Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
Entertainment

The Best R-Rated Drama Movies 

Reference
Updated February 4, 2020 8.5k votes 313 voters 30.4k views

List Rules Add your favorite movie to the list if it's missing, but only if it's the correct rating.

List of R-Rated drama movies, ranked from best to worst with movie trailers when available. This list takes the best R-Rated drama movies and pits them against each other to see once and for all what the greatest R-Rated Drama movie of all time is. If you think the top drama movie with an R rating isn't as high as it should be then be sure to vote it up so it can take its rightful place among the other great R-Rated Drama films on this list. If you're trying to find a specific R-Rated Drama film you can search this list and filter to find what you're looking for.

List contains movies like The Godfather and Pulp Fiction.

If you're trying to find out "What are the best R-Rated drama movies?" and "What are the most famous R-Rated drama movies?" then this list is the perfect resource for you.

Use this list if you're looking for some new drama movies that are rated R. Between Netflix, Hulu and other services there are thousands of great drama movies rated R, so get out there and start watching.

You can share this on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and more to see what your social network would vote to the top. (212 items)

What kind of directors have worked on R Drama movies in the past? Clint Eastwood and George Clooney both have, as have other great directors.

list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Released: 1972

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more

More The Godfather 

#1 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books 20 Fun Facts About the Godfather Trilogylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci

Released: 1990

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more

More Goodfellas 

#26 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books 15 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Goodfellas'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

More Braveheart 

#20 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #12 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall

Released: 1974

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more

More The Godfather Part II 

#18 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #30 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

More Gladiator 

#26 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Bizarre Sequel To 'Gladiator' That Almost Got Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Ranker Video
Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1975

Directed by: MiloŇ° Forman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by MiloŇ° Forman.

More One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 

#178 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #27 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

7
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

More Full Metal Jacket 

#60 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #56 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

8
Ranker Video
Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

Released: 1979

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. ...more

More Apocalypse Now 

#76 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books The Behind The Scenes Madness Of 'Apocalypse Now' Was Even More Hellish Than You Thoughtlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

More No Country for Old Men 

#17 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #50 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
The Shawshank Redemption... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

Released: 1994

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

More The Shawshank Redemption 

#3 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #14 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Best 'Shawshank Redemption' Quotes Will Set You Free

11
Ranker Video
Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Released: 1983

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more

More Scarface 

#719 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #1 of 99 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time

12
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

More Platoon 

#184 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Platoon'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more

More The Departed 

#380 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made All The Evidence Matt Damon's Character In The Departed Is Secretly Gaylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

More The Silence of the Lambs 

#1 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Ranker Video
Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Fincher

Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more

More Fight Club 

#8 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #24 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books 'Fight Club' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True

16
Ranker Video
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood

Released: 2008

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more

More Gran Torino 

#38 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #40 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

17
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

Released: 1986

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

More Stand by Me 

#19 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #234 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors

18
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

More Fargo 

#271 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made Theories About Why The Coen Bros. Had Marge Gunderson Go On A Date In Fargolisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Ranker Video
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari

Released: 1999

Directed by: Sam Mendes

American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. An advertising executive (Kevin Spacey) has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best ...more

More American Beauty 

#292 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #233 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best R-Rated Drama Movies
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1976

Directed by: 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

More Taxi Driver 

#522 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #94 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time 12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Taxi Driver' That Are As Wild As The Film Itself

21
Ranker Video
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more

More American History X 

#206 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #216 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

22
Ranker Video
Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon

Released: 2003

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more

More Mystic River 

#25 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #144 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Sucklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Ranker Video
Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

Released: 1992

Directed by: Michael Mann

The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

More The Last of the Mohicans 

#52 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #434 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on List of Silent Movies

24
Ranker Video
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

More Saving Private Ryan 

#4 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies 17 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About 'Saving Private Ryan'listed on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

25
Ranker Video
Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson

Released: 1992

Directed by: Rob Reiner

A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner, based on the play by Aaron Sorkin. Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) defends Marines accused of ...more

More A Few Good Men 

#183 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #41 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies