It may seem strange for some to look for movies that target mental illnesses, but sometimes we just need a little something to relate to. Whether we know someone suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or even addiction, Perhaps you are the one suffering from the mental disorder? Whatever the case, I have a list of the best movies about mental disorders to watch in 2023. Check out this complete list of the 28 best mental illness movies 2023.
If you enjoyed this list of the best mental illness movies 2023, check out these other articles: Best PG-13 Halloween movies, sports movies on Disney Plus, scary movies for tweens on Netflix, Witch movies on Netflix, Disturbing horror movies.
Best Mental Illness Movies 2023
If you are looking for the best mental illness movies 2023, movies about mental illness on Netflix, movies about mental hospitals, or movies about mental health for student than this list of best mental illness movies 2023 is a great starting place for you. This best mental illness movies 2023 contains an array of great flicks to choose from!
Shutter Island (2010)
Plot: The implausible escape of a brilliant murderess brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner to Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like mental hospital insane asylum located on a remote, windswept island. The woman appears to have vanished from a locked room, and there are hints of terrible deeds committed within the hospital walls. As the investigation deepens, Teddy realizes he will have to confront his own dark fears if he hopes to make it off the island alive. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Star Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Plot: After losing his job and wife, and spending time in a mental institution, Pat Solatano winds up living with his parents. He wants to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife, but his parents would be happy if he just shared their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. Things get complicated when Pat meets Tiffany, who offers to help him reconnect with his wife, if he will do something very important for her in exchange. Director David O. Russell.
Star Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Jennifer Lawrence
The King of Staten Island (2020)
Plot: A semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about Pete Davidson growing up in Staten Island, including losing his father during 9/11 and entering the world of stand up comedy.
Star Cast: Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Bill Burr
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Plot: A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the biography “A Beautiful Mind” by Sylvia Nasar. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, Mathematician John Nash experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery, that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Directed by Ron Howard.
Star Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany
It’s Kind of A Funny Story (2010)
Plot: Stressed by adolescence, 16-year-old Craig Gilner checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, the youth wing is closed, so he must spend his mandated five-day stay with adults. One of them, Bobby, quickly becomes his mentor — and protege, while Craig finds himself drawn to a fellow teen, Noelle, who just may be the cure he needs to forget an unrequited crush.
Star Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Plot: Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, “Girl, Interrupted” is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen, a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside — like the seductive and dangerous Lisa — or the often difficult world of reality on the outside. The film features a suicide attempt, which could be triggering for some viewers.
Star Cast: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy
Welcome to Me (2015)
Plot: A mentally unbalanced lottery winner with borderline personality disorder and mood swings, goes off her medication, buys a talk show and uses it as a platform to broadcast her bizarre opinions on a wide variety of topics.
Star Cast: Kristen Wiig, Wes bentley, Joan Cusack
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Plot: When Randle Patrick McMurphy, who suffers from antisocial personality disorder, gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse Ratched runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward’s patients.
Star Cast: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito
Black Swan (2010)
Plot: Nina Sayers is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company’s artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of “Swan Lake,” Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina’s dark side begins to emerge. A psychological thriller.
Star Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Plot: Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic high school students become his mentors. Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie’s dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.
Star Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Plot: The Hoover family — a man, his wife, an uncle, a brother and a grandfather — puts the fun back in dysfunctional by piling into a VW bus and heading to California on a road trip to support a daughter in her bid to win the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. The sanity of everyone involved is stretched to the limit as the group’s quirks cause epic problems as they travel along their interstate route.
Star Cast: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin
Benny & Joon (1993)
Plot: Benny, who cares for his mentally disturbed sister, Joon also welcomes the eccentric Sam into his home at Joon’s request. Sam entertains Joon while he dreams of a job at the video store. Once Benny realizes Joon and Sam have started a romantic relationship, he kicks Sam out of the house. This leads to an altercation between brother and sister. Joon runs away with Sam, who soon realizes that she may need more support than he alone can provide.
Star Cast: Aidan Quinn, Mary Stuart Masterson, Johnny Depp
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Plot: Gilbert Grape is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his mother, who suffers from an eating disorder and is so overweight that she can’t leave the house, and his mentally impaired younger brother, Arnie, who has a knack for finding trouble. Settled into a job at a grocery store and an ongoing affair with local woman Betty Carver, Gilbert finally has his life shaken up by the free-spirited Becky.
Star Cast: Johnny Depp, Darlene Cates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mary Steenburgen, Juliette Lewis
The Skeleton Twins (2014)
Plot: Following many years of estrangement, twins Milo and Maggie have an unexpected reunion after a set of near-tragedies. The situation forces them to confront how their lives became so broken. For Maggie, it means examining why she’s so unhappy in a marriage to a loving husband. For Milo, it means meeting with his first love to see if their romance can reignite. Eventually, they learn that living truthfully and accepting each other is the only way to move forward.
