Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is one of the most depressing films made in the last few years, despite taking place in an exciting post-apocalyptic setting. However, there are many other incredibly depressing films that have come out and been well-received before "The Road," even though they made everyone watching them drink heavily once they were over. Check out six other films that will send you into a downward spiral of depression once you have watched them.
"Million Dollar Baby."
Clint Eastwood directs this woman boxer movie about a character who trains incredibly hard, works her way up to the top, and then has an accident and becomes a bed-ridden cripple. Hilary Swank plays the woman, earning herself another Academy Award nomination and also making us sad. Talk about depressing, showing that no matter how hard you ever work at something, you can't beat death. Maybe it's about dying with dignity, maybe it's about the futility of life. Either way, you may want to bust out the Prozac.
"Requiem For a Dream."
Beautifully photographed, this Darren Aronofsky film about drug addiction spiraling out of control and destroying people's lives is one of the more enjoyably depressing films you will ever see. It's so dark that you will probably only watch it once or twice and need to take a shower each time afterwards. Especially beware of the montage of everyone's lives falling apart at the end. It's enough to make a person physically ill. Seriously.
They say your body gets 21 grams lighter when you die and that's what many people think a human soul weighs. This becomes a theme in "21 Grams" where a number of people who are connected through tragedy interact and only become more upset by their current lot in life. This film is so depressing it ceases to become enjoyable, despite being a very interesting premise. Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts star. Even a nude Naomi Watts won't pull your mood out of the dumps after watching this one.
"Leaving Las Vegas."
This brilliantly written and beautiful film is actually a love story between an alcoholic writer and a hooker who meet in Las Vegas. The writer is determined to drink himself to death and the hooker decides to be his lover while he does it. Incredibly depressing, but one of the best films Elizabeth Shue and Nicholas Cage have ever done in their long careers. For more than a few men, this movie is eerily reminiscent of their own trips to the City of Sin!
Winner of the best picture of the year, "American Beauty" is a brilliant, funny, powerful and ultimately depressing movie about American suburbia and the trap many of us find ourselves within in this society. Considering our hero is killed at the end (Spoilers!) depression is a natural reaction to this excellent film. But it's definitely worth watching again and again, even if you may want to dive head-long into a pint of ice cream to lift your spirits.
It's another Darren Aronofsky film, showing the guy has a penchant for depressing subject matter, "The Wrestler" tells the tale of a man who hasn't really accomplished anything in his personal life and has nothing to show for it. Sure, Randy "The Ram" was a pro wrestling superstar, but long after the roar of the crowd has faded, he's left with nothing. The performance by Mickey Rourke makes this film, but Aronofsky should be commended for his deliberate pacing, and for actually allowing the audience to infer things themselves.