Have you heard all of these Movies About Illness? We know you'll find some new films. Here are 25 of the top ones.
From David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier
Fight Club is a 1999 cult classic film directed by David Fincher and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film stars Edward Norton as an unnamed narrator, who is growing increasingly disillusioned with his white collar job and his materialistic lifestyle. He meets a mysterious and charismatic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who encourages him to start a secret underground fighting club. As the narrator struggles to make sense of his life, Fight Club grows in popularity and he and Tyler become the leaders of an anti-materialistic, pro-anarchist movement. The film explores themes of masculinity, identity, consumerism, and nihilism, and is an exploration of the human condition.
From Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth, it stars Tom Hanks as the titular character, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and inadvertently influences several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States. The film follows the life of Forrest Gump, a naive and slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and inadvertently influences several defining historical events in 20th-century America. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, and becomes rich through the corporation he founded. However, despite his success, he finds true love eludes him. Forrest eventually learns the truth about his father, and the film concludes with a flashback to the childhood days of the title character.
Éric Toledano, starring François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot
The Intouchables is a 2011 French dramedy film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It tells the story of a wealthy, physically disabled man, Philippe, who is searching for a new caretaker after his long-time assistant is fired. He hires Driss, a Senegalese man from the projects, as his live-in caregiver and the two form an unlikely friendship. Through their experiences together, Philippe and Driss both learn valuable life lessons about friendship, acceptance, and resilience. The film is based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou.
From Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
Requiem for a Dream is the story of four interconnected individuals whose lives spiral out of control in the pursuit of their dreams. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) dreams of becoming a successful drug dealer, his mother Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) dreams of becoming a popular daytime game show contestant, Harry's best friend Tyrone C. Love (Marlon Wayans) dreams of escaping the slums of Brooklyn, and Harry's girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) dreams of becoming a successful model. As the characters struggle with their various addictions and delusions, the consequences of their choices soon become devastatingly apparent. Ultimately, Requiem for a Dream is a powerful testament to the dangers posed by unchecked ambition and addiction.
From Ron Howard, starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Russell Crowe as John Nash, a Nobel Laurege in Economics and a mathematical genius, struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. The film follows the life of Nash from his college days in the 1940s to his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 1994. The story follows Nash and his struggle to overcome the debilitating symptoms of his mental illness, and his triumphs over it. Along the way, Nash learns to cope with his illness and use his genius for good, eventually becoming a celebrated mathematician. The film also tells the story of his relationship with his wife Alicia, and their fight to stay together despite his mental illness. The film was a commercial and critical success, and won numerous awards, including four Oscars.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel
Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film tells the story of Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), an underdog boxer who is determined to make a name for herself in the boxing world. With help from her trainer, Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), she begins to make a name for herself, but an unexpected tragedy threatens to undo her dreams. With the help of her loyal friend, Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris (Morgan Freeman), she is determined to fight her way to the top. The film is an emotional journey through triumph, heartbreak, and redemption.
From Barry Levinson, starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen
Rain Man is a 1988 American road comedy-drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive, selfish young wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic savant, of whose existence Charlie was unaware. Charlie is initially frustrated by Raymond's idiosyncrasies, but he gradually learns to appreciate his brother beyond his mental capabilities and is able to bond with him through their shared love of certain classic 1950s music. The two travel cross-country, learning about each other and themselves in the process. Rain Man received critical acclaim, with Hoffman and Cruise's performances being universally praised. The film won four Academy Awards at the 61st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor for Hoffman. It was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (for Cruise) and Best Film Editing.
From Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder
Black Swan is a 2010 psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky. It stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a ballerina in a New York City ballet company. Nina is a perfectionist and aspires to become the company's prima ballerina. When the artistic director of the company, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), sets a new production of Swan Lake, Nina is chosen to be the lead dancer. As she begins to rehearse, Nina finds herself competing with a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), for the part of the Swan Queen. As the opening night approaches, Nina begins to lose her grip on reality as the pressure to be perfect takes its toll. In the end, Nina's obsession with perfection leads her to become a black swan, a metaphor for her transformation into an artist.
From Julian Schnabel, starring Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a biographical drama directed by Julian Schnabel, based on a memoir by French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. It tells the story of Bauby's life after he suffers a massive stroke that leaves him almost completely paralyzed. Despite his paralysis, Bauby is able to communicate by blinking his left eye, in which the only movement he can make is to blink. As the film progresses, Bauby records his memories and reflections in a book, which he is able to do with the help of a transcriber. Through his memories, Bauby re-connects with his past and learns to accept his new reality and even finds joy in it. The film is a poignant and ultimately uplifting story of courage and resilience in the face of extreme adversity.
