Sponsored
306 voters

Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

Updated March 28, 2020 2.0k votes 306 voters 17.2k 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.

 

Photo:
...more
  • Taxi Driver1
    164
    29

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

    Released1976

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin...  more

    More Taxi Driver 

    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Taxi Driver' That Are As Wild As The Film Itself#15 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • Joker2
    122
    21

    Joker

    Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro

    Released2019

    Directed byTodd Phillips

    Joker is a 2019 American crime drama film directed by Todd Phillips, based on the DC Comics...  more
  • Into The Wild3
    81
    38

    Into The Wild

    Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn

    Released2007

    Directed bySean Penn

    Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean...  more

    More Into the Wild 

    Everything That Had To Go Wrong For Chris McCandless To Meet His Fate#41 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

  • Rebel Without A Cause4
    72
    31

    Rebel Without A Cause

    Natalie Wood, James Dean

    Released1955

    Directed byNicholas Ray

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

    More Rebel Without a Cause 

    #133 of 196 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time#10 of 28 Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo

  • Midnight Cowboy5
    44
    15

    Midnight Cowboy

    Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight

    Released1969

    Directed byJohn Schlesinger

    Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by...  more

    More Midnight Cowboy 

    #119 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#47 of 92 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture

  • Ghost World6
    61
    38

    Ghost World

    Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi

    Released2001

    Directed byTerry Zwigoff

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

    More Ghost World 

    #205 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#118 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • The Wrestler7
    58
    35

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by...  more

    More The Wrestler 

    #344 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys#143 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • The Machinist8
    59
    37

    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Anderson

    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad...  more

    More The Machinist 

    #380 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time#13 of 16 Complicated Movie Storylines No One Truly Understands

  • Pi9
    48
    29

    Pi

    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu

    Released1998

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

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

    More Pi 

    #132 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#32 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • Lars And The Real Girl10
    58
    39

    Lars And The Real Girl

    Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer

    Released2007

    Directed byCraig Gillespie

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

    More Lars and the Real Girl 

    #8 of 75 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way#10 of 51 Great Quirky Movies for Grown-Ups

  • Barton Fink11
    38
    20

    Barton Fink

    John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

    Released1991

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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

    More Barton Fink 

    #595 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#193 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai12
    28
    11

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva

    Released1999

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

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

    More Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai 

    #88 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#34 of 123 The Best Assassin Movies

  • Shame13
    38
    23

    Shame

    Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

    Released2011

    Directed bySteve McQueen

    Shame is a 2011 drama film written by Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan and directed by Steve...  more

    More Shame 

    #58 of 70 The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made#52 of 80 The Best Movies About Depression

  • A Beautiful Mind14
    50
    37

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

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

    More A Beautiful Mind 

    #38 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#164 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • The Station Agent15
    25
    14

    The Station Agent

    Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage

    Released2003

    Directed byThomas McCarthy

    The Station Agent is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas...  more

    More The Station Agent 

    #14 of 28 The Best Movies Where Nothing Really Happens#1 of 56 The Best Sundance Audience Award Winners

  • The Master16
    26
    18

    The Master

    Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2012

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas...  more
  • The Punisher17
    29
    23

    The Punisher

    John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn

    Released2004

    Directed byJonathan Hensleigh

    The Punisher is a 2004 American comic book vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics...  more

    More The Punisher 

    The Punisher's Best Villains & Enemies#34 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels

  • Punch-Drunk Love18
    38
    37

    Punch-Drunk Love

    Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Released2002

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas...  more

    More Punch-Drunk Love 

    #77 of 126 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members#97 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • The Ground Beneath My Feet19
    0
    2

    The Ground Beneath My Feet

    Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger

    Released2019

    Directed byMarie Kreutzer

    The Ground Beneath My Feet is a 2019 Austrian drama film directed by Marie Kreutzer. A...  more
  • About Schmidt20
    17
    15

    About Schmidt

    Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates

    Released2002

    Directed byAlexander Payne

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

    More About Schmidt 

    #8 of 39 Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse#14 of 20 Great Movies About Drifters Who Are Lost in Life

  • Another Earth21
    15
    12

    Another Earth

    Brit Marling, William Mapother

    Released2011

    Directed byMike Cahill

    Another Earth is a 2010 drama film written by Brit Marling and Mike Cahill directed by Mike...  more
  • The Panic In Needle Park22
    16
    13

    The Panic In Needle Park

    Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino

    Released1971

    Directed byJerry Schatzberg

    The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al...  more
  • The Piano Teacher23
    8
    4

    The Piano Teacher

    Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot

    Released2001

    Directed byMichael Haneke

    The Piano Teacher is a 2001 French-Austrian erotic thriller film written and directed by...  more

    More The Piano Teacher 

    #94 of 106 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces#132 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • Buffalo '6624
    11
    8

    Buffalo '66

    Christina Ricci, Mickey Rourke

    Released1998

    Directed byVincent Gallo

    Buffalo '66 is a 1998 comedy-drama film that is writer-director Vincent Gallo's full-length...  more

    More Buffalo '66 

    #134 of 134 The Best Directorial Debuts of Famous Actors#219 of 424 The Best Feel-Good Movies

  • Horse Girl25
    7
    2

    Horse Girl

    Alison Brie, Robin Tunney

    Released2020

    Directed byJeff Baena

    Horse Girl is a 2020 American drama film directed by Jeff Baena. A socially awkward woman...  more