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10 Best Movies About Substance Abuse

MT . . . Comments

The subject is still a touchy one when it comes to Hollywood. There is a fine line between glamorizing alcohol and drugs while at the same time conveying the moral and legal ramifications associated with using them. There are a handful of movies that show the real side of substance abuse without the glitz and glamour, yet are stylized enough to be popular and profitable. I chose the following movies because of my love of movies and because of the various addictions I have struggled with over the years. Every time I see one of these movies it reminds me of where I have been and where I could have ended up had I not managed to defeat my personal demons. With that I have compiled the 10 Best Movies about Substance Abuse.


Altered States
Ken Russell, 1980

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Edward Jessup (William Hurt in his film debut) is a university professor who, while studying schizophrenia begins to think that “our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states.” Jessup begins experimenting with sensory-depravation using a flotation tank. The professor then enhances the effects of his experiments by injecting a “mushroom cocktail” he brought back from Mexico. In the flotation tank he undergoes a series of increasingly drastic psychological and physical transformations. The 1980 film is an adaption of a novel by the same name by playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. It was the only novel that Chayefsky ever wrote, as well as his final film. Both the novel and the film are based on John C. Lilly’s sensory depravation research conducted in isolation tanks under the influence of psychoactives like ketamine and LSD. This is a favorite movie of mine because of it’s artsy, wildly hallucinogenic drug scenes.

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Reefer Madness
Louis J. Gasnier, 1936

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Also titled Tell Your Children, this 1936 cult classic was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use. However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit. In 1971, Reefer Madness was discovered in the Library of Congress archives by National Organization for Marijuana Reform Laws founder Keith Stroup, who bought a print for $297, and made it the darling of pot smokers and college campuses. For this modern audience, the poor production values and overacting create an uproarious comedy. Stroup is also responsible for the notion that the film was originally created as a propaganda piece. Distributing Reefer Madness to college campuses of the 1970s helped bankroll the burgeoning film company New Line Cinema.

In 2004, 20th Century Fox, in collaboration with Legend Films, released a colorized version of the film on DVD. The original release date was April 20, 2004 (4/20/2004) , a reference to the marijuana slang term “420.” Also during the film, the number “4” and then “20” is flashed very quickly (as a joke on subliminal messages), which is an effect added by Legend Films. The color version features intentionally unrealistic color schemes that add to the film’s unintentionally campy humor. The smoke from the “marijuana” was made to appear green, blue, orange, and purple, each person’s colored smoke representing their mood and the different “levels of ‘addiction’”.

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The Boost
Harold Becker, 1988

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This is an often overlooked but powerful portrait of how a recreational drug user (James Woods) got hooked on coke and ruined his entire life. He got his wife hooked, lost a high powered job, his home, friends and even his unborn child. It was a tragic yet realistic story that was brought to life by the fantastic acting of Woods. It also featured a scene with actress Agnes Moorehead free basing. It was the first time I ever saw crack smoking on screen.

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Danny Boyle, 1996


A group of disaffected Scottish youths turn to heroin to escape the banalities of modern-day existence. Then, they begin to suffer the consequences and discover that there are no easy solutions to the inherent loneliness and pain of life. Its release sparked some controversy in some countries, including the UK, Australia and the United States, as to whether it promoted drug use or not. U.S. Senator Bob Dole accused it of moral depravity and glorifying drug use during the 1996 US Presidential Campaign, although he later admitted that he had not actually seen the film. The Academy Award nominated script featured a classic scene in which one of the addicts in the midst of a heroin induced high is searching for the “perfect toilet” in which to take a crap. It is descriptive, highly visual and ultimately one of the most disgusting scenes captured on film.

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The Man with the Golden Arm
Otto Preminger, 1955

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Card shark, musician and ex-con Frankie (Frank Sinatra) battles to curb his heroin addiction while dealing with the needs of his wheelchair bound wife and his true love, Molly (Kim Novak). The film was controversial for its time; the Motion Picture Association of America refused to certify the film because it showed drug addiction. The film was released without the MPAA’s seal of approval. This sparked a change in production codes, allowing movies more freedom to more deeply explore taboo subjects such drug abuse, kidnapping, abortion and prostitution.
Frank Sinatra , who jumped at a chance to star in the film before reading the entire script – spent time at drug rehabilitation clinics observing addicts going cold turkey. The script was given to Marlon Brando around the same time as Sinatra, who still harbored some anger at Brando since he had beaten out Sinatra for the lead role in On The Waterfront. Directed by Otto Preminger, it was nominated for three Academy Awards including Sinatra for Best Actor.

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Vondie Curtis-Hall, 1997


Set in Detroit, 2 heroin addicts (Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth) decide to kick their habit after their best friend and band mate, Cookie, overdoses on her first hit. Throughout a disastrous day, the two addicts dodge police and local criminals while struggling with an apathetic government bureaucracy that bars their entrance into a rehabilitation clinic. Gridlock’d marked the directorial debut of actor Vondie Curtis-Hall. He wrote the screenplay in 1993 and based it on actual life experience as a junkie during the 1970’s. Much like the characters in the film, Hall and a friend sought treatment for their addiction only to be told that it would take weeks to get admitted into rehab.. The film paid tribute to star Tupac Shakur who had been murdered several months before the film’s release.

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Drugstore Cowboy
Gus Van Sant, 1989

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The story follows Bob Hughes (Matt Dillon) and his “family” of drug addicts as they travel across the US Pacific Northwest in the early 1970’s, supporting their habit by robbing pharmacies and hospitals. A highlight of the film is an appearance by recovering addict William Burroughs as Tom, a defrocked priest who lectures Bob on the dangers of temptation. After a tragedy strikes the “family” , Bob decides to try to go straight but finds that there is more to extricating himself from the drug user’s lifestyle than just giving up drugs. It was a breakout performance by Matt Dillion that helped solidify his career and the success of the movie.

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Leaving Las Vegas
Mike Figgis, 1995

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Because his wife left him and took his son with her, screenwriter Ben Anderson (Nicolas Cage) has started drinking….a lot. When he gets fired, he decides to leave everything behind and move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. In Las Vegas he meets Sera, (Elisabeth Shue)a prostitute with some problems as well who he moves in with. Mike Figgis masterminded the film, not only directing but writing the script and composing the score. In April 1994, shortly before preproduction of the film began, John O’Brien, author of the semi-autobiographical novel this film is based on, committed suicide. As a result, the production was stopped temporarily. Throughout production, Figgis had problems because permits were not issued for some street scenes. This caused him to film some scenes in one shot to avoid any police contact.

