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The best dramas on Hulu right now

Since the days of Enheduanna and Hesiod, drama has been the prestige genre that keeps audiences gripped to their seats. Today, it’s no different. The most award-winning and provocative films of each year tend to be dramas because they amp the stakes up and make you truly feel the weight of the characters’ lives. When you’re in the mood to watch some top-notch filmmaking, drama is a great genre to fall back on, and your Hulu subscription gives you some high-quality options. However, the library is a bit slimmer than you might hope, so we’ve made your search easier by rounding up the best dramas on Hulu right now.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We also have a guide highlighting the best dramas on Netflix.

Recently added to Hulu

Cast Away (2000) new

Cast Away
73 %
7.8/10
pg-13 143m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
In Cast Away, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a FedEx systems engineer whose existence is governed by the clock. The man is all about efficiency, punctuality, and a manic pursuit to always be on time. But when he’s the sole survivor of a plane crash, Chuck becomes isolated on a remote island with absolutely nothing. Stranded in a desolate environment, Chuck unlearns his obsessive old habits while developing new ones for survival.

Black Swan (2010) new

Black Swan
79 %
8.0/10
r 108m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Horror
Stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
The world of professional ballet is almost too perfect for a psychological thriller, as Darren Aronofsky elegantly proves in the gripping drama of Black Swan. Nina (Natalie Portman) has dedicated her entire life to dance, which has all culminated in her being pegged as the featured dancer for the New York Ballet’s upcoming production of Swan Lake. But when newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) makes a late, surprise push for the role, Nina finds herself obsessed with both defeating this new rival and becoming best friends with her.

Synecdoche, New York (2008) new

Synecdoche, New York
67 %
7.5/10
r 124m
Genre Drama
Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by Charlie Kaufman
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays theater director Caden Cotard in Charlie Kaufman’s cult classic Synecdoche, New York. Cotard is mounting a new play at the regional theater in Schenectady, New York, and it’s pretty much the only thing he has going. His wife, Adele (Catherine Keener), has left him and taken their daughter with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), is more invested in promoting her new book than counseling him. A promising new romance has unceremoniously run aground. And a mysterious condition is slowly shutting down his autonomic functions one at a time. So, Cotard enlists an ensemble and throws himself into directing an elaborate play of the mundane before whatever he has to hold onto is all gone completely.

Bugsy (1991) new

Bugsy
80 %
6.8/10
r 134m
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stars Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel
Directed by Barry Levinson
The story of the rise of Las Vegas mogul Ben “Bugsy” Siegel begins with the New York gangster (played by Warren Beatty) taking a quick business trip to Los Angeles. But the glamorous LA lifestyle — along with the alluring Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) — keeps Bugsy occupied and away from his family waiting back home. Suddenly overcome with an urge to start a new life, Bugsy scouts out a run-down gambling joint in the middle of a desert backwater known as Las Vegas.

An Education (2009)

An Education
85 %
7.3/10
pg-13 100m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper
Directed by Lone Scherfig
Jenny (Carey Mulligan) has had a sheltered upbringing but, despite this, she has a bright future with aspirations of attending Oxford University. However, when Jenny meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), she gets an abrupt, full-dosed taste of adult life. The charming but much older David provides Jenny an education that she would never get in school but will stick with her forever.
An Education | Official Trailer (2009)

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire
84 %
8.0/10
r 120m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Dev Patel, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor
Directed by Danny Boyle
2009’s Best Picture winner stars Dev Patel as Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who finds his way onto India’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? game show. Astonishingly, Jamal makes it to within one question from winning a life-changing 20 million rupees. But when the show breaks from taping, Jamal is taken into custody, convinced he’s cheating because there’s no way a parentless, uneducated street kid could know all of this. To prove his innocence, Jamal recounts his life story in the slum, illuminating how life provides knowledge in unexpected ways.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Trailer

Reign Over Me (2007)

Reign Over Me
61 %
7.4/10
r 124m
Genre Drama
Stars Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith
Directed by Mike Binder
Adam Sandler has dabbled in drama throughout his career, but Reign Over Me may be his best dramatic work of all. Five years after losing his family on 9/11, Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) runs into his college roommate, Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), on a Manhattan street corner. Charlie is not at all how Alan remembers. Once gregarious and outgoing, Charlie has retreated from the world and seems to be a broken man. On the other hand, Alan feels crushed under the weight of his responsibilities despite having a loving family and a promising career. This chance encounter soon becomes a lifeline for both men.

In the Line of Fire (1993)

In the Line of Fire
74 %
7.2/10
r 128m
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Stars Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Clint Eastwood stars as veteran Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan in this political thriller. Having failed to protect John F. Kennedy three decades earlier, Horrigan is haunted by his past and desperate for a chance at redemption. He gets that chance when a brilliant psychopath emerges from the woodwork with a credible threat to kill the current president and bring Horrigan down with him.
In the Line of Fire (1993) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Chappaquiddick (2018)

Chappaquiddick
67 %
6.4/10
pg-13 107m
Genre History, Drama, Thriller
Stars Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms
Directed by John Curran
July 18, 1969: Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy drives his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, just next to Martha’s Vineyard. Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old campaign strategist for Kennedy dies in the accident while Kennedy escapes relatively unscathed. Once seen as a potential future president, the ongoing investigation into the mysterious and scandalous events derails Kennedy’s political future and changes the course of the American government.

Nomadland (2021)

Nomadland
93 %
7.3/10
r 108m
Genre Drama
Stars Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May
Directed by Chloé Zhao
In director Chloé Zhao’s Golden Globe-winning Nomadland, Frances McDormand stars as Fern, a displaced U.S. Gypsum worker who sells off most of her possessions and property when the company’s Nevada plant closes. Taking to the road, Fern joins ranks with a good friend, Linda (Linda May), and a band of other nomadic wanderers in the deserts of Arizona. Under the tutelage of Bob Wells (as himself), Fern learns a series of imperative skills for surviving on his own in the American West. Adapted from Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, McDormand delivers a stalwart performance as the downtrodden Fern. She truly carries the film — it’s through her eyes that we learn of a world that America has attempted to leave behind and the fighting spirits that refuse to be forgotten.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
95 %
8.1/10
r 120m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami
Directed by Céline Sciamma
In the 18th century, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a skilled painter, is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young aristocratic woman named Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). As the two get to know each other, romance blossoms between the artist and lady of royalty. But their unbridled affair can only last so long, as Héloïse is set to be wed to a Milanese nobleman. Winning an award for Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and earning several nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards and Golden Globes, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a heartfelt romance picture with exquisite cinematography and two subtle but stirring lead performances.

Parasite (2019)

Parasite
96 %
8.5/10
r 133m
Genre Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Sweeping the 92nd Academy Awards, Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy thriller managed to entertain and impress critics and audiences, alike. Delivered in Korean with subtitles, the movie, which is the first non-English language movie and the first South Korean film to win an Academy Award, tells the story of an average, low-income family who finds a clever way to dig themselves out of their financial hole. One by one, they get hired to work for the wealthy Park family, even though none is qualified to take on the job they pretend to know how to do. It begins when the son Ki-woo pretends to be a university student to tutor the Park’s daughter. Ki-woo’s sister, Ki-jung, using her brother’s recommendation, gets hired as an art therapist for the Park’s son. Through continued manipulations and blackmail, each member of the family slowly works their way into the Park family’s staff, with hilarious and dramatic consequences.

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