10 Popular Movies about Alcoholism

Do you also always like to drink when sad, depressed, or angry? Yeah, that’s called alcoholism. Like any other emotion, be it happiness or sadness, alcoholism is also portrayed in a lot of movies.

Movies about alcoholism show the struggles and the thoughts that an addict might go through. This article talks about such movies about alcoholism.

Movies about Alcoholism
Credits-Fabio, Flickr. Copyright 2008

It is said that movies are the true mirror of society, they reflect the truth and biases of our society. The same is the case of movies about alcoholism where one feels the emotion of separation and pain through movies due to alcohol

The movies on alcohol consumption are not always about the motivation for recovery. In various research done at the rehab center, it was seen that teenagers were attracted to alcohol after seeing the movie on alcohol consumption. 

There’s a long list of movies about alcohol consumption and alcoholics. These movies cover the emotion of courage to fight alcoholism, the pain of separation from family members, the loneliness while the path to soberness, and the happiness when you finally achieve sobriety. 

The soul of the party is shown in movies music, dance, and alcohol whereas the party is incomplete without alcohol. Movies are sometimes deceptive where one shows the tunnel of alcoholism full of fun and cheers while one shows how this tunnel ends up on dark roads.

Here are some of the movies about alcoholism that take us through the sorrows of what alcohol does to a person.  

1. Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Leaving Las Vegas is one of those movies about alcoholism where you feel emotions of sadness and concern for an alcoholic human. This movie shows sadness at its best. 

The protagonist Ben played by Nicolas Cage gets trapped in a vicious circle of alcoholism. The problem starts when Ben loses all his family members and he starts to drink himself to death. Loneliness acts as bait for an alcohol problem. 

Ben goes to Vegas and there on the street he meets a prostitute Sera, (played by Elisabeth Shue) who cares for him and Ben starts calling her the angel of his life. But this doesn’t make him stop drinking. Ben keeps a condition before Sera that she will never ask him to stop drinking. 

Movies about alcoholism can change your perspective toward alcohol problems, and Leaving Las Vegas does that. This movie makes us considerate of people who are suffering from alcohol problems. 

Nicolas Cage won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Screen Guild award for his performance. Nicolas Cage kept drinking coach to get into the character. 

Leaving Las Vegas should be a top priority for people who like to watch movies about alcoholism.  

2. When a Man Loves a Woman

When A Man Loves A Woman (1994) 35mm film trailer, flat, open matte

Meg Ryan who was known as a queen for her roles in rom-com played the protagonist part. She is known for her roles in When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and many more. 

Meg Ryan played the role of Alice and Andy Gracia played the part of Michael, her husband. 

When a Man Loves a Woman is less about how a man loves a woman and more about how a woman grapples with alcohol, this movie destigmatizes women with alcohol problems. The story is more about how Michael and her children are affected by her disease. 

Movies about Alcoholism open a door to newer thought processing about troubled alcohol problems. When a Man Loves a Woman is one of those movies about alcoholism 1where you will realize how alcohol addiction can just rupture your sweet family. 

3. Smashed

Smashed Official Trailer #1 (2012) - Aaron Paul, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Movie HD

The smashed movie talks about the consequences when one partner stops drinking while the other doesn’t. The story is about Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an elementary school teacher whose drinking spins out of control. 

The story is a sweet ride of how Kate and her husband, Charlie (Aaron Paul) share a beautiful relationship due to their shared alcoholism. Drinking alcohol is shown as the glue to their happy relationship. 

Eventually, certain embarrassing moments occur in Kate’s life as she pukes in front of her classroom where she makes an excuse for pregnancy. After a few more embarrassments her school’s vice principal notices her and gently takes her hand and lands her into Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Movies about alcoholism can be sometimes tough to consume when the part of reality and soberness strikes. Kate and Charlie’s marriage starts falling apart when Kate could no longer dwell in bars with Charlie and she started to walk on the path of soberness. 

4. Crazy Heart

CRAZY HEART - Official Trailer

Jeff Bridges plays the part of Bad Blake who is an alcoholic person. Following years of alcohol abuse and the occasional car crash, Jeff Bridges is forced to go to rehab by Robert Duvall. 

The doctor warns him that his heavy drinking, bad heart, and smoking of cigarettes will make him vulnerable to death very soon. But, certain incidents motivate him to quit drinking. 

Movies are like mirrors to society, and movies about alcoholism somewhat get successful in interpreting the circumstances of alcoholic people. Thus the movie is about the courage one needs to acquire to quit drinking. Crazy Heart offers you a range of emotions throughout the movie. 

5. A Star is Born

A STAR IS BORN Trailer (2018)

A Star is Born highlights the topic of suicide and alcoholism. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper did a phenomenal job, they kept the characters of the movie real by exploring the personal journey of the characters. 

