News of an amazing singer like Karen Carpenter tragically dying, the struggles that athletes, dancers, and gymnastics have over being more thin, people who struggle with body image, and the psychological issues that haunt people who have severe food issues – these are all things that might cross your mind when thinking about eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. These issues are unfortunately prevalent enough in today's society that many films have been made about the subject.
Some of the best movies tell the story of a true event that happened in a person’s life, helping to make something difficult to understand more accessible. Many of the movies featured on this list take an honest look at what makes a person truly struggle with an eating disorder, how it affects their family and close friends and how people who struggle with this disorder can overcome it. Other films are fictional stories, but no less impactful.
This list has the best movies about eating disorders including: To the Bone, Heathers, Girl, Interrupted, Center Stage, and Perfect Body. Vote up your favorite films so other users know what to watch
To the BoneLily Collins, Keanu Reeves
Directed by: Marti Nixon
Determined to finally confront her anorexia after placed in multiple rehbailitation centers in this powerful drama, Ellen (Lily Collins) sheds light on an everpresent struggle among young women worldwide.
Sharing the SecretMare Winningham, Diane Ladd
Directed by: Katt Shea
Beth Moss (Alison Lohman) navigates the challenges of teenage life while coping with bulimia in this televised film based on a true story.
Directed by: Douglas Barr
Starring two-time Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby and Amy Jo Johnson, Perfect Body reveals the hidden eating disorders and physical pressures beneath the glitz and glammor of big-time gymnastics.
For the Love of NancyMark-Paul Gosselaar, Tracey Gold
Directed by: Paul Schneider
Channeling her personal testimony into the protagonist's portrayal, Nancy Walsh (Tracey Gold) addresses her self-induced anorexia nervosa while attending college and rekindling her familial relationships in this made-for-television movie.
Directed by: Lauren Greenfield
This educational documentary follows the emotional journey of four Floridian young women struggling with anorexia and bulimia at a treatment center.
Directed by: James A. Contner
Two girls' vanity transforms into bulimia, resulting in a dangerous fight for their lives.
Starving in SuburbiaLaura Slade Wiggins, Sharon Lawrence
Directed by: Tara Miele
An online platform promoting starvation and thinness causes a suburban teenager to develop anorexia.
Directed by: James Mangold
A young woman (Winona Ryder) at a mental institution grapples with two different worlds, her inner circle and reality, while trying not to succumb to her inmates' eating disorders or perilous lifestyles. Angelina Jolie and Brittany Murphy also star in this classic film, for which Jolie won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
My Skinny SisterRebecka Josephson, Amy Deasismont
Directed by: Sanna Lenken
A girl entering the world of adolescence copes with older sister's eating disorder while trying to keep her dysfunctional family in line.
Directed by: Gren Wells
Two friends suffering from anorexia and OCD join Tourette's Syndrome stricken Vincent (Robert Sheehan) on a road trip to drop his late mother's ashes in the ocean.
Directed by: Arthur Allan Seidelman
A beautiful aerobics-obsessed housewife (Meredith Baxter) secretly suffers from bulimia nervosa in '80s suburbia.
The Karen Carpenter StoryLouise Fletcher, Cynthia Gibb
Directed by: Joseph Sargent, Richard Carpenter
Cynthia Gibb stars as the late singer Karen Carpenter in this dynamic made-for-television biopic, who ultimately passed from eating disorders.
Directed by: Mark Haber
A ballerina's struggle with anorexia dangerously affects her health and talent.
Directed by: Joan Micklin Silver
Two sisters combat their traumatizing upbringing by overcoming their mother's eating disorder habits.
Directed by: Matteo Garrone
The film deals with anorexia nervosa in a young woman.
Directed by: Sam O'Steen
The Powell parents (Charles Dunning, Eva Marie Saint) try to navigate the recent anorexia nervosa diagnosis of their teenage daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, Natalie Portman stars in this psychological thriller as the prima ballerina of Swan Lake, doing whatever it takes to prevent Lily (Mila Kunis) from stealing her spotlight. Her loss of appetite and self-inflicted harm ultimately blur the lines between reality and imagination.
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
An honor student befriends junior high's queen bee, ultimately spiraling into a drug-addicted, juvenile delinquent with body issues that develop into an eating disorder.
Directed by: Nicholas Hytner
Twelve driven ballet students edure physical and emotional stress while competing for acceptance at a renowned dance company.
LikenessElle Fanning, Eugenia Kuzmina
Directed by: Rodrigo Prieto
This haunting short film starring Elle Fanning showcases traumatizing visuals of a bulimic teen's distorted image of herself.
Directed by: Brett Leonard
A cybercrime investigator cracks the case of a serial killer's force-feeding abuse towards innocent, overweight women.
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Pregnant by her father for the second time, teenager Claireece "Precious" Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) turns her life around when transfered to an alternative school, escaping her life of oppression to one of self-worth and healtheir choices.
Directed by: Brad Anderson
A factory worker (Christian Bale) who suffers from extreme insomnia plunges into severe paranoia, taking drastic tolls on his mental health, appetite, and eventually his weight.
Directed by: Michael Lehmann
A cult classic that paved the way for many iconic chick-flicks, this dark comedy glorifies suicide while providing a window into the pressures of fitting into high school's notorious cliques.
Directed by: Mike Leigh
A working class woman takes care of her family in London while dealing with her twin sister's eating disorder.