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The Best Movies About Child Abuse 

Ranker Film
Updated November 5, 2019 2.8k votes 1.1k voters 124.3k views 48 items

List Rules Movies about child abuse and domestic violence.

Child abuse and domestic violence have steadily increased throughout the years, and sadly it is a common problem in many American homes. There are a number of movies out there that take a detailed, and sometimes graphic approach to the topic of child abuse. While some of the movies on this list are fictional, others are completely based on real-life events. The films on this list are the best movies that look at the issue of child abuse.

There’s nothing better than a movie that discusses a true event that happened in a person’s life, detailing the way they overcame the odds that were stacked against them and rose to the challenges before them. Movies like The Blind Side and Antwone Fisher capture the true stories of child abuse victims and their fight to overcome the pain and trauma that was left behind due to their home lives.

This list has the best child abuse movies, including: Precious, The Color Purple, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, One Missed Call, Mommy Dearest, This Boy’s Life, Once Were Warriors, The Girl Next Door, and Tideland.

Vote up the most well done film about child abuse or add one you love that isn't already on the list.
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1
Bastard out of Carolina ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Christina Ricci, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Laura Dern

Released: 1996

Directed by: Anjelica Huston

Bastard out of Carolina is a 1996 film made by Showtime Networks, directed by Anjelica Huston. It is based on a novel by Dorothy Allison and adapted for the screen by Anne Meredith. In 1997 the ...more

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2
Precious: Based on the N... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lee Daniels

Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

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3
No Child of Mine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
No Child of Mine Brooke Kinsella, Colin Salmon, Billy Geraghty

Released: 1997

Directed by: Peter Kosminsky

No Child of Mine is a 1997 drama film written by Guy Hibbert and directed by Peter Kosminsky.
4
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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5
An American Crime is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
James Franco, Ellen Page, Catherine Keener

Released: 2007

Directed by: Tommy O'Haver

An American Crime is a 2007 American crime-drama film starring Ellen Page and Catherine Keener. The film is based on the true story of the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens by Indianapolis ...more

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6
This Boy's Life is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Eliza Dushku

Released: 1993

Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones

This Boy's Life is a 1993 film adaptation of the memoir of the same name by American author Tobias Wolff. It is directed by Michael Caton-Jones and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Tobias Wolff, ...more

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7
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael ...more

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8
Sybil is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Jessica Lange, JoBeth Williams, Tammy Blanchard

Released: 2007

Directed by: Joseph Sargent

Sybil is a 2007 American docudrama directed by Joseph Sargent. The teleplay by John Pielmeier is based on the 1973 book of the same name by Flora Rheta Schreiber, which fictionalized the story ...more

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9
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane

Released: 2019

Directed by: Steven Knight

Serenity is a 2019 American noir thriller-drama film directed by Steven Knight. The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt ...more

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10
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

Released: 1976

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

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11
Radio Flyer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
ChrissyBaker added Tom Hanks, Elijah Wood, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1992

Directed by: Richard Donner, David M. Evans

Radio Flyer is a 1992 drama-fantasy film from Columbia Pictures. It is a Stonebridge Entertainment Production in association with Donner/Shuler-Donner Productions. The film, directed by Richard ...more

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12
The Girl Next Door is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Catherine Mary Stewart, William Atherton, Mark Margolis

Released: 2007

Directed by: Gregory Wilson

The Girl Next Door is a 2007 American horror film adaptation of Jack Ketchum's 1989 novel of the same name. The film is loosely based on true events surrounding the Sylvia Likens by Gertrude ...more

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13
The Perks of Being a Wal... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

Released: 2012

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name; it was written and directed by the novel's ...more

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14
Lost Children is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Lost Children

Released: 2005

Directed by: Oliver Stoltz, Ali Samadi Ahadi

Lost Children is a 2004 documentary film directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz.
15
Antwone Fisher is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Salli Richardson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Denzel Washington

Antwone Fisher is a 2002 American biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington in his feature film directorial debut. He also stars in the film as the psychiatrist Jerome ...more

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16
Something About Amelia ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Glenn Close, Ted Danson, Melissa Francis

Released: 1984

Directed by: Randa Haines

Something About Amelia is a 1984 TV movie which explores family trauma caused by incest. The film starred Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Missy Francis and Roxana Zal. Zal became the youngest primetime ...more
17
Flowers in the Attic is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn, Kiernan Shipka

Released: 2014

Directed by: Deborah Chow

Flowers in the Attic is a 2014 Lifetime movie, starring Kiernan Shipka, Ellen Burstyn, Mason Dye, and Heather Graham. It is the second adaption of the 1979 novel of the same name by V. C. ...more
18
The Elizabeth Smart Stor... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Dylan Baker, Amber Marshall, Hannah Lochner

Released: 2003

Directed by: Bobby Roth

The Elizabeth Smart Story is a 2003 television movie about the high profile Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case. It was broadcast less than eight months after her recovery. It was based on the book ...more
19
The Heart Is Deceitful A... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Winona Ryder, Jeremy Renner, Willa Holland

Released: 2004

Directed by: Asia Argento

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is a 2004 drama film co-written and directed by Asia Argento and starring Argento, Jimmy Bennett & Dylan and Cole Sprouse. It is based on JT LeRoy's ...more

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20
Not Without My Daughter ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Sally Field, Alfred Molina, Roshan Seth

Released: 1991

Directed by: Brian Gilbert

Not Without My Daughter is a 1991 drama film depicting the escape of American citizen Betty Mahmoody and her daughter from her husband in Iran. The film was shot in the United States, Turkey and ...more

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21
Gracie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Kristen Bell, Anne Heche, Diane Ladd

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Werner

Gracie's Choice is a 2004 television movie that premiered on Lifetime, written by Joyce Eliason and directed by Peter Werner, and starring Kristen Bell, Anne Heche, Diane Ladd, and Kristin

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22
Cries from the Heart is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Cries from the Heart Melissa Gilbert, Patty Duke, Shelley Morrison

Released: 1994

Directed by: Michael Switzer

Cries from the Heart is a 1994 American television film directed by Michael Switzer and starring Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert, who had co-starred together in three prior films.
23
Daddy's Little Girls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Katelynn Rose Leeann Leach added Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Louis Gossett

Released: 2007

Directed by: Tyler Perry

Daddy's Little Girls is a 2007 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Tyler Perry and produced by Perry and Reuben Cannon. It stars Gabrielle Union and Idris Elba. The film was ...more

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24
Hounddog is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
DeborahTragasz added Dakota Fanning, Robin Wright, David Morse

Released: 2007

Directed by: Deborah Kampmeier

Hounddog is a 2007 coming-of-age drama film written, directed, and produced by Deborah Kampmeier and starring Dakota Fanning, Isabelle Fuhrman, Robin Wright Penn, and Piper Laurie, among others. ...more

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25
Homeless to Harvard: The... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Ellen Page, Thora Birch, Kelly Lynch

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peter Levin

Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story is an American TV film directed by Peter Levin. It was first released on April 7, 2003 in the United States. This movie is adapted from Liz Murray's ...more

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