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The 30 Best Drug Movies
Life is beautiful, but when it comes to drugs, takes a dark and sick form. Some of these films are too upset to watch twice but definitely unique and realistic ,And to be honest, this kind of films can to prevent even from a big mistake from a temptation and very serious problems.
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1. 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: 853,409 | Gross: $3.64M
2. Trainspotting (1996)
R | 93 min | Drama
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.
Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor , Ewen Bremner , Jonny Lee Miller , Kevin McKidd
Votes: 695,415 | Gross: $16.50M
3. Blow (2001)
R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of how George Jung , along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar , established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.
Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Johnny Depp , Penélope Cruz , Franka Potente , Rachel Griffiths
Votes: 264,836 | Gross: $52.99M
The story of George Jung, the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970s.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.
Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Johnny Depp , Benicio Del Toro , Tobey Maguire , Michael Lee Gogin
Votes: 288,676 | Gross: $10.68M
5. Scarface (1983)
R | 170 min | Crime, Drama
In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.
Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino , Michelle Pfeiffer , Steven Bauer , Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Votes: 854,959 | Gross: $45.60M
In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.
6. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta , Uma Thurman , Samuel L. Jackson , Bruce Willis
Votes: 2,084,433 | Gross: $107.93M
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
7. Goodfellas (1990)
R | 145 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro , Ray Liotta , Joe Pesci , Lorraine Bracco
Votes: 1,177,451 | Gross: $46.84M
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.
8. Spun (2002)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a 'speed freak', to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.
Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Jason Schwartzman , John Leguizamo , Patrick Fugit , Brittany Murphy
Votes: 39,598 | Gross: $0.41M
A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a 'speed freak', to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.
9. Traffic (2000)
R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.
Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas , Benicio Del Toro , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Jacob Vargas
Votes: 210,646 | Gross: $124.12M
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.
10. Boogie Nights (1997)
R | 155 min | Drama
Back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, an idealistic porn producer aspires to elevate his craft to an art when he discovers a hot young talent.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Mark Wahlberg , Julianne Moore , Burt Reynolds , Luis Guzmán
Votes: 270,434 | Gross: $26.40M
The story of a young man's adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
11. Pineapple Express (2008)
R | 111 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him.
Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Seth Rogen , James Franco , Gary Cole , Danny McBride
Votes: 345,392 | Gross: $87.34M
A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him.
12. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
PG | 110 min | Drama
Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.
Director: Jerry Schatzberg | Stars: Al Pacino , Kitty Winn , Alan Vint , Richard Bright
Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.
13. Up in Smoke (1978)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Music
Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail.
Directors: Lou Adler , Tommy Chong | Stars: Cheech Marin , Tommy Chong , Strother Martin , Edie Adams
Votes: 39,432 | Gross: $44.36M
14. Candy (2006)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance
A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
Director: Neil Armfield | Stars: Heath Ledger , Abbie Cornish , Geoffrey Rush , Tom Budge
Votes: 46,485 | Gross: $0.04M
15. Enter the Void (2009)
Not Rated | 161 min | Drama, Fantasy
An American drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.
Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Nathaniel Brown , Paz de la Huerta , Cyril Roy , Olly Alexander
Votes: 82,929 | Gross: $0.34M
A U.S. drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.
16. 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: 445,410 | Gross: $76.63M
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes on a 24-hour training course with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears.
17. The Big Lebowski (1998)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime
Ultimate L.A. slacker Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for a rug ruined by debt collectors, enlisting his bowling buddies for help while trying to find the millionaire's missing wife.
Directors: Joel Coen , Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges , John Goodman , Julianne Moore , Steve Buscemi
Votes: 819,124 | Gross: $17.50M
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.
18. Half Nelson (2006)
R | 106 min | Drama
An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.
