Many of us know someone who is, or was, struggling with an addiction, whether it be a drug addiction or an alcohol addiction. The struggle is real, and for family and friends of those who know someone who suffers from drug abuse or alcohol abuse, a sturdy support system is a must. There are meetings that family and friends can attend to understand substance use disorders better, but sometimes you just need to see some good movies that deal with them in 2023. Check out this list of the best movies that deal with addition 2023.
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Movies That Deal With Addiction 2023
Plot: Teenager Nic Sheff seems to have it all with good grades and being an actor, artist, athlete and editor of the school newspaper. When Nic’s addiction to meth threatens to destroy him, his father (David Sheff) does whatever he can to save his son and family. Based on a true story.
Star Cast: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Amy Ryan
The Basketball Diaries
Plot: Jim Carroll, a high school basketball player, is consumed by his life as a high school basketball star. Pressured by a wicked coach and a concerned mother, Jim develops an appetite for heroin. Soon, the mean streets of New York City have replaced the basketball court as his main destination. Jim and his friends scrounge, steal and prostitute themselves to score drugs and eventually find themselves with a prison sentence and a heroin addiction. Jim’s only chance to escape addiction may be Reggie, a neighborhood friend and hoops companion.
Star Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruno Kirby, Lorraine Bracco, Ernie Hudson
Plot: An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.
Star Cast: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman
A Star is Born
Plot: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
Star Cast: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott
Plot: Heroin addict Mark Renton stumbles through bad ideas and sobriety attempts with his unreliable friends — Sick Boy, Begbie, Spud and Tommy. He also has an underage girlfriend, Diane, along for the ride. After cleaning up and moving from Edinburgh to London, Mark finds he can’t escape the life he left behind when Begbie shows up at his front door on the lam, and a scheming Sick Boy follows.
Star Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kelly Macdonald, Kevin McKidd
Plot: The film starts with superstar rocker Elton John walking into a room while wearing a gaudy orange devil-type outfit like he’s about to perform. It turns out he is really attending a group meeting for addicts. He sits down to join the group and explains that he is a drug and sex addict, plus an alcoholic, and he wants to get better before it gets worse. The group coordinator asks Elton to talk about his childhood.
Star Cast: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard
Plot: A hard-drinking New York journalist takes her reputation as the life and soul of the party too far when she knocks over her sister’s wedding cake and crashes the bridal limousine. When a court orders her into rehab center for a month, she initially refuses, but eventually she begins to take her substance abuse seriously.
Star Cast: Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West
Requiem For A Dream
Plot: Imaginatively evoking the inner landscape of human beings longing to connect, to love and feel loved, the film is a parable of happiness gloriously found and tragically lost. “Requiem for a Dream” tells parallel stories that are linked by the relationship between the lonely, widowed Sara Goldfarb and her sweet but aimless son, Harry. The plump Sara, galvanized by the prospect of appearing on a TV game show, has started on a dangerous diet regimen to beautify herself for a national audience. Burstyn went on to receive an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Star Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, jennifer Connelly
Days of Wine and Roses
Plot: Joe Clay is a rising young public relations executive when he meets Kirsten Arnesen, a pretty secretary, at a business party. Joe and Kirsten are both ambitious, and they are on the road to success when they fall in love and marry. Soon after, however, Joe coaxes Kirsten to begin drinking with him on a regular basis. Eventually, they are both dependent on alcohol. Their marriage deteriorates, and their lives spiral into disaster, as a result. Directed by Blake Edwards
Star Cast: Lee Remick, Jack Lemmon, Jack Klugman
Plot: This crime drama film follows a group of friends addicted to drugs as they travel across the Pacific Northwest, robbing hospitals and pharmacies. A fatal overdose impacts the whole group, and their leader Bob attempts to leave his past problems behind him. This proves a difficult task, but one that is ultimately achieved through perseverance. Based on the autobiographical novel by James Fogle.
Star Cast: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham
Leaving Las Vegas
Plot: Adapted from the novel by John O’Brien, this acclaimed drama follows alcoholic screenwriter Ben Sanderson as he drinks himself into oblivion in Las Vegas. When Ben meets the beautiful prostitute Sera, they strike up an unconventional relationship — one where she can’t ask him to curb his drinking, and he can’t fault her for her job. Though they offer each other support, Ben’s self-destruction threatens to eclipse their bond.
Star Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Mike Figgis
Plot: Alcoholics in various stages of recovery tell their stories at an AA meeting in the basement of a New York church.
Star Cast: Faye Dunaway, Richard Lewis, Parker Posey
When A Man Loves A Woman
Plot: A wife and mother of two daughters, Alice Green has developed a severe drinking problem. While her husband, Michael, has been patient in dealing with this issue, it soon becomes clear that he has been enabling her alcoholism. When her addiction threatens her children’s safety, Alice decides to enter a rehab clinic. Upon returning home, she finds that her new lifestyle causes an unexpected rift with Michael, leading to some soul-searching for the couple.
Star Cast: Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia
Plot: Dan Dunne is a history teacher at a Brooklyn school. Though well-liked by his students and colleagues, he secretly spends his evenings hopping bars and getting high. A female student named Drey catches him in a drug-induced haze after a basketball game, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. As Dan struggles with his addiction, he tries to act as a mentor to the girl, whose brother is serving time for dealing drugs.
Star Cast: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Anthony Mackie
Plot: Gia Carangi travels to New York City with dreams of becoming a fashion model. Within minutes of arriving, she meets Wilhelmina Cooper, a wise and high-powered agent who takes Gia under her wing. With Cooper’s help and her own natural instincts, Gia quickly shoots to the top of the modeling world. When Cooper dies of lung cancer, however, Gia turns to drugs — and both she and her career begin to spiral out of control.
Star Cast: Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Mitchell
Plot: In the turbulence of the 1970s, the international drug trade underwent a fast, violent and lucrative revolution – and one ordinary American was at its center this world of drugs. But in just a few short years, George Jung, a high-school football star single handedly became the world’s premiere importer of cocaine from Colombia’s Medellin cartel, changing the course of an entire generation. “Blow” is a high-velocity look at George Jung’s spectacular rise and fall.
Star Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta
Plot: Johnny is an emotionally stunted and softspoken radio journalist who travels the country interviewing a variety of kids about their thoughts concerning their world and their future. Then Johnny’s saddled with caring for his young nephew Jesse. Jesse brings a new perspective and, as they travel from state to state, effectively turns the emotional tables on Johnny.
Star Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Norman, Gaby Hoffmann
The Panic in Needle Park
Plot: Bobby is a heroin addict who lives in “Needle Park,” the nickname for an area on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where junkies congregate. He meets Helen, a lonely homeless girl, and they fall in love. However, Bobby also introduces Helen to heroin, and she eventually becomes addicted, too. As Bobby and Helen become more and more dependent on each other and on heroin, their need for money to feed their habit grows, resulting in crime, desperation and betrayal.
Star Cast; Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint
Plot: The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Purdue Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA.
Star Cast: Michael Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rosario Dawson