Entertainment

The Best Drama Movies Set in New York  

Ranker Film
105 votes 11 voters 22 items

List Rules The drama movie must be primarily set in New York.

The best drama movies set in New York capture the vitality of the Big Apple. There are approximately 8.6 million people living in the city, and there are at least as many compelling stories to be told onscreen. Some of the drama films taking place in New York are based on true events. Others are fiction but make use of the city's most notable areas, showing life on Broadway and Wall Street. Such locales provide plenty of opportunity to create compelling stories that move audiences.

You get to vote on drama movies based in New York. Vote up the ones that made the biggest impression on you. Add any specific titles that aren't already here, then check back to see how other users are ranking your suggestions. 

list ordered by
1
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more
2
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee
Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama hood film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of Mookie in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny ...more
3
Dog Day Afternoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Charles Durning
Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, ...more
4
The Wolf of Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more
5
After The Wedding is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
After The Wedding Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup
After the Wedding is a 2019 drama film directed by Bart Freundlich, and a remake of the 2006 film by Susanne Bier. Isabel (Michelle Williams), a co-founder of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to ...more
6
Midnight Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Bob Balaban
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. The script was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Jon ...more
7
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more
8
Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
John Travolta, Fran Drescher, Denny Dillon
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American dance film directed by John Badham and starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discotheque; ...more
9
King of New York is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, Laurence Fishburne
King of New York is a 1990 thriller film, starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Giancarlo Esposito, and Steve Buscemi. It was directed by ...more
10
Carlito's Way is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen
Carlito's Way is a 1993 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres. The film adaptation was scripted by David Koepp. ...more
11
Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah and Martin Sheen. The film tells the story of Bud ...more
12
Network is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, William Holden
Network is a 1976 American satirical film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars ...more
13
Fame is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Debbie Allen, Irene Cara, Meg Tilly
Fame is a 1980 American musical film conceived and produced by David De Silva and directed by Alan Parker. Its screenplay is by Christopher Gore, its choreography by Louis Falco and musical ...more
14
All That Jazz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Jessica Lange, John Lithgow, Roy Scheider
All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse's life and ...more
15
Prince of the City is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Jerry Orbach, Bob Balaban, Lance Henriksen
Prince of the City is an American crime drama film about an NYPD officer who chooses to expose police corruption for idealistic reasons. The character of Daniel Ciello was based on real-life ...more
16
The Naked City is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Don Taylor
The Naked City is a black-and-white film noir directed by Jules Dassin. Based on a story by Malvin Wald, the film depicts the police investigation that follows the murder of a young model. A ...more
17
25th Hour is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper
25th Hour is a 2002 American drama film directed by Spike Lee, based on the novel by David Benioff. Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan (Edward Norton) ...more
18
Man Push Cart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Leticia Dolera, Ali Farahnakian, Charles Daniel Sandoval
Man Push Cart is a 2005 American independent film by Ramin Bahrani that tells the story of a former Pakistani rock star who sells coffee and bagels from his pushcart on the streets of
19
Melinda and Melinda is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Amanda Peet
Melinda and Melinda is a 2004 comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. It was premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. The film is set in Manhattan and stars ...more
20
Kids is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
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
21
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
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
22
Serpico is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drama Movies Set in New York
Al Pacino, Judd Hirsch, Abraham Murphy
Serpico is a 1973 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer Frank ...more