Character study movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant character study movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out realistic, talky, melancholic, interesting, thought provoking and cerebral films and TV shows about / with character study, storytelling, mentor, dialogue, runaway, loneliness, obsession, greed, tragedy and suprisingly clever plots mostly in Drama, Thriller and Comedy genres shot in USA, France, UK and other countries.
character study
 1911
character study movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as character study: Taxi Driver (1976), American Beauty (1999), There Will Be Blood (2007), The Conversation (1974), Tender Mercies (1983), The Verdict (1982), Amadeus (1984), The King of Comedy (1982), Black Swan (2010), Perfect Strangers (2016).

List of character study movies

 8.3
 699K
Taxi Driver (1976)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 114 min.
Story: A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Style: bleak, disturbing, suspenseful, rough, psychological ...
Plot: social decay, lone wolves, obsession, character study, loner, depression, vigilante, paranoia, alienation, taxi, taxi driver, antisocial behavior ...
Time: 20th century, 70s, year 1975
Place: new york, usa, manhattan new york city, harlem, harlem manhattan new york city ...
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 1.0M
American Beauty (1999)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation with his daughter's attractive friend.
Style: thought provoking, melancholic, sexual, cynical, cerebral ...
Audience: teen drama
Plot: midlife crisis, loneliness, coming of age, age difference, older man young girl relationship, virgin, existentialism, character study, older man younger woman relationship, family problems, dysfunctional family, youth ...
Time: 90s, 1990s, 20th century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 158 min.
Story: Ruthless silver miner, turned oil prospector, Daniel Plainview moves to oil-rich California. Using his adopted son to project a trustworthy, family-man image, Plainview cons local landowners into selling him their valuable properties for a pittance. ...
Style: serious, bleak, atmospheric, realistic, disturbing ...
Plot: greed, character study, rise to the top, ambition, money, bowling, oil, rivalry, obsession, villain, marriage, small town ...
Time: 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 20th century, 20s ...
Place: california, usa, pacific ocean, san francisco, los angeles
Is relevant ?
The Conversation (1974)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 113 min.
Story: Surveillance expert Harry Caul is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide to tail a young couple. Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. ...
Style: psychological, twists and turns, realistic, suspenseful, atmospheric ...
Plot: surveillance, paranoia, character study, alienation, wiretap, obsession, losing-it hero, conspiracy, mystery, loner, unfulfillment, loneliness ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Tender Mercies (1983)
Genre: Drama, Music
Country: USA
Duration: 92 min.
Story: Alchoholic former country singer Mac Sledge makes friends with a young widow and her son. The friendship enables him to find inspiration to resume his career.
Style: emotional, touching, sentimental, realistic, sincere ...
Plot: character study, country music, comeback, guitar, music, starting over, musician's life, love and romance, self discovery, redemption, human nature, career change ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: texas, usa, california
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 7.7
 35K
The Verdict (1982)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 129 min.
Story: Frank Galvin is a down-on-his luck lawyer, reduced to drinking and ambulance chasing. Former associate Mickey Morrissey reminds him of his obligations in a medical malpractice suit that he himself served to Galvin on a silver platter: all parties ...
Style: thought provoking, tense, touching, serious, sincere ...
Plot: courtroom drama, courtroom, character study, redemption, fighting the system, legal action, self esteem, injustice, coma, dishonesty, introspection, workplace situations ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: boston, usa
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 359K
Amadeus (1984)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Music
Country: USA, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy
Duration: 160 min.
Story: The incredible story of genius musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum.
Style: captivating, stylized, clever, inspirational, atmospheric ...
Plot: mozart, envy, musician's life, prodigy, music, composer, character study, obsession, emperor, classical music, genius, uninhibited rivalry ...
Time: 18th century, 1790s, 1820s, 19th century, 1800s ...
Place: vienna, austria, europe, italy, central europe
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The King of Comedy (1982)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 109 min.
Story: Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.
Style: dark humor, tragicomedy, cynical, realistic, disturbing ...
Plot: ambition, delusion, character study, obsession, showbiz, desire for fame, artists and showbiz, nervous breakdown, mentally unstable, misfit, crimes, manic ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: new york, usa, manhattan new york city, new jersey
Is relevant ?
 8.0
 684K
Black Swan (2010)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 108 min.
Story: A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.
Style: psychological, atmospheric, mind bending, twist ending, cerebral ...
Plot: obsession, ballet, dancer's life, insanity, hallucination, surrealism, paranoia, mental illness, losing-it hero, dark fantasy, psychology, ballerina ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: usa, new york, manhattan new york city
Is relevant ?
Perfect Strangers (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: Italy
Duration: 96 min.
