323 voters

Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

Updated March 28, 2020 2.0k votes 323 voters 18.4k views37 items

List RulesVote up your favorite films about a lone wolf character who hasn't quite figured out this whole life thing.


Since loner types prefer to spent most of their time in solitude, the best way to examine their lives is at the movies. The top lone wolf movies spotlight introverted characters who struggle to identify with the bulk of society. This is a list of the greatest movies about lonely characters including everything from Taxi Driver to Rebel Without a Cause to The Wrestler.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about lonely and pathetic characters? Into the Wild was inspired by the real-life Alaskan adventures of Chris McCandless. Emile Hirsch starred in the 2007 drama, which was based on Jon Krakauer's book of the same name. Barton Fink is another fascinating film about a loner character. Ghost World follows a pair of teenage girls as they befriend a sad loner after setting him up on a fake blind date. Other good films about loner characters include About Schmidt, Safety Not Guaranteed, and The Panic in Needle Park.

Which movie about a loner is the best? Vote your favorites up to the top of the list, and please add any good features that are missing.


  • 1

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster
    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin...  more

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  • 2


    Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro
    Joker is a 2019 American crime drama film directed by Todd Phillips, based on the DC Comics...  more
  • 3

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke
    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by...  more

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  • 4

    Into The Wild

    Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn
    Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean...  more

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  • 5

    Rebel Without A Cause

    Natalie Wood, James Dean
    Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban,...  more

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  • 6

    Midnight Cowboy

    Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight
    Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by...  more

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  • 7

    Lars And The Real Girl

    Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer
    Lars and the Real Girl is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Craig Gillespie. A sweet but...  more

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  • 8

    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh
    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad...  more

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  • 9

    Ghost World

    Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi
    Ghost World is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Terry Zwigoff, based on the comic...  more

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  • 10


    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu
    Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and...  more

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  • 11

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva
    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 American action film written and directed by Jim...  more

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  • 12

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe
    A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a...  more

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  • 13

    The Station Agent

    Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage
    The Station Agent is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas...  more

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  • 14

    Before Sunrise

    Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
    Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and...  more

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  • 15

    The Punisher

    John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn
    The Punisher is a 2004 American comic book vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics...  more

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  • 16

    Barton Fink

    John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
    Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen...  more

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  • 17

    The Master

    Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix
    The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas...  more
  • 18

    Hard Eight

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson
    Hard Eight is a 1996 American neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Paul Thomas...  more
  • 19

    The Ground Beneath My Feet

    Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger
    The Ground Beneath My Feet is a 2019 Austrian drama film directed by Marie Kreutzer. A...  more
  • 20

    Punch-Drunk Love

    Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas...  more

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  • 21


    Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
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  • 22

    Horse Girl

    Alison Brie, Robin Tunney
    Horse Girl is a 2020 American drama film directed by Jeff Baena. A socially awkward woman...  more

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  • 23

    The Panic In Needle Park

    Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino
    The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al...  more
  • 24

    Another Earth

    Brit Marling, William Mapother
    Another Earth is a 2010 drama film written by Brit Marling and Mike Cahill directed by Mike...  more
  • 25

    About Schmidt

    Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates
    About Schmidt is a 2002 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne, starring Jack...  more

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