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50+ Famous Movies About Drug Addiction

Ranker Film

More than 1,300 movie fans have come together to cast their votes for the best drug abuse movies. From harrowing tales of addiction and recovery to comedies that explore the life of a substance abuser, these films provide an enticing window into the world of drug use and its consequences.

Some of the most powerful entries on this list include Requiem For A Dream and Trainspotting , two hard-hitting stories about young people facing destruction from heroin addiction. The former is an intense journey through despair and hopelessness, while the latter offers more darkly comic take on similar themes. Other famous movies about drug addiction include Flight , Leaving Las Vegas , and Ben Is Back .

These types of movies are essential viewing for those looking to gain insight into the difficult but important subject matter surrounding drugs and alcohol abuse. So why not check out our rankings today? And don't forget to vote up your favorites on our list.


Available On:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream

The Basketball Diaries

The Basketball Diaries




new movies about drugs

new movies about drugs

40+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction

Ranker Film

Watching a good film can provide all of the chaos of drug use without all the messy side effects. Dramas about drugs and addiction often feature the fraught relationships, desperation, and strife associated with being in the throes of addiction. This is a list of great drug drama movies featuring everything from Trainspotting to Requiem for a Dream to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas .

What films will you find on this list of drug dramas? Maybe you'll want to vote  Trainspotting up to the top. Ewan McGregor stars as a heroin addict who will do anything for that next fix in this 1996 film. Painful withdrawals, drug deals gone wrong, and inappropriate relationships all add to tension of this heroin drama. The Panic in Needle Park , starring Al Pacino, is another good addiction movie. The cinematography of Spun only enhances the nervousness and hyperactivity that the movie's characters are feeling after taking meth. Other good films featured on this roundup of dramas about addiction include Shame , Traffic , and Half Nelson .

Which drug addiction movie do you like the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any notable films that are missing.



Available On:


The Basketball Diaries

The Basketball Diaries


Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream

Drugstore Cowboy

Drugstore Cowboy

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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15 movies about drugs that you should watching update 03/2023.

Movies About Drugs

Whether you’re a Blow fan or not, these are some of the best movies about addiction and drugs out there.

All areas of modern culture, whether it’s a hip-hop song, an erotic romance, or an image on our screens, involve drugs, which continue to captivate our society. Breaking Bad (2008) and Narcos (2015) have sparked a surge in the depiction of drugs in popular culture.

It’s hard to find a list of movies about drugs without include the widely acclaimed dramaBlow (2001). If you enjoyed Blow, then check out these other films about drugs.

As of the 6th of December, 2020, this page has been updated by Mark Birrell.

Fans of both Johnny Depp and movies about the drug trade adore Ted Demme’s Blow, despite its mixed critical reception upon its initial release, which led to Penelope Cruz’s Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress. We’ve upped the number of our recommendations to 15 in light of the film’s only grown popularity over time, in order to better assist individuals who are searching for comparable stories.

1. American Made (2017)

American Made (2017)

Actor Tom Cruise portrays Barry Seal, the pilot who became significantly involved in smuggling of cocaine in from South America to U.S. throughout 1980s, in this drama that goes deeper into the mechanics of the drug trade, including CIA cooperation with the Medellin Cartel and the Nicaraguan Contras.

Cruise’s star power is more than enough to please fans of Johnny Depp’s powerful performance as George Jung in American Made, which deals with a lot of the same subject matter and time periods as Blow but from a different perspective.

2. Mr. Nice (2010)

Adapted from the true story of a notorious drug dealer from the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Nice dramatizes the life of Howard Marks, a man deeply involved in the illicit drug trade, notably in the distribution of marijuana.

It may be argued that Marks’ narrative is an alternate version of Jung’s withinBlow, revealing what might have happened if Jung had stayed with his initial business of smuggling marijuana, but Marks had more than his fair share of encounters with the law throughout his journey.

3. Dope (2015)

Dope (2015)

Dopeis more in the manner of John Hughes than Martin Scorsese, but it will undoubtedly appeal to lovers of Blow’s wildest moments, a far more generally happy film about young people attempting to survive the drug trade.

Inglewood, California is the setting for a narrative about a naive adolescent who gets sucked into an odyssey with a misplaced MDMA and is carried on a journey of self-discovery.

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

What really defines Jordan Belfort is his addiction to quaaludes, but The Wolf of Wall Streetis also about the real drug at the center ofBlow (money), but also about Belfort’s several other addictions, including cocaine and heroin.

Martin Scorsese’s trademark aesthetic is the major selling point of this film, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead performance and the supporting work of Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie in particular. Goodfellas is one of the few legitimate sequels to The Wolf of Wall Street, whichBlowso plainly emulating throughout.

5.  Party Monster (2003)

Party Monster (2003)

In a true story, Macaulay Culkin plays Michael Alig, a convicted murderer and pioneer of the New York City rave movement in the late 1980s. After appearing on daytime chat shows likeThe Phil Donahue Show, Alig also established the ‘Club Kids’, a fantastic bunch of youthful partygoers who became a sensation after making appearances on the show. In this 2003 cult classic, Seth Green played James St. James, a major member of the band.

Andre “Angel” Melendez, a fellow ‘Club Kids’ member, was murdered and dismembered by Alig after he made a joke about the murder on television. It’s one of the few films to mention ketamine, a dissociative tranquilizer common in rave culture. The movie has a lot of drug use.

6. Pineapple Express (2008)

Seth Rogen reunites with Judd Apatow and Adam Goldberg to write this funny stoner comedy after his appearances in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) and Knocked Up (2007) were critically acclaimed successes.

Pineapple Express tells the story of Dale Denton (Rogen), a stoner process server who witnesses a murder with his half-baked drug dealer Saul (Jason Sudeikis) (James Franco).

This leads to an action-packed wild goose chase, as the drug lord (Gary Cole), a corrupt detective (Rosie Perez), and a murderer are all hot on the trail of the duo, who accidently drop a roach of “Pineapple Express” at the scene of the crime.

Pineapple Express is the pinnacle of stoner cinema and a natural fit for this list.

7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Hunter S. Thompson’s critically acclaimed work, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” is the inspiration for this list, which incorporates Johnny Depp’s lead role in “Blow” (2001). For the motorcycle race in Las Vegas, sports writer Raoul Duke (Depp) and attorney Dr. Gonzo (Del Toro) drive over the Mojave desert in a red convertible.

While on their journey to pursue the American Dream, Duke and his attorney spin out of control with several drug binges and police, hitchhikers, gamblers and other colorful people derail their eventual goal in their pursuit of the “American Dream.” A wide variety of substances, primarily psychedelics like LSD and mescaline, are featured in the film.

8. Thirteen (2003)

When Evan Rachel Wood was cast as Tracy Freeland, the honor student who falls into the wrong crowd, this frightening independent film gave her her breakout role. A popular and promiscuous high school classmate, Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed), has swayed a young woman named Tracy to reject the counsel or assistance of her mother (Holly Hunter).

Tracy begins to steal, take drugs, and participate in dangerous sexual behaviors after being influenced by Evie. Tracy and Evie’s huffing and punching each other after they were numb from Dust-Off shocked spectators, who were just thirteen years old at the time. The movieatfifteen was co-written by Nikki Reed based on her own experiences and missteps.

9. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

With a no-holds-barred approach, Requiem For a Dream follows the lives of four heroin users who are entangled. Ellen Burstyn’s Ellen Goldfarb is a retired widow who spends her days watching a daytime talk show and relying on her diet pills to keep her sane. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) and Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) become increasingly dependent on heroin, as does Harry’s lover Marion (Marisa Tomei) (Jennifer Connelly).

Mrs. Goldfarb is eventually lobotomized in a mental institution and Marion’s sexual depravity is revealed in her desperate attempts to obtain drug money as the film swaps narratives between four different drug users. Requiem For a Dream makes a good job of drawing parallels between illegal drugs and prescription medications, illustrating how similar their effects are.

10. Trainspotting (1996)

Trainspotting, based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name, is always mentioned when discussing drug-related movies.. Renton (Ewan McGregor), the film’s protagonist, struggles to escape Edinburgh’s drug-infested streets.

Sobriety is more difficult for Renton than he imagined because of the influence of his friends’ addictions and the relaxing effect that consuming drugs has on him. Trainspotting is a harsh, unfiltered depiction of the lives of drug addicts, and it will always be one of the most iconic drug flicks.

11. Enter the Void (2009)

Enter the Void is one of the less popular movies to make the cut, but it has a very interesting plot! Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a heroin dealer who was shot dead by police in a Tokyo nightclub restroom, goes on a DMT trip with his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta), a former dancer who now works as a prostitute.

Oscar’s journey into “the void” reveals how this pair of siblings found themselves in Tokyo’s gloomy night scene, giving up the authority he once held over the city.

12. Spun (2002)

Spun (2002)

Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, and Jason Schwartzman star in this underappreciated drug drama. As depicted through the eyes of drug user Ross (Schwartzman),Spun depicts methamphetamine addiction in all its raw, unadulterated, and unflinching glory. Through his supplier, Spider Mike (John Leguizamo), Nikki Murphy (Murphy) and “The Cook” (Rourke), Nikki’s meth-chemist boyfriend, Ross meets fellow druggie Nikki.

Scenes in Spun that are less-than-tame include duct-taped stripper mouths as they are bound to Ross’ bed, Mena Suvari’s Cookie, Spider Mike’s insane lover, and an ultra-realistic drug psychosis.

13. Kids (1995)

Harmony Korine’s cult masterpiece, Kidsis, is often referred to as a cautionary tale in reference to the film Spring Breakers (2012) and Gummo (1997). After starring in Kids, Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson both went on to have successful careers. An entire day of skateboarding in New York City is depicted in the film, which features a group of teenagers smoking, punching each other in the head, and deflowering each other’s virginity.

When Chloe Sevigny’s character Jennie takes a random pill from a raver who claims the substance will “make Special K look feeble,” the film’s most notable drug use is depicted. The MPAA gave Kids an NC-17 classification, which was eventually withdrawn.

14. Limitless (2011)

Flowers for Algernon fans will be delighted by Limitless. A seemingly-cure-all tablet known as “NZT” causes Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) to lose control and demand more of the power-drug in order to live up to his newfound potential after taking it.

Limitless highlights the idea that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side through Eddie’s downward spiral and full misdirection from his original objective.

15. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

To add to the occultism of this Keanu Reeves film, A Scanner Darkly employs interpolatedrotoscope, a technique where animators trace over live-action video.

Agent Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves), in a dystopian authoritarian state where the war on drugs has been lost, begins to use ‘Substance D,’ a debilitating new hallucinogen.

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