The Best Drug Movies – 30 Best Films about Drug Addiction

Drug movies show various aspects of addiction. From the mafia interests of the narco-business through the operation of the law enforcement agencies of this business to the destructive effects of narcotics. The sub-genre thus encompasses a variety of conventions: crime cinema, drama or even comedy. Films about drug trafficking most often make it clear that the huge money made from this crime comes at a materially immeasurable price, and that dangerous smuggling often ends in years of imprisonment.

Addiction to heavy stimulants wreaks total havoc on the human body and psyche, leading to irreversible mutilation and even death. Cinema portrays these situations extremely realistically or, conversely, with exaggerated expressionistic poetics. Films about drugs usually show the abyss of drama that takes place in the families and communities of addicts. Although there is also no shortage of comedic positions, treating the problem with a wink or with detachment. The latter, however, usually tell the story of sporadic episodes of marijuana smoking, triggering a series of funny events. Here is our selection of 30 interesting films about drugs.

The best drug movies

1. „Requiem for a Dream, 2000

The best drug movies - Requiem for a Dream

An extremely powerful and memorable movie by Darren Aronofsky with great roles by Jared Leto, Jenifer Connelly and Ellen Burstyn. The latter actress received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her performance. She played a resident of Brooklyn, New York, who, lonely after the death of her husband and the removal of her adult son, tries to find solace in constantly watching a TV game show. When one day she is invited to participate in the game, she decides to do everything to present herself at her best. A murderous diet aided by an excess of dangerous pills leads to a spiral of dangerous addiction. In turn, Sarah’s son Harry, his girlfriend Marion and their friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) potanate to make a quick buck by selling drugs. When, as a result of a gang war between dealers, the business takes a tumble, a sharp downward spiral begins….

Requiem for a Dream” is a unique item in Aronofsky’s filmography, in which the director used the means characteristic of his work: numerous close-ups of details, split screen, extremely evocative music and, of course, plot solutions that almost knock the viewer into the seat. For, as he himself said in an interview, after reading the literary original of the film by Hubert Selby Jr. he felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach with a fist, and he wanted the viewer to feel the punch as well.

2. “Trainspotting” (1996)

the best drug films - Trainspotting

Dany Boyle’s movie, which is a classic of cinema treating drugs. It is the story of a Scotsman, Mark Renton, who decides to break his addiction. He leaves Edinburgh and settles in London, where he starts a new life: he works and falls in love with a girl. However, he is soon found by his former stimulant buddies, and in their company he will not be able to break away from his former addiction. The leading role in the film is played by Ewan McGregor, with Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd and Kelly Macdonald starring alongside him.

“Trainspotting” is a cult picture and one of the highest-grossing films in the history of British cinema. The low-budget production delighted audiences with its extremely striking visuals, which turn the outlandish, literal experiences of the characters on the screen into fanciful hallucinations. In turn, the whole thing is illustrated by an iconic soundtrack juxtaposing brit-pop with the hits of the 70s and 80s. The film is in line with the ideology of counterculture negating the values of consumerism and comfortable middle-class life.

3. „Blow” (2001)

best drug movies - Blow

This is one of the most interesting movies about drugs, and it’s based on fact. Indeed, directed by Ted Damme, “Blow” tells the story of George Jung, who in the 1980s built a real narcotics smuggling empire. He was the first to start trafficking cocaine in the United States, buying it from Colombian Pablo Escobar. He took a long time to break through in the world of illegal cartels, starting by distributing marijuana. He eventually made it to the “top,” although it soon became apparent that it was possible to fall off quickly.

A very credible portrayal of Jung was created in “Blow” by Johnny Depp, and his wife with a fiery temperament was played by Penelope Cruz. This is a film that is worth seeing, among other things, because of a great script, good acting and an interesting story that forces you to think more deeply. Can money earned from such a despicable business provide true happiness? Is it worth risking one’s life for a few years of prosperity? Once you cross certain moral boundaries, are you still the same person?

4. „The Godfather”, 1972

best drug movies of all time - The Godfather

Among movies about the drug mafia, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” is hard to miss. The trilogy filmed on the basis of the famous novel by Mario Puzo is an extremely accurate analysis of the processes taking place in the Sicilian mafia under the influence of entering the drug business. The traditional structure based on loyalty and blood ties represented by the titular “godfather” Vito Corleone (played by the unforgettable Marlon Brando) completely disintegrates when narcotics trafficking comes into play. Coppola’s film is also a metaphor for an America in which the corporation becomes a model of social relations.

