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Best drama movies from the last decade

  • #20. Gone Girl (2014)

    - Director: David Fincher
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 782,726
    - Metascore: 79
    - Runtime: 149 min

    A woman (Rosamund Pike) is missing and presumed dead, and her husband (Ben Affleck) is the lead suspect. As media scrutiny intensifies, one outrageous revelation gives way to another. Adapting her own novel, best-selling author Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for this smash hit.

  • #19. Winter Sleep (2014)

    - Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 38,787
    - Metascore: 88
    - Runtime: 196 min

    Culling inspiration from short stories by Anton Chekhov, this three-plus-hour drama takes place inside a small Turkish hotel. Seeking shelter from a snowstorm, eccentric and neurotic characters tackle philosophical dilemmas and interpersonal ones alike. Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan employs confident camerawork and a purposefully novelistic style, layering psychological nuances beneath a veneer of constant gab.

  • #18. Green Book (2018)

    - Director: Peter Farrelly
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 256,267
    - Metascore: 69
    - Runtime: 130 min

    Director Peter Farrelly was best known for slapstick comedy until he churned out this heartfelt drama, which still delivers plenty of comic relief. Set in the 1960s, it follows a white working-class driver (Viggo Mortensen) and his erudite black client (Mahershala Ali) on a road trip through the deep South. Despite numerous controversies, the film scored big at the box office and continues to rank high among viewers.

  • #17. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

    - Director: Martin McDonagh
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 366,033
    - Metascore: 88
    - Runtime: 115 min

    A woman (Frances McDormand) rents three billboards and then uses them to shame the local police, who have failed to find her daughter’s killer. Not only was the premise loosely inspired by actual events, but it paid the inspiration forward by prompting demonstrators to employ a similar tactic. McDormand won the Academy Award for Best Actress and co-star Sam Rockwell won for Best Supporting Actor.

  • #16. Warrior (2011)

    - Director: Gavin O'Connor
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 410,504
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 140 min

    When the son (Tom Hardy) of a former boxer (Nick Nolte) enters a mixed martial arts tournament, it puts him on a collision course with his estranged older brother (Joel Edgerton). Hardy underwent intense MMA training to prepare for the role, bulking up in the process. The film underperformed during its theatrical run but has since garnered a loyal cult following.

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  • #15. Inside Out (2015)

    - Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 554,693
    - Metascore: 94
    - Runtime: 95 min

    Pixar takes viewers inside the head of a young girl named Riley, whose life is uprooted when her family moves to San Francisco. As Riley navigates her surroundings, her personified emotions embark on a perilous journey of their own. This is one of nine Pixar films (to date) to have won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

  • #14. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

    - Director: Martin Scorsese
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Votes: 1,067,405
    - Metascore: 75
    - Runtime: 180 min

    Martin Scorsese chronicles the real-life exploits of Wall Street con man Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and turns in one of his most comedic works. Underpinning the outrageous antics is a dark satire about the nature of greed and excess. Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie co-star, and Belfort himself makes a cameo.

  • #13. The Lighthouse (2019)

    - Director: Robert Eggers
    - IMDb user rating: 8.3
    - Votes: 10,213
    - Metascore: 83
    - Runtime: 109 min

    Robert Eggers’s sophomore effort takes place in 19th-century New England and centers on the fraught relationship between two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson). Equal parts psychodrama and horror, the film cultivates the sensation of a prolonged fever dream. To drive home the moody atmosphere, Eggers shot the film on 35mm in black and white.

  • #12. Incendies (2010)

    - Director: Denis Villeneuve
    - IMDb user rating: 8.3
    - Votes: 128,921
    - Metascore: 80
    - Runtime: 131 min

    Denis Villeneuve’s highest-ranking drama straddles multiple generations and cultures, following Canadian twins on their journey to the Middle East. Tasked with uncovering their twisted family roots, the twins learn a horrifying truth about the wages of war. Villeneuve’s distinctive visual style and use of flashbacks help convey “a dialogue between past and present.”

  • #11. A Separation (2011)

    - Director: Asghar Farhadi
    - IMDb user rating: 8.3
    - Votes: 202,680
    - Metascore: 95
    - Runtime: 123 min

    Offering a direct window into Iranian society, Asghar Farhadi’s domestic drama portrays the bitter dispute between a husband and wife. Torn apart by separate responsibilities and desires, the couple must determine whether to stay together or get divorced. The movie won a number of major awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

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