When it comes to Movies About Schizophrenia, there is no limit to the films exploring this topic. Here are 25 of the top ones.
From Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a comedy-drama film released in 1994 and directed by Robert Zemeckis. The protagonist, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), is a slower-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who unintentionally influences several major events in U.S. history of the late 20th century. He begins his journey by enlisting in the Army and being sent to Vietnam, where he earns a Medal of Honor. After being discharged, he eventually becomes a successful business investor, helping to launch a shrimping industry in his hometown. He also reunites with his childhood love, Jenny (Robin Wright). Along the way, Forrest meets many famous people, including Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and John F. Kennedy. The film follows Forrest’s life as he triumphs against all odds and ultimately finds peace and happiness.
From Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman and based on the novel of the same name by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity to serve his sentence in a mental institution rather than prison. While inside, he rallies the patients to take control of their own lives and rebel against the oppressive staff. The film received widespread critical acclaim and won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Nicholson, Best Actress for Louise Fletcher, Best Director for Forman, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman.
From Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons
The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The film follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) as she attempts to enlist the help of the incarcerated cannibalistic psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), in order to track down a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). Clarice must navigate her own fears and the psychological games of her target in order to gain information and find the killer before it's too late. Along the way, she must battle her own personal demons and decide whether her own ambitions are worth the cost of her own morality. The Silence of the Lambs is a thrilling and suspenseful film that combines the horror and suspense of the psychological thriller genre.
From David Fincher, starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker
Se7en is a 1995 psychological thriller directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. The film follows two detectives, David Mills (Brad Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), as they investigate a series of gruesome murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. With each murder, the detectives get closer to uncovering the identity of the mysterious killer (Kevin Spacey). As the investigation progresses, the detectives realize that the killer has a dark and twisted plan that will ultimately reveal itself in a terrifying and shocking climax.
From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles. The film follows Marion Crane, a woman on the run from the law after stealing money from her employer. She stops at a remote Bates Motel and is soon terrorized by its psychotic proprietor, Norman Bates. The film is known for its intense visual style, iconic score by Bernard Herrmann, and shocking twist ending. Psycho is considered one of Hitchcock's greatest and most influential works, and is often cited as the first modern horror film.
From Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. It is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film follows the Torrance family, who move into the isolated Overlook Hotel for the winter. Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, is the caretaker of the hotel and his wife Wendy, played by Shelley Duvall, and son Danny, played by Danny Lloyd, accompany him. Danny has psychic abilities and is able to see horrific events from the hotel's past. As the winter progresses, Jack slowly begins to lose his sanity and becomes violent, endangering his family. The family is then forced to face the ghosts of the hotel and find a way to escape. The Shining is a classic horror film that shows the terrifying effects of isolation and the supernatural.
From Milos Forman, starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice
Amadeus is a 1984 biographical drama film directed by Milos Forman and adapted by Peter Shaffer from his 1979 stage play of the same name. The film is set in the 18th century and tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's rivalry with fellow composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is a respected composer who was passed over for the opportunity to compose for the court of Emperor Joseph II. He becomes jealous of Mozart's genius and his access to the Emperor, and goes to desperate lengths to try to destroy Mozart's career. The film examines the life and career of Mozart, as well as his complicated relationship with Salieri and his love for his wife, Constanze. Along the way, it also examines the themes of art and jealousy, as well as the power of music.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior
Memento is a psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan and released in 2000. It follows Leonard Shelby, a man suffering from anterograde amnesia, as he searches for the person responsible for the death of his wife. Leonard is unable to form new memories, and instead relies on notes, tattoos and Polaroid photographs to remind himself of his mission. As he searches, he comes across a variety of characters and situations that further complicate his understanding of the events leading up to his wife's death. The movie follows two separate storylines that move in reverse chronological order, and is told entirely through Leonard's subjective point of view. The film has been praised for its originality, cinematography and complexity, and is one of Nolan's most celebrated works.
From Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby Jr., with whom Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. The film follows four separate but interrelated stories of struggle and addiction, with each character’s story highlighting a different aspect of drug-related abuse and dependency. Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a feeble, yet enthusiastic elderly woman whose dream of appearing on a television game show inspires her to begin a dangerous dieting regimen. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) is Sara’s son and is an addict who, along with his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), is involved in a drug-dealing business. As the film progresses, the four characters’ lives spiral out of control as their addictions take their toll on their physical and emotional health, relationships, and lifestyles. The film ends with a montage showing how their lives have changed drastically in a short period of time.
From Gus Van Sant, starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Robin Williams. The film follows a young genius, Will Hunting (Damon), who works as a janitor at MIT and is struggling to find his way in life. When a professor discovers Hunting's talents, he is given the opportunity to work with a therapist (Williams) to come to terms with his past and his gifts. Along the way, he meets and falls in love with a local woman (Driver) and begins to build a life of his own. Ultimately, Hunting must decide between his newly found success and the life he left behind.
From Ron Howard, starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 biographical drama directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe as the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash. The film follows Nash’s journey from the heights of academia to his struggles with mental illness and eventual redemption. After being accepted to Princeton University, Nash quickly rises to the top of his class. At the same time, however, he begins to experience delusions and paranoia, leading to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Despite this, Nash resolves to keep his condition secret and continues to develop his groundbreaking theories of mathematics. With the support of his wife, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly), Nash is eventually able to manage his illness and go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. A Beautiful Mind is both a celebration of Nash’s genius and a powerful exploration of his battle with mental illness.
From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film follows Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a lonely and mentally unstable veteran who works as a taxi driver in New York City. Traumatized by his service in the Vietnam War, Travis becomes increasingly isolated and despondent and begins to spiral into a violent misanthropy. He begins to follow a political campaign worker and eventually becomes obsessed with her. After a series of events, Travis embarks on a violent and ultimately cathartic rampage against the criminals and power brokers of New York. The film is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time and is listed in the National Film Registry.
From John Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands
A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film directed by John Cassavetes and starring Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk. It tells the story of Mabel Longhetti, a wife and mother who is slowly descending into madness due to the pressures of living in a patriarchal society. Her husband Nick, a construction worker, is unable to understand her and her increasingly erratic behavior leads him to believe she needs psychiatric help. Over the course of the film, Mabel's breakdown continues until it reaches a climax during a family gathering at their home, where she finally reaches out for help from her husband and family. The film explores the tensions within family life and the fragile nature of mental health.
From William Friedkin, starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb
The Exorcist (1973) is a horror film directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. The film follows a young girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) who is possessed by a demon, and two priests, Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) and Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), who are tasked with performing an exorcism to drive the demon out. The film follows the priests as they battle the powerful demon, as well as Regan's mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), who is desperate to save her daughter. The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time, and is known for its intense atmosphere and special effects.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård
Rated Not Rated
Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish drama film written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The film follows a family vacationing on an island off the coast of Sweden. Karin, the eldest daughter of the family, suffers from a severe mental illness, and the film follows her family's attempts to understand and come to terms with her illness. The story is told through a series of conversations between Karin and her father and siblings, and through these conversations, the audience is given a glimpse into Karin's inner life and her struggles with her illness. The film ultimately ends on a hopeful note, as the family's unity is reaffirmed in the face of adversity. Through a Glass Darkly is a powerful exploration of mental illness and family dynamics, and remains one of Bergman's most celebrated works.
From Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a psychological thriller directed by Robert Aldrich in 1962. The film follows the lives of two sisters, Baby Jane Hudson (played by Bette Davis) and Blanche Hudson (played by Joan Crawford). Jane is a former child star whose career has faded, while Blanche's film career has taken off. In a drunken rage, Jane assaults Blanche, leaving her paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Jane then proceeds to care for Blanche in a cruel and psychologically damaging way. As the story progresses, it is revealed that the two sisters were involved in a tragic accident years before, and that Jane is harboring a secret that could prove Blanche's innocence. As the two battle for control, the film culminates in a dark and chilling climax.
From Charles Laughton, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason
Rated Not Rated
The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American film noir directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. It tells the story of a murderous and charismatic religious fanatic who attempts to steal two children's inheritance and the desperate measures one of them takes to protect it. The film follows Harry Powell, a charismatic con-man and serial killer who is released from prison on parole, and who has already vowed to marry and then murder a young widow for her money. After learning of the widow's hidden fortune, Powell sets out to hunt down her two children, John and Pearl, and steal the money from them. To do this, he poses as a man of the cloth, using his fundamentalist preachings as a way of manipulating the children. As Powell moves in on John and Pearl, they realize the danger they are in and decide to flee. With the help of an elderly neighbor who is also a devout Christian, they manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuer. In the end, Powell is finally apprehended and the children are reunited with their mother. The Night of the Hunter is a classic film noir, featuring powerful performances, lush black-and-white photography, and
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. Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, the film tells the story of an abrasive and selfish young wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, the autistic savant Raymond (Hoffman). Charlie is determined to get his hands on his father's fortune and decides to kidnap Raymond, who is under the guardianship of Dr. Bruner, and take him cross-country to settle the estate. Along the way, Charlie learns to appreciate Raymond's unique abilities and begins to bond with him. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor for Hoffman. The film was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. Rain Man is widely considered to be one of the best films of the 1980s and is regarded by many as one of the best films of all time.