The film’s major plot revolves around a famous musician Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper), and an aspiring singer named Ally (played by Lady Gaga). Maine is addicted to alcohol. Maine has jeopardized his career and even made Ally’s Grammy speech all ruined. 

Despite so many obstacles Ally continues to be a dedicated, sympathetic, and caring partner for Maine. Movies about alcoholism sometimes glamourize addiction and so is the case with A Star is Born but it does show some of the complexities of addiction being involved in relationships. 

6. Days of Wine and Roses

Days of Wine and Roses - Trailer 1

This melodrama was made in 1962. Lee Remick plays the part of Kristen who marries Joe Clay played by Jack Lemmon. After marriage Kristen joins Joe in his liquor consumption and eventually they were declared alcoholics. 

Kristen somehow manages to shake the habit of alcohol consumption thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous. Then they both get separated and Joe is in continuous hope of reuniting with Kristen for the sake of their young daughter. 

Movies about alcoholism make us understand that one habit may take away all your happiness. Days of Wine and Roses shows the reality in a very moving way where the meeting of Joe and Kristen is magical and all fairytale vibes but alcohol takes away all their happiness. 

7. Walk the Line 

Walk the Line (2005) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Walk the Line movie depicts the grim reality of drug and alcohol use. In this movie, Johny Crash has been portrayed as being addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

This addiction made his life go through highs and downs many times. This movie about alcohol teaches us how addiction can ruin your career and relationships

8. Ray 

Ray (2004) Official Trailer - Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington Movie HD

Ray is an award-winning movie. For this movie, Jamie Foxx won a Best Actor Academy Award, Golden Award, SAG Award, and BAFTA award for his portrayal of R&B legend Ray Charles. 

Charles struggled with heroin addiction for about two decades before he successfully kicked out this habit in 1960. 

This movie about alcoholism and drug use is a motivation that anyone can defeat the addiction with a powerful will. 

9. Flight 

Flight TRAILER (2012) Denzel Washington, Robert Zemeckis Movie HD

Denzel Washington plays airline pilot William. He shows up for the morning flight shaking off the previous night’s bender with a hit of cocaine to bring him to consciousness. 

The disaster was invited and the plane crashed in a field. Out of 102 passengers on board, 96 survived and it was considered to be a miracle as all experts had the notion that all will be dead. 

Flight explores the depth of alcoholism. Movies about alcoholism can teach you how you can jeopardize yourself as well as others living with addiction to alcohol or drugs

10. Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream (2000) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Requiem for a Dream portrays the mental state of an addict with wellness. This movie perfectly shows how life appears to be perfect when one starts using alcohol and drugs.

Eventually, this perfection doesn’t last and life becomes only about searching for money for drugs and alcohol to make life perfect again.

Certain movies about alcohol have been adapted from famous books like Factotum, this movie is based on the book of the same name by Charles Bukowski. 

Providing Help Through Movies to Alcoholics

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Africa Studio on Shutterstock

Alcoholics movies portray sadness, loneliness, anger, and despair. Movie-like When Love is not Enough makes us fit in the shoes of Lois Wilson and makes us realize how painful it is to be with someone who is an alcoholic. 

Reaching sobriety from a hard road of alcoholism and drug addiction 2is a tough road it requires perseverance and constant support from near ones. 

The loneliness becomes the shadow during the journey of sobriety and people start lacking motivation. In these tough times, these movies about alcoholism can make people feel motivated or help them to vent their emotions.  


If your near ones need emotional support during leaving alcohol please be one and help them to come out of the scary zone of addiction.

Go out of the way and arrange a special cinema night to watch movies about alcoholism that preaches how leaving alcohol can mend broken relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is at risk for alcoholism?

People who binge drink are at risk of becoming an alcoholic. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic drinks in two hours for men and four or more drinks in two hours for women.

2. What are the effects of alcoholism?

Chronic illnesses and other serious issues, such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver problems, and digestive issues, can grow over time as a result of excessive alcohol use.

3. What is the main cause of alcoholism?

Peer pressure and readily available alcohol are only two examples of the social and environmental elements that can be important. The likelihood of becoming dependent on alcohol is further increased by hardships and physical or sexual trauma.

Read more from us here.

  1. Wang, Shao-Cheng, et al. “Alcohol addiction, gut microbiota, and alcoholism treatment: A review.” International journal of molecular sciences 21.17 (2020): 6413. ↩︎
  2. de Angelis, Cristina, et al. “Smoke, alcohol and drug addiction and female fertility.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 18 (2020): 1-26. ↩︎

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Shreyanshi Jha

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