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Netflix has made a name for itself when it comes to drama movies.
Over the past few years, many of their original films have become critically acclaimed — and some have even earned Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards. On top of that, the platform is also home to numerous excellent dramatic offerings from other studios around the world. From relationship dramas to biopics based on real life, there’s never a shortage of films to fit your mood.
But with the number of dramatic offerings on the streaming service, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly what to watch. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the best drama flicks available to view on the platform right now. Between 2022 releases like The Swimmers and White Noise and award-winning films like Marriage Story and Roma, you’ll find the perfect movie to stream in no time.
Ahead, the best drama movies on Netflix to watch now.
Directed by Noah Baumbach, this 2022 satirical drama centers on a family uprooted from their suburban home after a train accident sets noxious chemicals loose nearby. Inspired by the airborne toxic event from Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel of the same name (and resembling what transpired in East Palestine, Ohio, in February 2023), White Noise features a stellar cast including Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle and more.
With several punches and jaw-dropping action scenes, the award-winning Tollywood adventure drama is one you don’t want to miss. Dubbed in several languages — with Telegu being the original — RRR follows two Indian revolutionaries (Ram Charan and N. T. Rama Rao Jr.) who fuse forces to combat British colonial rule.
Set during the aftermath of the Great Famine, 2022’s The Wonder stars Florence Pugh as English nurse Elizabeth “Lib” Wright, who’s sent to a countryside village in Ireland to examine a young fasting girl (Kíla Lord Cassidy). Although the 11-year-old claims she has survived without food for months, Lib is determined to uncover the reason behind this marvel.
From director Charlie McDowell comes a star-studded crime drama that explores class disparity in America. When a tech billionaire (Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Lily Collins, who’s married to McDowell) stop over at their vacation home, they come across a burglar (Jason Segel) trespassing on the property.
Luckiest Girl Alive
Adapted from Jessica Knoll’s best-selling novel of the same name, this 2022 mystery thriller follows a New York City writer whose storybook life is upended when a true-crime documentarian forces her to rehash her dark past. This film features an ensemble cast, including Mila Kunis, Chiara Aurelia, Finn Wittrock, Connie Britton and more.
Along for the Ride
Fans of the summer romance trope and the signature style of YA author Sarah Dessen will undoubtedly enjoy this 2022 flick. Based on Dessen’s 2009 eponymous novel, Along for the Ride follows a high school grad and insomniac named Auden (Emma Pasarow), who spends the summer before college at her father’s coastal home and becomes smitten with Eli (Belmont Cameli) — a cloak-and-dagger guy who takes her on nightly adventures. Kate Bosworth, Dermot Mulroney and Andie MacDowell also star.
In her directorial debut, Rebecca Hall’s critically acclaimed drama — filmed entirely in black-and-white — centers on two mixed-race childhood friends who reunite as adults during the 1920s; one who is “passing” as a White woman and the other who identifies as Black. Starring Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland and Alexander Skarsgård, Passing explores race, gender and sexuality in the early 20th century.
The Good Nurse
Based on a chilling true story, The Good Nurse chronicles overburdened ICU nurse Amy Loughren as she discovers that her colleague Charlie Cullen has a dark past. When a patient’s unexpected death casts him in a suspicious light, she helps uncover that Charlie has been guilty of murdering dozens of patients. Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne star in the crime thriller.
During a terrible storm, a young girl is kidnapped, and her distraught mother joins forces with her mysterious neighbor Lou to find her kidnapper. With Lou’s quiet life disrupted by the unfortunate event, she must brave the treacherous conditions and her own dark past to save the little girl. Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett star in the J.J. Abrams-produced thriller.
Stanley Sugerman finds himself in a tough spot after being fired as a professional basketball scout. But after discovering an incredible street ball player during a trip to Spain, he takes the opportunity to prove that they both have what it takes to make it to the NBA. Adam Sandler stars alongside Queen Latifah and Juancho Hernangómez.
Based on a true story, sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini (played by real-life siblings Nathalie and Manal Issa) must flee Syria after their home is destroyed during the Civil War. They soon embark on an arduous journey to Greece to seek asylum. After surviving the voyage and heroically saving all those aboard their boat, they turn their attention toward their once-thriving swimming careers. Less than a year after arriving on the shores of Greece, they find themselves competing at the Rio Olympics.
