The best movies about addiction help the viewer step into the shoes of those that are suffering. With addiction, the characters involved are just trying to keep their heads above water while they’re in the depths of whatever their addictive vice has shackled with them with. The ability of these films to get you to understand the underlying causes of addictions and give the characters the empathy they need/deserve can help change peoples minds about the stigma of addiction as a whole. Plain and simple, when these types of movies are well made, they can facilitate a new belief system for those that have people battling addictions in their lives, and that’s pretty exciting stuff. Now without further adieu, here’s our list of the top five best movies dealing with addiction.
Most people think this movie is just about the porn industry, but it’s also a film about a group of people just trying to find their way. Eventually, drug addiction becomes a big part of their lives and is occurs for them as a way to cope with their pasts. Some the characters are already in the depths of addiction when the story begins, but we also get to see the protagonist, Dirk Diggler, and how he’s introduced to cocaine, and the downward spiral that occurs from then on out. The film was made by Paul Thomas Anderson, and it arguably has the greatest ensemble cast of all time. A must see.
A film about heroin addiction and choices. It’s about the struggle between wanting or being able to live a ‘normal’ life, as some people just can’t be 9-5’ers. And then the other choice, use heroin. We follow the main character as he goes through bouts of being on and off heroin and his struggle of wanting to want the things of ‘normal’ people, but yet it’s just not in his blood. It’s heartbreaking, yet funny, and expertly made by Danny Boyle.
This is the only film we know about Sex Addiction and if this film doesn’t get you to understand that it’s a real problem for those that battle it, nothing will. Michael Fassbender doesn’t say much, but his eyes show his pain and displeasure with himself, especially towards the end when his addiction is completely out of control. A beautifully crafted film by Steve McQueen.
Requiem For A Dream
Most people will gravitate to the heroin aspect of this story; however, the protagonist’s mother, played by Ellen Burstyn, is the best story going on here. We see her go from a normal, sweet, concerned mother, to becoming someone who gets hooked on prescription drugs that are overprescribed by her doctors. She ultimately becomes a terrible drug addict and starts losing her mind and her life. It’s a performance to behold, and it shows how quickly someone can get hooked by prescription drugs. Darren Aronofsky directs this little gem with all his neat editing tricks in tow.
There have been many movies made about gambling, but this one is specifically about how deep-rooted this addiction can take hold. This isn’t a movie with a happy ending like other gambling movies. This is based on a true story, and you get a dose of reality here. Phillip Seymour Hoffman carries this movie on his back as we see how he struggles with his highs and lows, but his cravings to gamble are just too powerful for him to control. Gambling addiction is a different beast, and this film does an outstanding job at showing that it destroys more lives than just your own. It’s a great Canadian true story directed by Richard Kwietniowski.
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