The way that filmmakers often use the grave topic of drug abuse and the implications that it bears on an individual with regards to his surroundings has been an area of tremendous interest. While the way drug addiction is depicted on screen has changed and evolved over the years, the fact that it remains a widely talked about topic and one favored by brilliant directors hasn’t.
We all know that drug addiction is a serious illness; one that demands attention. It comes as no surprise that many filmmakers have made wonderful films over the years that address the issues related to drug abuse and how it destroys lives.
We have made you a list of 7 such movies that boldly depict the problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. While these movies may be critically acclaimed, they also leave us with the feeling that drug abuse is a serious problem. Take a look at the movies that portray drug and alcohol abuse at its finest:
Requiem For A Dream (2000)
One word that best describes this movie that was released in 2000 is perhaps, dark. From the setting of the movie to the characters in it, everything seems to have a very dark side to them. Even the storyline itself can be called a dark examination of the role that addiction plays across two generations. Director Darren Aronofsky has wonderfully depicted the state of mind that many addicts go through in this movie. There is a reason why this film was nominated for several awards and received critical acclaim.
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Released in 1996, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting remains to be one of the greatest movies on drug addiction. It is largely based on Irvine Walsh’s book of the same name. Again, dark seems to be the subject here, which is obvious given the fact that drug addicts don’t have very bright lives. The movie talks about the journey of a man in Edinburg, caught up in the addiction of heroin due to the drug scene that prevails in the city. He tries to give his addiction up for his friends and family. The movie is a story of this man’s quest to give up his heroin habit.
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This 2012 movie tells us the story of Whip Whitaker who is a commercial pilot. On one of his flight's something goes wrong and he starts to lose control of the plane. Whip crashes the plane heroically to save all the people on board. However, the narrative becomes glum when after this incident; Whip is informed that he has been tested positive for alcohol and cocaine. He denies being impaired while at work. From here, the narrative is all about Whip’s journey to try and quit his addictions, however, quitting is not easy as it seems.
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The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
One of the most popular movies of all time, this Leonardo DiCaprio starrer doesn’t have drugs at its main core, unlike the other movies on this list. However, that being said, it doesn’t mean that DiCaprio’s serious addiction to cocaine and other drugs don’t have implications on his life. Though the movie is largely funny, the protagonist’s addiction to drug costs his friends, family and eventually freedom.
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Less Than Zero (1987)
We all know the story of Robert Downey Jr. and his pursuits with drug addiction. This 1987 movie is very similar to his life. We meet Clay, a strait-laced college freshman, who has come to LA to spend some time with his family. He learns that his ex-girlfriend is now involved with his ex-best friend Julian and upon confrontation, she says that Julian needs some serious help. He has been addicted to cocaine and has acquired a massive debt to buy it from the dealers. What unfolds from there on is a bold portrayal of the youth culture which comes from wealthy and affluent families in Beverly Hills. The film comes with a powerful anti-drug message too.
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Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Midnight Cowboy was one of the first movies to talk about drug addiction and the associated despairs of it in full details. This XXXX movie is considered to be the finest role that Dustin Hoffman ever played and remains, even to this date, the only X-Rated movie to win Academy Award for the Best Picture.
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The Verdict (1982)
This Paul Newman starrer is considered to be a classic movie to portray drug abuse and its implications. The film ranks 91st in the Writer’s Guild of America’s 101 greatest screenplays. Frank Gavin, played by Newman, was once a prominent lawyer but his eventual addiction to drugs and especially alcohol led his shameful fall from grace. He eventually becomes an ambulance-chasing alcoholic and finds himself standing at a juncture that might change his life forever.
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