Best Movies The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners  

Ranker Film
661 votes 103 voters 5.5k views 39 items

List Rules Complete list of movies that won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film.

List of the best Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners, as ranked by movie critics and film lovers everywhere. Once every January, the best filmmakers in the United States put on their warm clothing and head towards Salt Lake City, Utah, where one of the biggest American film festivals is held annually. There they show the films they’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into making the finest films in the country. The best of the best films will even earn the Sundance Grand Prize, the highest honor a film can receive in the festival circuit. The movies that have premiered at Sundance have gone on to be the most successful indie movies in the business.

This list answers the question, “What are the best Sundance Grand Prize winning films?” The movies featured on this list are emotional, brilliantly written, filled with talented actors, and directed beautifully, which is why they are often considered the film world’s finest.

Whether you enjoy quirky coming of age films like Welcome to the Dollhouse and Beasts of the Southern Wild or gritty tales of people often forgotten like Winter’s Bone or Precious, this list has the best Sundance films that anybody will be sure to enjoy. 

list ordered by

1
34 8
Whiplash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2014
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

2
21 5
Ranker Video
2015
This film is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Jesse Andrews, based on Andrews's 2012 debut novel of the same name. It is the story of Greg Gaines ...more

3
20 6
Blood Simple is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1984
Blood Simple is a 1984 neo-noir film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was the directorial debut of the Coens and the first major film of cinematographer Barry ...more

4
21 8
American Splendor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2003
American Splendor is a 2003 American biographical comedy-drama film about Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor comic book series. The film is also in part an adaptation of the ...more

5
24 13
Winter’s Bone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2010
"Deep in the Ozark Mountains, clans live by a code of conduct that no one dares defy—until an intrepid teenage girl has no other choice. When Ree Dolly's father skips bail and goes missing, ...more

6
20 10
Welcome to the Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1995
Welcome to the Dollhouse is a 1995 American independent coming of age comedy film. An independent film, it launched the careers of Todd Solondz and Heather Matarazzo.

7
18 10
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2013
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

8
16 9
Primer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2004
Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who ...more

9
20 13
Precious: Based on the Novel P... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2009
Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

10
11 6
You Can Count on Me is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2000
You Can Count on Me is a 2000 American drama film starring Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin, and Matthew Broderick. Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, it tells the story of Sammy, ...more

11
11 7
The Believer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2001
The Believer is a 2001 American drama film co-written and directed by Henry Bean. The film stars Ryan Gosling as Daniel Balint, a Jew who becomes a Neo-Nazi. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the ...more

12
15 12
Beasts of the Southern Wild is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2012
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. After playing at ...more

13
9 7
In the Soup is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1992
In the Soup is a 1992 independent film comedy directed by Alexandre Rockwell. It stars Steve Buscemi as a self-conscious screenwriter who has written an unfilmable 500-page screenplay and is ...more

14
3 1
The Miseducation of Cameron Po... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2018
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a 2018 American-British drama film directed by Desiree Akhavan, based on the 2012 novel by Emily M. Danforth. In 1993, a teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is ...more

15
12 11
Girlfight is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2000
Girlfight is a 2000 American sports drama film written and directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Michelle Rodriguez in both of their film debuts. It follows Diana Guzman, a troubled teenager ...more

16
9 8
Like Crazy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2011
"Like Crazy is a film from and about the heart. Jacob, an American, and Anna, who is British, meet at college in Los Angeles and fall madly in love. It’s the purest kind of romance—they’re ...more

17
8 7
Quinceañera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2006
Quinceañera is a 2006 American independent drama film written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Set in Echo Park, Los Angeles, the film follows the lives of two young ...more

18
8 7
Frozen River is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
2008
Frozen River is a 2008 American crime drama film written and directed by Courtney Hunt. The screenplay focuses on two working-class women who smuggle illegal immigrants from Canada to the United ...more

19
5 4
I Don't Feel at Home in This W... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (often stylized i don't feel at home in this world anymore.) is a 2017 comedy crime thriller film written and directed by Macon Blair. A nurse, Ruth ...more

20
7 9
Ruby in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1993
Ruby in Paradise is a 1993 film written, directed, and edited by Victor Nuñez, and starring Ashley Judd, Todd Field, Bentley Mitchum, Allison Dean, and Dorothy Lyman. It is a homage to ...more

21
5 8
The Brothers McMullen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1995
The Brothers McMullen is a 1995 American comedy-drama film written, directed, produced by, and starring Edward Burns. It deals with the lives of the three Irish Catholic McMullen brothers from ...more

22
4 8
Forty Shades of Blue is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
Forty Shades of Blue 2005
Forty Shades of Blue is a 2005 independent film directed by Ira Sachs. It tells the story of Alan James, an aging music producer who lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his much younger Russian ...more

23
3 7
Three Seasons is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1999
Three Seasons is an American Vietnamese language film filmed in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City in the early days of Doi Moi. It is a poetic film that tries to ...more

24
5 10
Waiting for the Moon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1987
Waiting for the Moon is a 1987 Twentieth Century Fox film about Gertrude Stein and her lover and assistant Alice B. Toklas, played by Linda Bassett and Linda Hunt. Set in the 1930s, it depicts ...more

25
5 10
Poison is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners
1991
Todd Haynes' second feature deftly interweaves a trio of tales that build toward a devastating climax.