Sort by Popularity - Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword "drug-money"
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1. Narcos (2015–2017)
TV-MA | 49 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A chronicled look at the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as well as the many other drug kingpins who plagued the country through the years.
Stars: Pedro Pascal , Wagner Moura , Boyd Holbrook , Alberto Ammann
2. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
R | 102 min | Drama
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: 854,089 | Gross: $3.64M
3. Training Day (2001)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington , Ethan Hawke , Scott Glenn , Tom Berenger
Votes: 445,813 | Gross: $76.63M
4. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
TV-MA | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Fugitive Jesse Pinkman runs from his captors, the law, and his past.
Director: Vince Gilligan | Stars: Aaron Paul , Jonathan Banks , Matt Jones , Charles Baker
5. The Room (2003)
R | 99 min | Drama
Johnny is a successful bank executive who lives quietly in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancee, Lisa. One day, setting aside any scruples, Lisa seduces Johnny's best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again.
Director: Tommy Wiseau | Stars: Tommy Wiseau , Juliette Danielle , Greg Sestero , Philip Haldiman
Votes: 91,079 | Gross: $0.56M
6. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.
Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Morgan Freeman , Ed Harris , Casey Affleck , Michelle Monaghan
Votes: 277,883 | Gross: $20.30M
7. Cardinal (2017–2020)
TV-MA | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cardinal struggles to right past wrongs that could derail his investigation and end his career, as the case grows more violent and twisted and the clock ticks down on the killer's next victim.
Stars: Billy Campbell , Karine Vanasse , Kristen Thomson , Glen Gould
8. Layer Cake (2004)
R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.
Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Daniel Craig , Sienna Miller , Michael Gambon , Tom Hardy
Votes: 186,632 | Gross: $2.34M
9. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.
Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson , Danny Glover , Joe Pesci , Patsy Kensit
Votes: 180,345 | Gross: $147.25M
10. The Next Three Days (2010)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder.
Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Russell Crowe , Elizabeth Banks , Liam Neeson , Michael Buie
Votes: 199,801 | Gross: $21.15M
11. A Day to Die (2022)
Connor Connolly has one day to pay reparations to Tyrone Pettis. He is forced to ask his old military ops crew, led by Brice Mason, to come together to get him two million dollars before he loses everyone he loves in the process.
Director: Wes Miller | Stars: Kevin Dillon , Bruce Willis , Frank Grillo , Gianni Capaldi
12. Pride and Glory (2008)
R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.
Director: Gavin O'Connor | Stars: Edward Norton , Colin Farrell , Noah Emmerich , Jon Voight
Votes: 61,918 | Gross: $15.71M
13. Craving (2023)
Approved | 83 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
A group of drug addicts are besieged by a group of mysterious figures inside a rural bar. As withdrawal starts to set in, a secret one of them is carrying threatens to destroy them all.
Director: J. Horton | Stars: Felissa Rose , Al Gomez , Holly Rockwell , Kevin Caliber
14. Next Day Air (2009)
R | 84 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Two inept criminals are mistakenly delivered a package of cocaine and think they've hit the jackpot, triggering a series of events that changes 10 people's lives forever.
Director: Benny Boom | Stars: Yasiin Bey , Mike Epps , Donald Faison , Wood Harris
Votes: 10,867 | Gross: $10.02M
15. Collection (II) (2021)
87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A grieving father grapples with the seedy, manipulative world of high stakes debt collection while struggling to shed the tragedies of his past. He'll find himself pitted against his best friend, his prodigy and his love.
Director: Marianna Palka | Stars: Alex Pettyfer , Shakira Barrera , Mike Vogel , Jacques Colimon
16. Birds of Passage (2018)
Not Rated | 125 min | Crime, Drama
During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.
Directors: Cristina Gallego , Ciro Guerra | Stars: Carmiña Martínez , José Acosta , Natalia Reyes , Jhon Narváez
Votes: 12,498 | Gross: $0.51M
17. Nine Dead (2009)
R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Nine strangers are kidnapped and forced to figure out the connection they have to each other as one has to die every ten minutes.
Director: Chris Shadley | Stars: Melissa Joan Hart , William Lee Scott , John Terry , James C. Victor
18. A Dangerous Man (2009 Video)
Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A man is, after 14 years in special ops and 6 years wrongfully imprisoned, in the middle of a Chinese triad/corrupt police shootout saving a Russian gangster's son and liberating a Chinese girl and a bag of money. The girl asks for help.
Director: Keoni Waxman | Stars: Steven Seagal , Marlaina Mah , Vitaly Kravchenko , Mike Dopud
19. Divines (2016)
105 min | Crime, Drama
A street teenager from a dysfunctional family from a banlieue (HLMs) in Paris comes across a young dancer who turns her life upside down.
Director: Houda Benyamina | Stars: Oulaya Amamra , Déborah Lukumuena , Kévin Mischel , Jisca Kalvanda
20. Company Business (1991)
PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A retired CIA agent is recruited to participate in a prisoner exchange with the Russians.
Director: Nicholas Meyer | Stars: Gene Hackman , Mikhail Baryshnikov , Kurtwood Smith , Terry O'Quinn
Votes: 3,060 | Gross: $1.50M
21. Funny Money (2006)
R | 98 min | Comedy
When Henry Perkins accidentally trades his briefcase with a man, he finds a million dollars inside. However, the cash draws in Mr. Big, who wants to reclaim his money.
Director: Leslie Greif | Stars: Chevy Chase , Penelope Ann Miller , Armand Assante , Christopher McDonald
Votes: 3,153 | Gross: $0.00M
22. Lascars (2009)
96 min | Animation, Comedy
Tony and Jose are best friends and petty crooks, but tension strikes the duo when Jose falls for the rich Clemence and wants to go straight.
Directors: Emmanuel Klotz , Albert Pereira-Lazaro | Stars: Vincent Cassel , Diane Kruger , Izm , Frédérique Bel
23. Mean Dreams (2016)
R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller
Follows Casey and Jonas, two teenagers desperate to escape their broken and abusive homes and examines the desperation of life on the run and the beauty of first love.
Director: Nathan Morlando | Stars: Josh Wiggins , Sophie Nélisse , Joe Cobden , Bill Paxton
24. Red Surf (1989)
R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A surfer enjoys life with drug money together with his gang in 1980s California. His girlfriend is pregnant and will not be in a house with drugs and guns and is going to Portland OR. Can he quit the drugs, the gang and that last big deal?
Director: H. Gordon Boos | Stars: George Clooney , Doug Savant , Dedee Pfeiffer , Philip McKeon
Votes: 713 | Gross: $0.01M
25. Huff (2013)
Not Rated | 92 min | Horror, Thriller
A maniacal killer tracks down three teenage runaways.
Director: Paul Morrell | Stars: Charlie O'Connell , Natasha Alam , Amber Marie Bollinger , Mayra Leal
26. Copper Bill (2020)
84 min | Thriller
Two thieves attempt to steal 80 million dollars of hidden Texas drug money from the famed ranch belonging to a dead member of the Cowboy Mafia.
Director: Brett Bentman | Stars: Thom Hallum , Dustin Rhodes , Kitty Harris , Arthur RedCloud
27. How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012)
Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Crime
Ten easy steps show you how to make money from drugs, featuring a series of interviews with drug dealers, prison employees, and lobbyists arguing for tougher drug laws.
Director: Matthew Cooke | Stars: 'Freeway' Ricky Ross , Susan Sarandon , David Simon , 50 Cent
Votes: 6,774 | Gross: $1.50M
28. Boys Cry (2018)
95 min | Crime, Drama
Mirko and Manolo are best friends and live in the suburbs of Rome. They both live in poor conditions with their single parents, are still in school and struggle with occasional odd jobs to ... See full summary »
Directors: Damiano D'Innocenzo , Fabio D'Innocenzo | Stars: Andrea Carpenzano , Matteo Olivetti , Milena Mancini , Massimiliano Tortora
29. Bantú Mama (2021)
77 min | Drama
After being arrested in the Dominican Republic, an Afropean woman escapes and is sheltered by 3 minors, in a dangerous district of Santo Domingo. By becoming their protégée and maternal figure, she will see her destiny change inexorably.
Director: Ivan Herrera | Stars: Clarisse Albrecht , Euris Javiel , Johnny Morales , Arturo Perez
30. Dangerous Heart (1994 TV Movie)
R | 93 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
A cop begins to turn to booze and coke during a tough undercover assignment. When a big drug-buy goes sour and the cop ends up with a million in cash, he decides to take off with the money.... See full summary »
Director: Michael M. Scott | Stars: Tim Daly , Lauren Holly , Alice Carter , Joe Pantoliano
31. La balada de los cuervos (2022)
A young priest is sent to a desolate town near the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. There he meets a young prostitute, thus unleashing a series of events and conflicts after discovering a network of human trafficking.
Director: Tony Bacigaluppe | Stars: Isabel Spencer , Gerardo Mercedes , Mario Sepúlveda , Canario Joseph
32. Cedar Boys (2009)
100 min | Crime, Drama
An edgy, tense drama which follows the lives of 3 young men from Sydney's outer west with dreams and desires to better themselves and fit into a more glamorous side of Sydney. But choosing a life of crime has its consequences.
Director: Serhat Caradee | Stars: Martin Henderson , Rachael Taylor , Sean Lynch , Ian Roberts
33. Perro callejero II (1981)
96 min | Drama, Action
After serving his sentence, "perro" returns to his old neighborhood.
Director: Gilberto Gazcón | Stars: Valentín Trujillo , Blanca Guerra , Patricia Rivera , Narciso Busquets
34. Chouf (2016)
108 min | Crime, Drama
Chouf: it means "look" in Arabic, but it is also the name of the watchmen in the drug cartels of Marseille. Sofiane is 20. A brilliant student, he comes back to spend his holiday in the ... See full summary »
Director: Karim Dridi | Stars: Sofian Khammes , Foued Nabba , Oussama Abdul Aal , Zine Darar
35. A Fire in the Cold Season (2019)
94 min | Drama, Thriller
A whisper through sprawling forests and highway towns - a reclusive trapper and a heartsick mother-to-be are stalked by violent outlaws.
Director: Justin Oakey | Stars: Stephen Oates , Michaela Kurimsky , Stephen Lush , Terry Ryan
36. King of the Avenue (2010)
R | 83 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller
A young drug dealer sells his soul to the devil in order to become the #1 seller on the block.
Director: Ryan Combs | Stars: Ving Rhames , Simon Rex , Esai Morales , Erick Nathan
37. Breathing Hard (2001)
93 min | Comedy, Drama
A struggling Hollywood writer takes a job as a driver for a cursing, cantankerous old British actress. She believes she has one great role left in her...and decides that it should be in his new play.
Director: Eric Neal Young | Stars: John Rafter Lee , June Claman , John Billingsley , Laura D'Arista Adam
38. The System Within (2006)
R | 108 min | Drama
Tony "Wise" Good is an internationally known model, but a corrupt government, greed and jealousy lead him to a rapid downward spiral into a living hell.
Director: Dale Resteghini | Stars: Nick D'Castro , Tariq Alexander , Kevin Atchison , Komplex Bernard
39. Wheels of Steel
Action, Biography, Crime | Announced
Now confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic, Hector Omero Rodriguez felt his life was over, it wasn't. He turned fate to fortune and rolled to the top of the brutal Gulf Coast Drug Cartel. Invisible to the DEA, he was making billions.
40. The Red One: Triumph (2000)
80 min | Crime, Drama
Directors: Vladimir Alenikov , Oleg Pogodin | Stars: Pyotr Ulyanov , Ekaterina Cherepukhina , Aram Gevorkyan , Lyanka Gryu
41. Hood (2011)
20 min | Short, Action, Adventure
In a London where the economy is dwindling and the young take on the burden of the older generations mistakes. A new form of political war between the older and younger generations has ... See full summary »
Director: Okorie Chukwu | Stars: Eke Chukwu , Okorie Chukwu , Raphael Courtenay , Emma Fischer
42. Disembraced (2004 Video)
5 min | Short, Drama
Joshua tells the story of his dear friend Johnny, from how they met, Johnny's lifestyle and his dealings with Cool Hand Rufus, until he can tell no more.
Director: Michael Naidos | Stars: James Kelly , Kane Arcadia , Steven Debrito , Adam Napier
43. The Debt of Maximillian (2019)
83 min | Drama, Thriller
Max is a family man who's addiction begins to pull him under. His younger brother may be his only hope, but luck plays a wicked game.
Director: Saxon Moen | Stars: Travis Lee Eller , Mark Valeriano , Angelica Briones , Kate Prendergast
44. Bread Thieves (2013)
73 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Forced to steal drug money to save his friends only to find out it belonged to the most dangerous criminal in the city, a young man's life spirals to the point even his own father wants him dead.
Director: Bryce Schlamp | Stars: Lisa Anthony , Darcy Clarke , Cassandra Dielschneider , Jerran Fraser
45. La dounia (2020)
20 min | Short, Drama
In Belleville, Reda tries to escape his reality as a drug dealer. He reads books and tries to preserve the little life that remains in his neighborhood.
Director: Adam Hegazy | Stars: Adam Hegazy , Abbes Zahmani , Abdoulaye Mangane , Ires Sandjon
46. Automan (1983–1984) Episode: Murder, Take One (1984)
47 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Former movie star Veronica Everly is suspected of the murder of gossip columnist Keith Gillette. Automan discovers a Hollywood producer Michael Hagedorn has a greater motive for the murder,... See full summary »
Director: Kim Manners | Stars: Desi Arnaz Jr. , Chuck Wagner , Heather McNair , Gerald S. O'Loughlin
47. Baretta (1975–1978) Episode: Walk Like You Talk (1975)
TV-PG | 51 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Baretta's partner (Michael Parks) accepts a bribe during a setup by the police commission, and because of interference by a careless cop who yearns to be a novelist, Baretta could go down with his friend.
Director: Charles S. Dubin | Stars: Robert Blake , Dana Elcar , Michael Parks , Lee de Broux
48. Kojak (1973–1978) Episode: A Hair-Trigger Away (1976)
TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A cop with an addicted girlfriend is determined to continue on the drug case he was working on, even after accidentally killing his own partner during an attempted arrest.
