10 Movies about Addiction Recovery

Movies move us. They teach us. They challenge us. Check out these ten Hollywood films that explore substance abuse, and offer hope for recovery.

Flight (2012) – Nominated for two Oscars, winner of 16 other awards and many other nominations. Denzel Washington plays a commercial airline pilot who struggles with drugs and alcohol. After his plane crashes, an investigation about the accident threatens his reputation, career, and future.

28 Days (2000) – Winner of the 2000 Bambi award. Sandra Bullock plays a newspaper columnist stuck in a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse that is effecting her career and threatens her relationships with family.

Clean and Sober (1988) – Winner of the 1989 National Society of Film Critics award. Michael Keaton, Kathy Baker, and Morgan Freeman star in an engaging story about one man’s journey in rehab as he wrestles to come to terms with what really matters to him.

Thanks for Sharing (2012) – Nominated for the 2013 Champs-Elisees Film Festival and the 2014 Guild of Music Supervisors awards. Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, and Gwyneth Paltrow star in this romantic comedy that explores how like-minded characters facing similar challenges with sex addiction.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – Nominated for six Oscars, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman lead a star-studded cast in this Hollywood classic about an ex-football player struggling with alcoholism and his journey to mending relationships and regaining his health and dignity.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) – This Oscar-winning classic, directed by Blake Edwards and staring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, explores the downward spiral of Joe Clay and Kirsten, a young woman he marries and helps become addicted to alcohol, and the challenges and hope of addiction recovery.

Everything Must Go (2010) – Based on the short story “Why Don’t You Dance” by Dan Rush, Will Ferrell leads the cast as Nick Halsey, a recently-fired salesman struggling with alcohol. When Nick relapses, it looks like he will lose everything and everyone important to him, when a neighbor helps him reevaluate his choices and begin to repair and reinvent his life with new perspective.

The Fighter (2010) – Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams headline this star-studded, multiple-Oscar-winning drama about Micky Ward, a struggling boxer who tries who tries to dodge the shadow of his successful brother. Challenged by addiction, Micky’s climb for a world title parallels his personal journey to wellness.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) – Nicolas Cage stars in this memorable, Oscar-winning drama about a Ben Sanderson, a failed Hollywood screenwriter who holes up in a shabby Vegas hotel room to drink himself to death. Ben and Sera, a prostitute, form a pact that leads to an uneasy, but transformative friendship.

My Name is Bill W. (1989) Nominated for two Golden Globes,  James Woods and James Garner star in this reconstruction of the true story of William Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Stories we see depicted on the big screen often generate within us a drive for change. If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, remember your story isn’t over. Reach out to Wasatch Crest today. Hope is right around the corner.

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