Desperation movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant desperation movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out serious, tense, suspense, interesting, bleak and clever films and TV shows about / with desperation, death, violence, blood, murder, storytelling, dialogue, mentor, danger and brutality plots mostly in Drama, Thriller and Crime genres shot in USA, Japan, UK and other countries.
desperation
 1170
desperation movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as desperation: It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Breaking Bad (2008), Cast Away (2000), All Is Lost (2013), Buried (2010), Battle Royale (2000), I Am Legend (2007), Death Parade (2015), The Walking Dead (2010), Downfall (2004).

List of desperation movies

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 130 min.
Story: A holiday favourite for generations... George Bailey has spent his entire life giving to the people of Bedford Falls. All that prevents rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town is George's modest building and loan company. ...
Style: feel good, touching, uplifting, sentimental, inspirational ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: christmas, life changing experience, family, holiday, angel, desperation, self discovery, generosity, small town, small town life, alternate reality, road not taken ...
Time: 1940s, 1930s, 20th century, year 1945, year 1932 ...
Place: usa, new york
Is relevant ?
 9.5
 1.7M
Breaking Bad (2008)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 49 min.
TV show
Story: When Walter White, a New Mexico chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of only two years left to live, he becomes filled with a sense of fearlessness and an unrelenting desire to secure his family's ...
Style: captivating, tense, serious, psychological, clever ...
Plot: drug dealing, life is a bitch, crimes, drug lord, master criminal, family problems, double life, drug dealer, drug cartel, life turned upside down, ambition, unlikely partners ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2000s, 2010s
Place: new mexico, albuquerque new mexico, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.8
 575K
Cast Away (2000)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 143 min.
Story: Chuck, a top international manager for FedEx, and Kelly, a Ph.D. student, are in love and heading towards marriage. Then Chuck's plane to Malaysia ditches at sea during a terrible storm. He's the only survivor, and he washes up on a tiny ...
Style: captivating, suspense, serious, realistic, gloomy ...
Audience: family outing, date night
Plot: survival, loneliness, isolation, desert island, island, stranded on an island, solitude, hopes, human spirit, courage, adventure, tropical island ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 2000s
Place: moscow russia, russia
Is relevant ?
 6.9
 80K
All Is Lost (2013)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 106 min.
Story: During a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, a veteran mariner awakes to find his vessel taking on water after a collision with a stray shipping container. With his radio and navigation equipment disabled, he sails unknowingly into a violent storm and ...
Style: harsh, touching, suspenseful, captivating, rough ...
Plot: survival, storm, boat, isolation, forces of nature, desperation, adventure, lost at sea, loneliness, human spirit, hopes, disaster ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Is relevant ?
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 7.0
 159K
Buried (2010)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Spain, UK, France, USA
Duration: 95 min.
Story: Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.
Style: suspenseful, psychological, scary, tense, suspense ...
Plot: survival, confined, captivity, buried alive, trapped, isolation, claustrophobia, abduction, desperation, terrorism, race against time, deathtrap ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2006, 2000s
Place: iraq, middle east
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 180K
Battle Royale (2000)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 114 min.
Story: In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
Style: bleak, disturbing, twist ending, exciting, futuristic ...
Audience: teens, boys' night
Plot: game of death, contests and competitions, death, cruelty, captivity, future dystopia, desperation, island, massacre, teacher, survival, school class ...
Time: future
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
 7.2
 738K
I Am Legend (2007)
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 101 min.
Story: Robert Neville is a scientist who was unable to stop the spread of the terrible virus that was incurable and man-made. Immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and perhaps the world. For three years, Neville ...
Style: atmospheric, suspenseful, scary, exciting, intense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: zombie, survival, post apocalypse, apocalypse, loneliness, plague, future dystopia, heroes, isolation, deadly creature, survivor, chaos ...
Time: future, 21st century, year 2012, 2010s, near future
Place: new york, usa, vermont, manhattan new york city
Is relevant ?
 7.9
 15K
Death Parade (2015)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 24 min.
TV show
Story: There is a place after death that’s neither heaven nor hell. A bar that serves you one chance to win. You cannot leave until the game is over, and when it is, your life may be too. From Studio Madhouse (Death Note, Black Lagoon) comes a thrilling ...
Style: psychological, exciting, suspenseful, suspense, thought provoking ...
Plot: death, morality, memory loss, heaven and hell, afterlife, gambling, regret, game of death, reincarnation, fear, desperation, murder ...
Is relevant ?
The Walking Dead (2010)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 44 min.
TV show
Story: Sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way.
Style: tense, suspenseful, captivating, serious, scary ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: zombie, apocalypse, zombie apocalypse, survival, post apocalypse, walking dead, plague, moral dilemma, graphic violence, vestiges of humanity, pandemic, supernatural ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2010s
Place: usa, atlanta, georgia, america
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 350K
Downfall (2004)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, War
Country: Germany, Austria, Italy
Duration: 156 min.
Story: In April of 1945, Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Russian Army closing in from the east and the Allied Expeditionary Force attacking from the west. In Berlin, capital of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler proclaims that Germany will still ...
Style: psychological, bleak, disturbing, serious, thought provoking ...
Plot: world war two, hitler, war, third reich, nazism, suicide, ss, desperation, confined, national socialism, dictatorship, dictator ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, year 1942, year 1945
Place: germany, europe, berlin germany, prague, frankfurt germany ...
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 371K
127 Hours (2010)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: USA, UK, France
Duration: 94 min.
Story: The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.
Style: inspirational, suspense, uplifting, psychological, intense ...
Plot: survival, trapped, isolation, human spirit, courage, cave, desert, alone, loneliness, adventure, peril, life philosophy ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2003, 2000s
Place: utah, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.1
 299K
The Mist (2007)
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 126 min.
Story: After a violent storm, a dense cloud of mist envelops a small Maine town, trapping artist David Drayton and his five-year-old son in a local grocery store with other people. They soon discover that the mist conceals deadly horrors that threaten ...
Style: bleak, bad ending, scary, suspenseful, atmospheric ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: survival, monster, apocalypse, trapped, fog, creature, deadly creature, chaos and mayhem, spider, fear, tentacle, religious fanatic ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2000s
Place: maine, usa
Is relevant ?
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 7.7
 3K
Shiki (2010)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 24 min.
TV show
Story: Sotobamura is a small village with around 1300 residents; so small the village isn't even connected to a single highway. An isolated village in which old customs, such as the burial of the dead, are still practiced. One day, the bodies of three ...
Style: dark fantasy, scary, suspenseful, serious, suspense ...
Plot: vampire, supernatural, murder, insanity, desperation, mass murder, good versus evil, panic, mysterious death, fear, paranormal phenomena, life after death ...
Place: japan, asia
Is relevant ?
Hell or High Water (2016)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller, Western
Country: USA
Duration: 102 min.
Story: A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's farm in West Texas.
Style: realistic, atmospheric, suspense, cerebral, intense ...
Plot: bank robbery, brother, bank robber, criminal, desperation, gunfight, money, redemption, peril, stolen money, ranch, heist ...
Time: 21st century, 2010s
Place: texas, oklahoma, usa, california
Is relevant ?
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 86 min.
Story: After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially ...
Style: scary, twists and turns, suspenseful, dark, suspense ...
Plot: haunted house, fear, ghost, supernatural, panic, paranormal activity, videotaping, family, evil force, couples, desperation, demonic possession ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2006, 2000s
Place: california, usa, los angeles, san diego california
Is relevant ?
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Genre: Animation, Drama, War
Country: Japan
Duration: 89 min.
Story: In the final months of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his sister Setsuko are orphaned when their mother is killed during an air raid in Kobe, Japan. After a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no ...
Style: touching, heartbreaking, harsh, depressing, stylized ...
Plot: orphan, siblings relations, hunger, survival, world war two, death of child, war, homelessness, bomb, desperation, hiding place, theft ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, post world war two, year 1945
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 115 min.
Story: After seven months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at Bill Willoughby, the town's revered chief ...
Style: ambiguous ending, psychological, cynical, sentimental, tragicomedy ...
Plot: rape, regret, small town, guilty conscience, loss of daughter, police brutality, desperation, suffering, anger, name calling, pain, death of daughter ...
Time: 2010s, 21st century
Place: usa, missouri, idaho
Is relevant ?
It Comes at Night (2017)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 91 min.
Story: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.
Style: suspense, rough, brutal, psychological, suspenseful ...
Plot: post apocalypse, forest, pandemic, infection, dog, paranoia, interracial couple, murder, fear, infected, hopelessness, nightmare ...
Is relevant ?
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Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 102 min.
Story: The hopes and dreams of four ambitious people are shattered when their drug addictions begin spiraling out of control. A look into addiction and how it overcomes the mind and body.
Style: psychological, bleak, disturbing, depressing, atmospheric ...
Plot: heroin, drug abuse, addiction, life is a bitch, insanity, drug addiction, hallucination, drug trip, depression, degradation, drug use, destructive relationship ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: new york, usa, coney island brooklyn new york city, brooklyn new york city
Is relevant ?
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Australia
Duration: 116 min.
Story: A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Style: suspense, disturbing, atmospheric, exciting, psychotronic
Plot: trapped, stockholm syndrome, kidnapped, psychopath, held captive, captive, kidnapper kidnapped relationship, missing person, one night stand, desperation, kidnapping, sex scene ...
Time: 2010s
Place: berlin germany, germany, europe
Is relevant ?
 7.8
 252K
Changeling (2008)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 141 min.
