Entertainment
11 voters

The Best Drama Movies Set in Los Angeles

Updated September 6, 2019 212 votes 11 voters32 items

List RulesThe 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 dramas 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 L.A.

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.  

  • 1
    Pulp Fiction
    7
    0

    Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis

    Released1994

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Chinatown
    10
    5

    Chinatown

    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway

    Released1974

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Mulholland Drive
    8
    2

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Day of the Locust
    8
    4

    The Day of the Locust

    Donald Sutherland, Burgess Meredith

    Released1975

    Directed byJohn Schlesinger

    The Day of the Locust is a 1975 American drama film directed by John Schlesinger, and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    L.A. Confidential
    8
    4

    L.A. Confidential

    Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe

    Released1997

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Boyz n the Hood
    6
    2

    Boyz n the Hood

    Ice Cube, Angela Bassett

    Released1991

    Directed byJohn Singleton

    Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama film directed by John Singleton. Three young men... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Sunset Boulevard
    6
    5

    Sunset Boulevard

    William Holden, Buster Keaton

    Released1950

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Dark Blue
    5
    5

    Dark Blue

    Kurt Russell, Brendan Gleeson

    Released2002

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Dark Blue is a 2002 film directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kurt Russell. The film is based... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Less Than Zero
    5
    5

    Less Than Zero

    Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr.

    Released1987

    Directed byMarek Kanievska

    Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Short Cuts
    5
    5

    Short Cuts

    Robert Downey Jr., Julianne Moore

    Released1993

    Directed byRobert Altman

    Short Cuts is a 1993 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Falling Down
    2
    4

    Falling Down

    Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas

    Released1993

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith.... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Nightcrawler
    5
    8

    Nightcrawler

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo

    Released2014

    Directed byDan Gilroy

    Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Big Sleep
    2
    5

    The Big Sleep

    Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1946

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    The Big Sleep is a 1946 film noir directed by Howard Hawks, the first film version of Raymond... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Colors
    2
    0

    Colors

    Sean Penn, Robert Duvall

    Released1988

    Directed byDennis Hopper

    Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall,... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Mi Vida Loca
    2
    4

    Mi Vida Loca

    Salma Hayek, Jacob Vargas

    Released1993

    Directed byAllison Anders

    Mi Vida Loca is a 1994 American drama film directed and written by Allison Anders. It centers... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    American Gigolo
    5
    2

    American Gigolo

    Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton

    Released1980

    Directed byPaul Schrader

    American Gigolo is a 1980 American crime drama film starring Richard Gere, written and... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Crash
    5
    2

    Crash

    Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser

    Released2004

    Directed byPaul Haggis

    This movie is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis.... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Devil in a Blue Dress
    2
    6

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    Denzel Washington, Poppy Montgomery

    Released1995

    Directed byCarl Franklin

    Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1995 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Carl Franklin and... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Grand Canyon
    2
    4

    Grand Canyon

    Steve Martin, Kevin Kline

    Released1991

    Directed byLawrence Kasdan

    Grand Canyon is a 1991 American drama film directed and produced by Lawrence Kasdan, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Harsh Times
    2
    2

    Harsh Times

    Eva Longoria, Christian Bale

    Released2005

    Directed byDavid Ayer

    Harsh Times is a 2005 American crime film set in South Los Angeles. The film stars Christian... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Heat
    2
    0

    Heat

    Natalie Portman, Al Pacino

    Released1995

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann,... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Laurel Canyon
    2
    2

    Laurel Canyon

    Kate Beckinsale, Christian Bale

    Released2002

    Directed byLisa Cholodenko

    Laurel Canyon is a 2002 American drama film written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko. The film... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Mulholland Falls
    0
    5

    Mulholland Falls

    Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte

    Released1996

    Directed byLee Tamahori

    Mulholland Falls is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film directed by Lee Tamahori and... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Rebel Without a Cause
    2
    4

    Rebel Without a Cause

    Natalie Wood, James Dean

    Released1955

    Directed byNicholas Ray

    Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban,... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    South Central
    2
    0

    South Central

    Glenn Plummer, Carl Lumbly

    Released1992

    Directed byStephen Milburn Anderson

    South Central is a 1992 American crime drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn... more on Wikipedia