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I Am Sam (2001)
Drama

I Am Sam (2001)

Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman; she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond (after the Beatles song), and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school; she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away, and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love, and whether it's really all you need. (Read More)

Themes:autism,  disability,  adoption,  education,  obsession,  divorce,  anger,  fear,  kidnapping,  love,  friendship
Locations:tunnel,  courtroom,  school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  girl,  teacher,  prostitute,  children,  friend
Story:custody hearing,  custody battle,  child custody,  anxiety attack,  starbucks coffee,  making coffee,  coffee shop,  soccer referee,  girls' soccer,  soccer match,  toy piano,  halloween party,  children's book,  halloween costume,  new baby,  female lawyer,  girl scout cookies,  birthday party,  girl scout,  school recess,  los angeles california,  little girl,  dog walking,  father love,  boy dog relationship,  abbey road album cover recreation,  dog walker,  mentally challenged male,  mentally handicapped man,  changing a baby's diaper,  crossing fingers,  stuffed rabbit,  child endangerment,  second job,  yellow pages,  abusive childhood,  dr seuss,  pizza hut,  barred window,  7 eleven,  reference to paul mccartney,  pro bono,  seven year old,  self deprecation,  social services,  sitting in a tree,  patience,  foster mother,  foster parent,  paper airplane,  checkers,  shoe store,  reference to john lennon,  origami,  foster home,  foster child,  foster care,  bedtime story,  custody,  overhead shot,  pillow fight,  climbing out a window,  the beatles,  watching a video,  learning,  down syndrome,  locked door,  porsche,  handicap,  rhyme in title,  fatherhood,  costume party,  unhappiness,  mental retardation,  scooter,  parenthood,  cartoon on tv,  social worker,  handheld camera,  swing,  lost,  anxiety,  shoes,  suffering,  attorney,  stupidity,  cheating husband,  compassion,  birth,  single father,  psychologist,  tape recorder,  recording,  slow motion,  balloon,  answering machine,  hugging,  single parent,  freeze frame,  runaway,  hate,  obscene finger gesture,  sadness,  court,  u.s. president,  reading,  park,  pain,  coffee,  judge,  montage,  california,  single mother,  soccer,  halloween,  classroom,  piano,  neighbor,  birthday,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships,  f rated,  dog,  police,  kiss

White Oleander (2002)
Drama

White Oleander (2002)

Astrid Magnussen is a 15 year old girl, living in California. Her mother, Ingrid, is a beautiful, free-spirited poet. Their life, though unusual, is satisfying until one day, a man named Barry Kolker (that her mother refers to at first as "The goat man") comes into their lives, and Ingrid falls madly in love with him, only to have her heart broken, and her life ruined. For revenge, Ingrid murders Barry with the deadly poison of her favourite flower: The White Oleander. She is sent to prison for life, and Astrid has to go through foster home after foster home. Throughout nearly a decade she experiences forbidden love, religion, near-death experiences, drugs, starvation, and how it feels to be loved. But throughout these years, she keeps in touch with her mother via letters to prison. And while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  anger,  friendship,  love
Locations:courtroom,  school,  restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  girl,  teacher,  prostitute,  friend
Story:los angeles california,  social services,  foster parent,  foster home,  foster child,  cartoon on tv,  compassion,  runaway,  court,  judge,  california,  single mother,  classroom,  reference to god,  tears,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss,  police

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Gifted (2017)
Drama

Gifted (2017)

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well. (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  anger,  fear,  friendship
Locations:courtroom,  school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:custody hearing,  child custody,  foster home,  sadness,  court,  judge,  montage,  classroom,  piano,  neighbor,  running,  reference to god,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

Nowhere Boy (2009)
Biography, Drama, Music, Romance

Nowhere Boy (2009)

The story of John Lennon's childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia -the two dominant women in the first part of his life-, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, their friendship, their love for music and the birth of The Beatles. (Read More)

Themes:anger,  friendship,  love
Locations:school,  restaurant
Characters:baby,  girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:birthday party,  the beatles,  birth,  tape recorder,  recording,  sadness,  reading,  montage,  piano,  birthday,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  f rated,  kiss

Conviction (2010) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Biography, Drama

Conviction (2010)

Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.

Themes:obsession,  divorce,  fear,  friendship
Locations:school,  courtroom
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  girl,  prostitute,  children,  friend
Story:single mother,  foster home,  climbing out a window,  attorney,  court,  judge,  classroom,  neighbor,  running,  tears,  arrest,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships,  dog,  police

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Bacheha-ye Aseman (1997)
Drama, Family

Bacheha-ye Aseman (1997)

Zahra's shoes are gone; her older brother Ali lost them. They are poor, there are no shoes for Zahra until they come up with an idea: they will share one pair of shoes, Ali's. School awaits. Will the plan succeed? This is why Bacheha-ye Aseman (1997) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001).

Themes:love,  friendship
Locations:school
Characters:baby,  girl,  teacher,  children,  friend
Story:shoes,  school recess,  little girl,  lost,  birth,  slow motion,  soccer,  classroom,  neighbor,  running,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  dog

Parenthood (1989)
Comedy, Drama

Parenthood (1989)

The story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the "black sheep" of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.

Locations:school
Characters:children
Story:birthday party,  little girl,  watching a video,  parenthood,  birth,  balloon,  hugging,  single parent,  sadness,  single mother,  birthday,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

Adam (2009)
Drama, Romance

Adam (2009)

Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer damaged from a past relationship encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment whose awkwardness is perplexing. Beth and Adam's ultimate connection leads to a tricky relationship that exemplifies something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into uncomfortable territory and the resulting shake-up can be liberating. (Read More)

Themes:autism,  adoption,  fear
Locations:courtroom,  school,  restaurant
Characters:teacher,  lawyer,  baby,  children,  friend
Story:children's book,  little girl,  anxiety,  answering machine,  hugging,  court,  reading,  park,  judge,  california,  classroom,  neighbor,  tears,  book,  watching tv,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  character name in title,  kiss,  police

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Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara (2002) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara (2002)

After winning a custody battle for her daughter, Yoshimi tries to make a new start. The apartment she moves into seems perfect at first. Soon though, strange things begin happening. Huge water stains appear on the ceiling and drip constantly, more liquid oozing into the rooms every day. She calls the landlord in but he refuses to do anything about it. A child's red bag shows up in odd places and soon the child herself starts appearing. Yoshimi then discovers the origin of the ghost... (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  fear
Locations:school
Characters:lawyer,  teacher,  children
Story:custody battle,  child custody,  little girl,  custody,  slow motion,  answering machine,  classroom,  tears,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship

Persepolis (2007)
Animation, Biography, Drama, War

Persepolis (2007)

In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah's defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  anger,  fear,  love,  friendship
Locations:school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher,  prostitute,  children,  friend
Story:bedtime story,  suffering,  psychologist,  hugging,  obscene finger gesture,  reading,  pain,  classroom,  neighbor,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  arrest,  watching tv,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  f rated,  police,  kiss,  dog

Fish Tank (2009)
Drama

Fish Tank (2009)

Mia, an aggressive fifteen-year-old girl, lives on an Essex estate with her tarty mother, Joanne, and precocious little sister Tyler. She has been thrown out of school and is awaiting admission to a referrals unit and spends her days aimlessly. She begins an uneasy friendship with Joanne's slick boyfriend, Connor, who encourages her one interest, dancing. This is why Fish Tank (2009) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:friendship
Locations:school
Characters:girl,  children
Story:little girl,  watching a video,  social worker,  swing,  recording,  balloon,  hugging,  single parent,  single mother,  running,  tears,  arrest,  watching tv,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  family relationships,  f rated,  kiss,  dog

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Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
Drama

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy. When he has learned to adjust his life to these new responsibilities, Joanna resurfaces and wants Billy back. Ted, however, refuses to give him up, so they go to court to fight for the custody of their son. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  anger,  friendship
Locations:courtroom,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer
Story:custody,  custody battle,  child custody,  court,  birthday party,  learning,  cartoon on tv,  single father,  single parent,  hate,  judge,  single mother,  halloween,  neighbor,  watching tv,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships

Big Eyes (2014) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Romance

Big Eyes (2014)

