News The 20 Best Movies About Dysfunctional Families
The 20 Best Movies About Dysfunctional Families
Cinema has always been fascinated with portraying strange and unsettling events that can happen within families. From comedies to tragedies, family problems are a rich source of material for filmmakers, often exploring the psychological disintegration of familial relationships. In this article, I've compiled a list of films that delve into the complexities of family dynamics and the devastating effects they can have on individuals. I invite you to watch these movies and witness the portrayal of different family experiences that can resonate with our own lives.
1. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Strange members of a dysfunctional family reluctantly gather under the same roof for various reasons. The film depicts the eccentricities, heartaches and disappointments faced by the family. The head of the family returns to his family after 22 years, claiming that he has cancer, after learning that his ex-wife has remarried. However, children also have their own puberty problems.
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Five friends go to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way they come across what appears to be a deserted house. What they discover there is very sinister: something armed with a chainsaw.
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
3. The Quiet Family (1998)
In the South Korean dark comedy, it follows a family that owns a hostel in a remote town. After their first client commits suicide, the family wants to avoid unwanted attention and bad publicity. Unfortunately, their clients start dying under ugly conditions.
Directed by: Jee-woon Kim
Starring: In-hwan Park, Moon-hee Na, Song Kang-ho
4. Eraserhead (1977)
Henry Spencer tries to get out of his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend and the unbearable screams of his newborn mutant child. The film deals with Henry's fear of parenthood.
Directed by: David Lynch
Starring: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
5. Shiva Baby (2020)
One of the standout indie films of 2020, Shiva Baby is a comedy-horror mix movie that highlights the tragedy of being a bisexual college student in a Jewish family gossiping about other people's misfortunes.
Directed by: Emma Seligman
Starring: Rachel Sennott, Danny Deferrari, Fred Melamed
6. Visitor Q (2001)
Shot in just seven days, the film follows a stranger who enters the strange life of the Yamazaki, consisting of an ex-reporter, a heroin addict wife, an abusive son and a daughter who works as a prostitute. He tries to restore balance in the dysfunctional family.
Directed by: Takashi Miike
Starring: Ken'ichi Endô, Shungiku Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe
7. Boyhood (2014)
The film examines Mason's bumpy transition from childhood to adolescence and the ever-changing relationship dynamics with his divorced parents and sister. Detailing the little things in life, such as brutal sibling bickering, unfulfilled promises with parents and first experiences with love, Boyhood is a touching story of growing up.
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
8. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother's return at their lakeside home. When their mother comes home from plastic surgery, the twins are startled by their mother's bandaged appearance and sudden personality change. In the absence of a father figure, children discover clues that their 'mother' is not who she claims to be.
Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Starring: Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Susanne Wuest
9. Knives Out (2019)
The mysterious film begins with the discovery of the famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey dead in his home. While the police believe it was a suicide, the famous detective Benoit Blanc thinks there is more to the story than meets the eye. With the help of Harlan's personal maid March Cabrera, Detective Blanc begins his investigation into the mysterious but deteriorating Thrombey family, with each member hiding secrets that could shed light on Harlan's untimely death.
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas
10. Hereditary (2018)
After the death of the secretive maternal head of the Graham family, his daughter Annie and her family begin to experience increasingly strange encounters that threaten their once peaceful home life. Hereditary, one of the best psychological horror films about evil satanic families, is also a heartbreaking film that tells about the pain of losing your loved ones and leads a person to resort to extreme measures to alleviate this pain.
Directed by: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne
11. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
After spending eight months in a mental health facility, Pat is released on the condition that he lives with his family. While his mother tries to do her best to keep the family together and afloat, the relationship between Pat and his father leads to multiple shouting matches and physical arguments.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
12. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Peter, Francis and Jack Whitman reunite for the first time since the death of their father to embark on a spiritual journey of personal discovery in India. Along the way, the three fight like brothers do and are thrown off the train as a result.
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman
13. The Fighter (2010)
Micky Ward is a boxer whose attempts to fight for the heavyweight title are constantly blocked by his family. His mother is a dangerous combination of manipulative and controlling, and his half-brother Dickie is an addict who doesn't think about how his behavior affects anyone around him.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
14. Step Brothers (2008)
Dale and Brennan are men-children in their forties whose happy and ignorant lives are ruined when their parents decide to get married. Rivalry between half-brothers is a common occurrence, but the war between these two grown men escalates to the point that Brennan literally tries to bury Dale alive.
Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
15. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Elizabeth Bennett is one of five sisters, and given that they all grew up in Victorian England, their mother has only one idea when it comes to her daughters: to make sure that they all marry richly and rise above their position. This obsession causes great stress on each of the girls, especially Elizabeth, who has the absolutely ridiculous idea of marrying someone she really likes.
Directed by: Joe Wright
Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
16. Moonstruck (1987)
Loretta Castorini is 37 years old and lives at home with her family after the death of her husband two years ago. The honesty and care she shares with her parents is absolutely admirable, so much so that when Loretta is engaged to a man she doesn't love, they are both very willing to share their extremely honest thoughts.
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Starring: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis
17. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Barry has seven emotionally abusive sisters. The pleasure that girls take in humiliating their brothers has caused him to have intense social anxiety and suppressed anger.
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
18. Nebraska (2013)
Woody Grant is determined to travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar raffle prize that he believes he has won. His son David knows that this is a fraud, but when his father does not stop insisting, he agrees to go on a trip to Lincoln with him.
Directed by: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
19. Our Idiot Brother (2011)
The film follows Ned, who is out of prison and has nowhere to go, dealing with his own problems in the form of a failed marriage, unrequited love and reckless self-sabotage, while his three sisters, all of whom reluctantly take him with them. As they all try to grow up and face their problems, they find themselves as enemies to each other, and Ned becomes the one to whom the blame is pointed the most.
Directed by: Jesse Peretz
Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel
20. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
The situation is quite bad for Toula, who has met the man of her dreams, but Ian is afraid that he will not be approved by her Greek family because he is not Greek. Even if your family loves you very much, they may not fully understand everything you want and may even see your desires as a betrayal.
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine
Have you ever seen any of these movies before? Tell us in the comments!
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