Top 80 Alcohol/Drug Addiction Movies

by transitasis | created - 07 Nov 2012 | updated - 01 Jul 2016 | Public
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1. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 28,859 | Gross: $9.46M

2. Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 48,217 | Gross: $12.54M

3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson

Votes: 38,215 | Gross: $17.57M

4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | 131 min | Drama

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 61,668

5. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 7,946

6. Bad Lieutenant (1992)

NC-17 | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness and redemption.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frank Acciarito, Peggy Gormley

Votes: 32,913 | Gross: $2.00M

7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

41 Metascore

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Michael Lee Gogin

Votes: 232,784 | Gross: $10.68M

8. Some Came Running (1958)

Approved | 137 min | Drama, Romance

Dave Hirsch, a writer and an army veteran winds up in his small Indiana hometown, to the dismay of his respectable older brother. He meets and befriends various different characters and tries to figure out what to do with his life.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer

Votes: 4,715

9. Bigger Than Life (1956)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon

Votes: 5,744

10. Drunken Angel (1948)

Unrated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Reizaburô Yamamoto, Michiyo Kogure

Votes: 8,003

11. The Fire Within (1963)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol. Although he is constantly distressed, he leaves the hospital and tries to meet good ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Maurice Ronet, Léna Skerla, Yvonne Clech, Hubert Deschamps

Votes: 6,521

12. Withnail & I (1987)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

Director: Bruce Robinson | Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown

Votes: 34,672 | Gross: $1.54M

13. Traffic (2000)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas

Votes: 181,182 | Gross: $124.12M

14. James White (2015)

R | 85 min | Drama

83 Metascore

James, a twenty-something New Yorker, struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.

Director: Josh Mond | Stars: Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Kid Cudi, Ron Livingston

Votes: 4,674 | Gross: $0.09M

15. Flight (I) (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman

Votes: 289,409 | Gross: $93.77M

16. Christiane F. (1981)

R | 138 min | Biography, Drama

This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck, Lothar Chamski

Votes: 18,271

17. Whisky Galore (1949)

Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Crime

Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seton

Votes: 4,121

18. The Iceman Cometh (1973)

PG | 239 min | Drama

A salesman with a sudden passion for reform has an idea to sell to his barfly buddies: throw away your pipe dreams. The drunkards, living in a flophouse above a saloon, resent the idea.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Lee Marvin, Fredric March, Robert Ryan, Jeff Bridges

Votes: 1,188

19. Oslo, 31. august (2011)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

84 Metascore

One day in the life of Anders, a young recovering drug addict, who takes a brief leave from his treatment center to interview for a job and catch up with old friends in Oslo.

Director: Joachim Trier | Stars: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Malin Crépin

Votes: 16,163 | Gross: $0.10M

20. I Want to Live! (1958)

Approved | 120 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 4,916

21. Love Streams (1984)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 3,880

22. Whisky (2004)

94 min | Comedy, Drama

66 Metascore

When his long-lost brother resurfaces, Jacobo, desperate to prove his life has added up to something, looks to scrounge up a wife. He turns to Marta, an employee at his sock factory, with ... See full summary »

Directors: Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll | Stars: Andrés Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolani, José Pedro Bujaruz

Votes: 4,385

23. Trees Lounge (1996)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

Tommy is an unemployed mechanic who spends most of his time in a bar (Trees Lounge) in a small blue collar town. He seems to always be thinking, "If only X then I could stop drinking".

Director: Steve Buscemi | Stars: Steve Buscemi, Carol Kane, Mark Boone Junior, Bronson Dudley

Votes: 12,215 | Gross: $0.70M

24. Wake in Fright (1971)

R | 109 min | Drama, Thriller

88 Metascore

After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay

Votes: 7,594 | Gross: $0.05M

25. Barfly (1987)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Alice Krige, Jack Nance

Votes: 16,312 | Gross: $3.22M

26. Pod mocnym aniolem (2014)

110 min | Drama

Jerzy is a celebrity writer and a chronic alcoholic who camouflages his drinking problem with his wits and charm. As a frequent visitor of the rehab center, he meets fellow addicts from all walks of life and social backgrounds.

Director: Wojciech Smarzowski | Stars: Robert Wieckiewicz, Julia Kijowska, Adam Woronowicz, Jacek Braciak

Votes: 1,750

27. Aberdeen (2000)

106 min | Drama

78 Metascore

Kaisa is a Scot, a successful London lawyer, who snorts coke and has one-night stands with strangers. Her mother calls from Aberdeen with some story begging her to fly to Norway and collect... See full summary »

Director: Hans Petter Moland | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Lena Headey, Jean Anderson, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 2,803 | Gross: $0.06M

28. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 663,393 | Gross: $3.64M

29. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

Director: Mike Figgis | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, Richard Lewis

Votes: 102,192 | Gross: $31.97M

30. Smashed (2012)

R | 81 min | Drama

71 Metascore

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally

Votes: 15,170 | Gross: $0.38M

31. 1982 (I) (2013)

R | 90 min | Drama

A father struggles to protect his daughter from the reality of her mother's drug addiction.

