films The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked  

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List Rules Vote 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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Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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Kids is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Kids Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, Harmony Korine Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, and Rosario Dawson, all in their film ...more

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Lost in Translation is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Lost in Translation Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Anna Faris Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It was her second feature film after The Virgin Suicides. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett ...more

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Boyhood is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Boyhood Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane Boyhood is a 2014 American independent coming-of-age drama film, written and directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke. ...more

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

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Before Sunrise is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Before Sunrise Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and written by Linklater and Kim Krizan. The film follows Jesse, a young American man, and Céline, a ...more

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Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

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Léon: The Professional is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Léon: The Professional Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action crime thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film ...more

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Sex, Lies, and Videotape is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Sex, Lies, and Videotape Andie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo Sex, Lies, and Videotape is a 1989 American independent drama film that brought director Steven Soderbergh to prominence. It tells the story of a man who films women discussing their sexuality, ...more

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Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Boogie Nights Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

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Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Manchester by the Sea 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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Dallas Buyers Club is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Dallas Buyers Club 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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Amores perros is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Amores perros Gael García Bernal, Adriana Barraza, Goya Toledo Amores perros is a 2000 Mexican drama thriller film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. Amores perros is the first installment in ...more

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Hunt for the Wilderpeople Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Cohen Holloway

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El Mariachi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
El Mariachi Carlos Gallardo, Juan García, María Castillo El Mariachi is a 1992 American action film and the first installment in the saga that came to be known as Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy. It marked the debut of Rodriguez as writer and ...more

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Submarine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Submarine Ben Stiller, Paddy Constantine, Sally Hawkins Submarine is a 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. The film was written and directed by Richard Ayoade, and starred Craig Roberts, ...more

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Crash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Crash Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris Crash is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described "passion ...more

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Whiplash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Whiplash J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Miles Teller Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle based on his experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band. Starring Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons, the ...more

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Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Fruitvale Station Octavia Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Michael B. Jordan Fruitvale is a 2013 drama film written and directed by Ryan Coogler.

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The Spectacular Now is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
The Spectacular Now Shailene Woodley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh The Spectacular Now is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The ...more

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Irréversible is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Irréversible Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Gaspar Noé Irréversible is a 2002 French mystery thriller film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a non-linear ...more

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The Puffy Chair is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
The Puffy Chair Katie Aselton, Mark Duplass, Rhett Wilkins The Puffy Chair is a 2005 road movie written and directed by the brothers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass. It was screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the 2005 ...more

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Spanking the Monkey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Spanking the Monkey Carla Gallo, Jeremy Davies, Alberta Watson Spanking the Monkey is a 1994 American black comedy film written and directed by David O. Russell. The title is a slang phrase for masturbation and is used in the film by one of the teenage ...more

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Hannah Takes the Stairs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Hannah Takes the Stairs Greta Gerwig, Mark Duplass, Andrew Bujalski Hannah Takes the Stairs is a 2007 American independent mumblecore film by Joe Swanberg.

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Blue Is the Warmest Colour is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Blue Is the Warmest Colour Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky Blue Is the Warmest Colour, also known as Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2, is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film written, produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring ...more

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Short Term 12 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Short Term 12 Brie Larson, Stephanie Beatriz, Melora Walters Short Term 12 is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film is based on Cretton's short film of the same name, produced in 2009. It stars Brie Larson as ...more

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Slacker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Slacker Richard Linklater, Teresa Taylor, Athina Rachel Tsangari Richard Linklater's debut feature is a comic kaleidoscopic portrait which presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something ...more

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Who's That Knocking at My Door is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Who's That Knocking at My Door Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel, Merissa Mathes Who's That Knocking at My Door, originally titled I Call First, is a 1967 drama film, which marked Martin Scorsese's debut as a director and Harvey Keitel's debut as an actor. Exploring themes ...more

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Blue Valentine is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Blue Valentine Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel "Blue Valentine is the story of love lost and love found told in two parallel moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and ...more

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Kicking and Screaming is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Kicking and Screaming Parker Posey, Elliott Gould, Eric Stoltz Kicking and Screaming is a 1995 film by Noah Baumbach about a group of college graduates who refuse to move on with their lives, each in his own peculiar way. The film stars Josh Hamilton, Chris ...more