In the three Oscar-winning 1972 “The Godfather,” in addition to the aforementioned Brando, the leading roles were played by Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton. A series of dramatic events occur in an Italian “family” settled in New York, as a result of which the reluctant criminal Michael Corleone decides to head the clan and run its business.

5. „Że życie ma sens” (2000)

the best drug films of all time - Że życie ma sens

An extremely poignant Polish film about drug addiction, directed by Grzegorz Lipiec. “Że życie ma sens” is the story of a pack of friends from a housing estate engaged in amateur filmmaking. One day, thirsty for entertainment, the young men make acquaintance with a boy who organizes attractive parties. It quickly turns out that the main point of the program is drugs. Thus, the young men gradually enter a disastrous addiction, which is a downward spiral for them.

“Że życie ma sens” is a movie that attracts attention with an interesting convention. The director here used the style of a documentary, so that the whole thing makes an extremely realistic impression and makes a great impression on the viewer. Middle-of-the-road music of such bands as Kaliber 44 or the technogroup Ventylator lends credence to the picture. Grzegorz Lipiec not only stood behind the camera, but also played the main role here. His film became a huge success for Polish independent cinema, or more precisely for a group of filmmakers from Zielona Góra, who founded the organization Sky Piastowskie (after the name of the estate) and not only shot the picture for five thousand zlotys, but also managed to get it into cinema distribution.

6. „The Gentlemen”, 2019

movies about drugs - The Gentlemen

This is one of the more interesting films about drug trafficking. “Gentlemen,” directed by Guy Ritchie. This is the story of a man who controls the market for the sale of marijuana. Mickey Person (Matthew McConaughey), after years of managing the drug business, is about to retire from the business and finally begin to quietly savor the profits accumulated over the years in the company of his sweetheart (played by Michelle Dockery). Unfortunately, it soon turns out that getting rid of this ballast may be more difficult than his previous dangerous activities.

“Gentlemen” is classic British gangster cinema and black comedy in one, with a cutting sense of humor, funny dialogues and great music. A fine cast of actors and well-written characters only enhance the viewer’s pleasure and bring to mind the best examples of the genre.

7. „Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, 1998

Best drug dealer movies - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The next item on our list of films about drugs is „Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, directed by Terry Gilliam. The plot of this picture is set in the early 1970s in the USA. A sports journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) gets an assignment to report on motorcycle racing. Therefore, together with his lawyer, a certain Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro), he sets off on a journey to Las Vegas, the capital of gambling and all kinds of entertainment. They diversify their long journey with alcohol and drugs. As a result, when they reach their destination, they don’t quite distinguish between reality and the maybes of an intoxicated mind.

„Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is a complex picture of America and the socio-political problems plaguing it, and above all the bankruptcy of the myth of the American Dream. As if in a nutshell, the most important elements of the culture of entertainment, sexual freedom, adventure and use of life are concentrated here, which reveal their dark side. And all this takes place at a crucial moment – at the junction of the sixth and seventh decades of the 20th century.

8. „Goodfellas”, 1990

Drug dealing movies - Goodfellas

The dark and cruel side of the narco-business was brilliantly portrayed by Martin Scorsese in his famous film “Goodfellas”. It’s set over several decades and depicts the seeping of two characters into the Mafia world. Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) decide to try their hand at crime. Their mentor becomes Jimmy (Robert De Niro), who introduces the young men to the secrets of the despicable narco-business, where in order to gain the coveted money and influence, one must abandon all scruples. The world of the Italian mafia is shown here in a much more literal and realistic way than in “The Godfather”. For while Coppola builds a kind of mythology of the Mafia family, Scorsese exposes its dirtiest secrets.

The limited time of a “career” in the gangster world is highlighted here, among other things, by an interesting procedure of introducing the characters: the protagonists are introduced by means of a freeze-frame with detailed information about the tragic circumstances of their deaths. It’s an occupation that rarely ends well,” is the film’s overarching message. At the same time, the film “Goodfellas” is a tribute that the director paid to his city – New York.

9. „Scarface”, 1983

cartel movies - Scarface

One of the best films about drug trafficking – “Scarface”, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino. The actor plays Tony Montana, a native of Cuba, who arrives in the U.S. in 1981 as part of a family reunification deal with Fiedeel Castro. The man is a criminal and quickly finds himself in the criminal world. He has no intention of making a hard and honest living, but to engage in drug trafficking. He is introduced to the mafia business by Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia), who operates in Miami. Soon Tony comes up with the idea of taking over his position and capturing Lopez’s beautiful partner, Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer).