Story: During a dinner, a group of friends decide to share whatever text message or phone call they will receive during the evening - and all hell breaks loose.
Style: thought provoking, psychological, talky, twists and turns, surprise ending ...
Plot: psychology, infidelity, friendship, character study, secrets, family problems, game, under the surface, dialogue, dialogue driven, dinner party, husband wife relationship ...
Time: 21st century, 2010s, 70s
Place: italy, rome italy, new jersey
Is relevant ?
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.
Style: touching, melancholic, emotional, depressing, compassionate ...
Plot: mentally challenged, self discovery, siblings relations, disability, mental illness, parents and children, small town, dysfunctional family, family problems, responsibility, family drama, obesity ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: iowa, usa
Is relevant ?
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 104 min.
Story: In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the ...
Style: surreal, touching, captivating, serious, road movie ...
Plot: homosexuality, homosexual, gay sex, friendship, gay, gays and lesbians, male prostitution, male prostitute, prostitution, male friendship, friendship between men, alienation ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, 1990s
Place: idaho, seattle, usa, italy, france ...
Is relevant ?
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Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 98 min.
Story: A drop-out from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.
Style: road movie, realistic, thought provoking, serious, captivating ...
Plot: road trip, hitchhiker, rebelliousness, dysfunctional family, musician, self discovery, character study, working class, family problems, identity crisis, americana, irresponsible ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: california, usa, washington state, southern california, los angeles ...
Is relevant ?
 6.6
 3K
Chronic (2015)
Genre: Drama
Country: Mexico, France
Duration: 93 min.
Story: David is a nurse who works with terminally ill patients. Dedicated to his profession, he develops strong relationships people he cares for. But outside of work, it's a different story altogether.
Style: serious, psychological, realistic, captivating
Plot: terminal illness, nurse, complaint, architect, character study, patient, introvert, past, fired from the job, male nurse, love and romance, friendship ...
Is relevant ?
 7.9
 445K
Nightcrawler (2014)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 117 min.
Story: When Lou Bloom, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
Style: disturbing, psychological, bleak, biting, cynical ...
Plot: neo noir, journalism, sociopath, twists & turns, morality, satire, graphic violence, journalist, obsession, ambition, cynicism, deception ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s
Place: los angeles, usa, california, venice beach california
Is relevant ?
 8.0
 119K
Papillon (1973)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Country: France, USA
Duration: 151 min.
Story: A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Style: bleak, tense, captivating, suspense, inspirational ...
Plot: prison escape, prison, human spirit, criminal heroes, false accusation, prison life, solitary, life sentence, escape attempt, adventure, life is a bitch, hopes ...
Time: 1930s, 1940s, 20th century, 40s, 30s ...
Place: latin america, atlantic ocean
Is relevant ?
Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: UK, Ireland, France
Duration: 104 min.
Story: Michael is a 24-year-old who has cerebral palsy and long-term resident of the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, run by the formidable Eileen. His life is transformed when the maverick Rory O'Shea moves in.
Style: uplifting, emotional, touching, dramatic, heartbreaking ...
Plot: friendship, disability, youth, life, loneliness, human spirit, love triangle, character study, friends, cerebral palsy, unlikely friendships, life philosophy ...
Time: contemporary
Place: ireland, europe
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 311K
Raging Bull (1980)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Country: USA
Duration: 129 min.
Story: When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his ...
Style: stylized, intense, atmospheric, rough, bloody ...
Plot: rise and fall, paranoia, boxer, domestic violence, redemption, self destructing, career, character study, boxing, sport, jealousy, bad temper ...
Time: 20th century, 1940s, 60s, 50s, 40s ...
Place: bronx new york city, new york, usa, chicago illinois, miami ...
Is relevant ?
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 7.2
 267K
Insomnia (2002)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.
Style: atmospheric, bleak, dark, tense, psychological ...
Plot: neo noir, police investigation, insomnia, murder, guilt, fbi, investigator, police corruption, small town, police detective, snow, blackmail ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2000s
Place: alaska, usa, los angeles, united states
Is relevant ?
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: After spending eight months in a mental institution, a former teacher moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife.
Style: touching, realistic, sentimental, dramatic, romantic ...
Audience: date night
Plot: depression, mental illness, mentally unstable, romance, love, family drama, social misfits, bipolar disorder, troubled, fall in love, supportive parent, family relations ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: usa, philadelphia, pennsylvania, baltimore, new jersey
Is relevant ?
Manson Family Vacation (2015)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 84 min.
Story: The story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family.
