Alcoholism, drug abuse, and even workaholism all fall under the umbrella of addiction. No wonder it’s the inspiration for so many fantastic movies. A tough and complex human experience is at the heart of many addiction-themed films, whether they are about the main character or others around them who must live with their affliction.
These ten films about addiction cover a wide range of topics, from watching addiction in action to dealing with the consequences it has on loved ones:
1. Four Good Days (2020)
The Washington Post article “How’s Amanda?” was the inspiration for this mother-daughter film starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis. A tale of truth, deception, and an American compulsion.”
Molly, played by Mila Kunis, is a long-time addict who visits her mother Deb, played by Glenn Close, and vows to get sober this time around. Repetitive attempts at sobriety, as well as their impact on Molly’s relationship with her parents, are examined in the film. As painful as the story is at times, it is a compelling depiction of the devastation addiction can have on families.
2. A Star Is Born (2018)
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, the stars of this critically praised film, were nominated for eight Oscars and received a lot of accolades for their performance.
The film focuses on a struggling, alcoholic musician and the rising celebrity he falls in love with. With mental illness and work issues, the two struggle to care for each other as they go through their daily routines
3. Clean and Sober (1988)
To hide from the authorities, Michael Keaton plays a real estate agent addicted to cocaine who embezzles thousands of dollars from his employer and is forced to undergo rehab.
Despite the fact that many films touch on addiction, this one stands out for its depiction of recovery, which might be dismal and seem impossible, but is ultimately important.
4. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
A group of pals who traverse the country stealing drugstores in order to fund their habit is the subject of this critically acclaimed film.
The film, which is based on James Fogle’s autobiographical novel, gets a surprise 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Kym (Anne Hathaway) is an addict who returns home from recovery to attend her sister’s wedding, and the repercussions are catastrophic.
Despite Kym’s deceptions about her addiction, her deep-seated desire to be better shows that even when sober, the consequences of addiction on families may still be felt.
6. Phantom Thread (2017)
It’s possible for workaholism to become addictive in the same way that substances like narcotics and alcohol can. Addiction has many of the same undercurrents when it is paired with a desire to avoid personal difficulties or a focus on “working hard” that is destructive to other elements of your life.
Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), a fashion designer in London in the 1950s, is obsessed with his work. Alma, a waitress with whom he swiftly develops a romantic bond, is the focus of the film’s storyline. Obsession with work continues to produce problems in Woodcock’s life, as well as being a major source of many of his difficulties.
7. 28 Days (2000)
After a vehicle accident, an alcoholic character played by Sandra Bullock must decide between jail or treatment. Reuniting with her family, especially her sister, is a gradual process after she completes a 28-day treatment program for alcohol addiction. Bullock’s character makes new friends in the program and begins to see the world outside of her addiction for the first time.
8. Flight (2012)
Flight 261 is based loosely on the real-life Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash, in which a pilot makes a controlled crash landing due to a mechanical breakdown. In spite of his heroics, Captain Whip Whitacre is now the target of criticism for being inebriated when the plane crashed and having a drug problem at the time.
It’s an uplifting story, but it also shows how tough it can be for someone with a substance abuse problem to get their life back on track, thanks to Denzel Washington’s portrayal.
9. Rocketman (2019)
“Fantastic musical drama” may be a misnomer, but this biographical film centers on Elton John’s struggle with addiction. An mature John walks into a recovery center at the beginning of the film, which chronicles his early days as a musician suffering with a variety of addictions.
Remember that Elton John’s narrative, with all of its glitter and flamboyance, is essentially human.
10. When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
Look no further than this Meg Ryan-Andy Garcia classic for a frank and honest look at what drinking does to a marriage.
As a mother of two and wife of a pilot, Alice has a full plate. Before long, she and her family are forced to face the fact that she is an alcoholic after a traumatic event. In addition to Meg Ryan’s portrayal of Alice, the film is also about her husband Michael, who battles to comprehend and support his wife’s sobriety path. This film is honest and true in its depiction of the difficulties that alcoholism can have on a marriage.