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Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

Updated March 28, 2020 1.9k votes 288 voters 16.2k 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.

 

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  • 1
    Taxi Driver
    154
    27

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Joker
    115
    17

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Into The Wild
    80
    32

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Rebel Without A Cause
    70
    30

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Ghost World
    61
    32

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Midnight Cowboy
    39
    14

    Midnight Cowboy

    Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight

    Released1969

    Directed byJohn Schlesinger

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  • 7
    The Machinist
    57
    34

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Wrestler
    55
    34

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

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  • 9
    Pi
    45
    27

    Pi

    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu

    Released1998

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

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  • 10
    Barton Fink
    37
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
    27
    10

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva

    Released1999

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

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  • 12
    Lars And The Real Girl
    51
    38

    Lars And The Real Girl

    Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer

    Released2007

    Directed byCraig Gillespie

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  • 13
    A Beautiful Mind
    46
    36

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 14
    Shame
    34
    23

    Shame

    Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

    Released2011

    Directed bySteve McQueen

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  • 15
    The Station Agent
    25
    13

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Master
    26
    17

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Punisher
    29
    22

    The Punisher

    John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn

    Released2004

    Directed byJonathan Hensleigh

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  • 18
    Punch-Drunk Love
    36
    35

    Punch-Drunk Love

    Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Released2002

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

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  • 19
    The Mountain
    2
    2

    The Mountain

    Tye Sheridan, Denis Lavant

    Released2019

    Directed byRick Alverson

    The Mountain is a 2018 American drama film directed by Rick Alverson. in the 1950s, a young... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    About Schmidt
    17
    14

    About Schmidt

    Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates

    Released2002

    Directed byAlexander Payne

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  • 21
    Another Earth
    15
    11

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 22
    The Ground Beneath My Feet
    0
    1

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Horse Girl
    7
    1

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Wild
    25
    27

    Wild

    Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern

    Released2014

    Directed byJean-Marc Vallée

    Wild is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Nick... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    He never died
    12
    10

    He never died

    Henry Rollins

    Released2015

    Directed byJason Krawczyk

    He Never Died is a 2015 Canadian/American comedic horror film directed by Jason Krawczyk. ... more on Wikipedia