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As a cinematic genre, "drama" has taken many forms over the decades

The list we compiled here is based on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and includes the site's most critically acclaimed films featuring a "drama" tag. It's an unexpected mix of action movies, classic films, and modern Oscar contenders

The list ranks movies by an adjusted critical score that Rotten Tomatoes derived from a weighted formula to account for the variation in number of reviews for each film. Therefore, the list heavily favors more recent critically acclaimed films that have more reviews

It still includes classic dramas like "Citizen Kane" and "The Godfather" but favors recent titles like the best-picture winners "Moonlight" and "Parasite."
There are also plenty of blockbusters that have been heavily reviewed, like Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" and "Black Panther."
*John Lynch contributed to a previous version of this post.* **The 100 best drama films of all time, according to critics **Critic score 94% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "It's as much a wonder of suspense as it is a catalogue of the director's themes and an allegory for his own art of enticement-and for the erotic pitfalls of his métier." — The New Yorker **Critic score 98% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "What Akira Kurosawa and his tiny production team wrought is now an accepted maxim of modern life, a creed by which to live in a world where everyone has a blog and an opinion." — Boston Globe **Critic score 98% **Audience score 90% **What critics said "Brando's performance as Stanley is one of those rare screen legends that are all they're cracked up to be." — The Washington Post **Critic score 97% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "From the first sight of German soldiers goose-stepping past the Arc de Triomphe to a postscript that spells out the fate of characters whose moral confusion is all too real, 'Army of Shadows' is a movie of its time — and ours." — Rolling Stone **Critic score 98% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "It has coherence, truthfulness, and conviction-up to a point." — New Yorker **Critic score 90% **Audience score 88% **What critics said "[Allison Janney's] undiluted unsentimentality is the perfect compliment for a sporting underdog movie that disobeys the rules." — Irish Times **Critic score 95% **Audience score 92% **What critics said "It was Orson Welles's last Hollywood film, and in it he makes transcendent use of the American technology his genius throve on; never again would his resources be so rich or his imagination so fiendishly baroque." — Chicago Reader **Critic score 97% **Audience score 91% **What critics said "Murphy brings the spirit of Blaxploitation underdog Rudy Ray Moore to life, with tell-it-like-it-is radiance. His timing is, as always, cobra-strike precise." — Time **Critic score 100% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "Robert Hamer's 1949 film is often cited as the definitive black, eccentric British comedy, yet it's several cuts better than practically anything else in the genre." — Chicago Reader **Critic score 97% **Audience score 84% **What critics said "Like every war before it, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has generated its share of movies. But 'The Hurt Locker' is the first of them that can properly be called a masterpiece." — Miami Herald **Critic score 100% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "Because Battleship Potemkin is an appeal to fellow-feeling and collective action, it is only right that the restoration work creates a more immersive film, one that places no barriers between a 21st-century audience and its monumentally powerful imagery." — Guardian **Critic score 96% **Audience score 89% **What critics said "When the movie was over, a young boy sitting behind me said, "That was great!" He was satisfied, and rightly so." — The New Yorker **Critic score 87% **Audience score 67% **What critics said "An extraordinary film that conveys the magnitude of one of mankind's greatest achievements in a way that makes a moment that occurred 50 years ago and more than 200,000 miles away feel truly personal today." — Digital Trends **Critic score 98% **Audience score 88% **What critics said "This sad, strong beast of a film keeps us pinned to the mat with the strength of its compassion and the overpowering force of its central performance." — Houston Chronicle **Critic score 88% **Audience score 81% **What critics said "If every new film made today is to a greater or lesser degree an echo box of past possibilities, what's notable is how much Villeneuve gives those echoes room to breathe and to be new." — Film Comment **Critic score 96% **Audience score 88% **What critics said "A film with the sort of sweeping grandeur that today's filmmakers rarely aspire to, let alone fulfill." — Wall Street Journal **Critic score 95% **Audience score 89% **What critics said "It's an invigorating piece of nostalgia that fuels a bigger adrenaline rush with its climax than any big-budget blockbuster could provide." — The Atlantic **Critic score 100% **Audience score 97% **What critics said "This is a film where tension comes from personality conflict, dialogue and body language, not action." — Chicago Sun-Times **Critic score 100% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "Greed, a despicable passion out of which other base ferments may spawn, is seldom treated in the movies with the frank and ironic contempt that is vividly manifested toward it in 'Treasure of Sierra Madre — The New York Times **Critic score 90% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "Watching it is like having your funny bone struck repeatedly, expertly and very much too hard by a karate super-black-belt capable of bringing a rhino to itswith a single punch behind the ear." — Guardian **Critic score 98% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "So well-entrenched as an official masterpiece that it is a little startling to visit it again after many years and realize