In San Francisco in the 1950s, Margaret was a woman trying to make it on her own after leaving her husband with only her daughter and her paintings. She meets gregarious ladies' man and fellow painter Walter Keane in a park while she was struggling to make an impact with her drawings of children with big eyes. The two quickly become a pair with outgoing Walter selling their paintings and quiet Margaret holed up at home painting even more children with big eyes. But Walter's actually selling her paintings as his own. A clash of financial success and critical failure soon sends Margaret reeling in her life of lies. With Walter still living the high life, Margaret's going to have to try making it on her own again and re-claiming her name and her paintings. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  fear,  friendship
Locations:courtroom,  restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  girl,  children,  friend
Story:child custody,  locked door,  obscene finger gesture,  court,  park,  judge,  montage,  california,  single mother,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  painting,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  family relationships,  kiss,  dog

Biutiful (2010)
Drama, Romance

Biutiful (2010)

Uxbal, single father of two children, finds his life in chaos as he is forced to deal with his life in order to escape the heat of crime in underground Barcelona, to break with the love for the divorced, manic depressive, abusive mother of his children and to regain spiritual insight in his life as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. (Read More)

Themes:fear,  love
Locations:school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:baby,  girl,  children,  prostitute
Story:single father,  little girl,  barred window,  seven year old,  suffering,  hugging,  single parent,  pain,  montage,  birthday,  running,  tears,  arrest,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  police,  kiss

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St. Vincent (2014)
Comedy, Drama

St. Vincent (2014)

Vincent is an old Vietnam vet whose stubbornly hedonistic ways have left him without money or a future. Things change when his new next-door neighbor's son, Oliver, needs a babysitter and Vince is willing enough for a fee. From that self-serving act, an unexpected friendship forms as Vincent and Oliver find so much of each other's needs through each other. As Vincent mentors Oliver in street survival and other worldly ways, Oliver begins to see more in the old man than just his foibles. When life takes a turn for the worse for Vincent, both them find the best in each other than no one around them suspects. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  adoption,  friendship
Locations:school,  courtroom,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  teacher,  prostitute,  friend
Story:custody hearing,  child custody,  custody,  overhead shot,  unhappiness,  answering machine,  sadness,  judge,  montage,  single mother,  classroom,  neighbor,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title

Zodiac (2007)
Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller

Zodiac (2007)

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. This is why Zodiac (2007) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  divorce
Locations:school,  restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  girl,  children
Story:attorney,  tape recorder,  obscene finger gesture,  park,  pain,  coffee,  judge,  montage,  california,  halloween,  birthday,  running,  book,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  police,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships

Trois Couleurs: Bleu (1993) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance

Trois Couleurs: Bleu (1993)

The first part of Kieslowski's trilogy on France's national motto: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. 'Blue' is the story of Julie who loses her husband, an acclaimed composer and her young daughter in a car accident. The film's theme of liberty is manifested in Julie's attempt to start life anew, free of personal commitments, belongings, grief or love. She intends to numb herself by withdrawing from the world and living completely independently, anonymously and in solitude in the Parisian metropolis. Despite her intentions, people from her former and present life intrude with their own needs. However, the reality created by the people who need and care about her, a surprising discovery and the music around which the film revolves heal Julie and draws her back to the land of the living. (Read More)

Themes:anger,  fear,  love
Locations:tunnel,  courtroom,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  prostitute
Story:little girl,  court,  pain,  coffee,  judge,  piano,  neighbor,  running,  tears,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  kiss,  dog

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A Little Princess (1995)
Drama, Family, Fantasy

A Little Princess (1995)

When her father enlists to fight for the British in WWI, young Sara Crewe goes to New York to attend the same boarding school her late mother attended. She soon clashes with the severe headmistress, Miss Minchin, who attempts to stifle Sara's creativity and sense of self-worth. Sara's belief that "every girl's a princess" is tested to the limit, however, when word comes that her father was killed in action and his estate has been seized by the British government. (Read More)

Themes:fear,  friendship
Locations:school
Characters:girl,  teacher
Story:birthday party,  little girl,  climbing out a window,  single father,  slow motion,  balloon,  single parent,  hate,  pain,  classroom,  birthday,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship

Woman In Gold (2015)
Biography, Drama, History

Woman In Gold (2015)

Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.