Director: Ryan Fleck | Stars: Ryan Gosling , Anthony Mackie , Shareeka Epps , Jeff Lima
Votes: 88,670 | Gross: $2.69M
19. Casino (1995)
R | 178 min | Crime, Drama
A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast-living and fast-loving socialite.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro , Sharon Stone , Joe Pesci , James Woods
Votes: 528,691 | Gross: $42.44M
Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends, a mafia underboss and a casino owner, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire.
20. The Social Network (2010)
PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama
As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg , Andrew Garfield , Justin Timberlake , Rooney Mara
Votes: 715,486 | Gross: $96.96M
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
21. Christiane F. (1981)
R | 138 min | Biography, Drama
A teen girl in 1970s Berlin becomes addicted to heroin. Everything in her life slowly begins to distort and disappear as she befriends a small crew of junkies and falls in love with a drug-abusing male prostitute.
Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Natja Brunckhorst , Eberhard Auriga , Peggy Bussieck , Lothar Chamski
A bored, aimless 14-year-old girl falls into the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s after attending 'The Sound', a modern new disco. In search of acceptance and freedom, she falls in with a teenage boy who is hooked on heroin and eventually develops an addiction of her own.
22. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)
R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
After her much older husband forces a move to a suburban retirement community, Pippa Lee engages in a period of reflection and finds herself heading toward a quiet nervous breakdown.
Director: Rebecca Miller | Stars: Robin Wright , Alan Arkin , Mike Binder , Winona Ryder
23. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
R | 100 min | Animation, Comedy, Crime
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.
Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Winona Ryder , Robert Downey Jr. , Rory Cochrane
Votes: 113,680 | Gross: $5.50M
24. Limitless (I) (2011)
PG-13 | 105 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities transforms a struggling writer into a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with many dangers.
Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Bradley Cooper , Anna Friel , Abbie Cornish , Robert De Niro
Votes: 583,694 | Gross: $79.25M
With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
25. Lucy (I) (2014)
R | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Scarlett Johansson , Morgan Freeman , Choi Min-sik , Amr Waked
Votes: 505,933 | Gross: $126.66M
26. Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi
Cheech and Chong live in a decrepit old house and drive their neighbour crazy with their loud music, weed smoking and general anarchy and slacker view on life. Then Chong meets Cheech's Texan cousin Red and things kick up a notch.
Director: Tommy Chong | Stars: Cheech Marin , Tommy Chong , Evelyn Guerrero , Betty Kennedy
Votes: 14,450 | Gross: $41.68M
The two stoners and their friends go through another series of crazy, drug-influenced misadventures.
27. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
R | 180 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort , from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio , Jonah Hill , Margot Robbie , Matthew McConaughey
Votes: 1,440,229 | Gross: $116.90M
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
28. Carlito's Way (1993)
R | 144 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.
Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino , Sean Penn , Penelope Ann Miller , John Leguizamo
Votes: 222,358 | Gross: $36.95M
29. City of God (2002)
R | 130 min | Crime, Drama
In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.
Directors: Fernando Meirelles , Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues , Leandro Firmino , Matheus Nachtergaele , Phellipe Haagensen
Votes: 764,441 | Gross: $7.56M
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
30. American Gangster (2007)
R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.
Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington , Russell Crowe , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Josh Brolin
Votes: 432,781 | Gross: $130.16M
In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.
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22 Best Drug Movies You Can’t Miss
Though with great side effects, many people still do drugs. As wont of the entertainment industry, some movies have tried to capture this approach to life with great action, comedy, and horror.
Asides learning, most people derive a lot of excitement from seeing drug movies. Whichever category you fall into, here are some of the best drug movies you should see.
1. The French Connection (1971)
Director : William Friedkin
Based on the book The French Connection by Robin Moore in 1969, the movie is considered one of the best movies to have won over five awards in the 44th Academy Award. It has repeatedly appeared on the list of the best movies in America.
The storyline bothers on the life of a narcotics drug lord, Charnier. He deals with heroin smuggling while on the trail of two police officers, detective Jimmy ‘popeye’ and detective buddy ‘cloudy.’ He smuggles heroin into the country through his ignorant friend’s car, Henri Devereaux.
