Entertainment

Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo  

Ranker Film
622 votes 131 voters 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.

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
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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#15 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #522 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 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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#259 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #150 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #38 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

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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#5 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #9 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #203 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

5
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 5 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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#266 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #503 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timefeaturing Everything That Had To Go Wrong For Chris McCandless To Meet His Fate

6
Cool Hand Luke is listed (or ranked) 6 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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#531 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #207 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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#134 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #46 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s #1 of 22 The Least Accurate Movies About Historical Figures

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 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #31 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #27 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

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 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #154 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #399 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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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#1,215 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #348 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #50 of 307 The Best Movies for Men

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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#269 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #290 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #241 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books

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
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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#108 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #8 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #30 of 106 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

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#12 of 33 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters #13 of 28 The Best Movies Where Nothing Really Happens #16 of 20 Great Movies About Drifters Who Are Lost in Life

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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#113 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #21 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #37 of 146 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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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#112 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #38 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #8 of 307 The Best Movies for Men

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 396 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time #117 of 135 The Scariest Animal Movies Ever Made

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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#116 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #64 of 70 The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made #24 of 36 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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#29 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #6 of 59 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In January 2020featuring 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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#351 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 307 The Best Movies for Menlisted 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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#101 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #94 of 493 The Funniest '90s Moviesfeaturing My Best Friend's Wedding Is The Most Twisted, Screwed Up Rom-Com Ever Made

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