January 14, 2023

5 Films About Alcoholism You Simply Must Watch

by <a href="https://read.alcoholfree.com/author/centroadmin/" target="_self">John Risby</a>

by John Risby

Co-Founder of The Alcohol-Free Shop and AlcoholFree.com. John is a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking in June 2004. Born and raised in Manchester, he now lives in Malaga with his wife and young daughter. He came to terms with being an alcoholic many years ago, but still finds the concept his daughter is Spanish very strange.

If you’re concerned about your own drinking or that of a loved one, it can be helpful to learn more about the experiences of others and the effects of alcohol and addiction on their lives.

One way to do this is by watching films that explore these themes. In this article, we will highlight five films about alcoholism and addiction that are must-watch for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of these issues.

These films offer powerful and moving portrayals of the struggles and triumphs that come with overcoming addiction, and they offer valuable insights that can help anyone who is concerned about their drinking.


“Amy” (2015) directed by Asif Kapadia, is a documentary about the late British singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse and her struggles with addiction. The film provides an intimate and unfiltered look into the life of a talented artist and the personal demons that ultimately led to her untimely death. Through the use of archival footage and personal interviews, it explores the impact of fame and the music industry on Winehouse’s addiction and how it was handled by those around her. It is a powerful and emotional film that raises important questions about addiction and how it is perceived and treated in society. The film was widely acclaimed and won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Watch If: You want to understand the impact of fame and the music industry on addiction, and how it was handled by those around her.

28 Days

“28 Days” (2000) directed by Betty Thomas, stars Sandra Bullock as the lead character, Gwen Cummings, a young woman who is sent to rehab for 28 days to overcome her addiction to alcohol. The film tells the story of Gwen’s journey to recovery and the challenges she faces along the way. It offers a realistic and honest portrayal of the struggles of someone in the grip of addiction and the process of rehabilitation. It can serve as a reminder of the importance of seeking help and the difficulty of the journey to recovery. The film received positive reviews and Sandra Bullock’s performance was praised.

Watch If: You want to understand the process of rehab and the difficulties of the journey to recovery.

When a Man Loves a Woman

“When a Man Loves a Woman” (1994) directed by Luis Mandoki, starring Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan, tells the story of a couple, Michael and Alice Green, whose marriage is strained by Alice’s alcoholism and how they try to overcome it. The film offers a realistic and emotional portrayal of the impact of alcoholism on a relationship and the challenges of seeking help and recovery. It also explores the theme of forgiveness and the importance of support in the recovery process. The film received positive reviews, and Meg Ryan’s performance was praised.

Watch If: you want to understand the complexities of addiction and the impact it can have on a relationship, and for those who are looking to understand the importance of support and forgiveness in the recovery process.

Leaving Las Vegas

“Leaving Las Vegas” (1995) directed by Mike Figgis and starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, tells the story of an alcoholic screenwriter, Ben Sanderson, who moves to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. The film is a raw and unflinching portrayal of the devastation caused by alcoholism and the lengths that someone in the grip of addiction will go to feed their habit. It also explores the themes of love and redemption in a very dark and tragic context. The film was a critical success, and it won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Ben Sanderson. It also received several other award nominations, including for Best Picture.

Watch If: You want to see a realistic portrayal of the progression of alcoholism and how it can spiral out of control. The film does not shy away from showing the negative consequences of excessive drinking, such as job loss, financial ruin, and the breakdown of personal relationships.

Days of Wine and Roses

“Days of Wine and Roses” (1962) directed by Blake Edwards, and starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, is a powerful and sobering film that explores the destructive nature of alcoholism. It tells the story of a young couple who fall into alcoholism and how it destroys their relationship. Lemmon and Remick give powerful performances, capturing the complexity of the characters and their struggles with addiction. The film was critically acclaimed and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Lemmon and Best Actress for Remick.

Watch If: You want to reflect on the impact of your drinking habits on your life and relationships.

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