Star Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Plot: Will Hunting has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult graduate-level math problem, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, who decides to help the misguided youth reach his potential. When Will is arrested for attacking a police officer, Professor Lambeau makes a deal to get leniency for him if he will get treatment from therapist Sean Maguire.
Star Cast: Matt Damon, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Williams
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Plot: Extremely shy Lars finds it impossible to make friends or socialize. His brother and sister-in-law worry about him, so when he announces that he has a girlfriend he met on the Internet, they are overjoyed. But Lars’ new lady is a life-size plastic woman. On the advice of a doctor, his family and the rest of the community go along with his delusion.
Star Cast: Ryan Gosling, Paul Schneider, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Plot: Melvin Udall is an obsessive-compulsive disorder writer of romantic fiction who’s rude to everyone he meets, including his gay neighbor Simon, but when he has to look after Simon’s dog, he begins to soften and, if still not completely over his problems, finds he can conduct a relationship with the only waitress at the local diner who’ll serve him.
Star Cast: Jack Nicholson, Greg Kinnear, Helen Hunt
55 Steps (2017)
Plot: A workaholic lawyer in San Francisco takes on an uphill legal battle to help a psychiatric patient sue a hospital for mistreating its patients.
Star Cast: Helen Bonham Carter, Hilary Swank, Jeffery Tambor
Ordinary People (1980)
Plot: Tormented by guilt following the death of his older brother, Buck, in a sailing accident, alienated teenager Conrad Jarrett attempts suicide. Returning home following an extended stay in a psychiatric hospital, Conrad tries to deal with his mental anguish and also reconnect with his mother, Beth, who has grown cold and angry, and his emotionally wounded father, Calvin, with the help of his psychiatrist, Dr. Berger.
Star Cast: Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch
The Machinist (2004)
Plot: Factory worker Trevor Reznik suffers from insomnia so severe that his condition has taken its toll on his weight and his mental health. When Trevor unintentionally causes an on-the-job accident that horribly injures a coworker, he begins to become even more troubled. Despite a relationship with Stevie, a pretty prostitute, Trevor descends further into paranoia, blaming his problems on an enigmatic figure named Ivan.
Star Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Ironside, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian
Plot: Leonard is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty, however, of locating his wife’s killer is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss. Although he can recall details of life before his accident, Leonard cannot remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he’s going, or why.
Star Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Matchstick Men (2003)
Plot: Roy, a depressed con artist with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Frank, his partner, find their line of work complicated by the arrival of Roy’s teenage daughter, Angela. Angela brings some spirit back into Roy’s life, and some of his disorder symptoms seem to disappear. But when Angela wants to learn the family business, and Roy allows her to assist on a big scam concerning a businessmen, he reconsiders his parenting techniques.
Star Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill
Still Alice (2014)
Plot: Dr. Alice Howland is a renowned linguistics professor at Columbia University. When words begin to escape her and she starts becoming lost on her daily jogs, Alice must come face-to-face with a devastating diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As the once-vibrant woman struggles to hang on to her sense of self for as long as possible, Alice’s three grown children must watch helplessly as their mother disappears more and more with each passing day.
Star Cast: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Plot: Life is looking pretty bleak for theater director Caden Cotard. His wife and daughter have left him, his therapist is more interested in plugging her new book than helping him with his problems, and a strange disease is causing his body to shut down. Caden leaves his home in Schenectady, New York, and heads to New York City, where he gathers a cast of actors and tells them to live their lives within the constructs of a mock-up of the city.
Star Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Noonan, Catherine Keener
Uncut Gems (2019)
Plot: A charismatic jeweller makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.
Star Cast: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Plot: After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie, and ex-wife, Sarah, try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer’s chiropractor friend, Louis, fails to reach him as he descends into madness.
Star Cast: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Patricia Kalember, Danny Aiello
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Plot: Based on the play by Tennessee Williams, this renowned drama follows troubled former schoolteacher Blanche DuBois as she leaves small-town Mississippi and moves in with her sister, Stella Kowalski, and her husband, Stanley, in New Orleans. Blanche’s flirtatious Southern-belle presence causes problems for Stella and Stanley, who already have a volatile relationship, leading to even greater conflict in the Kowalski household.
Star Cast: Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Marlon Brando
Fight Club (1999)
Plot: A depressed man suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden and soon finds himself living in his squalid house after his perfect apartment is destroyed. The two bored men form an underground club with strict rules and fight other men who are fed up with their mundane lives. Their perfect partnership frays when Marla, a fellow support group crasher, attracts Tyler’s attention.
Star Cast: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter