The Best Dramas on Netflix Right Now (January 2021)


Netflix offers just about anything you could want in terms of streaming content. Whatever you’re in the mood for — comedy, thriller, horror, action, anime, documentary, and more — you can find it on Netflix. If you’re looking to feel something, drama is one of the oldest and most respected film genres, and Netflix has a great selection to choose from.

Dramas are usually first in line for Oscar nominations for good reason. Dramas can create impressions that last a lifetime. But with Netflix’s massive library, it’s difficult to pick out everything worth watching, so we’ve gone ahead and pulled together a list of the absolute best dramas you can currently find on Netflix.

Browse other genres

Marriage Story (2019)

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story was one of an astonishing number of Netflix Originals to win Academy Awards in 2019. On the surface, it’s an ordinary movie about an ordinary situation: Man and wife struggle through a divorce. But the depths through which Baumbach explores his characters and gut-wrenching performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver make it hard to look away as these two people who clearly still love each other come to the unavoidable conclusion that they just can’t stay married.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern
Director: Noah Baumbach
Rating: R
Runtime: 136 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes

The Two Popes (2019)

Headlined by tour de force performances from two legendary actors, The Two Popes centers on the transition from Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. A quiet movie that takes place behind the Vatican walls, the two popes could not be more different, but they’re bound by a devotion to the Catholic Church and a shared desire to leave the world a better place. Regardless of your feelings on the Catholic Church, The Two Popes is an entertaining, heartwarming movie about finding common ground through difference. Something we could all learn a little about these days.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 126 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Goodfellas (1990)

One of Martin Scorsese’s best movies and one of the best gangster movies ever made, Goodfellas is must-watch for anyone who enjoys crime drama. Based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, the story follows Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a young man who works hard to advance himself through the ranks of the mob. As he gains riches and luxuries beyond compare, he remains completely oblivious to the horror that he’s causing in other people’s lives. Ultimately, nothing gold can stay.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: R
Runtime: 146 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Gran Torino (2008)

The movie embodiment of Twitter memes about “getting off my lawn” and “old man yelling at clouds,” Gran Torino is a bit self-serious at times, but it nonetheless confronts a real issue in America. Clint Eastwood plays retired auto worker and Korean War vet Walt Kowalski, a man who spends his retirement drinking and hating his Asian, Latino, and Black neighbors. But when he stands up to local gang members who try to force an Asian teen to steal Walt’s car, an unlikely friendship develops between Walt and the boy. Turns out, he has more in common with his neighbors than he thought.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rating: R
Runtime: 117 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Platoon, on Netflix

Platoon (1986)

Oliver Stone’s epic about the Vietnam War is considered one of the best films about America’s most unjust war. The story follows Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), a patriotic university student who enlists in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. But when he’s in the middle of the bush, his patriotic verve begins to fade. His unit is split by infighting between the suspicious Staff Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) who believes nearby villagers are harboring Viet Cong soldiers, and Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who is more sympathetic to the locals. As the two leaders are pitted against one another, it becomes clear the only true enemy is the war itself.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon
Director: Oliver Stone
Rating: R
Runtime: 120 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Adapted from Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel of the same name, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is an ensemble tour de force with a stripped-down Bradley Cooper as its lead. When Patrick Solitano Jr. (Cooper) is released from eight months of intensive psychiatric care, he moves back in with his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Intent on getting his wife back, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widowed woman with an unspecified disorder of her own. As she and Pat begin to bond, Tiffany asks Pat to enter a dance competition with her, a move that Pat is convinced will get him his wife back. A romantic comedy turned on its head and injected with emotional realism, Silver Linings Playbook explores love, family, and psychosis in ways that other filmmakers would never dare to.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director: David O. Russell
Rating: R
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Impossible, the best dramas on Netflix

The Impossible (2012)

The Bennett family is enjoying a Christmas vacation in Thailand in 2004 when they’re unexpectedly caught in the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. As the tidal wave destroys the resort, Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor), Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) are separated. When Maria and Lucas awaken later, they’re hurt and can’t find their children anywhere. Meanwhile, Henry, Thomas, and Simon must wade through the chaos and wreckage to reunite with their family.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 114 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver (1976)

One of Martin Scorsese’s earliest hits is available on Netflix. Taxi Driver follows Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro in a career-making performance), a disillusioned Vietnam War vet who takes a job as a cab driver in New York City. The war has stuck with Travis, and as he carouses in the seedy New York underbelly, he becomes enraged by the world around him, the one that so many of his friends died to protect. Travis becomes a narrative conduit between the pimps of child sex workers and the rhetoric of corrupt politicians, propelling him into vigilantism.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