Emily the Criminal
Aubrey Plaza stars as Emily, a college grad drowning in student debt and unable to find a job thanks to a minor criminal record. When she’s offered a job as a “dummy shopper,” she signs on, even if it means she’ll be shopping using stolen credit cards. It isn’t long before she teams up with her middleman Youcef (Theo Rossi) to take things to the next level — but their risky move ends up having deadly consequences.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Based on the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front picks up as war begins in Germany in 1914. The four-time Oscar-winning film follows 17-year-old Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) and his classmates, who quickly enlist in the army, motivated by dreams of heroism and glory. But as Paul heads to the Western Front, his perception of war is drastically changed by the bleak reality of life on the war front.
The Power of the Dog
When intimidating rancher Phil Burbank and his brother George meet widowed proprietress Rose, their lives are changed forever. After George marries Rose and brings her back to the ranch with her teenage son, Phil begins to torment the new family. One day, Phil’s mockery of the young boy unexpectedly turns into mentorship — but it’s unclear if his kind gesture is part of a scheme. Benedict Cumberbatch stars alongside Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
After Ray Cooper’s wife is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, she is set to receive a potentially life-saving drug, but it’s pulled off the market days before her treatment begins. When she passes away not long after, the survival expert promises to avenge the pharmaceutical company responsible for his wife’s passing. Ray must fight while protecting his daughter — the only important person left in his life. Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced costar in the action thriller.
Based on Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel, Rebecca follows a newly married young woman as she moves into her husband’s overwhelming estate on the coast of England. There, she finds herself living in the ever-present shadow of his late wife — and dealing with his obsessive housekeeper. Lily James and Armie Hammer star in this psychological thriller.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
In 1927 Chicago, groundbreaking blues singer Ma Rainey is in the middle of a high-stakes recording session with her band. When Ma Rainey shows up late with a list of demands, tensions rise between the singer, her trumpet player Levee and veteran musician Toledo. Based on August Wilson’s 1982 play of the same name, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom stars Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman (in his last film performance before he died in August 2020) and Glynn Turman.
Mank transports viewers back to Hollywood in the 1930s, following the trials and tribulations of acclaimed screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. The David Fincher-directed film tells the true story of how he developed the first draft of what would become Citizen Kane and the real-life inspiration behind its characters. Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins star.
Tick, Tick… Boom!
Based on playwright Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical, Tick, Tick… Boom! is a coming-of-age story about an aspiring theater composer in N.Y.C. On the verge of his 30th birthday, Jonathan feels his time is running out to create something revolutionary. As he has second thoughts about his career, he must also navigate the complexities of both love and friendship. Andrew Garfield stars as Jonathan in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut alongside Alexandra Shipp and Vanessa Hudgens.
In 1950s London, celebrated dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is at the center of the fashion scene, dressing everyone from the royal family to movie stars. Despite having many women in his life, Woodcock can’t commit — that is, until he meets Alma (Vicky Krieps), a headstrong young woman who becomes both his muse and his lover. Over time, their relationship becomes increasingly more intense — until unusual occurrences occur.
Marriage Story takes an emotional look at divorce as a stage director and his actress wife navigate the bittersweet unraveling of their marriage. They are pushed to their emotional limits as they struggle through their exhausting split and subsequent hostile custody battle. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver star alongside Laura Dern.
The Two Popes
Inspired by true events, The Two Popes looks behind the walls of the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI and the future Pope Francis come face-to-face. The pair must work together to begin a new era for the Catholic Church. The film earned both Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins Oscar nominations in 2020.
The Guilty, a remake of the 2018 Danish film Den Skyldige, follows a police detective relegated to fielding 911 calls on the night shift. When a call comes through from a kidnapped woman, he must scramble to save her — and confront his troubled past. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke and Riley Keough star in the crime thriller.
The Irishman chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history — the disappearance of legendary union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Told from the perspective of a hustler and top hitman, Frank Sheeran, the film spans his life as he rises from bodyguard to confidante. Featuring an all-star cast of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, it reveals the inner workings and hidden corridors of organized crime.
