So after much debate for the past few months to write this blog post, we’ve tackled one of the hardest questions that has ever existed on the internet. What were the top 10 Drama movies of all time? Some have written articles on the top 25, 50 and even 100 best drama films of all time, and it’s easy to see why… they didn’t want to be charged with the task of having to decide only the top 10. While there are hundreds of great drama movies out there, we believe it was possible to narrow down the greatest 10 of all time. Now, trying to accomplish the feet of choosing the best drama movie of all time is an exercise of chaos, and it was pretty stormy just going through all the votes for the 10. After hearing everyone’s side of the story and near fisticuffs breaking out, this is the list that I feel most confident in calling the top 10.
I’m sure there are some out there who will disagree, and that’s awesome, please feel free to make your case in the comment sections below. Until you make a compelling argument to the contrary, this is the ultimate list…
1. THE LOST WEEKEND
The Lost Weekend (1945) – Come have a drink with Don Birnam as he dupes his girlfriend into taking his brother to a show so he can get a few in drinks in before going away for the weekend. Classic. His brother Wic, pissed off that he has to once again deal with Don’s drunken episodes, takes off to the country without him, leaving his girl Helen in NYC to watch after him. This would have been easier if she didn’t have to work the whole weekend? Don manages to find enough money and avoid Helen long enough to hit Nat’s Bar again where he explains his novel to the barkeep. He regales the time he first met Helen and, of course, the disappointing reality of when she discovered he was a drunkard. I won’t spoil the rest for you. Go see this movie, it is arguably one of the best movies ever written.
2. THE CITY OF GOD
The City of God (2002) – Based on true events, this awesome crime/drama film details the lives of childhood friends growing up in Rio de Janeiro, some become gang members, some become playboys, but they’re all in it together. Drugs, crime, poverty, gang war, and death encompass the parts of Brazil where the tourists dare not tread. Even people who hate subtitles and foreign films will love this drama. Every time I watch it keeps me on the edge of my seat emotionally.
3. SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Shawshank Redemption (1994) – the film tells the story of a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation. A classic film starring one of my favorite actors, Morgan Freeman.
4. DOLORES CLAIBORNE
Dolores Claiborne (1995) – “Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has left to hold on to”. Selena, Dolores’s Daughter, travels up from New York to a small town in Maine to help her mother who has been accused of murder. Nobody has any confidence that Dolores was innocent, not even her daughter. She is very hostile in dealing with her mother until events and memories unfold to where Selena eventually realizes that her mother was in fact innocent.
5. GOOD WILL HUNTING
Good Will Hunting (1997) – A badass intellectual kid with dreams of becoming a laborer for the rest of his life is shown the light by his therapist who could only have been played by Robin fucking Williams. If anybody else was staffed to play Sean Maguire, the whole thing would have fallen apart. This movie really touched base with me because I was a fiercely intelligent punk rocker who turned down a college scholarship be a laborer too. Yeah, I learned the hard way Sean was right. Whether you go to school or not, learn everything, do everything you want and are capable of doing!
6. FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) – Some people think that Fear and Loathing is a dark comedy, but in actuality it is a drama. I suspect those who call it a comedy aren’t familiar with the work of Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter Thompson was responsible for some of the greatest literature of the 20th Century. A privileged glimpse into the mind of an authentic poetic soul, Fear and Loathing explores the drug addled reality of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo while surviving in Las Vegas.
7. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
A Clockwork Orange (1971) – The concepts of good and evil have been the basis for philosophical inquiry since human beings first began the pursuit of knowledge. The story explores the negative utopian side affects of compelling a man to “be good” by removing the choice to commit evil. In Kubrick’s ending (the movie) Alex is restored to his ultra violent ways filled with lust and random acts of carnage, leaving out Burgess’s last chapter in the novella where alex comes to reformation on his own free will. Which ever ending you choose, they both have merits… nevertheless the movie will always be one of my favorite dramas.
Goodfellas (1990) – Having endured the lengthy debate between The Godfather and Goodfellas, I made the decision not only that Goodfellas was superior, but The Godfather, while I think deserves to be called a classic, didn’t even make the top 10. I know this decision pissed off some close friends, but I’m doing this with the utmost sincerity. The Godfather wasn’t based on true events and it just didn’t have that same cinematic adrenaline as Goodfellas. Ultimately, the final choice wasn’t hard for me to make despite all of the emotional attachment people have to the Godfather.
9. A BEAUTIFUL MIND
A Beautiful Mind (2001) – Most geniuses can be a little arrogant and awkward, but John Nash probably has most beat. The movie delves into the life of the famous mathematician who succumbed to schizophrenia. While leaving out some of the harsh realities Nash faced, the movie captured his career and life quite eloquently and had us questioning the very nature of existence. What is real? What isn’t? How can you really know?
10. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – One thing I really admired about this movie is that it has such a deep social message while still appearing to be a real movie with entertainment value, not too slanted or political. The meaning is conveyed in such a way as to not arouse contempt in the viewer, but to make us really contemplate, “what is jusice?”. It’s impossible for most of us to truly know what it feels like to have to face down an angry mob who has already committed to a guilty verdict, but it does teach us to think and empathize. Atticus’s character, the voice of reason, is something we’d hope presents itself somewhere in all of the scapegoating and witchhunts. Everybody deserves a fair trial, due process, and not to be sentenced by their appearance but only by facts and logic.
If you agree or disagree with our list, please comment below: