Netflix is full of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more. There’s lots to navigate, making the right movie somewhat hard to find. If you’re in the mood for a tear-jerking or knuckle-whitening drama, have we got the list for you. Here are the ten best drama movies on Netflix you can stream right now, from old favorites to recent releases you might have missed.
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The best drama movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best drama movies on Netflix regularly as the service rotates its library.
1. The King
This movie follows the story of Hal, also known as King Henry V. After trying to escape royal life most of his life, he is forced to take the throne after his father dies. The rightful heir to the throne must now deal with politics and everything that comes with ruling. He is also found in the middle of a war his tyrannical father left behind. The leader needs to adapt to the new life while he settles personal matters.
2. Bird Box
Consider this Netflix’s nod to A Quiet Place. Instead of tiptoeing and keeping quiet to avoid blind monsters, humans must wear blindfolds when going outside. A single look at these supernatural entities drives humans insane to the point of suicide.
The story follows Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) and her two children. They’re heading downstream in a rowing boat packed with a blanket, supplies, and blindfolds. Their goal is to reach a sanctuary, but the journey won’t be easy.
3. Pan’s Labyrinth
Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the best dramas on Netflix. Many say it is producer Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece, mixing fantasy and drama in a film that is bound to captivate viewers.
This movie tells the story of Ofelia and her new life in a military base during the Spanish civil war. Rebels are getting close as her mother is about to give birth to a baby. The struggles of a war zone start building up as Ofelia finds herself in a quest to prove herself as the princess of the underworld after meeting a mythical creature, introducing her to a magical world she only knew in fairy tales.
Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, this movie focuses on two World War II veterans who return home. Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) served as an Army pilot flying the B-25 Mitchell bomber and suffers from PTSD. Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) commanded a Sherman tank in the Army’s infantry and is now a defiant man.
However, Jamie’s family owns a farm outside Marietta, Mississippi, where Ronsel’s family works. Ronsel’s dad tends to the cotton fields, while mom is the McAllan’s housekeeper. The two veterans become friends, but racism still runs deep in the McAllan family blood.
5. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Breaking Bad is a massively popular TV show, and fans can now find closure in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. This film follow Jesse Pinkman after the events in Breaking Bad’s finale. As a fugitive he must now escape from a massive police operation and his past.
Jesse is trying to get out of Albuquerque, but needs a hefty amount of money to do so. Watch the movie to find out how he deals with everything!
6. The Pianist
Famous Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman manages to survive Nazi tyranny in the midst of World War II. He spends much of the time hiding away and scavenging in the Warsaw ruins. This award-winning film captivated the masses with a sad story from one of the toughest times modern history has seen. The Pianist is sure to bring out some tears, but it is also a beautiful story and one of the best dramas on Netflix.
Cleodegaria “Cleo” Gutierrez (Yalitza Aparicio) is one of two live-in housekeepers in a family’s home located in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma neighborhood. Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) is a doctor, while his wife Sofia (Marina de Tavira) stays home with their four children. Sofia’s mother Teresa (Veronica Garcia) lives in the home too along with the other live-in housekeeper, Adela (Nancy Garcia). With all these people living elbow-to-elbow under one roof, everyone — at least all the adults — knows your business.
This family drama focuses on Cleo as she struggles with pregnancy and locks down the baby’s daddy.
Based on Emma Donoghue’s novel, we are introduced to Jack (Jacob Tremblay) celebrating his fifth birthday. He lives with his mom (Brie Larson) in a tiny soundproof shed they call “Room” complete with a tiny kitchenette, a bed, a toilet, a sink, a bathtub, a television, and a skylight serving as their only window. They’re locked away by Jack’s biological father, Old Nick (Sean Bridgers).
Jack doesn’t realize there’s an outside. He’s led to believe Room is his entire world. Moreover, he doesn’t know Old Nick abducted his mother, Joy, seven years ago.
9. The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner isn’t exactly a jolly film to play for a fun night with the family. This movie takes on a more serious note, telling the story of Parvana, an Afghan girl living under the Taliban’s control.
Her father is arrested and the girl must become the provider for her family. Because girls don’t have the same freedoms as men, she has to cut her hair off and dress as a boy. A new world makes her braver and she gets the courage to go looking for her dad.
10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells the story of two boys. One is the child of a Nazi officer overseeing a concentration camp during World War II, and the other a Jewish child imprisoned in the camps.
The movie runs a pretty serious risk of equivocating the experiences of the victims of the Holocaust with those of its perpetrators (which, uh, yikes), but it still offers a pretty compelling look at how inflicting harm can cause both expected and unexpected trauma. On top of that, the ending twist is so sad it borders on emotionally manipulative.
That concludes our list of the best drama movies on Netflix you can stream right now. We’ll update this post with new titles once they launch on the streaming service.