Wooden Puzzles in Movies

A collection of your favorite puzzles in some of the most iconic and popular movies of all time.

Below we have a shortlist of puzzles in movies inspired by the website - we just loved the idea!

Some of the puzzles below play critical parts in the movie, some of the others are merely in passing – you may have blinked and missed them on first viewing. We have Tangrams, Towers of Hanoi, Rubik's Cubes and more...

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Rise of the Planet of Apes – Towers of Hanoi (Lucas’ Tower)

Probably the most recent and most involved on the list. The Towers of Hanoi feature pretty prominently in The Rise of the Planet of the Apes - the  famous puzzle is used to test, Bright Eyes, the mother of the main character “Cesar”.

In the movie Bright Eyes is tested using a 4-disc Towers of Hanoi which she begins to complete at frantic pace. In the film it is called “Lucas’ Tower” – after the puzzle's inventor Edouard Lucas – and in real life is actually used as a logic and reasoning test.

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CSI NY – Fifteen Puzzle

This was featured in CSI NY, where it was in made in large, on the apartment of an inventor's floor. In the episode the puzzle is already solved and transpires to be a trap.

This super famous sliding puzzle, you have probably seen before or received it in miniature form, probably in a Christmas cracker.

The rules are simple slide the numbered squares around, one spot it always open, and no pieces can be removed - get the slides 1-15 into chronological order.

Donnie Darko – Rubik’s Cube

The psychological cult classic: Donnie Darko (Jake Gylenhaal) spends many scenes in thoughtful trance, wandering through time: one such episodes involve Donnie playing with a custom-made Rubik cube while lying on his bed.

The Rubik’s cube in the movies is interesting as its actually black and white with M.C Escher painting on each side of the cube, instead of the regular white, blue, red, green, orange and yellow ones.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

For this one, we are cheating a bit – but it’s too good not to mention. We like brave new world and we like Soma Cubes, so we really can't avoid it.

For those of you who haven't read Aldous Huxley's  dystopian classic, Brave New World is in essence an adult version of Hunger Games mixed with 1984 and actually inspired by H.G Wells’; Men Like Gods & A Modern Utopia.

In Brave New World, the population are under the influence of Soma, a drug which Huxley named after the Soma Cube, due to his love for the puzzle.

Dr. Who – Towers of Hanoi

In the Doctor Who serial “The Celestial Toymaker” - I know right, an awesome name - the doctor is challenged to solve a 10-disc version of the Towers of Hanoi, referenced in the episode as the 'Trilogic Game'.

While getting towards the end of the puzzle the Doctor in all of his wisdom realizes that the Toymaker’s world will vanish once he makes the final move, so he does his final move from inside the Tardis and makes and escape..

In the real word a 10 disc Towers of Hanoi will take over 1000 moves to complete, an 11 disc over 2000 and a 13 disc over 4000.

The Pursuit of Happiness – Rubik’s Cube

Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, is trying to become a stockbroker at Dean Witter Reynolds.

In the scene he jumps into an executive’s car and pleads for a job. Unfortunately the executive is only interested in one thing – his Rubik’s cube.

Luckily for Will Smith’s character, however he is a math whizz who is able to explain the puzzles solution, win his admiration and a job to boot.

The Rubik Cube is apt in this movie as it is set in 1981 – the height of Rubik cube mania.

Wall – E – Rubik’s Cube

A CGI love affair produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The Rubik’s cube feature in various scenes throughout the film. Wall-e is the last of his kind, a robot who was designed to clear up all the garbage left on planet earth.

He has developed a habit for collecting interesting pieces that he finds on his travels – Including a solitary Rubik's Cube. Sadly, for Wall-e, he is actually is unable to the solve the puzzle - however his movie romance, Eve, is a speed cuber for sure.