Popular Movies on Addiction
~ 2005 ~
Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) (TV)
This film tells the tale of the Harper Affair, in which young Jimmy Harper finds his life of promise turn into a life of debauchery and murder thanks to the new drug menace marijuana. Along the way he receives help from his girlfriend Mary and Jesus himself, but always finds himself in the arms of the Reefer Man and the rest of the denizens of the Reefer Den.
~ 2004 ~
The extraordinary life story of Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx), his struggles with his brother’s death, prejudice, addiction, and making it in the music business.
Set against the backdrop of crystal meth abuse, Most High is a painfully intimate examination of a young man in crisis. Drugs are incidental. Nonjudgmental yet brutally honest, Most High explores cause rather than effect. It forces us to reflect upon our own vices, whatever they may be, and ask ourselves what we are trying to avoid by indulging in them.
Down to the Bone
” Down to the Bone” deals with the issue of drug addiction without making any moral judgments. The film follows Irene as her cocaine habit begins to wreak havoc in her life. Amidst the bleakness and despair of her life, Irene still struggles to hold down her job, and keep her family together. After Irene tries to spend her kid’s birthday money on drugs, she has a moment of epiphany, and decides to check herself into a rehab clinic where she encounters Bob, a male nurse andformer junkie. Bob is able to both sympathize and empathize with Irene’s withdrawal symptoms, and romance blossoms. Just when it looks as though Bob and Irene will live happily ever after, Bob relapses to his heroin habit. More out of pique than curiosity, Irene joins him. When they get busted with possession, Irene faces a crossroads. She still loves Bob, but can she afford to keep him in her life?
~ 2003 ~
Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. A psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of ’80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family travesty.
On the afternoon of July 1, 1981, Los Angeles police responded to a distress call at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon and discovered a grisly quadruple homicide. The police investigation that followed would unearth a seedy world of drugs and violence.
~ 2002 ~
Never Get Outta the Boat
A gritty story depicting men in a recovery house in LA. It depicts a stark life where addicts either sink or swim, where after seeing buddies die they come to the realization that it is up to each of them to get out of the cycle of addiction. An award-winning and disturbingly accurate depiction of the struggle to overcome addiction.
When college drop-out, Ross, becomes the local crystal meth cook’s personal driver in exchange for free drugs, he has no idea what he’s in for as he bounces from one bizarre situation to the next and ends up slipping deeper and deeper into the amoral world of speed freaks.
Following the death of her husband, 10-year-old Paul’s mother Mel comes to rely on an old friend, Lenny, who is also a pimp and dealer. Soon Paul must take care of both his mother and his younger brother. When Mel’s friend and fellow user dies, Paul must confront the fear that has been gathering in the pit of his stomach: having lost his father, his mother too may abandon him. Even with his limitations as a child, he takes action to stop this from happening.
After his wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with, Devdas Mukherjee’s life spirals further and further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain.
~ 2001 ~
Big Bad Love
Alcoholic Vietnam veteran (Arliss Howard) struggles as a writer and with family problems.
A street hustler who makes all the wrong moves finds himself doing hard time in the penitentiary in this hard-edged drama.
A briskly paced hybrid of Boogie Nights and Goodfellas, Blow chronicles the three-decade rise and fall of George Jung (Johnny Depp), a normal American kid who makes a personal vow against poverty, builds a marijuana empire in the ’60s, multiplies his fortune with the Colombian Medelln cocaine cartel, and blows it all with a series of police busts culminating in one final, long-term jail sentence.
Despite its grim milieu–a Los Angeles park that is home to cocaine addicts, gangsters, and hustlers–MacArthur Park explodes
with energy and humanity. The ensemble drama’s compressed setting is like a small sea in which one denizen’s misdeed or
scam-gone-wrong creates currents of violence swallowing everyone else. In the 48 hours or so of the story’s
action, one low-level coke dealer rips off a fading television star, whose revenge involves a would-be rapper,
who in turn is trying to escape the park’s culture with the help of a cop who was part of a raid during
which another dealer stole drugs from a dangerous Latino gang, etc. Trying to stay alive and hopeful in this
endless, cyclical mayhem is Cody, a musician and drug casualty whose abandoned son is reaching out to him.