Style: touching, semi serious, realistic, humorous, offbeat
Plot: family relations, self discovery, obsession, character study, misfit, siblings relations, crime scene, cult, brother, brother brother relationship, road trip, brothers
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, los angeles
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 90K
The Experiment (2001)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Germany
Duration: 114 min.
Story: Das Experiment is a shocking psycho thriller about the potential for brutality that humans hide. Even more shocking is the fact that it’s based on an actual occurrence—a 1971 psychological experiment at Stanford University that was aborted ...
Style: thought provoking, psychological, rough, tense, suspenseful ...
Plot: torture, prison, experiment, violence, rape, disorder, surveillance, humiliation, rivalry, power relations, abuse, prison life ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 70s
Place: germany, canada
Is relevant ?
 6.6
 46K
Last Night (2010)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA, France
Duration: 93 min.
Story: The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
Style: melancholic, emotional, sexy, romantic, sentimental ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: infidelity, adultery, temptation, old love, cheating wife, love and romance, lovers reunited, moral dilemma, ex couple relations, family problems, trust, love ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: new york, usa, paris france
Is relevant ?
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 5.8
 3K
Castaway (1986)
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 117 min.
Story: Middle-aged Gerald Kingsland advertises in a London paper for a female companion to spend a year with him on a desert island. The young Lucy Irving takes a chance on contacting him and after a couple of meetings they decide to go ahead. Once on the ...
Style: sexy, serious, scenic, emotional, realistic ...
Audience: girls' night
Plot: adventure, desert island, island, sexy woman, friendship, survival, isolation, deserted island, couples, fish out of water, adaptation, love story ...
Time: 80s, 70s
Place: europe, england, london, australia, antarctica
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 104K
A Single Man (2009)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 99 min.
Story: Adapted from a 1964 novel of the same name, the film follows a day in the life of George Falconer, a British college professor reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will ...
Style: psychological, touching, sincere, philosophical, enigmatic ...
Plot: depression, gay, gays and lesbians, tragic love, broken heart, homosexual, haunted by the past, loneliness, love and romance, teacher student relationship, death, best friends ...
Time: 60s, 1960s, 20th century, year 1962, 1940s
Place: california, los angeles, usa, denver colorado, santa monica california ...
Is relevant ?
Hidden Kisses (2016)
Genre: Drama
Country: France
Duration: 87 min.
Story: Nathan, 16, lives alone with his father Stephane. A newcomer in high school, he is invited to a party and falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. They find themselves out of sight and kiss each other, but someone takes a picture of them. Soon, ...
Style: realistic, captivating, melancholic, atmospheric, lgbt cinema ...
Plot: gay lead character, gay, homosexuality, gay son, gay slur, coming out, gay romance, closeted homosexual, gay athlete, gay bashing, lgbt, forbidden love ...
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 43K
Toni Erdmann (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: Germany, Austria, Monaco, Romania, France, Switzerland
Duration: 162 min.
Story: Without warning a father comes to visit his daughter abroad. He believes that she lost her humor and therefore surprises her with a rampage of jokes.
Style: melancholic, realistic, emotional, satirical, atmospheric ...
Plot: father daughter relationship, estranged daughter, male masturbation, culture clash, ambition, loneliness, existentialism, character study, life, parenthood, party, death of mother ...
Time: 2010s
Place: romania, germany, bulgaria, bucharest
Is relevant ?
When Will I Be Loved (2004)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 81 min.
Story: Feeling undervalued by her boyfriend, a young woman begins to explore her sexuality with other people.
Style: sexy, melancholic, talky, stylized, erotic ...
Plot: femme fatale, sex, nudity (full frontal - brief), mind game, dishonesty, cons and scams, couples, power relations, love and romance, male female relationship, seduction, manipulation ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: new york, usa, israel
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 70K
Youth (2015)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
Country: Italy, France, UK, Switzerland
Duration: 124 min.
Story: YOUTH explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. While Fred has no plans to resume his musical career despite the urging of his loving daughter Lena, Mick is intent on finishing ...
Style: meditative, melancholic, talky, atmospheric, touching ...
Plot: composer, adultery, aging, vacation, screenwriter, old friends, friendship, surrealism, suicide, freedom, retirement, falling in love ...
Time: 2010s
Place: venice, switzerland, alps, swiss alps
Is relevant ?
 6.9
 17K
Roger Dodger (2002)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 106 min.
Story: After breaking up with his lover and boss, a smooth-talking man takes his teenaged nephew out on the town in search of sex.
Style: cynical, talky, clever, atmospheric, realistic ...
Audience: date night
Plot: womanizer, virginity, nightlife, virgin, battle of the sexes, brothel, seduction, mentor, advertising, flirting, character study, sexuality ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: new york, ohio, usa, manhattan new york city
Is relevant ?