Cage researched his character by binge drinking in Dublin for two weeks and had a friend to videotape him under the influence so he could study his speech patterns. He later admitted that “it was one of the most enjoyable pieces of research I’ve ever had to do for a part.” Nicolas Cage received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in this film. Elisabeth Shue was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and the film also received nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Director.

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Days of Wine and Roses
Blake Edwards, 1962


This classic film depicts the subtle, insidious nature of alcohol addiction. It follows the downward spiral of two average Americans who succumb to alcoholism and attempt to deal with their problem. Joe is a former social drinker who turns alcoholic due to pressures at work. He meets his future wife Kirsten at a party, and they both slowly become full-blown alcoholics and lose everything. Joe’s crazy and frenzied smash up of the contents of his in-laws greenhouse while looking for a bottle of booze he had hidden there highlights the characters descent into madness.

Director Blake Edwards became a non-drinker a year after completing the film and went into substance recovery. He said that he and Jack Lemmon were heavy drinkers while making the film. Both Lemmon and actress Lee Remick sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous long after they had completed the film. The film had a lasting effect in helping alcoholics deal with their problem. Today Days of Wine and Roses is required viewing in many alcoholic and drug rehabilitation clinics across America.

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Requiem for a Dream
Darren Aronofsky, 2000

Requiem For A Dream Screenshot 1

This is probably the grittiest, dirtiest, saddest yet most realistic portrayal of drug users ever put on film. This movie exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). Taking place in Brooklyn amidst the decaying Coney Island, the drugs are very easily obtained and keep each main character in its cycle of dependence. Watching the addicts spiral out of control, we bear witness to the ugliest portions of the underworld addicts reside in. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Sara Goldfarb, the mother of one of the addicts.

Buy the DVD at AmazonThis article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia. Some synopses are courtesy of IMDB, the Internet Movie Database.

Contributor: MT

  • badabing

    Please explain why Ron? I've never seen the movie, but the book is about drugs.

    • Petryk

      A perfect list, Heather! You are a nemica programmer’s dream, or my version of one anyway. And for all the right reasons too! You know what I’d switch out though? I’d lose Predator, which was good but a little more sizzle than steak for me, and replace it with Blade Runner. Then we’ve got a second version of my childhood/teenage flicks that put the Steve in Steve. Great picks! And some sinister reasons beneath the surface too, Labyrinth will always be a hard movie to explain to kids some things are better left for them to figure out anyway. If I’m not mistaken, Tremors is one of your trademark movies one of the ones I found out you loved when I was scanning your site for the first time. There’s something really authentic about Tremors and something that connects a lot of B, C and D list actors through the connections of Kevin Bacon.

  • glenners

    what about a scanner darkly? that is another awesome drug based film, and also very good to watch when on drugs! that was a weird evening……

    • Invisible Apple

      I second, third, and fourth this. A Scanner Darkly is awesome. Provided you watch the whole thing.

  • downhighway61

    I think I'm the only person on earth who doesn't like Requiem for a Dream.

    I really think the Basketball Diaries would be a great addition to this list. You know, if it was a Top 11.

    • katey

      basketball diaries was great

    • Rael

      I too, couldn’t stand ‘Requiem for a Dream’. To me, it seems like they said “Let’s think of all the worst possible out-comes, chuck them together and make a super-depressing movie”. it’s not realistic at all.

  • lizzieg3

    what about the billy holiday movie? or the story of the
    first days of AA with james woods?

    • carolt

      WAY back Bette Midler played Janis Joplin in The Rose. This movie was a compelling portrait
      of how/why celeb insiders manipulate addicted stars to keep own paychecks comming.

  • Kyran Wray

    nice list….. except you left out fear and loathing in las vegas!

    • Brooooooks


  • Jono


  • badabing

    The basketball diaries!

  • richiet

    not a bad list i like number 1 but you gotta put fear and loathing in las vegas as a bonus

  • Jono

    This is a very good list. I really do need to see some of these movies. I wish I could watch movies while I was asleep, instead of dreams.

  • fAzRiN

    these movies might be helpful for people out there who want to start a new life.just like u. congratulation and thank you 4 such a great list!!!

  • c1f3r

    apparently you didn’t watch fear and loathing in las vegas. watch and change the list, seriously.

  • Ron

    The people stating that Fear and Loathing should be on the list are missing the bigger picture. This is a list of films where drugs are the centerpiece. They are the story. Fear and Loathing drugs played a far distant role to that of Depp and his portrayal of Hunter S. Thompson. Gilliam did a fantastic job with the movie and Depp played the role of his career. It does not however belong on this list.

  • ZenPoet

    Another Day in Paradise should have been on here. As well as stated above: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For those of you who think that movie was about something other than drugs you are right, it’s also about a dirt bike race…. Jackasses. The FIRST LINE of the movie is “We were somewhere around Barstow, near the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.” Now maybe you can argue that it’s more about the character then drugs, but you would be missing the point of the whole movie. That being the characters eventual breakdown due to his drug use. And lest we forget.. I know they can’t be Considered GOOD movies, but can we at least recognize the ground breaking importance of CHEECH AND CHONG in making drug movies a marketable commodity?

  • barkeye

    The Lost Weekend might be another consideration. The 1945 Best Picture and Palme d’Or winner was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Ray Milland as an alcoholic.

  • miralea

    Fear and Loathing is definitely a drug movie and certainly worthy of at least an honorable mention. I think another movie that should deserve some mention would be Candy, which focuses on heroin use. It was a movie Heath Ledger did in…I want to say 2005 or somewhere thereabout.

  • sander

    Fear and Loathing should definitely be on this list. Like the poster says: Love It, Hate It. Take the Ride! That movie IS a trip.

  • han

    In Trainspotting he is looking for a toilet because of the sudden need to take a crap during an attempt to stop using heroin, not when he is high.

    Heroin causes constipation so quitting gives you sudden diarrhea.

  • Ashley

    i absolutely love trainspotting and requiem for a dream. but fear and loathing, candy, and blow are really great too if you are into this type of movie. fear and loathing is a staple! if you haven’t seen it you haven’t seen a good addict movie!

  • Sunshine

    Maybe you should have done an honorable mentions part including the Cheech & Chong films, Fear and Loathing (I think it’s a drug film but if you don’t, then it still could’ve been an honorable mention perhaps?), and Withnail & I. Withnail includes a hell of a lot of substance abuse, but it isn’t centred around that so I guess it can’t be included. But an honorable mention, maybe?