From Richard Kelly, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne
Donnie Darko is a teenage boy living in the suburbs of Virginia in 1988. He starts to experience visions of a monstrous rabbit named Frank warning him of an impending apocalypse. After narrowly escaping death due to the mysterious events that follow, Donnie discovers that he has the power to manipulate time and space. He embarks on a quest to prevent the apocalypse and save humanity. Along the way, he forms a bond with a troubled classmate, Gretchen, and learns important life lessons as he tries to make sense of his visions and the mysterious events that have taken place. He soon discovers that he must face his own demons in order to save the world from destruction.
From Elia Kazan, starring Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
A Streetcar Named Desire is an iconic American drama film directed by Elia Kazan and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams. It follows the story of Blanche Dubois, a fragile and neurotic woman who is forced to move in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski in their cramped New Orleans apartment. Blanche struggles to fit in with the two, while constantly clashing with Stanley, who is suspicious of her arrival. As the story progresses, Blanche's secrets and past come to light, leading to an explosive climax which culminates in her tragic fate. The film stars Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter and won four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Leigh.
From Rob Reiner, starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen
Misery is a 1990 psychological horror film starring James Caan and Kathy Bates. Directed by Rob Reiner, the film follows novelist Paul Sheldon (Caan) as he is rescued from a car crash by Annie Wilkes (Bates), who turns out to be a crazed fan of his works. She holds him captive in her home and forces him to write a novel to her specifications. As their relationship develops, Paul slowly realizes that his captor is becoming increasingly unstable and dangerous. He must find a way to escape before it is too late. The film received critical acclaim and won Bates an Academy Award for Best Actress.
From George Cukor, starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, May Whitty
"Gaslight" is a psychological thriller directed by George Cukor and released in 1944. It stars Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist, a young woman living in London who moves into a mansion with her new husband, Gregory Antony (Charles Boyer). As the couple settle into their new home, strange occurrences start to happen that make Paula doubt her own sanity. Gregory begins to manipulate her by gaslighting her, making her think she is going insane. Meanwhile, a series of murders occur in the area that seem to be connected to the mansion. Paula must find out the truth before it's too late.
From Robert Redford, starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton
"Ordinary People" is a 1980 Academy Award-winning film directed by Robert Redford. It tells the story of a family struggling to cope with the death of their son. The remaining family members (played by Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton) find themselves dealing with their own grief as well as the complicated emotions of their surviving son, Conrad (Hutton). Through his struggles with guilt, depression, and a sense of estrangement, Conrad ultimately finds redemption and reconciliation with his family. The film ultimately explores themes of grief, family dynamics, and the power of love and understanding.
From David Fincher, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards
Zodiac is a 2007 crime thriller directed by David Fincher and based on the true story of the unsolved Zodiac Killer who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film follows a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist and an investigative journalist who team up to uncover the identity of the mysterious murderer. They are aided by a homicide detective who has become obsessed with the case and an attorney determined to represent the killer if he is ever caught. The film also examines the impact of the killings on the victims' families and examines how the media's coverage of the case both helped and hindered the investigation.
From David Lynch, starring Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Blue Velvet is a 1986 neo-noir psychological thriller directed by David Lynch and written by Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern. The film follows Jeffrey Beaumont, a college student who returns to his small hometown to investigate a strange case involving a severed ear found in a field. His investigation leads him to a mysterious cabaret singer and a deranged criminal, as he uncovers a perverse underworld of corrupt secrets and dangerous desires. As Jeffrey’s journey takes him deeper into this world of crime and deceit, he discovers a hidden dark side to his hometown, and the sinister consequences of his curiosity. Blue Velvet is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, and is a cult classic of Lynch’s filmography.