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 psychological, thought provoking, dark, bleak, atmospheric and weird films and TV shows about / with desperation, death, suspense, blood, violence, murder, brutality, fear, storytelling and dialogue plots mostly in Drama, Thriller and Mystery genres shot in USA, UK, Japan and other countries.
desperation movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as desperation: Hell or High Water (2016), Requiem for a Dream (2000), All Is Lost (2013), Cast Away (2000), Buried (2010), It Comes at Night (2017), Shiki (2010), The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Grave of the Fireflies (1988).

List of desperation movies

Hell or High Water (2016)
Genre: 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, intense, neo noir, harsh ...
Plot: criminal, bank robbery, brother, texas ranger, robbery, armed robbery, heist, small town, bank robber, desperation, violence, suspense ...
Time: 2010s, future, 21st century
Place: texas, california, oklahoma, usa
Is relevant ?
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, disturbing, bleak, depressing, emotional ...
Audience: kids, adult
Plot: addiction, drugs, heroin, insanity, drug addiction, mental illness, junkie, hallucination, drug abuse, depression, loneliness, drug addict ...
Time: future, 20th century, 90s
Place: new york, usa, coney island brooklyn new york city, brooklyn new york city
Is relevant ?
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, tense, reflective ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: survival, boat, isolation, sea, storm, survivor, loneliness, forces of nature, ship, ocean, human spirit, sailor ...
Time: 21st century
Is relevant ?
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, psychological, serious, emotional, sad ...
Audience: family outing, kids, teens, date night
Plot: survival, loneliness, isolation, island, desert island, air disaster, stranded on an island, lost at sea, courage, solitude, determination, survivor ...
Time: 20th century, year 1999, year 1995, year 2000, 2000s ...
Place: moscow russia, russia, fictional island
Is relevant ?
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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, surprise ending, depressing ...
Plot: survival, trapped, suspense, confined, buried alive, isolation, terrorist, captivity, claustrophobia, deathtrap, twists and turns, characters in danger ...
Time: 2000s, year 2006, 21st century
Place: iraq, middle east
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: rough, brutal, psychological, scary, suspenseful ...
Plot: pandemic, post apocalypse, infection, paranoia, interracial couple, fear, suspense, murder, apocalypse, dog, forest, infected ...
Is relevant ?
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: anime, dark fantasy, scary, suspenseful, captivating ...
Plot: vampire, murder, supernatural, mysterious death, insanity, fear, desperation, chaos, mass murder, corpse, death, panic ...
Place: japan, asia
Is relevant ?
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Ireland, UK
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the ...
Style: psychological, tense, disturbing, art house, dark ...
Plot: revenge, blackmail, psychopath, dysfunctional family, surgeon, obsession, mysterious stranger, father son relationship, recovering alcoholic, desperation, dead father, husband wife relationship ...
Place: ancient greece, ireland
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, tragicomedy, motivational, touching ...
Plot: small town, police brutality, rape, death of daughter, loss of daughter, regret, revenge, guilty conscience, anger, desperation, suicide, small town life ...
Time: 2010s, 21st century
Place: usa, missouri, idaho
Is relevant ?
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, inspirational, sentimental, uplifting ...
Audience: family outing, kids, date night, chick flick
Plot: christmas, holiday, small town, small town life, life changing experience, depression, angel, life philosophy, friendship, second chance, love, desperation ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, year 1945, year 1919, year 1932 ...
Place: vatican, new york, new york state, usa
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, anime, depressing, heartbreaking, dramatic ...
Audience: kids
Plot: world war two, hunger, war, orphan, homelessness, survival, siblings relations, desperation, bomb, death of child, anti war, childhood ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, year 1945, post world war two
Place: japan, tokyo, asia
Is relevant ?
Greenland (2020)
Genre: Action, Thriller
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 119 min.
Story: A detached married couple must get their son and themselves to safety after being randomly selected to enter an underground bunker, as a massive object from space threatens to destroy the world in less than 48 hours.
Style: exciting, scenic, apocalyptic, psychotronic, suspenseful ...
Plot: apocalypse, natural disaster, disaster, end of the world, catastrophe, humanity in peril, husband wife relationship, kidnapping, suspense, comet, panic, race against time ...
Time: future, 2020s, 21st century
Place: greenland, canada, atlanta georgia, kentucky, usa ...
Is relevant ?
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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: disturbing, bleak, controversial, exciting, psychological ...
Audience: teens, boys' night
Plot: game of death, survival, death, teenager, suicide, desperation, distopia, teacher, island, cruelty, school class, contests and competitions ...
Time: future
Place: japan, asia, india, tokyo
Is relevant ?
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, emotional, psychological, depressing, gloomy ...
Plot: life is a bitch, guilt, drugs, drug addiction, multiple storylines, loneliness, suspense, grief, death, mathematician, tragedy, drug addict ...
Time: 21st century
Place: usa, new mexico
Is relevant ?
The Terror (2018)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 60 min.
TV show
Story: The crew of a Royal Naval expedition searching for the Arctic's treacherous Northwest Passage discovers instead a monstrous predator.
Style: twist ending, psychological, suspenseful, bleak, slasher ...
Plot: arctic, expedition, cannibalism, starvation, insanity, violence, british navy, paranoia, leadership, animal attack, delusion, corpse ...
Time: 19th century, victorian era, 1940s
Is relevant ?
