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The Best Drama Movies of 2016

Updated March 1, 2019 710 votes 144 voters 6.9k views24 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.

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  • 1
    Arrival is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    30
    19

    Arrival

    Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner

    Directed byDenis Villeneuve

    Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 2
    Hacksaw Ridge is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    27
    17

    Hacksaw Ridge

    Andrew Garfield, Richard Pyros

    Directed byMel Gibson

    Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 American biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson, based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 3
    Hell or High Water is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    21
    16

    Hell or High Water

    Ben Foster, Chris Pine

    Released2016

    Directed byDavid Mackenzie

    Hell or High Water is a 2016 American neo-western heist-crime film directed by David... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 4
    La La Land is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    27
    26

    La La Land

    Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

    Released2016

    Directed byDamien Chazelle

    La La Land is a 2016 American romantic musical comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 5
    Lion is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    19
    16

    Lion

    Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman

    Directed byGarth Davis

    Lion is a 2016 Australian-American-British drama film directed by Garth Davis and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 6
    Sully is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    22
    22

    Sully

    Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Sully (also known as Sully: Miracle on the Hudson) is a 2016 American biographical drama film... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 7
    Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    22
    24

    Manchester by the Sea

    Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams

    Directed byKenneth Lonergan

    Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan.... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 8
    Captain Fantastic is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    17
    17

    Captain Fantastic

    Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay

    Directed byMatt Ross

    Captain Fantastic is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matt Ross and... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 9
    Moonlight is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    16
    19

    Moonlight

    Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp

    Released2016

    Directed byBarry Jenkins

    Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 10
    Loving is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    10
    11

    Loving

    Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton

    Directed byJeff Nichols

    Loving is a 2016 historical drama film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It features Joel... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 11
    Love and Friendship is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    15
    19

    Love and Friendship

    Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny
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  • 12
    Midnight Special is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    11
    14

    Midnight Special

    Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon

    Released2015

    Directed byJeff Nichols

    Midnight Special is an upcoming American science fiction film written and directed by Jeff... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 13
    The Lobster is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    12
    16

    The Lobster

    Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz

    Released2015

    Directed byYorgos Lanthimos

    The Lobster is a 2015 science fiction romantic comedy-drama film directed by Greek director... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 14
    Florence Foster Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    9
    14

    Florence Foster Jenkins

    Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant

    Released2016

    Directed byStephen Frears

    Florence Foster Jenkins is a 2016 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears. ... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 15
    Rules Don't Apply is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    7
    12

    Rules Don't Apply

    Lily Collins, Haley Bennett
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  • 16
    Jackie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    8
    17

    Jackie

    Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard
    Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 17
    Goat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    6
    15

    Goat

    Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas
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  • 18
    Café Society is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    4
    12

    Café Society

    Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Café Society is a 2016 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 19
    Miles Ahead is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    5
    15

    Miles Ahead

    Ewan McGregor, Don Cheadle

    Released2015

    Directed byDon Cheadle

    Miles Ahead is a 2015 American music film directed by Don Cheadle in his feature directorial... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 20
    Hello, My Name Is Doris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    4
    17

    Hello, My Name Is Doris

    Sally Field, Max Greenfield

    Released2016

    Directed byMichael Showalter

    Hello, My Name Is Doris is a 2016 US romantic comedy-drama film directed by Michael Showalter.... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 21
    A Bigger Splash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    4
    18

    A Bigger Splash

    Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson

    Released1974

    Directed byJack Hazan

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 22
    The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    3
    13

    The Birth of a Nation

    Nate Parker, Armie Hammer

    Directed byNate Parker

    The Birth of a Nation is a 2016 American period drama film based on the story of Nat Turner,... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 23
    Into the Forest is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    3
    14

    Into the Forest

    Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood

    Directed byPatricia Rozema

    Into the Forest is a 2015 Canadian drama film written and directed by Patricia Rozema. The... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 24
    Don't Think Twice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2016
    3
    16

    Don't Think Twice

    Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs
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