The Redpoint Center is an outpatient addiction treatment center in Boulder, Colorado. Addiction touches our staff and clients every day. Its impact can be maddening and heartbreaking. Because of this, there are many films that have portrayed addiction and alcoholism. The value of film and TV is the ability to portray the impacts of addiction. For instance, films about addiction can bring an outsider into the world of an addict, helping them to understand in ways that they might not have ever known.
The staff at Redpoint was asked about their favorite films that portray addiction and it’s complex impact on individuals, relationships, and society. Here is a list of our favorites, and the quotes that follow are from the staff that suggested each film.
Similarly with addiction, there is a full range of emotion presented in these films, from tragedy and hopelessness, to humor and healing.
Our Movie Picks
- Trainspotting “Ewan McGregor’s process of change, and the language he uses, gives us one of the most lifelike portrayals of heroin addiction ever.”
- A Cat Named Bob “We love this film because it is a good representation of addiction, and how someone got sober”
- Leaving Las Vegas “The brutal truth behind the hopelessness of alcoholism.”
- Beautiful Boy “An amazing story from the perspective of the father of a methamphetamine addict”
- My Name is Bill W. “This story about the founder of alcoholics anonymous feels like the best history of AA that you can get.”
- Flaked “A just portrayal of an alcoholic”
- Requiem for a Dream: “I think it evokes the feelings that one feels in the throes of addiction.”
- Spun: “A wild trip into the world of methamphetamine, and an exploration of innocent intentions that warp into unspeakable consequences.”
In conclusion, what are the most meaningful depictions of addiction that you’ve seen portrayed in film/TV/literature?