Director: Sigmund Neufeld Jr. | Stars: Telly Savalas , Dan Frazer , Kevin Dobson , George Savalas
49. L.A. Law (1986–1994) Episode: His Suit Is Hirsute (1989)
TV-PG | 48 min | Drama
Victor represents Markowitz and Kelsey when Tammy Harris, the teenage birth mother of their baby, brings a claim to get her baby back. Meanwhile, Abby's latest client, mobster Frank Weiland... See full summary »
Director: Win Phelps | Stars: Harry Hamlin , Susan Dey , Corbin Bernsen , Jill Eikenberry
50. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001–2011) Episode: Stray (2003)
TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Goren and Bishop investigate the brutal, execution-style slaying of two undercover cops and the trail leads them to a modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde".
Director: Frank Prinzi | Stars: Vincent D'Onofrio , Kathryn Erbe , Jamey Sheridan , Courtney B. Vance
15 Best Movies About Money, Power and Success You Must See
Success and money are two things that drive and inspire a human being the most. Who wouldn’t want to succeed in their lives and make lots of money? It is only human to desire and want and our passion is what makes all our lives worth living. But our methods to attain success may vary depending on the situation and how we adapt to the circumstances. People often twist their moral values and ethics to attain success and earn money. This article takes a look at the list of top films that explore success and money in ways that may be simple or twisted. You can watch some of these movies about money on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
15. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Yes, it’s extremely sentimental, simplistic and naive but it works for many reasons. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ tells a classic rags-to-riches American story about Christopher Gardner who works as a salesman but is facing some serious financial troubles. His wife leaves him and he is left to take care of their son while he takes up an unpaid internship in a brokerage firm. With a lot of hard work and determination, Gardner manages to seal the job at the firm as a full time stockbroker as in the end we are revealed that he went on to start his own multi-million dollar brokerage firm. It’s just a wonderfully made simplistic tale of hard work and success told with heart.
14. Boiler Room (2000)
‘Boiler Room’ is a film that had all the potential for a classic but just loses its way out towards the end. Nevertheless it’s an intriguing drama that explores success, guilt, loyalty and greed. Seth Davis is a young college dropout who runs a casino and earns a living out of it. However, his father is disappointed with him. He is then recruited to join a brokerage firm and it changes his life forever. He begins to earn a lot of money and becomes immensely successful and manages to gain his father’s approval. However, things don’t go well as the dirty hands of the business stitch him up in greed and we no longer see him as the person he once was. The film is one hell of a roller coaster ride that portrays the various facets of success and what greed and money could eventually to do to you.
13. The Intern (2015)
‘The Intern’ should certainly provide more diversity and bring in a refreshing feel to the list here. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, the film tells the story of a seventy year old man who applies for an internship at an online fashion based company led by a highly successful young woman. The film depicts the relationship between the 70 year old Ben and his young, vibrant boss, Jules Ostin. Jules is a highly successful business woman whose husband sacrificed his own career to look after their children so that Jules could manager her business and spend more time at work. Once in a while a film just comes in and sweeps you off with its warmth and lightheartedness and ‘The Intern’ provides just that along with some memorably funny moments.
12. Jerry Maguire (1996)
A lighthearted entry on the list but certainly worth mentioning. ‘Jerry Maguire’ is about its titular character who is fired from his work for being vocal about the fraudulent activities taking place in his profession. He then goes on to start up his own independent agency but things aren’t easy and he needs people to believe in him on this new venture. ‘Jerry Maguire’ is very much a story about success and dreams and what it takes to be the person you’ve always dreamt of being.
11. Goodfellas (1990)
Okay, now this might seem like a controversial pick because killing people around and making money isn’t really about success. But in the context of the film and from the perspective of its protagonist, the film is very much of a rags to riches story about an ordinary man dreaming to become a gangster one day and turning into a powerful mobster in New York. Henry Hill was a petty criminal who rises the ladder to team up with some of the most feared mobsters in the city. He gets to live the life of his dreams. This is the world of money, power, glamour, women. And Henry sees them all and lands back to where he was, living the life of an “average Joe”.
10. The Aviator (2004)
‘The Aviator’ might not seem like a film about success and money but ambitions, desires and hunger for success make way for one of the most harrowing character studies ever put on-screen. Howard Hughes is a deeply troubled man fighting his own inner demons while turning out to be a massively successful person in his life. Hughes is a manic perfectionist and while he becomes a hugely successful billionaire business man and filmmaker, his inability to deal with himself and his personal turn him into an absolute shell of a person.
9. Citizen Kane (1941)
Of course, the greatest film of all time had to make its way on to the list. But the reason why it’s ranked lower on the list is because the film is much, much more than just about success and money. ‘Citizen Kane’ is, at its core, a profound character study of a human being. An ordinary human being with goals, ambitions and desires who turns into a man drunk on greed and power. The film follows a reporter’s investigation of a newspaper publishing big-shot whose mysterious final word has piqued the the interest of many reporters. The film captures the rise of Charles Foster Kane from being an idealistic young man with raw ambitions into a ruthless business magnate. ‘Citizen Kane’ is widely credited to have changed the landscape of filmmaking with its pioneering techniques and innovative approach to storytelling.
8. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Success is always the result of motivation. Motivation could just be about anything. Desires, ambition, money or perhaps even survival. In ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’, survival is the motivation for the employees and it pushes them to succeed. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen who are to generate leads by whatever means possible. A motivator is sent to the office and he announces that except the top two, everyone else will be fired from their jobs. The film is an intriguing look at what drives us to succeed and how often we are pushed to our very best when our survivals are threatened. The world of success and money is indeed a tough one.
Read More: Best Police Corruption Movies of All Time
7. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Well, this is certainly not the kind of success one would want to achieve in his life but Frank Abagnale’s life does teach you a lot about having the courage to stand up and face life as it is and then making it your own rather than just taking what comes your way. Frank is a teenager who runs away from his home and when he runs out of money, begins to use his deceptive charm and confidence to con people. His cons increase and he forges cheques worth millions of dollars. He is chased off by the FBI but eventually they turn to him for help in order to catch other frauds and criminals. It’s a lovely tale so full of fun and charm and told in the classic Spielbergian way.
Read More: Best Con Artist Movies of All Time
6. Boogie Nights (1997)
A young Paul Thomas Anderson flaunting his virtuosity as a filmmaker. That, to me, is what ‘Boogie Nights’ is. Without any disrespect to the film, it still only serves as a prelude to the genius that would blossom in the coming years. Having said that ‘Boogie Nights’ is one of the more fascinating character studies that explore the themes of greed, success, money and fame. A young high school dropout works at a nightclub where he meets a porn filmmaker who turns him into an overnight sensation. Dirk Diggler is a victim of success and fame and serves as a classic example of what money and greed could do to you. It’s dark, tragic, funny and exhilarating.
Read More: Best Movies About Porn Industry
5. Casino (1995)
Cut straight from the same bloody cloth as ‘Goodfellas’ , ‘Casino’ is a riveting tale of success, greed, money, ambition and power. ‘Casino’ is about two mobsters who fight their lives out in an epic battle to gain control over the gambling business. Sam and Nicky were once best friends but in their quest for success and power they betray each other and end up becoming rivals. While the narrative may feel a bit messed up at times, the film works mainly due to the performances, especially Sharon Stone and Scorsese ‘s command over the medium. It isn’t as clinical and classy as ‘Goodfellas’ but Scorsese still isn’t far from being at his very best.
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4. The Social Network (2010)
David Fincher ‘s acclaimed biographical drama about the founding of Facebook is quite simply one of the most fascinating films about success, morality, fame and money. The film centres around Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student who founded a social networking site called Facebook. However, he is later sued by two brothers who accuse him of stealing their ideas. The film then focuses on the events that led to the founding of the sensation it would later go on to become. It raises questions about people’s actions, the choices they make in their journey and blurs the concreteness between the lines separating right and wrong.
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3. The Wall Street (1987)
This Oliver Stone classic is a riveting tale of success, greed, power and money. ‘The Wall Street’ tells the story of a young stockbroker who is taken under his wing by a brilliant, ruthless raider. Bud is young, intelligent and craving for success and money and idolises Gordon Gekko. Morality for him is flexible and he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the top of the ladder. The central morality conflict between Carl Fox, Bud’s father and Gordon Gekko makes way for the film’s thematic explorations of greed, money, power, success, and morality. The film was made by Stone as a tribute to his father who was a stockbroker during the Great Depression.
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2. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Ambition. Success. Fame. Money. Sex. Drugs. That is ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ for you in a nutshell. But there’s a lot to dig in the film although Scorsese’s infamous rough approach may hamper you from delving into the deeper aspects of the film. Jordan Belfort is a young, aspiring stockbroker who manages to procure his dream job as a Wall Street broker. However, his dreams are shattered following Black Monday on October 19, 1987 when stock markets around the world were crashed. He then manages to find himself a job at a brokerage firm that specialises in penny stocks. He soon teams up with his neighbour and the two start up their own company. Belfort becomes a stockbroking superstar as he enjoys the life of luxury and fantasies he always dreamt of. Funny, dark and endlessly entertaining, it might just be Martin Scorsese ‘s boldest work in the recent times.
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1. There Will Be Blood (2007)
To make a good film is one thing; to craft a masterpiece is entirely something else. But bettering your own masterpiece is something only a truly accomplished artist is capable of. Paul Thomas Anderson did exactly that with ‘There Will Be Blood’. The film was quite a bit of a radical shift in style for Anderson. Aesthetically, the film was almost Kubrickian and the visual storytelling was quite an astonishing achievement. The opening 15 minutes alone establishes Plainview’s character without a single word being uttered. We learn about his drive and his hunger for success. The film still is very much ambiguous about his character and we are never really told as to what really drove Plainview to doing the things that he did. Greed and power corrupt him and we no longer see the man brimming with raw ambitions but a man turned into a shell, trying to win a battle he’s already won.
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15 drug themed movies to watch if you loved blow.
From the gritty classics to underrated gems, these are the best movies about addiction and drugs that Blow fans will love.
Drugs are prominently featured throughout all aspects of pop culture, whether it's through a rap song, a sordid novel, or displayed through our screens, and continue to fascinate our society. With the breakout success of TV shows like Breaking Bad (2008) and Narcos (2015), the representation of drugs throughout media proceeds to soar.
RELATED: 15 Stars Who Destroyed Their Careers With Drugs
The widely-beloved drama Blow (2001) will make any list of drug-related movies, gathering the inspiration for today's exploration. Here are the best drug-related movies to watch if you appreciated Blow .
Updated on December 6th, 2020 by Mark Birrell: Though given middling reviews from critics on release, and even contributing to Penelope Cruz's Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress, Ted Demme's Blow is a very highly-rated movie amongst fans of both star Johnny Depp's overall body of work and movies about the drug trade in general. Taking into account the movie's only increased popularity over time, we've increased the number of our recommendations to 15 to better help those fans looking for similar stories.
American Made (2017)
Based on the story of pilot Barry Seal, who became heavily involved in the smuggling of cocaine from South America into the United States during the 1980s, this thriller stars Tom Cruise as Seal and delves more deeply into the mechanics of the drug trade, particularly the CIA's involvement with the Medellin Cartel and the Nicaraguan Contras.
American Made handles a lot of the same subject matter as Blow and in the same time periods, only from a different perspective, and Cruise is more than enough star power to satisfy fans of Johnny Depp's compelling performance as George Jung.
Mr. Nice (2010)
Another adaptation of a true story from a larger-than-life dealer figure within the drug trade during the turbulence of the 70s and 80s, Mr. Nice dramatizes the life of Howard Marks within the illegal drugs trade, specifically the dealing of marijuana.
In a sense Marks' story is an alternate version of Jung's within Blow , showing what may have been in another place in the world if Jung had stuck to his original business of smuggling marijuana, though Marks has more than his fair share of run-ins with the law throughout his story.
A much more generally upbeat movie about young people trying to survive the drugs trade, and not based directly on real-life figures in any way, Dope is more in the vein of John Hughes than it is Martin Scorsese but will definitely appeal to fans of Blow 's wildest moments.
The story follows an ambitious teenager in Inglewood, California who becomes roped into an ordeal involving misplaced MDMA and is taken on a coming-of-age journey as he attempts to stay one step ahead of things.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
A retelling of the heyday of Jordan Belfort, an unscrupulous Wall Street mogul famous for making as much money as he could through whatever loophole he could find, The Wolf of Wall Street is about the real drug at the center of Blow (money) but also defines Belfort by his addictions to various other substances, particularly quaaludes.
Leonardo DiCaprio 's lead performance is outstanding as is the supporting work of Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie , in particular, but its director Martin Scorsese's signature style that's the real selling point of the movie. It makes The Wolf of Wall Street one of the few true successors to Scorsese's crime masterpiece Goodfellas , which Blow so clearly emulates throughout.
Party Monster (2003)
Based on a true story, Macaulay Culkin portrays convicted murderer Michael Alig, a pioneer of the New York City rave scene that popped up during the late 1980s. Alig also created the 'Club Kids'-- a sensational group of young party-goers who took the country by a storm after making appearances on daytime talk shows like The Phil Donahue Show. The group also prominently featured James St. James, portrayed by Seth Green in this 2003 cult classic.
Party Monster chronicles the rise and fall of Alig, beginning with his failed attempts at throwing parties, and ending with his arrest for the killing and dismemberment of his roommate and drug dealer, fellow 'Club Kids' member Andre "Angel" Melendez, after Alig recklessly joked about the murder during one of his TV appearances. The movie features heavy drug usage and is one of the only films to mention ketamine, a dissociative tranquilizer popular amongst rave culture.
Pineapple Express (2008)
After the wildly popular success of his roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) and Knocked Up (2007), Seth Rogen teams up with Judd Apatow and Adam Goldberg to write this hilarious stoner comedy, which became an instant cult-classic just through watching its trailer! Pineapple Express features process server Dale Denton (Rogen), a run-of-the-mill stoner who finds himself in a pickle after witnessing a murder alongside his half-baked drug-dealer Saul (James Franco).
After the pair accidentally drop a roach of the remarkably rare marijuana strain, ' Pineapple Express ', at the murder scene, they realize the illustrious joint can be directly traced back to them, which leads to an action-packed wild goose chase as drug lord (Gary Cole) and crooked cop (Rosie Perez) stay hot on their trail. Pineapple Express is the ultimate stoner movie and the perfect representation for this list.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas features lead Johnny Depp, also the main star in Blow (2001), the inspiration for this list! Irreverant sports journalist Raoul Duke (Depp) and his Samoan attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) traverse the Mojave desert in a red convertible to cover a motorcycle race in Las Vegas.
After spending his advance on a suitcase of drugs, Duke and his attorney spiral out of control through multiple drug binges during their psychedelic pursuit of finding the 'American Dream', with police, hitchhikers, gamblers, and other zany characters detouring their final destination. The film features a plethora of drugs, with a focus on psychedelics like LSD and mescaline.
