film Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters  

Ranker Film
382 votes 81 voters 5.6k 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
38 5
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Taxi Driver 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
25 7
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Into The Wild 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
9 3
Before Sunrise is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Before Sunrise 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

4
16 10
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Rebel Without A Cause 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

5
10 5
Shame is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Shame 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.

6
12 7
Ghost World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Ghost World 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

7
13 9
Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Punch-Drunk Love 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

8
12 8
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
The Machinist 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

9
10 7
Midnight Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Midnight Cowboy 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

10
10 8
Lars and the Real Girl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Lars And The Real Girl 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

11
9 7
Pi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Pi 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

12
8 7
The Wrestler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
The Wrestler 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

Great Movies About Sad Bastards

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7 6
The Panic in Needle Park is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
The Panic In Needle Park 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

14
6 5
Safety Not Guaranteed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Safety Not Guaranteed 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

15
5 4
The Station Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
The Station Agent 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

16
3 2
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samu... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
intershyte added Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, Victor Argo Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 American crime action film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Forest Whitaker stars as the title character, the mysterious "Ghost Dog", a ...more

17
1 0
Rambo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added Rambo 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 Cold War/Vietnam veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth ...more

The Scariest Animal Movies Ever Made

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1 0
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added A Beautiful Mind 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

19
1 0
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Coco2 added The Punisher 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

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7 7
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Barton Fink 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

21
3 4
Hard Eight is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Hard Eight 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

22
3 5
Buffalo '66 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Buffalo '66 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

23
3 5
The Master is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
The Master 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

24
0 2
He Never Died is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Richard Hawkins added He never died 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

25
5 8
About Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
About Schmidt 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

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4 7
Wild is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Wild 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

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3 6
Cashback is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Cashback 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

28
2 5
Another Earth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Another Earth 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

29
2 5
Love Liza is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters
Love Liza 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.