The music video for "We Found Love" was shot in late September 2011, in County Down, Northern Ireland and the New Lodge area of North Belfast. The video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, who had previously directed the videos for "Hard" (2009), "Rude Boy" (2010), "Rockstar 101" (2010) and the controversial "S&M" (2011). Anticipation for the video grew in the United Kingdom when the national news picked up on the story of sixty-one-year-old Northern Ireland farmer Alan Graham withdrawing his permission to film in his barley field in Bangor, County Down after taking issue with Rihanna's clothing, focusing on her appearing topless and also wearing a red bikini top which he thought was an "inappropriate state of undress". Rihanna and her film crew departed amiably after Graham advised them to "be acquainted with God and to consider his son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and his death and Resurrection."
The video begins with a monologue about love and heartbreak by an unseen narrator, fashion model Agyness Deyn. Multiple scenes of Rihanna and her lover, Dudley O'Shaughnessy, are intercut throughout the narration, depicting them in different love and hate situations with each other. The two are shown as completely enamored with each other while engaging in fun activities together, including enjoying their time at an indoor skating centre and eating in fast food restaurants. During the chorus, the video shows the romance to be somewhat warped, as images of drugs, various pills and dilated pupils are shown, while brief scenes of Rihanna and her boyfriend preparing to engage in sexual intercourse and their various stages of undress are shown. The chorus continues and the video abruptly cuts to Rihanna and other people at an outdoor rave, dancing to music. Calvin Harris features as the DJ during this scene.
From the second verse, Rihanna and her boyfriend are seen happily running amok in a supermarket, pushing each other in a shopping cart and spraying canned drinks at each other. This scene is interrupted with Rihanna in a Pontiac Trans Am outside with her boyfriend who begins to recklessly drive in circles, resulting in Rihanna asking him to stop the car which ensues into an argument between the pair. The video then progressively shows the couple experiencing mounting difficulties in their relationship. Rihanna removes herself from the car and returns moments later where we see her boyfriend grab her chin to look at him, suggesting that he is domestically violent towards her. During the final chorus Rihanna can be seen vomiting what appears to be pink and white streamers; she is also seen passed out on the street while her boyfriend tries to revive her. In another scene, Rihanna is seen lying on a couch while her boyfriend tattoos the word 'MINE' on her backside. Eventually, Rihanna decides to leave her boyfriend after finding him passed out on the floor of his apartment - and most likely due to the previous events shown throughout the video. The clip ends with Rihanna curled up in the corner of a room, crying.
The video generated controversy for its depiction of violence and drug use, as well as for Rihanna's removal of her clothes during filming. One journalist wrote, "The song is probably one of the most talked about in the country following the Barbadian being told to 'find God' after running naked through a Northern Irish farmer's field." It was described as a "disgrace" by an anti-rape campaigner, and Christian commenters worried about the effects of the video and that "Rihanna is damaging the moral and self-worth of young impressionable teens." However, The Guardian praised the video for being different in its time period and called it "a very British music video", comparing it to UK TV series, Skins. The video won a Grammy Award for 'Best Short-Form Music Video. As of January 2015, Billboard named the video as the second best music video of the 2010s (so far).