Addiction The Best Movies About Addiction  

Ranker Film
1.8k votes 347 voters 14.8k views 55 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

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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
91 20
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
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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

4
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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

5
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Mickey Rourke, Debbie Harry, Brittany Murphy Spun is a 2002 American crime 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 ...more

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 for alcoholism. The film costars ...more

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Paris Hilton, Christina Applegate, Val Kilmer Wonderland is a 2003 American drama film co-written and directed by James Cox. The film stars Val Kilmer, Kate Bosworth, Dylan McDermott, Carrie Fisher, Lisa Kudrow, Josh Lucas, Christina ...more

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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

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Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment Pay It Forward is a 2000 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment as ...more

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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

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Faye Dunaway, Sam Rockwell, Calista Flockhart Drunks is a 1995 drama film directed by Peter Cohn.

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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 in a car accident, a slacker ...more

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Oxy-Morons is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Harmony Casper added Oxy-Morons Damien Di Paola, Johnny Hickey, Tim Sylvia

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Elizabeth Hurley, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson Permanent Midnight is a 1998 independent drama film directed by David Veloz and starring Ben Stiller. The supporting cast features Maria Bello, Elizabeth Hurley, Owen Wilson, Cheryl Ladd and ...more

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Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Harry Dean Stanton The Rose is a 1979 American drama film which tells the story of a self-destructive 1960s rock star who struggles to cope with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless ...more

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clash1977 added Jane Wyman, Ray Milland, Howard Da Silva The Lost Weekend is a 1945 American drama film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman. The film was based on Charles R. Jackson's 1944 novel of the same title about an ...more

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clash1977 added James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Peter Sarsgaard Another Day in Paradise is a 1998 drama film directed by Larry Clark, and released by Trimark Pictures. It is based on the novel Another Day in Paradise written by Eddie Little. The movie won ...more

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Cliff Curtis, Temuera Morrison, Rena Owen Once Were Warriors is a 1994 film based on New Zealand author Alan Duff's bestselling 1990 first novel. The film tells the story of the Hekes, an urban Māori family, and their problems with ...more

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Harmony Casper added Denise Richards, Isabella Rossellini, Fat Joe Empire is a 2002 gangster film starring John Leguizamo and Peter Sarsgaard.

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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

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Perfect High is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Harmony Casper added Perfect High Bella Thorne, Daniela Bobadilla, Matreya Fedor

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A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film directed by Bradley Cooper. A movie star (Cooper) helps a young singer/actress (Stefani Germanotta) find fame, even as age and ...more

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Lucy Liu, Tupac Shakur, Thandie Newton Gridlock'd is a 1997 comedy-drama film starring Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, and Thandie Newton. It was the directorial debut of Vondie Curtis-Hall, who also wrote the story and screenplay, and had a ...more

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6 Balloons is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies About Addiction
Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Charlotte Carel 6 Balloons is a 2018 American drama film directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan. Over the course of one night, a woman (Abbi Jacobson) drives across LA with her heroin addict brother (Dave Franco) in ...more

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Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Gary Morton Lenny is a 1974 American biographical film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same

41
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Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Laila Morse Nil by Mouth is a 1997 British-French drama film portraying a family of characters living in South East London. It was Gary Oldman's debut as a writer and director; the film was produced by ...more

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Spike Lee, Harvey Keitel, John Turturro Clockers is a 1995 American drama film directed by Spike Lee. It is an adaptation of the eponymous 1992 novel by Richard Price, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lee. The film stars Harvey ...more

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Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Devon Gummersall, Lombardo Boyar Never Get Outta the Boat is a 2002 drama film written by Nick Gillie and directed by Paul Quinn.

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clash1977 added James Woods, Sean Young, Steven Hill The Boost is a 1988 drama film directed by Harold Becker. It stars James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos, Steven Hill, June Chandler and Amanda Blake.

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clash1977 added David Bowie, Courtney Love, Willem Dafoe Basquiat is a 1996 biopic/drama film directed by Julian Schnabel based on the life of American postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, used his ...more

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Keira Knightley, David Wenham, Marsha Thomason Pure is a 2002 British film directed by Gillies MacKinnon. It starred Molly Parker, Harry Eden, David Wenham and Keira Knightley.

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Jonathan Caouette, Michael Cox Tarnation is a 2003 American documentary film by Jonathan Caouette. The film was created by Caouette from over 20 years of hundreds of hours of old Super 8 footage, VHS videotape, photographs, ...more

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Jack Black, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper Jesus' Son is a 1999 drama film that was adapted from a collection of short stories of the same name by Denis Johnson. It stars Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper, Denis ...more

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John Klemantaski, Sarah Scott, Marty Sader

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Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Caridad de la Luz Down to the Bone is a 2004 American independent drama film, directed by Debra Granik and written by Granik and Richard Lieske. It stars Vera Farmiga, who received a Best Actress Award from the ...more