Drama 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction  

Ranker Film
438 votes 104 voters 4.5k views 43 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.

list ordered by

1
41 6
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

2
39 10
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

3
31 6
The Basketball Diaries is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

4
19 8
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

5
14 5
Blow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

6
10 2
Drugstore Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

7
14 6
Spun is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

8
10 4
Candy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

9
7 2
Party Monster is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

10
9 4
Christiane F. – We Children fr... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

11
9 5
The Panic in Needle Park is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

12
9 5
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

13
8 4
Traffic is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

14
8 4
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

15
7 3
Sid and Nancy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

16
7 4
True Romance is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

17
6 3
Clean and Sober is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

18
5 2
Half Nelson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

19
4 2
Permanent Midnight is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

20
4 3
New Jack City is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

21
4 3
Rush is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

22
3 2
Shame is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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.

23
1 0
Crazy Heart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

24
1 0
Barfly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

25
1 0
Clean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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.

26
1 0
Down to the Bone is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

27
1 0
Sherrybaby is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

28
1 0
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call N... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

29
4 4
Gia is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

30
4 4
Maria Full of Grace is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

31
3 3
Less Than Zero is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

32
3 3
Bad Lieutenant is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

33
1 1
Leaving Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

34
1 1
6 Balloons is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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

35
1 1
Flight is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

36
0 0
Beautiful Boy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney Beautiful Boy is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Felix Van Groeningen, based on the books by David and Nic Sheff. The film chronicles meth addiction and recovery through the ...more

37
2 3
The Boost is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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.

38
2 3
The Salton Sea is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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.

39
1 2
Duane Hopwood is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Lucas Clark Rios added 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

40
4 6
Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

41
2 4
Middle Man is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
Middle Man Jim O'Heir, Andrew J. West, Josh McDermitt

42
1 3
Another Day in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
clash1977 added 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

43
0 4
Avalon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction
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