Despite how terrible a year it's been for celebrity deaths, 2016 is a pretty wonderful time to be alive. Sure, the 1990s had Pogs, the Spice Girls and Friends, but did they have the amazing selection of on-demand video content that Netflix has to offer? No. They barely had internet, and we are still haunted by the dial-up screech.
With such a vast array of TV shows, movies and documentaries to watch on Netflix, it can sometimes be hard to navigate that particular minefield to find the perfect date night/night in/drunk-flixing thing to watch.
But worry not, that's why we're here. We've collated our top picks of drama movies available to stream on Netflix right now, so you don't have to. So if you feel like watching some good drama, settle down and strap on in for our guide to Netflix dramas online.
Also for your viewing pleasure:
- The 11 Best Documentaries On Netflix Right Now
- Best Romance Movies On Netflix Right Now
- The Best New Shows Coming To Netflix Will Fulfill All Your Binge-Watching Needs
Note: This list will be updated monthly to reflect the best new drama movies added to Netflix. Newest additions are at the top.
23. Take Me To The River (2015)
- Director: Matt Sobel
- Starring: Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff
- Available on Netflix from: November 12, 2016
Matt Sobel's feature length directorial debut comes with harrowing drama Take Me To The River, taking a look at a dysfunctional family reunion gone very, very wrong.
Ryder (Logan Miller) is a Californian teenage boy who intends to come out to his extended family at their family reunion in Nebraska. But an incident involving his young cousin and a mysterious bloodstain on her dress places him as suspect in a case of abuse. Things spiral out of control when his uncle and mother try to reconcile the family, dreading up a long buried family secret.
22. Burn After Reading (2008)
- Director: Ethan and Joel Coen
- Starring: George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt
- Available on Netflix from: November 16, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck, you're a Mormon. Compared to you we ALL have a drinking problem!"
Another entry from the Coen Brothers arrives on Netflix this month, and it's another master exercise in black humor featuring an all-star cast with Burn After Reading.
When Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) — a CIA agent with a drinking, swearing and anger problem — quits his job to write his memoirs, his cheating wife Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton) accidentally lets some of his ramblings fall into the hands of two dimwitted gym employees. They mistake the numerical data to be sensitive government information, and attempt to blackmail him, not reckoning with the ex-agents anger problem.
Burn After Reading was nominated for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes, won two BAFTAs and was named by the National Board of Review as one of the Top 10 Movies of 2008.
21. Boyhood (2014)
- Director: Richard Linklater
- Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke.
- Available on Netflix from: November 25, 2016
- Most memorable line: "You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kinda thinking it's the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us."
The movie that rocked cinema, Richard Linklater's Boyhood took more than a decade to film in an ambitious drama project spanning eleven years.
In 2001 the then 9-year-old Ellar Coltrane was cast by Linklater to play Mason Evans, Jr., the titular character of Boyhood, a coming of age movie like nothing ever created before. The aim of Boyhood was to have the actors age alongside the characters on screen, filming them over the course of several days at a time between May 2002 and August 2013.
Boyhood received numerous awards for its ambitious filming method, including a Golden Globe, a British Academy Award for Best Film and an Oscar for Supporting Actress.
20. Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)
- Director: Blake Edwards
- Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen
- Available on Netflix from: October 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other."
Breakfast at Tiffany's tops the most iconic '60s films lists and is a vintage movie poster favorite even now. Starring the irreplaceable Audrey Hepburn, and based upon the novel by Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's is an unusual love story filled with twist, turns, and cats with no names.
Hepburn is Holly Golightly, a young New York socialite running from a life she left behind, who intends to marry her way to the top. Even a budding relationship with writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard) doesn't seem to be enough to get in her way, but strange things happen when Tiffany & Co., Cracker Jack rings, and drug rings combine in this classic romance that has become perhaps Hepburn's most iconic role.
Breakfast at Tiffany's won two Academy Awards — Best Original Score and Best Original Song — but was also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay. Breakfast at Tiffany's joins later entries on this list, Saving Private Ryan and Once Upon a Time in the West, as preserved in the National Film Registry due to its "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" status.
19. Titanic (1997)
- Director: James Cameron
- Starring: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates
- Available on Netflix from: October 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go."
For a long time holding the title of highest earning movie ever made, James Cameron's Titanic will be held as the epitome of quasi-historical romance until the end of time. The movie which launched a then 23-year old Leonardo DiCaprio to international fame, Titanic tells a semi-historical account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
It also tells the story of star-crossed lovers Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), who meet aboard the "unsinkable" ship Titanic. Whilst Jack is a homeless vagabond artist, Rose is a 17-year old socialite forced into a marriage to a man she does not love in order to save her family from financial and social ruin. After Jack stops her from committing suicide, an unlikely bond begins to grow between the two, but when Titanic hits an iceberg the two have to fight for more than just their love.