This disturbing indie-film provided Evan Rachel Wood with her breakout role as Tracy Freeland, the goody-two-shoes honor student who ingratiates herself with the wrong crowd. Influenced by her popular and promiscuous classmate, Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed), Tracy ditches her innocent best friend (Vanessa Hudgens) and protests the help or advice of her mother (Holly Hunter).
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Following Evie's lead, Tracy begins to steal, use drugs, and engage in risky sexual practices. At just thirteen years old, viewers were particularly disturbed with the opening scene, featuring Tracy and Evie huffing Dust-Off and punching each other in the face after being numbed from the drug. Nikki Reed co-wrote the movie at fifteen, building off her own encounters and misdirections.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Following the lives of four intertwined drug-addicts, Requiem For a Dream emphasizes a no-holds-barred approach and features some truly disturbing scenes. Retired widow Sarah Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) lives a delusional, dreary existence as she wastes her days watching a daytime talk show, slowly becoming reliant upon her diet pills. Her son, Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) becomes increasingly addicted to heroin alongside his drug accomplice Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly).
As the movie switches narrative between the four different addicts, their situations become darker and darker, leading to the eventual lobotomy Mrs. Goldfarb receives after being committed to a mental institution, and the sexual depravity revealed through Marion's desperate attempts to earn drug money. Though it's incredibly depressing, Requiem For a Dream does an excellent job paralleling illicit drugs to prescription drugs, revealing their eerily similar outcomes.
One of the most popular heroin-based films, Trainspotting (originating from the self-titled book by author Irvine Welsh) always makes the cut when mentioning any drug-related movies. Main character Renton (Ewan McGregor) tries to navigate himself away from the drug-addled world he knows well in Edinburgh.
Renton's attempts at sobriety prove to be more difficult than originally anticipated, influenced by his addicted friends and the perpetual fascination and calming force using drugs brings him. A gritty, unadulterated look into junkies and their careless habits, Trainspotting will always be one of the quintessential drug films.
Enter the Void (2009)
One of the less popular movies to make the cut, Enter the Void features quite a unique storyline! After being shot dead by police in the bathroom of a Tokyo nightclub, drug-dealer Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) transcends his spirit through a DMT trip, which chronicles his life-story alongside sister turned stripper (Paz de la Huerta), Linda.
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Exposing past grievances and traumatic situations, Oscar's adventure through "the void" gives the audience a deep dive into how this pair of siblings ended up in the underbelly of Tokyo's dark night scene, relinquishing the power he once enjoyed.
This underrated meth-centric film features a star-studded cast, including Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, and Jason Schwartzman. Set over a three-day span in the life of drug user Ross (Schwartzman), Spun focuses on very realistic details, bringing meth mentality and overt paranoia to life. Ross meets fellow druggie Nikki (Murphy) through his dealer, Spider Mike (John Leguizamo), who promises a better score through "The Cook" (Rourke), Nikki's meth-chemist boyfriend.
Spun features some more-than-abrasive scenes involving an ultra-realistic drug psychosis, duct-taping the mouth of a stripper shut as she's handcuffed (and subsequently forgotten for the entire three days) to Ross' bed, and Mena Suvari's portrayal of Cookie, Spider Mike's demented girlfriend.
Another cult-classic written by Harmony Korine, known for Spring Breakers (2012) and Gummo (1997), the movie Kids is frequently mentioned as a cautionary tale. Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson both made their film debut in Kids, which launched them into further successes. The film highlights a day in the life of teenage skateboarders in New York City, as they smoke, bash in the skull of a rival skater, and de-flower virgins.
Though the movie is best known for its HIV-positive outcome, Kids also exhibits drug usage, particularly when Chloë Sevigny's character Jennie takes a random pill from a raver who says the mysterious drug will "make Special K look weak." Kids was controversially given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA, which was later surrendered .
Fans of the novel Flowers for Algernon will love Limitless . After struggling writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) takes an ambiguous, seemingly cure-all pill 'NZT ', which enables 100% of the user's brain capacity, he finds himself losing control and needing more of the power-drug to live up to his newfound potential.
Through a continuous downward spiral and complete misdirection from Eddie's original intent, Limitless explores the concept that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
This Keanu Reeves movie features interpolated rotoscope, an animation technique where animators trace over live-action footage, an unusual style adding to the occultism of A Scanner Darkly .
Living in a dystopian, totalitarian society that's lost the war on drugs, undercover agent Bob Arctor (Reeves) begins to take 'Substance D', the crippling new hallucinogen and loses touch with reality.
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20 best movies about addiction and recovery to watch.
December 23, 2020 Addiction , Recovery
Movies are not only an excellent source of entertainment; they also offer inspiration, motivation, and encourage us to reflect on our own lives. Over 10% of Americans have suffered some form of addiction, and many were the inspiration for powerful stories on-screen.
In this list, we take a look at 20 of the best movies featuring addiction and recovery. These films cover various subjects, including alcoholism , substance abuse, the journey of people battling addiction, and paths to addiction recovery.
You may find it useful to seek guidance when reviewing this list or watching the films discussed below. Some of the depictions of SUDs and AUDs are graphic and could be a potential relapse trigger.
If you or someone you love are suffering from an AUD or SUD, it’s essential to seek help. Contact the Master Center for Addiction Medicine for further information.
1. Rush (1991)
‘Rush’ follows the lives of two anti-narcotics police officers working undercover. Both struggle with addiction after trying the drug they are trying to track and destroy to keep their cover.
The movie is a useful reminder of how people can develop addictions without intending to do so. It depicts how helping one another can be key in overcoming using.
2. Permanent Midnight (1998)
Based on Jerry Stahl’s autobiography of the same name, this movie follows Jerry’s growth into a successful comedy writer. It also addresses his struggles with addiction, which begins with prescription drugs and evolves into heroin and cocaine use.
The protagonist battles with his problems with substance use throughout, and at the end of the film is shown narrating the difficulties with SUDs.
3. Gia (1998)
Starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, ‘Gia’ depicts the life of one of the first US supermodels, Gia Marie Carangi. In the film, Gia attempts to overcome her drug addiction to cocaine by replacing it with methadone, to which she then becomes addicted.
This movie shows how the title character can overcome her addictive behavior and depicts the negative fallout of intravenous drug use as she finds herself contracting AIDS.
4. Beautiful Boy (2018)
‘Beautiful Boy’ is based on real events. It details the life of Nic Sheff, who has a severe addiction to crystal meth, and his father, who attempts to help him become sober.
The movie focuses on the negative and heartbreaking impacts that drug abuse has on a person’s life and their loved ones and friends’ lives. It shows the continuous struggle and harsh reality of SUDs.
5. Clean and Sober (1988)
‘Clean and Sober’ follows events in the main character, Daryl’s life after he awakes next to a woman who has overdosed on drugs and realizes he has embezzled money from his company.
He joins a rehab program to escape legal issues, and while there is helped to accept that he has a cocaine problem and must overcome it with addiction treatment.
6. Flight (2012)
‘Flight’ is about an airline pilot named ‘Whip’ who is initially lauded as a hero for preventing his aircraft from crashing. However, it then becomes apparent he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine while in control of the plane.
Initially, Whip is still addicted to drugs and lies about events, but he ultimately confesses to his crime and uses his time in prison to get clean.
7. The Anonymous People (2013)
This documentary shows the real lives of people struggling with alcohol and drug abuse disorders. It features regular people as well as famous figures as they talk about their journeys to addiction recovery.
The documentary aims to strip away the negative stigma attached to AUDs and SUDs and shows how rehabilitation is possible.
8. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
A successful screenwriter who feels he has nothing left to live for decides to head for Las Vegas to drink his life away.
As the protagonist refuses to stop drinking, the lives of those around him begin to unravel too. Ending in tragedy, this movie shows the dangers of refusing help or treatment.
9. Everything Must Go (2010)
When salesman Nick Halsey turns up drunk at work one too many times, he loses his long-term job, and his wife leaves him. The movie addresses the adverse effects an addiction to alcohol can have on a person’s private and professional life and mental health.
It also shows how it’s possible to walk away from alcoholism and how life changes can help wake a person up to their problems and begin addiction recovery .
10. My Name is Bill W (1989)
This movie chronicles the life of stockbroker and World War 1 veteran William Griffith Wilson, who develops an alcohol dependence after losing his fortune in the 1929 stock exchange crash.
It depicts the formation of the now worldwide organization Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), charting the protagonists’ journey to recovery.
11. Drunks (1995)
‘Drunks’ focuses on a group of people with drinking problems on a 12-step recovery program. The movie is filmed as a series of monologues, alternating between protagonist Jim’s attempts to stop himself drinking on that night and stories from the rest of the group about their own alcohol addiction experiences.
12. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
This crime drama film follows a group of friends addicted to drugs as they travel across the Pacific Northwest, robbing hospitals and pharmacies.
A fatal overdose impacts the whole group, and their leader Bob attempts to leave his past problems behind him. This proves a difficult task, but one that is ultimately achieved through perseverance.
13. Basketball Diaries (1995)
This mid-90’s crime-drama movie is based on an autobiography by Jim Carroll. It charts Carroll’s journey, a high school basketball player, as he turns to substance abuse to overcome the grief of a close friend dying.
The film takes a close look at teenage addiction, how drug abuse can result in situations that lead to a prison sentence, and finally, how recovery can begin in prison.
14. Home Run (2013)
This 2013 Christian sports drama focuses on Cory, a promising professional baseball player, and his descent into alcohol misuse. It shows the damage alcoholism causes to his professional life, and how it also puts his brother’s life at risk.
Cory enters a recovery program and beats his addiction. In doing so, he forms better relationships with the important people in his life.
15. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Based on a novel of the same title, this movie details the stories of four people living with different forms of addiction. It is one of the most graphic depictions of the horror that substance use disorders can bring. It addresses both mental health and physical health in an intense psychological drama.
16. 28 Days (2000)
This film focuses on a high-flying newspaper columnist with an AUD who ends up in rehab after crashing her car. The movie depicts the lives of the main character and other patients in the rehab center, showing how many can make a total recovery while others struggle with the harsh reality of the world around them.
17. The Boost (1988)
This movie shows how a change in personal fortune can lead to addiction. As Lenny and Linda become dependent on cocaine, their lives rapidly unravel. It shows the different paths people take as they struggle with substance misuse.
18. The Fighter (2010)
Based on the true story of boxer Micky Ward, ‘The Fighter’ focuses on Micky and his half-brother-turned-trainer Dicky (a former professional boxer). As Dicky succumbs to cocaine addiction and ends up being featured on an HBO documentary, the movie turns to focus on substance misuse, relapse, and recovery.
19. Rocketman (2019)
A biopic of Elton John, ‘Rocketman’ shows how the star’s childhood trauma is closely linked to his later problems with mental health and SUDs. The film details his adolescent years and ascent to fame as his struggles with addiction increase. Finally, it depicts him checking in to a drug rehab facility to tackle his substance abuse and make a recovery.
20. A Star is Born (2018)
This movie stars Bradley Cooper as a successful musician, Jack, as he helps an aspiring young singer (played by Lady Gaga) be discovered. His battle with alcoholism worsens and begins to create barriers in his career path and personal life, and the movie shows the tragic consequences of struggling to deal with long-term alcohol abuse.
The films mentioned here are in no way meant to glorify or promote alcohol use disorders (AUDs) or substance use disorders (SUDs). Instead, they provide useful reminders and lessons about our own individual paths to recovery. And, while not every movie on this list will be for everyone, there’s sure to be at least one that will resonate with you.
It’s possible to recover from addictive behaviors. As these films portray, you aren’t the only one suffering or struggling. If you or a person you care about is struggling with substance abuse, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. At the Master Center for Addiction Medicine , we offer world-class physician-led recovery programs with same day and next day appointments available. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you begin your path to recovery.
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53 MOVIES ABOUT DRUGS AND THEIR EFFECTS - ARTE - 2023
Recommended movies about drugs, 1- "requiem for a dream" or "requiem for a dream" (2000), 3- christiane f. (1981), 4- trainspotting (1996), 5- blow (2001), 6- scarface or "the price of power" (1983), 7- “fear and loathing in las vegas” or “fear and loathing in las vegas” (1998), 8- “soudain le vide” or “enter the void” (2009), 9- mary full of grace (2004), 10- candy (2006), 11- the rose seller (1998), 12- gia (1998), 13- "what have i done to deserve this" (1984), 14- “the acid house” (1998), 15- “altered states” or “amazing journey to the back of the mind” (1980), 16- “without limits” or “limitless” (2011), 17- the trip (1967), 18- “living without limits” or “go” (1999), 19- “kids” or “blow by blow” (1995), 20- "human traffic" or "ecstasy generation" (1999), 21- “cidade de deus” or “city of god” (2002), 22- “the wolf of wall street” or “the wolf of wall street” (2013), 23- “spun” (2002), 24- "pineapple express" or "superfumados" (2008), 25- "permanent midnight" or "double life" (1998), 26- sid and nancy (1986), 27- rapture (1979), 28- traffic (2000), 29- thirteen (2003), 30- the basketball diaries (1995), 31- pure (2002), 32- american psycho (2000), 33- "the garden of joy" or "saving grace" (2000), 34- factory girl, 35- lies and fat (2009), 36- london (2005)., 37- drugstore cowboy (1989)., 38- the peak i (1983) and ii (1984)., 39- inseparable (1988), 40- 21 grams (2003), 41- the naked lunch (1991), 42- panic in needle park (1971), 43- corrupt lieutenant (1992), 44- easy rider (1969), 45- pusher: a walk through the abyss (1996), 46- "in vanda's room" or "no quarto da vanda" (2000), 47- up in smoke (1978), 48- the man with the golden arm (1955), 49- "the french connection" or "against the drug empire" (1971), 50- “point blank love” or “true romance” (1993), 51- “a scanner darkly” or “a look at the dark” (2006), 52- kidnapped: story of a kidnapping (2005).
Thanks to this list of movies from the world of drugs , you will be able to get closer to them: how addictions appear, what types of drugs exist, what those who consume them feel and what consequences may come later.
Drugs have the power to change how people feel, think, and perceive about the outside world; becoming a shocking and pleasant experience for some, while it can be a nightmare for others.
In fact, there are people dissatisfied with their lives who will find a refuge in drugs, a way to escape their reality. On the other hand, others use them as a means to experience new sensations and have fun.
