New Movies About Mental Illness

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New Movies About Mental Illness

So many movies have reported on New Movies About Mental Illness. We assembled 25 of our favorites.

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier
Rated R

Fight Club is a 1999 American dark comedy-drama film directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. It tells the story of an unnamed protagonist who is unhappy with his white-collar job and forms a "fight club" with soap maker Tyler Durden, played by Pitt. The protagonist soon becomes embroiled in a relationship with Durden and a cult-like organization known as "Project Mayhem," which leads to violence and chaos. The film examines issues of modern nihilism, morality, materialism, and masculinity. It has since become a cult classic and has been highly praised for its direction and performances.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco
Rated R

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson. The film follows Randle McMurphy (Nicholson), a criminal who serves a short sentence in a mental institution rather than jail. While there, Randle befriends the other inmates and encourages them to stand up against the oppressive Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). The battle of wills between Randle and Ratched escalates until it leads to unexpected and shocking events. The film is an adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel of the same name, and was a critical and commercial success, receiving five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
Rated R

Psycho is a 1960 psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It follows Marion Crane, a secretary who steals forty thousand dollars from her employer and goes on the run. After stopping for the night at the isolated Bates Motel, she encounters the owner, Norman Bates, who turns out to be a deranged killer. After Marion is found murdered, her sister and a private investigator attempt to unravel the mystery of Norman Bates and his strange mother. As their investigation deepens, they uncover a twisted story of psychological manipulation and family secrets. Psycho is considered one of Hitchcock's most acclaimed works and is widely credited as the first modern slasher film.

American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Sam Mendes, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley
Rated R

American Beauty tells the story of a family living in suburban America in the early 21st century. The father, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), is in a loveless marriage with a materialistic wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening), and is facing a mid-life crisis. Meanwhile, his daughter, Jane (Thora Birch), is struggling to find her identity. Their lives are thrown into upheaval when Lester begins to develop feelings for Jane’s best friend Angela (Mena Suvari). The family’s journey of self-discovery is filled with dark humor, ironic twists, and a bittersweet ending.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
Rated R

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. It tells the story of four people whose lives are destroyed by addiction and escapism. The film follows four parallel stories of four people whose lives are irrevocably changed by addiction. Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a 70-year-old widow who becomes addicted to diet pills. Her son Harry (Jared Leto) and his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) become addicted to heroin. Harry's best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) becomes addicted to crack cocaine. The stories all intertwine, with the four characters' lives being destroyed by their addictions. The film is a vivid portrait of the destructive power of addiction, and powerfully shows how it can affect people from all walks of life. It is a dark, disturbing and powerful film that is ultimately a tragic story of human destruction caused by addiction.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Michel Gondry, starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne
Rated R

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 science fiction romantic comedy-drama film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. It stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as an estranged couple who have erased each other from their memories after a painful breakup. The film follows their relationship as they re-discover each other, learning to fall in love again. The film explores underlying themes of regret, loss, and the fragility of the human memory. The film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Rated R

Shutter Island is a psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels. Teddy and his partner, Chuck Aule, are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island. As Teddy's investigation delves deeper, he suspects that the hospital's staff, headed by the enigmatic Dr. Cawley, may be hiding a sinister secret. The longer he stays on the island, the more his own sanity unravels, and Teddy is forced to confront his own dark past. As the truth gradually comes to light, Teddy must decide if he will accept the truth, no matter how dark, or lose himself in the insanity of the island.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

A Woman Under the Influence
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From John Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands
Rated R

A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. The film stars Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti, a wife and mother whose mental health begins to deteriorate due to mounting pressures in her life. With the support of her loving husband, Nick (Peter Falk), she struggles to keep her sanity and stay connected to her family and friends. Throughout the film, Mabel's behavior becomes increasingly erratic and worrisome, leading her husband and her psychiatrist to ultimately commit her to a mental institution. A Woman Under the Influence is a powerful and groundbreaking exploration of mental illness, and a profound celebration of the resilience of love.

Persona (1966)

Persona
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ingmar Bergman, starring Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand
Rated Not Rated

Persona is a 1966 Swedish psychological drama directed by Ingmar Bergman. It tells the story of a professional nurse, Alma, and her patient, Elisabet, a successful actress who has become mute. The two women move to a seaside cottage where Alma is tasked with helping Elisabet regain her voice and return to her former life. Their relationship deteriorates over time, and they become enmeshed in a complex psychological battle. As the two become more and more intertwined, they begin to lose themselves and question their own identities. The film explores themes of identity, communication, and the unconscious mind.

Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder
Rated R

Black Swan is a psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film follows a troubled ballerina named Nina (Natalie Portman) as she strives to become the perfect swan queen for a production of Swan Lake. Her journey takes a dangerous turn when her obsessive desire to stay perfect causes her to lose her grip on reality and slip into a living nightmare. With the help of a seductive rival dancer (Mila Kunis), Nina's quest for perfection leads to a gripping climax. The film explores the dark side of art and the consequences of extreme ambition. It also features intense performances from an all-star cast, stunning visuals, and a haunting soundtrack.

Rain Man (1988)

Rain Man
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Barry Levinson, starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen
Rated R

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 and 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 left with only his father's car and custody of Raymond, who is diagnosed with autism. The two head from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in the car, picking up a young hitchhiker (Valeria Golino) along the way. During their journey, Charlie learns more about his brother out of necessity, resulting in a gradual bonding between them. Rain Man received critical acclaim, praising Hoffman's performance and Levinson's direction. It was the highest grossing film of 1988 and nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor for Hoffman.

Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Through a Glass Darkly
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ingmar Bergman, starring Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård
Rated Not Rated

Through a Glass Darkly follows Karin, a young woman suffering from schizophrenia, and her family, who are on holiday on a remote island. On the island, Karin's mental illness becomes increasingly evident, as she begins to have visions and hallucinations. Karin's father, David, is a highly religious man who tries to ignore her illness and focus on his own faith, while her brother Martin vacillates between trying to help her and trying to ignore the signs of her illness. Her mother, Maj, desperately wants to help her daughter, but is unable to find a way to do so. Ultimately, Karin's worsening condition leads to a dramatic and tragic ending. Through a Glass Darkly is an intimate, emotionally charged exploration of mental illness and its impact on a family.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Richard Kelly, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne
Rated R

Donnie Darko is a psychological thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie, a troubled teenager living in a small town in the United States. After surviving a near-fatal accident, Donnie begins to experience visions of a giant rabbit named Frank who tells him the world will end in 28 days. As Donnie attempts to unravel the mystery of Frank, he begins to discover a secret, dangerous world that exists beyond his own reality. With the help of his therapist and a mysterious girl named Gretchen, Donnie must try to save his family and the world from complete destruction.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Elia Kazan, starring Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Rated PG

A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan in 1951, is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play by Tennessee Williams. The film stars Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden. The story follows Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic Southern belle who moves in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans. Blanche and Stanley have a turbulent relationship, with Stanley's brutish behavior and strong personality clashing with Blanche's delicate and romantic nature. As the story progresses, Blanche's past is slowly revealed, and it becomes clear that the events of her life have left her deeply traumatized. The film culminates with a shocking climax in which Stanley's rage and Blanche's vulnerability collide in a devastating way. A Streetcar Named Desire was widely praised for its performances, direction, and screenplay, and it is widely regarded as one of the best films of its era.

Misery (1990)

Misery
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Rob Reiner, starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen
Rated R

Misery is a psychological thriller directed by Rob Reiner. The film follows novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) who is rescued from a car crash by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), his "number one fan". What starts out as a rescue turns into a nightmare as Annie reveals her true intentions. She has been holding him captive in her secluded home, forcing him to write a novel that pleases her and punishing him physically when he does not comply. As the days pass, Paul realizes just how much of a threat Annie poses to his life and he must find a way to escape before it is too late.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin
Rated R

Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by Michael Arndt and stars Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin, and Paul Dano. The film tells the story of a dysfunctional family traveling across the country to enter their daughter in a beauty pageant. Along the way, the family must confront their differences and come together in order to succeed. Throughout their journey, the family faces multiple challenges, including the death of a grandparent, the separation of a parent, and the discovery of a family secret. Despite the obstacles they face, they learn to appreciate one another and ultimately, come out of their journey as a more unified family.

The Machinist (2004)

The Machinist
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Brad Anderson, starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian
Rated R

The Machinist is a psychological thriller about Trevor Reznik, a factory worker who suffers from insomnia and has not slept in a year. As a result, he begins to suffer from hallucinations and paranoia due to his extreme fatigue, and his grip on reality becomes tenuous. He becomes suspicious of his co-workers, seeing them as potential threats, and he is convinced that someone is out to get him. As the story progresses, Trevor begins to unravel the mystery behind his insomnia and confront his fears. Through a series of clues and revelations, he eventually discovers the truth about his life, leading to a dramatic conclusion.

