The 10 Best Movies About Drugs and Drug Addiction

Drug abuse, addiction, manufacturing, and distribution have all been depicted time and time again on the silver screen, and we’ve done our best to identify the top ten. Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines…we’ve got ‘em all. So here they are — our best movies about drugs and drug addiction.

800px-requiem_for_a_dream_screenshot_2Requiem for a Dream (2000)
The most horrifying depiction of drug addition is Aronofsky’s second feature film. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for her unforgettable performance as Sara Goldfarb. Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans turn in equally impressive roles.

easy_rider_1bEasy Rider (1969)
Perhaps the best road film in American history, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper star as drug dealers on their famous motorcycles. One of the classic films of the American counterculture and one of the best movies about drugs.

tr4Traffic (2000)
Steven Soderbergh’s film of interwoven storylines focuses on cocaine, heroin, and the U.S. War on Drugs. It took home four Academy Awards – Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

img4The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The most recent film on this list depicts just about every type of drug imaginable and has, unsurprisingly, led to an exponential increase in internet searches for “quaaludes”. DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were each nominated for Academy Awards for their acting in this movie about drugs, greed, and corruption.

american-gangster-shootAmerican Gangster (2007)
Headlined by two Academy Award winning actors, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, American Gangster follows the life of Frank Lucas and his heroin empire in the 1960s and 70s. American Gangster definitely goes the extra mile in chronicling manufacturing and distribution in a way that most movies about drugs don’t.

blowBlow (2001)
George Jung’s life is chronicled in this 2001 film about the cocaine trade and the Medellín Cartel. Johnny Depp, Ray Liotta, and Penelope Cruz star with Ted Damme directing.

trainspotting-5 (1)Trainspotting (1996)
Trainspotting was the second feature film for both director Danny Boyle and actor Ewan McGregor. Heroin is the drug of choice in the film, whose screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award.

winters-bone-04 Winter’s Bone (2010)
Methamphetamines in the Ozarks leads to a cruel, dark existence perhaps best portrayed in Winter’s Bone. This film brought Jennifer Lawrence widespread critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

d6cce98efd10771eb19e0ea90efdf650Scarface (1983)
Say ‘ello to my ‘lil friend! The most famous line from Brian de Palma’s cocaine film has forever entered movie lore. Initially met with a lukewarm reaction from critics, the film has since received contemporary praise.

midnight-cowboy1Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman were each nominated for an Oscar for their roles in the only Rated X movie to ever win Best Picture. It gives a gritty depiction of drug-addicted New York (heroin, mostly) and ends with one of the most famous and depressing ending scenes in movies about drugs.

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23 thoughts on “The 10 Best Movies About Drugs and Drug Addiction

  1. Andrew

    I created a channel on Fayve out of this awesome top 10 movies about drugs list so you could see where to watch each of the films. It’s in the website section.

  2. Bratkip

    1. Define ‘drugs’ (alcohol people… so normal, but hard drug)
    2. Where is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in this list?!

  3. Chris

    Midnight Cowboy has absolutely nothing to do with heroin (it’s not mentioned or used even once) and the ending has nothing to do with drugs of any kind. Have you ever really watched it ?

  4. Anna

    We children from bahnhof zoo is definetely the movie which gives the best insight on heroin addiction. Though quite disturbing, it has excellent acting by very young actors and actresses, based on a true story and is objective. Watched it in 9th grade and still one of the best drug films i’ve watched as its not the typical hollywood film (german producer)

  5. paulo

    I been there and done it. is hell.

    i am very lucky man, ofter 20 years of doctors and so on, i have been clean for some time, 5 month

  6. cory

    Sid and Nancy
    Prozac Nation
    Drugstore Cowboy
    Leaving Las Vegas
    We Children From Bahnhof Zoo
    The Salton Sea

  7. Emma

    why yall are saying u forgot that you forgot this. he or she didnt forgot anything he or she just made a list abou HIS or HER own opinion u shmucks -.-

  8. Baby

    Well, you forgot about the Basketball diaries, maybe one of the best movies i’ve ever seen.. And lets just say, i’ve seen a lot.

  9. PacMan&TheGhost

    Fear and loathing in las vegas wudnt go down a miss to be honest, one of the all time greats, if your into drugs, curious or just want to see something hilarious, give this film a watch!


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