The truth of all this is that things do not usually end as well as they should. Normally when an addiction is entered, problems begin to appear, and the situation can become a real drama.
If you are curious to know more about this topic, a good way to discover it is through the cinema. Would you be able to see them all? You may also be interested in this list of recommended movies of all categories.
Exceptional film directed by Martin Scorsese. Henry Hill, a boy whose dream since childhood is to be a gangster; reason why it leaves the school to the 13 years and it enters to run errands in the mafia. As time passes, he gains the trust of superiors and ascends, finding himself immersed in a world of crime, violence and drugs.
Shocking German film based on a real case and directed by Uli Edel. It is about a 12-year-old girl who is a fan of David Bowie's music, who, due to social pressure, ends up injecting heroin and becoming addicted.
Throughout the film she shows the darker side of this drug, capturing what she and her friends have to do to get their fix.
It is an essential Danny Boyle film, another one of the essentials. It tells the hard adventures of a group of young heroin addicts, whose lives are totally focused on getting money and getting high; without having other goals or objectives. It is a film full of metaphors about life that will make you reflect.
It is directed by Ted Demme and stars Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. It tells how George Jung, a boy who starts selling marijuana on the beaches of California in the 70s.
Little by little he ends up increasing his business, to the point of working for Pablo Escobar as a cocaine trafficker. He ends up producing an immense fortune, but his addiction will gradually sink him into failure.
It is a fundamental gangster film directed by Brian De Palma, having one of the highest ratings on Filmaffinity.
Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is a strong-willed, cold and relentless criminal; who takes refuge in the United States with the aim of becoming the most prestigious and wealthy gangster. Accompanied by his friend Manny Rivera, he will start trafficking cocaine to achieve his goal.
From director Terry Gilliam, it can be considered one of the quintessential drug movies. It is about a journalist and his lawyer heading to Las Vegas through the desert. For this they use a red convertible whose trunk is full of drugs of all kinds.
Under the effects of drugs they will go through crazy adventures, the symptoms that these produce them appear in full detail.
One of the legends that this film has promulgated is that of the drug "adrenochrome", supposedly extracted from the human adrenal glands.
Stimulating film by Gaspar Noé that will immerse you in the effect of drugs, recounting the life in Tokyo of a drug dealer and his sister, who works as a stripper.
It begins when one confused night, the police shoot the protagonist while trying to hide. From then on the story of the protagonists is told, showing the union of two brothers who have gone through a difficult life.
Drama directed by Joshua Marston, shows in a realistic and crude way, the experiences of the "mules" or people who transport drugs in their body.
María, the protagonist, is tired of her work and her life, when a man appears who coaxes her into working for him as a mule, promising her a large sum of money if she can make just one transport. This money could completely change Maria's life, causing her to make the risky decision.
It is a film about love and addiction, which makes us see how drugs captivate you and lead you to the abyss. It is about the relationship between Dan, who is a poet, and Candy, a girl who studies art.
They both embark on a bohemian and romantic relationship tinged by heroin, which goes through different phases (Heaven, Earth and Hell) and where the protagonists will not stop fighting to try to save their love.
It is a heartbreaking Colombian film directed by Víctor Gaviria, which reflects the lives of children addicted to glue in a criminal neighborhood of Medellín. The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl who sells roses in an environment populated with violence, drugs and prostitution.
It is a film based on real events, directed by Michael Cristofer. Angelina Jolie plays the model Gia Marie Carangi, who rises to success for her beauty and sensuality. However, her dissatisfaction at work and her failure to woo her makeup artist, causes her to experiment with drugs, beginning to sink into failure.
Pedro Almodóvar always surprises us with his controversial stories. In this case, it reflects the life of Gloria, a frustrated housewife who is addicted to amphetamines to escape his boring life.
The full movie covers 3 different stories that take place in Scotland. "The Granton Star Cause" is a comedy that deals with themes such as revenge, religion and soccer. "A Soft Uncle", which recounts the failures of a weak and manipulative boy; and "The Acid House", in which you can enter the world of LSD.
American film directed by Ken Russell, which deals with a scientist interested in discovering other states of consciousness called Eddie Jessup. The latter, while studying schizophrenia, realizes that there may be other states as real as wakefulness.
In this way, he begins to experiment with his colleagues, depriving his body of stimulation and consuming hallucinogens. But such experiments end up having unexpected effects that will not prevent Eddie from ceasing his research.
It is a science fiction film that makes us see what the world would be like if there were a revolutionary drug that would increase our cognitive capacity without limits. That way, Eddie, the protagonist, when he takes the drug can remember in complete detail everything he has read, seen or heard, even if only once.
Directed by Roger Corman and written by Jack Nicholson, it is the first film to feature LSD use as its main theme. It is about Paul Groves, who after losing his wife enters a serious crisis. However, your friend offers to try LSD to help you forget.
Comedy by Doug Liman that intertwines three funny stories that take place in a supermarket on Christmas Eve.
The first story is about Ronna, a supermarket cashier who has financial problems and that, during that night, they are going to offer her a more profitable job.
The second story stars Simon, Ronna's partner who is going to spend a crazy night in Las Vegas with his friends. The last story is about the adventures of two (apparently) friends, Adam and Zack, who have drug possession problems.
It is a controversial and shocking drama that tells the daily life of young people from New York, totally ahead of their age, filling their lives with sex, drugs and alcohol. It aims to reflect the problems of American society in the 90s.
This Justin Kerrigan movie tells the life of two couples and their camel, in which throughout the week they lead an apparently normal life, with their routine and boring jobs. In reality, they go through a series of difficulties that they try to evade during the weekend, at which point they plunge into the world of drugs.
It is a Brazilian film based on real events by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, with an excellent rating by Filmaffinity users. It reflects life in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, from the 60s to the 80s, a period undermined by violence and drug trafficking.
The protagonist is Buscapé, a sensitive boy who is very clear about his goal in life: not to be carried away by the horrible fate to which most children his age are condemned and fight to become a photographer if he survives.
Excellent film by Martin Scorsese, based on the life of Jordan Belfort (role played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a New York stockbroker who, due to ambition and fortune, achieved success and was carried away by drugs, power, women. The urge to get more and more begins to bring you problems.
It is an independent film comedy directed by Jonas Åkerlund. It is about a drug addict boy named Ross, who works as a chauffeur and messenger for his drug dealer, a man who makes methamphetamine at home.
It is a meal by David Gordon Green, whose protagonist is Dale Denton, a court clerk who regularly uses marijuana. One day, his dealer offers him a new type of marijuana called “Pineapple Express” that only he sells. Trouble comes when Dale, witnessing a murder, accidentally leaves the Pineapple Express cigarette butt at the crime scene.
It is an American film by David Veloz, which reflects the life of a successful Hollywood screenwriter who apparently has everything anyone could want.
However, what no one knows is that he can spend $ 6,000 on heroin a week. For this reason, he is forced to enter a detoxification center where he will remember past moments of his life.
Film based on the relationship between the musician Sid Vicious, a member of Sex Pistols, and Nancy Spungen. Their relationship was one of the causes of the group's separation.
A story full of drugs, alcohol and conflict, which ultimately ended tragically for both of them.
Film produced and directed by Iván Zulueta, is considered a feature film ahead of its time. A director in the throes of creative block receives a film that will give him a break. Drugs, sex and excesses will take over the lives of both and will take them to the limit.
Written and directed by Steven Soderbergh. It tells three stories related to the world of drug trafficking, from the point of view of Mexico, the DEA and an American family.
The film shows the fight against drugs in both the United States and Mexico and the consequences they have in both countries.
Tracy is an exemplary young woman who changes her behavior when she turns 13 after meeting a rebellious girl. Her life is filled with excesses and drugs that she cannot control. The only way out will be found in the closest person.
Autobiographical film of the poet, musician and writer Jim Carrol. He recounts the problems he had during his adolescence with drugs, the effects they caused in his life, leading him to the nether worlds and to crime.
After the death of his father, Paul suffers during his adolescence from poverty, his mother's addiction to heroin and her disregard for him and his little brother.
Paul finds a friend, Louise, a young pregnant woman who also has a drug problem. However, he will do everything possible to take care of his entire family.
Film co-written and directed by Mary Harron. For the protagonist, Patrick Batema, success comes down to a perfect body and a lot of money, however, this no longer satisfies him.
His world turns into a vortex of drugs, alcohol, sex, murder, and a detective seeking to capture him.
A woman loses her husband, and decides to stop growing orchids to start a marijuana plantation with the help of her gardener.
Directed by George Hickenlooper and based on the life of Edie Sedgwick, a young millionaire who becomes the inspiration for renowned artist Andy Warhol.
But a new relationship and the decisions she will make will lead her to a world of excess and a tragic end.
Spanish film directed by Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes. It relates the experiences of a group of young people who experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex and partying.
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The 10 Sexiest Drug Movies On Streaming
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It’s no secret that there’s an abundance of sexy flicks on streaming; whether you’re into threesomes , group sex , or straight-up controversy , there’s something for every interest out there. Another common factor in sexy movies? Drugs. Drug-fueled debauchery is prominent in tons of flicks, and sometimes even the major premise. There is something these movies manage to do constantly – make sure their drug users are as sexy and glamorous as possible. (Well, most of the time.) While real life may not be as golden-hued and libido-filled as these tales, a little sensual, substance-driven escapism can be just what you need to make you feel like anything is possible (while high).
Whether your sexy cinematic substance of choice is a smooth inhale of the green stuff or a quick snort of nose candy, these flicks revel in the highs – and lows – of drug use while keeping up an atmosphere of sex appeal. These are the ten sexiest, drug-fueled movies on streaming.
Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz star in this biopic chronicling the life of cocaine smuggler – and the man who essentially kickstarted the American cocaine market in the 1970s – George Jung. While Jung’s life story was definitely no walk in the park (and doesn’t come to a happy end), the on-screen chemistry between Depp and Cruz is completely palpable – and undeniably sexy.
Where to Stream Blow
Blake Lively , Taylor Kitsch , Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Benicio del Toro and more star in this crime drama. Kitsch and Taylor-Johnson play marijuana growers who share a girlfriend named Ophelia (Lively). When they refuse a deal from a Mexican drug cartel, Ophelia is kidnapped, and our two pieces of eye-candy team up to take them on and get her back. Featuring a steamy, drug-driven threesome , this Oliver Stone thriller is one you won’t want to skip.
Where to Stream Savages
'Requiem for a Dream'
Okay, so this one is probably more sad than it is sexy, but we’d be remiss not to include it here. Total babes Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto star as heroin addicts in this tale of the demons of addiction from Darren Aronofsky . The two begin as a couple deliriously in love who evidently are driven down dark paths as their desires for drugs continue to grow to frightening levels. While Marion ends up in situations that are decidedly un-sexy later on at the hands of a masochistic pimp, the scenes shared earlier in the film between Connelly and Leto before it all goes downhill are artfully shot and sensual.
Where to Stream Requiem for a Dream
What, you don’t keep your coke in a rosary too? This sexy teen drama starring Sarah Michelle Gellar , Ryan Phillippe , Reese Witherspoon , Selma Blair , and the ultimate 1990s ensemble cast does not shy away from even the most scandalous of scenes. Gellar plays the ultimate villain, a seductive teenager hellbent on exacting revenge and (sexy) manipulation on anyone that crosses her path. She also keeps her main vice – cocaine – handy in the form of a cross necklace, which evidently leads to the most iconic scene in the film .
Where to Stream Cruel Intentions
This is more a porn industry flick than a drug one, but pretty much everyone in this movie is either snorting coke or smoking weed at one time or another. Paul Thomas Anderson ‘s 70s-set masterpiece starring Mark Wahlberg , Julianne Moore , and an incredible ensemble cast is sexy as it is sad and drug-fueled. While some of the stars meet their end due to their problem with the white stuff, others live out their scandalous, sniffly dreams.
Where to Stream Boogie Nights
Christina Ricci stars as a severely depressed college freshman with a Prozac prescription in Prozac Nation . I know, I know, doesn’t sound sexy – but she loses her virginity to an older student ( Jonathan Rhys Meyers ) and then throws a party to celebrate (and distance herself from him). While her journey is far from fun, there are some seriously sexy moments in this flick – she later starts dating Rafe ( Jason Biggs ) and things get pretty steamy.
Where to Stream Prozac Nation
This super-sexy erotic thriller may be more focused on ice picks and sex scenes than the drug trade, but people loooove their cocaine in this one – it’s even found on the brutally murdered body we see in the opening sequence. It seems to be the drug of choice for raves, sex, and murder, and this flick makes it seem pretty damn glamorous. How can you not want to do coke when Sharon Stone is?
Where to Stream Basic Instinct
'The Wolf of Wall Street'
Sex, money, and drugs are the essential basis of this Martin Scorsese flick starring Leonardo DiCaprio , Margot Robbie , and a slew of other massive stars. A ton of drugs are used in this movie; Quaaludes, cocaine, crack cocaine, Xanax, and morphine are a few of the cocktail of substances that these characters partake in, and DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort is certainly open to just about anything sexually while under the influence. Strippers, wives, girlfriends, and more are subjected to Belfort’s affections.
Where to Stream The Wolf of Wall Street
Sure, he murders them, but the coke-fueled sexy time he has with his victims before they meet their untimely ends are suuuper hot. Even if he’s looking at himself in the mirror most of the time. Christian Bale ‘s scary-sexy Patrick Bateman makes sure his victims partake in whatever strikes his fancy. There’s a cocktail at play here, as seems to be the theme across high-powered Wall Street jobs in movies – cocaine, Halcion, Xanax, ecstasy and cannabis among the drugs in the mix here – and while Bateman treats his body like a temple, he doesn’t much care what goes into everyone else’s.
Where to Stream American Psycho
Abbie Cornish and the late Heath Ledger star in this tale of love and heroin addiction. Cornish stars as the eponymous Candy, an art student who falls hard for a poet (Ledger) living the most bohemian of lifestyles – including a love of heroin. They both become hooked on the drug – and hooked on each other – and while things get tough down the road, their steamy passion and delirious obsession for one another is absolutely mesmerizing at the beginning.
Where to Stream Candy
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The Most Devastating Films About Substance Use
These films present substance use disorder (SUD) in stark, painful, but artistic ways that reveal the often devastating effects of drugs.
