The Best Drug Movies on Netflix
Finding a good Drug movie to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Drug movies of all time streaming on Netflix.
Forrest Gump (1994)
21 Jump Street (2012)
Weed the People (2018)
The Rental (2020)
Sweet Girl (2021)
Malcolm & Marie (2021)
The Deal (2012)
Code 8 (2019)
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2020)
Take the 10 (2017)
Burn Out (2019)
White Girl (2016)
The Bad Batch (2017)
Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
Bad Trip (2020)
The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir (2015)
Have a Good Trip (2020)
Grass Is Greener (2019)
The Last Runway (2018)
One 2 Ka 4 (2001)
The Gentlemen (2020)
The Hangover (2009)
Triple Frontier (2019)
Side Effects (2013)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
Fear Street: Part One - 1994 (2021)
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Now on Netflix: 7 of the Best Drug-Themed Movies
There have been countless movies centered on the use or trade of drugs, from stoner comedies to critically acclaimed, serious-minded dramas. If you’re interested in the drug theme and are looking for your next film to watch, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great options within the category available for streaming on Netflix .
Since their vast library spans such a wide variety of genres, we’ve narrowed down the options to just seven of their best drug-themed titles. All of these movies incorporate some element of the drug trade into their storylines and there’s something to fit every kind of taste, whether you prefer funny, dramatic, or a little crazy (hey, we are talking about drug-infused themes here). Below, check out seven of the best drug movies on Netflix right now.
High school senior Malcolm Adekanbi (Shameik Moore) and his group of eclectic friends become embroiled in a drug dealer’s business when Malcolm inadvertently takes a backpack full of drugs home from a party. A critically acclaimed breakout at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Dope appears on its surface to be a standard teen sex comedy flick. However, beneath its sex comedy veneer is a thoughtful and poignant film that touches on violence, drugs, and race in unexpected ways. And it manages to do all of this while remaining hilarious throughout.
Directed and written by Rick Famuyiwa, Dope currently has a 88% “fresh” rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. BMF: The Rise and Fall of a Hip-Hop Drug Empire
This 2012 documentary portrays the 15-year investigation of the BMF, or Black Mafia Family, one of the largest cocaine empires in U.S. history. Tied in with the music industry, specifically hip-hop, in the ’90s, the documentary features interviews with those who worked on the case, as well as footage of the community that was responsible for transporting millions of dollars worth of drugs from Los Angeles to Atlanta.
3. Cartel Land
The Mexican Cartel is known for being a ruthless, violent operation. It terrorizes citizens on both sides of the border, while the Mexican government leaves many small towns to fend for themselves. Cartel Land shows us the stunning true story of vigilantes rising up to battle the Cartel. These militias arm and protect their villages, and operate with a swift, merciless brutality to protect their homes. The documentary itself is a breathtaking affair, putting the filmmakers right in the middle of what amounts to a war zone.
4. DMT: The Spirit Molecule
This 2010 documentary investigates dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychoactive compound that is found in humans, as well as many other animals and plants. Based on Dr. Rick Strassman’s book of the same name, DMT: The Spirit Molecule was the result of his years of research into this unusual compound. However, don’t expect this to be merely a dry, academic overview of DMT. This documentary includes perspectives from a wide range of people, from scientists and mathematicians to artists and religious leaders.
5. Cocaine Cowboys
This powerful 2006 documentary, directed by Billy Corben, explores the rise of cocaine and the resulting crime epidemic that swept Miami, Florida, in the 1970s and 1980s. The producers interview everyone from law enforcement officials, journalists, and lawyers to former drug smugglers and gang members, in order to provide a first-hand perspective of the Miami drug war. The film is gripping, gritty, and intense and poses some hard questions about the drug trade and its ability to turn a city into a crime-infested war zone.
6. The Panic in Needle Park
7. Russell Brand: End the Drugs War
Although primarily known as a comedian, Russell Brand is also an ex-addict. In this documentary originally made for BBC Three, Brand talks to both users and the police about drug addiction before bringing his case for drug decriminalization to the U.N. However, Brand is far from ambivalent about the harm that drug addiction causes. As noted in The Telegrap h’s review of the documentary, “The biggest eye-opener was Brand’s uncompromising stance toward the addicts themselves. A former heroin user, his hardline message was that drugs rip apart lives and that those in a spiral of addiction need to wake up to that reality.”
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8 Best Movies About Drugs on Netflix Right Now
Too much of anything can be bad and the consequences of too much of drugs, that’s something we are all familiar with. Not all of us have tried these drugs, but cinema has shown us the most graphic and disturbing images of drug addictions in movies like ‘ Requiem for a Dream ‘, ‘The Basketball Diaries’, and these are just a few examples. Addiction is more or less of a disease of its own and has the capability of destroying lives and ruining families when it gets in the way of our simple day-to-day activities.
