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, thought provoking, interesting and cerebral films and TV shows about / with character study, storytelling, loneliness, mentor, dialogue, drinking alcohol, runaway, depression, obsession and existentialism plots mostly in Drama, Comedy and Thriller genres shot in USA, UK, France and other countries.
character study
 2012
character study movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as character study: Taxi Driver (1976), Nightcrawler (2014), Black Swan (2010), There Will Be Blood (2007), American Beauty (1999), The King of Comedy (1982), The Conversation (1974), Raging Bull (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).

List of character study movies

 8.2
 812K
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: psychological, bleak, neo noir, cerebral, disturbing ...
Plot: loner, character study, vigilante, loneliness, lone wolves, obsession, psychology, social decay, alienation, taxi driver, vigilantism, violence ...
Time: 20th century, 70s, year 1975
Place: new york, manhattan new york city, usa, vietnam, harlem
Is relevant ?
 7.8
 534K
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: neo noir, psychological, disturbing, suspense, suspenseful ...
Plot: journalism, character study, sociopath, cynicism, journalist, ethics, deception, home invasion, morality, tv news, graphic violence, crime scene ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s
Place: los angeles, usa, california, venice beach california
Is relevant ?
 8.0
 755K
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, twist ending, sexy, surreal, cerebral ...
Plot: ballet, mental illness, obsession, character study, hallucination, surrealism, psychology, insanity, paranoia, dancing, ballerina, dancer's life ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: new york, usa, manhattan new york city
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, suspense, disturbing, bleak, epic ...
Plot: oil, greed, character study, ambition, misanthrope, rivalry, rise to the top, money, obsession, father son relationship, sign language, religion ...
Time: 20th century, 1910s, 1920s, turn of the century, 1890s ...
Place: california, pacific ocean, usa, san francisco, los angeles
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 8.4
 1.1M
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, sexual, melancholic, cerebral, sexy ...
Audience: teens, chick flick, girls' night, teen drama
Plot: midlife crisis, existentialism, age difference, coming of age, dysfunctional family, loneliness, older man younger woman relationship, older man young girl relationship, obsession, youth, family problems, adultery ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
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: cynical, tragicomedy, funny, biting, stylized ...
Plot: character study, obsession, desire for fame, ambition, dark humor, delusion, artists and showbiz, showbiz, satire, television, nervous breakdown, misfit ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: new york, usa, new jersey, manhattan new york city
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, suspense, twists and turns, cerebral, neo noir ...
Plot: surveillance, paranoia, conspiracy, spy, character study, wiretap, obsession, murder, loneliness, loner, alienation, investigation ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 350K
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, atmospheric, bloody, intense, harsh ...
Plot: boxing, rise and fall, character study, sport, bad temper, paranoia, redemption, boxer, gangsters, jealousy, domestic violence, dysfunctional family ...
Time: 1940s, 50s, 60s, 20th century, year 1956 ...
Place: new york, bronx new york city, chicago illinois, miami, detroit ...
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 11K
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: sentimental, emotional, touching, realistic, atmospheric ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: character study, country music, music, self discovery, comeback, musician's life, starting over, small town, love and romance, romance, artists and showbiz, career change ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: texas, austin texas, usa, california
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 ...
Audience: teens, teen drama
Plot: disability, dysfunctional family, mentally challenged, small town, self discovery, mental illness, responsibility, coming of age, siblings relations, character study, brothers, single mother ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: iowa, usa
Is relevant ?
 8.4
 397K
Amadeus (1984)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
Country: USA, France, 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: inspirational, epic, clever, atmospheric, stylized ...
Plot: music, genius, mozart, classical music, composer, envy, musician, opera, obsession, musician's life, prodigy, character study ...
Time: 18th century, 1790s, 1780s, 1820s, 19th century ...
Place: vienna, austria, italy, europe, central europe
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 40K
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, atmospheric, suspense, intense ...