~ 2000 ~
A big-city newspaper columnist (Sandra Bullock) is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after stealing a limousine and crashing it into a house.
Pay It Forward
Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Stars Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey
Requiem for a Dream
The hopes and dreams of four ambitious people are shattered when their drug addictions begin spiraling out of control.
Six-part miniseries, a docudrama. On the front lines of America‘s drug war, one family is living in the crossfire.
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America‘s escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is an addict.
~ 1999 ~
The Cider House Rules
Homer is an orphan in remote St. Cloud, Maine. Never adopted, he becomes the favorite of the
ether-sniffing orphanage director Dr. Larch, who imparts his full medical knowledge on Homer,
who becomes a skilled, albeit unlicensed, physician. But Homer yearns for a self-chosen life
outside the orphanage. When Wally and pregnant Candy visit the orphanage Dr. Larch provides
medically safe, albeit illegal, abortions Homer leaves with them to work on Wally’s family apple farm.
Wally goes off to war, leaving Homer and Candy alone together. What will Homer learn about life and
love in the cider house? What of the destiny that Dr. Larch has planned for him?
A gentle and usually mellow young man, who sometimes knows things before they happen and gets vibes of premonition, tell us his story: how he met Michelle in Iowa in 1971, how he got the name Fuckhead, how she introduced him to heroin and their falling in love, his thieving, his hospital work and their time in Chicago when she gets pregnant, detox, going to Phoenix to live, AA meetings and a dance, working at a care center where he learns to touch the residents, and modifying his daily schedule so that he passes a neighboring Mennonite household at the right time to hear the wife sing Gospel songs in the shower. Slowly, very slowly, FH lets his gifts emerge.
~ 1998 ~
Fact-based story of top fashion model Gia Marie Carangi (Angelina Jolie) follows her life from a rebel working in her father’s diner at age 17 to her death in 1986 at age 26 from AIDS, one of the first women in America whose death was attributed to the disease. In between, she followed a downward spiral of drug abuse and failed relationships.
Comedy writer Jerry Stahl (Ben Stiller), whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl’s flashback.
~ 1997 ~
Nil by Mouth
The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy’s mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug addict and Raymond kicks him out of the house, making him live on his own.
After a friend overdoses, Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their drug habits and attempt to enroll in a government detox program. Their efforts are hampered by seemingly endless red tape, as they are shuffled from one office to another while being chased by drug dealers and the police.
~ 1996 ~
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.
~ 1995 ~
Strike is a young city drug pusher under the tutilage of drug-lord Rodney Little, who, when not playing with model trains or drinking Yahoo for his ulcer, just likes to chill with his brothers near the benches outside the project houses.
At the beginning of a nightly Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Jim (Richard Lewis) seems particularly troubled. His sponsor encourages him to talk that night, the first time in seven months, so he does.
Leaving Las Vegas
Ben Sanderson (Nicholas Cage), an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter whom lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue).
Once Were Warriors
Set in urban Auckland (New Zealand) this movie tells the story of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk, and yet obviously loves both her and his family. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family’s life showing Jake’s frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family. The youngest son is in trouble with the police and may be put into a foster home while the elder son is about to join a street gang. Jake’s daughter has her own serious problems which are a key element in the plot.
~ 1994 ~
When a Man Loves a Woman
An airline pilot (Andy Garcia) and his wife (Meg Ryan) are forced to face the consequences of her alcoholism when her addictions threaten her life and their daughter’s safety. While the woman enters detox, her husband must face the truth of his enabling behavior.
~ 1993 ~
Bound by Honor
This movie depicts the gang wars in Californian jails during the 1980s. The half-brothers Paco and Cruz grow up together with their cousin Miklo in one of the lesser districts of L.A. When Miklo more or less accidentally kills another guy in a gang fight, he has to go to jail in St. Quentin, where he soon starts a career in a drug connection. Meanwhile Paco joins the police and returns to the district as a determined officer in the vice squad. When Miklo is released on probation after 9 years, but keeps working for his gang, he soon clashes with Paco.
