Drama films

25 best drama movies on Netflix

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Throughout our lives, we try to avoid drama and conflict with our parents, friends and colleagues. It’s inevitable, of course, but we think it’s best to leave the drama in the movies. Rather than picking your own fights, watch all the action from the comfort of your couch via countless drama movies on Netflix. Some are based on real events while others are fictional, but they all provide exhilarating entertainment. You will laugh, cry and even jump on the stages of these well known drama films. After all, there’s a reason almost all of these films have won at least one Oscar at the Oscars.

Pop all the popcorn, get comfortable on your couch, and line up for all of these award-winning, fan-favorite drama movies on Netflix. Acting duets like Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay collaborated and lit up the screen with their rousing performances. There are so many different options to choose from, and each of our picks will remind you of your old favorites and present you with hidden gems.

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Trainspotting (1996)

In the flagship role of Ewan Mcgregor, he stars as Mark Renton, a charismatic heroin user who deals with the realities of addiction in this energetic Scottish film. Fans of Grey’s Anatomy will recognize a young Dr. Owen Hunt as one of Renton’s friends who gets caught up in the drug scene.



The Fighter (2010)

Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams put their best Boston accents on this underdog of a struggling boxer (Wahlberg) trying to turn pro as his half-brother (Bale) battles bankruptcy drug addiction his own boxing career.



Billy Elliot (2000)

It’s impossible not to love little Billy Elliot in this endearing British film. The miner’s son learns that his real passion is ballet, and must keep his talent a secret from his disapproving father.



The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Both heartbreaking and hilarious, this film about the messy divorce of two Brooklyn writers is based on director Noah Baumbach’s memories of his own parents’ divorce.



Muddy (2017)

This Sundance favorite focuses on the relationship between two families, a black family and a white family, at the end of World War II in rural Mississippi.



The Theory of Everything (2014)

Travel back to the 1960s in this dramatic film about the real-life experiments of famed physicist Stephen Hawking in Cambridge. There, he fell in love with Jane Wilde, who stands by his side when diagnosed with motor neuron disease. Their heart-wrenching true story is told by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.


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Blue jasmine (2013)

When Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) moved with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) to San Francisco, much of her life fell apart. Her marriage is over and her elite status on the New York social scene seems to be fading. Like most of Woody Allen’s films, this dramatic flick has a star-studded cast that will give you all the thrills.



Childhood (2014)

Shot over a 12-year span, this Netflix drama follows the coming-of-age story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane). You see the actor and the character growing up before your eyes and going through every imaginable step. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play his parents – just another reason this is a must-see movie.



Rome (2018)

Nominated for Best Picture and winner of Best Cinematography at this year’s Oscars, RomeThe accolades of testify to the powerful content of the film. The dramatic film centers on Cleo, the maid of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the 1970s. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) not only has to deal with the ups and downs of the family she works for, but she must also deal with its own series of unexpected events.


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Lincoln (2012)

For this 2012 war drama, director Steven Spielberg transported viewers to the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel-Day Lewis) was in power. His legacy is established in this epic film, which won two Academy Awards, including Best Actor.



She (2013)

What if you got so invested in the technology that you actually fell in love with it? In this futuristic romantic drama, Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore, a divorced man who develops an intimate relationship with an operating system called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).



Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

In his Oscar-winning performance, Matthew McConaughey
plays Ron Woodroof, who learns he was diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s. Woodroof learns that a drug can improve the prognosis and begins to illegally sell it in Texas to others with the diagnosis.



Bedroom (2015)

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in this moving film about a young girl who is kidnapped, imprisoned and who later gives birth to a child in captivity. Their life in “Room” is a life that involves a lot of drama, but also triumph (that’s all we’ll say for now).



The King’s Speech (2010)


The Imitation Game (2014)

Based on the biography of famous computer scientist Alan Turing, this historical drama on Netflix follows Turing’s accomplishments with British intelligence during WWII. He helped break the “Enigma” code of the Germans, which made him a hero. The Oscar-winning film is one that will definitely put you on the edge of your seat.



Moonlight (2016)

In this moving coming-of-age story, we meet Chiron, a gay African American boy, who struggles his entire life with his sexuality, his drug addicted mother, and tries to find his place in this world.



Schindler’s List (1993)

A seven-Oscar winner, this 1993 drama film about a German businessman who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Liam Neeson starred in this epic film, which is considered one of the greatest movies of all time.



The Rain Man (1988)

What started as a race for her ex-father’s $ 3 million fortune turns into an epic of brotherly love. Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a car dealership whose older brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) has autism. Charlie uses Raymond’s gift for his own benefit, but ultimately his life is changed for the good.



Rocky (1976)

If there has ever been a sub-dog story, this is it. Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky Balboa, a little boxer who finds incredible fame after facing world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).



Milk (2008)

Based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, the biographical film follows Milk’s (Sean Penn) journey to become the first openly gay man elected to public office. Often faced with extreme opposition from the people, Milk has never given up on her fight for change and equality.



Howard’s End (1992)

Adapted from EM Forster’s 1910 novel, the film is about two British families: the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes. A deathbed wish made by Ruth Wilcox is ignored, and the repercussions of it haunt the family forever.



Philadelphia (1993)

This 1993 drama stars Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who hides his sexuality and HIV diagnosis from colleagues. But when his secrets are revealed and he is fired, he teams up with another lawyer named Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), to fight against the discrimination he has suffered in the workplace.



The Graduate (1967)

Benjamin Braddock is seduced by his older family friend, Mrs. Robinson, and they begin an unexpected secret affair – until he falls in love with his lover’s daughter. There’s romance, fighting, and a Simon & Garfunkel score that we just can’t get enough of.


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