Director: Tommy Oliver | Stars: Bokeem Woodbine, Sharon Leal, Quinton Aaron, Wayne Brady

Votes: 189

32. Bænken (2000)

93 min | Drama

Kaj is an alcoholic living on the money the Danish state is providing him. Him and his friends spend their time drinking beer at a public bench. One day Kaj's life turns upside down when a young lady and her child moves in next to him.

Director: Per Fly | Stars: Jesper Christensen, Marius Sonne Janischefska, Stine Holm Joensen, Nicolaj Kopernikus

Votes: 3,562

33. Das weiße Rauschen (2001)

109 min | Drama

Kati, Jochen and Lukas take a trip on magic mushrooms. Lukas is not coming back.

Directors: Hans Weingartner, Tobias Amann | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Anabelle Lachatte, Patrick Joswig, Karl Danguillier

Votes: 2,947

34. Tender Mercies (1983)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Music

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley

Votes: 8,010 | Gross: $8.44M

35. Submarino (2010)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

Two brothers meet at their mother's funeral, each in his way on a path of self-destruction, both haunted by a tragedy in their youth.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Gustav Fischer Kjærulff, Sebastian Bull Sarning, Mads Broe Andersen, Jakob Cedergren

Votes: 8,306

36. Rosetta (1999)

R | 95 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Young and impulsive Rosetta lives with her alcoholic mother and, moved by despair, she will do anything to maintain a job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Émilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione, Anne Yernaux, Olivier Gourmet

Votes: 10,741 | Gross: $0.26M

37. 4 (2004)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

Meat merchant Oleg, prostitute Marina, and piano tuner "simply Volodya" drop into an all-night bar in Moscow, where they are served by a narcoleptic bartender (three plus one is four) while... See full summary »

Director: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy | Stars: Yuriy Laguta, Marina Vovchenko, Sergey Shnurov, Andrei Kudriashov

Votes: 1,834

38. Less Than Zero (1987)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader

Votes: 16,119 | Gross: $12.40M

39. Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Romance

An emotionally remote recovering alcoholic and his dowdy, unambitious wife face a personal crisis when they take in an attractive lodger.

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shirley Booth, Terry Moore, Richard Jaeckel

Votes: 3,813

40. I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Passed | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Eddie Albert, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 1,614

41. Under the Volcano (1984)

R | 112 min | Drama

The last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a lonely, depressed English consul who retreats to alcohol for solace.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews, Ignacio López Tarso

Votes: 4,113 | Gross: $2.56M

42. Love in Thoughts (2004)

89 min | Drama, Romance

A posthumous look at the last days of Guenther's life as he, his best friend, and his sister let loose on a four-day binge of alcohol, drugs, and sex.

Director: Achim von Borries | Stars: Daniel Brühl, August Diehl, Anna Maria Mühe, Jana Pallaske

Votes: 3,673

43. The Right Way (2004)

R | 77 min | Comedy, Drama

Amy and David are two underachievers from suburbia. Amy has had a rough life raised by her neglectful drug addicted single mother. David has been raised in a more conventional family, but ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Penney | Stars: Karyn Dwyer, Jefferson Brown, Gloria Slade, James McGowan

Votes: 1,360 | Gross: $0.32M

44. The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama

Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch

Votes: 3,621

45. Feux rouges (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

Antoine and Helene drive to South France to return their kids from a holiday camp. The traffic is dense and the atmosphere growingly tense; he is an alcoholic and becomes increasingly drunk... See full summary »

Director: Cédric Kahn | Stars: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard, Alain Dion

Votes: 2,411 | Gross: $0.05M

46. Trainspotting (1996)

R | 94 min | Drama

83 Metascore

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.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd

Votes: 559,374 | Gross: $16.50M

47. The Angels' Share (2012)

101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Narrowly avoiding jail, new dad Robbie vows to turn over a new leaf. A visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, Roger Allam, Gary Maitland

Votes: 20,684 | Gross: $0.30M

48. Wanda (1970)

GP | 102 min | Crime, Drama

In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Loden | Stars: Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins, Dorothy Shupenes, Peter Shupenes

Votes: 1,765

49. Svinalängorna (2010)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

A drama set in 1970s Sweden and centered on a young woman's experiences growing up in a home riddled with abuse and alcoholism.

Director: Pernilla August | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Ola Rapace, Outi Mäenpää, Ville Virtanen

Votes: 3,403