Story: Christine Collins is overjoyed when her kidnapped son is brought back home. But when Christine suspects that the boy returned to her isn't her child, the police captain has her committed to an asylum.
Style: psychological, heartbreaking, sentimental, tense, bleak ...
Plot: missing child, missing person, investigation, child abduction, uncover truth, fighting the system, disorder, life is a bitch, serial killer, pedophile, corruption, court ...
Time: 1920s, 1930s, 20th century, year 1935
Place: los angeles, usa, california, seattle, canada
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 678K
Prisoners (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 153 min.
Story: When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Style: twist ending, suspenseful, bleak, psychological, surprise ending ...
Plot: kidnapping, investigation, police investigation, missing child, brutality, vigilantism, child abduction, torture, disappearance, vigilante, desperation, graphic violence ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s
Place: pennsylvania, boston, usa
Is relevant ?
Brooklyn's Finest (2009)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 132 min.
Story: Enforcing the law within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of the city and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects is the NYPD's sixty-fifth precinct. Three police officers struggle with the sometimes fine line between right and ...
Style: tense, realistic, bleak, serious, rough ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: police corruption, guilt, police brutality, corrupt cop, deception, corruption, police, undercover cop, police detective, undercover, desperation, rookie ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 70s
Place: new york, brooklyn new york city, usa, new jersey, los angeles
Is relevant ?
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 7.5
 131K
The Hours (2002)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA, UK, France, Canada, Germany
Duration: 110 min.
Story: "The Hours" is the story of three women searching for more potent, meaningful lives. Each is alive at a different time and place, all are linked by their yearnings and their fears. Their stories intertwine, and finally come together in a ...
Style: intellectual, psychological, captivating, serious, sincere ...
Plot: depression, suicide, aids, mental illness, writers, drowning, suicidal, writer's life, terminal illness, housewife, bipolar disorder, mentally unstable ...
Time: 1920s, 20th century, 50s, 21st century, contemporary ...
Place: new york, los angeles, england, london, europe ...
Is relevant ?
The Great Escape (1963)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, Thriller, War
Country: USA
Duration: 172 min.
Story: The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners ...
Style: suspenseful, realistic, exciting, epic, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, pow, world war two, prison escape, capture, freedom, prisoner, soldier, escape attempt, officer, desperation, camp ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century
Place: germany, switzerland, alps, europe, poland
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 234K
21 Grams (2003)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 124 min.
Story: This is the story of three gentle persons: Paul Rivers an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English émigré, Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married and mother of two little girls, and Jack Jordan, an ...
Style: mind bending, gloomy, psychological, non-linear, bleak ...
Plot: life is a bitch, guilt, tragedy, faith, suicide attempt, redemption, death in the family, crimes, loss, desperation, hit and run, grief ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, new mexico
Is relevant ?
The Hunger Games (2012)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 142 min.
Story: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the ...
Style: exciting, suspenseful, thought provoking, disturbing, futuristic ...
Audience: teens, girls' night
Plot: future dystopia, survival, contests and competitions, young heroes, death, youth, heroes, rivalry, game of death, society, against the odds, heroine ...
Time: future
Is relevant ?
Terror in Resonance (2014)
Genre: Animation, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 23 min.
TV show
Story: In an alternate version of the present, Tokyo has been decimated by a shocking terrorist attack, and the only hint to the identity of the culprit is a bizarre video uploaded to the internet. The police, baffled by this cryptic clue, are powerless to ...
Style: tragic ending, psychological, touching, bleak, suspenseful ...
Plot: conspiracy, terrorism, orphan, hacker, human experiment, terrorist bombing, tragic hero, childhood friend, tragedy, police, terrorist, death of protagonist ...
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
The Turin Horse (2011)
Genre: Drama
Country: Hungary, Germany, USA, Switzerland, France
Duration: 155 min.
Story: A monumental windstorm and an abused horse's refusal to work or eat signals the beginning of the end for a poor farmer and his daughter.
Style: bleak, thought provoking, serious, atmospheric, tense ...
Plot: horse, poverty, desperation, destiny, human nature, family relations, everyday life, isolation, tragic hero, survival, life is a bitch, society ...
Time: 19th century
Place: europe, turin italy
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 197K
Run Lola Run (1998)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: Germany
Duration: 80 min.
Story: Lola receives a phone call from her boyfriend Manni. He lost 100,000 DM in a subway train that belongs to a very bad guy. She has 20 minutes to raise this amount and meet Manni. Otherwise, he will rob a store to get the money. Three different ...
Style: exciting, suspenseful, mind bending, surreal, non-linear ...
Plot: destiny, alternate reality, money, race against time, self sacrifice, redhead, desperation, choice, running, heroine, hopes, couple relations ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, future
Place: germany, berlin germany, europe
Is relevant ?
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