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The Best Dramas On Netflix Instant Watch

Updated on August 8, 2015

Oh, Drama...

Netflix Instant offers many of the best dramas out there, you just have to know where to look. I wasn't sure what I could find as far as drama movies, but I knew for the sake of all-that-is-holy that I must find out. It was a duty I was willing to take on.

So after dozens of hours of intensive research into the topic -- laying semi-conscious in a beanbag chair, drinking melted ice cream whilst staring at the TV -- I have discovered that there really are some great dramatic films available.

Here I have outlined the best dramas currently being offered through Netflix Instant Watch. It was my goal through all of this to make a list that would have a little something for everyone. And you, you look like everyone, so I know you'll like something. Enjoy.

The Master

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one terrific actor. One of the greatest. And, when paired with Joaquin Phoenix, who's no slouch himself, you get one of the most complex and charismatic pairings put on screen.

Hoffman portrays the enigmatic Master, as he's called by his followers -- who takes long boat rides and entertains, performs hypnosis at parties, and gives lectures to celebrate his latest revelations. Phoenix plays Freddy Quell, an unstable war vet who falls in with The Master's crowd and under his spell.

This film has received mixed reviews. It's safe to say it's polarizing, but it's doubtful that this movie will not move you. The performances are undoubtedly staggering, and director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) brings his signature tone and scale.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The inimitable Gary Oldman stars as an MI6 spy in this laconic drama, set in Cold War era England. There's suspicion that there is a Russian mole among the ranks at MI6, and so nobody trusts anyone else.

The script is airtight, the acting is excellent. It's a slow-paced film but what a refreshing feeling it is for a modern spy thriller made in 2011. Co-starring cool Brits like John Hurt, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and Benedict Cumberbatch, this film has a feast of characters and the production value to keep up. Highly recommended.

The Grifters

This dark drama tells the story of three con artists: Roy Dillon (John Cusack), his girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), and Roy's mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston). Roy and Myra are trying to pull their lives together, pushing small-time hustles to eek out a living, when out of the blue Lilly shows up, wanting to make up for lost time and start taking care of Roy again. But Lilly's domineering personality becomes problematic for Roy and Myra.

The Grifters is funny, stylish, and deep. It's a sultry vision of illusions and risk, of putting it all on the line.

There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson has made many great films, including Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love. But one film of his stands above the rest when it comes to searing drama and critical acclaim.

There Will Be Blood is a spare and brutal epic about a single-minded oil tycoon -- his rise from lowly prospector, his troubled relationship with his son, and clinical paranoia and inevitable distrust of all others. Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits the role. His titular character tries to woo a small town to his interests, but absolute power remains just out of reach thanks to a local charismatic preacher (Paul Dano turning in a fine performance as well).

There Will Be Blood is almost three hours. Its cinematography and sound design are beautiful. This movie is an experience that's best seen on a big screen.

Time for a poll, my people...

What is the best drama on Netflix?

See results


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    • mattdigiulio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks, kenneth. Bugsy was -- in life and in film -- one complex character. Thanks for this!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Great read! Cudo's to you. Voted up and away on this work. You mentioned Bugsy and The Grifters, and got my attention. Bugsy Segal was one complex mobster. He was so refined that he could be categorized as a "non-mobster." Loved that movie. You keep it up. This great work.


    • mattdigiulio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks Rachel! Will do, happily.

    • rachelingram3 profile image


      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Enjoyed reading this hub, you should check out my review on Netflix vs LoveFilm and give me your opinion :)

    • mattdigiulio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Any other movies I should add? Matt

    • mattdigiulio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed these.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      This is very helpful. I had Netflix, but never quite knew which movies were worth my time!

    • mattdigiulio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank You. I'm happy whenever someone discovers something new. Matt

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Thanks for the recommendations. I have been looking for new/old movies to watch. You have several here that I have not seen.


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