Darkness Before Dawn (TV)
A drug-addicted nurse (Meredith Baxter) who meets a patient at rehab where she works, and decides to go out with him and well things just go down hill from there. He is unstable and can’t find a job. Moves in with her and becomes untrustworthy. She’s not the “all too clean” nurse that we’d all like to think, that’s she’s portraying to be-including to her new post rehab boyfriend.
~ 1992 ~
~ 1991 ~
Boyz N the Hood
John Singleton’s portrayal of social problems in inner-city Los Angeles takes the form of a tale of three friends growing up together ‘in the ‘hood.’
Oliver Stone’s homage to 60′s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group’s late singer, the “Electric Poet” Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris in 1971, at the age of 27.
~ 1990 ~
New York postal worker Jacob Singer is trying to keep his frayed life from unraveling. His days are increasingly being invaded by flashbacks to his first marriage, his now-dead son, and his tour of duty in Vietnam. Though his new wife tries to help Jacob keep his grip on sanity, the line between reality and delusion is steadily growing more and more uncertain.
Postcards from the Edge
Substance-addicted Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) is on the skids. After a spell at a detox centre her film company insists as a condition of continuing to employ her that she live with her mother Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine), herself once a star and now a champion drinker.
~ 1989 ~
A realistic road movie about a drug addict (Matt Dillon), his ‘family’, and their inevitable decline into crime.
We open up on the evening of March 5, 1982, with the dead body of John Belushi being reeled into a morgue. He awakens, suddenly, as if nothing had happened to him. Frightened and confused, John goes back to retrace his steps, and find out what went wrong with his life.
~ 1988 ~
Clean and Sober
Michael Keaton plays Daryl Poynter, a hot shot real estate agent who just happens to have a cocaine and drinking problem.
Lenny Brown (James Woods) moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to turn. His friend, Joel, introduces him to cocaine to give Lenny that needed “boost”. What ensues next is a descent into drug addiction and insanity as Lenny tries to regain control of his life, all the while needing that extra “boost”.
~ 1987 ~
Two alcoholics (Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway) meet and fall in love.
~ 1986 ~
~ 1984 ~
~ 1983 ~
Bored with teaching undergraduates English literature, Frank Bryant (Michael Caine) morosely reflects through a whisky glass on his failed marriage and his attempt at becoming a poet. His world is turned upside down by the arrival of Rita.
A remake of the 1932 classic, the 1983 version follows cuban refugee, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) and his close friend Manny Ray, and together they build a strong drug empire in Miami. Of course Montana must deal with the hardships of this type of buisness. And as Montana‘s power begins to grow so does his ego and his paranoia.
~ 1982 ~
I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can
Barbara Gordon (Jill Clayburgh), a successful television documentary producer, became hopelessly dependent on tranquilizers. But this is much more than a story of addiction and withdrawal; it is an examination of the success syndrome that affects the lives of people whose career triumphs are achieved at great personal sacrifice. It is the dramatic and suspenseful story of one woman’s survival in a battle for her sanity- and her life. In this urgent quest, she must discover her inner strength, independence, and ability to be truly happy.
~ 1981 ~
~ 1980 ~
A Harvard scientist (William Hurt) conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.
Based on the life and career of boxer Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull focuses on Jake’s rage and violence that makes him virtually unstoppable in the ring. The same anger also drives Jake to beat his wife and his brother Joey, and sends Jake down a self-destructive spiral of paranoia, rage, and morphine addiction. (also see “Monkey on My Back”, 1957)
~ 1979 ~
Bette Midler plays “Rose”, an artist strikingly similar to Janis Joplin. The film follows Rose’s career during her last tour. Her rock and roll lifestyle of Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll and constant touring lead her to an inevitable breakdown.
~ 1978 ~
~ 1976 ~
The Seven Percent Solution
Concerned about his friend’s cocaine use, Dr. Watson tricks Sherlock Holmes into travelling to Vienna, where Holmes enters the care of Sigmund Freud. Freud attemts to solve the mysteries of Holmes’ subconscious, while Holmes devotes himself to solving a mystery involving the kidnapping of Lola Deveraux.
~ 1975 ~
~ 1974 ~
Interview-style biography of controversial and pioneering stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce (Dustin Hoffman).
~ 1973 ~
~ 1972 ~
Lady Sings the Blues
Chronicles the rise and fall of legendary blues singer Billie Holiday (Diana Ross). Her late childhood, stint as a prostitute, early tours, marriages and drug addiction are featured.
~ 1971 ~
Panic in Needle Park
This movie is a stark portrayal of life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in “Needle Park” in New York City.
~ 1970 ~
Chas (Mick Jagger), a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out.
~ 1969 ~
~ 1968 ~
~ 1967 ~
Valley of the Dolls
A steamy “inside look” at the alternately sleazy and glamorous world of catfighting, backbiting show-biz starlets, this Hollywood hit from the bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susann is a high-gloss camp artifact–a time capsule (or some kind of capsule, anyway)–from the screwy ’60s, when a broad was a broad, a bitch was a bitch (whether “her” name was Neely O’Hara or Ted Casablanca), and a “doll” was a prescription drug. These dames of whine and poses obsessed over their bust lines, booze, and barbiturates.
Story of two men who become heroin addicts, what they must do to support their habit and how it affects their lives. The story ends with an evangalistic
” I found Jesus” ending.
~ 1966 ~
~ 1965 ~
~ 1964 ~
~ 1963 ~
~ 1962 ~
Days of Wine and Roses
An alcoholic (Jack Lemmon) falls in love with and gets married to a young woman (Lee Remick), whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his “passion” together.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Author Eugene O’Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother (Katharine Hepburn), a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother who is emotionally unstable and a misfit.
~ 1961 ~
~ 1960 ~
~ 1959 ~
After much hard work, a pathologist (Vincent Price) discovers and captures a creature that lives in every vertebrate and grows when fear grips its host.
Monkey on my Back
The true story of Barney Ross, a World War II hero and champion professional boxer, who became addicted to morphine. (also see “Raging Bull”, 1980)
~ 1958 ~
~ 1957 ~
~ 1956 ~
~ 1955 ~
I’ll Cry Tomorrow
Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie (Jo Van Fleet), Lillian Roth (Susan Hayward) becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, David Tredman (Ray Danton), he dies and Lillian takes her first drink of many down the road of becoming an alcoholic.
~ 1954 ~
~ 1953 ~
~ 1952 ~
~ 1951 ~
~ 1950 ~
~ 1949 ~
Wild Weed (aka She Shoulda Said No)
A chorus girl’s career is ruined and her brother is driven to suicide when she starts smoking marijuana.
~ 1948 ~
~ 1947 ~
~ 1946 ~
~ 1945 ~
The Lost Weekend
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic (Ray Milland) is followed through a four day drinking bout.
~ 1944 ~
~ 1943 ~
~ 1942 ~
~ 1941 ~
~ 1940 ~
~ 1939 ~
~ 1938 ~
Propaganda film that relates the story, as told by high school principal Dr. Carroll to parents at a PTA meeting, of the scourge of marijuana. The tale revolves around Mae and Jack, accomplices in the distribution of marijuana, who manage to entice the local high school kids to stop by Mae’s apartment to smoke reefer. The lives of all who are involved with this menace are inevitably shattered. One youngster becomes so addicted to the killer weed that a judge orders him to be committed for life to a mental hospital! Dr. Carroll advises us to not incur the same tragedy.
~ 1937 ~
Assassin of Youth
A high-school girl gets involved with a ring of teenage marijuana smokers and starts down the road to ruin. A reporter poses as a soda jerk to infiltrate the gang of teen dope fiends.
~ 1936 ~
A young girl named Burma attends a beach party with her boyfriend and after she smokes marijuana with a bunch of other girls, she gets pregnant and another girl drowns while skinny dipping in the ocean. Burma and her boyfriend go to work for the pusher in order to make money so they can get married. However, during a drug deal her boyfriend is killed leaving Burma to fend for herself. Burma then becomes a major narcotics pusher in her own right after giving up her baby for adoption.