7 Psychology-Related Films That I Recommend ...

Michelle

The psych-nerd in me gets super excited whenever I find great psychology-related films. I’m a sucker for abnormal psychology, aka the mental illness side of things, but any film that addresses social, cognitive or biological development is good with me. In fact, they can be pretty interesting to watch and learn about human behavior. These are some amazing psychology-related films that I highly recommend.

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1

A Beautiful Mind

Mathematician John Forbes Nash is known for his work with game theory and Nash equilibrium that has revolutionized the world of economics. “A Beautiful Mind” tells the behind-the-scenes story of John Nash, diagnosed schizophrenic. I find this film outstanding when it comes to psychology-related films because it does such a brilliant job portraying the illness for what it is. We watched this in my AP Psych class and my classmates who had never seen the film were flabbergasted as they watched his reality collapse on itself. Though the film does not express Nash’s entire illness, I recommend you check it out with documentaries with Nash, such as “A Brilliant Madness.”

2

The Butterfly Effect

Do you ever stop to wonder how your existence impacts another person’s social development? In this fictional tale, Evan Treborn, played by Ashton Kutcher, learns firsthand how he affects his childhood friend Kayleigh, her brother Tommy and their friend Lenny. Evan has the ability to rewrite memories, thus changing his friends’ futures and his own. Seriously, you need to check this film out to learn about social structures and how one moment could change the future for everyone. It’s one of my favorites.

3

The Snake Pit

In ancient Greece, there was a theory that you would be driven insane if you were placed in a snake pit. The Greeks theorized that you could likewise be made sane if already insane when put in the same situation. “The Snake Pit” addresses this theory and that of the mental health care system in the 1950s. Putting a bunch of crazy people in a room together won’t make them snap out of it. It’s incredulous to see how the mental health care system functioned. This is a must-see!

4

Sybil

Though Sybil’s story has gotten a lot of grief, I feel the film does a good job of portraying Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka Multiple Personality Disorder. There is one scene in the 1976 version of the film where Sybil deals with some of her childhood trauma. All she can remember is the color purple. As the story unfolds, you see a confined Sybil scribbling on the wall with a purple crayon. I find this scene fascinating because it shows how some memories in cognitive development cannot be translated into words but rather remain as intimidating images.

5

Primal Fear

The film focuses on the murder of the Archbishop by one of his altar boys. Martin Vail, played by Richard Gere, takes to the courtroom to defend the alleged killer. But can you defend someone without caring if they are guilty or innocent? Would you still fight with the same vigor if you thought they deserved it? Watch this movie to find out!

6

Benny and Joon

Brother and sister Benny and Joon live together due to Joon’s mental illness. Following a series of events, Benny wins his friend’s cousin at poker. Sam, aka Johnny Depp, isn’t entirely there, which allows him to click with Joon almost instantly. They begin to fall for each other but Sam’s eccentricity may trigger Joon’s illness.

7

Silence of the Lambs

Antisocial Personality Disorder is put under the microscope in this classic. Jodie Foster plays a young FBI cadet who must help to find the psychopath, serial killer Buffalo Bill. It’s a great film to psychoanalyze! Especially Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the incarcerated cannibal who must help Foster solve the case.

Psychology-related films are great to watch because they address developmental elements that affect all of us. What are some psychology-related films that you recommend?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I can't believe One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest isn't on the list

Don't forget hide & seek and Orphan.

The bone collector, main actor is Denzel Washington. It's my favourite movie related to crime and criminology. The way that clues were left around which interlink with a book that was written, is truly fascinating.

Clockwork Orange and Girl, Intrupted are also amazing!

One flew over the cuckoos nest is a must see!

going tot watch them all thnx

Black Swan, I Am Sam, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Rain Man, Adam, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Shutter Island and The Other Sister are just a few of my favourites. I'm a sucker for psych films!

Another movie which is also my favourite is called the hours. Meryl Streep is an amazing actress, and she never fails to project the best emotions. In this movie three stories are set in different times and eras, however they come all together at the end. Living the experience is not always being in touch with the reality. This movie is mind blowing.

Benny and Joon is an amazing movie. Johnny Dept is adorable in that film. It's definitely my favourite romantic movie.

Silence of the Lambs is great!

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