  • grateful recovering…

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas does not need to be on this list, in no part does it touch upon the negatives of addiction and also isnt about drug addiction but drug use, HST God Rest His Soul, did not identify himself as an addict and certainly never thought any drug addled thing he ever did was out of the ordinary, we watched “28 days in treatment” and I’d say “Another Day in Paradise” ought to be on the list. And just for the record it always annoyed me in “The Man With The Golden Arm” when he is clucking and then frantically sticks a hair brush tooth into his arm as if it will ease the withdrawal…

  • jimbob

    Good list! I have to agree with fear and loathing…but I feel that Blow should also be on this list.

  • ben

    Trainspotting #1. Fear and loathing #2.

    • Fay

      Yes, I was about to ask why Trainspotting was not higher on the list. One of the best films I have ever seen – it's incredible.

  • Ben

    Fear and Loathing most certainly should be on this list. grateful recovering…, this is not a list about films with the main theme of drug addiction, its a list of films exploring substance abuse. and if you have ever seen fear and loathing they certainly abuse a wide range of drugs. top film

  • Ray Bees

    I was half-expecting Scarface to be on this list, but perhaps that doesn’t quite have substance abuse as it’s central theme. I suppose it’s also about power, and the women and the money, etc.

    Didn’t know all that background to Days of Wine and Roses.
    Very interesting list.

  • Borka


    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • XrCiZeR

    fear and loathing is a real good film, should be on this list for sure. do you know spun? its also a good drug movie… watch it if you like the general theme of drug films and such!

  • Ray Bees

    Van Helsing go away

  • romerozombie

    Requiem is massively overrated. All the high theatrics make it laugable, and ironically it has no substance after the first viewing.

  • Ray Bees

    can someone remove this joker!

  • romerozombie

    STFU, you pathetic douchebag.

  • Ray Bees

    Can I just say what an honour it is to have such a comedy genius on this site. Wow.

  • 803cpkeenan

    MT you should have at least put a Long Day’s Journey Into Night as a notbale admission.

  • Nicosia

    I loved Fear and Loathing! “We can’t stop here- This is BAT COUNTRY!” Johnny Depp is awesome! It is amazing how much he looked and acted just like Hunter S. Thompson.
    After watching Requiem, I would really like to have that two hours of my life back.

  • jhoyce07

    u should’ve considered the movie FORREST GUMP..hehe

  • Garrrig

    what about SPUN it should be 1st or at least 2nd

  • smurff

    # 45 he needs to be sedated and put into a straight jacket.

  • Ray Bees

    Forrest Gump doesn’t deserve to be any list unless the title contains words like ‘Worst’ or ‘Shockingly Bad’

    Sorry, I know, I hate Tom Hanks and I need to deal with it.
    Sorry, sorry, sorry…

  • Steeveedee

    Interesting list. Fear and Loathing was a good movie and should have been at least a bonus. What about Leaving Las Vegas? (A guy goes to Vegas to drink himself to death…woo hoo! Fun!) The Lost Weekend should definitely be there. Oh, and Harold and Kumar…two guys addicted to White Castle burgers! Ha!

  • Cyn

    the ass crack spamtroll has been removed. so some comments from legitimate LVers may seem bit off. anyway…. lame ass vampire hunter persona has been vanquished.

  • Kim

    Steeveedee – check out number 3

    I agree Basketball Diaries should be there somewhere. The story of Jim Carol’s drug abuse.

  • Elsa

    Overall a good list but I don’t think Refer Madness should be on there.It’s a farce, and doesn’t show anything realistic concerning substance abuse.

  • Ray Bees

    Thanks Cyn, now you make me sound like some sort of mad person!

  • Cyn

    better a mad person than an ass crack!

  • Baxter

    Awesome list! Very glad to see Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream on there.

  • KryptoTSD

    The Parade of the Elephants in Dumbo was psychedelic and Psychedelia was at least 20 years away!

  • dracon

    Great list MT. I would like to submit for consideration Spun and Midnight Express.

  • Danimal

    how come no one has mentioned Less Than Zero?

  • mollym

    Great list. Someother great ones:
    The basketball diaries
    A scanner darkly

    i think they all show very ugly and realistic portrayals of drug addicts.

  • Boogie

    List = useless, without Children of Banhof Zoo

  • Boogie

    Withnail and I?

    You’ve clearly missed the best two.

  • Joel

    I agree with #38. The Lost Weekend is the 1946 Best Picture winner about an alcoholic’s downward spiral over the course of a weekend. But great list overall.

  • ringtailroxy

    what? No ‘Traffic”? watching an intelligent rich girl fall into the trappings of abuse? and watching how cocaine permeates entire families? great film-belongs here. Plus, Micheal Douglas was phenomenal in this film.

    “Spun” was good, too, about meth addiction.

    Personally, I don’t think any of these films truly captures substance addiction. I have a friend whom is a recovering heroin addict. everyday is a struggle for her. I came up with a theory-that nobody ever really sets out to become addicted. they all start recreational or experimentally… then ,well, they have a few bad days, remember how good they felt on the substance of choice, and partake. then they do it again. then by themselves. pretty quickly, they realize they are stuck.

    never been addicted to anything-but I do like the cannabis every now & again.


  • kea718

    Spun and Basketball Diaries should def be on this list.

  • MT

    I love Basketball Diaries (as well as The Lost Weekend, Less Than Zero, Half-Baked and Cheech and Chong movies). I just couldn’t include them all so I narrowed the list down to my favorites. If there any other movies that you feel are noteworthy then please let us know.

    Thanks for all of your comments.

  • Dani Lynne


    Both amazing films, and true stories, about drug addiction and the consequences of.

  • Ghostship

    You forgot-
    – A Scanner Darkly
    – Spun

    Has anyone seen a movie called “Potluck”? It’s an indie film about weed-smokers, but it’s one of those muliple-storyline moves that all connect at the end. Check it out.

    Weeds is an honorable mention, but it’s a show, not a movie.

  • FlockO’Seagulls

    Agnes Moorehead (who played “Endora” in “Bewitched”) died in 1974, 14 years before “The Boost” was filmed. While I haven’t seen “The Boost,” I notice that Amanda Blake (who played “Kitty” in “Gunsmoke”) was in the movie–perhaps you meant to refer to her.

  • YogiBarrister

    Half Nelson is another good one, I think Ryan Gosling got a best actor nomination for it. I’m enjoying the argument about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Two points on that: It IS a drug movie, it is not however, as good as the other ten films listed here, and that’s coming from a Terry Gilliam fan.

