54 voters

The Best Drama Movies Of 2021

Updated July 28, 2021 574 votes 54 voters 2.9k views141 items

Need a little more drama in your life? The best 2021 drama movies are here for you, whether you need to feel inspired or have a good cry. There is a new drama movie for you on this list. Some of these new dramas are based on true stories while others just feel realistic. But what are the best drama movies this year? You get to help decide by voting up your favorite 2021 drama movies. 

Featuring romantic dramas, coming-of-age movies, action dramas, biopics, and comedy-dramas, these films take you everywhere from the courtroom to the wild west. Upcoming drama films in 2021 include the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, In the Heights, and Pieces of a Woman.

Good drama films usually draw you in with emotionally developed characters and tend to avoid melodramatic situations. Which drama movies of 2021 fit such a description? Vote on this list of 2021 drama movies. Give a vote up to the best drama movies of 2021, and vote down anything you feel is overrated or downright bad. Then check back for new and upcoming dramas this year as they are released and added to the list.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker.Try the free app
  • 1

    Paper Spiders

    Peyton List, Stefania LaVie Owen

    Directed byInon Shampanier

    Paper Spiders is a 2021 American drama film directed by Inon Shampanier. A teen makes a series of tough choices as her mother's paranoid delusions threaten to destroy their loving relationship....  more

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  • 2

    The White Tiger

    Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao

    Directed byRamin Bahrani

    The White Tiger is a 2021 Netflix original crime drama film directed by Ramin Bahrani, based on Aravind Adiga's 2008 novel of the same name. A poor Indian driver uses his wit and cunning to break...  more
  • 3

    The Dig

    Lily James, Ralph Fiennes

    Directed bySimon Stone

    The Dig is a 2020 British biographical drama film directed by Simon Stone, based on the novel of the same name by John Preston. In 1938, an archeologist begins a historically significant excavation...  more
  • 4

    Pieces of a Woman

    Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf

    Directed byKornél Mundruczó

    Pieces of a Woman is a 2020 drama film directed by Kornél Mundruczó. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean Carson (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change...  more
  • 5


    Steven Yeun, Yeri Han

    Directed byLee Isaac Chung

    Minari is a 2020 American drama film directed by Lee Isaac Chung. A Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in the 1980s has their life completely changed when their foul-mouthed, sly,...  more
  • 6

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield

    Directed byShaka King

    Judas and the Black Messiah is a 2021 American biographical drama film directed by Shaka King. William O'Neal is a petty criminal in the 1960s who agrees to work as an informant for the FBI in order...  more
  • 7


    Viggo Mortensen, Lance Henriksen

    Directed byViggo Mortensen

    Falling is a 2020 drama film directed by Viggo Mortensen. John (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his partner, Eric (Terry Chen) in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago...  more
  • 8

    One Night in Miami

    Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree

    Directed byRegina King

    One Night in Miami is a 2020 American drama film directed by Regina King. Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Same Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) meet one...  more
  • 9


    Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr.

    Directed bySia

    Music is a 2021 American musical drama film directed by singer-songwriter Sia. Upon becoming the sole guardian of her teenaged, autistic half-sister (Maddie Ziegler). a newly sober free spirit (Kate...  more
  • 10


    Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci

    Directed byHarry Macqueen

    Supernova is a 2020 British drama film directed by Harry Macqueen. Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) have been partners for 20 years and decide to travel across Europe reuniting with...  more
  • 11

    The Ultimate Playlist of Noise

    Madeline Brewer, Oliver Cooper

    Directed byBennett Lasseter

    The Ultimate Playlist of Noise is a 2021 American music drama directed by Bennett Lasseter. After learning he must undergo brain surgery that will render him deaf, an audio-obsessed high school...  more
  • 12

    Our Friend

    Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck

    Directed byGabriela Cowperthwaite

    Our Friend (aka The Friend) is a 2021 American comedy-drama film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. After receiving life-altering news, a couple finds unexpected support from their best friend, who...  more
  • 13


    Clare Dunne, Harriet Walter

    Directed byPhyllida Lloyd

    Herself is a 2020 British drama film directed by Phyllida Lloyd. After the housing system refuses to give her a new home, a single mother decides to build her own while the help of a friendly...  more
  • 14

    Malcolm & Marie

    Zendaya, John David Washington

    Directed bySam Levinson

    Malcolm & Marie is a 2021 American drama film directed by Sam Levinson. After the successful premiere of a his latest movie, a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) test...  more
  • 15

    News Of The World

    Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel

    Directed byPaul Greengrass

    News of the World is a 2020 American western drama film directed by Paul Greengrass, based on the 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles. A widowed Civil War veteran (Tom Hanks) agrees to deliver a girl...  more
  • 16

    In the Heights

    Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins

    Directed byJon M. Chu

    In the Heights is an 2020 American musical drama film directed by Jon M. Chu, based on the Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes. A bodega owner (Anthony Ramos) has mixed...  more


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  • 17

    The Mauritanian

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Levi

    Directed byKevin Macdonald

    The Mauritanian is an 2021 British-American legal thriller film directed by Kevin Macdonald, based on the 2015 prison memoir, Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Salahi. A detainee at the U.S...  more

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  • 18


    Juno Temple, June Squibb

    Directed byFisher Stevens

    Palmer is a 2021 American drama film directed by Fisher Stevens. A former college football star and ex-convict strikes up an unlikely friendship with a boy who was abandoned by his mother....  more
  • 19


    James McAvoy, Sharon Horgan

    Directed byStephen Daldry

    Together is a 2021 British comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Daldry. A husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of the Covid-19...  more
  • 20

    Blue Miracle

    Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Dennis Quaid

    Directed byJulio Quintana

    Blue Miracle is a 2021 American biographical adventure drama film directed by Julio Quintana. To save their cash-strapped orphanage, a guardian and his kids partner with a washed-up boat captain for...  more


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  • 21

    Queen Bees

    Ellen Burstyn, James Caan

    Directed byMichael Lembeck

    Queen Bees is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. While her house undergoes repairs, fiercely independent senior Helen temporarily moves into a nearby retirement community, where...  more


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  • 22

    Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog

    August Maturo, Ken Duken

    Directed byLynn Roth

    Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog is a 2020 American family drama film directed by Lynn Roth, based on the novel by Asher Kravitz. Imprisoned in a concentration camp, a Jewish boy reunites with his...  more


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  • 23


    Deirdre Lovejoy, Aidan Quinn

    Directed byJuan Martinez Vera

    Spiked is a 2021 American drama film directed by Juan Martinez Vera. When the murder of a migrant worker shakes a Southwest border town to its core, the feud between a newspaper owner and the chief...  more
  • 24


    Alena Yiv, Shira Haas

    Directed byRuthy Pribar

    Asia is a 2020 Israeli drama film directed by Ruthy Pribar. Despite living together, Asia barely interacts with her daughter Vika. Their routine is shaken when Vika's health deteriorates rapidly....  more
  • 25

    Spring Blossom

    Suzanne Lindon, Arnaud Valois

    Directed bySuzanne Lindon

    Spring Blossom (aka Seize printemps) is a 2021 French romantic dramedy film directed by Suzanne Lindon. A 16-year-old girl who is bored with her peers becomes involved with an older man at a theater...  more


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