Entertainment

The Best Movies About Mental Illness  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Films 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. 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.
list ordered by
1
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but chickens double d added Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by Miloš Forman.
2
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Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Peter Hedges wrote the ...more
3
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MejaEhrenström added Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg
Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 American drama film, and an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir of the same name. The film chronicles Kaysen's 18-month stay at a mental institution. Directed ...more
4
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
but chickens double d added Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more
5
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Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder
Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production ...more
6
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Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino
Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more
7
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo
Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more
8
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Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
9
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MarySSpiegel added Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper
Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell, adapted from the novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. The film ...more
10
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Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz
As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, homophobic, racist, ...more
11
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but chickens double d added Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more
12
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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
13
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
but chickens double d added Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more
14
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looksharp added Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Vin Diesel
Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm ...more
15
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Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer
I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film directed by Jessie Nelson. A mentally handicapped man (Sean Penn) fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) and in the process teaches ...more
16
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but chickens double d added Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more
17
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Sally Field, Joanne Woodward, Brad Davis
Sybil is a 1976 American drama film that originally aired as a made-for-television miniseries. It is based on the book of the same name.
18
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Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari
American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes ...more
19
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Mental Illness
Michael Corbett added Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe
American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more
20
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punksnotdead added Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Robert Aldrich
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford about an actress who holds her ...more
21
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Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside
The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more
22
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looksharp added Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwen Stefani
The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan and produced by Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, and Charles Evans, Jr.. It ...more
23
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Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette
Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by ...more
24
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but chickens double d added Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Charlie Korsmo
What About Bob? is a 1991 comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Murray plays Bob Wiley, a psychiatric patient who follows his egotistical psychiatrist ...more
25
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Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more