But drugs are not portrayed in a negative light all the time. Sometimes movies just show a bunch of teenagers having the time of their lives under the influence of drugs and alcohol and it’s fun to watch that as well unless it does not influence us in a wrong way. But drug abuse is not confined to being “medicated” or “stoned”. You could be “ on meds ” (prescription medicines) and still be a drug addict of some sort and this too has been discussed in one of the entries below.
Now maybe you just want to get high and have some fun watching a movie about stoned teenagers or you want something educational that’ll make you more aware about the consequences of taking drugs; whatever it is, we have you covered. Here’s the list of really good drug movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now. The list includes drug smuggling movies, substance abuse movies and drug dealer movies.
8. Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord (2021)
Directed by Eva Müller and Michael Schmitt, ‘Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord’ is a documentary film that recounts the story of Maximilian Schmidt, who serves as an inspiration for the series ‘How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast).’ In 2015, a young adult managed to sell approx—4.1 million euros worth of drugs without ever going out of his house. His international drugs empire survived for 14 months, and in that time, Maximilian managed to use his website shinyflakes.com to change the drug trade in unthinkable ways. The documentary captures Maximilian Schmidt’s account of events that transpired once he set out to run the illegal business.
7. Heroin(e) (2017)
This documentary tells the story of a town in West Virginia where heroin addiction and overdose is no less than an epidemic. With an overdose rate that is 10 times more than average the city of Huntington is threatened by something that may spread even further down to generations like wildfire. Filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon captures a different side of this drug war where three women are out on a mission to break this drug cycle forever. What makes this documentary important is the bravery that it portrays of three women who are out there making a difference without expecting anything in return.
6. Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020)
Hosted by Nick Offerman, ‘Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics’ is a documentary movie. The (Emmy Award-winning) Donick Cary directorial centers upon celebrities sharing their hallucinogenic drug usage experiences. Some of the tales are hilarious, and they are made more engaging through reenactments created using interactive animation. In case you wish to learn more about the hallucinogenic highs and lows of some of your favorite stars, then ‘Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics’ is a great watch.
5. The Drug King (2018)
This film is set in Busan, South Korea where Leo Doo-sam is ‘The Drug King’ and has built an impeccable empire around his smuggling business. His drug business has its foundation spread deep within the roots of the underworld. But that does not mean that he cannot be touched. Public prosecutor Kim In-goo is determined to hunt him down and look for a way in through man’s insatiable thirst to keep growing. The lead actor of the film does a great job playing his character along with a few other stars of the movie who have also done well. The only problem with this one is that at times it feels like it has been extended far too long and loses its direction.
4. Divines (2016)
‘Divines’ revolves around a teenager who lives in the outskirts of Paris. Driven by an extreme urge to succeed and seek instant gratification, she decides to become a runner for a drug dealer. But her life starts to change when she meets a young dancer who shows her a life full of new and better opportunities. This French film is absolutely amazing and the actors do a phenomenal job. The film’s depiction of life is so real that you will find yourself laughing when the characters of the film do and crying when they cry. A must-watch film in this genre, especially if you are a fan of French Cinema.
3. 6 Balloons (2018)
‘6 Balloons’ tells the story of a young mother named Katie who notices that her brother Seth ( Dave Franco ) has relapsed on his heroin addiction. The film follows the journey of Katie, her little daughter, and Seth who drive through the night looking for a rehab center. Dave Franco shows a very realistic depiction of a drug addict which will even terrify you at times. He apparently lost 20lbs for his role in this movie to look like an actual drug addict. Even the lead female Abbi Jacobson shows displays solid acting skills with her character in the film.
Most of the reviews for this film are slightly misleading and have really downgraded it from what it actually is. It is worth a watch and actually sucks you deep inside the emotions of a family dealing with the drug addiction of one of its members. This indie flick is definitely for you if you’re looking for a movie in this genre that portrays reality, instead of showing unwanted drama, and has a mindful narrative that can even be relatable for those who have experienced these addictions before.
Read More: Best Action Movies on Netflix
2. Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
Featuring stand-out performances by Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso, Haley Bennett, and Freida Pinto, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ is a drama film that is based on J. D. Vance’s memoir of the same name. The film revolves Yale Law student who returns to his hometown in the Appalachian mountains for a life-changing break. In his time there, he reflects on three generations of family history and comes to terms with his life choices and future prospects.
Read More: Best Stoner Movies on Netflix
1. Take Your Pills (2018)
Every generation has a pill and so does this one. Adderall and Ritalin abuse has become extremely common these days in this fast-paced world where everyone is competing with one another. These pills were once only for kids with a small attention span but now are being used by everyone from college students to Wall Street employees. But no one’s really thinking about the long term consequences of these drugs. In a quest to become “ Limitless “, we are slowly losing ourselves to the grind.
