10 Movies about Domestic Violence

Are you searching for a touching and often harrowing film that speaks to the very real issue of domestic violence? Well, you’re in luck. Nearly every film released in the last several years has tackled this topic. Here are ten movies about domestic violence, also called family violence or domestic abuse, that you shouldn’t miss.

Movies about Domestic Violence

1. Enough (I) (2002)

Starring Jeniffer Lopez and Billy Campbell, this thriller/drama follows a young woman struggling to recover from the violent beating she suffered at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. It’s a must-see for anyone who has been a domestic abuse victim.

2. Waitress (2007)

Directed by Andrienne Shelly, Waitress tells the story of a waitress in a small town who dreams about leaving for New York but finds herself trapped because her abusive boyfriend is still in the picture. The romance/drama movie stars Keri Russell as the waitress and Nathan Fillion as the boyfriend.

3. The Glass Castle (2017)

Based on the memoir by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle drama movie tells the story of Walls’ difficult childhood. Her father is an alcoholic, and her mother is mentally ill. One of her siblings, who has Downs Syndrome, was largely left to fend for himself, and her other siblings were also neglected. The film stars Naomi Watts as mother Rose Mary Walls and Brie Larson as teenage Jeannette Walls.

4. Precious (2009)

This drama/indie film movie features Mo’Nique as a mother who abuses her teenage daughter, Precious. Precious is pregnant with her second child and plans to give the baby up for adoption. The situation in this movie becomes even direr when Precious’ abusive mother finally realizes what is going on and takes matters into her own hands to keep her daughter from getting to the adoption center.

5. A Vigilante (2019)

A Vigilante is a drama/mystery movie starring Sadie (Olivia Wilde), who helps the victims of domestic violence, but she is a victim. She is left for dead by her abusive husband, who frames her for drug possession and leaves her to rot in jail. After getting out, Sadie returns to find him, intent on avenging herself.

6. This Boy’s Life (1993)

This drama movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Tobias Wolff. This tragic drama depicts the story of Wolff’s childhood days while an abusive stepfather is raising him. His mother is a passive observer of her son’s problems and never stops her husband from physically abusing their son, even if it means leaving cuts and bruises on his body. This Boy’s Life stars Robert De Niro as Wolff’s stepfather and Leonardo DiCaprio(Tobias Wolff) as his son.

7. Once Were Warriors (1994)

Starring Rena Owen as Beth Heke, this Maori drama movie is set in New Zealand. It tells the story of Heke and her three children and how they are affected by domestic violence. All three of her children have or have had issues with drugs and alcohol, but it seems to be due to how their father treats them.

8. Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)

This thriller movie stars Julia Roberts as a woman who her husband abuses. Her friend helps her every step of the way and urges her to leave her abusive husband. When he finds out that she’s planning to go to him, he tries to stop her from leaving, but this only drives Roberts’ character away even more. This movie is based on a true story and was one of the first movies addressing domestic violence.

9. Safe Haven (2013)

This romance /drama movie stars Alex Wheatley and Katie Feldman. It is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. This movie tells the story of a young woman who escaped her abusive husband and found herself in a seaside town. She meets a widower named Alex Wheatley, and they fall in love, but unfortunately, her past comes back to haunt her, threatening their romance.

10. An American Crime (2007)

Starring Elliot Page and Catherine Keener, this crime drama movie is based on a true story. It follows the travails of Sylvia Likens, a young woman who was tortured, raped, and murdered in 1965 by Gertrude Baniszewski and three of her children.


These are ten movies about domestic violence. If you haven’t watched any of these movies yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. It might inspire you to lend your voice to ending this cycle of violence.

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