A box-office smash, Titanic made more than $2 billion worldwide, and was the first film ever to gross more than $1 billion. It was also nominated for a massive 14 Academy Awards, of which it won 11 (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song).
18. Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
- Director: Sergio Leone
- Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards
- Available on Netflix from: October 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I saw three of these dusters a short time ago. They were waiting for a train. Inside the dusters, there were three men." "So?" "Inside the men, there were three bullets."
Spaghetti westerns count as dramas, right? Sergio Leone's classic Once Upon a Time in the West is often held as one of the greatest movies ever made, and now it comes to Netflix for all to relive.
Once Upon a Time in the West centers on a land conflict drama in the fictional American Old West town of Flagstone, in addition to a vengeance narrative in which Jill McBain (Claudia Cardinale) sets out to avenge the death of her husband at the hands of the gun for hire Frank (Henry Fonda). Also in the mix is Charles Bronson's strange harmonica-playing man — dubbed merely "Harmonica" — who is also seeking Frank with vengeance in mind.
Once Upon a Time in the West joins Breakfast at Tiffany's and Saving Private Ryan in the National Film Registry, and it's widely considered to be one of the greatest Westerns ever made, as well as the crowning jewel in Leone's filmography.
17. Big Eyes (2014)
- Director: Tim Burton
- Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jon Polito, Krysten Ritter
- Available on Netflix from: October 25, 2016
- Most memorable line: "It’s like a mirage. From the distance, you look like a painter, but up close there is not much there."
A biographical drama, Big Eyes is based upon the life of American artist Margaret Keane, famous for her "big eyes" style of painting and the fact that her husband — Walter Keane — took credit for her work.
Amy Adams portrays Margaret Keane, a painter in the 1950s who meets and marries fellow painter Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). When the two host a gallery show together, Margaret's "big eyes" paintings become the subject of much interest in the art community. Seeing this as an opportunity for self-promotion — and due to the fact that galleries were reluctant to showcase female painters — Walter convinces Margaret to stay home and paint whilr he sells her work, passing it off as his own.
Big Eyes follows Margaret's struggle to be recognized as a true artist in the public eye, and her legal battle against her husband over the paintings. The film itself was well received, winning Adams a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, as well as nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (Waltz), and Best Original Song (Lana del Rey).
16. Jesus Camp (2006)
- Directors: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
- Starring: Becky Fischer, Mike Papantonio
- Available on Netflix from: October 26, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I don't care what kind of hero they are, they're an enemy of God and had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death!"
Cheating a little here with a docudrama, but one which is still an interesting watch 10 years after it was originally released. Jesus Camp is a startling and controversial look at the now closed Kids on Fire School of Ministry, a Christian summer camp in North Dakota.
Run by the Reverend Becky Fischer, the Kids on Fire School was a summer camp school that sought to purify children in the Christian faith as part of what Fischer called the "army of God." Jesus Camp focuses on three summer camp attendees — Levi, Rachael, and Tory — who are all already devout Christians at a very young age. The three all display strong anti-Islamic beliefs, as they are taught that they are "the enemy" they will fight, with Fischer saying that she wishes to see the children in the camp "radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine."
Though it was controversial upon release due to what some saw as an anti-Christian message, Jesus Camp was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, though it did not win.
15. The Imitation Game (2014)
- Director: Morten Tyldum
- Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear
- Available on Netflix from: September 28, 2016
- Most memorable line: "Now, if you wish you could have been normal... I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren't."
Loosely based upon the true life story of Alan Turing — one of the most famous mathematicians of all time — The Imitation Game charts a group of mathematicians' attempts to break the Enigma code during World War II.
Cumberbatch portrays Alan Turing, a genius mathematician suspected of being a Soviet spy who is forced to relay the top-secret details of his activities during the war. Along with a team of Royal Navy cryptologists, Turing was instrumental in cracking the Enigma code, which the Germans used to communicate and coordinate attacks on British and American ships. Despite Turing's major contributions to the war effort, the secrecy of their work and his homosexuality turn others against him, leading to a tragic conclusion.
The Imitation Game was the highest grossing independent movie of 2014, making $233 million on a $14 million budget. It won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated in seven other categories including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Despite some criticism of its portrayal of historical events, The Imitation Game was lauded by LGBT groups and the Human Rights Campaign for bringing Turing's legacy back into popular discourse.
