Drama for the Cinephile

Above all, cinema serves as a medium to leave a mark made by humanity to transcend trough time, with the intention to express who we are or were in specific times and places in history. No other genre describes better the human condition as dramatic pieces since they´re related to the very only thing that defines us as humans and that is the conflict between our feelings and our reasoning which eventually and inevitably ends up in a dramatic resolution no matter the path we choose. However since must people see life more as a tragedy than a comedy it has become very common for studios to come up with cheap attempts of dramatic movies that really are just poor excuses to cash a buck. The following are just some of the dramatic pieces that I consider to be memorable and heartfelt:
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1.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
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. (195 mins.)
 
2.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
 
3.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
4.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
5.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. (116 mins.)
Director: Roberto Benigni
 
6.
Raging Bull (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it. (129 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
7.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist. (155 mins.)
 
8.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
9.
The Artist (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. (100 mins.)
 
10.
The Wrestler (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle. (109 mins.)
 
11.
The Lives of Others (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. (137 mins.)
 
12.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation. (105 mins.)
Director: Robert Benton
 
13.
The Kite Runner (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble. (128 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
14.
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home. (93 mins.)
 
15.
Scent of a Woman (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated. (156 mins.)
Director: Martin Brest
 
16.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
 
17.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. (126 mins.)
Director: Vadim Perelman
 
18.
Precious (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. (110 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels
 
19.
In America (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child. (105 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
 
20.
Biutiful (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move. (148 mins.)
 
21.
Philadelphia (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
22.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera. (111 mins.)
Director: Mike Figgis
 
23.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. (94 mins.)
Director: Mark Herman
 
24.
J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier... (110 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
 
25.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. (112 mins.)
Director: Julian Schnabel
 
26.
The Road (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea. (111 mins.)
Director: John Hillcoat
 
27.
Far from Heaven (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world. (107 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
28.
The Reader (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. (124 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
 
29.
The Color Purple (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades. (154 mins.)
 
30.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life. (118 mins.)
 
31.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
32.
The Hours (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives. (110 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
 
33.
The Impossible (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. (114 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bayona
 
34.
Rain Man (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country. (133 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
35.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film. (140 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
36.
The Squid and the Whale (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. (81 mins.)
Director: Noah Baumbach
 
37.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career. (117 mins.)
 
38.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective. (140 mins.)
 
39.
Oasis (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An irresponsible and childish ex-con befriends a girl with cerebral palsy and develops a progressively stronger bond with her. (133 mins.)
Director: Chang-dong Lee
 
40.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. (128 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir