The best films about drugs

Drugs are often the main theme of some films: although in most cases the director’s goal is precisely to educate about the negative consequences that the whirlpool of drugs can lead to. Here is our journey – or perhaps better defined as a journey in this case – through the cinema of substances. In other words: our complete guide to the best drug movies.

The wolf of Wall Street

The most representative film of the last decade Martin Scorsesewhose personal experience of using cocaine resurfaces throughout his filmography, is in every sense a film about drugs, in the broadest sense that can be given to the very term “drug”: Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) actually became addicted to a large number of substances, but above all to money, which he himself identified as his favorite drug.

cowboy pharmacy

On the opposite side is the second feature film Gus Van Santwhich, feeling the effects of the most recent AIDS crisis, portrays the life of a group of drug addicts with a decidedly dramatic tone, raw but poetic in its own way: while Jordan Belfort is the corrupt face of the system, the young outsider in the performance Matt Dillonamong the ruins of the ideologies of the late 1960s, finds in drug addiction the only way to assert his independence from the way of life that will be imposed in subsequent decades.


Gus Van Sant was also an executive producer Childrenfirst feature film Larry Clark, a photographer best known for documenting heroin distribution in the early 1970s with a sympathetic eye. In the nineties Clark does not lose its mimetic and documentary approach when it shows the viewer the grim reality of suburban New York teenagers, for whom weed and synthetic drugs have replaced heroin, but the shocking irritation with sexuality has not repelled the specter of HIV.

smoke yourself

When it comes to films about herbs, it is impossible not to mention the most iconic comedy written by Seth Rogen who, along with cheerful James Franco, becomes the protagonist of what for all intents and purposes seems to be a plot conceived by two friends during an “entertaining” evening. Rampant and parodic, often wild but much more intellectual than it might seem, the stoner comedy par excellence also launched Pineapple Express internationally, the existing quality of marijuana that gave the film its original title (terribly translated into Italian).

Life is a dream

Although rather inappropriate, Stoner’s first comedy often identified with the last film signed Link later to the famous trilogy Before. Determined Tarantino “ultimate party movie” Life is a dreamthe original title of which resembles the song of the same name Jake Holmes rethought Led Zeppelinin every way american graffiti (George Lucas1973) twenty years later: while Lucas was reflecting on his own adolescence in the seventies, still tied to the fifties, Link laterin the nineties using like Lucas amazing soundtrack, in a nostalgic but clear tone shows the beginning of generational reflux, which he himself experienced in the second half of the seventies.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The generational reflux that turns the hippie revolution into increasingly mindless drug use and into a rebellion now devoid of outlet is seen as a bleak defeat by those who actually lived in 1968: Raul Duke, the protagonist of a visionary and adrenaline-pumping comedy Gilliamagainst the backdrop of a nightmarish Las Vegas—and also guiding the viewer into a cinematic experience closest to a true mind-bending journey—deplores a lost revolution.

Easy Rider

The dream of a generation and the end of that dream itself are presented in a masterpiece Dennis Hopperhippie manifesto that launched a career Jack Nicholson. Before a tragic ending, waiting for the ideological death of hippie philosophy, life on the road of the two protagonists is accompanied by the use of various drugs, at the time seen as harmless ways of expanding perception: a bad sequence is still unparalleled LSD trip that the protagonists experienced, filmed when the performers were actually under the influence of acid.

Christiane F. – We Children of the Berlin Zoo

The harmful effects of drugs and, in particular, heroin, which exploded in the 1970s and raged until the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s, are shown in all their tragedy in the film based on the autobiographical novel Christian Felsherinovwhich, with shocking brutality, describes the consequences of drug addiction for a generation of very young people with no direction, for whom finding a way to get a dose becomes the only meaning of life.

Requiem for a Dream

The tragedy of heroin addiction is presented Aronofsky in one of the most important films of the 2000s, enriched with directorial innovations that will set the benchmark. However, the film’s real added value is the plot in which he is treated as the protagonist. Ellen Burstynthe mother of the protagonist, a lonely housewife with no meaning to life, who, before becoming addicted to amphetamines, was already addicted in every sense to television: the concept of drugs is thus expanded into a social reflection in which not only young people are involved, the privileged goal of films showing the use of psychoactive substances.


Often as he teaches Scorsese V These good guysThe most effective way to describe dramatic reality is to use the comedic register: Danny Boyle in the film adaptation of the autobiographical novel Irvine Welsh in one of the most iconic films of the nineties, which, in a tone that oscillates between drama and comedy, shows the last, desperate and unwittingly surreal remnants of drug addiction, which is an alternative lifestyle in which, however, the ideology in the 1960s he began the massive use of substances and there’s nothing left. As you can see in the movie sequence, during which, unsurprisingly, the boy is shown wearing a smiley face T-shirt (often played on the first MDMA pills), music changed in the 1990s, as did drugs. changed but new Trainspotting it’s not done yet.

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