The Best Movies About Ethical Dilemmas

The best movies about ethical dilemmas are thought-provoking films that make you question your own morals. These movies feature characters who find themselves in difficult situations and must decide whether or not to act on their beliefs. There are also movies with choices that anyone would hate to face like Sophie's Choice. Watchmen waits all the way until the end of the film to reveal its major ethical dilemma. There are quite a few movies like this that save their tough decisions for the moment right before the end credits role. One thing's for sure, they're all great food for thought.

Vote up your favorite movies that pose ethical dilemmas and vote down any that you think other fans should skip. Check back for upcoming and new movies with ethical dilemmas as they are added to the list once they're released.


  • Prisoners
    Photo: Prisoners
    Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) faces a parent's worst nightmare when his 6-year-old daughter, Anna, and her friend go missing. The only lead is an old motorhome that had been parked on their street. The head of the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), arrests the driver (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces Loki to release his only suspect. Dover, knowing that his daughter's life is at stake, decides that he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands.
    • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

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  • Sophie's Choice
    Photo: Sophie's Choice
    Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young writer, moves to Brooklyn in 1947 to begin work on his first novel. As he becomes friendly with Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her lover Nathan (Kevin Kline), he learns that Sophie is a Holocaust survivor. Flashbacks reveal her harrowing story, from pre-war prosperity to Auschwitz. In the present, Sophie and Nathan's relationship increasingly unravels as Stingo grows closer to Sophie and Nathan's fragile mental state becomes ever more apparent.
    • Actors: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin, Stephen Newman
    • Released: 1982
    • Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

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  • Schindler's List
    Photo: Schindler's List

    Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.

    The film raises a number of ethical dilemmas, such as whether it is better to save one person or many people, whether it is better to save those who are close to you or those who are strangers, and whether it is better to act out of self-interest or altruism. These dilemmas are not easily resolved, but they provide food for thought and discussion.

    • Actors: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Segal
    • Released: 1993
    • Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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  • The movie "No Country for Old Men" is about a man who finds some drug money and gets himself in over his head. The movie is a great example of an ethical dilemma because the main character has to decide whether to keep the money or turn it in. The movie is full of suspense and is a great example of how an ethical dilemma can play out.

    • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

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