Psychological films and movies that depict psychological disorders have recently captured the attention of many film enthusiasts. Unlike other genres, these films stand out with their unique plotlines and subjects that revolve around mental illnesses. Sometimes, these movies portray the lives of renowned figures who have made their mark in the scientific world, while other times they bring to light ordinary individuals who we may encounter in our daily lives.
It seems that these films always push the limits of the mind due to their focus on psychological disorders and mental states. In our list titled “Best Films Depicting Psychological Disorders,” which includes some of the finest movies, we have included films that challenge the boundaries of your mind and keep you captivated with every moment in great excitement.
1 A Beatiful Mind (8,2) – 2001
The film that depicts the life of renowned mathematician John Forbes Nash brings to light the realities of schizophrenia and the struggles faced by a scientist. Starting from Nash’s scholarship education, the movie portrays his difficulties in adapting to social environments, which began during his university years, as well as his battle with schizophrenia, one of the most severe psychological disorders. Nash grapples with his progressing illness, reaching a point where he cannot distinguish between the real world and the world he has created. He strives to overcome numerous challenges in his education, career, and family life due to his illness. After a long period, Nash eventually wins the Nobel Prize. The film sheds light on the dramatic and mysterious aspects of Nash’s life, while also revealing the realities of schizophrenia. In a brief conversation between John Nash and his wife, Alicia Nash:
“You can’t solve this with logic!”
“Why not? Why can’t I solve it?”
“Because your mind is already the breeding ground of the problem!”
2 Black Swan (8,0) – 2010
Nina, a young, beautiful, and talented ballet dancer, has a controlling and oppressive mother. Dance is Nina’s greatest passion and practically the sole purpose of her life. She is part of a prestigious ballet company preparing for the world-famous production of Swan Lake, where she will take on the roles of both the white swan and the black swan. She fiercely competes for the leading role, which requires embodying both the elegance, purity, and innocence of the white swan, as well as the sensuality and enigmatic nature of the black swan. While Nina is an ideal fit for the role of the white swan, her biggest rival, Lily, manages to captivate the director’s attention for the black swan. The film portrays the suppressed emotions of a young ballerina who yearns to unleash her inner black swan in order to secure the leading role. Every scene of the movie successfully leaves the audience breathless. It explores the insatiable desires, perfectionism, repressed emotions, and the journey of self-discovery of a young girl. This film stands among the best psychological films.
3 A Clockwork Orange (8,3) – 1971
The film, which has reached wide audiences through both its book and movie adaptation, depicts the terror and fear empire spread by a gang of violent addicted youths. Set in Britain, the film follows the gang’s leader who gets caught and instead of going to prison, becomes a test subject in a violent experiment. The purpose of this experiment, which goes against human nature, is to unravel the relationship between violence and humanity. Among the cult classics in psychological films, A Clockwork Orange stands out for its exploration of a different subject matter, making it highly compelling and attention-grabbing.
4 Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (6,9) – 2002
Depression and suicide are perhaps two of the illnesses that many individuals in society encounter at some point in their lives. Wilbur, a young man who is battling depression and has severed all ties with life, is the central character. As Wilbur begins to hold on to life, thanks to his brother Harbour falling in love and forming a unique connection with Mary, unexpected and painful surprises await him. This film, which surprises you with every scene, revolves around depression, a prevalent psychological disorder. It serves as an excellent alternative for those who enjoy films that explore psychological illnesses.
5 Identity (7,3) – 2003
Although Identity falls under the thriller genre, it is a psychological thriller film that portrays the situations caused by dissociative identity disorder. The film revolves around 10 strangers who are forced to seek shelter in a hotel after a storm. Throughout the film, filled with a series of murders, you will experience both suspense and witness the horrifying events caused by dissociative identity disorder.
6 Lord of the Flies (6,4) – 1990
The film, adapted from Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s novel of the same name, begins with the survival of children while their parents perish in a plane crash, leading them to start a life on a deserted island. Although it may seem like a simple story of a plane crash and the adventure of living on a deserted island, it actually takes you on a journey into the depths of human nature. It portrays Freud’s concept of how individuals gradually approach their primitive instincts, as they slowly descend from civilization to their Id.
7 Fight Club (8,8) – 1999
The film portrays two serious illnesses, schizophrenia and insomnia, and explores how these psychological problems transform the life of a young individual. As a cult classic in the world of cinema, the movie presents suspense and drama to the audience in every scene.
8 As Good As It Gets (7,7) – 1997
The film delves into the realm of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a serious psychological illness, and narrates the turning point in the life of a writer with various obsessions. Portraying the writer with multiple obsessions, such as locking the front door four times, the film captivates the audience while also incorporating elements of a unique romantic comedy.
9 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (8,7) – 1975
This film, with its magnificent plot and screenplay, stands among the classics of the cinema world, focusing on events that take place in a mental hospital. Randle P. McMurphy, who is imprisoned, pretends to be insane in order to escape prison, but his plan continues in the mental hospital. The events unfold in the mental hospital, taking on a different dimension as Randle begins to influence the treatment of the mentally ill patients.
10 When Nietzsche Wept (6,5) – 2007
This film, adapted from the book of the same name by existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom, explores events related to Freud, Josef Breuer, and the renowned philosopher Nietzsche. It delves into the realm of psychoanalysis and is considered one of the best films in its genre, capturing the attention of film enthusiasts with its unique screenplay.
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