  • fear and loathing?!

  • Idreno

    Trainspotting is a great movie…Velvet Goldmine (also with Ewan MacGregor) is another great one.

  • Englandexpects

    i read the title an i thought requim for a dream would be first but what about that jonny deep one?

  • Nikki

    Thank you for NO fear and Loathing… I have tried to watch that film so many times and just fail each time. I have read the book however, which is just as bad. I honest to god could not tell you what happens in it.

  • BooRadley

    #31 803cpkeenan: I agree that A Long Days Journey Into Night should have at least had an honorable mention.

    Sid and Nancy should scare anyone away from heroin use.

    The Salton Sea showed how drugs can ruin lives, both for users and innocent bystanders.

    Otherwise, great list, MT.

  • YogiBarrister

    I can’t say whether The Panic in Needle Park deserves to be on this list, I never saw the movie. A friend of mine was originally cast in the lead role, but right before shooting was to begin, the producer went with some unknown kid named Al Pacino.

  • wyssel

    notable omissions: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (Children of Bahnhof Zoo) and A Scanner Darkly. But I totally agree with the number 1.

  • MT

    .57 FOS

    You are right of course. Thanks for the catch! That’s what I get for writing at 3am. A correction is on the way.

  • Mortivore

    @ downhighway61 #20:

    No, you are not the only person that doesn’t like Requiem for a Dream. I hated that movie. T.T

    And actually, I was kinda surprised Scarface wasn’t up there. His cocaine addiction played a big part in the movie.

  • glaukopis

    Fear and Loathing was a free for all drug fest. It wasn’t about drug abuse. There were no consequences for the doing of drugs in this movie.

  • Corey

    Sometimes I wish I had a substance abuse problem, just so I could get more out of these movies. :) (jk, of course)

    Great list… I haven’t seen most of these, and I want to rent them all now!

  • Maxhuman

    You really need to have Human Traffic on this list. The entire film is about the drink and drug culture of 90s britain, put it in

  • Stevezio

    I think Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” should be included. In an abstract way.

  • flibbertigibbet

    Great list, though I hardly think “Reefer Madness” “shows the real side of substance abuse without the glitz and glamour”. I think if the reefer was replaced with meth, their behavior would be much more realistic. As it is, I have never seen pot heads that high strung. I would also like to add my two cents to the “Fear and Loathing” argument. I’ve read the book a couple times, seen the movie several times, own it, the director’s cut- and I do not think it should be on this list. It’s a drug movie, not a drug addiction movie, and Hunter S. Thompson would be a terrible example to show addicts trying to recover. He spent decades in drug addled eccentric adventures, and the consequences were minimal. He lived a lot longer than most addicts, and didn’t even die from directly drug related causes. If anything, watching “Fear and Loathing” makes me want to do drugs. And the Cheech and Chong movies? I love them, but yet again they are getting off scot free and going on wonderfully wild drug fueled adventures- not the best advice for drug addicts.

  • Diogenes

    “Panic in Needle Park” is a fantastic film, Yogibarrister.. There’s this actress, Kitty Winn. Oh, man! I sure wish she were in more films.
    Oustanding performance. Pacino is really good in his loose confident guy of the streets. He’s only his annoying”look at me, I’m Al Pacino” a couple of times so….
    and I also thought of “Half Nelson”, as you mentioned already above somewhere. More people should see both. I highly recommend them.

  • MartinL

    Sorry, but I have to do this. The word is not “depravation,” it’s “deprivation” — you’re sensorily dePRIVed, not dePRAVed. Also, Stroup’s organization is the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws, which is how you get the politically significant acronym NORML. It’s the little things, MT. Other than that, excellent list, including two of my own faves, “Altered States” and “Reefer Madness.” Hope to see more from you.

    Oh, and for those of you who want to see drug abuse in the yuckiest light imaginable, try Terry Gilliam’s “Tideland.”

  • YogiBarrister

    Martin #74, Tideland is a more appropriate Gilliam movie for this particular list than F & L.
    For the commenters who don’t think Reefer Madness is harrowing enough, check out this clip.
    WARNING: This film has adult language and an immodestly attired Kristen Bell.

  • Onlyme

    Alright, not worth being in the list but Friday was a good drug film

  • Mr. Mojo

    Anyone ever heard of Rush? It’s oldish but I think it gives a pretty realistic portrayal of getting in over your head.

  • Nicosia

    Rush is an AWESOME movie!

  • meh

    Christiane F

  • guy

    drugs are bad mmkay

  • Carrie

    How about Blow?

  • Rallie

    What about Party Monster? Based on a true story, and the main guy KILLS SOMEONE then hides the body under a coffee table…I mean, WTF?

  • rufus2911

    What about Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch – not sure if it’s right for the list but it is absolutely psycho!

  • Brian B

    As a former addict I’m offended that Shakes The Clown wasn’t included.

  • Of coarse, Shakes The Clown. Perhaps I was too smart as a highschooler. Perhaps I should have smoked crack and it would have been Highlarious.

  • jajdude2

    Would “Scarface” qualify as a drug movie?

  • Jrodickens

    Awesome list
    and no, fear and loathing shouldnt be here because it totally glorifys drug use which is not what he was going for with this list. I hate saying that because i love the movie but it is true. Perfect choice for number 1 too..

  • jajdude

    Naked Lunch?

    PS – descending guns

  • catman

    where is fear and loathing??

  • Kelly

    Spun was also pretty good.

  • Mullaccio

    I am shocked to see ‘Withnail & I’ has not been mentioned yet. The movie is both hilarious and tragic. A stunning performance from Richard. E. Grant also. I felt Trainspotting should be higher on the list. Everything about that movie is top notch. From the script to the acting to the cinematography. The movie is as rewatchable as Pulp Fiction.
    How about a Your View on ‘Should Drugs Be Legal’
    My answer is yes. People should be free to fuck themselves up as much as they like.

  • PastTime491

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a good one.

  • Blogball

    I really liked this list and MT’s personal story behind it. Days of Wine and Roses is one of my favorites. Another movie I thought worth mentioning is “Clean and Sober” with Michael Keaton. Also there is a film made back in the early 50’s starring Burt Lancaster called “Come Back Little Sheba” that I think is really good.

  • foohy

    What, no Pineapple Express? :D

  • dole

    I’m glad to see Altered States on this list. My best friend and I saw it when it first came out. It was such a trip that we got high as hell and went to see it again. It was even better.

  • cannabiscallan

    I LOVE altered states :)
    like when he turns into a monkey “AAAHH!!”

