Top lists / Genre

Top 50 Best Drama movies of all time

In this top list we uncover the best Drama movies of all time. Already seen The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty and the Godfather? Find out which of the other movies in this genre you absolutely must watch!

Enjoy and don’t forget to instantly influence this Drama top 50 by voting for your favorites at the top right of your screen. New movies meeting our high standards will be added to the voting database regularly. Suggestions? Let us know in the comment section below!

Top 50

Share this list
Let your vote speak!
  1. American Beauty (1999)

    American Beauty

    Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation with his daughter's attractive friend.

    Directed by Sam Mendes
  2. There Will Be Blood (2007)

    There Will Be Blood

    When Daniel Plainview - a ruthless oil prospector - learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property. Using his young adopted son H.W. to project the image of a caring family man, Plainview gains the cooperation of almost all the locals with lofty promises to build schools and cultivate the land to make their community flourish. Over time, Plainview's gradual accumulation of wealth and power causes his true self to surface, and he begins to slowly alienate himself from everyone in his life.

    Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  3. The Godfather (1972)

    The Godfather

    The story spans the years from 1945 to 1955 and chronicles the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. When organized crime family patriarch Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son, Michael, steps in to take care of the would-be killers, launching a campaign of bloody revenge.

    Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  4. Forrest Gump (1994)

    Forrest Gump

    A man with a low IQ has accomplished great things in his life and been present during significant historic events - in each case, far exceeding what anyone imagined he could do. Yet, despite all the things he has attained, his one true love eludes him. 'Forrest Gump' is the story of a man who rose above his challenges, and who proved that determination, courage, and love are more important than ability.

    Directed by Robert Zemeckis
  5. Spotlight (2015)

    Spotlight

    The true story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

    Directed by Tom McCarthy
  6. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Framed in the 1940s for the double murder of his wife and her lover, upstanding banker Andy Dufresne begins a new life at the Shawshank prison, where he puts his accounting skills to work for an amoral warden. During his long stretch in prison, Dufresne comes to be admired by the other inmates -- including an older prisoner named Red -- for his integrity and unquenchable sense of hope.

    Directed by Frank Darabont
  7. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

    The Godfather: Part II

    The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba

    Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  8. Casablanca (1942)

    Casablanca

    Casablanca is a classic and one of the most revered films of all time. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a love triangle in the city of Casablanca which is a refuge for many fleeing foreigners looking for a new life during the war. Political romance with a backdrop of war conflict between democracy and totalitarianism. A landmark in film history.

    Directed by Michael Curtiz
  9. The Celebration (1998)

    The Celebration

    A Danish film produced in the Dogma style by Thomas Vinterberg that portrays a family having a party for their father when one son makes a toast speech that tells the truth about the murder of their eldest sister possibly involving the father.

    Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
  10. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

    Blue Is the Warmest Color

    Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself.

    Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
  11. Schindler's List (1993)

    Schindler's List

    Told from the perspective of businessman Oskar Schindler who saved over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis while they worked as slaves in his factory. Schindler’s List is based on a true story, illustrated in black and white and controversially filmed in many original locations.

    Directed by Steven Spielberg
  12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    While serving time for insanity at a state mental hospital, implacable rabble-rouser Randle Patrick McMurphy inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse Mildred Ratched.

    Directed by Miloš Forman
  13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake.

    Directed by Michel Gondry
  14. The Hunt (2012)

    The Hunt

    A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

    Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
  15. American History X (1998)

    American History X

    Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing two thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did.

    Directed by Tony Kaye
  16. Birdman (2014)

    Birdman

    A fading actor best known for his portrayal of a popular superhero attempts to mount a comeback by appearing in a Broadway play. As opening night approaches, his attempts to become more altruistic, rebuild his career, and reconnect with friends and family prove more difficult than expected.

    Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
  17. Gladiator (2000)

    Gladiator

    Gladiator is an epic film of love, death and betrayal set in the Roman Empire. General Maximus' success in battle earns the favour of an elderly Emperor at the expense of the Emperor's son. In a fit of jealous rage the son slays his father before turning his anger towards Maximus. Now reduced to a slave, his family dead, Maximus must fight as a gladiator to gain his freedom, and his revenge.

    Directed by Ridley Scott
  18. Whiplash (2014)

    Whiplash

    Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.

    Directed by Damien Chazelle
  19. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

    Requiem for a Dream

    The hopes and dreams of four ambitious people are shattered when their drug addictions begin spiraling out of control. A look into addiction and how it overcomes the mind and body.

    Directed by Darren Aronofsky
  20. Into the Wild (2007)

    Into the Wild

    Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.

    Directed by Sean Penn
  21. Taxi Driver (1976)

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro stars as Travis Bickle in this oppressive psychodrama about a Vietnam veteran who rebels against the decadence and immorality of big city life in New York while working the nightshift as a taxi driver.

    Directed by Martin Scorsese
  22. Citizen Kane (1941)

    Citizen Kane

    Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

    Directed by Orson Welles
  23. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill A Mockingbird is the film adaptation of the classic book by Harper Lee. The film tells the story of a child in a small American town in the 1930’s where color prejudice, racial hatred, and taking the law into your own hands were everyday events. Gregory Peck would receive an Oscar for his excellent portrayal of a single father named Atticus Finch.

