10 Movie Characters Who Are Smart (But Lazy) (2023)

Movie characters on the whole tend to be smarter than the average person, but some are considered 'smart' even by the standard of films. Whether they're academically gifted, quick to think on their feet, or very talented in erudite skills, especially intelligent characters crop up very often.

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Due to the tendency of movie characters to dothings, these characters typically apply their intelligence. They might be the engineer on a spaceship, a scientist studying alien technology, or a tactician sending men into battle. Some characters, however, resemble many people in real life in that they possess great intelligence, but they simply don't use it to its full potential. Out of laziness, tension is often wrought from these characters refusing to use their gifts.


10 Peter Venkman's Two Degrees Rarely Come Up

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InGhostbusters, the unquestionable brains of the group are Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler. They are the ones who design the group's equipment and develop the new technology. Winston Zeddemore is an everyman-type with a broader set of skills than them, but Venkman clearly has some academic skill, being a practicing research psychologist with two advanced degrees.

While Venkman's degrees are in a different area to Stantz and Spengler's skillsets, he still likely has some background in biology, and yet refuses to apply himself too much. Even his psychology career takes a backseat to his leching and his ghostbusting, which seem to be all he is concerned with.

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9 Eggsy Is Bright And Gifted, But Disaffected

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One of the major storylines inKingsman: The Secret Service relates to the potential of the main character, Eggy. He is shown to not only be gifted physically - a talented marksman, gymnast, and athlete - but also to be intelligent and somewhat more knowledgeable than he lets on. Harry Hart explicitly states his disappointment that Eggsy has chosen a life of petty crime.

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However, Eggsy's reasons for doing so are well-stated. He has grown up in a deprived area of London, with an abusive stepfather and an overprotective mother. As such, he hasn't felt like he has anything to gain from applying himself and using his smarts, and he refrains from many opportunities for his mother's sake. When Eggsy does begin to use his intelligence, he shows himself as a force to be reckoned with.

8 Mycroft Holmes Could Rule The World If He Wanted To Put In The Legwork

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Given that Sherlock Holmes is one of the most eccentric and rawly intelligent characters in fiction, it can be a surprise to learn that his brother Mycroft is both more intelligent and also odder. One of the things that set them apart in all continuities - including Stephen Fry's portrayal inA Game of Shadows- is his dislike of putting in any effort.

Mycroftdoesmake use of his intelligence in an unspecified government role, but it is suggested that this doesn't challenge him in the slightest. Instead, he seems content to simply enjoy his own wits, only expending effort when his brother asks.

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7 Scar Is A Lazy Ruler

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It is rare for a villain to fail to apply their intelligence infilms, due to the need for villains to be a clear and present threat. Nonetheless, once Scar becomes king of the Pride Lands inThe Lion King, apathy becomes his go-to response.

There is no denying that Scar is intelligent, quite possibly more so than his brother Mufasa or his nephew Simba, surreptitiously building influence and planning a coup under Mufasa's nose. Once he does become a ruler, however, he fails to use his intelligence for anything, even as his kingdom slowly crumbles and decays around him.

6 Peter Maximoff Would Rather Steal Things

It is never explicitly stated that Peter Maximoff is much smarter than many other characters inX-Men: Days of Future Past, but there are hints as to his potential. He has found some way to hack aPongmachine and a walkman to operate far faster than they should be able to, and it's suggested that his mutation makes him think far faster than others.

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Nonetheless, he is a clear sign of wasted potential when he is encountered in the film. While he is a loving son and brother, his mother is exasperated by his behavior, and all he expresses interest in doing is stealing things to satisfy his boredom. It is somewhat justified, however, in that with how fast Peter works, nothing much occupies his attention long enough for him to apply himself.

5 Mutt Williams' Father Is Furious That He Isn't In School

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Mutt Williams is a character introduced inIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He is a school dropout who is obsessed with motorcycles, and yet he is best friends with a college professor due to his intellect.

His mother, Marian Ravenwood, has attempted numerous times to make him completehiseducation, but he has either quit or been kicked out of every school and university he's attended - something that outrages Indiana Jones when he realizes that Mutt is his son. Despite showing great proficiency in skills including reading, fencing, and engineering, all he wants to do is ride motorbikes.

4 The Dude Is An Intelligent Slacker Icon

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In what passes for a plot inThe Big Lebowski, the character of Jeffrey Lebowski - better known as 'The Dude" - shows himself to be perfectly smart on several occasions. He is able to work his way through numerous puzzles and mysteries, and has significant capacity for deductive reasoning.


Of course,The Big Lebowski is a slacker classic for a reason. All the Dude particularly wants to do is hang around, smoke marijuana, drink his favorite cocktail, and be compensated for his defaced rug. He is one of the least motivated characters in fiction, despite his brains.

3 Star-Lord Is Smarter Than He Lets On

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Nobody would ever call Peter Quill the smartest of the eponymous team inGuardians of the Galaxy. Rocket is better with tech, and Gamora undeniably has more common sense. Nonetheless, Quill has an intelligence of his own that makes him well-placed as the leader of the team. He is empathetic, quick-thinking, and without a doubt creative.

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Before the events of theGuardians of the Galaxy films, and even after, Quill's ambitions were fairly tame. Rather than harness his gifts, he simply wanted to build a reputation as Star-Lord, a small-time outlaw in a large galaxy. Even betweenGuardians 2 andInfinity War, he seems to content himself with being a mercenary, rather than a galaxy-wide hero.

2 David Levinson Uses His Skills For The Most Mundane Roles

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InIndependence Day, David is one of the survivors of the initial alien attack who eventually falls in with the group who go on to lead the fight against the invaders. He's crucial to the eventual victory, by being the person who brings down the forcefields on the alien ships and makes the battle at all possible.

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Had the aliens never invaded, however, David might never have made much of himself. Early in the film, he argues with his father about his life choices. Possessing immense intellect but very little ambition, David is happy working at a cable company rather than the thousand other things he could turn his mind towards. After the invasion, however, he develops more of a sense of ambition.

1 James T. Kirk Is A Genius Delinquent

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In the rebootedStar Trek continuity, James Kirk doesn't begin as the captain of the Enterprise, or even as a member of Starfleet. InStar Trek (2009), Kirk is first seen picking a bar fight, and is suggested to have spent his entire life as a delinquent with several convictions to his name.

Although Kirk does eventually become motivated, especially by the memory of his deceased father, it takes some time. He is undeniably intelligent - being the man who will go on to command theEnterprise, outwit the Kobayashi Maru, and become one of Starfleet's greatest heroes.

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