Drama movies have this way about them that makes you feel invested. If they can put forth a good screenplay and combine it with a good narrative, sign me up!
Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. “Haven’t we had enough drama this year?” Yes, you’re absolutely right, but… but… hear me out; there are some drama movies from this year that are absolute bangers, and will probably make you forget about this year. At least for a couple of hours.
Now, there are a LOT of drama movies that came out this year. Movies like Greyhound and Enola Holmes qualify for drama. But they are already listed in Top 5 Action this year. So, barring those, here are MY favourites.
5. Escape from Pretoria
IMDb rating: 6.8
Starting off the list, we have a thriller, drama from Daniel Radcliffe. It seems like the once known Harry Potter has strayed away from family-friendly, light movies towards serious ones.
Over the years, he’s given us movies like Victor Frankenstein, Imperium, Jungle, Guns Akimbo and so on.
Now, he’s here with Escape to Pretoria, a movie based on real-life prison escape.
The story revolves around political prisoners Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe), Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber) and Leonard Fontaine (Mark Leonard Winter). With the help of others, they hatch a plan to break out of Pretoria Central Prison.
They’re sentenced on the charges that they produced and distributed 18 different pamphlets on behalf of banned organisations during the apartheid era in South Africa.
The movie will keep you on edge with every trial and errors they do until each part of their plan is a success. Watch if you like a movie that makes your heartbeat rise!
Available on Amazon Prime.
4. The Half of It
IMDb rating: 6.9
Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is smart, but a friendless student. As a side hustle, she writes homework papers for her classmates for money.
Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), a jock, approaches her to ask help writing a love letter to his crush, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire).
Although she denies him at first, knowing that Aster is already dating another guy. But, the financial situation at home forces her to accept, so, she starts writing.
Ellie (posing as Paul) and Aster start connecting over their shared interests: literature and art. Aster has no idea that she was texting and writing to Ellie, but Ellie develops feelings for her. Unable to accept it or tell Paul, she continues texting for him.
As their lives get entangled, they’re forced to confront their thoughts and feelings.
The Half of It is a feel-good, coming of age type drama movie. It deals with accepting people for who they are, regardless of their sexuality, and what they want to do with their lives.
Ellie’s traits are easy to relate with, at least for an introvert. And also make you immersed completely for the entirety of 100 mins.
Available on Netflix.
3. The Devil All the Time
IMDb rating: 7.1
The movie revolves around three main storylines, all coming together with chaotic clashes: Arvin Russell’s (Tom Holland), Deputy Lee Bodecker (Sebastian Stan), and a pair of married hitchhikers.
Born to a World War II veteran and a diner waitress, Arvin undergoes a lot of trauma at a very young age. First, the death of his dog, soon followed by both his mother and father.
He's sent to live with his grandmother, he grows alongside with stepsister, Lenora (Eliza Scanlen). Lenora was orphaned around the same age as Arvin was. The step-siblings grow up with a tight bond.
When a new preacher, Reverend Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson) is appointed to the local church, Lenora develops an attraction towards the preacher.
She's used by the preacher and he then denies the incident ever happening. What transpires with a broken Lenora sets the movie in motion. The entire set of events end with many deaths.
With an intriguing way of switching between storylines, The Devil All the Time is an interesting blend of drama and psychological thriller. With an intense narrative, the movie will be a gripping watch.
Parental discretion advised.
Available on Netflix.
2. Bad Education
IMDb rating: 7.1
Okay, this movie was technically from 2019, but the releases were in Film Festivals. So, for all intents and purposes, this is a 2020 movie. Bear with me!
Bad Education is based on the true story of the largest public school embezzlement in American history.
Dr Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) is the superintendent of the Roslyn Union Free School District on Long Island. Frank and his assistant Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) have been the reason major factors for the school becoming fourth-ranked in the country.
Frank is adored by all, staff, students and parents alike. So much that he's approached by single mothers due to him being a widower.
The school plans on constructing a skywalk, and a student reporter Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswanathan) is asked to cover it. When she goes to get casual statements from Frank, he encourages her to treat the report as a proper journalist would.
She then goes to Pam to get the school’s financial records, wherein which she finds irregularities. The more she digs, the more irregularities she starts uncovering. What unfolds is what makes the embezzlement the largest in American history.
Hugh Jackman being Hugh Jackman, has done an excellent job and is a treat to watch. Allison Janney, a film veteran herself, has complemented very well.
The movie will make you wonder how can someone, so adored, be capable of committing a crime of that magnitude. A must watch drama movie for sure.
Available on Amazon Prime, HBO Max.
1. The Social Dilemma
IMDb rating: 7.8
‘Social Media: Boon or Bane?’ We have seen this phrase many times, probably. We have heard and seen Boomers vs. Gen Z stands on it. We have read many posts and articles on social media about the harms of social media.
Now, get ready to listen and understand how exactly is social media is harming the current society. Not in generic terms, but in technical terms.
How does an algorithm, built to feed us new and relevant content, dividing people?
How can something as harmless as a ‘Like’ button able to fuel hatred among people?
The Social Dilemma is a docudrama that interviews former employees from top tech giants like Google, Facebook, Instagram and such. All who were directly involved in the beginnings of social media as we see now.
The documentary also has a casted film within it, playing throughout, showing what the interviewees are talking about.
It is absolutely shocking to see, or rather, not see, how its evolution has been damaging society. A few points of the docudrama may even give you chills.
But don’t worry. The interviewees all share their thoughts and ideas on how the damage can be reversed and what we can hope to see.
If you’re sitting down for a casual drama movie, this certainly isn’t!
On a side note, read this study article by Ohio State University on ‘Liking’ an article online. It is highly relevant to what the docudrama is trying to convey.
Available on Netflix.
That’s it! These are my recommendations. Tell me what you think. Have you watched any of these already? Did you enjoy it?
Also, check out the post on Top 5 Action Movies of 2020 as well!