Whether we like it or not, drugs are a part of everyday life in most of the world. The drug trade can make one rich beyond one’s wildest dreams, but also places the drug users and dealers in great physical jeopardy and can ruin lives. It should be no surprise that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of films dealing with drug and alcohol use. While some films like D azed and Confused , Friday, and most of Seth Rogen’s work glorifies casual drug use, the films in this list all show the darker, deadlier side of drug dealing and drug abuse . Terms like 'addict' and 'addiction' are now considered to be stigmatizing and discriminative (and have been replaced with de-stigmatizing language like 'substance use disorder'); no matter the language, however, these are the most powerful and devastating films about drug use.
11 Last Days Here
Last Days Here is a documentary about the 1970s metal band Pentagram . The documentary focuses on the desperate life of the band’s disturbed singer, Bobby Liebling, who is a crack and heroin user who lives in his parents’ sub-basement and relies on them to get through the day. Heroin releases histamines which causes the skin to itch, and cocaine abuse can cause users to believe they are crawling with bugs that are hiding under the skin. Because of this, the lead singer is constantly scratching himself, digging holes in his skin, in a frantic search for non-existent bugs.
The documentary’s big reveal comes when he rolls his sleeve up, and we see that he has dug a gigantic hole in his arm big enough to fit a fist into. It is utterly disgusting and a total tragedy, stronger than any PSA. Although he is known to some as a rock and roll star , we learn the truth, that he is a sad person who lives with and depends on his parents, and who causes disgusting harm to his body due to his substance use disorder (SUD), which eventually kills his career and is the reason that Pentagram are not a very well known band, despite a great metal sound. A nasty documentary about the tragedy of hard drug abuse.
10 Killing Zoe
Killing Zoe is a drugged-out bank robbery film starring Eric Stoltz (the heroin dealer in Pulp Fiction ) that takes place in France. Stoltz is lured to Paris where he hangs out with his SUD pals as they plan a robbery - but this is like no bank robbery in film history. The lead bank robber, played by Jean-Hughes Anglade, is dying from AIDS and has no intention of actually stealing any money. He just wants to go out with a bang, killing as many people as possible.
In an astounding scene, in the middle of a bloody, deadly bank robbery, Anglade takes a bathroom break, so he can inject himself with heroin. At this point we can figure out that the bank robbery was never meant to succeed. Stoltz finds his loyalty questioned as he must decide what to do when he realizes the robbery is just an excuse for a massacre, and that he has had sexual relations with Zoe (Julie Delpy), a prostitute who works at the bank he is robbing. Written and directed by Roger Avary, who won an Oscar for co-writing Pulp Fiction with Quentin Tarantino.
9 Enter the Void
Enter the Void is an extremely controversial French film from renegade director Gaspar Noe ( Irreversible , I Stand Alone ). Drugs used, shown and discussed in this film include pills, alcohol, LSD, DMT, cocaine, GHB, marijuana, ice, heroin, and more. Featuring bright flashing lights and a hyperkinetic, psychedelic style, the film is nearly seizure-inducing and attempts to be a perfect representation of an acid trip. Besides drugs and murder, the art film is a provocation that deals with a whole host of adult themes like abortion, sexuality, incest, infidelity, conception, car accidents, and stripping. It's not for the faint of heart.
The camerawork is brilliant, and most of the shots are filmed from either high up or right behind the head of protagonist Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), so that he stars in the film, yet we rarely see his face; this is meant to mimic an out-of-body experience. The film takes place in Tokyo, primarily on the street, in sex clubs, and at the apartments of drug dealers. Like most Noe films, there is a nihilistic feel to Enter the Void that is a powerful warning against the dangers of an illegal drug lifestyle, which can lead to devastation, death, and sexual exploitation. Everything about this film is avant-garde and stunningly original, and it is a mesmerizing and hallucinatory masterpiece.
8 The Falcon and The Snowman
The Falcon and The Snowman is the true story of a high-level military contractor with access to national security matters, and his partner with SUD who sells secrets to the Soviet Union. Sean Penn plays Timothy Hutton's sleazy partner, whose heroin use spirals out of control; when Hutton catches Penn snorting it, Penn lies, arguing that he's ‘just using cocaine.' It's pretty bad when your cover-up lie is still an illegal activity.
Things get disastrous for the two when they visit the Russian embassy in Mexico, where Penn tries to make a heroin deal with scary KGB agents who don’t take too well to Penn and his addiction. As is the case of many drug films, users lose control and clear heads, forcing them to make terrible and dangerous decisions. The Falcon and The Snowman is one of Penn’s best performances as a fast-talking criminal with SUD.
Related: These Are Sean Penn's Best Movies, Ranked
Scarface , written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma, is the ultimate cocaine movie. It is a remake of the classic 1932 gangster film of the same name, but couldn't be any more different. At first glance the film seems to glorify the cocaine trade, but a closer watch reveals the devastation caused by drug use. Al Pacino plays Tony Montana, a criminal psychopath from Cuba, who works his way up the drug dealing world until he has a massive cocaine empire. Pacino’s epic performance as a small-time criminal who moves to the top of the drug world and gets increasingly hooked on cocaine is simply impossible to ignore. Pacino doesn’t play Tony Montana as much as he transforms himself into the character.
Tony Montana makes the enormous mistake of breaking the one key rule for high level drug dealers, which is ‘don’t get high on your own supply.’ In one infamous scene, he snorts from a mountain of cocaine the size of a watermelon. His massive cocaine use totally alters his judgment and drives him mad with rage and jealousy, killing those closest to him, and making fatal mistakes. Ironically, it's a nearly canonical film for gangsters everywhere, despite depicting the epic downfall and destruction of its antihero . One wonders if director Luca Guadagnino will do the same in his upcoming remake .
6 The Salton Sea
In The Salton Sea , a terrifying portrayal of crystal meth, Val Kilmer plays an undercover agent infiltrating the crystal meth community, trying to solve a personal tragedy. The real stand out in the film, though, is Vincent D’Onofrio, who is absolutely terrifying as he re-enacts the assassination of JFK with pigeons and engages in other bizarre activities after injecting crystal meth. A man who has a fake nose because he destroyed it from snorting too much meth, and looks and sounds terrifying, this is one of the actor’s best roles.
5 Carlito’s Way
In this follow up to Scarface , director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino again team up for another story dealing with cocaine, Carlito's Way . Unlike in Scarface , Pacino is not the person with a dangerous SUD with cocaine. Instead, it is his lawyer, Sean Penn (again), who has a cocaine habit that degenerates to the point that he becomes a dangerous and unstable individual, committing violent acts and ultimately losing out because of terrible, cocaine-influenced decisions he chooses which make him a liability. Sean Penn’s transformation to a cocaine addict is brilliantly done.
Related: Ridley Scott's Gucci Movie Lines Up A-List Cast with Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and More
4 A Scanner Darkly
Keanu Reeves stars in A Scanner Darkly , based on the infamous book by Philip K Dick, whose visionary stories were the basis for films like Minority Report , Blade Runner and the series The Man in the High Castle . Reeves plays an undercover cop taking Substance D (D is for Death), a drug that is taking over future America. In addition to having a SUD, he is also unknowingly tracking himself in his own police investigation. Substance D causes a split in the user’s brain so that one man can literally be following himself and his own actions without knowing it. His wild friends (including a brilliantly manic Robert Downey Jr. and a fun Woody Harrelson) are all also deep into using Substance D, with Rory Cochrane seeing bugs everywhere, especially in his own body and hair. It's a brilliant film that uses rotoscoping to solidify its hallucinogenic visuals.
3 Drugstore Cowboy
Matt Dillon leads a small group of drug users who resort to stealing from pharmacies to get powerful painkillers in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy . Dillon’s girlfriend (Kelly Lynch) is sexually unsatisfied because his opiate use has killed his libido and made him essentially asexual. Things get worse for the group, and at one point they rent a hotel room in a hotel full of police who were there for a major conference. This terrifies the gang, who escape into a series of adventures and meet a mix of odd characters along the way, the most memorable being a cameo by the famous writer and heroin user William S Burroughs. Things start going south for Matt Dillon and his crew after a drug tragedy strikes, and he tries to get clean. Drugstore Cowboy is a gritty and realistic look at the lives of a group of criminals with SUD in the 1970s.
The fact that Bug is about crystal meth and amphetamine psychosis is heavily down-played and subtle, and is hidden beneath metaphors and imagery. We only really learn that the two characters, played incredibly by Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, are smoking crystal meth when a mysterious man enters their bizarre hotel room and takes a hit from a meth pipe, explaining to Judd that Shannon is a mental patient. Their mental health condition as a result of their use of speed leads them to sink deeper and deeper into paranoid psychosis, imaginary bugs infecting them and infesting their world as a result. The ending is one of the most disturbing, surprising, devastating, and unforgettable scenes in film history. Bug is a brilliant movie about psychosis and paranoia from a late-career William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist and The French Connection .
1 The French Connection II
The French Connection II is unlike any other drug film because the user gets involuntarily addicted to heroin as revenge. American cop Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) travels to France to hunt down a heroin dealer, Fernando Rey, in this gritty film from John Frankenheimer ( The Manchurian Candidate ). He is abducted by a drug gang and imprisoned, and they start injecting him with heroin on a regular basis. At first, he fights it, but as time goes on he develops a SUD, eagerly awaiting his next fix. The transformation is an incredibly powerful indictment of the addictive nature of heroin. When the drug dealers are done with Hackman, they dump him in front of a police station as a message. Now a free man, he has to undergo cold turkey heroin withdrawal. He is so sick that he does everything possible to resist getting clean and going through dope sickness. Once clean, however, Popeye Doyle is on a mission for revenge in this underrated sequel to The French Connection .
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The 23 best films about cocaine
A history of cocaine at the movies
- Mixmag crew
- 22 May 2020
Just like its sweatier, ravier little cousin the MDMA film , the cocaine movie is very much a Hollywood sub genre all its own, albeit a more expensive and glitzy one that's often predisposed to violence.
Cocaine underpins a range of movies, from the gangster flicks that we all know and love through surreal comedies to counter culture classics that fly two fingers up at the establishment in search of hedonistic freedom.
Read this next: Freddie Mercury gave me my first line of cocaine
We've rounded up the very best cocaine films and listed them in chronological order for all your coke history buffs out there.
Enjoy and be warned – these films are somewhat addictive.
1969 Easy Rider
After completing a big coke deal, hippy duo Wyatt and Billie take off on motorbikes from LA to New Orleans, aiming to celebrate mardis gras in the city and then start a new life in Florida with their hard earned cash. A counter culture classic, Easy Rider is a relic of swinging 60s culture and a study of the freedom that money does and, maybe more importantly, doesn’t afford.
A blaxploitation classic with a soundtrack penned by legendary soul singer Curtis Mayfield, who released it as his third album. Super Fly, released in 1972, tells the story of pimp and coke dealer Youngblood Priest who’s looking for a way out of the drug business, only to be met with the problem of corrupt narcotic officers. The drug use involved was met with criticism at the time of release, but Super Fly was a landmark film for its largely non-white technical crew, the largest non-white technical crew of its time. A load of black businesses even ploughed money into its production costs. ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross, the infamous crack cocaine dealer who made hundreds of millions, claims Super Fly was one of his biggest influences in getting into the drug dealing game.
You know the scene. Al Pacino’s Tony Montana slumped in his leather chair, his pinstripe suit dusted with coke and a mountain of the stuff on the desk in front of him. It’s symbolic of Tony’s demise in Brian De Palma’s Scarface , quite possibly the most iconic film about cocaine ever. Tony’s both coke shotter and consumer in the ‘80s flick, which isn’t the best combo as most dealers will probably admit to. The film’s relationship with cocaine is so tight, the soundtrack even has a song dedicated to the stuff, courtesy of Debbie Harry’s ‘Rush Rush’ .
Martin Scorsese bookends this list with seminal gangster flick Goodfellas and The Wolf Of Wall Street , released 23 years later. He can now add the fact that he’s directed two of the best cocaine movies of all time alongside the fact that Goodfellas is one of the gangster genre’s most seminal movies and widely thought to be his personal masterpiece. It chronicles the rise and fall of Henry Hill, an Italian-American gangster who was part of the Gambino mafia family, with masterful performances from Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. And guess what Hill’s downfall is? Yup, the white stuff.
Read this next: Why is cocaine so strong - and where's it all coming from?
1990 King Of New York
Gangsters and cocaine go together like a very illegal version of peanut butter and jelly. We’ve included some epic examples in this list and there’s definitely space for King Of New York , which is powered by the New York coke trade and sees Christopher Walken’s character Frank White return to the city after a stint in prison to try and reclaim his status as, well, you know what the title of the film is…
1992 Deep Cover
Early ‘90s Larry Fishburne was a bad, bad man. The man who’d later become Morpheus in The Matrix became synonymous with eyes of steel, from playing the wise Furious Styles in Boyz N The Hood to undercover cop Russell Stevens in Deep Cover . His undercover role takes in shotting drugs himself as he makes his way towards Jeff Goldblum’s David Jason, the Los Angeles drug dealer he plans to take down. Also no big deal that two of the biggest rappers of the ‘90s - Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg - perform the film’s theme song .
1994 Pulp Fiction
Quite possibly Quentin Tarantino’s finest film and part of the three iconic films he released in the 90s, also including Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown (see below). It’s impact on film has been tremendous, with zinging performances from John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, who head up this darkly funny and often brutal crime drama in which cocaine (or lack thereof) plays a pivotal part in the plot.
Read this next: Why Human Traffic is still relevant today
1997 Jackie Brown
Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 flick centres around the title’s namesake, Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier. An air stewardess, Jackie’s enlisted by Ordell Robbie, played by Samuel L. Jackson, to smuggle money from Mexico into the United States. The snag being that one time the suitcase contained cocaine as well as money, something Jackie’s unaware of when she’s intercepted by the ATF and arrested. Cue Jackie plotting to take down Ordell in a slick, stylish film featuring Kangol hats, a dodgy Robert De Niro moustache and a whole load of soul. Robert Forster, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton also have star turns. Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson also picked up Golden Globe nominations.
1997 Boogie Nights
Enter Dirk Diggler! Paul Thomas Anderson’s voyage into the 70s porn industry sees a young Mark Wahlberg rocket from a nobody to a somebody quicker than you can say “Beneath those jeans”. Wahlberg’s character, real name Eddie Adams, lives the life of a sun-kissed LA pornstar but his love of partying and powder soon lead to him being undone (and we’re not talking about his jeans this time).
1998 Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Like many of our other protagonists here – the Trainspotting boys, Jordan Belfort et al – Raoul Duke will hoof anything he can get his hands on. The film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo classic more or less nails the brief, with Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro playing Duke, a journalist, and his attorney respectively. The pair are supposed to be covering a motorcycle race in Las Vegas but get sidetracked by an epic psychedelic adventure.