As Good as It Gets (1997)

As Good as It Gets
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From James L. Brooks, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Rated PG-13

As Good as it Gets is a romantic comedy-drama directed by James L. Brooks and starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. The film follows Melvin Udall, a successful author and obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer, who is forced to confront his innermost fears when he is confronted with the prospect of losing his apartment, his daily routine, and the woman he loves. Along the way, he finds solace in the friendship of his neighbor, Simon, and his dog, Verdell. Through a series of humorous and sometimes heartbreaking interactions, Melvin slowly begins to open up and learn to accept the people around him – and himself. The film earned various awards and nominations, including two Academy Awards for Best Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Actress (Helen Hunt).

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Lasse Hallström, starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen
Rated PG-13

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows Gilbert Grape, a young man who is struggling to take care of his mentally ill mother and his younger brother, Arnie. Gilbert works in a local supermarket while struggling to keep the family together and out of trouble. As the film progresses, Gilbert meets a free-spirited young woman named Becky who opens his eyes to the possibilities of change and a better life. However, Gilbert soon finds himself struggling to deal with the demands of his family as he slowly begins to realize that he must take responsibility for his own life. Ultimately, Gilbert must decide whether he will continue to stay in his small town or take a leap of faith and pursue his own dreams.

Primal Fear (1996)

Primal Fear
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Gregory Hoblit, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney
Rated R

Primal Fear is a 1996 crime drama directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and Edward Norton. The story follows an altar boy, Aaron Stampler (Norton), who is accused of murdering a prominent archbishop. Gere plays Martin Vail, a defense attorney who takes on Aaron's case in the hopes of acquitting him of the crime. However, as the trial progresses, evidence begins to mount that Aaron may be guilty after all. Vail must decide whether to stand by Aaron or seek justice for the slain archbishop. Along the way, Vail is forced to question his own morality and beliefs in the pursuit of justice. In the end, justice is served in a surprising twist that no one sees coming.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From David O. Russell, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver
Rated R

Silver Linings Playbook is a romantic comedy-drama directed by David O. Russell and starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver. The film follows Pat Solatano (Cooper) who, after serving time in a mental institution, moves back home with his parents. He is determined to rebuild his life and get back together with his ex-wife. With the help of his best friend, Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence) who offers to help him in exchange for his help in a ballroom dance competition. As Pat's friendship with Tiffany grows, he begins to learn the importance of family, friendship and the potential for a new life. Silver Linings Playbook is a charming and funny look at mental illness and the power of love.

The Turin Horse (2011)

The Turin Horse
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, starring János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos, Ricsi
Rated Not Rated

The Turin Horse is a 2011 film directed by Hungarian filmmakers Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky. It tells the story of an elderly farmer and his daughter, living in an isolated area of Hungary. After their horse refuses to pull the cart one day, the farmer decides to take it back to the stable, a decision that sets off a series of events that will change their lives forever. The film follows the father and daughter throughout their daily routines of work and mealtime conversations. As their circumstances become increasingly dire, their conversations become more desolate and filled with despair. The film's visuals are stark and minimalistic, highlighting the desolation of the father and daughter's existence. The Turin Horse is a powerful exploration of the inevitability of time, and the futility of life in the face of death.

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Mary Harron, starring Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage
Rated R

American Psycho is a darkly comic, satirical psychological horror film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. It follows Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale), an attractive and wealthy Wall Street banker living an empty, materialistic existence. By day, he works hard at his job, and by night he engages in increasingly violent and disturbing behavior, including murder. The film examines themes of materialism, urban alienation, and male vanity, as Patrick's inner demons slowly consume him.

Seconds (1966)

Seconds
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From John Frankenheimer, starring Rock Hudson, Frank Campanella, John Randolph, Frances Reid
Rated R

Seconds is a 1966 American science fiction psychological thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer. It stars Rock Hudson as a middle-aged banker who is unhappy with his life and decides to undergo a procedure to be given a second chance. The procedure involves being surgically transformed into a younger man, played by Salome Jens. However, the procedure is not as perfect as it seems and the consequences of his decision become dangerous and potentially fatal. The film touches on themes of identity, mid-life crisis, and existentialism. The film was a critical and commercial failure upon its initial release, but has since become an acclaimed cult classic.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell
Rated R

We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2011 psychological thriller film directed by Lynne Ramsay. It stars Tilda Swinton as Eva, a mother struggling with the aftermath of her son Kevin's murder of seven of his schoolmates. Eva goes through a range of emotions including guilt, sadness, anger, and denial as she attempts to come to terms with her son's actions. During her journey, she discovers the dark secrets of her past that may have contributed to Kevin's sociopathic behavior. In the end, Eva must come to terms with Kevin's actions and accept the pain and suffering she has endured.

 



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