Child abuse in movies

by carpediemalready | created - 11 Jan 2016 | updated - 11 Feb 2016 | Public

Movies featuring mention or visual depictions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of kids.

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1. Running Scared (2006)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

A low-ranking thug is entrusted by his crime boss to dispose of a gun that killed corrupt cops, but things get out of control when the gun ends up in wrong hands.

Director: Wayne Kramer | Stars: Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Chazz Palminteri, Vera Farmiga

Votes: 94,406 | Gross: $6.86M

2. The Boys of St. Vincent (1992 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama

The true story of boys being sexually abused at their orphanage ran by a religious community in Newfoundland.

Director: John N. Smith | Stars: Henry Czerny, Johnny Morina, Brian Dooley, Philip Dinn

Votes: 1,461 | Gross: $0.20M

3. The Boys of St. Vincent: 15 Years Later (1992 TV Movie)

R | 90 min | Drama

Fifteen years after the events of The Boys of St. Vincent took place, the various boys involved are brought in to testify against the brothers, now finally standing trial, who assaulted ... See full summary »

Director: John N. Smith | Stars: Henry Czerny, Sebastian Spence, Lise Roy, David Hewlett

Votes: 446

4. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004)

R | 97 min | Drama

27 Metascore

Seven-year-old Jeremiah is pulled from his foster home and thrown into a troubled life on the road with his teenage mother, Sarah.

Director: Asia Argento | Stars: Asia Argento, Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, Jimmy Bennett

Votes: 6,088 | Gross: $0.03M

5. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 63,077 | Gross: $0.70M

6. Fireflies in the Garden (2008)

R | 120 min | Drama

34 Metascore

The Taylor family is devastated by an accident that takes place on the day their matriarch is due to graduate from college -- decades after leaving to raise her children.

Director: Dennis Lee | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 11,970 | Gross: $3.39M

7. Gardens of the Night (2008)

R | 110 min | Drama

43 Metascore

After being abducted as children, and suffering years of abuse, a teenage boy and girl find themselves living on the street.

Director: Damian Harris | Stars: Gillian Jacobs, John Malkovich, Ryan Simpkins, Tom Arnold

Votes: 4,061

8. The Cell (2000)

R | 107 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

40 Metascore

An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.

Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, Colton James

Votes: 90,396 | Gross: $61.33M

9. For the Love of a Child (2006 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 80 min | Drama

In the 1950s, two actresses set up a charity home for "orphans" (children who were purposely abandoned and shunned because of their mixed ethnicity). The children find themselves being loved and looked after properly.

Director: Douglas Barr | Stars: Peri Gilpin, Teri Polo, Maria del Mar, John Pyper-Ferguson

Votes: 345

10. Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

94 min | Drama, History

The true story of a single teacher's courage to stand up against an untouchable prefect's sadistic disciplinary regime and other abuse in a Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School in 1939 Ireland.

Director: Aisling Walsh | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Iain Glen, Marc Warren, Dudley Sutton

Votes: 3,539

11. Bereavement (2010)

R | 103 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

The horrific account of 6 year old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.

Director: Stevan Mena | Stars: Michael Biehn, Alexandra Daddario, Brett Rickaby, Nolan Gerard Funk

Votes: 6,285

12. Sybil (1976)

198 min | Biography, Drama

A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor.

Stars: Joanne Woodward, Sally Field, Brad Davis, Martine Bartlett

Votes: 6,059

13. Sybil (2007 TV Movie)

89 min | Drama

A true story of a young woman whose abusive childhood results in her developing a multiple personality disorder.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Jessica Lange, Tammy Blanchard, Ron White, JoBeth Williams

Votes: 1,362

14. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director: Frank Perry | Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 13,135 | Gross: $19.03M

15. This Boy's Life (1993)

R | 115 min | Biography, Drama

60 Metascore

The story about the relationship between a rebellious 1950s teenager and his abusive stepfather, based on the memoirs of writer and literature Professor Tobias Wolff.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin, Jonah Blechman

Votes: 43,003 | Gross: $4.10M

16. 10½ (2010)

108 min | Drama

Tommy, 10 years old, is well known by Social Services. He is considered a danger to society. Gilles, his guardian at this halfway house, sees potential for redemption in this kid driven by violence.

Director: Daniel Grou | Stars: Claude Legault, Robert Naylor, Eugénie Beaudry, Blaise Tardif

Votes: 584

17. Spotlight (I) (2015)

R | 129 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 370,848 | Gross: $45.06M

18. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 938,705 | Gross: $19.50M

19. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 777,185 | Gross: $138.43M

20. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 201,741 | Gross: $50.28M

21. Short Term 12 (2013)

R | 96 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton | Stars: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever

Votes: 74,019 | Gross: $1.01M

22. Sleepers (1996)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Thirteen years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric

Votes: 176,389 | Gross: $49.10M

23. Thirteen (2003)

R | 100 min | Drama

70 Metascore

A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Vanessa Hudgens

Votes: 76,252 | Gross: $4.60M

24. Sling Blade (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

Votes: 82,193 | Gross: $24.48M

25. Precious (II) (2009)

R | 110 min | Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey

Votes: 100,751 | Gross: $47.40M

26. The Girl Next Door (2007)

R | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

29 Metascore

Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.