Watch on Netflix

There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Daniel Day-Lewis is as electrifying as ever in Paul Thomas Anderson’s grim depiction of the American oil rush in early 20th-century California. Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, an aspiring oil baron who will do anything to make a quick buck. So when Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) arrives on his farm and claims there’s oil on the Sunday property, the two men make an arrangement. Daniel journeys to the town of Little Boston with his son in tow and angle to purchase the Sunday Ranch for drilling. But Sunday hasn’t been exactly contrite. There Will Be Blood descends into a hellscape of business clashing with faith and the supernatural, all powered by Day-Lewis’s Oscar-winning performance.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’ Connor
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Rating: R
Runtime: 158 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems is a drama for those with extremely high stress-tolerance. The Safdie Brothers’ drama about a gambling-addicted jeweler is a nonstop adrenaline rush. Adam Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a high-end New York City jeweler who is constantly looking out for his next big windfall. So when NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett takes an interest in Howard’s most recent high-value acquisition, Ratner makes a bet on his good fortune. When his bets on Garnett start paying off, Ratner takes his winnings and makes increasingly high-stakes, irresponsible bets that could net him a retirement fund. Unfortunately, he’s in too deep for some people in his life to wait for that payoff.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett
Director: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
Rating:
R
Runtime:
135 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Social Network on Netflix

The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced chronicle of the origin of Facebook was one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2010, and it delivered. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg, a clever, supremely ambitious Harvard student with a flimsy grasp of ethical behavior. The high-octane film follows Zuckerberg’s singular drive and tunnel vision that helped push Facebook from obscurity to the world’s most revolutionary social phenomenon in just a few short years. And how that tunnel vision alienated the many people who helped him build the company and built a culture of deception and backstabbing at the nascent giant.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Justin Timberlake
Director: David Fincher
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
126 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Irishman, on Netflix

The Irishman (2019)

One of the first Netflix Original Films to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is one of his most ambitious films to date. Scorsese helped establish the gangster genre with films like Goodfellas and Casino, but The Irishman is notably more subdued than those seminal films. The story follows Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), an employee of legendary union leader and mob boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), as he rises from bodyguard to confidante. But as Hoffa becomes more trouble than he’s worth, the other mafia bosses feel it may be time to move on from him, and Sheeran’s the key to it all.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating:
R
Runtime:
209 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Theory of Everything, on Netflix

The Theory of Everything (2014)

The late Stephen Hawking is often considered the smartest man who ever lived. In The Theory of Everything, you see just how the famed physicist rose to that distinction. Following a young Hawking as he learns that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, through his tutelage at Cambridge University, The Theory of Everything holds at its center Hawking’s relationship with his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones). Despite the ravages of his disease, Hawking begins an ambitious study of time (which his doctor says he doesn’t have much of). As he and Jane defy the odds to break new ground in medicine and science, their mutual support empowers them to achieve more than either could alone.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson
Director: James Marsh
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
123 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Spotlight, the best dramas on Netflix

Spotlight (2015)

There are plenty of films about journalism, most of which are highly romanticized, but Spotlight is one of the few that gets it right. Based on the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the film follows the principal members of the Globe’s Spotlight team as they delve into allegations against various priests in Boston. The team in question is a group of distinct personalities played by an all-star cast, including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams. There is no flashy direction nor pyrotechnics here; director Tom McCarthy keeps things simple, focusing on the grim work of the investigators as they move forward inch by inch, connecting the various tiny pieces they need to craft their story.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo
Director: Tom McCarthy
Rating:
R
Runtime:
128 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both turn in tour-de-force performances as unlikely friends who join forces to combat the AIDS epidemic in 1980s Texas as best they can. Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is stunned to learn that he has AIDS — a disease he finds repugnant given its association with the gay community. Told that he has just 30 days to live, Woodroof refuses to give in, seeking out alternative therapies and smuggling unapproved drugs into the U.S. from anywhere he can find them. Joining forces with a fellow patient (Leto), the transgender woman Rayon, who Woodroof would not have gone anywhere near in his previous life. Together, they build a buyers’ club designed to help AIDS patients who have been left behind or ignored entirely by the medical establishment.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Rating:
R
Runtime:
117 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Editors’ Recommendations








Source link

fortyblocks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *