2016 Movies

The Best Drama Movies of 2016  

Ranker Film
654 votes 133 voters 6.4k views 24 items

Heroic characters, beautiful love stories, and tales of survival comprise the best drama movies of 2016. The best 2016 drama films told stories of famous historical figures, intimate relationships, and desperate situations. This is a list of the best drama movies of 2016 featuring everything from The Lobster to La La Land to Sully.

What films will you find on this roundup of the best 2016 drama movies? You won't be surprised to see Moonlight here. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, this film is expected to win a lot of trophies during awards season. It is based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and tells the story of a young man dealing with a dysfunctional family, the war on drugs, and his own sexuality. The original musical La La Land is another one of the best dramas of 2016. Hello, My Name Is Doris was a favorite among fans of independent cinema in 2016. Other good films featured on this best 2016 dramas list include Don't Think Twice, Miles Ahead, and Hell or High Water.

Which 2016 drama is the best? That's up to you to decide. Looking for more drama? Check out these 2019 drama films.

list ordered by
1
Arrival is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It stars Amy ...more

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#249 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #89 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Hacksaw Ridge is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Andrew Garfield, Richard Pyros, Jacob Warner
Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 American biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector. WWII American combat medic and Christian pacifist Desmond ...more
3
Hell or High Water is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
Hell or High Water is a 2016 American neo-western heist-crime film directed by David Mackenzie. The film follows two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who carry out a series of bank robberies ...more
4
Sully is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn
Sully (also known as Sully: Miracle on the Hudson) is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty ...more

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#32 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #17 of 103 The Best New Drama Films of the Last Few Years #106 of 211 The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked

5
La La Land is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend
La La Land is a 2016 American romantic musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, and Rosemarie DeWitt. The plot ...more

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#86 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songsfeaturing Every Song in La La Land, Ranked by Singabilitylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Lion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Lion Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Lion is a 2016 Australian-American-British drama film directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. Brierley (Dev Patel), ...more
7
Captain Fantastic is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler
Captain Fantastic is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. The story centers on a family who are forced by circumstances to ...more

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#30 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #21 of 25 The Best Comedy Movies of 2016 #25 of 40 The Best Movies About Men Raising Kids

8
Love and Friendship is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Love and Friendship Kate Beckinsale, Chlo√ę Sevigny, Xavier Samuel
9
Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan. After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to ...more

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#166 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #123 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Moonlight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson
Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play. A chronicle of the childhood, ...more

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#107 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #59 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Loving is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton
Loving is a 2016 historical drama film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It features Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ...more
12
The Lobster is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden
The Lobster is a 2015 science fiction romantic comedy-drama film directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos in his English-language debut. Its script was awarded the ARTE International Prize ...more

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#130 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #175 of 231 The Best Movies for Women #42 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

13
Midnight Special is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton
Midnight Special is an upcoming American science fiction film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film stars Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, and Joel Edgerton. It is Nichols' ...more

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#61 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #18 of 27 Great Movies About Precocious Children #32 of 61 The Best New Sci-Fi Movies of the Last Few Years

14
Florence Foster Jenkins ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg
Florence Foster Jenkins is a 2016 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears. A New York heiress (Meryl Streep) decides to became an opera singer despite her painful lack of ...more

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#191 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #346 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #97 of 205 The Best Movies About Music

15
Rules Don't Apply is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Rules Don't Apply Lily Collins, Haley Bennett, Taissa Farmiga
16
Jackie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as the titular character, following her life after the ...more

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#155 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #55 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #4 of 54 The Best Biopics About Women

17
Miles Ahead is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Miles Ahead Ewan McGregor, Don Cheadle, Michael Stuhlbarg
Miles Ahead is a 2015 American music film directed by Don Cheadle in his feature directorial debut. Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) attempts to get his career back on track following a period of ...more

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#26 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics #38 of 39 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories #133 of 134 The Best Directorial Debuts of Famous Actors

18
Goat is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Goat Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper
19
Cafe Society is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell
Café Society is a 2016 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The plot follows a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) who moves to 1930s Los Angeles to work for ...more

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#64 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #20 of 25 The Best Comedy Movies of 2016 #15 of 45 The Best Amazon Studios Movies

20
A Bigger Splash is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton
21
Don't Think Twice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Don't Think Twice Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia
22
The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller
The Birth of a Nation is a 2016 American period drama film based on the story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. The film is ...more
23
Into the Forest is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella
Into the Forest is a 2015 Canadian drama film written and directed by Patricia Rozema. The film is based on the book written by Jean Hegland published in 1996. In the near future, two teenage ...more
24
Hello, My Name Is Doris ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs
Hello, My Name Is Doris is a 2016 US romantic comedy-drama film directed by Michael Showalter. A woman (Sally Field) in her 60s tries to act on her attraction to a younger co-worker (Max