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Best drama movies from the last decade

  • #40. The King's Speech (2010)

    - Director: Tom Hooper
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 603,828
    - Metascore: 88
    - Runtime: 118 min

    Winner of four major Academy Awards—including Best Picture—this historical drama tells the true story of King George VI (played by Colin Firth). Before he can properly take the throne, the king must learn to overcome an embarrassing speech impediment. Enter a personal speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush), who also becomes a close friend.

  • #39. The Imitation Game (2014)

    - Director: Morten Tyldum
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 633,758
    - Metascore: 73
    - Runtime: 114 min

    Tasked with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II, math genius Alan Turing develops one of the world’s earliest computer prototypes. The acclaimed biopic demonstrates how some of history’s most important innovations are often the result of its most debilitating wars. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role and turns in one of his finest performances.

  • #38. The Revenant (2015)

    - Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 641,556
    - Metascore: 76
    - Runtime: 156 min

    Inspired by actual events, this brutal adventure drama tells the story of early 19th-century frontiersman Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Ravaged by a bear and left for dead, Glass musters just enough strength to track down the man who killed his son. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for DiCaprio and Best Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

  • #37. Black Swan (2010)

    - Director: Darren Aronofsky
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 660,792
    - Metascore: 79
    - Runtime: 108 min

    A talented ballet dancer named Nina (Natalie Portman) struggles to maintain her sanity after landing the lead role in a production of “Swan Lake.” Darren Aronofsky’s knack for dark lighting and claustrophobic camerawork takes this psychological drama to bone-chilling extremes. It retains a perennial sense of dread all the way up until its final moments of catharsis.

  • #36. The Martian (2015)

    - Director: Ridley Scott
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 700,154
    - Metascore: 80
    - Runtime: 144 min

    Andy Weir’s popular novel made for an equally popular film, starring Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney. Stranded during a massive storm, Watney must learn to survive on a lifeless planet while waiting for his crew to return. Under the confident guidance of director Ridley Scott, the film balances various genres to seamless effect.

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  • #35. The Wild Pear Tree (2018)

    - Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 14,000
    - Metascore: 86
    - Runtime: 188 min

    A post-graduate writer returns home and tries to publish his first novel, confronting familiar people and places in the process. Peppering moments of comedy and fantasy into a harsher realist paradigm, the Turkish film explores themes of both personal and national identity. AV Club critic Lawrence Garcia says the film is at its best when it “captures not just the feeling, but also the process of coming to terms with one's place in society.”

  • #34. Wolf Children (2012)

    - Director: Mamoru Hosoda
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 33,187
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 117 min

    Blending CG and celluloid animation, this family drama chronicles the exploits of a widowed mother and her two half-werewolf children. Far more than a modern-day fairytale, the film provides a testament to the struggles of motherhood. Its purposefully sentimental execution goes straight to the heart.

  • #33. Mommy (2014)

    - Director: Xavier Dolan
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 44,437
    - Metascore: 74
    - Runtime: 139 min

    On the opposite end of the spectrum from movies like “Wolf Children” is this uber-serious Canadian drama. Co-winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, “Mommy” depicts the struggles of a widowed mother as she tries to raise her violent son. A no-holds-barred approach generates constant tension and gives way to occasional physical brutality.

  • #32. Song of the Sea (2014)

    - Director: Tomm Moore
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 45,516
    - Metascore: 85
    - Runtime: 93 min

    Rendered in Tomm Moore’s signature hand-drawn animation style, this thrilling adventure follows a pair of young siblings on their journey across the sea. It pulls viewers into a magical world from the first frame onward, even when dispensing some heavy modernist themes. Fans should also check out Moore’s 2009 effort, “The Secret of Kells,” which likewise draws upon Celtic lore.

  • #31. The Handmaiden (2016)

    - Director: Park Chan-wook
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 85,832
    - Metascore: 84
    - Runtime: 145 min

    As the helmer of movies like “Lady Vengeance” and “Oldboy,” South Korea’s Park Chan-wook is no stranger to tales of violence, lust, and betrayal. This effort comes straight out of the director’s wheelhouse, telling the story of a deceptive handmaiden and her Japanese employer. Divided into three parts, it delivers shocking twists and turns on its way to a violent climax.

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