The movie is based on Howard Hawks’ famous 1932 masterpiece and is a showpiece for De Palma. It is a truly spectacular picture of a cruel gangster reality and an even more interesting portrait of a simple man who wants to gain power and money as quickly as possible. But he has no idea that with them will come real fears, perhaps more destructive than the life he was running from at all costs.

10. „True Romance” 1993

movies about drug addiction - True Romance

This is a very interesting item on the list of films with a drug theme. “True Romance” by Tony Scott, based on a script by Quentin Tarantino, is a combination of gangster cinema and romantic love story. The main character of the picture is a comic book salesman, Clarence Worley (Christian Slater), who meets the girl of his dreams on his birthday. Although beautiful Alabama (Patricia Arquette) turns out to be a prostitute hired by his boss, but the characters like each other so much that they soon become married. There is only one problem standing in the way of their happiness: an Alabama pimp, so Clarence must get rid of him at all costs. By the way, the hero gets entangled in the snatches of the narco-business.

“True Romance” is a film with a good cast of actors. Also in the episodes there were real stars: Brad Pitt, Garry Oldman, Dennis Hopper or Christopher Walken. Vigorous action, an interesting love plot, funny dialogues and frequent plot twists – these are assets for which this film is certainly worth seeing.

Drug dealers movies

11. „American Made”, 2017

List of drug films - American Made

This is a drug movie based on facts. The main character of the picture is the titular Barry Seal, the kingpin of drug and arms smuggling in the 1970s and 1980s, who at the same time worked for… the CIA. Navigating between the Mafia and the secret agent was, of course, a balancing act between life and death. In the end, Colombian boss Pablo Escobar set a $1 million reward for Seal’s capture. Doug Liman’s film starred Tom Cruise in the lead role. What emerges from the film is an ambiguous picture of a man who is undoubtedly addicted to adrenaline, who from his early youth cannot live without constant fireworks and enjoys taking risks. He is also able to get away with a lot for himself, flirting with both criminal activity and the US government.

“American Made” has an interesting form, thanks to frequent montage cuts it resembles a conglomeration of the most impressive scenes from the life of the protagonist, who tries to tell potential viewers his story. And he does this by recording successive parts of his confession on VHS tapes.

12. „Beautiful Boy”, 2018

Drug Smuggling movies - Beautiful Boy

A film showing the drama of entanglement in drug addiction. “Beautiful Boy”, directed by Felix Van Groeningen, is the story of a family that has to face the addiction of their adolescent son. Nic (played by Timothee Chalamet) is a sensitive boy who seeks escape from his problems in stimulants. When his father, a busy journalist (Steve Carell), realizes that his son is in serious trouble, he begins to wonder where he went wrong and, of course, tries to help the teenager at all costs.

The problem is that in his own mind David was an ideal father, and he can’t find a reason why Nic reached for such drastic measures to solve the dilemmas of adolescence. “Beautiful Boy” does not portray the world and a terrible addiction through realistic methods, rather it operates with generalization and uses suggestion and understatement rather than drastic details. However, it is worth noting that the film is based on the book by David Scheff and Nic Scheff’s autobiography “Tweak: Growing Upon Methamphetamines.”

13. „Layer Cake”, 2004

Drug mule movies - Layer Cake

One of the more interesting movies about drug traffickers. “Layer Cake” by Matthew Vaughn is the story of a certain Mister X (played by Daniel Craig), who, after years of being involved in the business of narcotics, is about to abandon the infamous profession. Of course, it turns out that this will be a much more difficult venture than he anticipated. The cartel boss does commission him with one last, but virtually impossible task. The hero is to arrange the sale of a million dollars’ worth of Ecstasy, but in the process he may endanger both his closet and the owner of the stolen drug. The British movie is based on J. J. Connolly’s 2000 novel. Sienna Miller starred in the crime drama alongside Craig.

“Layer Cake” is reminiscent in climate of the films of another British director: Guy Richie, the creator of such hits as “Tackles” and “The Con.” Thus, it is an imaginative action cinema, with memorable dialogues and expressive characters.