The police, however, discover this secret and trail the car after Nicoli(chenier’s hitman) fails in his attempt to kill popeye. The car is trailed to Chanier’s old factory, where the police almost catch up with him. Check the official trailer to glimpse exciting moments in the movie.
2. Blow (2001)
Director : Ted Demme
Stars : Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente
The movie recounts the life of a young boy, George (Jesse James), whose father lost his job leading to his(George) desperate search for money. He gets involved in drug dealing and cocaine importation. They form a group of friends, Barbara, a flight attendant, Tuna, and George(now Johnny Deep).
After a few years of drug dealing, George is arrested by police and sentenced to two years in prison. The death of Barbara, however, breaks the friendship link. He meets another drug dealer in prison who introduces him to Diego, a drug lord. Upon connecting Diego and Derek( a former associate), they cut ties with him.
3. The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Director : Scott Kalvert
Stars : Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol
The movie is based on the novel, The Basketball Diaries by Jim Caroll. It centers around the life of a teenage boy, Jim(Leonardo Dicaprio), who is addicted to heroin.
He and his cohorts are suspended from school and the basketball team after being caught dealing with drugs. Jim, Mickey, and Pedro drop out of school while Neutron stays to become a better person. Jim is sent away from his mom’s house. He, therefore, turns to the streets and steals to fund his increasing drug habit.
Pedro is caught on one of their missions, after which Neutron is also arrested for killing a drug dealer. The police later arrest Jim after his mum reports him. He stays in rehab and becomes clean. See the official trailer to see Leonardo Dicaprio’s exciting action in this blockbuster.
4. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Director : Milos Forman
Stars : Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton
The official trailer alone is enough to keep you hooked to the movie. Though the movie did not generate much revenue, many believe it to be one of Woody Harrelson’s best movies. Dealing with pornographic and nude posts on magazines, Flynt is charged to court and faced with the hatred of anti-pornographic advocates.
He later gets influenced into giving his life to Christ, after which he gets shot and paralyzed from his waist downwards. He denounces God and turns to painkillers and drugs. Flynt is later sued in court for libel and emotional stress and convicted for emotional distress.
5. Beautiful Boy 1 (2018)
Director : Felix van Groeningen
Stars : Steve Carell, Maura Tierney, Jack Dylan Grazer
Nic is a drug addict who has failed multiple times to be clean. He was first discovered by his father when he ran off from home for a few days. He was sent to rehab, where he stopped drug abuse for a while. However, he meets with other drug addicts when he goes to college, and they purchase heroin together.
He faces his addictive lifestyle when he returns to his father and fights back not to return to his former lifestyle. See the official trailer to enjoy the thrill of how this young man fights against his addiction.
6. City of God (2002)
Director : Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Stars : Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele
The city of God is a black movie about two boys. Seeing the official trailer will make you understand why this movie has been nominated for about four Academy Awards. After a failed robbery attempt, Li’l Dice becomes a drug dealer, while Rocket becomes a photographer.
Li’l Dice, now known as Li’l Ze, starts a gangster war by rapping against a lady and Benny’s party and killing her boyfriend’s uncle. After years of gang fights, rocket begins taking photographs of Li’l ze and his gang, which pleases lil’ ze due to the popularity of his notoriety.
He is later arrested by the police but is released after bribing them. Unknown to them, the rocket takes pictures and reasons on whether to release it to the press or not. He, however, decides to publish the photo of Lil ze dead body instead.
7. Pain and Glory (2019)
Director : Pedro Almodóvar
Stars : Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Suffering from dysphagia, Salvador resolves to pop pills to ease his pain. After meeting his old lover, he sets aside the use of heroin and sees the doctor manage his pain.
8. Pineapple Express (2008)
Director : David Gordon Green
Stars : Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole
The official trailer will show you the difference between this movie and the others. It is a comical movie with a serious plot. It features Dale Dalton, who witnesses a murder by a policeman, Brazier, and is now being trailed by Ted Jones through his drug, pineapple express.