2000 American Psycho
A bloody head-fuck based on the controversial book of the same name by author Bret Easton Ellis. It’s all brick phones, posh suits, expensive dinners and top-of-the-range cocaine for Christian Bale’s character Patrick Bateman. The white stuff doesn’t always meet Patrick’s high standards, though. Racking up in a toilet cubicle and unhappy with the narcotics in his possession, Bateman says: “Definitely weak, but if we do enough of it we’ll be okay.” And he definitely does plenty of it throughout the film - and the book - as he slowly loses his mind and countless victims lose their lives.
Read this next: This is how MDMA reached the UK in 1988
Based on the story of George Jung, a young guy from a small town in Massachusetts who ended up making a fortune in cocaine importation and mixing with a little-known coke fiend called Pablo Escobar. Johnny Depp plays George in Blow , an adaption of the book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All , with Penelope Cruz starring as his wife Mirtha. Set in the US and Colombia, Blow is a rise and fall story full of piles of cash, quotes of “I can’t feel my face”, parental failure, greed and imprisonment.
2002 City Of God
No film out there paints Rio De Janeiro, Brazil quite like Fernando Meirelles’ City Of God. The 2002 flick won plaudits for its depiction of drug-related violence in the Rio suburb of Cidade de Deus in the ‘70s, a time when cocaine was on the rise in the city. Characters Rocket and Ze are the focus, the former a budding photographer, the latter falling into the drugs business and using Rocket’s photography expertise to increase his and his gang’s reputation. Both beautiful and brutal, it picked up four Academy Award nominations, including Best Cinematography. Watch it and you’ll see why.
2005 The Business
Who doesn’t love Danny Dyer? Oh, you don’t? Really? Why on Earth not? OK, he might have lost that boyish, pill-loving, ‘NICE ONE BRUVVA!!!’ charm of Human Traffic , but you can’t fault his mid-00s run of being a Proper Nawty Geezer on the silver screen. After his role as hooligan Tommy Johnson in The Football Factory , Danny teamed up with director Nick Love again to play Frankie in The Business. The impressionable Frankie goes from living a dead-end life in south London to living a life clad in prime ‘80s Sergio Tachhini clobber in the Costa del Sol. The lavish lifestyle was first funded by selling cannabis, then cocaine alongside his partner Charlie, played by Tamer Hassan. As always seems to be the case in these coke-happy films, the selling leads to snorting and it’s all downhill from there. That’s not to say Frankie doesn’t have the last laugh. Even if he did have to ruin his threads in a sewage pipe. A soundtrack featuring Blondie, Rick James, David Bowie, Loose Ends, Mary Jane Girls makes this a British ‘80s-set classic.
2004 Maria Full Of Grace
Maria Full Of Grace is one of the few films on this list that doesn’t glamourise the cocaine trade or its use as a recreational drug. The Colombian-US production follows a 17-year-old woman who quits her job at a gruelling flower plantation before finding out she’s pregnant and leaving her relationship and family behind to find a new life in Bogotá , where she gets roped into running cocaine to New York. She joins a group of women who are mules for a cartel and this bittersweet drama follows their fates when they touch down in the US.
Read this next: We went undercover in a Chinese MDMA factory
2013 The Wolf Of Wall Street
Probably the most infamous cocaine film of the last decade, The Wolf Of Wall Street features Leonardo DiCaprio in his prime as a ravenous stockbroker who works his way up the ranks to become one of the most fearsome – and corrupt – individuals on Wall Street. Directed by Martin Scorsese and also featuring a brilliant turn by Jonah Hill, there’s nothing morally upstanding about this movie and it features enough blow to sink a cruise ship full of toxic businessmen. Unshockingly enough it’s based on (and takes its name from) a memoir, that of stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Watch out for this iconic scene .
2013 Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club is the moving true story of Ron Woodroof, who founded the Dallas Buyers Club in Texas in 1988 to help people with AIDS treat their symptoms with drugs that were unapproved for use in the USA. His alpha personality as a cowboy, electrician and coke head is at odds with the community he begins to represent but he quickly turns into an anti-hero for the fight against aids. Matthew McConaughey gives one of his finest performances as Woodroof, with the actor embarking on an extreme diet to portray the physical deterioration of an AIDs victim.
2017 T2 Trainspotting
The long-awaited follow up to Danny Boyle’s legendary adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s equally legendary novel didn’t quite live up to the original but still caused quite the stir when it landed . Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud are so well loved that it was great to see them back together on the big screen and, despite the underwhelming nature of the results, the plot (which borrows heavily from Trainspotting sequel Porno) still provides an adequate romp around Leith and Edinburgh. A whole bevvy of substances are consumed throughout as we watch the four manbabies struggle to get their act together as they approach middle age.
2017 Kill Your Friends
Kill Your Friends is John Niven’s notorious novel about 1990s music industry excess that comes spiked with dark twists and turns. And – yup – tons of gak. The film adaptation stars Nicholas Hoult, who’s no stranger to a party scene thanks to his lead role in well-loved 00s teen sit-com Skins . It didn’t win any major plaudits upon release but worth a watch as the book is a firm part of UK music industry folklore.
Would it be a Gasper Noé film without some kind of substance abuse? Climax sees a Parisian dance troupe descend into madness after someone spikes the punch with LSD at their post-rehearsal party. It’s inspired by a true story as well as Noé’s experience of the Paris vogue scene, and features ballroom star Kiddy Smile among a cast of dancers with no previous acting experience. The dialogue is largely improvised and Noé experimented with unusual filming styles, including long takes that last up to 42 minutes, to recreate the psychedelic experience. The cast were given free reign to interpret how to act while supposedly on drugs, with Noé saying the film is a study on how people respond to fear. It’s quite the bad trip, with a few of the characters doing bumps of coke to try and level out during the height of the madness.
2018 Sorry To Bother You
Lakeith Stanfield is the face of this brilliant satirical comedy in which a struggling white collar worker begins to climb the corporate only to find that the rewards wreck havoc with his life. The film descends into the realm of trippy magic realism when Stanfield’s character Cassius “Cash” Green takes a line of what he believes to be cocaine from the CEO of the telemarketing company he works for. Come for Stanfield’s predictably great performance and stay for the razor-sharp skewering of capitalism.
Want to watch Nicolas Cage hunt down a clan of supernatural bikers and the members of an psychedelic sex cult while high on uber strong LSD and cocaine? Course you do. Mandy is a kickass action horror that sees Cage’s character Red on a mission to avenge the murder of his girlfriend Mandy. It’s a classic revenge quest, complete with high body count and a chainsaw duel, but told with stunning, sumptuous cinematography. What it lacks in dialogue, it more than makes up for in atmosphere and adrenaline. Fans of the occult, B-movies and Nic Cage doing Nic Cage really well will dig this. It also has the last score by Jóhann Jóhannsson before his untimely passing .
2018 The Legend Of Cocaine Island
The title of this Netflix original is wild enough, the story is even wilder. Rodney Hyden, just a regular fella from Florida, hears about a stash - 70 pounds to be exact - of cocaine hidden in Puerto Rico. Desperate for cash, Hyden sets out to find it, in the hope he’ll be able to sell it and make around $2 million. A seemingly helpful guy named Carlos offers his help in retrieving the goods, but it just so turns out he’s an undercover cop who ends up arresting Hyden for intent to distribute. Sound ridiculous? It’s a true story, split into real-life interviews and re-enactments. We’ll be honest, it’s inclusion in this list is mainly down to its choice of title, rather than its ability - or inability - to score 10/10 in your film club.
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The Top 15 Drug Movies Of All Time (2021 Update)
There is something riveting about watching drug-related movies, whether it's a tale of corrupt cops looking to benefit, or an emotional and visually stunning story about addiction. They can be light-hearted, or deadly serious, but drugs are a central theme in modern cinema either way. With that being said, we think these are the best in the genre.
Are you looking for an entertaining and intriguing tale for a drug-themed movie night? Whether you're just looking for one, or enough to fill up your next two weeks, we've got you covered! Some offer laughs, others will bring you to tears, and many will have you on the edge of your seat. Either way, we think they're classics, and we're honored to introduce you to them.
- Top 15 Drug Movies
From underground cult classics to the Hollywood blockbuster, drugs have long been a recurring theme in movies. They, more or less, are part of their own unique genre. Some glamourise the effects of drugs and the lifestyle of addicts, while others don't hold back on portraying the unflattering reality. However the film is made, or whichever approach they've taken, they can be entertaining and thought-provoking. With that in mind, in no particular order, we've put together our top 15 picks of drug movies we think you should check out.
1. Waking Life
If you're looking for a trippy tale, look no further than Waking Life. This highly stylised movie centres around an unnamed protagonist who we find dealing with an existential crisis. While this sounds fairly plain at first, the story offers interesting perspectives and different philosophies on life throughout, making for a perfect substitute for those late-night high conversations.
It also boasts an engaging art style, utilizing rotoscoping to make the live-action-character appear hand-drawn. There's certainly plenty to experience visually, as well as inwardly, with Waking Life.
2. Easy Rider
Seen as one of the quintessential American movies, Easy Rider stars Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as Wyatt and Billy, respectively. The film tells the story of their road trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans after smuggling drugs from Mexico. The ensuing tale shows all their lows and highs (and believe us, there are plenty of highs).
From the depictions of marijuana and LSD use, to the core of the plot, drugs are the foundation of Wyatt and Billy's story. They find themselves in some tricky situations as a result, and they ensure it’s gripping from start to finish. With all that, plus a 60s soundtrack that holds up to this day, we recommend you don't miss out on Easy Rider.
3. A Scanner Darkly
From the mind of prolific science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly tells a story of America in the near future. Having lost the “war on drugs,” the movie shows both sides of drug use, as well as those that attempt to curb it.
Bob Arctor (played by Keanu Reeves) finds himself in the middle. As an undercover agent tasked with finding the supplier of a mysterious drug called “Substance D”, Arctor treads the line between his mission and dealing with being an addict himself. It’s visually impressive, too, using a similar rotoscoping technique as Waking Life. So, while we could describe it all day, A Scanner Darkly is a movie that has to be seen to be believed.
Spun is a dark comedy that focuses on a group involved in a methamphetamine drug ring. The ensuing story is a strange experience, showing the dangers of all involved, from the people responsible for making the drugs, the dealers, and those that use them.
While hard-hitting and visceral in places, there is also some quality dark humour to be found here. With a soundtrack of some of the best metal bands (there's even a cameo from Judas Priest's frontman Rob Halford), Spun offers a thrilling, non-stop cautionary tale.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street is the shocking semi-true story of excess, drugs and stockbroking in the late 1980s. With a fantastic cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie) led by legendary director Martin Scorsese, you know you're in for a great movie before it's even started.
Sit back for the 179-minute runtime and watch Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he rises from being a no-name junior stockbroker to the head of the shady Stratton Oakmont brokerage. The Wolf of Wall Street is a rise and fall story like no other; It's hilarious from start to finish, and, if you ask us, completely unforgettable.
In Limitless, Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a struggling writer who is frustrated by his life. That is, of course, until he is introduced to the new drug “NZT-48," a pill that can unlock all of the hidden potential in his brain. This allows him to become “limitless” in his intelligence and ambitions. While everything seems much better for Eddie on the surface, the reality is not what it seems, and his struggles escalate beyond belief. A fascinating science fiction thriller, Limitless subverts expectations to offer a gripping and memorable experience.
If there was ever an advert to show the effects and the unglamorous lifestyle of heroin addiction, Trainspotting would be it. Based on the book of the same name by Irvine Welsh, this is a visceral movie that tells the story of addict Mark Renton (played by Ewan McGregor). It’s set in 1990s Edinburgh, Scotland, and follows Mark's numerous attempts to become clean.
Things are not that easy though. With some truly striking moments, Trainspotting has become one of the most popular drug movies in history.
8. Training Day
A multi-award-winning movie, Training Day follows the story of narcotics detective Alonzo Harris (played by Denzel Washington) and his task of evaluating officer Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke).
The result blurs the lines between law and crime, as it becomes clear Alonzo is a reckless and corrupt cop who’s heavily involved with the Russian Mafia and local street gangs. He manipulates and blackmails Jake throughout, driving him further to the edge with every moment. If you love action-packed crime stories, this is nothing short of a must-watch.
Depicting the “war” aspect of the war on drugs , Sicario is an action-packed movie that focuses on a government task force's efforts to fight Mexican drug cartels. They enlist FBI agent Kate Macer (played by Emily Blunt), who learns that the government's methods are not exactly legal.
This is confirmed when they bring in the mysterious and foreboding Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). See, Alejandro has a history with the cartel and may have some ulterior motives for his involvement. As it all comes together, it offers some amazing bits of action coupled with some claustrophobic and often brutal scenes.
10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Seen by many as the ultimate drug movie, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is based on the semi-autobiographical book of the same name by acclaimed author, Hunter S. Thompson, and directed by Terry Gilliam. The iconic story follows a road trip taken by journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo. Aided by some intense psychedelic drugs, there are some truly trippy scenes and hilarious moments to be found throughout. Thought-provoking at times, but always bizarre, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a film that demands your attention.
11. City of God
City of God is a no-holds-barred, and often brutal, story set in Rio de Janeiro. Spanning several decades, the movie shows a group of friends rising to power from their beginnings as petty street criminals. While some movies look to glamourise the use of drugs and the crime syndicates behind them, City of God shows an unflinching illustration of life in the favelas during these times. Gang warfare, police corruption and drug cartels are a consistent presence, making for a captivating viewing that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
12. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Ritchie's major directorial debut, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is the quintessential British crime movie. After losing a rigged card game, Eddie must come up with £500,000 to cover his losses. He and his friends hatch a plan to try and rob their criminal neighbours after overhearing they have acquired a large quantity of cannabis.
Related article Top 15 Stoner Movies Of All Times
Of course, as you could suspect, not everything goes to plan, and there are hilarious scenes that ensue. These are also offset with some nail-biting tense moments—all making for a movie that is considered to be a true classic.
13. Pulp Fiction
After the release of Quentin Tarantino's debut, Reservoir Dogs, the world was wondering what this critically acclaimed director would do next. Just a few years later, Pulp Fiction arrived.
This is a non-linear movie that plays with your expectations of what a crime movie should be. Sharp humor is offered in spades, but there are also many unforgettably intense scenes, including an overdose depiction that perfectly captures the panic and regret of the moment. No matter what it’s discussing, the film pulls absolutely no punches.
