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178 voters

The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked

Updated April 30, 2021 1.1k votes 178 voters 6.1k views46 items

List RulesVote up your favorite drama films released by independent film studios.

This list contains information on the best indie drama movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best indie drama films come in many forms. Some indie drama movies are based on family conflicts while other good indie drama films feature mobsters, murderers, and mayhem. A few of the best indie dramas even won Academy Awards.

What films will you find on this top independent drama movies list? Reservoir Dogs has to be at the top. This 1992 movie introduced fans to writer-director, Quentin Tarantino. It is largely considered the best independent film of all-time and features an all-star cast including Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and more. Memento is also an unforgettable independent movie.

David Lynch's first feature, Eraserhead, was shot on a small budget and went on to be preserved in the National Film Registry. Other good independent dramas include Donnie Darko, Lost in Translation, and Boyhood.

Which indie drama do you think is the best? Take a look at this list and give your favorites a thumbs up to make sure that they end up in the top spot.

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  • 1
    48
    14

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama...  more
  • 2
    35
    11

    Lost in Translation

    Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray
    Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia...  more
  • 3
    40
    21

    Requiem for a Dream

    Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto
    Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky...  more
  • 4
    34
    16

    Boyhood

    Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette
    Boyhood is a 2014 American independent coming-of-age drama film, written and directed by...  more
  • 5
    44
    29

    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale
    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly...  more
  • 6
    26
    13

    Whiplash

    J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
    Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film directed by Damien Chazelle. A promising young drummer...  more
  • 7
    13
    0

    Call Me by Your Name

    Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet
    Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 Italian-American romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by...  more
  • 8
    22
    11

    Manchester by the Sea

    Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams
    Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan....  more
  • 9
    15
    3

    Boogie Nights

    Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg
    Boogie Nights is a 1997 American historical drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas...  more
  • 10
    31
    23

    Léon: The Professional

    Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman
    Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action thriller film written and...  more
  • 11
    23
    13

    Before Sunrise

    Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
    Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and...  more
  • 12
    21
    12

    Blue Is the Warmest Colour

    Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos
    Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by...  more
  • 13
    17
    7

    Short Term 12

    Brie Larson, Stephanie Beatriz
    Short Term 12 is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The...  more
  • 14
    16
    6

    Blue Valentine

    Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
    "Blue Valentine is the story of love lost and love found told in two parallel moments in time....  more
  • 15
    16
    7

    Serenity

    Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
    Serenity is a 2019 American noir thriller-drama film directed by Steven Knight. The mysterious...  more
  • 16
    23
    16

    Submarine

    Ben Stiller, Paddy Constantine
    Submarine is a 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from the 2008 novel of the same...  more
  • 17
    19
    12

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople

    Sam Neill, Rhys Darby
    Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film written and...  more
  • 18
    13
    5

    Irréversible

    Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel
    Irréversible is a 2002 French mystery thriller film written and directed by Gaspar Noé,...  more
  • 19
    16
    11

    Kids

    Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny
    Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It...  more
  • 20
    11
    4

    The Spectacular Now

    Shailene Woodley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
    The Spectacular Now is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by James Ponsoldt,...  more
  • 21
    7
    0

    Clemency

    Alfre Woodard, Richard Schiff
    Clemency is a 2019 American drama film directed by Chinonye Chukwu. A Death Row prison warden,...  more
  • 22
    17
    14

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape

    Andie MacDowell, James Spader
    This film is a 1989 American independent drama film that brought director Steven Soderbergh to...  more
  • 23
    5
    0

    Saint Frances

    Kelly O'Sullivan, Charin Alvarez
    Saint Frances is a 2020 American comedy drama film directed by Alex Thompson. A deadbeat nanny...  more
  • 24
    11
    7

    Fruitvale Station

    Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz
    Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based...  more
  • 25
    4
    0

    The August Virgin

    Itsaso Arana, Vito Sanz
    The August Virgin (a.k.a. La virgen de agosto) is a 2020 Spanish drama film directed by Jonás...  more