18 Great Movies That Tackle Mental Illness
A movie doesn't need a big fight or a giant action set piece to be exciting or interesting. In fact, sometimes the best films—or aspects of films—come from looking inward for sources of turmoil that can feel more real and be more relatable for viewers than any gunfight or car chase. We're talking about stories that explore mental illness, and what kind of impact varying illness can have on lives, relationships, and more. And while mental illness still holds far too significant of a stigma in modern society, that stigma is decreasing; mainstream depiction in films seen and loved by many can be a major factor in continuing to break down that wall.
Movies either centering on or touching upon mental illness aren't a new concept, but the range of genres doing so is wider than ever before. From romantic comedies to action blockbusters, a discussion on mental illness—and mental health—can be found almost anywhere. In fact, a movie doesn't even need to be about mental illness or mental health to be part of the ongoing surrounding conversation. That could be a good way to normalize the conversation, and some of the movies on out list below do a great job of doing so.
The list below is in no way expansive, but it does cover a lot of ground. Some movies are great, some are merely good, but all do a great job of facilitating the conversation that it's important for all of us to be having.
Whether *truly* about mental illness or not, these movies all look at characters beneath the surface.