Film Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters  

Ranker Film
494 votes 108 voters 8.3k views 29 items

List Rules Vote 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.

list ordered by

1
45 7
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
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

2
30 9
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer based on ...more

3
15 7
Pi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at ...more

4
13 8
The Wrestler is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. Production began in ...more

5
17 12
Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
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

6
15 11
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more

7
15 11
Lars and the Real Girl is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson Lars and the Real Girl is a 2007 American-Canadian comedy-drama film written by Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie. It stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner ...more

8
15 11
Ghost World is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Teri Garr Ghost World is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Terry Zwigoff, based on the comic book of the same name by Daniel Clowes, with a screenplay cowritten by Daniel Clowes and Terry ...more

9
10 6
Before Sunrise is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and written by Linklater and Kim Krizan. The film follows Jesse, a young American man, and Céline, a ...more

10
18 15
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more

11
12 9
Midnight Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Bob Balaban Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. The script was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Jon ...more

12
10 7
Shame is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie Shame is a 2011 drama film written by Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan and directed by Steve McQueen. It premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2011.

13
5 2
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samu... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
intershyte added Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, Victor Argo Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 American action film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Forest Whitaker stars as the title character, the mysterious "Ghost Dog" who ...more

14
7 5
The Station Agent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson The Station Agent is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. McCarthy's script about a man who seeks solitude in an abandoned train station in the Newfoundland ...more

15
4 2
Rambo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Graham McTavish Rambo is a 2008 American-German independent action film directed, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone reprising his famous role as veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth installment in ...more

16
3 1
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn, Kevin Nash The Punisher is a 2004 American comic book vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, starring Thomas Jane as the antihero Frank Castle / The Punisher and John ...more

17
3 2
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

18
9 9
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright ...more

19
7 7
Safety Not Guaranteed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Kristen Bell, Aubrey Plaza, Jeff Garlin Safety Not Guaranteed is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Colin Trevorrow and inspired by a 1997 Backwoods Home Magazine classified ad—itself written as a joke filler by Backwoods ...more

20
7 7
The Panic in Needle Park is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Raúl Juliá The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al Pacino in his second film appearance. The screenplay was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory ...more

21
6 7
Wild is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann Wild is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Nick Hornby, and based on Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific ...more

22
4 5
The Master is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. It tells the story of ...more

23
4 5
Buffalo '66 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Christina Ricci, Mickey Rourke, Anjelica Huston Buffalo '66 is a 1998 comedy-drama film that is writer-director Vincent Gallo's full-length motion picture debut. Gallo and Christina Ricci star in the lead roles and the supporting cast ...more

24
3 4
Hard Eight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Philip Seymour Hoffman Hard Eight is a 1996 American neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson. There ...more

25
1 2
He Never Died is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Richard Hawkins added Henry Rollins He Never Died is a 2015 Canadian/American comedic horror film directed by Jason Krawczyk. Jack (Henry Rollins), a social outcast, is thrust out of his comfort zone when the outside world bangs ...more

26
7 9
About Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, June Squibb About Schmidt is a 2002 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne, starring Jack Nicholson in the title role. It is very loosely based on the 1996 novel of the same title by Louis ...more

27
4 6
Another Earth is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Brit Marling, William Mapother, Kumar Pallana Another Earth is a 2010 drama film written by Brit Marling and Mike Cahill directed by Mike Cahill. "When Rhonda Williams, a beautiful, bright MIT astrophysics student, leans out of her car ...more

28
3 5
Love Liza is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Kathy Bates, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Tobolowsky Love Liza is a 2002 tragicomedy film directed by Todd Louiso and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Jack Kehler, Wayne Duvall, Sarah Koskoff and Stephen Tobolowsky.

29
3 8
Cashback is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Keeley Hazell, Michelle Ryan, Jared Harris Cashback is a film directed by Sean Ellis. Originally exhibited as a short in 2004, it was expanded to feature length in 2006. Both versions were produced by Lene Bausager, starring Sean ...more