Entertainment

Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo 

Ranker Film
639 votes 136 voters 5.1k views 28 items

Some people are loners by choice, while others are forced into a life of solitude by elements beyond their control. The top movies about loners feature insight into these intriguing and often overlooked characters. This is a list of the greatest movies about single people including everything from The Machinist to Citizen Kane to Cast Away.

What films will you find on this list of loner movies? In Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro stars as Travis Bickle, an overnight cabbie with dangerous ideas. Director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader utilize voiceover throughout the movie to share Bickle's troubling, troubled thoughts. Psycho is another one of the best movies about single men - though Norman Bates is never really without his mother. Into the Wild tells the true story of Chris McCandless and his solo journey into the Alaskan wilderness. Other good movies on this best loner movies list include Nell, Nightcrawler, and Up in the Air.

It's up to you to decide which loner movie deserves the top spot on this list. Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and please add any good films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Joker is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
Joker is a 2019 American crime drama film directed by Todd Phillips, based on the DC Comics character. In 1981, a failed stand-up comedian (Joaquin Phoenix) is driven insane, turning to a life ...more

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2
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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

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#523 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #94 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timefeaturing 12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Taxi Driver' That Are As Wild As The Film Itself

3
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth
Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident ...more

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#60 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #393 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

4
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

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#4 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #203 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #9 of 796 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

5
Cool Hand Luke is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy
Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title ...more

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#534 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #7 of 46 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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

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#22 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #266 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starsfeaturing Everything That Had To Go Wrong For Chris McCandless To Meet His Fate

7
Birdman of Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Karl Malden
Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a largely fictionalized version of the life of Robert Stroud, a federal prison inmate known ...more

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#46 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s #6 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies

8
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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

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#27 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #97 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

9
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto
American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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#13 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #527 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

10
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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

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#87 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time #4 of 34 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

11
Drive is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan
Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more

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12
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal who starts shooting footage in Los Angeles and ...more

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13
Pi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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

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#109 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #199 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made #29 of 107 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

14
The Station Agent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
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
One Hour Photo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Clark Gregg
One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Mark Romanek and starring Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole, and Eriq La Salle. ...more

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#21 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #14 of 59 The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians

16
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more

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17
Grizzly Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog
Grizzly Man is a 2005 documentary film by German director Werner Herzog. It chronicles the life and death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. The film includes some of Treadwell's own footage ...more

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#358 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #6 of 403 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time

18
Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 American comedy-drama film edited, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan and Joel Coen. Set in 1961, the film stars ...more

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#113 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #13 of 18 The Saddest Movies In Which No One Actually Dies #24 of 46 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic

19
Willy Wonka & the Ch... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

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#32 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #67 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing There's A Theory That 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' Is Actually About A Tormented Killer

20
The Hunt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Mads Mikkelsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Thomas Bo Larsen
The Hunt is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man (Mads Mikkelsen) who becomes the target of mass ...more
21
Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Orson Welles, Alan Ladd, Agnes Moorehead
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced by, co-written by, directed by and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles's first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy ...more

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#352 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #185 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
My Best Friend's Wedding... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
RosanneFinn added
Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Rupert Everett
My Best Friend's Wedding is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by P.J. Hogan. When a woman's long-time friend (Dermot Mulroney) reveals he's engaged, she (Julia Roberts) realizes she ...more

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23
Papagajka is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
mlerthf added Papagajka
Susanna Cappellaro, Adnan Omerovic
24
Mr. Holmes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Mr. Holmes
Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada
25
Nell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson
Nell is a 1994 American drama film starring Jodie Foster as a young woman who has to face other people for the first time after being raised by her mother in an isolated cabin. The film also ...more

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