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Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown

Updated March 6, 2020 1.1k votes 158 voters 7.3k views36 items

List RulesVote up your favorite movies in which a character experiences a nervous breakdown or deals with life after a mental break.

Everyone goes a little mad sometimes, and that's why mental breakdown films are favorites among movie-goers. The top nervous breakdown movies feature an unhinged character diving deeper and deeper into his or her own psychosis. This is a list of the best movies about a nervous breakdown including everything from Shutter Island to What About Bob? to Falling Down.

What films will you find on this list of mental illness movies? Taxi Driver scored Robert De Niro an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Travis Bickle, a cabbie who becomes consumed with thoughts of the cesspool of New York City and its corrupt politicians. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho reigns supreme among crazy person movies, thanks to a chilling performance by Anthony Perkins. The best film set in a mental hospital might just be be One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Jack Nicholson. Other acclaimed films about mental breakdowns include Punch Drunk Love, Silver Linings Playbook, and A Clockwork Orange.

It's up to you to determine which nervous breakdown movie deserves the top spot on this list. Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any great features that are missing.

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  • 1
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    57
    6

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    64
    21

    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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  • 3
    Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    49
    11

    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

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  • 4
    Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    52
    16

    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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  • 5
    Benny & Joon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    48
    14

    Benny & Joon

    Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore

    Released1993

    Directed byJeremiah S. Chechik

    Benny & Joon is a 1993 romantic comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about how two... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    43
    13

    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
  • 7
    A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    34
    13

    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
  • 8
    Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    29
    9

    Sling Blade

    Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

    Released1996

    Directed byBilly Bob Thornton

    Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    38
    21

    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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  • 10
    Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    32
    22

    Falling Down

    Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas

    Released1993

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    MASH is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    18
    6

    MASH

    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland

    Released1970

    Directed byRobert Altman

    MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    What About Bob? is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    21
    13

    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
  • 13
    The Three Faces of Eve is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    9
    3

    The Three Faces of Eve

    Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb

    Released1957

    Directed byNunnally Johnson

    The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 American CinemaScope film adaptation based on a book by... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    14
    10

    Punch-Drunk Love

    Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Released2002

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Marnie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    12
    9

    Marnie

    Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock

    Released1964

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Marnie is a 1964 psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by Jay... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Crazy/Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    11
    7

    Crazy/Beautiful

    Kirsten Dunst, Taryn Manning

    Released2001

    Directed byJohn Stockwell

    Crazy/Beautiful is a 2001 romantic drama film starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    A Dangerous Method is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    16
    14

    A Dangerous Method

    Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender

    Released2011

    Directed byDavid Cronenberg

    A Dangerous Method is a 2011 historical film directed by David Cronenberg and starring Keira... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Burn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    2
    0

    Burn

    Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Suki Waterhouse

    Released2019

    Directed byMike Gan

    Burn is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Mike Gan. When a gas station is held at... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Seventh Veil is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    5
    5

    The Seventh Veil

    Herbert Lom

    Released1945

    Directed byCompton Bennett

    The Seventh Veil is a 1945 British melodrama film made by Ortus Films and released through... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    My Boyfriend's Meds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    1
    0

    My Boyfriend's Meds

    Jamie Camil, Sandra Echeverria

    Released2020

    Directed byDiego Kaplan

    My Boyfriend's Meds is a 2020 Mexican comedy film directed by Diego Kaplan. A woman's island... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Mad Love is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    5
    8

    Mad Love

    Drew Barrymore, Liev Schreiber

    Released1995

    Directed byAntonia Bird

    Mad Love is a 1995 teen romantic drama film directed by Antonia Bird and starring Drew... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Frank is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    7
    15

    Frank

    Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal

    Released2014

    Directed byLenny Abrahamson

    Frank is a 2014 comedy-drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Domhnall Gleeson,... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Shock Corridor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    5
    12

    Shock Corridor

    James Best, Peter Breck

    Released1963

    Directed bySamuel Fuller

    Shock Corridor is a 1963 film, directed and written by Samuel Fuller. The film tells the story... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Swallow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    1
    0

    Swallow

    Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell

    Released2020

    Directed byCarlo Mirabella-Davis

    Swallow is a 2020 American horror film directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis. A young pregnant... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Secretary is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
    10
    19

    Secretary

    Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Shainberg

    Secretary is a 2002 romance film directed by Steven Shainberg and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal... more on Wikipedia

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FilmsFilmEntertainmentMental IllnessPsychology