Finding Inspiration in Film: Our Favorite Addiction Recovery Movies

Films have the power to move us, to make us feel and think in ways we never thought possible. They can also serve as a source of inspiration, giving us a new perspective on life and helping us see the world in a different light. For those in addiction recovery, watching inspirational films can provide a much-needed boost of motivation and hope for the journey toward a new, sober life.

The best films about addiction recovery beautifully capture the struggles, triumphs, and transformations the characters encounter as they travel that path. Here are five such films that we believe can inspire those in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction.

Best Films About Addiction Recovery 

28 Days 

Released in 2000, this film explores themes of addiction, redemption, and the importance of support systems in times of crisis. It is a touching and inspiring story that shows how the power of love, perseverance, and the human spirit can overcome even the darkest of times. Starring Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, and Elizabeth Perkins, 28 Days tells the story of Gwen Cummings, a successful writer in New York City who lives her life according to her own rules. Unfortunately, her partying lifestyle leads to a series of disastrous events that result in her being court-ordered to spend 28 days in a rehabilitation center. At first, Gwen resists the program and lashes out at those around her, including her counselor, fellow patients, and even her own family. However, as time passes, Gwen begins to realize the depth of her addiction and the toll it has taken on her relationships and her well-being. With the help of her fellow patients and the dedicated staff of the rehab center, Gwen begins to make progress and take steps toward recovery.

A Star is Born

A Star is Born (2018) is a heart-wrenching story of addiction and recovery. Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Jackson Maine, a struggling musician who turns to alcohol and drugs to cope with the pressures of fame, is raw and authentic. The film shows the isolating nature of addiction as Maine pushes away the people who love him most. Lady Gaga’s performance as rising star Ally beautifully captures the emotional journey of someone supporting a loved one through recovery while not losing sight of their dreams and aspirations. The film shows the power of addiction, that it is never too late to seek help, and the journey to recovery can be challenging and painful. It highlights the importance of support for those struggling with addiction, as well as those supporting them.


This 2019 biopic tells of the rise, fall, and recovery of one of music’s most beloved icons, Elton John. The film chronicles every aspect of the rock star’s journey to stardom, including his challenges of addiction and recovery. Throughout the film, Elton struggles with substance abuse, gambling addiction, and complicated relationships. Rocketman does not shy away from depicting the harrowing effects of substance abuse on Elton’s life and career. But ultimately, the film is a story of hope and redemption. Through the support of his loved ones, his strength and perseverance, and the transformative power of music, Elton finds his way back to sobriety and creates a new, happier life for himself.

The Anonymous People

The 2013 documentary The Anonymous People shines a light on the discrimination and isolation experienced by those facing addiction, dispelling the myth that it is a matter of choice and acknowledging it as a disease. Courageous individuals who have emerged victorious from addiction share their stories, highlighting the vital role that community and support play in recovery. Through heart-wrenching interviews and gripping storytelling, the film delivers a message of resilience and the importance of breaking down the stigma surrounding addiction. It emphasizes the need for society to work together to provide those struggling with addiction the resources, treatment, and support they require to overcome it. 

Generation Found

Generation Found (2016) is an inspiring and heartfelt documentary that explores the topic of addiction. The film follows the story of a group of teenagers from Houston, Texas, who overcome their struggle with addiction with the power of community, friendship, and support. It shows how they engage in different activities, such as music, art, and sports, that enable them to express themselves and grow as individuals. They learn the importance of accountability and teamwork, which play a critical role in their journey towards recovery.

We Can Help

Drug or alcohol addiction is a treatable chronic brain disease. It does not discriminate and can affect anyone. If you or someone close to you struggles with addiction, English Mountain Recovery in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee has a skilled professional team to help you regain control over your life. Contact us today.