Best Drama Movies on Netflix Right Now (2020)

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – NOVEMBER 20: Actor John Travolta attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 30th-anniversary screening of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ on November 20, 2007, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – NOVEMBER 20: Actor John Travolta attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 30th-anniversary screening of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ on November 20, 2007, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) /

No. 31 – Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Written by: Norman Wexler

Directed by: John Badham

Starring John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pape, and Donna Pescow

Here is a list of all the things you need to know in order to convince yourself Saturday Night Fever:

  1. John Travolta dances in it, and it’s quite glorious to watch.
  2. Travolta plays a character named Tony, whose best friends are named Joey, Gus, Double J, and Bobby C. How can you not watch a movie with someone in it named Double J?
  3. Despite what may seem like a lighter plot to an outsider, this film deals with a lot of serious topics including rape and suicide. It’s a truly masterful effort on the part of Norman Wexler’s script to really make us care not only about Tony (Travolta) but his relationship with his family and friends as well.

The plot of Saturday Night Fever is pretty simple: Tony is a 19-year-old kid, trying to make it out of his family’s house, and out of a dead end job, despite being dragged back into the fray by his closest friends. It’s a classic John Travolta movie, and he is a tour de force from beginning to end. Travolta movies tend to be on opposite ends of the spectrum of either incredible or flat out bad, but you can never fault the man for not giving it his all in every role. We can safely put this one on the higher end.

Best drama movies on Netflix
PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 21: (L-R) Shane Carruth and Casey Gooden attend the ‘Upstream Color’ premiere at Eccles Center Theatre during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images) /

No. 30 – Upstream Color (2013)

Written by: Shane Carruth

Directed by: Shane Carruth

Starring Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz

To try and explain Upstream Color would be, essentially, impossible. This is the easiest movie to skip on the entire list, strictly, because of its extremely confusing plotline. However, that doesn’t mean what Shane Carruth has made here doesn’t contain some brilliance beneath the surface.

The best way to explain Upstream Color is to explain what it’s about, in the thematic sense. It’s a movie about the connections we share with other like us, and how those connections truly shape our past and future. It’s also about the subtleties of love and its, literal and metaphorical, hypnotic effect on all of us. That is shown quite literally in the hypnotic experience that the two main characters both share in this film, yet Carruth manages to direct those subtleties with very specific and intentional imagery that honestly can’t be explained without witnessing yourself.

This is, in no way, an easy movie to watch, or one that might even make much sense on the first viewing. I mean, Shane Carruth’s last movie was about a killer tire, if that provides any sort of context. Upstream Color is going to take a while to marinate for most but is a truly beautiful film once understood.