14. True Grit (2010)
- Directors: Ethan and Joel Coen
- Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin
- Available on Netflix from: September 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God."
The Coen Brother's True Grit is the second adaptation of Charles Portis's novel of the same name, first adapted back in the 1960s in a John Wayne-starring Western. It marked the breakout role for the then-14-year old Hailee Steinfeld — who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role — starring alongside heavyweight actors Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.
When her father is murdered by an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), 14-year-old farmhand Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) hires washed-out U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) to help her hunt down Chaney and take revenge for her father's death. Despite Cogburn's initial reservations, Mattie pressures him into taking her along with him, and they team up with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Damon), who is also hot on Chaney's trail.
True Grit was nominated for 10 Academy Awards — including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor. When the Coen brothers learned of the vast amount of nominations for their movie they responded:
"Ten seems like an awful lot. We don't want to take anyone else's".
Their wish came true, sadly, as True Grit did not win in any of its nominated categories.
13. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel
- Available on Netflix from: September 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "Tell her that when you found me I was here and I was with the only brothers that I have left and that there was no way I was gonna desert them. I think she'll understand that. There's no way I'm leaving this bridge."
Saving Private Ryan is one of the most critically acclaimed feathers in Steven Spielberg's already impressive cap, still holding an impressive 90 percent approval rating on Metacritic. The epic war drama film was set during World War II's Invasion of Normandy, and stars Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Tom Sizemore.
As American soldiers prepare to storm the beaches of Normandy, three of the four Ryan family brothers are killed in action, with their mother receiving all three telegrams informing her of their deaths on the same day. In Washington D.C. it is decreed that the fourth brother — the M.I.A. paratrooper Private James Francis Ryan (Damon) — must be retrieved and sent home to his family. They send in Captain John H. Miller (Hanks) with a six-man battalion to rescue the missing Ryan, and along the way, Saving Private Ryan exposes the graphic violence of war and how it affects the soldiers caught within it.
Saving Private Ryan was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and won five: Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Director. It lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare in Love, which is still referred to as one of the biggest Oscar snubs ever. In 2014 the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry due to its historic value.
12. Babel (2006)
- Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
- Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Mohamed Akhzam, Rinko Kikuchi
- Available on Netflix from: September 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "Kill me, but save my brother, he did nothing... nothing. Save my brother... he did nothing."
Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel explores how language, culture and race separate people along cultural boundaries, and how one mistake can change the life of someone completely unrelated to you. The movie weaves together four different stories in a disconnected manner, and watching it is like trying to understand a language you don't speak.
The accidental shooting of an American tourist, Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett), in the desert landscape of Morocco sparks a wave of international incidents across the world as her husband, Richard Jones (Brad Pitt), fights to save her life. The path to justice intersects with local Moroccan goat herders, a strained relationship between a father and daughter in Japan, and an incident at the US/Mexican border that changes the lives of everyone involved.
Babel won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, and was nominated for six others, including Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It also won three awards at Cannes: Best Director, the François Chalais Award and the Technical Grand Prize.
11. Defiance (2008)
- Director: Edward Zwick
- Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, George MacKayNaliboki Forest
- Available on Netflix from: September 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "Our revenge is to live."
Another World War II movie for the list is Edward Zwick's Defiance, set during the 1941 Nazi occupation of Belarus. It was based upon Nechama Tec's 1993 novel Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, which told an account of the Bielski brothers — Polish Jews who led a resistance, rescuing and recruiting persecuted Jews in Belarus during WWII.
In Defiance, Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell and George MacKay portray the four Bielski brothers, who take to the Naliboki Forest after their parents are killed by the occupying German forces. They begin to rally a resistance in the form of a refugee game hidden in the woods, rescuing and sheltering other Jewish escapees fleeing the German forces. They are faced with starvation, sickness and the harsh weather of winter in addition to being hunted by the Germans, but the brothers persist, saving the lives of hundreds in the process.
Despite some criticism for historical inaccuracies — especially in Poland itself — Defiance was generally well received further afield and received one Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.
10. A Single Man (2009)
- Director: Tom Ford
- Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult
- Available on Netflix from: September 11, 2014
- Most memorable line: "Waking up begins with saying am and now. For the past eight months waking up has actually hurt."
A word of warning — don't pop on A Single Man unless you're feeling emotionally stable, because by the end you'll be a wreck. Tom Ford's use of color to convey the love and depression of English professor George (Colin Firth) was a quiet critical success for the fashion designer, propped up by the wonderful acting of Firth, Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult.
Firth plays George, a schoolteacher in Los Angeles in the 1960s, who lives in a state of perpetual numbness and depression since the death of his boyfriend in a car accident a year prior. He decides one morning that he will end his life at the end of the day, and this is the extraordinary day we see depicted in A Single Man.