Locations:courtroom
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  girl,  friend
Story:los angeles california,  locked door,  attorney,  recording,  park,  judge,  montage,  california,  running,  tears,  book,  painting,  arrest,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships

Sleeping With Other People (2015)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Sleeping With Other People (2015)

Themes:obsession,  anger,  fear,  friendship
Locations:restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  teacher,  prostitute,  friend
Story:birthday party,  little girl,  reference to john lennon,  balloon,  answering machine,  freeze frame,  soccer,  reference to god,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  f rated,  kiss,  dog

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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Comedy, Drama, Family

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Eccentric actor Daniel Hillard is an amusing and caring father. But after a disastrous birthday party for his son, Daniel's wife Miranda draws the line and files a divorce. He can see his three children only once a week which doesn't sit well with him. Daniel also holds a job at a TV studio as a shipping clerk under the recommendation of his liason. But when Miranda puts out an ad for a housekeeper, Daniel takes it upon himself to make a disguise as a Scottish lady named Mrs Doubtfire. And Daniel must also deal with Miranda's new boyfriend Stu Dunemyer. This is why Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:divorce
Locations:courtroom,  restaurant
Characters:children,  lawyer
Story:birthday party,  birthday,  custody battle,  female lawyer,  patience,  custody,  fatherhood,  parenthood,  single father,  obscene finger gesture,  judge,  single mother,  soccer,  swimming pool,  father daughter relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)
Drama, Horror, Romance

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  fear,  love,  friendship
Locations:school,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher,  children,  friend
Story:sitting in a tree,  tape recorder,  recording,  hugging,  single parent,  reading,  single mother,  classroom,  neighbor,  book,  arrest,  swimming pool,  mother son relationship,  dog,  kiss,  police

Adoration (2013)
Drama, Romance

Adoration (2013)

Lil ('Naomi Watts' (qv)) and Roz ('Robin Wright (V)' (qv)) are two lifelong friends, having grown up together as neighbors in an idyllic beach town. As adults, their sons have developed a friendship as strong as that which binds their mothers. One summer, all four are confronted by simmering emotions that have been mounting between them, and each find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  fear,  friendship
Locations:hospital
Characters:baby,  friend
Story:birthday party,  bedtime story,  overhead shot,  sadness,  neighbor,  birthday,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  f rated,  kiss

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The Tree Of Life (2011)
Drama, Fantasy

The Tree Of Life (2011)

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father ('Brad Pitt' (qv)). Jack (played as an adult by 'Sean Penn (I)' (qv)) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. (Read More)

Themes:education,  fear,  love
Locations:courtroom,  school,  restaurant
Characters:baby,  children
Story:overhead shot,  swing,  lost,  suffering,  birth,  recording,  hate,  court,  reading,  pain,  halloween,  classroom,  piano,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  painting,  arrest,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss,  dog,  police

Reign Over Me (2007) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Drama

Reign Over Me (2007)

Alan Johnson has everything he needs to get through life: a good job, a beautiful and loving wife, and their wonderful children. Yet he feels isolated because he finds having a hard-working job and managing a family too much to handle and has no one to talk to about it. Charlie Fineman, on the other hand, doesn't have a job or a family. He used to have both until a terrible loss, and the grief caused him to quit his job and isolate himself from everyone around him. As it turns out, Alan and Charlie were roommates in college, and a chance encounter one night rekindles the friendship they shared. But when Charlie's problems become too much to deal with, Alan is determined to help Charlie come out of his emotional abyss. (Read More)

Themes:anger,  friendship,  love
Locations:courtroom,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  children,  friend
Story:shoes,  attorney,  psychologist,  sadness,  coffee,  judge,  montage,  tears,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships

Cache (2005)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Cache (2005)

Set in France, Georges is a TV Literary Reviewer and lives in a small yet modern town house with his wife Ann, a publisher and his young son Pierrot. They begin to receive video tapes through the post of their house and family, along side obscure child-like drawings. They visit the police with hope of aid to find the stalker, but as there is no direct threat, they refuse to help. As the tapes become more personal, Georges takes it upon himself to figure out who is putting through his family through such horror. A true Michael Haneke Classic. This is why Cache (2005) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:adoption,  fear,  kidnapping,  love,  friendship
Locations:school,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  teacher,  friend
Story:coffee shop,  custody,  watching a video,  answering machine,  reading,  coffee,  piano,  neighbor,  running,  tears,  book,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  police,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  dog

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Precious (2009)
Drama

Precious (2009)