Considering all this, it’s no wonder that university dorm rooms across the world have Pulp Fiction posters hung up on the walls.
As screenwriter Oliver Stone's “farewell love letter” to his cocaine addiction, Scarface is a remake of the 1932 movie of the same name. In case you’ve somehow missed out, the movie follows Cuban refugee Tony Montana's rise to the top.
As the film progresses, you can see his use of cocaine ultimately undermines his hunger for power and success. With plenty of on-screen violence and drug use (apparently powdered milk was used as a substitute), it all culminates in one of the wildest showdown scenes ever filmed. Scarface, as a result of the gripping subject matter and near-perfect execution, has retained its cult classic status and prestige for decades.
15. Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream is an unwavering look at addiction and the circumstances that surround it. Each character has unique personalities, aspirations, and dreams, making their harrowing story of heroin dependency and downward spiraling far more potent.
Depicting incarceration, prostitution, and everything in between, it’s clear the director and writers refused to hold back in presenting the subject matter. With an impressive cast (including Jared Leto), Requiem for a Dream is seen as one of the most depressing yet thought-provoking movies ever made.
- Best Cannabis Strains to Smoke While Watching Movies
So now you know what to watch, but now you’re probably wondering what to smoke during the movie. Keeping that in mind, we've put together a short guide that will show you which one to pick for each genre . It’s all subjective, of course, but we think these specific pairings are worth your consideration.
Girl Scout Cookies
If you're looking for a full-body, cerebral high that will complement any movie night, look no further than Girl Scout Cookies . There's no need to stock up on sweet treats and popcorn, as this strain features earthy sweet flavors and aromas that’ll offer pure bliss.
Coupled with an average of 23% THC, this indica-dominant strain will offer a relaxing high that won't put you to sleep. So you can sit back, sink into your chair and enjoy the movie. Sounds like a perfect combination to us.
Seen as one of the most famous strains around, we couldn't make this list without White Widow . This sativa/indica hybrid strain comes highly recommended from us, along with all those that try her. With a refreshing pine and citrus flavour and aroma, along with an average THC content of 18%, White Widow offers a delicious and soothing experience.
But take it easy with her! Despite the sub-20% THC content, she can pack a punch that can knock you out if you aren’t careful. Just take a few hits and make sure you’re awake for the end of the movie!
Not just beautiful to look at, Purple Kush is an indica-dominant strain with effects that’re just as striking as her looks.
Starting with her subtle, sweet and herbal aroma and flavours, she is sure to put a smile on your face. That smile will only grow wider as you feel the full soothing sensation of her 22% THC nugs. All that goodness is wrapped together in each powerful hit, perfect for indulging while you put your favourite movie on.
Dim the lights, light up your favourite flower, and enjoy your movie night!
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Table of contents
The 30 Best Movies About Addiction
Is there any such thing as too much of a good thing? Yes. But that doesn’t stop most people and that’s fine enough. Everyone has some sort of compulsive behavior that makes them feel good, but may have adverse consequences in the future.
However, when are normal things like over-spending or overeating considered being a sort of disease? – When your whole life falls apart because of it. When it gets in the way of daily functioning by interrupting or ruining things like work, school, relationships, friendships, and health.
Most people assume that the only things you can get addicted to are drugs or alcohol which are intrinsically rewarding and therefore reinforce the behavior. But there are way more addictions and many adaptations of how addiction is portrayed in cinema. Whether it is the beginning of addiction or rehabilitation from it, or even how there is a whole economy based on addicts, there’s a movie of it.
1. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Darren Aronofsky’s second feature after his extremely low-budget but critically successful “Pi” is a film that not only translates the desperation and the hopelessness that drugs lead to, but portrays the way that addiction sneaks into existence, without intent or any control.
Focusing on four main characters and outcomes, the root of this group is the gaunt and optimistic Harry (Jared Leto) who regularly guilt-trips his widowed, elderly mother Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn in her Oscar nominated role) for her television set which he frequently sells with his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and which she always pays to buy back.
While Harry, Tyrone and Harry’s girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) are all already deep in their addiction to heroin and other drugs, Sara is innocently dependent on sugar and television. But once she gets a call inviting her to participate on a television game show, she becomes obsessed with losing weight so that she can wear the red dress her husband Seymour loved and starts taking weight-loss amphetamine .
Aronofsky uses extreme, tight close-ups and split screens that often have interfering movements that are present in each half. Both of these together with his signature long tracking shots emphasize that even when the characters are together in the same room, in the same bed, they are still ultimately alone. They may share the same addiction, the same desperate need, but each must deal with it single handedly.
Aronofsky focuses on the speed at which the drugs take effect, and how quickly they wear off through fast-cutting in his hip-hop montages that exaggerate sound effects and illustrate the transition from sobriety to intoxication. Together with his stylistic trademarks, he further dramatized each scene with his frequent collaborator Clint Mansell’s score that has been widely praised.
2. Trainspotting (1996)
Based on the popular novel by Irvine Welsh, the dark comedy-drama follows a group of heroin addicts who live in a deprived part of Edinburgh. The story is narrated by the desperate Renton (Ewan McGregor) who delivers his iconic “Choose Life” monologue as he and his simple-minded friend “Spud” (Ewan Bremner) are being chased by a security guard.
His other friends – the con-artist addict Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), the clean, good-natured athlete Tommy (Kevin MckKidd) and the psychopathic Begbie (Robert Carlyle) who brags about his strong will against drugs, are his “support” system.
Renton decides to use the “Sick Boy Method” of cleaning himself up (despite the fact that Sick Boy’s method clearly doesn’t work because he’s still a drug-addict) and nails himself into a room with multiple cans of assorted canned soup, ice cream, milk of magnesia, water, Valium (which he stole from his mother – who he considers a socially acceptable drug-addict in her own right), a TV set and three buckets for urine, feces and vomit. However, the detox is short-lived.
The movie has been criticized for being pro-drug and has been defended as anti-drug, but whatever it is, what makes it unique is that it shows the bubble they live in – how everyone else who criticizes them for being weak and stupid is just ignorant of what heroin feels like. It depends on the understanding and sympathy between addicts rather than what clear-headed people preach. Renton and his friends know they are poisoning themselves and try stay straight, but drug-abuse is circular, not linear.
3. Half Nelson (2006)
Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is a dedicated middle-school teacher who tries his best to make his class excited and eager to learn history by listening to their ideas and feedback and relating present events to those of the past. His teaching methods, while positive and interesting, ignore the district-approved syllabus which leads him into a bit of trouble.
While he’s nice and helpful with regards to his students, especially Drey (Shareeka Epps), he is often strung out and high from smoking, snorting, freebasing crack cocaine. But as he tells Drey after she finds him half-unconscious getting high on the locker room floor – “one thing doesn’t make a man” and that’s what this film is about.
It highlights the grey areas in a not-so-black-and-white world, where drug-addicts must steal and be bad – because Dan isn’t bad. He does behave recklessly at times and is incredibly flawed, but his intentions are good. He knows he can’t save a whole generation of kids by teaching them history, but tries to make a difference to at least one kid, because that’s all he needs.
Directed by Ryan Fleck and co-written with Anna Boden (in their first collaboration together), the feature film is actually based on a 19-minute short they did in 2004 titled “Gowanus, Brooklyn”.
The independent film is gritty, uncompromising and most importantly real. Ryan Gosling delivers a heartbreaking performance (which gained him an Oscar nomination) in his role as Dan and many feel that Shareeka Epps was snubbed and deserved an Oscar nod too for her portrayal of a girl who wants to follow in the footsteps of her convict brother by hanging out with his friends.
Emphasized by an Indie score by the Canadian band “Broken Social Scene” and punctuated by clips of students talking about important and revolutionary moments in American history, this film unpredictable and both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. It feels no urgency to have clear, straight forward resolutions as most of these films do. It’s comfortable with subtlety.
4. The Basketball Diaries (1985)
Based on Jim Carroll’s 1978 memoir that became a cult classic, the movie casts the already Oscar nominated late teen Leonardo DiCaprio to portray the Catholic high school basketball star turned doped up heroin addict who would do anything for another hit.
Jim’s relatively minor deviances like sniffing paint and behaving badly in class swiftly move to snorting coke, breaking into a diner and turning tricks. His friends all serve as alternative lives he could have had – with one getting arrested, one staying clean and becoming a successful athlete, and one ending up even worse than he does.
While this movie is predictable and a typical abuse story with a decent protagonist who succumbs to peer pressure and becomes a strung out mess begging for money, it doesn’t change the anti-drug message effectiveness – especially since it is based on a true story – and does not lessen DiCaprio’s and Mark Wahlberg’s portrayals of juvenile junkies.
5. The Lost Weekend (1945)
Billy Wilder and his cowriter Charles Brackett introduced a different kind of drunkard on to the silver screen with their film noir drama film; one not limited to comic relief or slurred advice from a barstool. They instead focused on an intelligent, good looking and well-meaning everyman whose thirst grows as his life deteriorates in meaning.
Don Birnam (Ray Millard is his Oscar winning role) is a New York writer who is ready to lie, cheat, and steal to get his booze. Beginning on a Thursday, Don escapes a weekend trip with his brother and instead decides to stay in the city and soak up as much whisky as possible before his girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman) discovers him.
Despite Helen’s attempts to help him get off this downward projector, her efforts are silenced by Don’s total disregard for her care and his compulsion to keep on drinking by whatever means necessary, even pawning his typewriter to raise funds for booze.
During production, Paramount was very anxious about the film’s adult theme and grim outlook, and so was the liquor industry, who offered Paramount $5 million to not release the film. Besides the concept of realistically portraying the degradation of alcoholism, Paramount was also uncertain about Milland’s casting since he was a popular matinee idol but not a serious, dramatic actor.
However, he proved himself by not only starting the tradition of losing weight to achieve the gaunt, addict look, but also checked himself into a hospital to experience the hysteria of a drunk ward.
Despite the initial testing of the film going badly, and agents telling Milland that he would be committing professional suicide, the film went on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) as well as the highest award at the first Cannes Film Festival.
6. Naked Lunch (1991)
David Cronenberg’s metatextual adaptation of the William S. Burrough’s novel (together with some autobiographical accounts of his life) leads to a character pretty similar to Burroughs himself, and others who are resemble people he knew like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
The film opens with William Lee (Peter Weller), an exterminator whose wife (Judy Davis) is addicted his bug powder and steals it, resulting in him constantly having to refill his tank. William claims to have recovered from drugs, but his zombie personality, his flat, dead eyes and hallucinations seem to contradict that.
Due to the insecticide exposure, he becomes deluded and believes that he is an undercover, secret agent with two handlers in the forms of a talking insectoid typewriter and an alien who assign him the task of killing his wife, Joan. The film is Cronenberg’s first venture into something outside horror; although that does not mean that he limits his organically decaying aesthetic trademark.
The hallucinogens lead to absurd scenes and the abuse of bug powder leads to loads of roaches and insects living free and infiltrating the screen. The stone-cold, detached stare of the William together with the weirdness of the entire script and situation, that all together seem to mirror real life, make the film compelling and strange but one that nevertheless requires a certain taste.
7. The Man With The Golden Arm (1955)
Films should always be discussed in the context of which they were made, but maybe especially so for Otto Preminger’s films. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) refused to certify this particular drama due to the central taboo subject of narcotics.
But that’s okay, because Preminger released it without their seal of approval anyway which created a domino effect that resulted in a change of production codes for the better – allowing more controversial topics like prostitution and abortion to be discussed in film.
Frank Sinatra stars as Frankie Machine, a heroin addict who is forced to become clean in prison but struggles to remain so once he is released back into reality.
His wife (Eleanor Parker) fakes her disability so as to ensure Frankie stays with her and hampers all his attempts to make something of himself. His former boss (Robert Strauss) wants him back dealing cards for an underground game and his former dealer (Darren McGavin) wants him hooked again. Only Molly (Kim Novak), an old flame and his neighbor seems to wish him well.
8. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
Desperate people will do all sorts of bad things to get what they need. But good people can become desperate, and that’s what Gus Van Sant’s second feature is grounded on – moral people doing immoral things. Focusing on a strung out, drugstore-robbing pack of twenty-something-year-old friends headed by Bob (Matt Dillon), they drift between places on their never ending search for drugs, primarily prescription ones, although they’re not too picky.
Each member is an integral part of the smooth running, planned out pharmacy heist, although they often argue about who worked the most to see who could get most of the prize, whether it’s the distraction (Heather Graham and James Le Gros), or the getaway driver (Kerry Lynch) or Bob who actually hops over the counter to take whatever he can pop or sell.
But things become out of control, as they tend to when you’re severely high and eager to pull another job, and Bob tries his best to become sober and clean. This change removes him as the pack leader as he attempts to detach himself from his weakness and become a good person who doesn’t do bad things.
9. Traffic (2000)
More of a political crime drama than an addiction one, Steven Soderbergh’s critically acclaimed “Traffic” focuses on the profit from addiction through multiple perspectives in illegal drug trading. With an ensemble cast including Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Amy Irving, Albert Finney and Don Cheadle, the story is stretched over three main, parallel but occasionally linking storylines.
Soderbergh traces the supply chain from a trafficker to an enforcer until it reaches a user, along with all the contributing inputs from the DEA, the police and the politicians. The characters illustrate how the cooperation between Mexico and the U.S is crumbling due to lies and greed. However, besides the political value of this movie, of which it has plenty, it does not fail to depict the consequences of addiction first-hand.
The key performance in this drama is by Michael Douglas who portrays a conservative Ohio judge, Wakefield, who is newly appointed as the head of the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
However, despite his valid opinions and suggestions, everyone tells him that the War On Drugs is futile. Unknown to him, his daughter (Christensen) has been falling down the rabbit hole of cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin with the help of her boyfriend (Topher Grace) who introduces all of it to her.
10. Nymphomaniac (2013)
This controversial Lars von Trier two-part drama art film recounts events from the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she narrates them to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), a stranger who finds her beaten up and unconscious next to his apartment.
Beginning with her childhood fascination with sex to her urgent need to lose her virginity to anyone – anyone being the overly casual and careless Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf), Joe makes it a point to discover a way to remove sex from society’s perception of love.
After, maybe due to her disappointment with Jerôme, or curiosity about her sexual powers over men, she becomes increasingly promiscuous and careless as she tries to sleep with as many men as possible on a train in effort to win a bag of sweets and win a competition with her friend.
