Mental Illness Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown  

Ranker Film
528 votes 108 voters 4.3k views 33 items

List Rules Vote 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.

list ordered by

1
32 3
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

2
39 9
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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.

3
36 8
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

4
26 7
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

5
29 11
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

6
24 9
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

7
16 7
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. It tells the story of a man named Karl Childers with ...more

8
15 7
Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed ...more

9
8 1
The Three Faces of Eve is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb, Nancy Kulp The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 American CinemaScope film adaptation based on a book by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, who also helped write the screenplay. It was ...more

10
9 4
MASH is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner, Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The ...more

11
14 10
What About Bob? is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

12
9 6
A Dangerous Method is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen A Dangerous Method is a 2011 historical film directed by David Cronenberg and starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Vincent Cassel. The screenplay was adapted by ...more

13
12 10
Benny & Joon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy Benny & Joon is a 1993 romantic comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about how two eccentric individuals, Sam and Juniper "Joon", find each other and fall in love. Aidan ...more

14
6 6
Crazy/Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Kirsten Dunst, Taryn Manning, Jay Hernandez Crazy/Beautiful is a 2001 romantic drama film starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez. It is largely set at Palisades Charter High School and the surrounding area, including Downtown Los ...more

15
14 15
Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
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

16
4 5
I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Rain, Im Soo-jung, Oh Dal-su I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK is a 2006 South Korean romantic comedy film directed by Park Chan-wook.

17
6 8
Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis ...more

18
3 5
Frank is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson Frank is a 2014 comedy-drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Michael Fassbender as the title character. The film premiered ...more

19
2 4
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction art film adaptation of Polish author Stanisław Lem's novel Solaris. The film was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative ...more

20
3 6
Marnie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren Marnie is a 1964 psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by Jay Presson Allen was based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Winston Graham. The film stars Tippi ...more

21
2 5
Mumford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Zooey Deschanel, Kelly Monaco, Martin Short Mumford is a 1999 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. It is set in a small town where a new psychologist gives offbeat advice to the neurotic residents. Both the ...more

22
2 5
Affliction is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek Affliction is an American drama film produced in 1997, written and directed by Paul Schrader from the novel by Russell Banks. It stars Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn and Willem Dafoe. ...more

23
0 3
Stateside is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Val Kilmer, Carrie Fisher, Rachael Leigh Cook Stateside is a 2004 romantic drama film film based on a true story. It is an adventurous love story about a high school rich kid serving in the Marine Corps to avoid jail, who eventually falls ...more

24
3 7
Secretary is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Lesley Ann Warren Secretary is a 2002 romance film directed by Steven Shainberg and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lee Holloway and James Spader as E. Edward Grey. The film is based on a short story from Bad ...more

25
2 6
Mad Love is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Drew Barrymore, Liev Schreiber, Chris O'Donnell Mad Love is a 1995 teen romantic drama film directed by Antonia Bird and starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O'Donnell. The screenplay was written by Paula Milne. The original music score is ...more

26
1 5
Chattahoochee is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Frances McDormand Chattahoochee is a 1989 film directed by Mick Jackson and starring Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper. The film is based on the real-life experiences of Chris Calhoun, who met screenwriter James ...more

27
1 5
Fear Strikes Out is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Adam Williams Fear Strikes Out is a dramatic feature film depicting the life and career of American baseball player Jimmy Piersall. It is based on Piersall's biography Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall ...more

28
1 5
Frankie & Alice is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Halle Berry, Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashād Frankie & Alice is a 2010 Canadian drama film directed by Geoffrey Sax starring Halle Berry. Filming began in Vancouver, British Columbia, in November 2008 and ended in January 2009. To ...more

29
1 7
Proof is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Hopkins Proof is a 2005 American drama film directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hope Davis. It was written by Rebecca Miller, based on David ...more

30
0 4
The Seventh Veil is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Herbert Lom The Seventh Veil is a 1945 British melodrama film made by Ortus Films and released through General Film Distributors in the UK and Universal Pictures in the United States.

31
0 5
Prime is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Mini Andén Prime is a 2005 American romantic comedy film starring Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep and Bryan Greenberg. It was written and directed by Ben Younger. The film grossed $67,937,503 worldwide.

32
0 5
The House of Yes is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Tori Spelling, Rachael Leigh Cook, Parker Posey The House of Yes is a 1997 American film starring Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Geneviève Bujold, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Tori Spelling. The movie is based on the play of the same name, ...more

33
0 5
Shock Corridor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
James Best, Peter Breck, Constance Towers Shock Corridor is a 1963 film, directed and written by Samuel Fuller. The film tells the story of a journalist who gets himself committed to a mental hospital in order to track an unsolved