Entertainment

Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown 

Ranker Film
Updated February 21, 2020 717 votes 153 voters 6.5k views 35 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
One Flew Over the Cuckoo... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1975

Directed by: Miloš Forman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by Miloš Forman.

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2
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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

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#4 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #203 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #7 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

3
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2010

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

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

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4
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg

Released: 1999

Directed by: James Mangold

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

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5
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1976

Directed by: 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

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6
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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

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7
Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld

Released: 1993

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

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

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8
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter

Released: 1996

Directed by: Billy Bob Thornton

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

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9
What About Bob? is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Charlie Korsmo

Released: 1991

Directed by: Frank Oz

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

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10
A Dangerous Method is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen

Released: 2011

Directed by: David Cronenberg

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

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11
MASH is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

Released: 1970

Directed by: Robert Altman

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

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12
Benny & Joon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jeremiah S. Chechik

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

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13
The Three Faces of Eve ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb, Nancy Kulp

Released: 1957

Directed by: Nunnally Johnson

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

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14
Crazy/Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Kirsten Dunst, Taryn Manning, Jay Hernandez

Released: 2001

Directed by: John Stockwell

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
Secretary is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Lesley Ann Warren

Released: 2002

Directed by: Steven Shainberg

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

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16
Silver Linings Playbook ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

Released: 2012

Directed by: David O. Russell

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

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17
I'm a Cyborg, But That's... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Rain, Im Soo-jung, Oh Dal-su

Released: 2006

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK is a 2006 South Korean romantic comedy film directed by Park Chan-wook.
18
Marnie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren

Released: 1964

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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

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19
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet

Released: 1972

Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky

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

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20
My Boyfriend's Meds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Jamie Camil, Sandra Echeverria

Released: 2020

Directed by: Diego Kaplan

My Boyfriend's Meds is a 2020 Mexican comedy film directed by Diego Kaplan. A woman's island getaway with her boyfriend is thrown for a loop when he forgets to take his prescription medications
21
Burn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Suki Waterhouse, Harry Shum Jr.

Released: 2019

Directed by: Mike Gan

Burn is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Mike Gan. When a gas station is held at gunpoint by a desperate man (Josh Hutcherson) in need of cash, a lonely and unstable gas station ...more
22
Mad Love is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Drew Barrymore, Liev Schreiber, Chris O'Donnell

Released: 1995

Directed by: Antonia Bird

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

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23
Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

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

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24
Frank is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson

Released: 2014

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

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
25
Shock Corridor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About a Mental Breakdown
James Best, Peter Breck, Constance Towers

Released: 1963

Directed by: Samuel Fuller

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