Entertainment

The Best Movies About Addiction  

Ranker Film
2.3k votes 442 voters 22.5k views 58 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
Ranker Video
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

More Requiem for a Dream

#40 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #140 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

2
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

More Trainspotting

#20 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #490 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #226 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

3
Ranker Video
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

More The Basketball Diaries

#40 of 80 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #81 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #229 of 319 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

4
Ranker Video
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

More Drugstore Cowboy

#278 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #357 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #29 of 46 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked

5
Ranker Video
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

More Blow

#85 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #192 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #508 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Ranker Video
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

More Spun

#1,487 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #18 of 209 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #12 of 45 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction

7
Ranker Video
Ben Is Back 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
8
Ranker Video
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

More Leaving Las Vegas

#25 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #312 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ranker Video
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

More Gia

#627 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #58 of 209 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #6 of 23 Great Mainstream Movies About Lesbians

10
Ranker Video
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

More Traffic

#1,511 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #86 of 265 The Best Ensemble Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Ranker Video
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

More Scarface

#719 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #125 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #80 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

12
Ranker Video
PeteBoyle added Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham

More Boogie Nights

#31 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #528 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #190 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

13
Ranker Video
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

More Beautiful Boy

#120 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #139 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #312 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books

14
Ranker Video
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

More Ray

#7 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #136 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Ranker Video
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

More The Panic in Needle Park

#17 of 33 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters #75 of 209 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #15 of 45 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction

16
Life with Judy Garland: ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
DeborahTragasz added Hugh Laurie, Alison Pill, Victor Garber
Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows is a 2001 television film based on the memoirs of Lorna Luft, the daughter of Garland. The production is notable for its meticulous recreations of her ...more

More Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows

#131 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #43 of 54 The Best Biopics About Women #62 of 135 The Best Movies About Movies

17
Ranker Video
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

More 28 Days

#71 of 209 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #10 of 32 30+ Great Movies About Depression in Women #7 of 67 The Best Movies & TV Shows About Alcohol Addiction

18
Ranker Video
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.

More Limitless

#77 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #220 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #350 of 601 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

19
Ranker Video
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

More Boyz n the Hood

#123 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #1 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #140 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

20
Ranker Video
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
21
A Million Little Pieces ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Odessa Young
A Million Little Pieces is a 2019 American drama film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, based on the book of the same name by James Frey. James Frey meets interesting people in a clinic, with whom ...more
22
Her Smell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Elisabeth Moss, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin
Her Smell is a 2018 American drama film directed by Alex Ross Perry. A self-destructive punk rocker (Elisabeth Moss) struggles with sobriety while trying to recapture the creative inspiration ...more

More Her Smell

#152 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #50 of 80 The Best Movies of 2019 #87 of 130 The Best Female Leading Movies of 2019

23
Ranker Video
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
24
Ranker Video
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.

More The Doors

#306 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #8 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #12 of 14 The Most Wildly Inaccurate Biopics Of Famous Musicians And Bands

25
Clean and Sober is listed (or ranked) 25 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