  • sonofagun

    i agree: SPUN should at the very least receive an honorable mention.

  • Atlas

    What about Permanent Midnight (the one serious role Ben Stiller pulls off successfully, he plays one of the creators of Alf, who happens to be a heroin addict) and also Homegrown, with Billy Bob Thornton. Now I know I’ll probably draw some heat for this next statement, but Half Baked really sucked. The story was predictable and the white guy really got on my nerves with the “I’m sooooo stoked” facial expressions. Hated it. Absolutely hated it.
    Requiem for a dream is definitely worthy of its spot in the list but they shouldve included Basketball Diaries.

  • Courtney

    Has no one heard of Easy Rider?

  • Sunshine

    Commenter 49 (Boogie) is completely right. I forgot about Christiane F. It’s without any doubt in my mind the most powerfully off-putting film on drug abuse I’ve ever seen. It was scaringly accurate, realistic, and true. Very harrowing and haunting, loved that film. I advise everybody to watch it.

  • Dan

    Dazed and Confused wasn’t on it?

  • slimline23

    I would put the Lost Weekend as well

  • nick13

    what about human traffic??

  • marko x

    i knew requiem for a dream was gonna be in number one
    one of my favorite movies and i know urs too

  • danieller

    I love that movie.

  • Galactic Coffee

    What about The Lost Weekend?

  • freakshow

    Sid and Nancy
    Basketball Diaries

    all should have been on this list.

  • Roux

    Blow should be on the list…great movie. But this list makes me want to watch a lot of these movies…but I feel it would be really depressing…lol.

  • MergedLoki

    awesome that Requiem was # 1. (whole way reading the list i was thinking ‘requiem better be here SOMEWHERE!’
    and fear and loathing should be here somewhere (or at the worst get an honorable mention).

  • dimitar

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas… I don’t know why isn’t there at least an explanation from JFrater about the lack of this movie on the list (???)

  • thegiantcookie

    im sorry but i cannot agree with this list … comment 1 was right
    i shall return in future
    but not anytime soon

  • braincake

    less than zero?

  • damien_karras

    Notable omissions:

    Clean and Sober
    28 Days
    When a Man Loves a Woman

  • ligeia

    Of course, when we watched Reefer Madness for the first time, we had to get wasted, and the second time and….I don’t think I watched it a third time yet. I never understood how anyone could say Trainspotting glamourises drug use.

  • Future Mrs. Frusciante

    That movie is centered around drugs…
    and John Holmes’s thing.

  • joebecca

    no suprise to see Requiem at #1. i swear, you must REALLY love that movie. it’s made it to more lists i think than any other movie ever.

    When a man loves a woman, and Clean and Sober, and Less than Zero would be good mentions too.
    The Salton Sea is a great look at drug use. You should check it out. oh, and what about Boogie Nights??? That is a totally effed up portrayal of how drugs ruin lives, in more than one character. That was a sad pass up. But then again, these are your favoritie movies, so the list is bound to be biased.

  • YogiBarrister

    Dimitar #110, this wasn’t JaFra’s list. There have been about ten explanations for why Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas does not belong on this list. It isn’t a list of movies about drugs, it’s about addiction. F&L in LV is a drug romp movie, perhaps Terry Gilliam’s worst if you don’t count Don Quitote.

  • Dolphinator

    My two cents…

    Wired – A fantastic film about John Belushi’s life and death from his vast appetite for drugs.

    Clean and Sober – A good movie about recovery -(I am actually in this movie as a bystander on the street at the theatre – filmed in So. Philly)

    New Jack City – The birth of “Crack” – Ice T & Chris Rock are too cool!

    I haven’t seen Requiem yet but I will after seeing the Bodacious Babe in the picture….. woh…

  • psychosurfer

    My vote for omissions goes to:
    Crush and Naked Lunch
    I enjoyed Leaving Las Vegas novel so much that I didn´t dare to watch the movie and let Nicholas Cage spoil it.
    Good job MT, Fear and Loathing belongs to another List.

  • Cedestra

    Here’s the thing: the list is about substance ABUSE, not addiction. In that case, there was a lot of abusing going on in Fear & Loathing. It probably wasn’t exactly what MT was looking for and I don’t think it really fits. If we take “abuse” as in “going so overboard that you see the dark, bad side”, then Fear & Loathing definately doesn’t belong and doesn’t seem to belong on this list.
    I thought it was well written and put together. Was this your first, MT? I thought I recalled seeing at least another by you. Well done.
    Cyn and JFrater: My two cents on deleting “ass crack trolls”. By all means, do it, but Romero and Rays Bees do look crazy. I figured out what happened, but maybe you want to write “spam comment deleted by Cyn” instead of just wiping his existance out. I’d love to do the latter, but it took me some time to figure out that Romera and Rays weren’t yelling at each other.

  • Spinner

    Naked Lunch, now there’s a crazy film. I think if anybody does a ‘WTF is going on in this film’ list or a ‘directors who have substance issues ‘ list, Naked Lunch would be there.

  • Simons

    Hey 20. downhighway61

    I think Requiem for a Dream was by far one of the worst movies I have EVER seen. It was god awful and disgusting. “A55 to A55 Maide Marien” are you freakin kidding me, absolute trash” It belongs with the other movies that are made specifically for the “Shock” effect, and they take it too far. I was very disappointed that Jennifer Connolly chose to be in such a piece of Sh** movie. Like when she did the first hulk movie….why…just why.

  • Jayme

    What about the movie BLOW? He loses his house, wife, and child. Plus he goes to jail. I think it deserves number 2 spot

  • psychosurfer

    I agree Cedestra, in that case I recommend two of my favorite movies that include drug abuse:
    – Jacob´s Ladder
    – Adaptation

  • Cyn

    120. Cedestra –

    39. Cyn –
    the ass crack spamtroll has been removed. so some comments from legitimate LVers may seem bit off. anyway…. lame ass vampire hunter persona has been vanquished.
    thankfully this kinda blatant ‘spamtrolling’ doesn’t come up too often, so i don’t think there’s a need to edit those kinda comments w/ a disclaimer about it being edited due to asshattery ;)
    nor do i think it necessary to give the username anymore play so a deletion w/ the occasional follow up comment the case of excessive comments and/or commentor interaction should suffice.

  • JayArr

    I almost hate to say it, but you missed “A Clockwork Orange” – this is a truly disturbing movie that included significant quantities of drugs, drug therapy and whatnot. I actually had nightmares the first time I saw the movie…

  • WatAbout

    How can you possibly leave Fear and Loathing out of a list on substance abuse movies?

  • YogiBarrister

    Just an observation. People who love Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the movie) are drug addled nitwits.

  • AmazingThor

    The Lost Weekend is a classic movie about alcoholism.


    The more I read this site, the more convinced I am that everyone who puts these lists together is 15. Requiem for a Dream is a shitty, shitty movie.

  • bigski

    MT-Not to be critical but Reefer Madness is pure camp comedy although the folks who made it probably dont think so.Just my opinion.Isn`t that Obi-Wan-Knobi with that bottle of hooch in Trainspotting ? Nice list,i`ve seen some of these movies and probably need to see the rest.

  • Hazell2

    Oh Cmon?!?!?!?! Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?!?!?!?! Its bat country man!!!!

  • sugen

    interesting read

  • BruceWii

    Great list, would have included Fear and Loathing, Rush, Blow, Pulp Fiction, Spun, Friday, Drug Store Cowboy, and Jesus’ Son to it, but great list nonetheless.

  • Marv in DC

    How about “Whose afraid of Virginia Woolfe?” Great film dealing with alcoholism.

  • Jay in Philly

    What about “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” by Eugene O’Neill starring Ralph Richardson and Katherine Hepburn? It should at least get an Honorable Mention.

  • sirStephen

    Naked need to abuse the substance to be able to watch this piece

  • youteethandfacemarchingalong)

    such a good number one choice. Requiem made me feel physically ill the first time i saw it


    I know it was mentioned a few times before, but for a comedic character actor such as Michael Keaton to pull off a fantastic portrayal of a man going through substance withdrawal was the highlight of Clean and Sober. Most definitely anyone who has seen the film will agree it should have been listed.

  • User

    Fear and Loathing definitely should be on this list. Addiction and abuse, though sometimes go hand in hand, are two different things, and this list is about substance abuse. There aren’t too many movies out there where a larger array of drugs are abused! Just take a look into their briefcase! and i love the scene when they try to do coke in a convertible. No disrespect to MT, this is a great list.

  • Rezel

    Candy should be on there, and what about When a man loves a women, and Basketball diaries.
    Sounds like you need to make another list.

  • skeev

    Reefer Madness is the most overrated piece of garbage. It’s not funny for it’s overacting, it’s pathetic. You exempted good movies for this pothead novelty film. For shame.

  • thebarrelabisca

    The Basketball Diaries, Half Nelson, Spun, and Fear and Loathing all needed to be on here…switch it up to the top 15 and throw A Scanner Darkly on there too….then its a complete list.

  • ginger

    Candy &
    Little Fish
    for sure

  • ZaDaDim

    In no way is Fear and Loathing a film that centers on drug use. Every movie on the list revolves around drugs as the plot and the centerpiece. Fear and Loathing does in fact, involve drugs, but they are simply there to compliment the plot, which is, in HST’s own words, the pursuit of the American Dream. A twisted version, perhaps, but nonetheless, F&L does not belong here.

  • LK

    While I agree RFAD should be #1, a close second, IMHO, would be “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

    Richard Burton & Liz Taylor with Sandy Dennis & George Segal (outside of two very small cameos, the 4 are the only characters and all 4 actors were nominated for Academy Awards; picture won 7 total in 1966, adapted quite true from Edward Albee’s play of the same name).

    Gritty re: booze but more involved with sex, lies, and “the establishment.”

    Also like “Days of Wine and Roses” Woolf has a haunting & beautiful score with the title song sung by Bobby Darin (not in the movie, just a note).

    Im sure lots of these movies have partners that cuddle up close to each.
    Great list! Thanks & keep em coming!

  • telleuria

    everyone check out the movie “broken vessels”

  • Midgetron

    i was going to say that you should have put the movie KIDS in this since it revolves around using drugs but that is not the main point of the movie so i guess you are correct, i believe that fear and loathing in las vegas should be here because the purpose of the movie is to deliver goods, the whole time they are doing drugs and are hooked, they do not have a sober moment in that movie while on the trip.

  • scottrodo

    Some additional consideration needs given to:
    Blow (mentioned many times here);
    Fear and Loathing (likewise mentioned);
    The Basketball Diaries (how more harrowing can it get than the Jim Carroll Story?);
    Boogie Nights (while not centering on drug addiction, the movie delves into it with Dirk’s transformation into a coke head).

  • scottrodo

    BTW…It was great to see Drugstore Cowboy get it’s props here. That movie was phenomenal.

  • shawn

    “fear of loathing in las vegas” i would think that to be the number 1 movie in this regard.

  • Shaniqua

    Ah…I don’t know about the others, but I agree with the first. I knew soon as I saw this list that Requiem for a Dream would be first.

  • Donatello

    Trainspotting should at least be #2..

  • negthe(ex)barkeep

    Great list.was happy to see leaving las Vegas so high on the a former drunk,that movie has and always will hold a special place in my heart.on another note,I agree that fear and loathing does NOT have a proper place anywhere on this list.I do believe however that BLOW should have been included but,hey,you can only do so much,you know? GREAT JOB I say

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  • beff

    Party Monster

  • MegsieB

    what about Candy? Aussie film with Heath ledger & Abbie Cornish… its such a realistic story and so sad how so many ppls lifes become that… you should add that to your list!

  • MegsieB

    plus its australian

  • jimi

    candy is good
    what about the nightstalker
    or spun!!!!

  • Denzell

    is there already a list on the 10 best books about substance abuse? With that list suggestion I suggest “A Teenager’s Journey” by Richard Pelzer.

  • Vigneshwar

    How the f*** could we have forgotten
    “Pulp Fiction”

  • Ellycat

    What about Spun???

  • Paro

    Great list, Fear and Loathing shouldn’t be there as drugs is just the subplot, there is a narrative which uses drugs to simply elevate the plot, sort of an adrenaline shot…If you work on those principals then films such as One Flew Over should be included, even though drugs are just present in the subplot.

  • lilstvsmom

    No I totally disagree paro…Fear and Loathing was about two guys on a drug frenzy In Las Vegas…the “sub plot” is all the craziness that comes from them doing drugs. Every scene is effected by there drug use. It should be on the List.

  • Lasse W

    Yes…fear and loathing in las vegas most be in the top of them all.. End Pulp fiction…

  • Vigneshwar Jaiprakash

    Panic in Needle Park, has to be one of the most realistic drug movies ever made. While Fear and Loat…, Pulp Fiction, Requim…, Blow ect,great movies all, try to make drugs look COOL. Panic in Needle Park attempts no such farce. A young Alpacino at his best! has to be on this list.