that it is still alive and has strength and freshness." — Chicago Sun-Times **Critic score 99% **Audience score 87% **What critics said "Marty will give you a heartening slice of life, full of honesty and humor." — Orlando Sentinal **Critic score 100% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "Lang's movie is that rare thing, a nail-biting soul-searcher. While 'M' steers clear of analyzing deviance, it is startling in its musings on which punishment fits an inhuman crime." — Philadelphia Inquirer **Critic score 99% **Audience score 91% **What critics said "Writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda fills the film with grace notes, humor and fine observations, circling and filling out each character while leaning more on innocence than corruption." — Detroit News **Critic score 98% **Audience score 97% **What critics said "A near-documentary, brilliantly designed and choreographed, [and] a character study in which Ralph Fiennes, the winningly urbane Liam Neeson, and the magnificently impassive Ben Kingsley attain a memorable dramatic intensity." — Sight and Sound **Critic score 96% **Audience score 91% **What critics said "While still embracing the visual facades that make his films such a pleasure to watch, Pain and Glory finds him stripping away the emotional facades, bringing us closer to him than ever before." — Chicago Reader **Critic score 99% **Audience score 52% **What critics said "Portraits of youthful confusion and fear. Eliza Hittman, who specializes in an intimate, almost procedural approach to emotional disorientation, made a road movie about a young Pennsylvania woman" — The Ringer **Critic score 92% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "Put in your metaphorical earbuds, turn the key in the ignition, and enjoy the cinematic highlight of the summer so far." — The Atlantic **Critic score 96% **Audience score 97% **What critics said "An admirable, responsible production, less emotionally disturbing than its predecessor, but a grand historical epic studying the nature of power in the United States' heritage." — The Hollywood Reporter **Critic score 99% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "It uses realism as an effect, documentary as a style. You feel that you're really there, and you can't help but be moved." — Village Voice **Critic score 94% **Audience score 84% **What critics said "The best summer blockbuster in years, a smart, thoughtful, confrontational and challenging allegory for a world run amok." — Detroit News **Critic score 89% **Audience score 88% **What critics said "It's a tense, unnerving ride that accomplishes its goal of translating the first-person experience of war better than any war movies that have come before it. It's a level up." — Detroit News **Critic score 99% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up itssecrets with a smile." — Chicago Tribune **Critic score 100% **Audience score 89% **What critics said "Shadow of a Doubt may or may not be Hitchcock's greatest film, but it's his most intimate and heart-wrenching." — New Yorker **Critic score 98% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "A screamingly spooky sci-fi tale with more than a few echoes of 'The Thing' but echoes which enhance rather than detract." — New York Daily News **Critic score 95% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "You may not realize how strong the acting is until you replay the movie in your head later." — Boston Globe **Critic score 100% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "The film's extended suspense sequences deserve a place among the great stretches of cinema." — Chicago Sun-Times **Critic score 91% **Audience score 81% **What critics said "I'm hoping that 'La La Land' will be a hit for the ages, for all ages. It's a film that re-enacts, with rare originality, a classic role for the movie medium -- escapist entertainment in troubled times." — The Wall Street Journal **Critic score 96% **Audience score 77% **What critics said "The sadness of 'Manchester by the Sea' is the kind of sadness that makes you feel more alive, rather than less, to the preciousness of things." — Boston Globe **Critic score 85% **Audience score 70% **What critics said "It is Tarantino's best, bravest and most confrontationally impudent movie since Pulp Fiction." — Financial Times **Critic score 95% **Audience score 90% **What critics said "Every scene of '12 Years aand almost every shot, conveys some penetrating truth about America's original sin." — Dallas Morning News **Critic score 100% **Audience score 81% **What critics said "It covers difficult ground, but to say it leaves no trace would be a lie. It definitely makes its mark." — Detroit News **Critic score 97% **Audience score 92% **What critics said "A fully realized work of art whose influence on science fiction, set design and symbolism can scarcely be put into words." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch **Critic score 97% **Audience score 80% **What critics said "The closest thing to a lived life that fictional cinema has yet produced." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch **Critic score 96% **Audience score 80% **What critics said "Unfolding as a series of terrifying object lessons in Newtonian physics, the movie lends new meaning to the phrase 'spatial geometry — The Atlantic **Critic score 98% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "The Best Years Of Our Lives is an eloquent tribute to returned veterans [and] a magnificent, brilliant contribution to motion pictures as an art." — Boston Globe **Critic score 99% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides toon his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific." — Chicago Reader **Critic score 97% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "This shrewd, smoothly tawdry thriller, directed by Billy Wilder, is one of the high points of nineteen-forties films." — The New Yorker **Critic score 94% **Audience score 82% **What critics said "Amy Adams is a miracle worker-she makes us believe in this mesmerizing mindbender about alien communication, directed with searching mind and