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: atmospheric, twist ending, psychological, scary, bad ending ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: monster, survival, apocalypse, suspense, religious fanatic, fear, creature, small town, macabre, spider, twists and turns, chaos and mayhem ...
Time: 2000s, 21st century
Place: usa, maine
Is relevant ?
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, intense, bleak, disturbing, harsh ...
Plot: world war two, war, suicide, hitler, nazi, nazism, holocaust, fascism, national socialism, third reich, betrayal, courage ...
Time: 1940s, year 1945, post world war two, 20th century, year 1942
Place: germany, berlin germany, poland, prague, europe ...
Is relevant ?
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, psychological, breathtaking, intense, thought provoking ...
Plot: survival, isolation, suspense, trapped, mountain, loneliness, courage, human spirit, alone, climbing, canyon, life philosophy ...
Time: 2000s, year 2003, 21st century
Place: utah, usa
Is relevant ?
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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: anime, psychological, exciting, suspenseful, thought provoking ...
Plot: death, regret, morality, gambling, memory loss, afterlife, game, fear, desperation, game of death, heaven and hell, pain ...
Is relevant ?
I Am Legend (2007)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, 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: intense, scary, atmospheric, suspenseful, exciting ...
Audience: teens, boys' night
Plot: zombie, survival, apocalypse, loneliness, post apocalypse, virus, distopia, supernatural, isolation, infected, end of the world, dog ...
Time: future, jurassic, 2000s, year 2012, near future ...
Place: new york, usa, vermont, manhattan new york city, brooklyn new york city
Is relevant ?
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: serious, captivating, tense, psychological, rough ...
Audience: teens
Plot: criminal, life turned upside down, family problems, peril, drug dealing, meth lab, drug lord, unlikely partners, master criminal, cancer, life is a bitch, ambition ...
Time: 2000s, 2010s, 21st century
Place: new mexico, albuquerque new mexico, usa
Is relevant ?
A Serbian Film (2010)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Serbia
Duration: 104 min.
Story: Milos, a retired porn star, leads a normal family life trying to make ends meet. Presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to financially support his family for the rest of their lives, Milos must participate in one last mysterious film. From ...
Style: disturbing, brutal, controversial, rough, scary ...
Audience: adult
Plot: sexual abuse, rape, violence, torture, macabre, psychopath, insanity, sexual perversion, incest, perversion, murder, pedophilia ...
Time: 2010s, 21st century
Place: serbia, europe
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, suspenseful, atmospheric, disturbing, dark ...
Plot: haunted house, ghost, fear, supernatural, paranormal activity, suspense, demon, videotaping, panic, found footage, monster, evil force ...
Time: year 2006, 2000s, 21st century
Place: san diego california, los angeles, california, usa
Is relevant ?
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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: anime, touching, psychological, tragic ending, bleak ...
Plot: terrorist bombing, terrorism, orphan, conspiracy, hacker, tragic hero, human experiment, tragedy, childhood friend, police, death of protagonist, terrorist ...
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
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: psychological, twist ending, suspenseful, bleak, atmospheric ...
Audience: teens
Plot: kidnapping, investigation, revenge, police investigation, torture, vigilantism, brutality, serial killer, police, vengeance, twists and turns, missing child ...
Time: future, 2010s, 21st century
Place: pennsylvania, boston, usa
Is relevant ?
Climax (2018)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Music
Country: France, Belgium
Duration: 97 min.
Story: Young dancers gather in a remote and empty school building to rehearse on a cold and wintry night. The all-night celebration soon turns into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn that their sangria is laced with LSD.
Style: disturbing, atmospheric, sexy, art house, surreal ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: lsd, dancing, death, youth, paranoia, lesbian sex, cocaine, little boy, insanity, hallucination, lesbian, desperation ...
Time: 90s, year 1996
Place: new york, france, usa
Is relevant ?
The Green Elephant (1999)
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Country: Russia
Duration: 90 min.
Story: The movie is set in the brig, the walls of which are painted in a poisonous green color. There fall into two junior officers, Sergei "Fallen" Pakhomov and Vladimir "Little brother" Epifantsev. So, both lieutenant begin their ...
Style: disturbing, rough, bloody, sadistic, art house ...
Plot: feces, brutality, sexual cruelty, mental illness, degradation, violence, all male cast, murder, prisoner, cruelty, military, loss of control ...
Place: russia, ussr
Is relevant ?
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, disturbing ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: kidnapping, serial killer, investigation, missing child, fighting the system, court, missing person, uncover truth, police corruption, disorder, life is a bitch, child murder ...
Time: 1920s, 20th century, year 1935, 1930s
Place: los angeles, california, usa, canada, seattle
Is relevant ?
The Take (2009)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: UK
Duration: 180 min.
TV show
Story: Freddie Jackson is just out of prison. He's done his time, made the right connections and now he's ready to use them. His wife Jackie dreams of having her husband home but she's forgotten the rows and the girls Freddie can't ...
Style: serious, captivating, rough, bleak, realistic ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: gangsters, mob boss, mafia, respect, british, criminal heroes, power struggle, relatives, crime boss, betrayal, ex convict, prison ...
Time: 80s, 20th century, 90s
Place: england, london, east end london
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: atmospheric, disturbing, exciting, slasher, art house ...
Plot: suspense, psychopath, captive, stockholm syndrome, kidnapped, trapped, kidnapping, attempted escape, kidnapper kidnapped relationship, missing person, held captive, obsession ...
Time: 2010s
Place: berlin germany, germany, europe
Is relevant ?
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