Plot: courtroom, courtroom drama, redemption, lawyer, character study, legal action, justice, fighting the system, court, legal, investigation, moral ambiguity ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: boston, massachusetts, usa, new york
Is relevant ?
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Lost in Translation (2003)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: USA, Japan
Duration: 102 min.
Story: Two lost souls visiting Tokyo -- the young, neglected wife of a photographer and a washed-up movie star shooting a TV commercial -- find an odd solace and pensive freedom to be real in each other's company, away from their lives in America.
Style: melancholic, atmospheric, touching, depressing, cerebral ...
Audience: date night, girls' night
Plot: loneliness, age difference, midlife crisis, older man younger woman relationship, friendship, unlikely friendships, adultery, fish out of water, culture clash, unlikely couple, actor, character study ...
Time: 2000s, 21st century, contemporary
Place: tokyo, japan, asia, yale university, kyoto japan
Is relevant ?
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, thought provoking, realistic, serious, captivating ...
Plot: road trip, character study, dysfunctional family, musician, alienation, working class, drifter, pianist, on the road, hitchhiker, complex characters, self discovery ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: california, usa, washington state, texas, los angeles ...
Is relevant ?
Inside I'm Dancing (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: emotional, uplifting, touching, dramatic, sad ...
Plot: disability, friendship, youth, life, loneliness, character study, cerebral palsy, human spirit, life philosophy, life & death, handicapped, friends ...
Time: contemporary
Place: ireland, europe, dublin ireland
Is relevant ?
 7.0
 40K
The One I Love (2014)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 91 min.
Story: On the brink of separation, Ethan and Sophie escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their marriage. What begins as a romantic and fun retreat soon becomes surreal, when an unexpected discovery forces the two ...
Style: surreal, suspense, twists and turns, enigmatic, emotional ...
Plot: character study, marriage, couples, betrayal, infidelity, moral dilemma, self discovery, family problems, crumbling marriage, magic realism, husband wife relationship, love ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, california
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 39K
Naked (1993)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 131 min.
Story: Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ranting at strangers, and meeting characters in plights very ...
Style: disturbing, talky, witty, compassionate, realistic ...
Plot: sexual abuse, existentialism, drifter, rapist, sexual humiliation, character study, humiliation, rape, nihilism, loneliness, rough sex, voyeurism ...
Time: 90s
Place: london, europe, england, united kingdom, manchester
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, surprise ending, twists and turns, talky ...
Plot: psychology, secrets, infidelity, friendship, dinner party, game, character study, gay, existentialism, family problems, under the surface, life philosophy ...
Time: 70s, 2010s, 21st century
Place: rome italy, italy, new jersey
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
enigmatic movies
4429
talky movies
6154
harsh movies
4257
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: road movie, surreal, art house, touching, serious ...
Audience: teens, chick flick
Plot: gay, homosexuality, homosexual, male prostitute, lgbt, prostitution, friendship between men, friendship, male prostitution, gays and lesbians, gay sex, character study ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: idaho, portland oregon, italy, rome italy, seattle ...
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: captivating, lgbt cinema, realistic, melancholic, atmospheric ...
Audience: pre-teens
Plot: gay, lgbt, gay lead character, coming out, homosexuality, gay love, gay bashing, gay romance, gay son, closeted homosexual, gay teenager, gay slur ...
Is relevant ?
 7.2
 90K
Crazy Heart (2009)
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: When reporter Jean Craddock interviews Bad Blake -- an alcoholic, seen-better-days country music legend -- they connect, and the hard-living crooner sees a possible saving grace in a life with Jean and her young son. But can he leave behind an ...
Style: touching, emotional, depressing, romantic, sincere ...
Plot: musician, country music, loneliness, alcohol abuse, addiction, journalist, character study, singer, country singer, music business, redemption, alcoholic ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: new mexico, austin texas, california, usa, texas ...
Is relevant ?
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Terrence McDonagh, a New Orleans Police sergeant, who starts out as a good cop, receiving a medal and a promotion to lieutenant for heroism during Hurricane Katrina. During his heroic act, McDonagh injures his back and later becomes addicted to ...
