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Best drama movies from the last decade

  • #30. Wild Tales (2014)

    - Director: Damián Szifron
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 156,429
    - Metascore: 77
    - Runtime: 122 min

    Consisting of six short films, this Argentine-Spanish anthology imparts its own special brand of pitch-black comedy. While the segments aren’t directly correlated, they share a common foundation of wild behavior and unexpected outcome. Legendary director Pedro Almodóvar co-produced.

  • #29. Room (2015)

    - Director: Lenny Abrahamson
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 328,741
    - Metascore: 86
    - Runtime: 118 min

    Best-selling author Emma Donoghue adapted her own novel when writing the screenplay for this independent drama. It stars Brie Larson as a kidnap victim who must raise a son while confined to a solitary room by her abductor. If “Short Term 12” announced Larson as a major leading talent, this Oscar-winning performance sealed the deal.

  • #28. Spotlight (2015)

    - Director: Tom McCarthy
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 377,311
    - Metascore: 93
    - Runtime: 129 min

    In this Best Picture winner, Boston journalists uncover a long-overdue story of sexual abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese. Their subsequent reporting paves the way for an international scandal, exposing decades of corruption around the world. To prepare for the shoot, a number of A-list actors spent time with their real-life counterparts.

  • #27. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

    - Director: Mel Gibson
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 382,559
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 139 min

    Returning from Hollywood exile, Mel Gibson churned out this graphic Word War II drama. It stars Andrew Garfield as Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, a conscientious objector who saved numerous lives during the Battle of Okinawa. He goes on to become the first man in history to win the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

  • #26. The Help (2011)

    - Director: Tate Taylor
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 400,023
    - Metascore: 62
    - Runtime: 146 min

    When an aspiring writer (Emma Stone) chronicles the lives of African American housekeepers in 1960s Mississippi, it sparks controversy among the rich and poor alike. Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis play Minny and Aibileen, two maids with endearing personalities. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios, the film retains a somewhat breezy atmosphere while peeling back the curtain on racial oppression.

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  • #25. Rush (2013)

    - Director: Ron Howard
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 401,695
    - Metascore: 75
    - Runtime: 123 min

    The true story of a famous rivalry between two Formula One drivers revs to life in this gripping sports drama. English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) takes his talent for granted while Austria’s Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) works tirelessly to hone his skill. It’s a race between the pursuit of fame and the pursuit of perfection and only one man can win.

  • #24. Prisoners (2013)

    - Director: Denis Villeneuve
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 542,242
    - Metascore: 74
    - Runtime: 153 min

    Denis Villeneuve is behind no less than four of the best dramas from the past decade, including this taut thriller. When his daughter is abducted, a man (Hugh Jackman) narrows in on a suspect and then takes matters into his own hands. Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano also star.

  • #23. Logan (2017)

    - Director: James Mangold
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 584,306
    - Metascore: 77
    - Runtime: 137 min

    The original “Wolverine” saga came to a fitting close with this R-rated entry, which sees Hugh Jackman baring his claws for one last time. Losing strength and motivation in a desolate wasteland, the X-Man learns that there’s still some fight left in him yet. Rumors of a new Wolverine appearance persist, though it remains unlikely that Jackman will return to the role.

  • #22. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

    - Director: Steve McQueen
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 590,802
    - Metascore: 96
    - Runtime: 134 min

    Solomon Northup’s own 1853 memoir lays the groundwork for this historical drama, which follows Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) from Northern gentleman to Southern slave. Over the course of 12 years, he must endure the sadistic whims of an alcoholic slave owner (Michael Fassbender). The acclaimed film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • #21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

    - Director: David Yates
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 707,182
    - Metascore: 87
    - Runtime: 130 min

    The original “Harry Potter” film series ended on a high note, garnering near-universal acclaim and earning over $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office. The story builds to a thrilling and climactic battle between Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). A fantasy film perhaps, but no fan can argue that it didn’t also deliver copious amounts of compelling drama.

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