The drug can be purchased from only two drug dealers, one of which is Dale’s friend. In their process of selling pineapple express for money, they are arrested by Bobbie. The killers later catch up with Dale and his friend, Saul. A shootout by a Korean gangster saves their lives but kills a few of their loved ones.
9. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Director : Darren Aronofsky
Stars : Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
A single mother, Sara, nursing a heroin addict son, and two of his friends jump on the train of drug abuse as well. She sees her doctor prescribe a weight loss drug for her to fit into a dress for a television show. As the time nears, she begins to overdose on amphetamines, which makes her develop stimulant psychosis.
On the other hand, her son develops gangrene on his hands and is arrested after visiting a doctor. See the official trailer to experience the pitiful life of both mother and son.
10. Carlito’sWay (1993)
Director : Brian De Palma
Stars : Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
Carlito, an ex-convict, pledges to stay away from drug use and violence after being released from prison before completing his sentence. He is involved in a drug shootout deal not long after, where he gets away with his dead cousin’s $30,000.
After opening a nightclub, his determination to escape crime is altered, and he gets involved in unintentional murder cases. The official trailer will give you some insight into this action movie.
11. American Gangster (2007)
Director : Ridley Scott
Stars : Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
The official trailer of American Gangster depicts the action of drug lords just like every other movie. The right-Hand man Frank begins a drug Lord himself after the death of his boss in 1968. He directly ships in the heroin, which he calls Blue Magic.
People start to purchase a lot from him due to his lower price, which enables him to become one of the greatest drug lords in the US. He ships drugs from Thailand through dead servicemen and bribes about ⅓ of police officials.
Robert later investigates him after Roberts’s partner dies from an overdose. Even though he lived low profile, Roberts catches up with him after using many tactics.
12. Ferry (2021)
Director : Cecilia Verheyden
Stars : Frank Lammers, Elise Schaap, Huub Stapel
Many reviews show that although this movie is not a number like its continued series undercover, a peek at the official trailer indicates otherwise. It is a prequel to the Netflix series Undercover.’ It explains how the protagonist, Ferry, came to be and his love life.
The movie does not only contain action but love and the excessive use of drugs. Though not a thriller, the twists and suspense will keep you going.
13. El Camino (2019)
Director : Vince Gilligan
Stars : Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks, Matt Jones
Having received many positive reviews on its official trailer, El Camino has been nominated for many awards, including critics’ choice television awards. The movie is the aftermath story of Jesse Pinkman.
After the movie’s release, it had a total of 6.5 million views, making it part of the year’s most successful movie. The plot comes in line with meth-selling Jesse Pinkman and his rough life to becoming wealthy from drug sales.
14. Menace 11 society (1993)
Director : Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars : Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu
The official trailer will leave you amazed at the life of gangster black teenagers. Caine and O-Dog buy liquor at a Korean shop. O-Dog kills the owner and steals the money after being insulted by the cashier. Caine talks about his drug dealer dad and his dead mother, who died from a heroin overdose.
The police begin to track the killers’ case and fail to connect Caine to the murder. His grandparents warn him about his gangster lifestyle and whether he cares about his life or not. But will it be too late for him to listen to them?
15. Synchronic (2019)
Director : Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Stars : Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
A new hard substance, Synchronic, is created, leaving the town in a big dilemma. Many unresolved mystery deaths are found with no explanation. An investigation shows that these deaths are related to Synchronic, a drug that allows you to travel back in time. Brianna, Dennis’s daughter, is also stuck back in time after using the pill.
She is saved by Steve, her father’s colleague, after many attempts to travel back in time. The official trailer will leave you glued to the many exciting scenes of science fiction.
16. Shiny Flakes (2021)
Director : Eva Müller, Michael Schmitt
Stars : Maximilian Schmidt
This 97-minute movie is about a teenager of 19 years old who sells drugs online through his personally built website. The official trailer on Youtube is a documentary clip from Netflix and hints at the true story of one of the greatest drug crimes in Germany.