    Directed by Robert Mulligan
  24. Room (2015)

    Room

    Jack is a young boy of 5 years old who has lived all his life in one room. He believes everything within it are the only real things in the world. But what will happen when his Ma suddenly tells him that there are other things outside of Room?

    Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
  25. Good Will Hunting (1997)

    Good Will Hunting

    Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

    Directed by Gus Van Sant
  26. Chinatown (1974)

    Chinatown

    Private eye Jake Gittes lives off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together.

    Directed by Roman Polanski
  27. The Revenant (2015)

    The Revenant

    In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

    Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
  28. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith, leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state's senior senator--presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine. In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor. Taylor first tries to corrupt Smith and then later attempts to destroy Smith through a scandal.

    Directed by Frank Capra
  29. Black Swan (2010)

    Black Swan

    A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

    Directed by Darren Aronofsky
  30. Rashomon (1950)

    Rashomon

    In ancient Japan a crime take place as told from three different travelers who have experienced the crime: a man being killed and his wife being raped. Which if any of the stories is true? A Akira Kurosawa film about morals, truth, and communication.

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  31. Trainspotting (1996)

    Trainspotting

    Renton is living the dream and that dream is Heroin. As Renton struggles with the agony and ecstasy of his life we follow him and his increasingly unstable mates. Drinking, fighting, drugs, sex and the most disgusting toilet in Scotland. Choose Trainspotting.

    Directed by Danny Boyle
  32. Rush (2013)

    Rush

    A biographical drama centered on the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season.

    Directed by Ron Howard
  33. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

    Hachi: A Dog's Tale

    A drama based on the true story of a college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.

    Directed by Lasse Hallström
  34. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration. Based on Jordan Belfort's autobiography.

    Directed by Martin Scorsese
  35. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.

    Directed by Wes Anderson
  36. Stand by Me (1986)

    Stand by Me

    The film's name comes from the song "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King from 1961. The song was also the theme song. This film was modeled from a novella by Stephen King called "The Body" and was the ninth filmed story from the author. The film tells the story of a group of 10-year-old friends out on their own and the trials and tribulation they are confronted with along the journey.

    Directed by Rob Reiner
  37. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

    Dog Day Afternoon

    A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

    Directed by Sidney Lumet
  38. The Big Short (2015)

    The Big Short

    The men who made millions from a global economic meltdown.

    Directed by Adam McKay
  39. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    Catch Me If You Can

    Frank W. Abagnale Jr. is a cunning con man -- posing as a doctor, lawyer and pilot all before turning 21. He's also a deft forger, and his work attracts the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who makes it his mission to put Frank behind bars. But Frank not only eludes capture, he revels in the pursuit, even taking time to taunt Carl by phone.

    Directed by Steven Spielberg
  40. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

    Edward Scissorhands

    Edward Scissorhands is a classic Tim Burton and Johnny Depp film about a small suburban town that receives a visit from a castaway unfinished science experiment named Edward. A satire on the normality of Middle-America and their fear of outsiders. A magical fairytale story of loneliness, learning, and love; that will make you laugh, curse, and cry.

    Directed by Tim Burton
  41. Mystic River (2003)

    Mystic River

    A thriller about friendship and loyalty, guilt and vengeance, and the fateful affect the past has on the present. Sean Penn won an Oscar for his multifaceted performance as a father who lost his daughter.

    Directed by Clint Eastwood
  42. Magnolia (1999)

    Magnolia

    An epic mosaic of many interrelated characters in search of happiness, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

    Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  43. Dances with Wolves (1990)

    Dances with Wolves

    Wounded Civil War soldier John Dunbar tries to commit suicide -- and becomes a hero instead. As a reward, he's assigned to his dream post, a remote junction on the Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe.

    Directed by Kevin Costner
  44. All the President's Men (1976)

    All the President's Men

    In the run-up to the 1972 elections, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward covers what seems to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. He is surprised to find top lawyers already on the defense case, and the discovery of names and addresses of Republican fund organizers on the accused further arouses his suspicions. The editor of the Post is prepared to run with the story and assigns Woodward and Carl Bernstein to it. They find the trail leading higher and higher in the Republican Party, and eventually into the White House itself.

    Directed by Alan J. Pakula
  45. The Fighter (2010)

    The Fighter

    The Fighter, is a drama about boxer "Irish" Micky Ward's unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO'd by drugs and crime.

    Directed by David O. Russell
  46. The Wrestler (2008)

    The Wrestler

    Aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson is long past his prime but still ready and rarin' to go on the pro-wrestling circuit. After a particularly brutal beating, however, Randy hangs up his tights, pursues a serious relationship with a long-in-the-tooth stripper, and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. But he can't resist the lure of the ring and readies himself for a comeback.

    Directed by Darren Aronofsky
  47. The Breakfast Club (1985)

    The Breakfast Club

    Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

    Directed by John Hughes
  48. The Social Network (2010)

    The Social Network

    On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room as a small site among friends soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.

    Directed by David Fincher
  49. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

    Brokeback Mountain

    Brokeback Mountain is an Ang Lee film about two modern day cowboys who meet on a shepherding job in the summer of ’63. The two share a raw and powerful summer together that turns into a life long relationship conflicting with the lives they are supposed to live.

    Directed by Ang Lee
  50. Titanic (1997)

    Titanic

    84 years later, a 101-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.

    Directed by James Cameron

Let your vote speak!

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

VS

Can't decide

Newest Lists