Director: Darren Aronofsky
Leading Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
NYC Neighborhoods Featured: Coney Island, Brooklyn; Red Hook, Brooklyn

One of the most compelling portraits of drug despair takes place in Coney Island. The main characters are linked to the place, especially the facade of the boardwalk, so full of weird energy but ugly and decrepit, too. Known for its intense editing and other formal devices that capture the highs and lows of drug use, Requiem for a Dream makes addiction the true central character. Combine those things with the powerful score, and you have a film that threatens to become the longest, most disturbing music video ever made. It's a testament to Aronofsky's gifts that he keeps the stylistic flourishes in service of the material. —GT

"Gritty Realism"innocentAn Innocent CorruptedboroughOuter Borough