The Best TV Shows and Movies About Alcoholism, Ranked

A man arrives in Las Vegas with one aim – to drink himself to death. That’s the premise of Mike Figgis’ searing film, which earned Nicolas Cage a deserved Best Actor Oscar. Renowned for his wayward performances, often running the gamut from eccentric to downright bizarre, here Cage channels his intensity inwards.

This time around, director James Ponsoldt chooses to focus on alcoholism and a couple’s efforts to overcome their addiction to alcohol. A career-best performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the wife who decides to change her ways and give up drinking is featured in this film. It is clear that alcoholism has a devastating effect on both a person’s personal and social life. Those alcoholics who are trying to get sober will learn a lot from this. While it’s not good for your health to drink too much, it’s perfect for a night at the movies.

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The shame and self doubt that we all face and the way alcohol is used to mask it all. The film portrays the very real struggles that we face in that everything looks great on the outside but we’re suffering on the inside. 100 Art Therapy Exercises The Updated and Improved List The Art of Emotional Healing by Shelley Klammer It deals with complex issues that come up such as questioning relationships, relapse and learning about who we are again. Unlike some films, alcoholism and the road to sobriety aren’t glamorized or made to look easy.

alcoholism movies

Eventually, when it seems that someone else who died in the crash will take the fall, the pilot admits to being drunk. One standout scene is the downing of a liberal glass of whisky to settle jangling nerves after a brutal fight sequence. But the key reason for Casino Royale making this list has to be Bond’s invention of the iconic ‘Vesper’ Martini and its subsequent appearance in cocktail bars up and down the land.

Related Read to Films With Addiction: Every James Ponsoldt Films Ranked

He has helped over 250,000 problem drinkers using his personal experience and professional training in the field of addiction recovery. After struggling with his own alcohol addiction issues, Craig went on a journey of self-discovery and learning, studying the underlying causes of alcohol use disorders and how to overcome them. He has since become a board-certified Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), The American Board of Hypnotherapy certified therapist, and an ICS-certified life coach specializing in alcohol addiction recovery.

alcoholism movies

Portraying an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter in the lucrative city of Las Vegas, he simply owns the role. In this heart-touching tale, he and Elisabeth Shue share a very emotional chemistry and we can’t help but feel empathetic for them. The film received numerous accolades and widespread praise from critics. Jerry Schatzberg’s gruelling drama takes a journey through the seedy underbelly of New York. “Needle Park”, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is a sleazy hang out spot for junkies.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995 )

Rourke and Dunaway impress, even if their antics occasionally veer towards the theatrical. This film is funny, light hearted and a little bit frustrating at the same time. It is nice to see someone who obviously has a lot of talent, charm and character finally get some confidence in himself instead of hiding behind the jokes and the bottle. The film shows just how much you can grow and develop as a person once you leave your addiction behind.

  • What we see is the dark reality of how alcoholism destroys the personal as well as social life of a person.
  • But his sobriety flounders when he finds a bottle of pills in his girlfriend’s parents’ medicine cabinet.
  • He has since become a board-certified Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), The American Board of Hypnotherapy certified therapist, and an ICS-certified life coach specializing in alcohol addiction recovery.
  • Starring Ed Harris in the titular role, this film explores the life of a painter and his early struggles to become successful.

This list is not intended to endorse or encourage the use (or misuse) of illegal drugs and/or alcohol. If you think you may be struggling with addiction or find this article triggering, please seek help. Our treatment programs allow people to overcome their addictive lifestyles and turn things around. When it played in the Cannes Film Festival, there were award nominations for Rourke and Dunaway.

We strive to make admission to Summit Malibu as simple and straightforward as possible. The rehab admission process can begin with a simple phone call to Summit Malibu, where our addiction treatment specialists are always available for confidential consultation. While most films are created to entertain us, the topics are often relatable to the intended audience. This is true for most genres, including comedy, suspense, drama, and thrillers. 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. A jailed drug baron’s wife attempts to carry on the family business.

He tries to detox but eventually relapses and starts prostituting himself to sustain his addiction. The film shows how Charles’ heroin addiction stems from the guilt he feels over his brother’s tragic death. While he’s releasing some of his biggest hits, Charles’ addiction continues to spiral until his mistress Margie Hendricks (Regina King) dies of an overdose and he’s arrested for narcotics possession in Montreal. Though Taylor Hackford’s “Ray” is a biopic about how Ray Charles became one of America’s greatest R&B musicians, a great deal of the film focuses on Charles’ heroin addiction, which led to his arrest in 1964. Charles’ (Jamie Foxx) childhood is marked by significant traumatic moments like the accidental death of his younger brother George and his own complete loss of vision at 7-years-old. Despite his blindness, Charles starts playing the piano and begins touring when he’s still a teenager, which is when he starts heavily using heroin.


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