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Great Movies About Drifters Who Are Lost in Life

Updated November 5, 2019 418 votes 72 voters 5.3k views20 items

List RulesVote up your favorite films about people who are drifting from place to place with no clear direction.

You never know where you'll end up when you follow a drifter on film. The top movies about drifter characters feature free spirits going wherever the wind may take them and enjoying life in the moment. This is a list of the greatest movies about drifters, including everything from Lost in Translation to The Place Beyond the Pines to The Master.

What films will you find on this list of the best drifter character movies? In Easy Rider, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper star as a pair of bikers traveling through the South and meeting a lot of interesting people along this way. Before Sunrise is another great movie about drifter characters. A folk singer struggling to make it in the music business is at the center of the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. Other good films featured on this list include My Own Private Idaho, Mud, and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

It's up to you to decide which of these movies about tramps deserves the top spot on the list. Vote your personal picks up to number one, and please add any great movies that are missing.

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  • 1
    Easy Rider
    18
    10

    Easy Rider

    Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper
  • 2
    High Plains Drifter
    15
    7

    High Plains Drifter

    Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis

    Released1973

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, written... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Badlands
    13
    6

    Badlands

    Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen

    Released1973

    Directed byTerrence Malick

    Badlands is a 1973 American film written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Martin... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    13
    6

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan

    Released2013

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 American comedy-drama film edited, written and directed by Joel... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Paris, Texas
    15
    10

    Paris, Texas

    Nastassja Kinski, Sam Shepard

    Released1984

    Directed byWim Wenders

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  • 6
    Lost In Translation
    14
    9

    Lost In Translation

    Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray

    Released2003

    Directed bySofia Coppola

    Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Five Easy Pieces
    11
    6

    Five Easy Pieces

    Jack Nicholson, Karen Black

    Released1970

    Directed byBob Rafelson

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  • 8
    Before Sunrise
    14
    12

    Before Sunrise

    Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

    Released1995

    Directed byRichard Linklater

    Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    The Place Beyond The Pines
    13
    12

    The Place Beyond The Pines

    Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper

    Released2012

    Directed byDerek Cianfrance

    The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance. In 1997, Luke... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Mud
    11
    9

    Mud

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2012

    Directed byJeff Nichols

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  • 11
    The Master
    15
    14

    The Master

    Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2012

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Dead Man
    9
    9

    Dead Man

    Johnny Depp, Steve Buscemi

    Released1995

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

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  • 13
    My Own Private Idaho
    12
    14

    My Own Private Idaho

    Keanu Reeves, Jim Caviezel

    Released1991

    Directed byGus Van Sant

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  • 14
    About Schmidt
    9
    11

    About Schmidt

    Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates

    Released2002

    Directed byAlexander Payne

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  • 15
    Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
    5
    10

    Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

    Uma Thurman, Heather Graham

    Released1994

    Directed byGus Van Sant

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  • 16
    Wendy And Lucy
    5
    10

    Wendy And Lucy

    Michelle Williams, Will Oldham

    Released2008

    Directed byKelly Reichardt

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  • 17
    Cardboard Boxer
    5
    10

    Cardboard Boxer

    Thomas Haden Church, Terrence Howard

    Directed byKnate Gwaltney

  • 18
    On The Road
    3
    8

    On The Road

    Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams

    Released2012

    Directed byWalter Salles, Sam Riley

    On the Road is a 2012 adventure drama film directed by Walter Salles. It is an adaptation of... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Station Agent
    7
    14

    The Station Agent

    Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage

    Released2003

    Directed byThomas McCarthy

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  • 20
    Frances Ha
    5
    19

    Frances Ha

    Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver

    Released2012

    Directed byNoah Baumbach

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