10 Movies That Depict Alcoholism Realistically

Blue Jasmine via Sony Pictures Classics

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10 Movies That Depict Alcoholism Realistically

Addiction to alcohol is a prevalent issue in the United States, 1 in 8 people will abuse alcohol. Female alcohol abuse is on the rise and underage drinking has seen an increase in recent years.

Movies can get a lot of things right; mental illness, beauty standards, and much more. In relation to addiction and alcoholism, these ten movies hit the nail on the head. Alcoholism is a prevalent disease, so why not depict addiction realistically? The following movies about alcoholism are worth your time and attention.

1. Leaving Las Vegas

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Nicolas Cage stars as a down on his luck man who has the bright idea to move to Vegas in order to drink himself to death. Like all great love stories, he falls in love with a prostitute (played by the charming Elizabeth Shue) who urges him to seek help. Leaving Las Vegas shows the toll alcoholism plays on the human body, and how addiction can negatively affect those around us.

2. 28 Days

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28 Days depicts a group of struggling addicts, led by Sandra Bullock's character whose drunken antics landed her in rehab. The movie accurately describes addiction and recovery while creating a sense of hope that each character can overcome their obstacles. While, it wasn't a critically acclaimed movie, it does do a service to those struggling with addiction.

3. Everything Must Go

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Laid off and kicked out of his house, Nick Halsey is having a hard time. He was fired from his job of 16 years for a unspecified event due to his alcoholism. Losing a job to addiction isn't rare and Everything Must Go displays why a character, or person, struggles with keeping their personal and professional lives in tact, while fighting addiction.

4. Flight

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Denzel Washington plays airline pilot "Whip" Whitaker Sr. who struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. When the airplane he is piloting malfunctions, he saves the lives of everyone on board by maneuvering the plane upside down. Deemed a hero, Whip is a media sensation. But, his use of alcohol the night before slanders his name and soon he's on trial. Flight proves that addiction can overpower our better judgement and ultimately, ruin lives.

5. 5. Country Strong

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Gwyneth Paltrow sought advice from Robert Downey, Jr. for her role as recovering alcoholic, Kelly Canter. The movie didn't receive the best reviews but Paltrow's portrayal of a woman struggling publicly with her internal demons was a necessity in a mainstream movie.

6. Crazy Heart

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Otis Blake is a fallen country star, whose career and personal life has been affected by his alcoholism. He hasn't seen success in years and plays small bars to sustain his lifestyle. Journalist, Jean Craddock interviews the down-on-his-luck country crooner only to strike up a relationship with him. Jean's young son, Buddy, soon accepts Otis as a father-figure. Audiences see the decline alcohol brings to relationships, careers, and self-worth in this visually striking film.

7. Arthur

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Arthur Bach is a alcoholic millionaire who has no concept of money or sobriety. When he falls in love with middle-class, Linda, his inheritance is on the line. Sobriety and alcoholism are a key ingredient in Arthur's character development. Pain, anger, and mourning result in a drinking binge but self-acceptance and determination get him back on track in this 1981 hit.

8. The Spectacular Now

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A fantastic movie that comes highly recommended, The Spectacular Now discusses alcoholism in youth and how drinking at a young age can establish addiction in later years. Starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as two young people from different High School caste systems who end up falling in love. The book, and movie, are important forms of entertainment that people of all ages need to consume.

9. Blue Jasmine

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Unfortunately, Blue Jasmine was written and directed by Woody Allen but it's a fine film nonetheless. Jasmine has hit rock bottom. Her husband swindled millions of dollars out of clients and killed himself in prison. Now, Jasmine must lean on her working-class sister in San Francisco. Jasmine turns to anxiety medication and alcohol to curb her nervous breakdown but turns into a full-fledged alcoholic.

10. A Star Is Born

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In anticipation for the latest remake, visit Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson 1976 version of A Star is Born. John Norman Howard, a famous singer, has self-destructive tendencies due to his battle with alcoholism. Addiction plague the couple but through love and support, the characters show that those struggling need a strong support system.

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