Addiction The Best Movies About Addiction  

Ranker Film
2.1k votes 390 voters 18.5k views 56 items

List Rules Movies about addiction

We're all familiar with news clips that don't seem to stop about the tragic death of a celebrity, the painful isolation that a loved one might feel when facing an addiction, gang-related drug wars, human trafficking, the 60’s introduction to LSD, and controversial debates about legalizing marijuana. These issues aren't just prevalent in the lives of many, they're the subject of numerous films as well.

The issue of addiction is a serious problem in just about every country on Earth. Art imitates life, so it's no wonder there are so many films about addiction. Many of these films feature real-life stories of famous people who struggled with a secret (or not so secret) addiction.

This list is made up of the best movies about addiction, including: Ray, Crazy Heart, The Doors, Permanent Midnight, Gia, Requiem for a Dream, Leaving Las Vegas, Clockers, The Cider House Rules, Pay It Forward, Most High, Down to the Bone, MacArthur Park, Blow, Spun, and When a Man Loves a Woman.

Vote up the film you're most addicted to or add one that isn't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
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Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn
Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more
2
102 23
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller
Trainspotting is a 1996 British comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. Based on ...more
3
88 20
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clash1977 added Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis
The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same ...more
4
98 34
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Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Emma Roberts
Blow is a 2001 American biopic about the American smuggler George Jung, directed by Ted Demme. David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes adapted Bruce Porter's 1993 book for the screenplay. It is based ...more
5
57 14
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clash1977 added Heather Graham, Matt Dillon, William S. Burroughs
Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Van Sant and Daniel Yost, based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle. Matt Dillon stars in the title ...more
6
60 18
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Mickey Rourke, Debbie Harry, Brittany Murphy
Spun is a 2002 American dark comedy-drama directed by Jonas Åkerlund from an original screenplay by William De Los Santos and Creighton Vero, based on 3 days of De Los Santos' life in the ...more
7
58 25
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Nicolas Cage, Mariska Hargitay, Elisabeth Shue
Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romantic drama film written and directed by Mike Figgis and based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by John O'Brien. Nicolas Cage, who has ended his ...more
8
29 5
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Lucas Hedges, Julia Roberts, Kathryn Newton
Ben Is Back is a 2018 drama film directed by Peter Hedges. When the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve, his mother ...more
9
59 28
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Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more
10
52 24
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Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Faye Dunaway
Gia is a 1998 biographical HBO film about the life of model Gia Marie Carangi starring Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Mercedes Ruehl, and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer ...more
11
49 22
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Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas
Traffic is a 2000 American drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan. It explores the trade from a number of perspectives: a user, an enforcer, a politician and a ...more
12
32 14
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PeteBoyle added Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham
Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more
13
42 23
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Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard
Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and ...more
14
24 9
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clash1977 added Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Raúl Juliá
The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al Pacino in his second film appearance. The screenplay was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory ...more
15
36 22
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Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more
16
30 17
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Meg Ryan, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Andy Garcia
When a Man Loves a Woman is a 1994 American romantic drama film written by Al Franken and Ronald Bass, starring Andy García, Meg Ryan, Tina Majorino, Mae Whitman, Ellen Burstyn, Lauren ...more
17
39 26
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Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi
28 Days is a 2000 American comedy-drama film directed by Betty Thomas. Sandra Bullock plays Gwen Cummings, a newspaper columnist obliged to enter rehabilitation. The film costars Viggo ...more
18
19 8
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Harmony Casper added Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Lee
Limitless is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Neil Burger and starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. It is based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn.
19
9 1
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Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney
Beautiful Boy is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Felix Van Groeningen, based on the books by David and Nic Sheff. The film chronicles meth addiction and recovery through the ...more
20
15 8
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clash1977 added David Bowie, Natja Brunckhorst, Jens Kuphal
Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is a 1981 German film directed by Ulrich Edel that portrays the drug scene in West Berlin in the 1970s, based on the non-fiction book of the same name ...more
21
18 12
Clean and Sober is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
wiabux added Morgan Freeman, Michael Keaton, M. Emmet Walsh
Clean and Sober is a 1988 American drama film directed by Glenn Gordon Caron and starring Michael Keaton as a real estate agent struggling with a substance abuse problem. This film was a ...more
22
26 20
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Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu
The Doors is a 1991 American biopic about the 1960-70s rock band of the same name which emphasizes the life of its lead singer, Jim Morrison. It was directed by Oliver Stone.
23
6 2
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Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot is a 2018 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, based on the memoir by John Callahan. After nearly losing his life, a slacker (Joaquin Phoenix) ...more
24
20 17
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Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal
"Crazy Heart stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country music legend wrestling with his loss of fame at the hands of younger protégé. Struggling to make ends meet playing one ...more
25
16 13
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Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the ...more