Hidden Figures (2016) – “Hidden Figures” (2016) is a biographical drama film that tells the inspiring true story of three African-American mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who played pivotal roles at NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. Despite facing racial and gender discrimination, these brilliant women used their skills to calculate trajectories for historic space missions, including John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth.

Hidden Figures (2016)

HF-228 – Octavia Spencer stars as Dorothy Vaughan in HIDDEN FIGURES. Photo Credit: Hopper Stone.

Director: The film was directed by Theodore Melfi. He is also known for directing films like “St. Vincent” (2014) and “The Upside” (2019).

Writer: The screenplay for “Hidden Figures” was written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi.

Release Date: The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2016.

Domestic Box Office: “Hidden Figures” grossed over $169 million domestically.

The Good: The film received praise for shedding light on the untold contributions of these women to the space program and for addressing issues of racial and gender inequality.

The Bad: Some critics felt that the film simplified certain aspects of the characters’ experiences and the challenges they faced.


  • Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson
  • Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan
  • Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson
  • Kevin Costner as Al Harrison
  • Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell

Katherine Johnson: “I will have you know, I was the first Negro female student at West Virginia University Graduate School. On any given day, I analyze the binomial levels air displacement, friction and velocity. And compute over 10 thousand calculations by cosine, square root and, lately, analytic geometry. By hand.”


  • “Heartwarming and inspiring, ‘Hidden Figures’ shines a light on the often-overlooked heroes behind America’s space race.” – Rotten Tomatoes
  • “The film tells an important story with grace, humor, and undeniable skill.” – Empire Magazine
  • “A celebration of intelligence, resilience, and the power of diversity.” – The Washington Post
  • “An engaging and accessible story that reminds us of the power of perseverance and determination.” – IndieWire
  • “While it occasionally dips into sentimentality, the film’s heart is always in the right place, making for an enjoyable and impactful experience.” – Variety

Cinematic Importance: Hidden Figures (2016) is significant for highlighting the crucial contributions of African-American women in science and technology during a time when they faced systemic racism and sexism. The film emphasizes the importance of diversity in STEM fields and serves as a reminder of the untapped potential that can be unlocked when barriers are broken down. It also brings attention to the broader historical context of the civil rights movement and the space race, offering a more inclusive perspective on well-known historical events.

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