Director: Gregory Wilson | Stars: William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker, Kevin Chamberlin

Votes: 21,636

27. An American Crime (2007)

R | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

Director: Tommy O'Haver | Stars: Ellen Page, Hayley McFarland, Nick Searcy, Romy Rosemont

Votes: 30,175

28. Martyrs (2008)

R | 99 min | Horror

A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Director: Pascal Laugier | Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin, Robert Toupin

Votes: 75,372

29. Anna (VII) (2013)

R | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A man with the ability to enter people's memories takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled sixteen-year-old girl to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma.

Director: Jorge Dorado | Stars: Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga, Brian Cox, Saskia Reeves

Votes: 19,969 | Gross: $0.00M

30. The Club (2015)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A crisis counselor is sent by the Catholic Church to a small Chilean beach town where disgraced Priests and nuns, suspected of crimes ranging from child abuse to baby-snatching from unwed mothers, live secluded, after an incident occurs.

Director: Pablo Larraín | Stars: Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farías, Antonia Zegers, Marcelo Alonso

Votes: 8,290 | Gross: $0.03M

31. White Oleander (2002)

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama

61 Metascore

A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion.

Director: Peter Kosminsky | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger, Robin Wright, Alison Lohman

Votes: 28,368 | Gross: $16.35M

32. Flowers in the Attic (1987)

PG-13 | 93 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

25 Metascore

Children are hidden away in the attic by their conspiring mother and grandmother.

Director: Jeffrey Bloom | Stars: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams

Votes: 8,700 | Gross: $15.15M

33. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 93,366

34. Freeway (1996)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A twisted take on "Little Red Riding Hood", with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker travelling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer and pedophile.

Director: Matthew Bright | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Bokeem Woodbine, Paul Perri

Votes: 24,876 | Gross: $0.30M

35. Antwone Fisher (2002)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

62 Metascore

Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Joy Bryant, Malcolm David Kelley

Votes: 30,874 | Gross: $21.08M

36. Boy A (2007)

R | 102 min | Drama

75 Metascore

The story of a young Jack, newly released from serving a prison sentence for a violent crime he committed as a child.

Director: John Crowley | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan, Shaun Evans, Siobhan Finneran

Votes: 35,856 | Gross: $0.11M

37. 3096 Days (2013)

111 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A young Austrian girl is kidnapped and held in captivity for eight years. Based on the factual case of Natascha Kampusch.

Director: Sherry Hormann | Stars: Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Thure Lindhardt, Amelia Pidgeon, Trine Dyrholm

Votes: 9,031

38. Lilya 4-Ever (2002)

R | 109 min | Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.

Director: Lukas Moodysson | Stars: Oksana Akinshina, Artyom Bogucharskiy, Pavel Ponomaryov, Lyubov Agapova

Votes: 40,125 | Gross: $0.18M

39. Trade (I) (2007)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

42 Metascore

Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother, Jorge, to save her. Trapped and terrified ... See full summary »

Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner | Stars: Kevin Kline, Kathleen Gati, Paulina Gaitan, Cesar Ramos

Votes: 16,169 | Gross: $0.21M

40. Mississippi Damned (2009)

TV-MA | 120 min | Drama

Three poor Black kids in rural Mississippi reap the consequences of their family's cycle of abuse, addiction, and violence.

Director: Tina Mabry | Stars: Adam Clark, Malcolm Goodwin, Michael Hyatt, Malcolm David Kelley

Votes: 803

41. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

PG | 94 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

80 Metascore

In 1931, three half-white, half-Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their houses to be trained as domestic staff, and set off on a journey across the Outback.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh, Laura Monaghan

Votes: 26,135 | Gross: $6.17M

42. Evil (2003)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama

61 Metascore

A teenage boy expelled from school for fighting arrives at a boarding school where the systematic bullying of younger students is encouraged as a means to maintain discipline, and decides to fight back.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: Andreas Wilson, Henrik Lundström, Gustaf Skarsgård, Linda Zilliacus

Votes: 33,823 | Gross: $0.02M

43. Radio Flyer (1992)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama

A father recounts a dark period of his childhood when he and his little brother lived in the suburbs.

Directors: Richard Donner, David Mickey Evans | Stars: Lorraine Bracco, John Heard, Adam Baldwin, Elijah Wood

Votes: 11,704 | Gross: $4.65M

44. The Woodsman (2004)

R | 87 min | Drama

72 Metascore

A child molester returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison and attempts to start a new life.

Director: Nicole Kassell | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Yasiin Bey, David Alan Grier

Votes: 30,570 | Gross: $0.04M

45. Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

R | 98 min | Drama

75 Metascore

A mother and daughter find their lives adversely affected when a new man enters the picture. Will their family ever be what they expect?

Director: Anjelica Huston | Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ron Eldard, Glenne Headly, Lyle Lovett

Votes: 3,895

46. The War Zone (1999)

R | 98 min | Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

An alienated teenager, saddened that he has moved away from London, must find a way to deal with a dark family secret.

Director: Tim Roth | Stars: Ray Winstone, Annabelle Apsion, Kate Ashfield, Lara Belmont

Votes: 9,111 | Gross: $0.25M

47. Affliction (1997)

R | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

79 Metascore

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Brigid Tierney

Votes: 13,964 | Gross: $6.30M

48. Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

Graham, a lonely Welsh postal worker, adopts James, a troubled ten-year-old boy. Graham always wanted a son, but James loves his biological father too much to give Graham a chance. Will the two be able to accept each other as family?

Director: Chris Menges | Stars: William Hurt, Nathan Yapp, Keith Allen, Chris Cleary Miles

Votes: 1,392 | Gross: $0.09M

49. Sherrybaby (2006)

R | 96 min | Drama

6.6