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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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.
Steven Spielberg serves up this historical drama chronicling Abraham Lincoln’s fight to end slavery. The movie opens at the beginning of Lincoln’s second term as he ponders over the Civil War’s coming end, and how his Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 doesn’t make slavery illegal. He aims to create the Thirteenth Amendment before the war ends and Southern slaves return to servitude.
The movie chronicles Lincoln’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles to win over the House of Representatives and pass his proposed amendment. Meanwhile, Lincoln goes through issues of his own at home.
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. Pulp Fiction
This crime drama mixes gore with humor to create three stories told out of sequence. Stealing the show are hitmen Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), along with prizefighter Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis). At the center is gangster Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) who controls all three.
In the Jules Winnfield’s story, Wallace sends his two hitmen to retrieve a briefcase carrying something glowing inside. In the Butch Coolidge story, Wallace tells him to purposely lose an upcoming fight, but Coolage accidentally kills his opponent, sending him on the run from Wallace.
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. Schindler’s List
Here’s another historical drama by Steven Spielberg. Based on Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally, the story follows businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) of Czechoslovakia who arrives in Krakow, Poland, seeking fortune during World War II. He acquires a factory to produce enamelware for the German army, pleasing the Nazis.
Once Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes) — one of Hitler’s Nazi butchers — arrives to build a concentration camp, he kills everyone within the Krakow Ghetto, a walled zone housing the Jewish population. The massacre changes Schindler’s view of his Jewish factory workers.
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.