14. „Traffic” (2000)

best movies about drug smuggling - Traffic

“Traffic” by Steven Soderbergh is an ambitious entry that shows the drug issue from several points of view. For we learn the same plot from the perspective of several people caught up in the drug problem. One of them is the head of a US anti-drug agency, who discovers that his daughter is addicted to narcotics. We also learn the story of the cartel boss’s wife, trying to run her own “business” while her husband is in prison. The third character, meanwhile, is a Mexican policeman fighting drug crime. Starring Michael Douglas, Catherine-Zeta Jones and Benicio del Toro.

Awarded with four Oscars, “Traffic” is a film behind which lies the ambition to show the entirety of the drug world, its structure and related processes. Particularly noteworthy is the cinematography by the director himself, appearing here under the pseudonym Peter Andews. Their varied style is a tool for depicting the different perspectives of the characters. In turn, the documentary technique of shooting the shots creates a realist convention in the film, making the whole plot credible.

15. „Postcards from the Edge”, 1990

Drug addiction movies - Postcards from the Edge

This picture can not be missing from the list of the best drug movies. “Postcards from the Edge,” directed by Mike Nichols, is an excellent adaptation of Carrie Fisher’s prose with an autobiographical key. After all, the actress known, among other things, for “Star Wars” created a novel, which she based on her own fate under the mask of a fictional plot, exposing the dark face of Hollywood. Thus, the main character of the film is also an actress, Suzanna Vale, trying to cope with family pressures and her career with the help of drugs. Suzanna is the daughter of a famous movie star, and her entire career path stretches in the shadow of Doris Mann’s fame. When one day the heroine ends up in rehab for the cause of the producer of her next film, her famous mother is to become her guardian. Years later, the women will have to face a mutual confrontation.

A great acting duo in “Postcards from the Edge” was formed by Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. This is a film about the complicated relationship between mother and daughter, which, despite the wounds on both sides, remains one of the strongest defining elements of the characters. Mike Nichols, as in his other films, has created here extremely interesting female characters, who convey authentic emotions to the viewer thanks to excellent actresses.

16. „The French Connection”, 1971

Drugs in movies - the French Connection

This is a classic item on the list of drug movies. “The French Connection,” directed by William Friedkin, presents a fact-based criminal story of one giant heroin smuggling operation from Marseilles to New York. The main character of the plot is a New York policeman, Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman), who falls on the trail of a large illegal sale of narcotics and discovers that the main figure of the whole affair is the “French Connection” of the title. The film also starred Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey and Tony Lo Bianco.

Awarded five Oscars, “The French Connection” is one of the pictures that set the canon of American thriller cinema, which was forming in the 1970s. The filmmakers modeled their picture on the French New Wave, especially Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless”. At the center of the story here is the character of a steadfast cop, using uncompromising methods to fight the criminal world. Doyle wants at all costs to bring about the victory of what is right and the destruction of those who shatter the social order. In turn, narco-crime appears as an immanent feature of the villains’ reality.

17. „The Mule”, 2018

Drug Addiction films - The Mule

Who can tell the story of a complex criminal underworld better than Clint Eastwood? In “The Mule” – which he directed and starred in, he depicts his character’s accidental entanglement in the narcotics trade. Earl Stone is a more than eighty-year-old man in big financial trouble. His company is about to be taken over by a bank. Unexpectedly, however, he is offered a well-paid job. On the surface, it’s an ordinary driver’s job. However, it soon turns out that Earl is not transporting ordinary goods, but drugs for a Mexican cartel. And his activities will begin to be watched by shrewd DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper).

“The Mule”, however, is not only an interesting criminal story, but also a picture that shows the personal drama of a man who is struggling with his wrong choices from the past. Earl sacrificed everything for his business, led by his family, and when the business didn’t work out, he was forced to confront total failure.

18. „American Gangster” (2007)

the best drug mafia movies - American Gangster

This film is a typical thriller cinema, treating drug trafficking – Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster”. The main character, Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington), despite the fact that almost all his life was associated with the drug business, kept a little on the side of big business. This is because he served as the chauffeur of a Mafia boss, whom he treated as his mentor. However, when Bumpy Johnson dies, Frank decides to fight to take over the entire heroin empire in the city. This means he’ll have to battle dangerous gangsters, but also deal with a vigilant narcotics department, as Detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) begins to take an interest in him.

As in most Ridley Scott movies, “American Gangster” also shows a hero who fights to the end for what is important to him. Relevant here is his racial affiliation: Frank is an African-American with unequal opportunities in the race for success. Paradoxically, this is what becomes the reason for his determination in pursuing his goal. But has he chosen his path correctly?

