20 films about people with disabilities

A congenital diagnosis, the consequences of a severe injury or a manifested illness can turn a person’s life into a real hell. However, people with disabilities find the strength to love, be creative, inspire others and appreciate every moment. A lot of heartfelt stories, where strong-willed individuals overcome the consequences of serious illnesses, were included in our selection of the best films about people with disabilities.

The Bloom Family Story (2020)

The touching novelty of the movie is based on real events. An active cheerful surfer paralyzed after a serious spinal injury. The woman feels completely helpless, but a caring husband and children do their best to help. Soon the family has a pet in need of care – a wounded magpie chick. Caring for a weak being returns a woman’s faith in herself.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Penguin Bloom

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Naomi Watts, Jacki Weaver, Andrew Lincoln …

Country:
Australia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age Limits :
12+


Locked Up (2020)

A new foreign film about people with disabilities contains elements of a thriller and a cool detective intrigue. A very caring mother takes care of her wheelchair-bound daughter, keeping her completely isolated from society. Chloe takes strong drugs and does not communicate with anyone. A series of strange accidents makes the girl suspicious, and an attempt to find out information about her medicine leads to a shocking discovery.

Original title:
Run

Genre:
Thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Sarah Paulson, Kira Allen, Sarah Son …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Men with Weaknesses (2019)

American comedy – a remake of the Belgian road movie Come As You Are. A young man suffering from congenital paralysis dreams of losing his virginity. The guy learns that in Montreal there is a brothel for people with disabilities. In the company of his friends – a wheelchair user and a blind man – the hero secretly from his parents goes in search of a hot spot.

Original title:
Come As You Are

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age Limits :
18+


Restricted robbery (2019)

A cool foreign film about a successful banker who became a wheelchair user. A serious illness turned out to be not the only problem of the financial businessman: the tax police began searching for “black cash”. The hero needs to pull off a cunning adventure in order to protect himself and his illegal income. Accomplices in a risky business are new acquaintances from the rehabilitation center, suffering from blindness, autism and Down syndrome.

Original title:
Die Goldfische

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Tom Schilling, Klaas Heifer-Umlauf, Lisa Bitter …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Games of Destiny (2019)

An accident left a successful young broker in a wheelchair. The once ambitious and stubborn guy turns into an embittered and capricious neurotic, forcing his loved ones to suffer. A Russian nurse assigned to take care of a difficult patient does not indulge the ward’s whims. The girl helps him return to life and again take his rightful place in the world.

Original title:
Adam

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Aaron Paul, Lena Olin, Tom Berenger …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.4

Age limit:
18+


No matter what (2017)

A foreign comedy movie about an unusual disabled person will tell an amazing story based on real events. The hero of a German film dreams of building a career in a five-star hotel, but due to retinal detachment, he sees practically nothing. Having concealed information about the illness from the employer, the guy gets an internship in a prestigious place where the requirements are so high that only ideal candidates will receive an invitation for employment.

Original title:
Mein Blind Date mit dem Leben

Genre:
Comedy, drama

Actors:
Kostya Ullman, Jacob Machenz, Anna Maria Mue …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Stronger (2017)

A young guy comes to a marathon race to support his girlfriend-athlete and gets into the epicenter of an explosion arranged by terrorists . The guy loses both legs and is forced to learn to live again. The young man is surrounded by the attention of the press, but in his heart he experiences severe moral suffering. The lead actor feared that he would not be able to play authentically enough, but the real prototype of the character convinced the actor of the opposite.

Original title:
Stronger

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatyana Maslany, Miranda Richardson…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Breathe for us (2017)

The list of the best feature films about people with disabilities continues with a heartfelt biographical melodrama. A successful lawyer , traveling through Africa, caught a serious illness. The result of the disease was complete paralysis. The hero can even breathe only with the help of a ventilator. A loving wife helps her husband regain interest in life and even start a fight for the rights of disabled people who are doomed to immobility by a diagnosis.

Original title:
Breathe

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:
Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Edward Speleers…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


See You (2016)

In a touching British melodrama , a positive, eccentric girl gets a job as a nurse for a paralyzed rich handsome man. The hero of the film suffers from helplessness acquired due to an accident and constantly exudes vicious sarcasm. The girl manages to find an approach to the ward and even fall in love with him. However, the romantic relationship is threatened by the man’s desire to perform euthanasia in a special foreign clinic.

Original title:
Me Before You

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Basic Principles of Goodness (2015)

The plot of an exciting drama about a disabled person revolves around a writer who has fallen into a severe creative crisis. To compensate for the lack of fees, the writer decides to earn extra money as a nurse. The first client of the hero is a teenager with a rare genetic disease and intolerable character. After long conflicts, the teenager and the writer find a common language and set off on a journey towards adventure and new acquaintances.