In Harlem, 1987. Sixteen year old Claireece Jones - who goes by her middle name Precious - is an illiterate, overweight black girl. She is pregnant with her second child, both children fathered by her biological father, who has continually raped her since she was a child, but who she doesn't see otherwise. Her infant daughter, Mongo - such named since she has Down Syndrome - lives with Precious' grandmother. Precious lives with her mother Mary, who abuses Precious both physically and emotionally. Mary does nothing but smoke, watch television and collect welfare through fraud (as she doesn't ever look for a job) and believes that education does nothing for Precious, who she would rather also collect welfare if only to bring money into the household. To escape her life, Precious often daydreams of herself in glamorous situations. Because of her current pregnancy, Precious' principal transfers her into an alternative school. In dealing with the school's sympathetic teacher Miss Blu Rain, Precious begins to believe that she can have a future by learning how to read and write. Despite some devastating news from her mother following the birth of her child, Precious also begins to believe she can escape the grips of her abusive mother, who, up to this point, was Precious' only real support. (Read More)

Themes:adoption,  education,  fear,  love
Locations:school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:baby,  girl,  teacher,  children
Story:learning,  social worker,  birth,  balloon,  reading,  montage,  single mother,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  f rated,  dog

The Woodsman (2004)
Drama, Romance

The Woodsman (2004)

After twelve years in prison, Walter arrives in an unnamed city, moves into a small apartment across the street from an elementary school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. A quiet, guarded man, Walter finds unexpected solace from Vickie, a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past. A convicted sex offender, Walter is warily eyed by his brother-in-law, shunned by his sister, lives in fear of being discovered at work, and is hounded by a suspicious local police officer, Detective Lucas. After befriending a young girl in a neighborhood park, Walter must also grapple with the terrible prospect of his own reawakened demons. (Read More)

Themes:anger,  fear,  friendship
Locations:school
Characters:girl,  children,  friend
Story:birthday party,  little girl,  suffering,  freeze frame,  sadness,  park,  judge,  birthday,  tears,  arrest,  watching tv,  title directed by female,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  family relationships,  f rated,  police,  kiss

La Science Des Reves (2006) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

La Science Des Reves (2006)

Following the death of his father in Mexico, Stephane Miroux, a shy insecure young man, agrees to come to Paris to draw closer to his widowed mother Christine. He lands a boring job at a calendar-making firm and falls in love with his charming neighbor Stephanie. But conquering her is no bed of roses for the young man and the only solution he finds to put up with the difficulties he is going through is escape into a dream world... (Read More)

Themes:love,  friendship
Characters:friend
Story:coffee shop,  halloween costume,  paper airplane,  climbing out a window,  shoes,  single father,  tape recorder,  slow motion,  answering machine,  park,  piano,  neighbor,  running,  book,  painting,  watching tv,  dancing,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  police,  kiss

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An Education (2009)
Drama

An Education (2009)

In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one. However, Jenny slowly learns more about David, and by association Danny and Helen, and specifically how they make their money. Jenny has to decide if what she learns about them and leading such a life is worth forgoing her plans of higher eduction at Oxford. (Read More)

Themes:education,  friendship
Locations:school,  restaurant
Characters:teacher,  children,  friend
Story:learning,  cheating husband,  recording,  hugging,  reading,  pain,  montage,  classroom,  neighbor,  birthday,  tears,  book,  painting,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  f rated,  dog,  kiss

Mar Adentro (2004)
Biography, Drama, Romance

Mar Adentro (2004)

Life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. Film explores Ramon's relationships with two women: Julia, a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa, a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramon taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others. This is why Mar Adentro (2004) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:fear,  friendship,  love
Locations:courtroom,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  friend
Story:attorney,  compassion,  recording,  court,  montage,  single mother,  soccer,  reference to god,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  kiss

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

Eva Khatchadourian is trying to piece together her life following the "incident". Once a successful travel writer, she is forced to take whatever job comes her way, which of late is as a clerk in a travel agency. She lives a solitary life as people who know about her situation openly shun her, even to the point of violent actions toward her. She, in turn, fosters that solitary life because of the incident, the aftermath of which has turned her into a meek and scared woman. That incident involved her son Kevin Khatchadourian, who is now approaching his eighteenth birthday. Eva and Kevin have always had a troubled relationship, even when he was an infant. Whatever troubles he saw, Franklin, Eva's complacent husband, just attributed it to Kevin being a typical boy. The incident may be seen by both Kevin and Eva as his ultimate act in defiance against his mother. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Locations:school,  restaurant,  hospital
Characters:baby,  girl
Story:halloween costume,  little girl,  balloon,  answering machine,  hugging,  reading,  halloween,  birthday,  running,  tears,  book,  painting,  watching tv,  title directed by female,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships,  f rated,  kiss