19. „Ben Is Back”, 2018

movies about the danger of drug addiction - Ben Is Back

Peter Hedges’ movie is a touching picture that shows the problem of drug addiction. The main character of the film is Holly, who has an unexpected visit at Christmas. Her son Ben, who resides in an addiction treatment center on a daily basis, comes to visit her. The hopeful mother does not contain herself with joy, but at the same time she feels distrust and anxiety about what the next day will bring. Ben, on the other hand, burdened by a difficult past and his many relapses into addiction, is painfully aware of how he is perceived.

Great performances in “Ben Is Back” were created by Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. The film shows the complicated Great performances in “Ben Is Back” were created by Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges.relationship between mother and son, in which love often loses out to problems that are difficult to overcome. The picture won a Special Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Movies about drug addiction

20. “Birds of Passage” („Pajaros de verano”), 2018

Movies about drug cartels - Birds of Passage

This international co-production is the story of the early days of the narco-business in Colombia. The plot of “Birds of Passage” is set in the 1970s. Members of the Wayuu tribe begin to sell an extremely lucrative commodity to hippies from America: marijuana. The business is very profitable and grows rapidly, which, of course, becomes a prelude to the rise of major drug cartels. The movie by the duo Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego is a striking juxtaposition of the centuries-old, simple tradition of Colombian shepherds with the lust for big money, which invades the established world and completely changes its order.

Tradition is represented here by Ursula (Carminia Martinez), a stable tribal matron, guardian of old rules and superstitions. The woman does not want to give away her beautiful daughter Zaida (Natalia Reyse) to the poor Rapayet (Jose Acosta). However, this one acquires a fortune by getting involved in the marijuana trade. The new source of income gradually changes the entire community and the relationships within it.

21. „Maria Full of Grace”, 2004

top drug movies - Maria Full of Grace

This movie shows the problem of drugs from the perspective of ordinary smugglers – people who are often desperate, in a difficult life situation, and who, in order to get money, decide to engage in this dangerous business. One such person is precisely the main character of Joshua Martson’s picture, the titular Maria Alvarez (played by Catalina Sandino Moreno). A young resident of Colombia, when she learns that she is pregnant, she realizes that she will not be able to support her child. So, in order to get out of her extremely poor environment, she decides to smuggle cocaine into the United States in her own stomach, at the urging of a newfound Franklin. “Maria Full of Grace” was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in the best actress category. Catalina Sandino Moreno also earned an Oscar nomination for her role.

22. “City of God” („Cidade de Deus”), 2002

top drug films - City of God

A remarkable movie by Fernando Meirelles, “City of God” is a fact-based story in which drug trafficking plays an important role. For the picture depicts the fate of two friends, growing up together in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, each of whom chose a different path in life: one became a famous photographer, the other a drug boss. Starring Alexandre Rodrigues (as Capishon) and Leandro Firmino (Little Ze).

Four Oscar nominations, a BAFTA Award and a Writers Guild of America statuette are some of the accolades for this harrowing portrayal of the sad fate of thousands of Brazilian children. The film shows the brutal world of an urban ghetto without prospects, where dealing, prostitution and violence are often the only chance to break out of extreme poverty and pathology.

23. „Cocaine Cowboys”, 2006

top 20 drug movies - Cocaine Cowboys

Another item on our list of films about drugs, this time a documentary production – “Cocaine Cowboys”, directed by Billy Corben. This is an interesting story set in the 1980s in Miami, where the bloody wars of Colombian drug gangs were just then taking place. The plot of the picture was based on facts. The narrators of the film are former drug dealers and gang members, serving sentences for crimes of the time. They are the ones who tell the story of what Miami looked like in the 1980s and how it turned into a cocaine empire, known from the famous TV series “Miami Vice.”

24. „Pineapple Express”, 2008

top 20 movies about drugs - Pineapple Express

David Gordon Green’s crime comedy „Pineapple Express” depicts the adventures of a certain marijuana amateur. Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) accidentally becomes a witness to a murder committed by a dangerous drug boss and a rogue police officer. While fleeing, he leaves his latest stash unburned at the scene. Bad luck is that it is a very original pineapple marijuana – which can only be bought from one dealer. So the hero goes to Saul (James Franco) to ask him if they have what to worry about. It soon turns out that dangerous criminals have already established their personalities, and they have to fight for their lives. The film starred Craig Robinson, Gary Cole and Amber Heard, among others. James Franco received a nomination for his role at the Golden Globes, among others.

