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Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo 

Ranker Film
Updated October 14, 2019 676 votes 139 voters 5.5k 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.

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1
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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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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

Released: 1976

Directed by: 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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3
Joker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Released: 2019

Directed by: Todd Phillips

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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4
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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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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

Released: 1967

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

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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6
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

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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7
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis

Released: 2007

Directed by: Sean Penn

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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8
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1955

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

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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9
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

Released: 2004

Directed by: Brad Anderson

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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10
Birdman of Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Karl Malden

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

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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11
Drive is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Nicolas Winding

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
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood

Released: 2008

Directed by: Clint 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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13
One Hour Photo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Clark Gregg

Released: 2002

Directed by: Mark Romanek

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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14
Pi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

Released: 1998

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

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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15
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton

Released: 2014

Directed by: Dan Gilroy

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
16
Willy Wonka & the Ch... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor

Released: 1971

Directed by: Mel Stuart

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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17
The Station Agent is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson

Released: 2003

Directed by: Thomas McCarthy

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

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18
Grizzly Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog

Released: 2005

Directed by: 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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19
Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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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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

Released: 2012

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

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

Released: 1941

Directed by: Orson Welles

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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22
Nell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson

Released: 1994

Directed by: Michael Apted

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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23
Up in the Air is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, Zach Galifianakis

Released: 2009

Directed by: Jason Reitman

Up in the Air is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and co-written by Reitman and Sheldon Turner. It is a film adaptation of the 2001 novel of the same name, written by ...more

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24
My Best Friend's Wedding... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
RosanneFinn added Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Rupert Everett

Released: 1997

Directed by: P. J. Hogan

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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25
Papagajka is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo
mlerthf added Papagajka Susanna Cappellaro, Adnan Omerovic

Released: 2016

Directed by: Emma Rozanski