From Martin Brest, starring Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar
Scent of a Woman is a 1992 American drama film directed by Martin Brest and starring Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. It is a remake of the 1974 Italian film of the same name. The story follows the journey of Frank Slade (Al Pacino), an aging and blind United States Army veteran, and Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell), a prep school student who is hired to be his caretaker for a weekend. During the weekend, Frank insists on taking a trip to New York City and Charlie reluctantly agrees. Frank's trip results in many adventures, including a visit to a strip club and an encounter with a woman from his past. Along the way, Frank teaches Charlie about life and the importance of taking risks. As the two men grow closer, Charlie comes to understand and appreciate Frank's stubborn and independent spirit. In the end, both men return to their respective lives changed for the better.
From Richard Kelly, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne
Donnie Darko is a psychological science-fiction film about a troubled teenage boy living in a small suburban town in the United States during the 1980s. After waking from a mysterious sleepwalking incident, he begins to experience visions of a large, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. With help from his psychiatrist and a mysterious new girl in town, Donnie slowly uncovers the meaning of his visions and learns how to prevent the impending apocalypse. Along the way, he faces a variety of dangerous and supernatural occurrences, leading him to confront his own problems and find his place in the world.
From Stephen Chbosky, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age drama set in Pittsburgh during the early 1990s. It follows the story of misfit high school freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he navigates his way through the confusing and difficult world of adolescence. With the help of two new friends, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), Charlie begins to come out of his shell and learns to accept the complexities and joys of life. Along the way, he discovers the power of friendship, the importance of standing up for what he believes in, and ultimately, how to live life to the fullest.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum
Mystic River is a 2003 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Brian Helgeland. The film stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. The story follows three childhood friends from a working-class neighborhood in Boston who are reunited after a terrible tragedy. Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn), Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), and Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) are reunited when Jimmy's daughter is found murdered in the Mystic River. The film follows the men as they face the personal and emotional repercussions of the tragedy, and their own secrets, as the mystery of the murder slowly unravels. It is a powerful drama that explores the consequences of violence, loss and love. The film was met with critical acclaim and earned two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Sean Penn and Best Supporting Actor for Tim Robbins. It is considered to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century.
Valerie Faris, starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin
Little Miss Sunshine is an uplifting comedy-drama about the Hoover family, a dysfunctional family of six who are determined to make it to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. The family consists of Richard, the father, a struggling motivational speaker; Sheryl, the mother, who is trying to keep the family together; Sheryl's father, the eccentric grandfather; Dwayne, the teenage son who has taken a vow of silence; Frank, the suicidal gay uncle; and Olive, the seven-year-old, who dreams of winning the beauty pageant. The family embarks on a road trip from their home in New Mexico to California to get Olive to the pageant. Along the way, the family must confront their own personal demons and learn to come together in order to succeed. In the end, Olive is able to compete in the pageant and the family is able to overcome their difficulties and grow closer.
From Nick Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
The Notebook is a 2004 romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. It stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. The couple is Noah (Gosling) and Allie (McAdams), whose story is narrated by an elderly man (James Garner) reading from a notebook that he wrote for his dying wife (Gena Rowlands). The story follows their passionate love affair, as they spend a summer together despite the disapproval of Allie's wealthy parents. Eventually, Allie is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves. The film follows the couple's journey, as they grow together and make difficult decisions about their future. It culminates in a poignant ending that will bring a tear to even the most hardened viewer.
From James Mangold, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick
Walk the Line is a 2005 biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the life of American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Robert Patrick. The film follows Cash's struggles to find his place in the world, his love triangle between his first wife Vivian and June Carter, and his ultimately successful rise to stardom. As Cash is forced to confront his inner demons, including drug addiction and personal loss, he discovers the power of music as his salvation and his way to share his story with the world. The film culminates with Cash's performance at Folsom Prison, one of his most iconic shows of his career. The film was a box office success, grossing over $186 million on a budget of $28 million and receiving five Academy Award nominations, including for Best Actor for Phoenix, Best Actress for Witherspoon, and Best Music for Cash. Walk the Line is also widely regarded as a tribute to the life, legacy, and music of Cash.
From James Marsh, starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry
The Theory of Everything is a 2014 biopic about the life of famed physicist Stephen Hawking, directed by James Marsh. The film follows Hawking (portrayed by Eddie Redmayne) from his days as a student at Cambridge to his career as a scientist and his battle with motor neuron disease. It covers the early stages of his relationship with his first wife Jane (Felicity Jones) and the impact of his mental and physical struggles on their marriage. It also explores the development of his groundbreaking theories on cosmology, quantum physics and thermodynamics. Ultimately, it is a story of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity, and the power of love and family to help us get through even the toughest of times.
From Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a 2015 comedy-drama directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and starring Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, and RJ Cyler. The film follows Greg Gaines (Mann), an aloof high school senior who reluctantly befriends a classmate, Rachel (Cooke), who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. With the help of his friend Earl (Cyler), Greg attempts to make a series of low-budget films to cheer Rachel up, while learning to appreciate their unlikely friendship. Along the way, he must also navigate the awkwardness of adolescence and growing up. Ultimately, the film is a heartwarming story about the power of friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest, even in the face of adversity.
From Brad Anderson, starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian
The Machinist is a psychological thriller directed by Brad Anderson and starring Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik, an industrial machinist suffering from insomnia who has not slept in a year. His life begins to unravel when he starts to experience strange visions, becomes increasingly paranoid, and develops a physical and psychological obsession with a mysterious new co-worker. As Trevor's world spirals out of control, he discovers the truth about his own past and confronts his inner demons in a desperate attempt to discover the source of his torment. The Machinist is a dark, psychological thriller that explores the depths of a man's mind as he struggles to face his inner demons and the consequences of his own actions.
From Lasse Hallström, starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 drama directed by Lasse Hallström. The film follows Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) as he navigates his life in a small town in Iowa. He is struggling to take care of his severely obese mother (Darlene Cates) and his mentally impaired brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Gilbert also has to deal with his brother's constant trouble-making and his own feelings of guilt for not being able to provide for the family. When a mysterious woman named Becky (Juliette Lewis) arrives in town, Gilbert falls in love with her, and his life begins to change. His newfound happiness helps him come to terms with his family responsibilities, as well as his own dreams and ambitions. What's Eating Gilbert Grape offers a thoughtful and moving look at family, love, and the struggles of small-town life.
From David O. Russell, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver
Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell. The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and follows Pat Solitano (Cooper), a man with bipolar disorder who is released from a psychiatric hospital and moves back in with his parents. In an effort to rebuild his life and find hope, Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a young widow who is also dealing with emotional problems. Together, they form an unlikely bond and enter into a dance competition in order to make something of their lives. Through their struggles, they learn to accept one another, support each other, and find a silver lining in their lives.
From Josh Boone, starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern
The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 romantic drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on the novel of the same name by John Green. The film follows Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. Hazel, a sixteen-year-old with terminal cancer, is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she meets Augustus, an ex-basketball player who lost a leg to cancer. Despite their illnesses, the two bond, and Hazel finds herself falling for Augustus. After Augustus reveals that he has obtained tickets to Amsterdam, where he wants to take Hazel to visit a reclusive author, their relationship deepens further. As their heartbreaking story unfolds, Hazel and Augustus share a beautiful and passionate love that defies the odds. With a powerful soundtrack, gorgeous cinematography, and heartfelt performances, The Fault in Our Stars is a powerful and inspiring reminder of love in the face of tragedy.
From James L. Brooks, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr.
As Good as It Gets tells the story of Melvin Udall, an obsessive-compulsive, misanthropic novelist living in New York City. His life is disrupted when his gay artist neighbor, Simon, is hospitalized and his dog is taken away to the veterinarian. Melvin sets out to reconnect with those he has alienated and make peace with the world. Along the way, he meets a waitress named Carol, whom he bonds with and eventually falls in love with. With the help of his psychiatrist and the support of his newfound friends, Melvin works to overcome his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, improve his relationships, and find inner peace.
From Jonathan Levine, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard
50/50 is a 2011 comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Levine and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick. The film follows 27-year-old Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) as he copes with a surprise cancer diagnosis that eventually develops into a life-threatening illness. With the help of his best friend Kyle (Rogen) and reluctant therapist Katherine (Kendrick), Adam must confront his mortality and reconcile his relationships with family and friends to come to terms with his situation. The film features a strong supporting cast and follows a comedic approach to a serious subject matter.
From Wes Anderson, starring Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller
The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson. The story follows the lives of the estranged members of the Tenenbaum family: the patriarch Royal (Hackman), the matriarch Etheline (Huston), and their three children Chas (Stiller), Margot (Paltrow), and Richie (Luke Wilson). Royal, an unsuccessful businessman and a failed attorney, reunites with his family when he announces he has a terminal illness. Despite their respective flaws, the family members come together as a unit as Royal tries to make amends for his past mistakes. The film is set in contemporary New York City, and is narrated by Alec Baldwin. The Royal Tenenbaums is noted for its idiosyncratic visual style, with elements such as a muted color scheme, a dollhouse-like scale, and a fast-paced editing style. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $50 million at the box office, and earned numerous awards and nominations, including an
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