Top Dramas in the Past 20 Yearsby IMDb-Editors | created - 19 Sep 2010 | updated - 13 Jun 2013 | Public
From romantic dramas to historical films, the Top Dramas list was created on the basis of overall importance, popularity, and influence. Please keep in mind, "Top" does not necessarily mean "Best", but some films do tug at our heart-strings more than others.
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2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
R | 142 min | Crime, Drama
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Votes: 1,885,678 | Gross: $28.34M
3. Philadelphia (1993)
PG-13 | 125 min | Drama
When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.
Votes: 193,135 | Gross: $77.32M
4. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama
After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.
Votes: 691,271 | Gross: $170.74M
5. Gladiator (2000)
R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.
Votes: 1,093,973 | Gross: $187.71M
7. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Votes: 969,532 | Gross: $96.07M
8. Good Will Hunting (1997)
R | 126 min | Drama
Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.
Votes: 685,772 | Gross: $138.43M
9. Braveheart (1995)
R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.
Votes: 816,762 | Gross: $75.60M
10. The English Patient (1996)
R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.
Votes: 154,111 | Gross: $78.65M
11. The Piano (1993)
R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance
A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Votes: 68,577 | Gross: $40.16M
15. Dances with Wolves (1990)
PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.
Votes: 203,106 | Gross: $184.21M
17. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.
Votes: 229,418 | Gross: $128.08M
18. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
Votes: 745,299 | Gross: $34.40M
19. Traffic (2000)
R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.
Votes: 178,503 | Gross: $124.12M
20. L.A. Confidential (1997)
R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Votes: 453,468 | Gross: $64.62M