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My Girl (1991) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

My Girl (1991)

1972. Vada Sultenfuss (played by Anna Chlumsky) is an intelligent, bubbly, hypochondriacal 11-year old girl. Her father, Harry (Dan Aykroyd), is a mortician and a widower. Her best friend is Thomas J Sennett (Macaulay Culkin). Then her father hires a new receptionist, Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis), and life will never be the same again. (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  anger,  fear,  friendship
Locations:school
Characters:girl,  teacher,  friend,  children
Story:little girl,  sitting in a tree,  lost,  birth,  single father,  single parent,  classroom,  neighbor,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

Inside Out (2015)
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Inside Out (2015)

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. (Read More)

Themes:anger,  fear,  love,  friendship
Locations:school
Characters:girl,  baby,  children
Story:sadness,  little girl,  birth,  balloon,  runaway,  classroom,  tears,  crying,  f rated,  police

Mysterious Skin (2004)
Drama, Mystery

Mysterious Skin (2004)

Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  kidnapping,  friendship
Characters:girl,  prostitute,  friend
Story:halloween costume,  little girl,  lost,  suffering,  tape recorder,  single parent,  obscene finger gesture,  sadness,  reading,  single mother,  halloween,  birthday,  running,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  dog,  kiss

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Another Year (2010)
Comedy, Drama

Another Year (2010)

A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends, colleagues, and family who all seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness. This is why Another Year (2010) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  anger,  friendship
Locations:restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  friend
Story:unhappiness,  swing,  sadness,  reading,  coffee,  reference to god,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

The Spectacular Now (2013) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

The Spectacular Now (2013)

Sutter Keely lives in the now. It's a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he's the life of the party, loves his job at a men's clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he's never far from his supersized, whiskey-fortified thirst-master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finecky hovering over him. She's different: the "nice girl" who reads science fiction and doesn't have a boyfriend. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they're drawn together. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  friendship
Locations:school,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:unhappiness,  cheating husband,  hugging,  reading,  montage,  single mother,  classroom,  reference to god,  tears,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

May (2002)
Drama, Horror

May (2002)

When May was a child, she was a lonely girl with a lazy eye and without any friends except a weird and ugly doll kept in a glass case given by her bizarre mother on her birthday. May becomes a lonely, weird young woman, working in an animal hospital and assisting the veterinarian in surgeries and sewing operated animals most of the time. Her lesbian colleague Polly has a sort of attraction for her. When the shy May meets the mechanic Adam Stubbs, she loves his hands and has a crush on him. They date, but the weirdness and bizarre behavior of May pushes Adam away from her. Alone, May has a brief affair with Polly, but she feels rejected again when her colleague meets Ambrosia. When her doll is accidentally broken, the deranged May decides to build a friend for her, using the best parts her acquaintances can offer. (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  friendship,  love
Locations:restaurant,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:coffee shop,  halloween costume,  park,  montage,  halloween,  birthday,  tears,  crying,  dancing,  character name in title,  kiss,  dog

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The Lovely Bones (2009)
Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

The Lovely Bones (2009)

A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.

Themes:obsession
Locations:school,  hospital
Characters:girl,  children
Story:neighbor,  little girl,  climbing out a window,  lost,  shoes,  hate,  reading,  pain,  montage,  soccer,  birthday,  running,  tears,  book,  painting,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  f rated,  kiss,  police,  dog

Blow (2001)
Biography, Crime, Drama

Blow (2001)

A boy named George Jung grows up in a struggling family in the 1950's. His mother nags at her husband as he is trying to make a living for the family. It is finally revealed that George's father cannot make a living and the family goes bankrupt. George does not want the same thing to happen to him, and his friend Tuna, in the 1960's, suggests that he deal marijuana. He is a big hit in California in the 1960's, yet he goes to jail, where he finds out about the wonders of cocaine. As a result, when released, he gets rich by bringing cocaine to America. However, he soon pays the price. (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  love,  friendship
Locations:courtroom
Characters:friend
Story:child custody,  california,  los angeles california,  tape recorder,  slow motion,  obscene finger gesture,  court,  judge,  montage,  birthday,  arrest,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  police

