While Alcoholics Anonymous and related fellowships practice the principle of attraction rather than promotion, this has not stopped the fellowships from being featured in many culturally significant films. Here are some of our favorites.
Top movies about recovery
My Name Is Bill W. (1989)
My Name Is Bill W. stars James Woods as Bill Wilson and James Garner as Dr. Bob. The movie tells the story of Bill Wilson, and how he ultimately founded Alcoholics Anonymous by chance meeting with Dr. Bob. The film, which was a TV movie, was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and won one.
Flight stars Denzel Washington and Kelly Reilley as two people struggling with alcoholism and heroin addiction. The characters meet in the hospital after Washington’s character, a pilot, is involved in a plane crash and Reilley’s character overdoses on heroin. The film tells the story of how sometimes we need to lose everything in order to fully recover and survive addiction.
Ray is a biographical film starring Jamie Foxx as the famous musician Ray Charles. The film does not shy away from recounting Charles struggles with heroin abuse, and the immense difficulty of detoxing from the substance. Foxx ultimately won an academy award for his performance.
Clean and Sober (1988)
Clean and Sober stars Michael Keaton as a real-estate agent who struggles with a crippling cocaine addiction. The film shows Keaton’s character, a highly successful man, entire life crumble into unmanageability as a direct result of his addiction. The film follows his entrance into a treatment center and introduction to a twelve-step fellowship program, along with the difficulties in early sobriety.
Crazy Heart (2009)
Crazy Heart stars Jeff Bridges as a small-time traveling country musician who suffers from alcoholism. Despite serious health issues and failing relationships, Bridges character continuously fails to achieve sobriety until he finds Alcoholics Anonymous. Bridges ultimately received an Academy Award for his performance.
Bill W. (2012)
Bill W. is a documentary about the life of Bill Wilson and the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. The film includes interviews with several members of Alcoholics Anonymous and reenactments of various times in Wilson’s life. The film investigates the difficulties Wilson faced being the public face of what was an anonymous fellowship.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.