Film as art includes different genres, and, when it comes to capturing the human mind and behavior, nothing can beat the psychological thriller. Movies provide a powerful medium to explore the imagination. Perhaps that could be the reason there is no shortage of movies about psychology in Hollywood. These could be interesting to watch for students who are studying psychology. Here we have listed 7 interesting Hollywood movies about psychology.
Movies about psychology
1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
The movie explores psychological treatments, and mood & personality disorders. It focuses on psychotherapy and how it can be used as a group therapy including electro-shock therapy. It also shows how mental institutes were run in the 60s. A protagonist pleads to serve his time in a mental institution rather in jail, and later experiences the reality.
2. Rain Man (1988)
This movie about psychology focuses on autism spectrum disorders and family dynamics. The story is about two brothers, one of them autistic. Charlie didn’t know that his brother was autistic until his father died. The father left his fortune to an autistic son and another son became his custodian to control his father’s money. This movie was not understood by people when it came out. It’s a beautiful story to watch where Charlie develops empathy towards his autistic brother.
3. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
This movie is based on a true story and it highlights schizophrenia. It is based on the true story of Forbes Nash, a Nobel laureate and genius mathematician who lives with the illness. Schizophrenia is a widely misunderstood disorder by people. The movie explores how the disorder impacts daily functioning and social functioning. It is a must-watch movie to understand the technicality of psychology for psychology students.
4. Black Swan (2010)
The movie sheds light on personality disorders, drug use, psychosis, anxiety, and family dynamics, among other psychological conditions. It highlights how stress impacts people’s lives. It is a psychological thriller that explores the effects of stress and perfectionism. The movie explores friendship and rivalries.
5. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
This is an excellent movie from a social psychology standpoint. It addresses Alzheimer’s disease. When Miss Daisy is no longer allowed to drive, her son appoints a chauffeur to drive her around. It is interesting to watch how their relationship changes over 25 years. The movie shows Alzheimer’s effect on a person’s body and mind. It shows how friendship can grow and transform despite race and age.
6. Memento (2000)
This movie about psychology moves around a protagonist who suffers a head injury and develops amnesia. He gets injured while trying to prevent his wife’s murder and learns to overcome obstacles to find her murderer. It is the best movie to watch for the depiction of short-term memory loss. Helplessness, confusion, and desperation to remember things and events make this movie a must-watch. The movie displays a great depth of emotion.
7. Reign Over Me (2007)
How a post-traumatic disorder can change someone’s life! Though the movie has its comic moments, it also showcases the psychological trauma of 9/11. Charlie Fineman’s family got killed in the 9/11 attacks and post that he becomes isolated and alone. Later when he meets his college roommate, he begins to heal his wounds of grief. It shows real human emotions that unfold in reality.
ALSO READ: 50 Unknown Psychology Facts About Human Behavior
Psychology movies leave an immense impact on viewers’ minds. Thought-provoking storylines have a great impact on the audience. It makes them feel that they have been part of the situation. These movies are not just for watching but also for analyzing. Movies about psychology have another interesting aspect that they could be a great learning lesson for psychology students as sometimes viewing things practically gives a broader perspective and better understanding.