10 Movies about Drugs

Movies about drugs are an exciting sub-genre of cinema. Viewing any of these movies is sure to surprise and entertain, whether by revealing just how scary drugs can be, exploring their impact on society, or highlighting their role in art movements that shape our century.

Movies about drugs

1. American Made (2017)

This crime movie stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a pilot who gets involved with the CIA to run guns for disgruntled revolutionaries in South America. This movie is full of drugs, planes, and women. The supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as his co-pilot, Sarah Wright as his wife, Jesse Plemmons as an ATF agent, and Caleb Landry Jones as a DEA agent.

2. Dope (2015)

Starring Shameik Moore, Rick Famuyiwa, and Tony Revolori, this comedy-drama is about a group of friends who form a drug-dealing operation in their neighborhood. As they deal drugs to schoolmates and other local kids, the movie shows how their lives individually and collectively unfold as they run into trouble with law enforcement – including ending up on the wrong side of the Mexican Mafia.

3. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

A Scanner Darkly is set in a dystopian near-future America where everyone suspects everyone else of being a drug dealer or addict. An undercover DEA agent tries to infiltrate a drug dealer group as he gets increasingly addicted to the substance he’s supposed to be tracking. This thriller movie features an all-star cast like Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, and Rory Cochrane.

4. Limitless (2011)

This thriller/action movie follows a writer given a drug called NZT-48 that enables him to access 100% of his brain’s capabilities. The movie has been described as “a story of one man who takes a drug to make himself smarter, only to discover that it makes him the smartest person on the planet .”The rest of the cast includes Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish.

5. Thirteen (2003)

Featuring Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter, and Evan Rachel Wood, as well as a score by Lisa Gerrard, this drama movie tells the story of a group of teens who experiment with drugs and end up tragically paying the price. The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and portrays drug use as part of a group dynamic.

6. Pineapple Express (2008)

The action movie starts with a drug deal gone wrong, and from there, the movie focuses on what happens after a stoned Seth Rogen, and James Franco’s characters unwittingly become friends. As they get surrounded by police, they are forced to do things that end up being far more dangerous than they had initially planned. “Pineapple Express” is excellent for showing how drugs can affect even the most laid-back people.

7. Requiem For A Dream (2000)

The characters of this psychological thriller are based on real-life drug addicts who became famous for their drug use. The movie follows four friends, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Willem Dafoe, and Marlon Wayans, who all gather together and share the same addiction to the likes of morphine and heroin.

8. Spun (2002)

This drama movie follows the lives of three friends – a DJ, a model, and an aspiring actress – who share a common fascination for heroin. When their friend is about to give birth to her baby, the friends’ lifestyles start to overtake their relationships as they can’t seem to stop using drugs despite the consequences. This movie stars characters like Jason Schwartzman, Mena Suvari, and John Leguizamo and is directed by Jonas Åkerlund.

9. Beautiful Boy (I) (2018)

Starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, this drama movie tells the story of a father who loves his son and wants to help him clean after he becomes addicted to meth and cocaine. The movie also stars Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Kaitlyn Dever, and Kyle Soller.

10. Traffic (2000)

Traffic features an ensemble cast including Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The plot focuses on a group of people involved with the drug trade in three ways – politicians, narcotics officers, and drug addicts. It shows how these three groups’ lives intersect as they try to make it in an industry far more complicated than they could have imagined.


Watching the above movies about drugs is a great way to grasp what we are doing to ourselves as a society. With movies like these available to watch, there’s no longer any excuse not better to understand this world of addiction and consequences.

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