Addiction 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction  

Ranker Film
410 votes 95 voters 4.1k views 42 items

Watching a good film can provide all of the chaos of drug use without all the messy side effects. Dramas about drugs and addiction often feature the fraught relationships, desperation, and strife associated with being in the throes of addiction. This is a list of great drug drama movies featuring everything from Trainspotting to Requiem for a Dream to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

What films will you find on this list of drug dramas? Maybe you'll want to vote Trainspotting up to the top. Ewan McGregor stars as a heroin addict who will do anything for that next fix in this 1996 film. Painful withdrawals, drug deals gone wrong, and inappropriate relationships all add to tension of this heroin drama. The Panic in Needle Park, starring Al Pacino, is another good addiction movie. The cinematography of Spun only enhances the nervousness and hyperactivity that the movie's characters are feeling after taking meth. Other good films featured on this roundup of dramas about addiction include Shame, Traffic, and Half Nelson.

Which drug addiction movie do you like the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any notable films that are missing.

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Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

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Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller Trainspotting is a 1996 British crime comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. ...more

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The Basketball Diaries is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
The Basketball Diaries Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same ...more

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

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Drugstore Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Drugstore Cowboy Heather Graham, Matt Dillon, William S. Burroughs Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 American crime drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Van Sant and Daniel Yost, based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle. Matt Dillon stars in the ...more

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Candy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Candy Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut film-maker Neil Armfield and stars Heath ...more

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Blow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Blow Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Emma Roberts Blow is a 2001 American biopic about the American cocaine smuggler George Jung, directed by Ted Demme. David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes adapted Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town ...more

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Spun is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Spun Mickey Rourke, Debbie Harry, Brittany Murphy Spun is a 2002 American crime dark comedy-drama directed by Jonas Åkerlund from an original screenplay by William De Los Santos and Creighton Vero, based on 3 days of De Los Santos' life ...more

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Scarface is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Scarface Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more

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Christiane F. – We Children fr... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo David Bowie, Natja Brunckhorst, Jens Kuphal Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is a 1981 German film directed by Ulrich Edel that portrays the drug scene in West Berlin in the 1970s, based on the non-fiction book of the same name ...more

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Traffic is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Traffic Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas Traffic is a 2000 American crime drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan. It explores the illegal drug trade from a number of perspectives: a user, an enforcer, a ...more

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The Panic in Needle Park is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
The Panic in Needle Park Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Raúl Juliá The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al Pacino in his second film appearance. The screenplay was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory ...more

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Party Monster is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Party Monster Macaulay Culkin, Seth Green, Chloë Sevigny Party Monster is a 2003 American factually based drama directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and starring Macaulay Culkin as the drug-addled "king of the Club Kids". The film ...more

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Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Boogie Nights Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

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True Romance is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
True Romance Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson True Romance is a 1993 American romantic crime film directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette with a supporting cast ...more

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Clean and Sober is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added Clean and Sober Morgan Freeman, Michael Keaton, M. Emmet Walsh Clean and Sober is a 1988 American drama film directed by Glenn Gordon Caron and starring Michael Keaton as a real estate agent struggling with a substance abuse problem. This film was a ...more

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Sid and Nancy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Sid and Nancy Courtney Love, Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke Sid and Nancy is a 1986 British biopic directed by Alex Cox. The film portrays the life of Sid Vicious, bassist of the seminal punk rock band the Sex Pistols, and his relationship with ...more

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Half Nelson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Half Nelson Ryan Gosling, Denis O'Hare, Anthony Mackie Half Nelson is a 2006 American drama film directed by Ryan Fleck, written by Fleck and Anna Boden. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie. It was scored by Juno ...more

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Permanent Midnight is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Permanent Midnight Elizabeth Hurley, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson Permanent Midnight is a 1998 independent drama film directed by David Veloz and starring Ben Stiller. The supporting cast features Maria Bello, Elizabeth Hurley, Owen Wilson, Cheryl Ladd and ...more

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New Jack City is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added New Jack City Chris Rock, Ice-T, Judd Nelson New Jack City is a 1991 American crime thriller action film film directed by Mario Van Peebles in his directorial debut, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen ...more

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Shame is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Shame Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie Shame is a 2011 drama film written by Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan and directed by Steve McQueen. It premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2011.