Maximilian launders over 4.1 million euros in the comfort of his bedroom. He orders drugs through the Darknet and packages them in his room while sending them to his anonymous buyers. He is later caught at age 20 after a detective traced 600 kilograms worth of imported cocaine to him.
17. Boogie Nights (1997)
Director : Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars : Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
The official trailer portrays a movie centered on the joy, pain, struggles, action, rise, and fall of Eddie Adams. He stars as a pornographic actor who makes a lot of money but is met with a bad fate after his involvement with cocaine. This ends his career abruptly, and he spends his life savings on cocaine.
Trying to amass wealth for a studio, he ends up in a gunfight after his failed attempt to sell baking soda to a drug lord, Jackson. In the gunfight, Todd, Eddie’s friend, loses his life, and they are all faced with the results of the life decision they make.
18. 21 Grams (2003)
Director : Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars : Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts
Two drug addicts, Cristiana and Jack, strive to avoid their drug addiction. While Jack controls himself through his new religious belief, Cristiana finds peace and love in her family. They both live two different lives. Then, there’s Paul, who needs a new heart to continue living.
Her husband’s heart is donated to Paul. Their lives become intertwined. Will they overcome the drug addiction? See the official trailer to get some insights about the movie.
19. American Made (2017)
Director : Doug Liman
Stars : Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright
Tom Cruise has always been known for his exceptional performance in movies. This movie does not prove his action, as he received more positive reviews. The story is set in the 1970s, telling the story of a pilot who gets involved in transporting cocaine for the Medellin Cartel.
He makes a lot of money and starts to keep money in his backyard. He is, however, not suspected by the FBI until his wife’s brother steals from him and starts to spend exuberantly. The official trailer shows a glimpse of Tom Cruise’s action and unparalleled performance.
20. The Wolf of the Wall Street (2013)
Director : Martin Scorsese
Stars : Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
With over twenty-eight million views on the official trailer only, the Wolf of the Wall Street is one of the most popular movies in the world. Hitting the Guinness book of record for the most profane words used in a movie, it also has high drug use.
The movie, set in the 80s, is based on the life of a wall street stockbroker who also uses hard drugs. Following a collapse in office, he seeks to build a new company of his own. He starts by manipulating people into buying stocks while he inflated the price for a temporary period.
After a while, the price drops, and the investors are left with nothing. He builds a company with his neighbor and old friends named Stratton Oakmont. After a public appearance of his company, many people flock to buy stocks from him.
He invests his life in stocks, prostitution, and hard drugs. After being investigated by the FBI, he is finally caught when he and his associate use hard drugs in excess and spills their secrets through their taped landline.
21. TrainSpotting (1996)
Director : Danny Boyle
Stars : Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Based on the book Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, critics consider this movie to be one of the best of the 1990s. Winning the best Scottish movie of all time in 2004, it is undoubtedly a success and blockbuster. The official trailer shows it’s one of the funniest movies you’ll enjoy.
Trainspotting features the struggle of heroin addict Renton, who desperately tries to become clean amongst his friends. He relapses every time he is bored, but he is faced with a new choice in life not too long.
22. Thirteen (2003)
Director : Catherine Hardwicke
Stars : Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed
Don’t be deceived by the quality of the official trailer; this movie has won many prizes, including a Nobel prize. Because of the controversy of youth drug abuse, the movie received a few criticisms, making Nikki Reed drop out of school. The movie, however depicts the life of troubled teenagers who are striving to fit into society.
After 13-year-old Tracy, a girl troubled at home because of her negligent drug addict mom, gets entangled with Evie, her life turns upside down. She starts to do drugs, has sex, and drinks alcohol. Will she get another chance to get her life right? See the movie to enjoy the top-notch performances of these young girls.