The Lost Daughter
Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2021 directorial debut stars Olivia Colman as Leda, a middle-aged divorcée who becomes an empty nester and decides to take a holiday by the sea. Ending up in a small coastal town in Greece, her initially peaceful trip takes a disconcerting turn when a young family staying at a nearby villa unearths painful memories from her past. Looking back on the difficult choices she made as a mother and the consequences her family faced, she must confront her troubled past.
Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, Loving follows an interracial couple (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) as they fall in love and decide to marry in 1950s Virginia — despite it violating the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. After tying the knot in Washington, D.C., they head back home, only to be arrested and thrown in jail. It began a legal battle that eventually led to the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 ruling that the laws banning interracial marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
After her father’s death, New York photographer Ronit Krushka (Rachel Weisz) flies home to London. She returns to the Orthodox Jewish community that had previously shunned her for her childhood attraction to a female friend. Once there, their reunion reignites the sparks between them.
Richard and Rachel (Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn), a couple in their 40s, have been trying to conceive a child for years and feel they may no longer have any options. While struggling to keep their marriage from falling apart, they must continue to attempt fertility treatments and explore adoption. When their doctor suggests third party reproduction, they hesitate — until their visiting step-niece (Kayli Carter) makes them reconsider.
The Half of It
High schooler Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is an introverted, straight-A student who needs extra money. She agrees to help the school jock (Daniel Diemer) write a love letter for the girl he’s in love with — but along the way, Ellie ends up falling for her too.
Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet), the heir to the English throne, wants nothing to do with royal life and is living among commoners when his tyrannical father dies. He must return to the life he so desperately attempted to escape, where he is reluctantly crowned King Henry V. In his new role as king, he is left to deal with the chaos his father left behind.
Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is haunted by a dark secret, compelling him to commit random acts of kindness for seven strangers who need a second chance. The aeronautical engineer volunteers to donate his organs to gain atonement for his past wrongdoing. But when he falls in love with one of those recipients — a young woman with a fatal heart condition, played by Rosario Dawson — he is forever changed.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
When single mother Liz meets Ted Bundy, she falls head over heels. But when he becomes linked to multiple murders, she can’t bring herself to believe the truth. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile chronicles the life of the notorious serial killer through the eyes of his longtime girlfriend, who struggles to come to terms with who Ted really is during his nationally televised trial. Zac Efron and Lily Collins star.
Based on the true story of Formula One champions James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), Rush looks back on the pair’s legendary rivalry of the 1970s. James and Niki risk their lives every time they get behind the wheel, showcasing their distinctly different driving styles. The pair push themselves to their breaking point — until a life-changing accident nearly ends everything.
The Devil All the Time
Adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s novel, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of sinister characters intertwined in a complicated web. Taking place from the end of World War II until the 1960s, everything leads back to Arvin Eugene Russell. Following the death of both of his parents, Arvin finds himself devoted to doing whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. Tom Holland stars with Bill Skarsgård, Robert Pattinson and Riley Keough.
In her Oscar-winning role, Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a distinguished linguistics professor whose life suddenly changes when she forgets words and phrases. She’s soon diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and must quickly come to terms with the prognosis she faces to make the most of the time she has left.
Best Foreign Language Film winner Roma chronicles a year in the life of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a domestic worker in Mexico City in the early-1970s. She is one of two employees of an upper-middle-class couple, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) and Sofía (Marina de Tavira), hired to help raise their four children. Things get complicated when the problems in Antonio and Sofía’s marriage become apparent, and a pregnant Cleo is abandoned by her boyfriend. Set amid the political turmoil of the time, Cleo must find a way to persevere through the complications of love.
After being released from prison following a two-decade sentence for a murder conviction, Ruth Slater (Sandra Bullock) hopes for a fresh start. But when faced with judgment everywhere she turns, she has only one chance at redemption. She must reconnect with her estranged younger sister Katie — although it proves to be more of a challenge than she anticipated.
Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), a young girl living in the mountains of South Korea, spent 10 years raising Okja, a genetically modified “super-pig.” However, when Okja is taken by the Mirando Corporation, a greedy international conglomerate, Mija follows them to New York on a rescue mission to save Okja from the fate that awaits her.