Top 'Special Needs' Flicks

by Hello-Beautiful | created - 11 Feb 2013 | updated - 04 Sep 2013 | Public

Movies focused on the challenges & perseverance found in having Special needs, being developmentally challenged, victims of trauma, tourette’s syndrome, being deaf etc.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords



IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,439,175 | Gross: $330.25M

A slightly mentally challenged man has an extraordinary life & long awaited happy ending.

2. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
73 Metascore

After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen

Votes: 186,114 | Gross: $9.17M

Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie whom has special needs and his chronically obese mother, which gets in the way when he seeks to have a love life.

3. I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
28 Metascore

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson | Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 130,218 | Gross: $40.31M

A mentally handicapped man fights for the custody of his 7-year-old daughter with the help of a reluctant pro bono lawyer.

4. Speak (2004)

PG-13 | 89 min | Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.

Director: Jessica Sharzer | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Perkins, Dick Hagerman, Allison Siko

Votes: 22,354

After a horrible, but blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school as a selective mute.

5. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 414,954 | Gross: $172.83M

A touching drama about an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust & a materialistic younger brother.

6. Radio (2003)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
38 Metascore

The story of a high school coach and the developmentally challenged man who he took under his wing.

Director: Michael Tollin | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Debra Winger, S. Epatha Merkerson

Votes: 34,260 | Gross: $52.28M

The story of a high school coach and the developmentally challenged man whom he took under his wing.

7. Of Mice and Men (1992)

PG-13 | 115 min | Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two drifters, one a gentle but slow giant, try to make money working the fields during the Depression so they can fulfill their dreams.

Director: Gary Sinise | Stars: John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Ray Walston, Casey Siemaszko

Votes: 34,812 | Gross: $5.10M

Lenny & George find themselves unemployed in Depression-era California, unable to keep jobs because of Lennie’s developmental disability that makes him somewhat childlike.

8. Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

PG | 143 min | Drama, Music

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
59 Metascore

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis

Votes: 31,959 | Gross: $82.57M

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher after he learns his only son is deaf.

9. Adam (I) (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
56 Metascore

Adam, a lonely man with Asperger's Syndrome, develops a relationship with his upstairs neighbor, Beth.

Director: Max Mayer | Stars: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving

Votes: 31,191 | Gross: $2.28M

Adam is not a typical romantic comedy. The death of his father leaves Adam living alone in the apartment they shared. He struggles with trying to express his attraction to his pretty downstairs neighbor, but faces challenges...as he has Asperger’s Syndrome.

10. Phoebe in Wonderland (2008)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
56 Metascore

Confounded by her clashes with the seemingly rule-obsessed world, a troubled young girl seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher.

Director: Daniel Barnz | Stars: Elle Fanning, Patricia Clarkson, Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman

Votes: 6,989 | Gross: $0.07M

Phoebe clashes with the seemingly rule-obsessed world, which is made worse by her early onset of tourette’s syndrome

11. The Sessions (2012)

R | 95 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
79 Metascore

A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.

Director: Ben Lewin | Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood

Votes: 38,392 | Gross: $6.00M

Paralyzed & in an iron lung, Mark O'Brien hires a sex therapist & seeks the counsel of his unorthodox priest

12. 50/50 (2011)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
72 Metascore

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 288,701 | Gross: $35.01M

The ups & downs of the life of a 20-something with a rare form of cancer

13. Proof (2005)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
64 Metascore

The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal

Votes: 39,002 | Gross: $7.52M

All about inheriting insanity & brilliance.

14. Personal Effects (2009)

R | 106 min | Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and ... See full summary »

Director: David Hollander | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher, Kathy Bates, Spencer Hudson

Votes: 7,523

A deaf boy who underwent a traumatic & life altering change finds an outlet in wrestling, while his mother seeks out a support group & new love

15. Reign Over Me (2007)

R | 124 min | Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
61 Metascore

A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.

Director: Mike Binder | Stars: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler

Votes: 87,560 | Gross: $19.66M

A quirky look at a devastated man rebuilding & trying to live life with severe PTSD.

16. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

PG-13 | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
46 Metascore

A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow

Votes: 88,698 | Gross: $31.85M

A 9 year old boy, who has amazing talent as an amateur inventor, seeks clues left behind from his father. His social anxiety caused by Aspergers syndrome makes his travels across New York City a frightening & challenging adventure.

17. Martian Child (2007)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
48 Metascore

A science-fiction writer, recently widowed, considers whether to adopt a hyper-imaginative 6-year-old abandoned and socially rejected boy who says he's really from Mars.

Director: Menno Meyjes | Stars: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman, Sophie Okonedo

Votes: 18,377 | Gross: $7.49M

18. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 120,178 | Gross: $75.33M