Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Are Some Really Good Drama Movies to Watch?

People always want to know what movie to watch next. Today, I hope to give you some ideas. I'll be answering the question: "what are some really good drama movies to watch" in the hopes that I can provide you with your next great Friday night film. Here they are below:

1. In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges is both a crime drama and a comedy starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. The premise is basically that the main character Ray (Farrell) is a hitman who accidentally kills a boy on one of his jobs. He’s sent by his boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to go to Bruges in Belgium along with another hitman named Ken (Gleeson). Hilarity ensues in Bruges as Ray and Ken get involved in various awkward situations. The film has a lot of funny moments and is a good one to watch if you don’t mind some black humour.

2. Side Effects (2013)

As opposed to In Bruges, Side Effects is a much more serious film. It came out just this year and stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The story mainly centers around two characters: Emily Taylor (Mara) and Jonathan Banks (Law). During the first part of the movie, we are given the details surrounding Emily’s life as a woman struggling with depression and how she copes with it after her husband (Tatum) is released from prison. After a suicide attempt, Emily meets Dr. Jonathan Banks, a psychiatrist who takes her on as his patient. Without giving too much away, an event occurs soon after Banks and Emily meet which results in the story turning into a sort of mystery thriller. The film also brings up issues of drug use and overmedication in today’s society which I thought was really interesting. Conclusively, Side Effects has been one of the better films to come out in 2013 and, as such, I highly recommend it for anyone looking to watch a good drama movie.

3. A Time to Kill (1996)

A Time to Kill is a courtroom drama that is based on the book of the same name by John Grisham. The movie has several notable actors and actresses in it such as the stars Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. It follows the story of Carl Lee Hailey (played by Jackson) who is put on trial for murder after killing two white racists who raped and almost killed his daughter. The film revolves entirely around this trial, bringing in issues of racism and justice. In addition to the trial, there are different subplots involving the KKK which add a nice multi-dimensional aspect to the film. I think this a classic of a movie that brings up many issues that still have some relevance today.

4. Frequency (2000)

Frequency is one of the more interesting movies on the list in terms of story. It involves a father and son, Frank Sullivan (played by Dennis Quaid) and John Sullivan (played by Jim Caviezel) respectively, fantastically being able to communicate with each other in different time periods over a HAM radio even though Frank had died when John was younger. This initial conversation that the two Sullivans have ends up altering the future for the worse leading John and Frank to work together to figure out what’s going on. It’s a very interesting movie to watch for sure.

5. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

As one of the biographical movies on the list, A Beautiful Mind serves as an amazing window into the life of mathematician and Nobel Laureate John Nash. Nash, who suffers from schizophrenia, is played in the film by Russell Crowe who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Although the movie isn’t entirely accurate as to what Nash actually experienced (I don’t think, for example, that the real John Nash experienced visual hallucinations), it’s still a great film that shows you what it’s like to have a mental disorder like schizophrenia. The movie won 4 Oscars including one for Best Picture, so it’s probably not a bad idea to check it out.

6. The Hurricane (1999)

The Hurricane is another biographical film that follows Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer who was arrested and convicted for a murder that he didn’t commit. Carter is played by Denzel Washington who does an excellent job in the film. Washington was nominated during the Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Hurricane which (as with A Beautiful Mind) seems to warrant a viewing if you haven’t seen the movie.

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

This film is one of my favourite movies of all time. The movie is based on the novel of the same name and follows a man named Randle McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) who is admitted into a mental institution from a prison where he was serving a sentence for statutory rape. McMurphy, who really isn’t mentally disabled, attempts to liven up his mental ward by encouraging the other people there to stop living by the same old routines. The person in charge of the ward, Nurse Ratched (played by Louise Fletcher), isn’t pleased with McMurphy’s antics and attempts to stop them throughout the movie in order to maintain the status quo. Nicholson’s performance in this movie is spectacular and the film as a whole is really well done. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen this movie to watch it because it’s really up there as one of the greats in my opinion.

8. 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men is probably one of the best courtroom dramas (if not the best) that I’ve ever seen. The film is centered entirely around a jury who are responsible for deciding whether or not a boy is guilty of murdering his father. Since there isn’t a unanimous consensus as to the boy’s innocence or guilt, the jury needs to debate about the issues of the trial until everyone can come to an agreement. Most of the film takes place inside one room with characters who aren’t given names (except for two of them at the end). It’s really a cool film that I think should be watched by any film or legal buffs out there.

9. Schindler’s List (1993)

One of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, Schindler’s List tells the true story of German Nazi party member Oskar Schindler who saved the lives of over 1000 Jews during the Holocaust. The movie is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark which details the man’s life. Schindler’s List won seven Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture. It’s an amazing historical drama that everyone should see.

10. Network (1976)

Network is a movie that examines a television network that is trying to boost its ratings by using a deranged man named Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) as their news anchor. The film is supposed to be a satire of how TV networks operate and it undoubtedly serves that purpose. However, I like the movie more for the things that it says about society which are true (e.g. corruption, corporate greed etc) rather than for those which aren’t true.

Thus ends my list of some of my favourite drama films. If you’d like to put forward your own opinions about how bad/good my list is, or if you have your own movies in mind which you think should’ve been on this list, please feel free to comment below.

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