25. „Heli” 2013

Drug movies list - Heli

Amata Escalante’s film depicts the heartbreaking life of a teenager living in a poor Mexican town controlled by the narco-business. Seventeen-year-old Heli (played by Armando Espitia) has a wife and child to support. Struggling to cope with everyday life, the boy one day gets into serious trouble. When his younger sister starts having problems with a drug cartel, the protagonist decides to help her, which will bring great danger to the whole family.

The director received the Palme d’Or at Cannes for his picture “Heli”. The film shows in an extremely realistic way the hopelessness of poor Mexican environments condemned to live in the shadow of pervasive violence and exploitation. It is a world of utter humiliation and defeat, in which good feelings and dreams are lost as quickly as they appear.

26. „White Boy Rick”, 2018

The greatest drug movies - White Boy Rick

This film is a half-criminal half-dramatic plot about a “career” in the world of drug business. The story is set in the 1980s. The main character of Yann Demange’s picture is the titular Rick (played by Richie Merritt), a boy from Detroit. Growing up in a shabby environment, the teenager decides to try his own hand at drug trafficking and quickly achieves success in this field. Soon on the trail of his business are caught by the services, who, however, have no idea who is behind the whole business. They suspect Rick’s father (played by Matthew McConaughey).

“White Boy Rick” is a movie that shows the social background of drug “havens,” where people reach for extremely dangerous and shameful activities simply to make ends meet. The American city of Detroit has become infamous in this regard. Rick, growing up alongside a father who sells weapons to local criminals in his basement, is, so to speak, doomed to a similar fate, and the justice system here paradoxically offers no better alternative.

27. „Candy” (2006)

the greatest drug films - Candy

Also on our list of movies about drugs is a very interesting Australian production directed by Neil Armfield. This is the story of two sensitive and talented people who experience a burning love. Dan (Heath Ledger) is a budding poet, and Candy (Abbie Cronish) is an art student. The nascent passion between them quickly enters a turbulent and crisis phase related to both of them becoming addicted to heroin. The drug, which initially enhances their ecstatic experience, over time becomes a source of inevitable drama. To get more plots, the protagonists will be ready to do a lot indeed… The film won, among other awards, a nomination for the Golden Bear in Berlin.

28. „Christiane F” (“Chrstiane F. – Wir Kinder von Bahnhof Zoo”), 1981

excellent movies about drugs - Christiane F

A famous movie based on an even more famous book by German journalists Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck from 1978. The publication has the character of a documentary – it is a record of a conversation with a young drug addict, Christine F. The film is set in West Berlin, at the Zoo Station, where drug addicts meet to get another fix, but also to provide sexual services in exchange for money or goods. Among them is fourteen-year-old Christine (played by Natja Brunckhorst), who, along with her boyfriend Detlef (Thomas Haustein), prostitutes herself in order to earn money for drugs.

Uli Edel’s movie shows the harrowing evolution of addiction, which starts with reaching for weak stimulants and eventually causes total physical and mental degradation of the characters. It’s also a story about painful adolescence, a period when too many problems, especially family problems, can overwhelm impressionable teenagers and push them down the path of addiction.

29. „Taking Off”, 1971

films about drugs - Taking off

This highly original movie by Milos Forman also deals with the subject of drugs. “Taking Off“, the American debut of the Czech director, is about the era of “flower children” and the clash between the old order and the ideals of the younger generation. The main characters of the film are a stable Tyne couple who are looking for their runaway teenage daughter Jeannie. When they accidentally end up at the Association of Parents of Runaway Children and cost fashionable marijuana, they completely change their approach to their previous problems. Starring roles include Buck Henry, Lynn Carlin and Linnea Heacock.

“Taking Off” is a comedy of manners, in which Forman, thanks to the introduction of the drug trance motif, is able to take a detached look at the moral changes in America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Interestingly, the Eastern European director is more interested in the generation of their parents than in the contestants: what they hide under the appearance of a stabilized life signed with the mark of the American dream.

30. „Half Nelson”, 2006

flms about drugs addicted - Half Nelson

In this movie, contrary to the usual patterns, the addict is not a rebellious teenager, but a stable educator. “Half Nelson” by Ryan Fleck is a story about an ambitious history teacher at a high school in Brooklyn, who experiences a crisis due to the failure of his youthful dreams. Everyday full of optimism and trying to motivate his students, the man tries to solve his own problems with the help of narcotics. One day one of his students learns his secret. This will be the beginning of their friendship.Starring Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps. “Half Nelson” won an Oscar nomination (for Best Actor) and many other awards.

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