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The Best Movies About Mental Illness

Updated August 28, 2020 21.8k votes 2.1k voters 79.6k views119 items

List RulesFilms about mental illness and people who suffer from it. Vote up the best mental illness films.

This list features the best movies about mental illnesses. The films on this list cover an array of different mental illnesses, such as amnesia, clinical depression, autism, anxiety disorders, and many more. You can also find several good mental illness movies on Netflix. But what are the best movies about mental illness? Which films tackle the issue the best? Vote up the best films below and see where your favorites rank.

The movies on this list cover very important topics in our society, and range from a variety of genres. Some take more of a realistic, dramatic look at what happens when a person suffers from a mental illness and how it affects their loved ones. Others are fictional and put a comedic twist on these very common problems. All tell the story of a character struggling with a mental illness.

This list has the best movies about mental illness including, As Good As it Gets, Saving Private Ryan, Little Miss Sunshine, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, What Dreams May Come, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Vote up your favorites below or add a film about mental illness that isn't already on the list.

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  • 1
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Black Swan

    Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis

    Released2010

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released1993

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Girl, Interrupted

    Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder

    Released1999

    Directed byJames Mangold

    Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 American drama film, and an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

    A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Shining is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    I Am Sam is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    I Am Sam

    Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning

    Released2001

    Directed byJessie Nelson

    I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film directed by Jessie Nelson. A mentally handicapped man... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Little Miss Sunshine

    Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston

    Released2006

    Directed byValerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

    Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Sybil is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    60

    Sybil

    Sally Field, Joanne Woodward

    Released1976

    Directed byDaniel Petrie

    Sybil is a 1976 American drama film that originally aired as a made-for-television miniseries.... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt

    Released1997

    Directed byJames L. Brooks

    As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Awakenings is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Awakenings

    Robert De Niro, Robin Williams

    Released1990

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
    254
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    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

    Released1976

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
    242
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    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed byMary Harron

    American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2001

    Directed byRichard Kelly

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    What About Bob? is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    What About Bob?

    Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1991

    Directed byFrank Oz

    What About Bob? is a 1991 comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and starring Bill Murray and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Anderson

    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
    255
    91

    American Beauty

    Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening

    Released1999

    Directed bySam Mendes

    American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. An advertising executive... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Mystic River

    Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn

    Released2003

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Memento is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan.... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Silver Linings Playbook

    Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro

    Released2012

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Perks of Being a Wallflowe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
    355
    82

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev

    Released2012

    Directed byStephen Chbosky

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
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    Cape Fear

    Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte

    Released1991

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a... more on Wikipedia

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