Style: surreal, stylized, harsh, disturbing, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: drug abuse, drug lord, police corruption, character study, corruption, hallucination, gangsters, crimes, dirty cop, redemption, murder investigation, organized crime ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: new orleans, louisiana, usa, texas
Is relevant ?
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Country: USA, UK, France
Duration: 104 min.
Story: In Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, gifted but volatile folk musician Llewyn Davis struggles with money, relationships, and his uncertain future following the suicide of his singing partner.
Style: atmospheric, meditative, clever, road movie, melancholic ...
Plot: musician, music, loneliness, musician's life, cat, homeless, character study, aspiring singer, eccentricity, introspection, ambition, financial problem ...
Time: 60s, year 1961, 20th century
Place: new york, usa, greenwich village manhattan new york city, manhattan new york city, chicago illinois ...
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 7.8
 628K
Drive (2011)
Genre: Action, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 100 min.
Story: A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman for criminals discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.
Style: neo noir, tense, atmospheric, serious, suspense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: car chase, heist, lone wolves, mechanic, tough heroes, revenge, organized crime, loner, crimes, brutality, criminal's revenge, character study ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: los angeles, california, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.0
 131K
Bronson (2008)
Genre: Action, Biography, Crime, Drama
Country: UK, Denmark
Duration: 92 min.
Story: A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson.
Style: surreal, disturbing, brutal, harsh, bloody ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, brutality, male nudity, crimes, prison life, social misfits, character study, alter ego, violence, society, violence spree, gangsters ...
Time: 20th century, 70s, 80s, year 1974
Place: england, london, europe, united kingdom
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 386K
The Machinist (2004)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Spain, France, UK, USA
Duration: 101 min.
Story: The Machinist is the story of Trevor Reznik, a lathe-operator who is dying of insomnia. In a machine shop, occupational hazards are bad enough under normal circumstances; yet for Trevor the risks are compounded by fatigue. Trevor has lost the ...
Style: psychological, mind bending, twist ending, surreal, surprise ending ...
Plot: insomnia, obsession, mysterious character, insanity, losing-it hero, hallucination, uncover truth, paranoia, life is a bitch, character study, mental illness, loneliness ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, los angeles
Is relevant ?
 7.5
 32K
Tyrannosaur (2011)
Genre: Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 92 min.
Story: The story of Joseph a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph's life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship ...
Style: depressing, thought provoking, realistic, emotional, psychological ...
Plot: domestic violence, character study, redemption, drunkenness, rage, abuse, violence, depression, frustration, society, abusive husband, christian ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, year 2010
Place: england, northern england
Is relevant ?
 6.3
 45K
Somewhere (2010)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: USA, UK, Italy, Japan, France
Duration: 97 min.
Story: A hard-living Hollywood actor re-examines his life after his 11-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit.
Style: emotional, art house, meditative, thought provoking, surreal ...
Plot: father daughter relationship, luxury hotel, character study, casual sex, obsession, family relations, actor's life, lifestyle, direction and purpose, introspection, womanizer, artists and showbiz ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: los angeles, milan italy, california, europe, italy ...
Is relevant ?
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 95 min.
Story: A beleaguered small-business owner gets a harmonium and embarks on a romantic journey with a mysterious woman.
Style: romantic, surreal, touching, emotional, art house ...
Audience: date night
Plot: shyness, romance, love, character study, depression, true love, complex characters, brother sister relationship, eccentricity, sibling relationship, self discovery, love and romance ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: hawaii, utah, california, usa, los angeles
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 31K
Fireworks (1997)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 103 min.
Story: A police officer leaves the force in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into a depression, he makes questionable decisions.
Style: bleak, lyrical, art house, emotional, bloody ...
Plot: gangsters, yakuza, police, character study, dying, mafia, samurai, terminal illness, visceral, loss, couple relations, life is a bitch ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: japan, tokyo, asia, mount fuji
Is relevant ?