  • ericdraven26

    did the writer of this list not see “blow”?

  • Jax


  • Ashley R

    i absolutely love requiem for a dream. i have the movie on my computer. its so sad!!

  • Elpin

    Hey, where’s Human Traffic and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas!?!?!?

  • Cybogen

    Trainspotting- one of the characters is locked in his room by his parents I believe and he is going through very bad withdrawls effects. Also he has bad hallucinations of his girlfriends baby who died of neglect coming to haunt him. What a dramatic movie it is!

  • bobbyakatc

    Where is Half-Baked? You know Dave Chappelle right?

  • shawn

    Alice in Wonderland……think about it.

  • Andy

    Are you sure that was Agnes Moorehead (Endora/Bewitched) in The Boost? Did you mean Amanda Blake (Kitty/Gunsmoke)?

  • Isayhello


  • Nancy

    My only comment is to add Fear and Loathing, in which drugs ARE are a major player in the plot. Pulp Fiction only contained references to drug use, none of which monumentally changed the plot as I recall, except for a drug dealer being a major character. Overall, great list, need to check out that Jack Lemmon one :)


    BLOW! come on!

  • moodringeyes

    hello? where is Less Than Zero? it’s the movie that started Robert Downey Jr’s real-life downward spiral into drug addiction. and one of the first films in America to really put a drug addicts deadly habits so transparently on film. it’s an amazing movie, and RDJr is such a dedicated actor that he made one of the biggest mistakes of his life just to make his performance in the film believable.

  • sckd32

    Gia is a pretty good one too.

  • aLDO

    I agree, Fear and Loathing needs some recognition. However, I should also mention Candy starring the late Heath Ledger. The scenes where he and his girlfriend undergo withdrawls are terrific.

  • Kuban8r

    At Ron (8) and yes I realize that comment was published a long time ago. I dont think you really understood Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It definitley needed to be on this list

  • Steven

    What about Bad Lieutenant?

    Harvey Keitel at his best

  • neszz


  • Mat

    I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the film “Candy” it’s an Australian film that starred Heath Ledger and also featured Geoffrey Rush, Heath Ledger plays a heroin addict and falls in love with a young woman, she soon follows his path and turns to heroin too. They become desperate, prostitution etc etc. They each wanna get off the drugs but often put the drugs before each other and soon have to choose their love or love of drugs. Really fantastic movie. Very Moving.

  • JonathanNovak

    I think Scarface could be a good addition to the list, but some may say drugs are not the center piece.

  • enucleator

    Las Vegas Parano!!!

  • Erica

    As I was going through the list reading about movies I'd never seen, I kept wondering, where the heck is Requiem for a Dream? Then I got to number one and was pleasantly surprised. I organized a showing of this film on my college campus as a part of a drug resistance program and the reaction was amazing. So many people came to the movie and most of them said afterwards, "I'm never doing drugs again". Very powerful film and one of my favorite movies in general.

  • True Blue

    Where is FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mel

    The only way you could think Requiem for a Dream was the best drug movie is if you've never done the drugs in the film. The way they try to make it look "cool" by fast fowarding all the drug scenes is just annoyng. And they made a HUGE mistake of making the characters pupils dilate after doing heroin. Heroin makes your pupils get really tiny, not dilate! And this film just reinforces the stereotype that all heroin addicts will have something extreme happen to them like lose a limb or prostitute themselves for the drug. There are a lot more heroin addicts (and painkiller addicts, since painkillers are derived from the same plant and feel like heroin) then you realize, and they might be right under your nose but good at hiding their habit.
    Trainspotting deserves #1!

  • mcange

    What about "Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" ("We Children from Bahnhof Zoo")? Made in 1981, directed by Uli Edel and produced by Bernd Eichinger.

  • Chaz like men

    No Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ?
    Cocaine Comboy ?
    The Doom Generation trilogy ?
    Cheech and chong ?
    Don't be a menace to south central L.A while drinking your juice in the hood ?

    The list is not bad but it's missing quite a few gems .

  • JonoB

    Check out 'A Scanner Darkly'….BRILLIANT film about super substance abuse!

  • Angelo

    less than zero, half bake, any movie with cheech and chong

  • Hannah

    What about Spun?

  • skeleton.harvester

    – GO (entire film is about 90s raver e scene: Katie Holmes)
    – Spun (methamphetamine: Brittany Murphy)
    – 28th Hour (Norton: dealer's consequences)
    – A Scanner Darkly (Substance D – K.Reeves)
    – Cheech and Chong films
    – Blow (cocaine: J. Depp)
    – Party Monster (M. Culkin – all drugs, raves)

    I like that you had Altered States though, that movie is AMAZING!

    • Invisible Apple

      It’s 25th Hour (at least in australia)
      Also reseconding A Scanner Darkly

  • Don

    What about “The Lost Weekend” with Ray Milland?

  • chuckula

    I had seen most of the movies in the list and then realized I had also seen all of the ones that commenters said should be on the list. They all had some kind of impact personally, either from experience or seeing things happen to people I know. The worst for me was the old school Ecstasy when it was still legal in the 80's. God, I loved that stuff. I'm just very thankful my friends and I have given up everything addictive…even smoking cigars. Part of it was recovering from a wild several day fracas was too damn hard on our systems. At least now in our 40's we have our heads out of our butts. It's shameful it couldn't have happened sooner. We're lucky we aren't dead or in jail…it was an intense 25 years. I don't recommend it.

    The mentioned movies acted as catalysts to quitting various substances even if the movies were not of the best quality. Life is great now.

  • Disappointed

    Fear and loathing, Spun, The Salton Sea…This list is lacking

  • pinkopaque22

    and you also left out Dead Ringers. BUT I know it’s only TOP 10 :)

  • axel_f

    blow?! Scarface?! Pulp fiction even.

  • Trinity


    Refer Madness is the most scientifically incorrect movie about cannabis based off fear and racism. American Propaganda at its finest.

  • josh

    no spun??? that was a great movie, shows how meth can ruin your life in just a few days

  • joshwall

    Jesus’ son..

  • The omen

    Could you make it 12 and include Less than zero and Barfly, p’aleaaaase?

  • Lou Lou

    @badabing yeah! basketball diaries!!

  • Rich

    life is hot in cracktown

  • Kimberly31

    I had to watch days of wine & roses in rehab… I’ve
    Been clean for a year.

  • Barroness

    Coffy and all those great Blaxploitation films that saw Pam hunting down dealers in cold blood.

