Friday Night Pep-Talk: Sober Movie Night

Happy Friday!

You may find that Friday nights are especially challenging to stay sober through! Of course, one of the best ways to pass time is to watch a movie!  I have put together a list of some of my favorite alcoholism/addiction/getting sober movies.

My favorite is most definitely 28 Days, I can relate to all parts of it, from the beginning to the end, and I love Sandra Bullock, of course! Leaving Las Vegas is probably my second favorite, but it is at times dark and depressing and I have to be in the right mood to watch it. And then of course, When a Man Loves a Woman and Smashed are great because they cover the relationship aspect of addictions and the co-dependencies in the relationship. Clean and Sober is a great example of the rise and fall of an addict, from life is a party stage, to losing it all, and then to getting sober! My Name Is Bill W. and When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story are just awesome! Two autobiographical movies, about the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, and even if you don’t care about AA what so ever, you can relate to these two stories!

Here is my full list of movies:

Clean and Sober (1988)

CleanandSoberThis is a drama directed by Glenn Gordon Caron starring Michael Keaton as a real estate agent and his trouble with substance abuse. Daryl Poynter is a successful but self-destructive Philadelphia real estate salesman who is addicted to cocaine. –  from Wikipedia.

My Name Is Bill W. (1989)
Starring James Wood and Jobeth Williams, this is the true story of Bill Wilson, how his life fell apart due to his alcoholism, and yet overcame his drinking and founded AA. – watch it on YouTube HERE.

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
An airline pilot and his wife are forced to face the consequences of her alcoholism when her addictions threaten her life and their daughter’s safety. While the woman enters detox, her husband must face the truth of his enabling behavior. – from SolarMovie.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Ben Sanderson (Cage) is a Hollywood screenwriter whose alcoholism costs him his job, family, and friends. With nothing left, he goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. – from Wikipedia.

28 Days (2000)

28daysAn American comedy-drama film directed by Betty Thomas. Sandra Bullock plays Gwen Cummings, a newspaper columnist obliged to enter rehabilitation for alcoholism after ruining her sister’s wedding and facing DUI charges. – from Wikipedia. Watch a YouTube Trailer HERE.

Down to the Bone (2004)

Irene (Vera Farmiga) is an upstate New York mother of two, married, holds a job as a supermarket checker, and is a cocaine addict. Her husband (Clint Jordan) is also a drug user, but does not support Irene’s decision to enter rehab and clean up her life after she realizes how her drug use affects the children. In rehab she meets Bob (Hugh Dillon), a nurse whose sobriety success story further inspires her. But Irene soon finds beating addiction holds greater consequences than addiction itself. – from Google.

When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story (2010)

Based on the true story of the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, it is educational as well as inspirational, especially for families and individuals struggling with alcoholism. With difficult subject matter, it may not be suitable for young children, but it’s clean enough for families with older children and slightly more mature audiences. – form Hallmark Films.

Flight (2012)

The film stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after it suffers an in-flight mechanical failure, saving nearly everyone on board. Immediately following the crash, he’s hailed a hero, but an investigation soon leads to questions that puts the captain in a different light after a drug test shows that Whip was intoxicated during the flight. –from Wikipedia.

Smashed (2012)


A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober. – from IMBD.

The Anonymous People (2014)

This feature documentary film shines a light on the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, yet deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. –from ManyFaces1Voice

Do you have any favorite alcoholism/addiction/getting sober movies?

For Other Friday Night Pep-Talk posts click HERE.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Great list! I love Nic Cage, and 28 Days has my biggest movie-star crush in it, Viggo Mortensen.

    Two other good movies are The Lost Weekend and Rush.

    Crazy Heart was great too, but honestly, I’m not sure he sobered up at the end; I don’t remember. There’s a scene where he loses a kid in the mall while he’s drinking… Chills. Awesome music too.

    Hey guess what day it is! 😉


    1. Lol! Whuuuttt day is it? You crack me up! Oh and so funny, I totally forgot that Viggo was in that movie… Oh yes! Yes, yes! And I love Cage in anything, really, I just do!

      Oh, btw, I am patiently awaiting a new post on your running on sober blog! Really! I need more funny animal videos too!

      Hugs! Have a great weekend Christy!


      1. This is my favorite Geico ad:

        (I put some reading material up on on the front page: random words. Just a collection of older stuff… If you’re needing a fix before tomorrow, stop by!) xo


  2. I love this list! I haven’t seen quite a few of these so will check them out. I have seen 28 days – hundreds of times, before and after I stopped drinking – and it remains my favourite.


    1. I so love that movie! I still keep telling people that you first get a plant! LOL! I tell you the Lois Wilson story is really good, a tear jerker for sure, but wow, what an eye opener, it was really hard for women back then!

      Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!


  3. Flight, with Denzel Washington is another…totally had me in tears for the duration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I have never seen that one, I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the suggestions.


    2. Lauren says:

      SOOO good. I was an uncontrollable pile at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are awesome suggestions, and I’ve only seen one of them all the way through (When A Man Loves a Woman).

    As always, great series, Maggie! I can’t wait to reference this list and start watching!


    1. Thanks Josie, glad you stopped by, most definitely check one of these out!


      1. Hi Maggie!

        Update: I watched the movie Smashed yesterday afternoon (total blow-off of a Sunday, haven’t done that in a while!). Very, very powerful movie, I am really glad you suggested this idea!


        1. Oh, I am glad you liked it, it is powerful!! And you got to blow-off a Sunday! Woot woot! I need one of those some day too! 🙂


  5. good2begone says:

    Great list. Leaving Las Vegas and 28 Days are my tops. I watched 28 Days in rehab. I cringed when they drove into the house…… a not so fond memory of my own.


  6. Lauren says:

    Such a good idea!! Sharing this on my fb page!


    1. Thanks Lauren! Let me know how you liked 28days if you watch it. 🙂


  7. Viatoday says:

    Great list! There are several here I have not seen and love having this list as a reference!


  8. Chris says:

    Great list Magz! Thanks for sharing.

    We did a Recovery Rewind Review of Clean and Sober ( and are doing Flight in the next few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I’ll have to check it out. Thanks Chris!


      1. Chris says:

        Maybe we can persuade you to join us to do an RRR of 28 Days sometime? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol! Twist my arms! Sure! Let me know. Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

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