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10 Movies Like White Noise You Must See

December 31, 2022

The film White Noise directed by Noah Baumbach is a drama revolving around the Gladney family and their everyday life. Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) is a college professor and lives a nice life in the suburbs with his family. But a chemical leak threatens to uproot and disrupt every aspect of their lives. The resulting black cloud urges the Gladneys to flee their home and seek refuge elsewhere. The film is an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel of the same name.

Baumbach is known for mixing the silliness of everyday life with more poignant and overarching themes; he does that here too. White Noise is about the dysfunctional family dynamic in the midst of a life-threatening event that drives the Gladneys to leave it all behind. If you want to watch movies that focus on dysfunctional families or disasters, then the following suggestions are perfect. You can watch most of these movies that are comparable to White Noise on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

10. Sunshine Cleaning (2008)


Christine Jeffs’ comedy-drama Sunshine Cleaning follows a mother, Norah, as she tries to give her son a good life. She wants to send her son to a private school to give him a better education, so she starts a strange business to earn extra money. So she and her sister set up a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning biologically hazardous or chemical substances. Starring Emily Blunt and Amy Adams, the film perfectly portrays what a mother would do to keep her children safe and healthy. Like the Gladneys, Norah does everything she can to provide the best for her child.

9. Radio Days (1987)

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This film focuses on one of the oldest communication media, radio. ‘Radio Days’ shines through one man’s journey through memory as he recounts moments from his childhood and life in which radio played an important role. He also shares stories about his family, his relationship, and even his neighbors. Written and directed by Woody Allen, the comedy-drama follows a family’s life influenced by radio. Similarly, in White Noise, the Gladneys’ lives are turned upside down by the leak disaster. In fact, her entire neighborhood has to change because of it.

8. Parenthood (1989)

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Comedy-drama ‘Parenthood’ follows the life of protagonist Gil Buckman. His private and professional life pulls him in two different directions. Gil finds it difficult to look after the needs of his children and their individual concerns. However, his life falls apart when he learns that the two are expecting another child.

Additionally, Gil faces more obstacles in his path when his siblings show up with their own luggage. The film, directed by Ron Howard, shows how difficult life can be for parents. Like White Noise, this film focuses on the parents and explores their problems. Both films deal with the challenges of parenthood and the answering of complex questions.

7. Looking for a friend for the end of the world (2012)

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Directed by Lorene Scafaria, Looking for a Friend at the End of the World is a sweet tale of Dodge that starts out a little bumpy. He leads a quiet life that is thrown off balance when news of an asteroid impact on Earth breaks out. As a result, Dodge’s wife leaves him and he becomes lonely. He teams up with his bold neighbor to venture into the unknown and find his soulmate before the world ends. Like Jack in White Noise, Dodge embarks on an inner journey in Seeking a Friend For the End of the World. Both protagonists must pull themselves together for the sake of their companions and deal with the external cataclysm.

6. This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

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Directed by Shawn Levy, This is Where I Leave You features an ensemble cast that depicts all the elements of a comedy-drama. It centers on the Altman family, who are about as dysfunctional as it gets. At a father’s funeral, his children come together to mourn and reconnect. Four siblings reunite under one roof as adults and have to face reality. Her mother is also worried after her partner died. Both the Gladneys and the Altmans may seem perfect, but family members know their reality. The resulting hardships are difficult for both of them to overcome.

5. Life is Sweet (1990)

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Life is Sweet, written and directed by Mike Leigh, tells the story of a family going about their most mundane routine. Her life is ordinary, but it wonderfully fuels her everyday endeavors. The family is set in London and their heartwarming story is a treat. The film also received critical acclaim for the actors’ performances and plot. Both Life is Sweet and White Noise tell the story of a family in crisis. In addition, the everyday problems and turbulences in the respective films are shown.

4. Mermaids (1990)

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Directed by Richard Benjamin, Mermaids is a drama film about a very complex family. While they don’t face disaster like the Gladneys, they have their own concerns that affect the whole family, just like in White Noise: Charlotte and Kate are sisters who are frustrated because their mother is constantly away. Ms. Flax uproots her life whenever she feels like it. They reach a small town in Massachusetts, where the mother begins a relationship with a shopkeeper.

The family finally feels settled, but Charlotte’s raging hormones and attraction to an older man threaten her peace. The film’s ultimate lesson is that people should accept who their family is. Changing or expecting change based on your perspective is common to unfair.

3. Short Cuts (1993)

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‘Shortcuts’ is a dramatic indie film directed by Robert Altman. It’s a mix of different stories from people living in a neighborhood. The characters aren’t as closely related as family, but they do come together in one way or another. The film leads through numerous stories of love and longing, from a waitress and a child in a coma to a baker and a grandfather in the hospital.

The stories are adapted from Raymond Carver’s book of the same name. In White Noise, too, the film follows how life in the entire neighborhood is turned upside down by the catastrophe. Both films are about a community coming together in the face of everyday problems or a major catastrophe.

2. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

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Written and directed by Wes Anderson, the comedy-drama film The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of the eponymous family. As the death of the family patriarch nears, three siblings from the family come together to spend their father’s final days at his side. Over time, they become successful and go their own way, alienating the family.

Years later, her father’s death brings her under one roof again. The Royal Tenenbaums is said to be partially inspired by Anderson’s own life. The portrayal of an imperfect and fragmented family bears a strong resemblance to Gladney’s from ‘White Noise’. Both films are about the inevitability of family and the pillar that holds people together.

1. The Quiet Family (1998)

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Written and directed by Kim Jee-woon, The Quiet Family is a comedy film that follows the family’s struggle to come to terms with events. Ms. Kang leaves her home in Seoul to open and run a lodge with her husband and children. She longs for a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Her life soon spirals out of control when her first guest commits suicide.

As a result, the family becomes afraid of the police and bad press. So they keep the body hidden and go about their business as usual. Curiously, the following guests also die, and the Kang family keeps burying them. This throws the family into complete confusion. The Kangs and the Gladneys come together under the difficult circumstances and make the most of what they have.