Top 10 Drama Movies To Watch

List of The Top 10 Drama Movies

Of course every movie technically features some drama in it, but that doesn’t make it a drama per se. Wikipedia calls it a “film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes.” To us, that opens the door up for plot-heavy war movies and dialogue-filled mob movies, as well as biopics and the traditional stuffy drama that always seems to woo the Academy voters. Yes, some of those are actually good too.

Drama is the heavyweight genre; no superheroes or laser guns allowed—no matter how great The Dark Knight was. They’re often based on excellent literary works or the lives of significant people, and the best ones leave you not only analyzing the film you just saw, but your own beliefs as well.

So with apologies to your mama, please, save the drama for us. We actually enjoy it. Here’s our list of the 50 best drama movies of all time, in no particular order.

The Godfather ( 1972 )

The Godfather ( 1972 )

9.3/10

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is considered one of the most important contributions to American cinema history. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as members of the powerful Corleone mob family, the film went on to win the best-picture Oscar at the 45th Academy Awards. It was also selected for preservation as part of the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress and often ranks just behind Citizen Kane as the greatest movie of all time. 

The Godfather Part II ( 1974 )

The Godfather Part II ( 1974 )

8.8/10

Shawshank is the Citizen Kane for Generation X. It’s ranked #1 on IMDb’s Top 250. Stephen King’s novella gets treated with supreme grace by director Frank Darabont in this prison-bound tale of hope and redemption. In a marvelous career, this is Morgan Freeman’s finest hour, and Tim Robbins leaves it all on the floor as well. When you settle in for Shawshank, you do so knowing you will be both drained and rejuvenated by the end credits—a sign of a great dramatic film. The real crime: It only made $28 million.

The Godfather Part III ( 1990 )

The Godfather Part III ( 1990 )

8.8/10

An epic conclusion to The Godfather franchise.

Francis Ford Coppola’s films spanned 20 years in the making and gave us many memorable characters and a glimpse into the horrors of the Mafia. But the movie, in my opinion, deserves better reviews. Mostly the complaints of the critics are upon the fact that the movie doesn’t seem to work as a standalone and Sophia Coppola’s acting is bad, but considering someone watching today, in a world governed by movie franchises built in reference to predecessor movies, this argument falls flat. As for the latter, i do agree that her acting in acts1 and 2 were flat, but she quickly made up in the 3rd act.

What i really want to talk about is Al Pacino and Diane Keaton’s chemistry. I couldn’t help but praise these veterans’ skills as an actor. They both bring out the vulnerabilities and hope in their relationship whether they are together. At the end when Mary dies and they both fall to their daughter’s lifeless body, we experience 2 moments in cinema which, in my opinion, is one of the rarest display of traumatic emotions i have ever seen. From Kay’s immediate realisation to Michael’s hope that her daughter may still be alive; from Kay rushing to get daughter’s body to Michael letting out the roar of agony as he realises that the worst he feared has happened, the thing he fought to do the most (keeping his family safe) has been taken away from him; from this scream to Kay’s enraged look towards Michael as she blames it o him, the worst she feared for her children has happened. And then the montage of Michael’s life to Michael’s death, is simply one of the best endings i have seen in cinema.

I think this movie is much better than the reviews painted it to be!

The Shawshank Redemption ( 1994 )

The Shawshank Redemption ( 1994 )

8.8/10

Shawshank is the Citizen Kane for Generation X. It’s ranked #1 on IMDb’s Top 250. Stephen King’s novella gets treated with supreme grace by director Frank Darabont in this prison-bound tale of hope and redemption. In a marvelous career, this is Morgan Freeman’s finest hour, and Tim Robbins leaves it all on the floor as well. When you settle in for Shawshank, you do so knowing you will be both drained and rejuvenated by the end credits—a sign of a great dramatic film. The real crime: It only made $28 million.