Moore is his alcoholic best friend Charley, and Hoult is the bright-eyed student who believes he can save George from himself. The way the day ends though, is something that could not have been expected, nor predicted.
9. The Hunt (2012)
- Director: Thomas Vinterberg
- Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Annika Wedderkopp
- Available on Netflix from: January 9, 2014.
- Most memorable line: "The world is full of evil, but if we hold on to each other, it goes away."
A visceral look at how one lie can ruin an innocent man's life, Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt is a great one for the Mads Mikkelsen lovers of the world who are also looking for some hard-hitting drama. Not one for the faint of heart however, it's a startling look at mob mentality and is relevant today more than ever.
Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a well-liked kindergarten school teacher living in a small Danish village and struggling to reconnect with his estranged teenage son. When he's falsely accused of molesting a young girl at his school — the daughter of his best friend — Lucas's life becomes a living hell and a fight for justice as his former friends and neighbors turn on him.
Full of twists, turns and nail-biting moments, The Hunt earned Mikkelsen the award for Best Actor at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, as well as a host of other awards from Cannes, Nordic Council and the National Board.
8. In Bruges (2008)
- Director: Martin McDonagh
- Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Clémence Poésy, Ralph Fiennes
- Available on Netflix from: October 16, 2013
- Most memorable line: "Maybe that's what hell is, the entire rest of eternity spent in f**king Bruges."
Drama and black comedy In Bruges is the perfect blend for when you want something that's going to make you laugh, but also kill you a little on the inside. A word of forewarning though, it's not one for the PC-minded or easily offended — nothing is off limits in In Bruges.
Arguably Colin Farrell's finest role to date, he plays rookie Irish hitman Ray who is forced to lay low in Bruges, Belgium with his older business partner Ken Daley (Brendan Gleeson) after his first hit goes horribly wrong. He meets and falls in love with drug-dealing film production assistant, Chloë Villette (Clémence Poésy), but when his violent boss Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes) shows up, things turn bloody and Ray learns that he can't outrun his past sins.
In Bruges is filled with black humor, romance and some of Ralph Fiennes's finest dialogue ever — "You're an inanimate f**cking object!" — and it's gone on to achieve cult status since it was first released back in 2008.
7. No Country For Old Men (2007)
- Directors: Ethan and Joel Coen
- Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald, Woody Harrelson
- Available on Netflix from: August 14, 2016
- Most memorable line: "Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."
One of the Coen brothers' finest films, No Country for Old Men is a startling and violent take on chance and fate in the West Texas deserts of the 1980s. A pinnacle of the cat-and-mouse drama, it moves along at breakneck pace toward an unpredictable ending fueled by a stellar cast.
Based on the book by The Road writer Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men charts the violent path of hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), as he sets out to retrieve missing drug money from a deal gone horribly wrong. The money ends up in the hands of Josh Brolin's Vietnam veteran Llewelyn Moss, who finds himself the target of a dangerous man who will do anything and kill anyone to get to him.
No Country for Old Men was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Javier Bardem's Oscar win marked the first time a Spanish actor won the prestigious accolade, so that's something too.
6. American Beauty (1999)
- Director: Sam Mendes
- Starring: Kevin Spacey, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, Annette Bening, Wes Bentley
- Available on Netflix from: December 1, 2015
- Most memorable line: "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself. Makes you wonder what else you can do that you've forgotten about."
The archetypal suburban drama, American Beauty still stands as the crowning achievement of director Sam Mendes's impressive career. Endlessly quotable, the surreal drama looks a little closer at the life of Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) — a sexually frustrated and emasculated suburban father whose life changes forever when he develops an attraction to his plain daughter's (Thora Birch) beautiful best friend (Mena Suvari).
Don't let that description fool you though, this is no ordinary mid-life crisis. American Beauty takes a deep psychological dive into the world of suburban America, examining the true nature of life, beauty, sexuality, repression and infatuation.
Considered by critics to be the best film of 1999 when it first released, American Beauty won a shed-load of awards for everything from the ensemble cast to the aesthetics. It might not quite hold up to its reputation today, but it's still an extraordinary piece of cult filmmaking.
5. Trainspotting (1996)
- Director: Danny Boyle
- Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald
- Available on Netflix from: January 1, 2014
- Most memorable line: "Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"
The movie that always comes up in conversation when Scotland is mentioned to a non-Scottish person is Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, one of the finest movies ever made about drug addicts in Edinburgh. It was also the film that really launched the career of Ewan McGregor, who went onto become one of Hollywood's most bankable actors.
Following the trials and tribulations of a group of heroin addicts in the Scottish capital, Danny Boyle's take on the book of the same name by the iconic Irvine Welsh focuses on long time addict Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he tries to clean up his life and get out of the heady drug scene. Another one not for the faint of heart, Trainspotting is the blackest of black comedies, dealing with addiction, death, HIV, the worst toilet in Scotland and babies crawling across the ceiling.
Trainspotting had a profound affect upon popular culture, and remains a landmark of cinema even 20 years later. A sequel — T2: Trainspotting 2 — is set for release in 2017, with much of the original cast returning to reprise their roles and Danny Boyle back in the driver's seat as director. T2 will be based upon Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting follow-up Porno.
4. The Usual Suspects (1995)
- Director: Bryan Singer
- Starring: Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin
- Available on Netflix from: June 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
Another Kevin Spacey classic is The Usual Suspects, which has been picked apart and analyzed by film students the world over. Even 21 years later, it's still a stand-out piece of drama, and well worth devoting an evening to.
Kevin Spacey plays small-time conman Verbal, one of only two survivors of a bloody drug deal gone wrong that turned into a massacre. Using flashbacks and narration, The Usual Suspects is told from Verbal's perspective as he weaves the tale that leads to a deadly shootout on a boat — a complex and twisting narrative of mysterious mob boss Keyser Söze who recruits five seemingly unconnected men who meet at a police line-up.
Another drama with a fantastic cast, The Usual Suspects grossed nearly six times its budget, and became cemented in cinema history thanks to its clever use of multiple plot twists. It's currently ranked as the 35th greatest screenplay of all time by The Writer's Guild of America.
3. Good Will Hunting (1997)
- Director: Gus Van Sant
- Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver
- Available on Netflix from: November 1, 2014
- Most memorable line: "See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f**kin' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"
The late, great Robin Williams will be remembered for many an incredible movie, but Good Will Hunting still stands out as one of his finest performances, and ostensibly the movie that launched Matt Damon's impressive Hollywood career.
The Will of Good Will Hunting is self-sabotaging janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a 20-year old secret genius with a dark past and an aggressive streak resulting from his troubled childhood. After an incident with a police officer and a stuck-up mathematics professor (Stellan Skarsgård) forces him to undergo therapy with Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), the two begin tapping into the young man's troubled psyche, with unexpected repercussions for both men.
Ben Affleck also stars as Will's best friend, Chuckie Sullivan, with Minnie Driver as Skylar — a Harvard graduate who Will falls in love with. Good Will Hunting won two Academy Awards in 1998, Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who also wrote the piece.
2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Starring: R. Lee Ermey, Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Arliss Howard, Adam Baldwin
- Available on Netflix from: June 1, 2016
- Most memorable line: "I bet you're the kind of guy that would f**k a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I'll be watching you."
There had to be a Stanley Kubrick entry on this list, and Full Metal Jacket is one of his finest works, based upon Gustav Hasford's novel The Short-Timers and adapted into an award-winning screenplay by Kubrick and Hasford.
Set during the Vietnam War in 1967, Full Metal Jacket charts the trials of a group of rookie Marine Corps recruits, told through the narration of James T. "Joker" Davis (Matthew Modine). As he moves through basic boot camp training to become a war correspondent in the bloody warzone of Hue, he witnesses how the violence of war desensitizes the men around him, until it becomes hard to tell friend from foe.
Full Metal Jacket is perhaps best remembered for R. Lee Ermey's Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and the tirade of abuse he throws at his soldiers. Ermey was in fact a drill sergeant during the Vietnam War, and used his own experience to ad-lib and improvise a good deal of his dialogue.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis
- Available on Netflix from: January 1, 2014.
- Most memorable line: "The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."
In the years since Pulp Fiction was released it's gone on to be revered as one of the most iconic dramas ever, and it's the movie that really cemented Quentin Tarantino's status as an auteur of the weird and wonderful.
A pop-culture phenomenon, Pulp Fiction references pulp magazines, which began to die out in the 1950s, and it's peppered with movie references and violence galore. Weaving together four seemingly disconnected tales, the lives of hitmen, mob bosses and small-time criminals begin to intersect in strange ways in the city of Los Angeles.
Told through a non-linear narrative, Pulp Fiction had has a profound effect on non-mainstream and independent filmmaking since its release back in 1994. The movie was nominated for seven Oscars and won for Best Original Screenplay, as well as winning the Palme d'Or at 1994's Cannes Film Festival.
That's all for now — we'll update the list as the new releases come out every month so be sure to check back for up-to-date recommendations! Which is your favorite drama on Netflix right now? Tell us in the comments below!