This four hour film which is halved into two volumes is further subdivided into titled-sections, each with their own timeline, subject and style that is sometimes grittily realistic and others incredibly metaphorical. The overeducated Seligman often pauses the story and brings it back to the present in order to ask a question or to analyze her life in relation to some book he read or an object he holds dear.
However, he never seems to judge or be shocked at her affairs and horrifying deeds, rather only the mature Joe hates the things she has done and the lives she has ruined in her efforts to have constant meaningless sex. Her addiction becomes dangerous not only to the families of her lovers, or her own family, but mostly to herself.
12 movies and shows that take you inside the world of narcotics on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar
By Prabal Sharma
Time and again films have highlighted the realm of drugs and delivered immensely impactful narratives. Since these plots are based in a harsh reality, they have the ability to connect with the audience on a personal level. While a lot of stories showcase drug use as a given habit of a character, some dive deep into its disastrous intricacies. We bring you a list of movies and series— from biographical dramas to action thrillers —that will entertain and take you inside the elusive underbelly of illegal substance trade and abuse.
Chronicling the life of Colombian drug lord , Pablo Escobar, the show highlights the spread of cartels across America and vigorous efforts of law enforcement agencies to put an end to them. It touches upon the inception of Pablo's journey in the world of drugs. The intense narrative is shown from the perspective of a DEA agent, Steve Murphy, who is sent to Colombia on an undercover mission to capture and ultimately kill Pablo.
Streaming on Netflix
By Hasina Khatib
By Elle Turner
By Emily Tannenbaum
The film showcases four lives which intersect in a gritty tale set in the North Indian state of Punjab. A singer, a migrant labourer, a doctor and a cop are all involved in a journey which revolves around the relentless drug use in the state. The plot takes you from regular substance abuse to a larger political conspiracy behind the ready availability of such narcotics. Fake identities, prostitution, death, and despair are just the tip of the iceberg when Udta Punjab gets underway.
It can be a lot to process when you get diagnosed with a terminal disease , and the usual reactions do not include taking to a life in crime. However, chemistry teacher Walter White thinks otherwise after his diagnosis of stage III lung cancer, and does exactly that to secure his family's future. Given approximately two years to live, he starts cooking and selling methamphetamine with a former student. The plan seems to work initially as the money starts flowing in, but his success sets the authorities and rival sellers on his scent.
After her mother's passing, Amrita Jayshankar (Kalki Koechlin)'s mental health slowly starts deteriorating. She meets Karan Chaudhary at a party, who introduces her to his gang of freeloader friends. Her lifestyle slowly spirals out of control as drugs and alcohol become the new normal. The bubble soon bursts when the group kills two people in a hit and run while over-speeding. Escaping the scene, they are found out by a corrupt cop who demands copious amounts of money to keep his mouth shut. Desperate to keep things quiet, they fake Amrita's kidnapping, but the plan backfires when the case swells up to a full-fledged investigation.
A heartfelt story of a father and son who go through various extremities as the son, Nic (Timothée Chalamet), struggles with drug addiction. The film depicts the struggles and the impact of such a situation on the family as Nic goes from being sober to relapsing from time to time. His father, David ( Steve Carell) , takes all sorts of approaches to help him, from being considerate and checking him into rehab to cutting him off financially for his own good. Beautiful Boy is based on a pair of memoirs of the real-life father-son duo.
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
A Russian drug lord, Moshe Barak, in Goa has to deal with the murder of two of his associates which starts a devastating gang war between cartels. The bloodshed causes Moshe to consider penning a deal with his opposing gang but other rivals, including some of his own people, hunger for a piece of Goa's drug trade. As he works to fix the situation, the chief minister of the state commands a ruthless police task force to hunt the criminals down in a drive to rid the party capital of India of narcotics .
Streaming on Eros Now
Managing illegal money for a Mexican drug cartel can go wrong in a number of ways and financial advisor Martin Byrde realises that a little too late. He decides to move his family from Chicago to a small town in Missouri, where he aims to set up a huge money-laundering operation to make up for a previously failed one. As the plan is put in motion, things start to go wrong when the Bryde family gets involved with local outlaws and eventually, the Kansas City Mafia.
When Lorry Gomes gets detained at Goa airport security by inspector Vishnu Kamath, a huge case of drug smuggling comes into the light. Even though Lorry's bag is oozing with illegal substances, Vishnu realises that he is just a pawn in a bigger conspiracy . His investigations string together a lot of suspects and put him face to face with notorious drug dealers with political connections and international criminals operating in the state. Vishnu narrows down on businessman, Lorsa Biscuita, who he suspects is associated with the kingpin of the entire network.
Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar
A light-hearted documentary with a pressing incentive, Have a Good Trip seamlessly blends humour with eye-opening revelations about hallucinogenic drugs. It involves celebrities narrating their hilarious and often disastrous personal experiences with psychedelics and discuss the drugs' origin, history, societal impact, and importance in pop-culture. It also talks about the relevance of hallucinogens in treating depression and addiction.
Is there a way to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder without conventional medicine and therapy? From Shock To Awe weaves an intense narrative around the lives of two combat veterans who decide to switch from pharmaceuticals to psychedelic drugs as a cure for their PTSD. Their decision does indeed hover on scientific research into the use of these drugs for medical purposes. The documentary also forces you to think about the legality of such processes, their influence on the medical industry and the morality of war.
Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video
This 20-minute episode is a thorough study of the most consumed illicit substance in the world— marijuana. It chronicles the journey of its usage from ancient China to the modern-day, dissecting the biology of Weed and its various types, touching upon the higher potency of the female plant compared to the male one. Other primary topics of discussion include the drug's addictive properties, its impact on mental well-being, results of potential legalisation, and the global trading network.
A group of corrupt doctors who run a rehab facility formulate a new synthetic pill that takes the illegal drug market by storm. Aiding them is one of their patients addicted, Shiv Mathur, whose intention of getting his life back together is forgotten when the profits start rolling in. However, the flip side of the coin shows face when competitors and a professional assassin catch their scent, threatening their lives.
Streaming on MX Player
9 romantic thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat, on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar
7 gripping mystery movies to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and more
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The Top 10 Ultimate Drug-Cartel Movies
The war on drugs makes great fodder for drama and adventure at the movies. The latest featuring drug cartels and border battles is ' Sicario ,' out in limited release September 18. In it, Benicio Del Toro stars as a hit man who appears to be helping the FBI... but is everything as it seems? While we find out, check out these other movies involving drugs and danger.
10. The Last Stand
Bear with us here. Though a box office bomb, this is really a durable, albeit ridiculous, action-adventure about a showdown between Arnold, various law enforcement and one dangerous drugpin speeding towards the border in a souped-up Corvette ZR-1.
9. Clear and Present Danger
It's sort of the underrated and unappreciated third film in the Jack Ryan series of espionage thrillers, but it's also quite good. Harrison Ford as Ryan goes full-rage mode as he navigates the treacherous political lines that are crossed and double-crossed when a pal of the president is murdered by a Colombian drug cartel.
Taylor Kitsch starred in three movies in 2012. This one was definitely the edgiest, which makes sense since it was directed by Oliver Stone. It's a wild and wacky tale about two Laguna Beach pot dealers (Kitsch, Aaron Johnson) who find themselves in a hot mess after the Mexican Baja Cartel aims for a piece of their action, and kidnaps their mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively).
7. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
This ultra-stylish chapter in Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi series features Johnny Depp as a shady – and quirky – CIA agent who enlists Antonio Banderas' mariachi on a mission to stop a corrupt general (one with a past with our mariachi) and an evil drug kingpin who are out to assassinate the president of Mexico.
6. Miami Vice
Michael Mann's signature '80s TV series made a fairly seamless transition to the big screen in 2006 with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx taking on the roles of drug cartel-busting cops Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. The color palette was a BIT more muted, but there's still lots of brooding and gritty action as the duo take on a kingpin named Arcangel de Jesus Montoya.
5. End of Watch
The hook here is that a lot of it is filmed found-footage style, but really, the most engaging part of the film is the chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. They're thoroughly believable as police officers and BFFs who become targets of L.A.'s most dangerous drug cartel.
4. City of God
This critically acclaimed movie takes a street-level view of poverty in 1970s Rio de Janeiro, telling the fascinating story of two childhood friends. One becomes an accomplished photographer who captures the scenes of crime and decay in the city. The other rises through the ranks to become a powerful drug lord who uses his pal's images to increase his claims to fame and notoriety.
Johnny Depp's second appearance on our list is his starring role as real-life cocaine dealer George Jung. The movie follows George's humble beginnings in 1950s Boston through to his rise and fall in the 1980s as a confidant to Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar. Penelope Cruz costars as the woman of his dreams and the mother of his young daughter.
Al Pacino's iconic role as Cuban-immigrant-turned-Miami-drug-lord Tony Montana is revered in the annals of classic movie characters because of 1) the highly stylized production surrounding him, courtesy of director Brian De Palma working at the height of his career; 2) an intense, powerhouse performance by live-wire Pacino; and 3) a bloody finale where Tony Montana introduces us to his "little friend."
Steven Soderbergh's multilayered epic tells several stories at once, all centered around the effects of the south-of-the-border drug trade, and features an all-star cast including Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle and more. Beyond being exciting entertainment, the film's an intelligent, engaging conversation starter that doesn't shy away from the various complexities of the drug – and drug-cartel – issue.
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Cape Central Middle School students raise money for classmate
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Some Heartland middle students are getting creative and getting some cash to help one of their own.
Students at Cape Central Middle School hosted a movie night on Thursday, March 16 as a fundraiser for a classmate diagnosed with cancer.
The classmate is currently being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Once the middle school students learned about his fight with cancer, students tell Heartland News they knew exactly what they had to do.
Ainsley Cook 5th grade
“We wanted to do a fundraiser for just a hospital or something but then we found out that there is a student at CMS who was fighting cancer,” said 5th grader Ainsley Cook. “So we wanted to raise money for him.”
And they did just that -- the movie night brought in more than $3,000.
Copyright 2023 KFVS. All rights reserved.
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1. Requiem for a Dream (2000) R | 102 min | Drama 8.3 Rate 71 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: 853,632 | Gross: $3.64M
Refine Drug Money In Theaters Release Year Drug Money Murder (25) Drug Dealer (22) Gun (20) Death (19) Blood (17) Violence (17) Cigarette Smoking (15) Money (15) Anti Hero (14) Female Nudity (14) Police (14) Revenge (14) Bare Chested Male (13) Drugs (13) Money Laundering (13) Shootout (13) Flashback (12) Independent Film (12) Meth Lab (12)
Best Movies About Addiction and Alcoholism Ray Milland in 'The Lost Weekend' 1. The Lost Weekend (1945) Billy Wilder 's classic film noir is a touchstone for addiction on film: highly acclaimed...
'The Pursuit of Happyness' tells a classic rags-to-riches American story about Christopher Gardner who works as a salesman but is facing some serious financial troubles. His wife leaves him and he is left to take care of their son while he takes up an unpaid internship in a brokerage firm.
The film features a plethora of drugs, with a focus on psychedelics like LSD and mescaline. Thirteen (2003) This disturbing indie-film provided Evan Rachel Wood with her breakout role as Tracy Freeland, the goody-two-shoes honor student who ingratiates herself with the wrong crowd.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989) This crime drama film follows a group of friends addicted to drugs as they travel across the Pacific Northwest, robbing hospitals and pharmacies. A fatal overdose impacts the whole group, and their leader Bob attempts to leave his past problems behind him.
List of movies about drugs with which you will be able to approach them: how addictions appear, what types of drugs exist, what those who consume them feel and what consequences can come later ... This money could completely change Maria's life, causing her to make the risky decision. 10- Candy (2006) It is a film about love and addiction ...
Checkout these movies based on Narcos / Drug Cartels. From women to drug money, violence, these includes all the bad stuff involved in Narcos. Subscribe to o...
March 2, 2022. Clermont-Ferrand, central France. Médéric meets and falls in love with middle-aged sex worker Isadora, who is married. When the city center is the scene of a terrorist attack, Selim, a young, homeless guy, provokes a wave of paranoia by taking refuge in Médéric's building.
The movie is fun to watch with all the plot twists and hilarious moments. The scene where Go Geon-soo is trying to cover up the hit and run honestly has you hoping that he gets away with it. There really is no hero per se in this film. Everyone has dirty hands in this movie but Kim does a great job directing this nonstop thrill ride. 12.
A ton of drugs are used in this movie; Quaaludes, cocaine, crack cocaine, Xanax, and morphine are a few of the cocktail of substances that these characters partake in, and DiCaprio's Jordan...
9 Enter the Void. IFC Films. Enter the Void is an extremely controversial French film from renegade director Gaspar Noe ( Irreversible, I Stand Alone ). Drugs used, shown and discussed in this ...
An air stewardess, Jackie's enlisted by Ordell Robbie, played by Samuel L. Jackson, to smuggle money from Mexico into the United States. The snag being that one time the suitcase contained cocaine as well as money, something Jackie's unaware of when she's intercepted by the ATF and arrested.
Gang warfare, police corruption and drug cartels are a consistent presence, making for a captivating viewing that will stay with you long after the credits roll. 12. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Guy Ritchie's major directorial debut, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is the quintessential British crime movie.
Sex, Drugs and Money. (1) 1 h 9 min 2011 18+. Sex, Drugs and Money is a laugh out loud comedy about three stoner friends (Tyler, Gray and Lloyd) hanging out with a drug dealer (Dan), when they discover that he has killed himself. Directors. Richard A. Rose.
1. Requiem For A Dream (2000) Darren Aronofsky's second feature after his extremely low-budget but critically successful "Pi" is a film that not only translates the desperation and the hopelessness that drugs lead to, but portrays the way that addiction sneaks into existence, without intent or any control.
12 movies and shows that take you inside the world of narcotics on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar. ... Managing illegal money for a Mexican drug cartel can go wrong in a number of ways and financial advisor Martin Byrde realises that a little too late. He decides to move his family from Chicago to a small town in Missouri ...
While we find out, check out these other movies involving drugs and danger. 10. The Last Stand. Bear with us here. Though a box office bomb, this is really a durable, albeit ridiculous, action-adventure about a showdown between Arnold, various law enforcement and one dangerous drugpin speeding towards the border in a souped-up Corvette ZR-1. 9.
If you want to know the best drug smuggling films you should definitely watch our picks for the best Drug Smuggler movies.Discover the best…🍿 popcorn machin...
Students at Cape Central Middle School hosted a movie night on Thursday, March 16 as a fundraiser for a classmate diagnosed with cancer. The classmate is currently being treated at St. Jude ...