Brow Beat

What Hitting “Rock Bottom” Looks Like in the Movies

Hollywood loves a dramatic downfall. The formula is as old as the movies: after a series of bad decisions and wrong turns, a protagonist reaches his or her most debilitated, wretched state—that is, they hit “rock bottom.” Sometimes that moment can be terrifying to witness, as it was in Requiem for a Dream, Drugstore Cowboy, and The Basketball Diaries. And yet this scene isn’t always such a downer: As Bridesmaids and Anchorman prove, it can also be mined for great comedy.

To honor the many different forms of cinematic existential crisis, we’ve put together a montage of some of the most memorable “rock bottom” moments in film.