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Flight is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Flight Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly Flight is a 2012 American drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. An airline pilot (Denzel Washington) saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, ...more

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Crazy Heart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Crazy Heart Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal "Crazy Heart stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country music legend wrestling with his loss of fame at the hands of younger protégé. Struggling to make ends meet playing one ...more

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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call N... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months ...more

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Barfly is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Barfly Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Charles Bukowski Barfly is a 1987 American film which is a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles. The screenplay by Bukowski was commissioned ...more

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Clean is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Clean Nick Nolte, Maggie Cheung, Béatrice Dalle Clean is a 2004 low-budget film directed by French director Olivier Assayas, starring Nick Nolte and Maggie Cheung. It was jointly funded by Canada, France, and United Kingdom sources.

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Down to the Bone is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Down to the Bone Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Caridad de la Luz Down to the Bone is a 2004 American independent drama film, directed by Debra Granik and written by Granik and Richard Lieske. It stars Vera Farmiga, who received a Best Actress Award from the ...more

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Leaving Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Leaving Las Vegas Nicolas Cage, Mariska Hargitay, Elisabeth Shue Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romantic drama film written and directed by Mike Figgis and based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by John O'Brien. Nicolas Cage stars as a suicidal ...more

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Sherrybaby is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Sherrybaby Maggie Gyllenhaal, Danny Trejo, Giancarlo Esposito Sherrybaby is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Laurie Collyer. Screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2006, the film received a limited release in the United ...more

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Duane Hopwood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added Duane Hopwood David Schwimmer, Janeane Garofalo, John Krasinski Duane Hopwood is a 2005 film featured in the Sundance Film Festival starring David Schwimmer and Janeane Garofalo, with a supporting cast featuring Judah Friedlander, Dick Cavett, Susan Lynch, ...more

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Maria Full of Grace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Maria Full of Grace Catalina Sandino Moreno, Patricia Rae, Jaime Osorio Gómez Maria Full of Grace is a 2004 joint film production between Colombia and the U.S. written and directed by Joshua Marston, who went on to win the Independent Spirit Award for Best First ...more

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Gia is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Gia Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Faye Dunaway Gia is a 1998 biographical HBO film about the life of model Gia Marie Carangi starring Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Mercedes Ruehl, and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer ...more

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Less Than Zero is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Less Than Zero Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name. The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a college freshman returning home for ...more

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Bad Lieutenant is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Bad Lieutenant Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Paul Calderón Bad Lieutenant is a 1992 American neo-noir crime drama film directed by Abel Ferrara. The film stars Harvey Keitel as the titular "bad lieutenant". The screenplay was written by ...more

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Rush is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added Rush Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sam Elliott, Gregg Allman Rush is a 1991 American crime/drama film directed by Lili Fini Zanuck and based on a novel written by Kim Wozencraft. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric as two cops in the 1970s who ...more

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6 Balloons is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
6 Balloons Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Charlotte Carel 6 Balloons is a 2018 American drama film directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan. Over the course of one night, a woman (Abbi Jacobson) drives across LA with her heroin addict brother (Dave Franco) in ...more

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Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added Wonderland Paris Hilton, Christina Applegate, Val Kilmer Wonderland is a 2003 American crime drama film co-written and directed by James Cox, and based on the real-life Wonderland Murders that occurred in 1981. The film stars Val Kilmer, Kate ...more

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The Salton Sea is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added The Salton Sea Val Kilmer, Meat Loaf, Danny Trejo The Salton Sea is a 2002 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso, and starring Val Kilmer and Vincent D'Onofrio. Filming was done in Mecca, California and the Salton Sea.

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The Boost is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added The Boost James Woods, Sean Young, Steven Hill The Boost is a 1988 drama film directed by Harold Becker. It stars James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos, Steven Hill, June Chandler and Amanda Blake.

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Middle Man is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Middle Man Jim O'Heir, Andrew J. West, Josh McDermitt

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Another Day in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added Another Day in Paradise James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Peter Sarsgaard Another Day in Paradise is a 1998 drama film directed by Larry Clark, and released by Trimark Pictures. It is based on the novel Another Day in Paradise written by Eddie Little. The movie won ...more

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Avalon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Avalon Elijah Wood, Elizabeth Perkins, Aidan Quinn Avalon is a 1990 drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It is the third in Levinson's semi-autobiographical four "Baltimore Films" set in his hometown during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s: ...more