Film The Best Movies About Child Abuse  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 720 voters 78.8k views 42 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.
list ordered by

1
110 32
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 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. Jena Malone ...more

2
104 34
Precious: Based on the Novel P... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton 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

3
81 25
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne 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

4
82 28
An American Crime is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
James Franco, Ellen Page, Catherine Keener 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

5
45 9
Radio Flyer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
ChrissyBaker added Tom Hanks, Elijah Wood, Adam Baldwin 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

6
72 28
No Child of Mine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
No Child of Mine Brooke Kinsella, Colin Salmon, Billy Geraghty No Child of Mine is a 1997 drama film written by Guy Hibbert and directed by Peter Kosminsky.

7
48 17
This Boy's Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Eliza Dushku 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

8
36 9
The Girl Next Door is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Catherine Mary Stewart, William Atherton, Mark Margolis 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 torture and murder of Sylvia ...more

9
53 22
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates 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

10
47 18
Sybil is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Jessica Lange, JoBeth Williams, Tammy Blanchard 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

11
49 22
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie arrie 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

12
30 12
Antwone Fisher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Salli Richardson Antwone Fisher is a 2002 American biographical drama film directed by Denzel Washington, marking his directorial debut. He also stars in the film as the psychiatrist Jerome Davenport, alongside ...more

13
23 7
Something About Amelia is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Glenn Close, Ted Danson, Melissa Francis 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

14
35 19
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd 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

15
23 9
The Elizabeth Smart Story is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Dylan Baker, Amber Marshall, Hannah Lochner 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

16
24 10
Not Without My Daughter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Sally Field, Alfred Molina, Roshan Seth 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

17
27 14
Lost Children is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Lost Children Lost Children is a 2004 documentary film directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz.

18
24 12
Cries from the Heart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Cries from the Heart Melissa Gilbert, Patty Duke, Shelley Morrison 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.

19
14 3
Flowers in the Attic is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn, Kiernan Shipka 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

20
16 5
Daddy's Little Girls is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Katelynn Rose Leeann Leach added Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Louis Gossett 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

21
18 7
The Heart Is Deceitful Above A... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Winona Ryder, Jeremy Renner, Willa Holland 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

22
19 8
Gracie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Kristen Bell, Anne Heche, Diane Ladd 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

23
19 8
Capturing the Friedmans is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS was the most riveting, provocative, and hotly debated film of the year. Despite their predilection for ...more

24
15 5
Aurora is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Cristi Puiu, Clara Voda, Luminița Gheorghiu Aurora is a 2010 drama film written and directed by Cristi Puiu. "An apartment kitchen: a man and a woman discuss Little Red Riding Hood, their voices hushed, mindful of waking the little ...more

25
15 6
Tideland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly, Janet McTeer Tideland is a 2005 British-Canadian science fiction fantasy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, an adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel of the same name. The film was shot in Regina, ...more

26
16 7
Exodus Fall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Exodus Fall Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Atkins, Dee Wallace Exodus Fall is a 2011 drama film written by Chad Waterhouse and directed by Ankush Kohli and Chad Waterhouse.

27
18 9
Homeless to Harvard: The Liz M... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Ellen Page, Thora Birch, Kelly Lynch 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

28
26 17
Mommie Dearest is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest Mommie Dearest is a 1981 American biographical drama film about Joan Crawford, starring Faye Dunaway. The film was directed by Frank Perry. The story was adapted for the screen by Robert ...more

29
12 4
The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 American psychological thriller film that was written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The title refers to the butterfly effect, a popular ...more

30
17 9
Song for a Raggy Boy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Iain Glen, Aidan Quinn, Robert Sheehan Song For a Raggy Boy is a 2003 film directed by Aisling Walsh. It is based on the book of the same name by Patrick Galvin and is based on true events.

31
11 5
Sons of Perdition is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Bruce Barlow, Deloy Bateman, Michelle Benward "In the polygamist community cultivated by the notorious (and now incarcerated) "prophet" Warren Jeffs, women are a commodity, children are reared to be ignorant, and free thought ...more

32
16 10
One Missed Call is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Meagan Good, Ariel Winter, Margaret Cho One Missed Call is a 2008 American supernatural horror film and remake of Takashi Miike's 2003 Japanese film One Missed Call, which itself was based on the Yasushi Akimoto novel Chakushin Ari. ...more

33
13 8
Once Were Warriors is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
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

34
13 8
Postcard To Daddy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Postcard To Daddy "POSTCARD TO DADDY tells the autobiographical story of sexual abuse experienced between the ages of eight and sixteen by the filmmaker Michael Stock at the hands of his own father. ...more

35
17 13
A Mother's Right: the Eliz... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
A Mother's Right: the Elizabeth Morgan Story Bonnie Bedelia, Terence Knox, Kenneth Welsh

36
15 11
Gardens of the Night is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Michelle Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Gillian Jacobs "Gardens of the Night" is a harrowing story of survival on the mean streets of San Diego, starring Gillian Jacobs, John Malkovich and Tom Arnold. Abducted by two men and forced into ...more

37
10 7
The Tale is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
CanerFidaner added The Tale Laura Dern

38
7 4
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more

39
10 8
Nasty Love is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Angela Luce, Licia Maglietta, Anna Bonaiuto Nasty Love is a 1995 Italian thriller film directed by Mario Martone. It was entered into the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. It is based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante. The film was ...more

40
5 3
Short Term 12 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Brie Larson, Stephanie Beatriz, Melora Walters Short Term 12 is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film is based on Cretton's short film of the same name, produced in 2009. It stars Brie Larson as ...more

41
3 3
Things Behind the Sun is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Don Cheadle, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Dickens Things Behind the Sun is a 2001 film starring Kim Dickens and Gabriel Mann and directed by Allison Anders. Its title is taken from a song by Nick Drake.

42
3 4
The War Zone is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies About Child Abuse
Leora Nesya Nechama added Colin Farrell, Tilda Swinton, Ray Winstone The War Zone is a 1999 drama film directed by Tim Roth in his directorial debut and starring Ray Winstone, Tilda Swinton, Lara Belmont and Freddie Cunliffe. The film is written by Alexander ...more