  • David Cobbs

    I think this is the greatest post ever made and I will find out more at google.

  • How could you forget “THE LOST WEEKEND” starring Ray Milland (1944) his portrayal of a hopeless alcoholic who just can’t seem to quit. Some regard Milland’s performance as Rick to be the bravest performance in movie history……

  • Movie Searcher Jenn!

    Hey all, you seem to know alot about these movies. and I have derived a list that I now have to see. But im looking for a title to a movie. One i watched last year. It stuck with me, and I cant remember the name of it. Maybe one of you could help me out, and email me the name of it =] The plot is: A mother trying to save her herion addicted son from several drug lords who say that she has to pay them X amount of dollars to get her son back. She meets up with his girlfriend who’s pregnant for him, and also a prostitute. they rob a pharmacy pawn all of thier belongings and she prostitues herself. When they get the money to the men holding her son, they say here he is. and drop him from a high rise building killing him. In the end, she and his gf are rasing her grandson, and his mother pretends to be a dealer. going to the dealers house who subsequently killed her son, giving him a drug that in the end makes him paralyzed and insues a very painful death. I was in awe watching this movie, and NEED to know the name of it! Its driving me insane! Ive googled my eyes out trying to find the movie. I dont know any of the actors, or the title. Someone please help. One of you has to know the name of this movie lol! my email addy is [email protected]. I check it every day. Thanks!!!

  • The Billie Holliday movie is entitled “Lady Sings The Blues” starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams.

  • bruce

    Where the fuck is COCAINE COWBOYS

  • matt

    How is “fear and loathing in las vegas” not on the list? and it should be #1 as well. there is no better druggy movie then that. it’s all about drugs or all kinds.

  • peter8172

    @ matt : You have hit the nail right on the head with your comment. I saw the movie with Johnny Depp and enjoyed it. But the book is beyond belief and it is only one of two books that I have ever read twice (the other being “A Clockwork Orange”). If you go back a couple of decades earlier, there is a movie entitled “Where The Buffalo Roam” starring Bill Murray as Hunter S. Thompson and Peter Boyle as his lawyer Raoul. Not as riveting, but funny just the same. Watch for the very first scene of that movie as Murray as Thompson is in his office typing and getting wasted. Laying down on the floor is his pet Doberman Pinscher and on the other side of the office is a mannequin of President Richard Nixon. Murray yells at the top of lungs the word NIXON !! and watch what the Doberman does to the mannequin. You will laugh very heavily !!

  • peter8172

    How about “North Dallas Forty” (Football, injuries, prescription pain killer abuse)

  • Cole

    is it just me, or does Jennifer Connely’s breats look enlarged?

  • Colombianadas

    YES on the diminishing space for dlauts thing. I grow tired of movies that seem to either be aimed at pubescent (or post-pubescent) boys or aimed at children under 10 who can guilt/play their parents into buying all the danged theme tie in stuff. I used to pretty much love Disney movies but all the tie in crap the fact that toys are in the stores before the movie even opens, the fact that McDonalds is creating buzz through their advertisements just totally turns me off. I know Disney was always a sell-out, but I don’t remember it as being this bad when I was a kid.I would just like some kind of good movie that an adult with an adult’s brain can watch.Don’t know if I’ll go see Weather Man though. I like Nick Cage, I enjoy his acting but as I’m going through a bit of what might be considered a midlife crisis right now, it might be a bit much for me.I also hate it when movies are mis-marketed. I think it’s WORSE to make a sad or thoughtful movie and then promote it as a comedy than not to make that kind of movie at all because you get the people who just want to laugh for 90 minutes in there going, the hell? and feeling angry at the end of the movie. I’ve been to a few movies like that either it was marketed as this Big Serious Meaning of Life movie and it was just stupid, or it was marketed as a comedy and was only such in the Aristotelian sense (i.e., not all the characters die tragic deaths at the end).And on Napoleon Dynamite I actually find movies more enjoyable when it’s a good movie WITHOUT any big name stars. Cos there are certain people that are kind of the same in every movie they act in, and you’re like oh, there’s Tom Cruise instead of oh, there’s (character Tom Cruise is playing) I think maybe some of the big studios and big stars have got a wee bit TOO big, and like you, I feel a certain schaedenfreude when the big bad blockbuster movies tank, but some little indie flick gets this huge word-of-mouth following.(I wish they could make more big GOOD blockbuster movies )

  • vivek
  • vcv
  • Fred has a movie about substance abuse and treatment called “Finding Hope” the DVD is made by Dr Fred Hansen which is the owner of Life Management Resources. This movie is a 1 on 1 type video that helps people suffering from addiction feel more comfortable about finding help and take that step towards recovery.

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    Wonderful paintings! This is the type of info that should be shared across the web. Shame on Google for now not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  • john

    why has no1 mentioned “blow” one of the best factual movies on a man shipping more than 85% of americans cocaine accross the border and meeting with the most powerful man in the drugs business pablo escabar

  • Chad

    What about spun. It was an awesome movie with a great cast Deffinatly should at least get an honorable mention

  • Jake

    Uhhh you forgot about spun which is way better than reefer madness btw and its about people addicted to meth crazy story

  • “Candy” is a really good one too. And what about “The Basketball diaries”!?!

  • Getreal88

    So predictable and lame to put Requiem for a Dream on here. That movie’s terrible and contains the same depth as a sidewalk puddle. Marry Poppins had more realistic drug use. The only part of that movie worth watching is at the end when Jennifer connelly does “ass to ass”. I’m sure there was a scene with marlon Waynes and Jerret Leto doing it too that got cut for being too believable.

  • Huntermillsd

    Another great one is self-medicated it’s an amazing film

  • wendi5000

    The one I’m surprised no one listed is Half Nelson.

  • Duker

    Where’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? C’mon..

  • Jessenia Steinhauer

    Magnificent site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you to your effort!

  • Dewayne

    No mention of “Rush” even in the comments? Awesome movie! Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric are two cops sent undercover to bust Gregg Allman (as a drug dealer) and end up getting hooked themselves. The iron scene alone will give you the creeps lol.

  • x5o

    I can’t believe that the list and apparantly all commentors forgot about or, unfortunately never saw the movie, ”Permanent Midnight”. Based on actual events and well written and acted, I would have put it in the number 1 slot.

  • James-Bristol UK

    I think that limitless should be added. Although glamorous and thought provoking, it highlights the struggle of dependency to a substance.

  • icons set
  • Likeaboss

    Less than zero should have been on here

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