can get a little slow towards the hour mark, but it all picks up towards it's finale which I wont give away.

I'll give this eight Mercury rockets out of ten. If you have any interest of the space program and it's history, then I cannot recommend this movie enough. Hidden Figures has a lot energy and passion of portraying this real life story. Like Rudy, I think this'll make people want to follow their goals more. So see if this rocket story launches in your favor.

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