5 Must Watch Movies About Addiction And Recovery

Cinema can create a dynamic look at addiction and recovery.

Art can imitate life. This is true for movies about addiction. These 5 movies, along with Rotton Tomatoes movie summaries, are compelling and provides a look at addiction and its impact. If you don't struggle with an addiction these movies will help you empathize with the struggle. If you are struggling with an addiction, prone to relapse, or maybe not in a good place, watch these cautiously with someone who cares for you and able to help you process your reactions and emotions.

1. Ben is Back

"19 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben's mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe."

Ben is Back takes a dynamic look at relentless love, a bit overkill, but a gripping tear-jerker nevertheless.

2. Krisha

"When Krisha shows up at her sister's Texas home on Thanksgiving morning, her close and extended family greet her with a mixture of warmth and wariness. Almost immediately, a palpable unease permeates the air, one which only grows in force as Krisha gets to work cooking the turkey and trying to make up for lost time by catching up with her various relatives, chief among them her nephew, Trey. As Krisha's attempts at reconciliation become increasingly rebuffed, tension and suspicion reach their peak, with long-buried secrets and deep-seated resentments coming to the fore as everyone becomes immersed in an emotionally charged familial reckoning."

Krisha is an amazing example of familial dynamics and relapse.

3. Flight

"In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane."

Flight is powerful and captures the grip and pearls that addictions can have on even the most successful person. A great look at integrity and getting clean.

4. Smashed

"Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking...especially the drinking. When Kateʼs drinking leads her to dangerous places and her job as a school teacher is put into jeopardy, she decides to join AA and get sober. With the help of her friend and sponsor Jenny, and the vice principal at her school, the awkward, but well intentioned, Mr. Davies, Kate takes steps toward improving her health and life. Sobriety isnʼt as easy as Kate had anticipated. Her new lifestyle brings to the surface a troubling relationship with her mother, facing the lies sheʼs told her employer and calls into question whether or not her relationship with Charlie is built on love or is just boozy diversion from adulthood."

Smashed shakes up the reality of what sobriety looks like and the emotional difficulty of letting go.

5. 28 Days

"Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) is a successful New York writer living life in the fast lane and everyone's favorite party girl. She shares this roller-coaster lifestyle of hopping from dance club to bar to hangover with boyfriend Jasper-handsome, magnetic and equally attracted to life on the wild side. Life is just an exercise in debauchery-until Gwen's ungraceful display at her sister Lily's wedding, when she gets drunk, commandeers the limo and earns herself a DUI and 28 days in court-ordered rehab. There, Gwen comes face to face with a unique set of rules (like no cell phones) and rituals (like chanting) embraced by an assortment of fascinating fellow re-habbers. A jaded city girl to the core, Gwen is determined not to conform. Then she meets Counselor Cornell, who begins to break through her carefully constructed defenses and force her to take a closer look at who she really is. Ultimately, through the companionship of her group as well as a devastating loss, Gwen gradually loses her cynicism and begins the long struggle to take back her life."

28 Days makes you feel like you are going through residential rehab with Gwen. If you have been through a residential rehab you might appreciate many of the nuances yet resent some over-dramatizations. The movie provides opportunity for a range of emotions including laughter and tears.

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