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The Best Drama Movies of 2013 

Ranker Film
407 votes 64 voters 9.7k views

List of the best drama movies of 2013, as ranked by movie critics and fans. Although there are showier movie genres, from supernatural horror thrillers to romantic comedies, the drama film genre often attracts the most talent. The top drama films of any given year usually have the best screenwriters, finest actors, and world renowned directors working tirelessly to put together a truly amazing film. Fantastic drama movies usually end up being the ones that take home the most statues during award season. These films can be emotionally honest, suspenseful, thought provoking, and make the viewers feel hundreds of emotions during the course of the film.

In 2013, there were many drama films that deserved every word of praise they received. Films like Twelve Years a Slave and The Butler depicted real life events in a well-done package. Movies like Prisoners and Captain Phillips kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Other dramatic film told completely fictional stories in the most interesting ways possible.

What are the best drama films of 2013? For movies with the best performances, best directors, best scripts, and overall greatest experience in the movie theater, these drama films are the perfect option.

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Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max Martini
Captain Phillips is a 2013 American biographical thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. The film is inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk ...more

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#960 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #5 of 21 The Greatest Lost at Sea Movies Ever Made

2
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Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film, co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Ron Woodroof was an AIDS patient diagnosed in ...more

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#70 of 238 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #15 of 38 The Best Medical Movies Based on True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello
Prisoners is a 2013 American drama thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. Two young girls in Pennsylvania are kidnapped and the father of one of the girls, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), must ...more

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4
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Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch
12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more

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5
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Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde
Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film directed by Ron Howard. The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

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#12 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made #3 of 22 The Best Chris Hemsworth Movies

6
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more

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#196 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #9 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #127 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

7
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Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in ...more

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#155 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck #246 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
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Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert De Niro
American Hustle is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, inspired by the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and ...more

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#865 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #56 of 113 The Best Mafia Films

9
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Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch
This film is a 2013 American-German drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is about a young girl living with her ...more

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#290 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #27 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

10
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Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
Side Effects is a 2013 American psychological thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh from a screenplay written by Scott Z. Burns. The film stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, ...more
11
The Butler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2013
Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey
The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest ...more

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#476 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #139 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #7 of 39 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

12
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Judi Dench, Michelle Fairley, Steve Coogan
Philomena is a 2013 drama film directed by Stephen Frears, based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by journalist Martin Sixsmith. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, it tells the ...more
13
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Rachel McAdams, Margot Robbie, Bill Nighy
About Time is a 2013 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. A young man (Domhnall Gleeson) with the special ability to time travel tries to change his past in order to ...more

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#168 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #170 of 173 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

14
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Isla Fisher, Carey Mulligan
The Great Gatsby is a 2013 Australian-American 3D drama film based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. The film was co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, and stars Leonardo ...more

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#117 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #23 of 97 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
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Steve Carell, Amanda Peet, AnnaSophia Robb
The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in their directorial debut. The film stars Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison ...more
16
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Kate Winslet, Tobey Maguire, Josh Brolin
Labor Day is a 2013 American drama film directed by Jason Reitman, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard. Depressed single mom Adele (Kate Winslet) and her son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) offer a ...more

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17
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Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt
Don Jon is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Produced by Ram Bergman and Nicolas Chartier, the film stars Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett ...more
18
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Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Athina Rachel Tsangari
Before Midnight is a 2013 American romantic drama film, the third in a trilogy featuring two characters, following Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. It was directed by Richard Linklater and ...more

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#15 of 33 25+ Great Movies About Depressing Couples #11 of 14 Franchises Where The Best Installment Came Way After The Original

19
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Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh. French teenager Adèle ...more

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#511 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #362 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

20
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Rosario Dawson, James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel
Trance is a 2013 British psychological thriller film directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge from a story by Ahearne. The film stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, ...more
21
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Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling
This film is a 2013 American film directed by Ruben Fleischer, from a screenplay written by Will Beall and starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn. The story is ...more

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22
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drama Movies of 2013
Julianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Judy Greer
Carrie is a 2013 American supernatural horror film. It is the third film adaptation of Stephen King's 1974 novel of the same name, though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Screen Gems, who produced the ...more

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#1,111 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #25 of 63 The Best Horror Movie Remakes

23
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Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Burke
Only God Forgives is a 2013 Danish-French thriller film written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm. The film was shot on ...more

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24
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Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz
The Counselor is a 2013 British-American crime thriller film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy. It stars Michael Fassbender as the eponymous Counselor—who gets in over his ...more