8 Best Drama Movies on Netflix

The best drama movies on Netflix can provide us with a new way of looking at life through the prism of another time or place. Even if they do not mirror real life perfectly, dramas seem able to give us facsimiles that can be eerily similar to our lives. Sometimes, the best Netflix drama movies can offer us a look at a situation that is possible even if it isn’t probable.¬†Our list of the best drama movies on Netflix will bring you several options that cut across many sub-genres and involve disparate themes. While all of these films share a dramatic flair, they vary in subject matter and tone.

8. Shelter (2014)

Genre: Drama
Release Date on Netflix: March 12, 2016
Writers: Paul Bettany
Director: Paul Bettany
Running Time: 105 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.5
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: Norway, Sweden, Thailand, US

The best drama movies on Netflix sometimes show us how harsh life can be when we least expect it. This film takes the look at the similarities and differences between two people living homeless on New York’s always-crowded streets. While the plot is intriguing, it features directing from actor and Marvel alumni Paul Bettany and acting from fellow Marvel cast member Anthony Mackie.

7. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Genre: Dark Drama
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Stanley Kubrick
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Running Time: 159 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: Germany, US

You’re sure to find Stanley Kubrick’s final work one of the best drama movies on Netflix. One of the best things about the film is its ability to draw you in for a variety of reasons. The twisted tale of strange, provocative encounters in one married man’s life, played by the accomplished Tom Cruise, is a mix of themes that will leave you with intriguing questions.

6. Newness (2017)

Genre: Dark Romantic Drama
Release Date on Netflix: February 1, 2018
Writers: Ben York Jones
Director: Drake Doremus
Running Time: 117 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
MPAA Rating: NR
Available in: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, US

While hooking up using modern dating apps isn’t particularly new, this film handles it in a way that feels fresh. The two stars use an app to start a relationship that, while physical, is also driven largely by their use of social media.

5. The Truman Show (1998)

Genre: Comic Drama
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Andrew Niccol
Director: Peter Weir
Running Time: 103 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
MPAA Rating: PG
Available in: Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, US

This classic film showcases the range of comedian Jim Carrey‘s acting talents and remains one of the best drama movies on Netflix. It’s a bizarrely comical look at one man’s life in the form of a perpetual reality television show with Carrey’s character as the star.

4. Jackie Brown (1997)

Genre: Crime Drama
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Quentin Tarantino, Elmore Leonard
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Running Time: 154 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: Italy, Japan, Spain, US

“Jackie Brown” may be one of director Quentin Tarantino’s most underrated films, and it’s certainly one of the best drama movies on Netflix. While it is a crime drama with Tarantino’s typical penchant for violence, it’s also something of a love story between the two main characters and a departure from the director’s usual fare.

If you love drama movies but these seem a tad too serious for you, we also recommend going through our collection of the best teen movies on Netflix!

3. Carol (2015)

Genre: Period Drama
Release Date on Netflix: January 1, 2017
Writers: Phyllis Nagy, Patricia Highsmith
Director: Todd Haynes
Running Time: 118 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Japan, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, US

Period pieces make some of the best drama movies on Netflix, and this film is no exception. It’s a story about forbidden love in a different time as a married woman starts a relationship with a younger female.

2. Difret (2014)

Genre: International Drama
Release Date on Netflix: July 1, 2016
Writers: Zeresenay Mahari
Director: Zeresenay Mahari
Running Time: 99 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Available in: US

International films make some of the best drama movies on Netflix thanks to their ability to show us a slice of life far removed from our own. “Difret” follows a young lawyer attempting to defend a girl facing death for murder. She is accused of the crime after she kills a man who tried to force her into marrying him.

If you like these suggestions, we also recommend going through our list of the best sad movies on Netflix! And if you’re in the mood for some cheesy romance/drama movie, you can’t go wrong with any of these Lifetime movies on Netflix!

1. 45 Years (2015)

Genre: Dark Drama
Release Date on Netflix: March 30, 2016
Writers: Andrew Haigh
Director: Andrew Haigh
Running Time: 91 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: Australia, Canada, US

As this film shows starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay shows, enduring love is not always without its conflicts. The main characters are preparing to celebrate 45 years of being together when secrets come to light that reveal old wounds and put things into a different perspective.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to experience fictional yet realistic interpretations of the world around us and the people in it, these are some of the best Netflix drama movies currently available. Various themes and acting styles intermingle to provide a finished product that is sure to tug at your emotions or offer a fresh perspective. Please share your thoughts on the best Netflix drama movies with us below.

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