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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!

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  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. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. City of God (2002)

    City of God

    City of God depicts the raw violence in the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro. In the 1970’s that kids are carrying guns and joining gangs when they should be playing hide-and-seek.

    Directed by Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
  11. Seven Samurai (1954)

    Seven Samurai

    A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

    Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.

    Directed by Julian Schnabel
  20. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    Lawrence of Arabia

    An epic about British officer T.E. Lawrence's mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic figure in the cause of Arab unity but his psychological instability threatens to undermine his achievements.

    Directed by David Lean
  21. 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
  22. Raging Bull (1980)

    Raging Bull

    When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.

    Directed by Martin Scorsese
  23. 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
  24. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

    Slumdog Millionaire

    The story of the life of an impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik, who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?", wins, and is then suspected of cheating.

    Directed by Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. The Truman Show (1998)

    The Truman Show

    Truman Burbank is the star of "The Truman Show", a 24-hour-a-day "reality" TV show that broadcasts every aspect of his life -- live and in color -- without his knowledge. His entire life has been an unending soap opera for consumption by the rest of the world. And everyone he knows--including his wife and his best friend -- is really an actor, paid to be part of his life.

    Directed by Peter Weir
  30. 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
  31. Walk the Line (2005)

    Walk the Line

    A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

    Directed by James Mangold
  32. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

    Silver Linings Playbook

    After spending eight months in a mental institution, a former teacher moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife.

    Directed by David O. Russell
  33. 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
  34. Argo (2012)

    Argo

    As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.

    Directed by Ben Affleck
  35. Drive (2011)

    Drive

    A mysterious Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor - whose husband is in prison and who's looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team's main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.

    Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
  36. 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
  37. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

    It's a Wonderful Life

    George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money, hides it from Billy, and George's troubles begin.

    Directed by Frank Capra
  38. The Lives of Others (2006)

    The Lives of Others

    A tragic love story set in East Berlin with the backdrop of an undercover Stasi controlled culture. Stasi captain Wieler is ordered to follow author Dreyman and plunges deeper and deeper into his life until he reaches the threshold of doubting the system.

    Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
  39. 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
  40. Boyhood (2014)

    Boyhood

    The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.

    Directed by Richard Linklater
  41. 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
  42. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

    Sunset Boulevard

    A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

    Directed by Billy Wilder
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 12 Angry Men (1957)

    12 Angry Men

    The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other.

    Directed by Sidney Lumet
  46. 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
  47. Gone with the Wind (1939)

    Gone with the Wind

    An American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    Directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
  48. The Intouchables (2011)

    The Intouchables

    A true story of two men who should never have met - a quadriplegic aristocrat who was injured in a paragliding accident and a young man from the projects.

    Directed by Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
  49. 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
  50. The Green Mile (1999)

    The Green Mile

    A supernatural tale set on death row in a Southern prison, where gentle giant John Coffey possesses the mysterious power to heal people's ailments. When the cellblock's head guard, Paul Edgecomb, recognizes Coffey's miraculous gift, he tries desperately to help stave off the condemned man's execution.

    Directed by Frank Darabont

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