Eleven of the Best Dramatic Movies You've Probably Never Seen

Whether it's war, crime or another genre, Raul calls out 11 of the best dramatic movies you've probably never seen. What are you waiting for? It's reading time!

We're just presuming you've never seen these movies. If you have, great. If not, check out this list and find out about some of the best drama/crime/war movies you've probably never seen. This list is in no specific order.

My armpits. Do they amuse you?

A Prophet AKA Un Profete
This is a French crime drama about a young Arab who is sent to prison where he goes from being a sort of innocent man to a prison kingpin, much like Michael Corleone’s journey in The Godfather. It’s a top notch story and acting and received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, though most people have still not seen this amazing movie.

This was the movie that made me notice Tom Hardy and is directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, who also made the Pusher films, Valhalla Rising, and Drive. Hardy totally transforms himself into notorious British criminal Charlie Bronson, who legally changed his name and is considered the most violent prisoner in the Britain’s history. He also has a fondness for art. It’s a personal favorite that I always try to push onto people.

Ex Drummer rocks and has one of the most notorious endings ever.

Ex Drummer
This Belgian feature could be described as the Trainspotting version of rock music, as a famous writer agrees to be the drummer of a band in order for it to be the source of his next novel. There gimmick is that they all have disabilities, with the journalist’s being that he doesn’t know how to drum.  The film is beautiful, violent, funny, gritty, and visceral. It’s a hilarious bloody punch to your face.

As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me
Screw American versions of films, as the Colin Farrell starring film The Way Back is similar in nature to this story but simply cannot match its heart. It’s the story of a German soldier who escapes from a Siberian labor camp and covers 8,000 miles over a three year period until he finally makes it home. It’s an amazing story about the human spirit and the struggles of war and is one that my grandfather always talks about because he knew people who were sent to those camps.

This is a gripping Polish film that recounts the story of the slaughter of thousands of Polish officers and citizens in the Katyn forest in 1940 by Soviet officers. The subject matter is highly controversial due to the Soviet Union denying responsibility for so many years. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film in 2008. It is another film that highly affected my grandfather because he grew up on the German and Polish border and this was highly relevant to him.

Limits of Control
This is an independent film from director Jim Jarmusch that takes place in Spain and involves a mysterious who is there to do some type of criminal job. Jarmusch is well known as an independent filmmaker, directing Down by Law, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, Night on Earth, Dead Man, and Ghost Dog.  This is probably his most stylistic film and is worth checking out especially if you’re a fan of Jarmusch.

This isssssssss STALINGRAD!!!!

This is a large budgeted Russian war film that covers the battle of Stalingrad and a small group of Russian soldiers that are trying to hold off the German army, with a romantic subplot that also takes place. Barring some special effects that aren’t up to the level of an American production, this is an excellent epic war film that is worth seeing.

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The Admiral
This is another large scale Russian war film that involves an admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy that chooses to remain faithful to his oath to the Czar and fight against the Bolshevik rule after the Russian Revolution. There is also a somewhat complicated love triangle between himself, his wife, and a female poet. The movie has received some mixed reception because the admiral has been described as a villain in most in the Soviet historiography. It still is a movie worth seeing.

The Horseman
Christian is dealing with the death of his daughter when he receives a video of her in a snuff film. The death toll rises as Christian seeks answers for who is responsible and to take his revenge. In the vain of Get Carter, this film follows a somewhat similar plotline involving illegal sexual acts. It is also a very gritty, grim, violent, and blood soaked story.

White Tiger AKA Belyy Tigr
This is another well done Russian war story that involves the hunt for this mysterious and ghostly white German super tank that has been destroying Russia’s tanks. An army sergeant that survives an encounter with it and becomes obsessed like Ahab did for Moby Dick and hunts it down.  It was another large budgeted production and delivers plenty of tanks and war action.

So, are you Mark Wahlberg or Leo? 

Bonus film: InfernalAffairs
This is the movie that the dreadful Departed remade. This is a complex Hong Kong produced police crime thriller. There is a police officer secretly undercover in the local Triad, while at the same time a police inspector is also secretly a member of that Triad gang. What plays out is an intense cat and mouse game, where both are trying to figure out who is the mole and who is the cop.

This is an excellent and suspenseful crime drama with a great cast of well known Hong Kong actors, including Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, and Eric Tsui. There are great performances all around, but three stand out. Tony Leung for his portrayal of the undercover cop, Anthony Wong as the Superintendant and the only person who knows the undercover cops true identity, and Andy Lau as the Inspector who is secretly working with the Triads. 

-Raul Vantassle