Seven Movies About Loneliness

Loneliness is an emotional state that's addressed in numerous films. They show different profiles of lonely people and invite us to reflect on the impact of loneliness in our own lives.
Seven Movies About Loneliness
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Cinema offers the possibility of addressing multiple themes. In fact, it’s an extremely versatile art, thanks to its various genres. Furthermore, it captures the viewer’s attention with intriguing, surprising, and often disturbing stories. In this article, we’re going to talk about seven movies on the subject of loneliness. They all remain relevant today.

First, let’s talk about the concept of ‘loneliness’ itself. It could be defined as the state of isolation of an individual conceived as a feeling or simply by the action of being alone. Indeed, the subject offers a great deal of scope for the moviemaker. To get some idea of how this concept has been portrayed in the cinema, let’s take a look at our list of films.

1. The 400 Blows (1959)

François Truffaut directed this film about a 14-year-old boy, Antoine Doinel. He’s misunderstood by his family and gets into trouble at school. Therefore, he decides to escape. He steals a typewriter from his stepfather to finance his trip. However, the stepfather turns him into the police. Antoine is sent to a juvenile detention center by the sea. One day, he escapes and runs down to the seashore and into the sea. This is where the movie ends.

What can we glean from this story? It’s a heartbreaking tale of a young teenager who, in reality, only wants stability. Nevertheless, circumstances have turned against him, and he finds himself in a state of loneliness, an immature rebel. It’s a visually captivating story.

“Loneliness is not lack of company, loneliness is a lack of purpose.”

-Guillermo Maldonado-

2. Le Samouraï (1967)

Hitmen are sometimes portrayed as secretive, lonely people. In this movie, director Jean-Pierre Melville shows us a murderer who certainly fits the profile. In fact, the story demonstrates the lifestyle of a dark and disturbing personality.

It’s understandably dramatic and a really interesting psychological thriller.

3. Taxi Driver (1976)

Martin Scorsese, the great film director, surprises us with a story that shows the viewer the loneliness of an environment of street corruption. In this case, we see the figure of Travis (Robert De Niro) as a character with no faith in the system. Furthermore, he’s still suffering from the psychological consequences of having fought in Vietnam.

In the background, a deplorable image of the society of the moment is reflected and the collective anguish that reigns in the streets is clearly evident.

4. Paris, Texas (1984)

In our list of films about loneliness, this title is probably the least known. It tells a controversial story, which, at the same time is full of intrigue, sorrow, and remorse. Director, Wim Wenders tells a story in which an alcoholic and abusive father abandons his family. Then, years later, he wants to come back.

Obviously, the pain is still present, since these kinds of wounds don’t heal so easily. In fact, the protagonist experiences fear and social isolation due to his emotional discomfort.

5. The Green Ray (1986)

Directed by Éric Rohmer, this movie addresses the concept of loneliness through the figure of Delphine. She’s a young woman trying to recover from a difficult relationship that didn’t end well.

She decides to travel in an attempt to forget. However, this worsens her feelings of loneliness. Nevertheless, the movie does end on a positive note and she’s given hope for her future.

6. Her (2013)

Director, Spike Jonze tells a story of a lonely individual, Theodore. He works in an agency as a letter writer for third parties. He leads a lonely and disappointing life. However, everything changes when he meets ‘Samantha’, a virtual assistant with artificial intelligence. In fact, he starts chatting with ‘her’ which makes him feel less lonely.

This is one of the films about loneliness that also demonstrates the hope of finding happiness. Nevertheless, ironically, it’s a device with which Theodore establishes an emotional bond.

7. Christine (2016)

An independent cinema film that follows the harsh story of a young journalist named Christine. This film, directed by Antonio Campos, exemplifies how loneliness and frustration can lead to depression. The story contains tense moments and situations of great emotional intensity.

In short, this movie is one of the most interesting movies about loneliness in recent years. In fact, it defines the behavior and situations of many people in today’s world, and how they can find themselves faced with critical moments.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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    González, I. (2019). “Entre la realidad y el cine: la soledad”, en Revista Iberoamericana, 85(266), 267-272.
  • Montero, M., Lena, L., & Sánchez-Sosa, J. J. (2001). La soledad como fenómeno psicológico: un análisis conceptual. Salud mental, 24(1), 19-27.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.