Families can be a source of love, support, and guidance, but that's not the reality in these films that Redditors nominated as the best films with toxic families.
These movies showcase some of cinema's most disturbingly toxic families, from manipulative parents to abusive siblings. From psychological thrillers to drama, these movies will make you question family dynamics and leave you in awe of the actors' performances.
1. Ordinary People (1980)
Ordinary People is a drama film directed by Robert Redford and starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton. The movie follows the story of a family struggling to cope with the death of their eldest son and the subsequent emotional and psychological fallout. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
2. Greedy (1994)
Greedy is a dark comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas, and Nancy Travis. The movie depicts a wealthy patriarch's family embroiled in a heated battle over their inheritance. Renowned for its sharp satire and impressive acting, the film has gained recognition. One noted, “It's an underrated comedic gem!”
3. Flowers in the Attic (1987)
Flowers in the Attic is a horror film directed by Jeffrey Bloom and starring Louise Fletcher, Kristy Swanson, Victoria Tennant, and Jeb Stuart Adams. The film is adapted from V.C. Andrews' novel with an identical title, depicting the tale of four siblings confined in an attic by their cruel mother and grandmother.
4. August: Osage County (2013)
August: Osage County is a drama film directed by John Wells and starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Ewan McGregor. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play with the same title, the movie recounts the tale of a troubled family reuniting following the vanishing of their patriarch. It is renowned for its compelling acting and emotionally charged storytelling.
5. This Boy's Life (1993)
This Boy's Life is a coming-of-age film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on Tobias Wolff's memoir of the same name, This Boy's Life follows the story of a young boy growing up in a tumultuous and abusive home. The film is known for its powerful performances and unflinching portrayal of family dysfunction.
6. Mommy Dearest (1981)
Mommy Dearest is a biographical drama directed by Frank Perry, starring Faye Dunaway as the iconic actress Joan Crawford. Based on Christina Crawford's memoir of the same name, the film depicts the tumultuous relationship between her and her mother. One user warned, “It will turn you off wire hangers.”
7. Harold and Maude (1971)
Harold and Maude is a dark comedy film directed by Hal Ashby, starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. The film follows the unlikely friendship between Harold, a young man obsessed with death, and Maude, an 80-year-old woman who teaches him about the beauty of life.
8. Running with Scissors (2006)
Running with Scissors is a semi-autobiographical dark comedy-drama film directed by Ryan Murphy and stars Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, and Joseph Fiennes. The film is based on the memoir of the same name by Augusten Burroughs, depicting his experiences growing up in the care of his eccentric mother's therapist.
9. The Great Santini (1979)
The Great Santini is a classic drama directed by Lewis John Carlino and starring Robert Duvall as the patriarch of a military family. Based on Pat Conroy's novel of the same name, The Great Santini depicts the abusive and oppressive behavior of the father toward his family.
10. The Royal Tennenbaums (2001)
The Royal Tenenbaums is a dark comedy directed by Wes Anderson, starring Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson. The film follows the eccentric Tenenbaum family and their troubled relationships with each other as they all come back together after their father announces that he is terminally ill.
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