The Hurricane ( 1999 )

The Hurricane ( 1999 )

9.3/10

The Hurricane introduces moviegoers to Rubin Carter, the New Jersey boxer sentenced to life imprisonment in 1967 for murders he didn’t commit. Singled out and set up by a racist cop, he spends ore than half of his life behind bars before a passionate young man and his crusading tutors read Carter’s autobiography, start a pen-pal relationship and eventually put their own lives on hold to battle for his release.

A Beautiful Mind ( 2001 )

A Beautiful Mind ( 2001 )

8.8/10

This movie, which tells the story of mathematical prodigy John Forbes Nash Jr, is proof that often there is a fine line between pure genius and madness. Viewers get a close look at the life of this incredibly gifted individual played by Russell Crowe, who at the same time is extremely burdened; Nash had schizophrenia, which strongly affected his personal life, relationships with family and friends, and his job.

Joker ( 2019 )

Joker ( 2019 )

8.8/10

Psychologic – intense – dark

Todd Philips and Joaquin Phoenix have really made an extraordinary masterpiece. The acting and the actual scene shots where so artistic and well delivered. Not only did Joaquin depict a joker we have all been craving for, but Todd allowed us to see it in an unimaginable way. Throughout watching the movie, I found myself at the edge of the seat on numerous occasions, unable to stop myself from sympathising with ‘Arthur’. Arthur a deadly villain deserving to be locked away in Arkham Asylum for the rest of his life, yet nothing can stop us from thinking about his detrimental childhood, the lies he’s been told early on his life. Thus, was born the ‘joker’ from shear loneliness and self-deprivation a fundamental consequence caused by his mentally insane mother 

Malcolm X ( 1992 )

Malcolm X ( 1992 )

8.5/10

Anchored by a powerful performance from Denzel Washington, Spike Lee’s biopic of legendary civil rights leader Malcolm X brings his autobiography to life with an epic sweep and a nuanced message
A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.

Spike Lee’s biopic on the life of perhaps America’s most fiery civil rights activist thrives thanks to the dynamic Denzel Washington who looks and speaks remarkably like Malcolm X. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the man born as Malcom Little was so fascinatingly turbulent and impactful. It’s a gripping and powerful work, and what the hell, let’s also give it some bonus points for featuring “Raj” (Enerest Lee Thomas) from What’s Happening.

Titanic ( 1997 )

Titanic ( 1997 )

8.5/10

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet still make us tear up as Jack and Rose, the unforgettable couple that meets on the Titanic in this 1997 James Cameron epic. We’ll go on out on a limb and say this is still one of the greatest love stories of our generation, and finding a three-hour block of time to relive the drama is always worth it. 

James Cameron’s unforgettable epic is very much a romantic drama for its first two hours—a fact that often pleases women, but frustrates men. Of course, if the poor boy-rich girl relationship between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were all this movie had to offer, we’d have forgotten it a long time ago. While we do wish more passengers had their stories told – like the elderly couple hugging on the bed while water floods their room, Ida and Isidor Strauss, the owners of Macy’s – Titanicdelivers one of Hollywood’s greatest and most dramatic spectacles.

John Q. ( 2002 )

John Q. ( 2002 )

John Q” is the kind of movie Mad magazine prays for. It is so earnest, so overwrought and so wildly implausible that it begs to be parodied. I agree with its message– that the richest nation in history should be able to afford national health insurance–but the message is pounded in with such fevered melodrama, it’s as slanted and manipulative as your average political commercial.

An Honorable Mention

Scarface ( 1983 )

Scarface ( 1983 )

“Push it to the limit~!”

Scarface is a film where it shows a fugitive named Tony Montana escape from being held in a concentration camp, and then start his own life of crime, becoming far richer than he was in the process, taking advantage of this fact afterwards.

It’s a really long film, but it’s steadily paced at the same time, looking at the fantastic performances from many cast members, such as Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. A good story is constructed through American territories and Pacino’s character development as well as him being introduced to many more throughout his rocky road.

What I’ve been hearing is that many great movies from years past are long ones involving crime. What I’ve written above summarises why many call this a great crime film. When I saw it, I thought: “They were right!”. Give it a watch.

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