Original title:
The Fundamentals of Caring

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Jennifer Ehle, Selena Gomez …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Stephen Hawking Universe (2014)

The biographical drama is based on real events from the life of the great British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. The purposeful young man studies at the university and shows great promise in the field of cosmology. A terrible illness chains the young scientist to a wheelchair, makes it impossible to move and speak. Only the mind remains clear and focused on new discoveries.

Original title:
The Theory of Everything

Genre:
Biography, romance, drama

Actors:
Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox …

Country:
UK, Japan, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Rust and Bone (2012)

The heroine of one of the best films about the disabled worked as a killer whale trainer and, by a tragic accident, lost her legs. Disability has become a real disaster for the active Stephanie. A new acquaintance of the girl – a careless single father, who is trying to earn extra money on fights without rules, having learned about the tragic incident, comes to her aid and helps her to feel the taste of life again.

Original title:
De rouille et d’os

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdur …

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


1+1 (2011)

A wealthy aristocrat crashed on a paraglider and was paralyzed. As a nurse, a wealthy disabled person chooses an uncouth black guy who has recently been released from prison . Such an extraordinary candidate attracted attention with his simplicity and naturalness. The former prisoner turns out to be a good person, able to cope well with his duties and bring a spirit of adventure into a boring existence .

Original title:
Intouchables

Genre:
Drama, comedy, biography

Actors:
Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ni…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.8, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Third act (2011)

Motivating film about a disabled person in a wheelchair is dedicated to the incredible power of the imagination. Chained to a chair, an elderly writer has long since given up writing. Having moved briefly to a small town, the writer gets acquainted with new neighbors. The daughter of a constantly scandalous married couple turns to the writer with a strange request – to help in the development of fantasy.

Original title:
The Magic of Belle Isle

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Morgan Freeman, Kenan Thompson, Virginia Madsen …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Come As You Are (2011)

Three disabled men dream of experiencing the joys of sex. After learning that in Spain there is a brothel with a special service, the friends decide to visit the hot spot. One of the friends is paralyzed, the other has no legs, and the third does not see anything. Having deceived their parents, friends go on their first independent trip.

Original title:
Hasta la Vista

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Gilles Deshreyver, Tom Oudenart …

Country:
Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Soul Surfer (2011)

A motivational biography of famed surfer Bethany Hamilton. A thirteen-year-old girl, while riding a board on the waves, was attacked by a shark and lost her arm. A serious injury should have put an end to her sports career , but the stubborn surfer did not give up. Despite her disability, the girl again stood on the board and even performed brilliantly at competitions on a par with healthy athletes.

Original title:
Soul Surfer

Genre:
Drama, sports, biography, family

Actors:
AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Cartagena (2009)

A sad film about disabled people once again reminds us that there is only one step from hatred to love . The former boxing champion , due to his addiction to alcohol , found himself at the very bottom and was forced to take on any job. To earn extra money, the athlete has to go as a nurse to a rich paralyzed lady. The first reaction to each other is hatred, gradually developing into sincere sympathy.

Original title:
L’homme de chevet

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Sophie Marceau, Christopher Lambert, Margarita Rosa de Francisco …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Space suit and butterfly (2007)

Top films about paralyzed people are impossible without a biographical drama based on events from the life of the editor of a popular French magazine. A talented man after a stroke was completely paralyzed – only the ability to blink was preserved. Opening and closing his eyes, the hero communicates with others and acquaints humanity with the feelings of the sick, doomed to lifelong immobility.

Original title:
Le scaphandre et le papillon

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Jose Croz…

Country:
France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
16+


The Sea Within (2004)

A paralyzed man seeks the right to euthanasia through the courts. Thanks to a lawsuit , two women appear in the life of a terminally ill person: the first, a lawyer, helps to get the right decision from the state, and the second intends to dissuade her new acquaintance from a rash act. A person who is about to die unexpectedly helps others to know the meaning of life.

Original title:
Mar adentro

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Javier Bardem, Belen Rueda, Lola Dueñas…

Country:
Spain, France, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
16+


… And in my soul I dance (2004)

Due to a terrible diagnosis – cerebral palsy – Michael spent almost his entire life in a boarding school for the disabled. A guy suffering from a serious illness meets a new patient who has arrived at the hospital. A man chained to a wheelchair is not able to move independently, but is full of indestructible optimism. Under the influence of a life-loving acquaintance, the protagonist learns to appreciate every moment lived.

Original title:
Inside I’m Dancing

Genre:
Drama, comedy, romance

Actors:
James McAvoy, Stephen Robertson, Romola Garay …

Country:
UK, Ireland, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 7.8

Age Limits :
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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