Indie The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
511 votes 129 voters 4k views 33 items

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.

list ordered by

1
26 4
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

2
31 8
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

3
20 3
Lost in Translation is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Anna Faris
Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, and Fumihiro Hayashi. The ...more

4
23 7
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

5
17 3
Léon: The Professional is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno
Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film debut of ...more

6
22 9
Boyhood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

7
9 1
Whiplash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Miles Teller
This film 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

8
9 1
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

9
12 4
Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

10
11 4
Before Sunrise is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

11
11 4
Kids is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

12
7 1
The Spectacular Now is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

13
8 2
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane
Serenity is a 2019 American noir thriller-drama film directed by Steven Knight. The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt ...more

14
7 2
Short Term 12 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

15
8 4
Sex, Lies, and Videotape is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Andie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo
This film 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 impact on the ...more

16
8 4
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Cohen Holloway
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump.

17
7 3
Blue Valentine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

18
6 2
Amores perros is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

19
9 6
Submarine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

20
4 1
Slacker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

21
6 4
Dallas Buyers Club is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

22
3 1
Irréversible is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

23
6 5
Crash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris
This movie 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 ...more

24
6 5
El Mariachi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
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

25
3 2
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Drama Movies, Ranked
Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer
Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based on true events. The story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, ...more