Categorized as the best of all time, the drug movies above not only focus on drugs but have interesting storylines that will keep you glued to the screen and probably teach you some of the biggest lessons you will ever learn.
The plot twists and funny episodes are exceptional. You’ll enjoy these movies even if you’re not a fan of drug battles.
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20 best movies about drugs
The only way is up.
Movies about drugs feature highs, lows, hallucinations and more. What should be a regular road trip suddenly becomes a pumped up thrill ride. What should be a boring high school is secretly full of the wildest twists and turns. What should be... Well, you see where we're going with this.
Many a movie has been made about the harsh realities of drug taking, but there are also a few light-hearted films, which see the protagonist ride off into the sunset on their joint smoking journey. Drug-fuelled films can be fun or frightening, scary or silly. Either way, add some pills, marijuana or narcotics and you have the recipe for some seriously addictive viewing. Here's 20 of the best drug-related movies to give you a legal high.
20. Blow (2001)
Blow is the dramatic true depiction of American cocaine smuggler George Jung, played by Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp. Jung's marijuana dealings landed him in prison but soon after his release, he started trafficking cocaine from Colombia into the United States. Depp's Jung is a suave son of a bitch who gets the goods and the girls, but eventually meets his incarcerated fate. Its hard not to like his villain of the piece.
19. Candy (2006)
The late Heath Ledger and fellow Aussie Abbie Cornish star in this intoxicating tale of addiction and love. Split into three acts, the film documents the couples affair, as they experience the ecstasy of drugs and the agony that follows, including a tragic miscarriage. Writer and director Neil Armfield suggests that loving someone under the influence is a concoction for disaster, so if you're a fan of doomed romances give this one a whirl.
18. Pusher (1996)
Drives Nicolas Winding Refn directs this Danish thriller about a desperate drug dealers disastrous attempts to drum up the cash he owes his bosses. Hannibals Mads Mikkelsen plays second fiddle to Kim Bodnia as his sidekick in the drug deal gone wrong. Winding Refn's ruthless style of film-making is a suitable fit with the subject matter, which is engrossing from start to finish.
17. Human Traffic (1999)
Stocked with familiar UK talent, including now soap star and former B-movie maestro Danny Dyer, Human Traffic is a raucous ride on the wild side. Narrated by John Simms, the audience is invited into the small world of five ravers who embark on a pill popping bender in Cardiff for the weekend. This cuss-filled comedy is part of a series of in-your-face films by the likes of Guy Ritchie and Danny Boyle, which have become a genre in their own right.
16. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
This is the sobering story of a young woman who falls in love with a deadbeat drug dealer, who is living New York's infamous 'Needle Park'. In his second outing, Al Pacino shows early signs of brilliance in a hard-hitting role that would ready him for his iconic part in The Godfather . Director Jerry Schatzberg's documentary style of filming gives audiences a sense of gritty realism which, combined with its stellar performances, make this movie a must-see.
15. Maria Full of Grace (2004)
When a 17-year-old Colombian pregnant girl finds herself penniless, she signs up as a mule to smuggle drugs into the United States. Maria lvarez swallows a large packet of pills in exchange for money knowing that the merchandise could burst inside her at any second. With both her and the baby's lives on the line the stakes are extremely high and the situation is intense. If you can handle the pressure then this nailbiter is the one for you.
14. Enter the Void (2009)
Enter the Void is a voyeuristic spectacle in which an American drug dealer observes a series of events after his death. After being shot by police in Tokyo, Oscar has an out of body experience, hovering on the edge of reality, spinning uncontrollably into several settings; one of which includes a psychedelic vagina. Gaspar Nos visually seductive story is enthralling to watch and just when you think things couldn't get any stranger, they take an even weirder turn.
13. Christiane F. (1981)
This is the unravelling and unnerving true story of a German actress and musician who became hooked on heroin at a very young age. Christiane Vera Felscherinow's traumatic childhood - which consisted of abuse, drug addiction and prostitution - was documented in an autobiographical book and later in a movie starring Natja Brunckhorst. Accompanied by a David Bowie soundtrack, this low budget film leaves no needle unturned with its shocking sights.
12. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Director Terry Gilliam's psychedelic adaptation of the novel by Hunter S. Thompson is a mind-altering journey, that will leave you feeling bewildered and bemused. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro jump in a convertible and make their way across the Nevada desert to Las Vegas, picking up a stranger and some very bad habits along the way. Gilliams trademark off the wall weirdness perfectly complements Depp and Del Toros loud and unleashed performances.
11. Easy Rider (1969)
Easy Rider is a road trippin ride that follows Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as they journey across the States, with some serious cash in their back pocket from a drug smuggle across the Mexican border. The pair are later given a helping hand by Jack Nicholson who joins them on their half-baked bike ride to New Orleans. Hopper, who also directed the picture, decided to include shots of real drugs to give the film a dose of authenticity.
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The Best Drug Movies of All Time
What are the top movies about drugs? When it comes to making a story "edgy," drugs are the weapon of choice in popular cinema. Be it pot movies, cocaine movies, heroin films or any other type of drug, Hollywood has made a movie about it. This is a list of the best drug movies of all time, including good films about drug dealers, drug traffickers, drug use, and drug abuse. It may not be all the drug films ever made, but these are the greatest. Vote for your favorite drug movie, or use this list to find movies like Blow .
Some of the stars of the drug movies below even have their own celebrity cannabis brands , like Seth Rogen of Pineapple Express . For other interesting movie lists check out the cult movies , psychological thriller movies , college movies , and epic movie list.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Released : 1998
- Directed by : Terry Gilliam
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- Released : 1996
- Directed by : Danny Boyle
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Requiem for a Dream
- Released : 2000
- Directed by : Darren Aronofsky
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- Released : 1994
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- Released : 1993
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The Wolf of Wall Street
- Released : 2013
- Directed by : Martin Scorsese
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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.
NEXT: 10 Most Dangerous Fake Drugs in Movies
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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 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 .
Movies about drugs & addiction…as well as movies with memorable drug scenes, overdoses, drug deals, etc…
The 25 Best Drug Movies of All Time · 1. Requiem for a Dream (2000). R | 102 min | Drama · 2. Pulp Fiction (1994). R | 154 min | Crime, Drama · 3. Boogie Nights (
The 30 Best Drug Movies · 1. Requiem for a Dream (2000). R | 102 min | Drama · 2. Trainspotting (1996). R | 93 min | Drama · 3. Blow (2001). R | 124 min |
BEdit · Babel (2006) – MDMA and opium · Bad Batch (2010) – cannabis, cocaine · Bad Boys (1995) – heroin · Bad Boys II (2003) – MDMA and heroin · Bad Lieutenant (1992)
22 Best Drug Movies You Can't Miss · 1. The French Connection (1971) · 2. Blow (2001) · 3. The Basketball Diaries (1995) · 4. The People vs. Larry
20 best movies about drugs · 20. Blow (2001) · 19. Candy (2006) · 18. Pusher (1996) · 17. Human Traffic (1999) · 16. The Panic in Needle Park (1971).
1998 · Terry Gilliam ; 1996 · Danny Boyle ; 2000 · Darren Aronofsky.
15 Drug Themed Movies To Watch If You Loved Blow · American Made (2017) · Mr. Nice (2010) · Dope (2015) · The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) · Party
Top 15 Drug Movies · 1. Waking Life · 2. Easy Rider · 3. A Scanner Darkly · 4. Spun · 5. The Wolf of Wall Street · 6. Limitless · 7. Trainspotting · 8.
The Most Devastating Films About Substance Use · 11 Last Days Here · 10 Killing Zoe · 9 Enter the Void · 8 The Falcon and The Snowman · 7 Scarface · 6
DRUGS ; BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA. Mike Judge & 3 more · 1996 ; BLOW. Ted Demme · 2001 ; BRICK. Rian Johnson · 2005.