Read More: Best Boxing Movies on Netflix
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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 Rhea Singh
By Hannah Coates
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
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Documentaries About Drugs on Netflix
7 spell-binding documentaries about drugs to watch on netflix.
Whether you're intrigued by the drug trade or simply want to educate yourself through documentaries , you might have guessed you can do that from the safety of your own home. Netflix's recommendations are not always easy to navigate, so we've gathered the best movies about drugs you can enjoy.
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Top Ten Substance Use Disorder Movies and Series on Netflix
Tarzana Treatment Center s offers valuable support for SUD (Substance Use Disorder) Treatment Professionals, including Psychiatrists, Therapists, and Counselors . The goal is to help them supply quality resources to their patients . For example, well-made SUD-oriented movies and series that are available on Netflix.
Our carefully vetted top ten list can be an ongoing resource for you .
As an important note , we recommend that you watch these movies and series before recommending them . Many of these movies and series portray the use of recreational drugs with graphic reality and could be triggering to people in early recovery. A film that could be illuminating to one patient , opening their eyes to the dangers of drug abuse , could also prove to be dangerous to an other.
Thus, as a disclaimer, we ask you to use your own experienced judgment when deciding whether to recommend these movies and series to patients , particularly those vulnerable and newly sober.
If you have a client , or a family member or co-worker of a patient , that wants to learn more about addiction , below are ten of the best movies, documentaries, and mini- series about substance use disorder presently available . All t hese videos can be found on Netflix .
Easily accessible, such shows could help open the door to l ong-term recovery.
Top Ten SUD Viewing Options on Netflix
1) Heroin( e ) ( 2017 D ocumentary )
Three women fight to save a town in West Virginia ravaged by heroin addiction and overdoses.
2) 6 Balloons ( 2018 Drama)
A young mother struggles one night to find a rehab for her brother after he relapses on heroin.
3) Take Your Pills ( 2018 D ocumentary )
A look at how Adderall and Ritalin became the number one drug of the Millennial generation .
4) Flaked ( 2016-2017 S eries )
B y Will Arnett, the show reveals the SNL actor’s own experience with alcoholism, including realistic depictions of AA meetings.
5) Recovery Boys ( 2018 D ocumentary )
F our young men in a farming-based rehab come together to overcome t heir addiction s .
6) 28 Days (2000 Drama)
The story follows a young woman as sh e goes to rehab, eventually finding the path of recovery
7) Dope ( 2019 D ocumentary Mini-S eries )
A n unflinching look at the war on drugs from the perspectives of dealers, users, and the police.
8) The Pharmacist (2020 Documentary Mini- Series)
A Louisiana pharmacist exposes the rampant corruption behind the opioid addiction crisis.
9) Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy ( 2020 D ocumentary )
A deep investigation into t he history of crack cocaine , and how it tore families a sunder.
10) The Business of Drugs (2020 D ocumentary M ini- S eries )
A 2020 look by a CIA analyst into the economics behind six illicit substances.
If you want to know more about substance use disorder, these resources can provide a good start with easy access.
Stay current with Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc.
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The Best Drug Movies on Netflix ; Forrest Gump Poster · 8.8 · 97 ; 21 Jump Street Poster · 7.2 · 85 ; Fletch Poster · 6.9 · 75 ; The Rental Poster · 5.7 · 63 ; Weed the
New ReleasesExplore more · The Raid 2 · How I Became a Gangster · HELL DOGS - IN THE HOUSE OF BAMBOO - · Yevadu · Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld
Max S. reveals how he built a drug empire from his childhood bedroom in this story that inspired the series "How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast).".
Movies Based on Real LifeExplore more · Operation Finale · The Drug King · Catch Me If You Can · The Good Nurse · Blow · Donnie Brasco · Molly's Game · Brian Banks
Now on Netflix: 7 of the Best Drug-Themed Movies · 1. Dope · 2. BMF: The Rise and Fall of a Hip-Hop Drug Empire · 3. Cartel Land · 4. DMT: The
8 Best Movies About Drugs on Netflix Right Now · 8. Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord (2021) · 7. Heroin(e) (2017) · 6. Have a Good Trip: Adventures in
... these are a few of the most captivating tales from the realm of drugs on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar.
7 Spell-Binding Documentaries About Drugs to Watch on Netflix · 1. Cartel Land · 2. Super High Me · 3. Snow On Tha Bluff · 4. DMT: The Spirit
A Street Cat Named Bob (2016) – Heroin, Methadone, Cannabis · The Acid House (1998) – LSD, cannabis, poppers · Across The Universe (2007) – LSD, cannabis, some
A film that could be illuminating to one patient, opening their eyes to the dangers of drug abuse, could also prove to be dangerous to another. Thus, as a