La Grande Bellezza (2013) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Drama

La Grande Bellezza (2013)

Journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafes to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. This is why La Grande Bellezza (2013) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  divorce,  friendship
Characters:girl,  prostitute,  friend
Story:birthday party,  birthday,  little girl,  overhead shot,  sadness,  park,  montage,  book,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  dog,  kiss

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Boy A (2007)
Drama

Boy A (2007)

A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. (Read More)

Themes:fear,  friendship,  love
Locations:courtroom,  school,  restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:birthday party,  little girl,  shoes,  hugging,  hate,  court,  classroom,  birthday,  tears,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  mother son relationship,  police,  kiss

The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Kevin Lomax, a ruthless young Florida attorney that never lost a case, is recruited by the most powerful law firm in the world. In spite of his mother's disagreement, which compares New York City to Babylon, he accepts the offer and the money that comes along. But soon, his wife starts feeling homesick as she witnesses devilish apparitions. However, Kevin is sinking in his new cases and pays less and less attention to his wife. His boss and mentor, John Milton, seems to always know how to overcome every problem and that just freaks Kevin right off. (Read More)

Themes:obsession,  anger,  fear
Locations:courtroom,  hospital
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  teacher
Story:lost,  attorney,  judge,  single mother,  running,  reference to god,  tears,  book,  painting,  arrest,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  dog,  police

Lovelace (2013)
Biography, Drama

Lovelace (2013)

Themes:adoption,  divorce,  fear,  friendship
Locations:restaurant
Characters:prostitute,  friend
Story:suffering,  tape recorder,  pain,  coffee,  running,  reference to god,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  kiss,  police

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Erin Brockovich (2000) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Biography, Drama

Erin Brockovich (2000)

'Erin Brockovich-Ellis' (qv) is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. (Read More)

Locations:courtroom,  restaurant
Characters:lawyer,  baby
Story:los angeles california,  attorney,  single parent,  court,  judge,  montage,  single mother,  neighbor,  tears,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships,  f rated,  kiss

Almost Famous (2000)
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Music

Almost Famous (2000)

William Miller is a 15-year-old kid hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming-of-age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo. This is why Almost Famous (2000) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001). (Read More)

Themes:anger,  friendship,  love
Characters:teacher,  friend
Story:los angeles california,  cheating husband,  recording,  single parent,  obscene finger gesture,  reading,  california,  birthday,  running,  book,  watching tv,  swimming pool,  crying,  dancing,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help... (Read More)

Themes:divorce,  anger,  friendship,  love
Locations:school
Characters:lawyer,  baby,  girl,  teacher,  friend
Story:los angeles california,  shoes,  recording,  answering machine,  obscene finger gesture,  sadness,  coffee,  montage,  classroom,  reference to god,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  kiss

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Mustang (2015)
Drama

Mustang (2015)

Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Locations:tunnel,  school,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher
Story:soccer match,  barred window,  climbing out a window,  obscene finger gesture,  reading,  running,  reference to god,  book,  watching tv,  crying,  dancing,  mother son relationship,  f rated,  kiss

Abre Los Ojos (1997) is one of the best movies like I Am Sam (2001)
Drama, Mystery, Romance, Sci-fi, Thriller

Abre Los Ojos (1997)

A once handsome playboy, Cesar finds himself in a mental facility and he can't remember why. All he can remember is meeting the love of his life for one day, and then getting into a car accident which left his face horribly disfigured. But the pain of becoming physically undesirable may help him to find the truth. (Read More)

Themes:friendship,  love
Characters:lawyer,  children,  friend
Story:cartoon on tv,  suffering,  psychologist,  park,  pain,  birthday,  running,  reference to god,  watching tv,  dancing,  mother son relationship,  kiss,  police

Jack (1996)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Jack (1996)

The movie is about a boy with a unique aging disorder: one that makes him age 4 times faster than normal. It picks up when Jack (Robin Williams) is 10 years old, but looks 40. He tries to go to public school for the first time, and to become friends with kids his own age. His physical appearance causes him lots of problems, however. (Read More)

Themes:friendship
Locations:school,  hospital
Characters:girl,  teacher
Story:halloween party,  halloween costume,  little girl,  handicap,  california,  halloween,  classroom,  mother son relationship,  character name in title,  family relationships

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