heart by Denis Villeneuve." — Rolling Stone **Critic score 97% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "This elegy for the death of the old European aristocracy is one of the true masterpieces of the screen." — The New Yorker **Critic score 100% **Audience score 97% **What critics said "The greatest movie ever made about warriors and battle." — Chicago Reader **Critic score 98% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "It's one of Alfred Hitchcock's inspired audience-participation films: watching it, you feel titillated, horrified, and, ultimately, purged." — The New Yorker **Critic score 99% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "'Selma' focuses on the one thing we don't expect in a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. - his doubts - and Oyelowo comes through with a deeply felt and quite brilliant performance." — Boston Globe **Critic score 97% **Audience score 87% **What critics said "You'll be spewing with tears before the first act is done." — Times (UK) **Critic score 97% **Audience score 93% **What critics said "It's not a stretch to suggest that 'Spotlight' is the finest newspaper movie of its era, joining 'Citizen Kane' and 'All the President's Men' in the pantheon of classics of the genre." — The Washington Post **Critic score 93% **Audience score 87% **What critics said "The idea of pairing the oft-dull Thor with a series of oddball companions is an inspired, if necessary, move — so much so that it's baffling it has taken Marvel this long to smarten up." — Globe and Mail **Critic score 92% **Audience score 72% **What critics said "Del Toro's willingness to court absurdity and bad taste serves to guarantee his integrity, proving he hasn't entirely gone respectable." — The Age (Australia) **Critic score 91% **Audience score 42% **What critics said "Rian Johnson's middle chapter in the current Star Wars trilogy is the epic you've been looking for. Capped by Mark Hamill in the performance of his career, it points the way ahead to a next generation of skywalkers - and, thrillingly, to a new hope." — Rolling Stone **Critic score 98% **Audience score 92% **What critics said "Weisz and Stone are both brilliantly witty and nimble, but Colman's performance is nothing short of sublime." — New York Times **Critic score 99% **Audience score 90% **What critics said "Roughest spots in the original versions have been sandpapered or excised, the pressroom's whiskey cynicism toned down to half of one per cent, but the comedy still has enough Hecht-MacArthur kick to make later interpolationssynthetic." — Time Magazine **Critic score 100% **Audience score 92% **What critics said "It is the finest job of direction accomplished by a master director and may justly be called Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece." — New York Daily News **Critic score 96% **Audience score 83% **What critics said "There are moments when the movie takes us firmly by the hand and escorts us down a darkened path, and they lead to one of the most profound of communal pleasures: the sound of a movie audience screaming as one." — Slate **Critic score 90% **Audience score 79% **What critics said "At its huge, pulsating heart this is a story about lovers desperately trying to save one another — from the loss of integrity in an industry that disdains it and from self-destructive impulses with roots too old and deep to be touched." — London Evening Standard **Critic score 93% **Audience score 88% **What critics said "The moviegoing world deserves the best that Hollywood can deliver, and this time we've pretty much got it." — The Wall Street Journal **Critic score 96% **Audience score 72% **What critics said "Roma captures, as well as any film I have seen, the spirit of 'magical realism,' without ever hinting at the supernatural. Its magic is pure, stunning cinematic technique." — The Atlantic **Critic score 98% **Audience score 79% **What critics said "A disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces." — The New York Times **Critic score 99% **Audience score 94% **What critics said "Joseph Mankiewicz was Hollywood's midcentury master of comic drama, and All About Eve, from 1950, was one of his signal achievements." — The New Yorker **Critic score 97% **Audience score 98% **What critics said "Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment." — The New York Times **Critic score 96% **Audience score 86% **What critics said "'The Irishman' is long, to be sure, but it's never less than compelling — Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, all in their mid-to-late-70s, are each carrying a lifetime of work, with practiced ease." — Seattle Times **Critic score 96% **Audience score 83% **What critics said "The filmmaker rips from the headlines, but the struggles remain the same." — Slate **Critic score 97% **Audience score 87% **What critics said "It keeps on going and going, following one exciting sequence with another and then another." — San Francisco Chronicle **Critic score 99% **Audience score 79% **What critics said "A heartfelt coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the bittersweet transition from adolescence to dawning adulthood." — Village Voice **Critic score 97% **Audience score 92% **What critics said "'Knives Out,' in the end, believes earnestly in the whodunit, it just wants to turn it inside out. To say more about that would spoil the fun. But keep an eye here, and elsewhere, on de Armas." — Associated Press **Critic score 99% **Audience score 95% **What critics said "Across seven decades, the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman starrer has emerged as Americans' default favorite movie." — The Hollywood Reporter **Critic score 99% **Audience score 90% **What critics said "More than a great movie; it is a gathering of all the lessons of the emerging era of sound." — Chicago Sun-Times **Critic score 96% **Audience score 79% **What critics said "Whether or not this is the best film Marvel Studios has made to date — and it is clearly in the discussion — it is by far the most thought-provoking." — The Atlantic
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