Drama The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles  

Ranker Film
105 votes 9 voters 31 items

List Rules The drama movie must be primarily set in Los Angeles.

L.A. is a city with wealthy areas, impoverished sections, and a whole lot of notable landmarks. That makes it a great location for films. Drama movies based in Los Angeles take place in all parts of the city and focus on all kinds of its citizens. Some all-time classic drama are set in Los Angeles, showing that it's a place ripe for engaging stories. Some of these films are a collection of vignettes while others a more straight forward narrative but they are some of the best dramas about Los Angeles.

It's time to vote on the best drama movies set in Los Angeles. Vote up the ones you think are the most entertaining or powerful, and vote down the ones you're not as fond of. If one of your favorites isn't here, add it to the list and see how other film fans rate your choices.  

list ordered by
1
5 0
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
2
4 1
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more
3
3 1
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George
Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more
4
2 0
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington
Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more
5
4 3
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson
Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more
6
4 3
Chinatown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski
Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the ...more
7
3 2
The Day of the Locust is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Donald Sutherland, Burgess Meredith, Jackie Earle Haley
The Day of the Locust is a 1975 American drama film directed by John Schlesinger, and starring William Atherton, Karen Black, and Donald Sutherland. The screenplay by Waldo Salt is based on the ...more
8
3 2
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger
L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more
9
2 1
American Gigolo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Bill Duke
American Gigolo is a 1980 American crime drama film starring Richard Gere, written and directed by Paul Schrader. Schrader considers it one of four similar films, which he calls "double ...more
10
2 1
Crash is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
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
11
1 0
Colors is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle
Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of South ...more
12
1 0
South Central is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Glenn Plummer, Carl Lumbly, Byron Minns
South Central is a 1992 American crime drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. This film is an adaptation of the 1987 novel Crips by Donald Bakeer, a former high school ...more
13
1 0
Heat is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more
14
1 1
Harsh Times is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Eva Longoria, Christian Bale, J.K. Simmons
Harsh Times is a 2005 American crime film set in South Los Angeles. The film stars Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez, and was written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote the script for the ...more
15
1 1
Laurel Canyon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Kate Beckinsale, Christian Bale, Frances McDormand
Laurel Canyon is a 2002 American drama film written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko. The film stars Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone, and Alessandro Nivola.
16
1 1
Rampart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube, Steve Buscemi
Rampart is a drama film released in 2011. Directed by Oren Moverman and co-written by Moverman and James Ellroy, the film stars Woody Harrelson. In the midst of the fallout from the Rampart ...more
17
1 1
Thirteen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter
Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed based on events in Reed's life at age twelve and thirteen. ...more
18
1 1
Drive is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan
Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more
19
2 3
Short Cuts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Robert Downey Jr., Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins
Short Cuts is a 1993 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver. ...more
20
2 3
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal who starts shooting footage in Los Angeles and ...more
21
2 3
Less Than Zero is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader
Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name. The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a college freshman returning home for ...more
22
2 3
Dark Blue is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Kurt Russell, Brendan Gleeson, Master P
Dark Blue is a 2002 film directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kurt Russell. The film is based on a story written for film by novelist James Ellroy and takes place during the days leading to and ...more
23
1 2
Mi Vida Loca is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Salma Hayek, Jacob Vargas, Seidy López
Mi Vida Loca is a 1994 American drama film directed and written by Allison Anders. It centers on the plight of young Mexicanas and Chicanas growing up in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles, ...more
24
1 2
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper
Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more
25
1 2
Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles
Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld
Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed ...more