The 10 best drama movies that came out in 2006 include a significant number of films that depict real events or that are fictionalized versions of actual events. Stories based on real life and real people have an inherent drama that can be a challenge for directors and actors to recreate. These movies are marvelous efforts in which filmmakers were able to use the power of drama to move people emotionally. 

  1. “The Departed.” The Irish mob decides to infiltrate the State Police by sending one of their guys to the police academy. At the same time, the police send a recent academy graduate to infiltrate the mob. Eventually, both sides figure out that they've been penetrated. This film is easily the best drama movie of 2006 and won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director.

  2. “United 93.” This film is an attempt to recreate what happened on United Flight 93 on September 11th, 2001. Critics loved this picture, and many believed it was the best drama movie of the year.

  3. “The Queen.” This movie features an Academy Award performance by Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. The film is a dramatization of events and attitudes at Buckingham Palace in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana.

  4. “The Pursuit of Happyness.” A guy invests in a “get rich quick” scheme. Soon, he's broke, divorced, homeless, and a single parent. The man's only hope is to land the brokerage firm job that he is competing for with nineteen other people. Many critics believe that Will Smith should have won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this inspirational drama based on a true story.

  5. “The Last King of Scotland.” A young doctor goes to Uganda to help the poor and winds up as the personal physician to dictator Idi Amin. The film features a superb Oscar-winning performance by Forest Whitaker and is easily one of the best drama movies of 2006.

  6. “Letters From Iwo Jima.” This is the latest movie to chronicle the World War II battle on the Japanese island. However, this one is different in that it tells the story from the Japanese side.

  7. “Babel.” This is a complex tale involving people of different nationalities. The action takes in multiple countries and the individual stories are tied together by a rifle. Some people are put off by the film's complexity, but the skill with which it's produced makes this picture one of the best drama movies of 2006.

  8. “Little Children.” A woman in an unhappy marriage meets a stay-at-home dad, whose marriage is also rocky, when they both take their kids to the park. At the same time, a sex offender moves into the neighborhood, and a retired policeman is determined to drive him out. This film is based on a novel, and it's not a “big” film, but it is a thought-provoking movie that's handled with intelligence.

  9. “Half Nelson” An inspirational, unorthodox Brookly high school teacher with a drug problem and a self-reliant girl from a broken home try to save each other. This is a low-budget film where the acting, directing, and writing came together to create an an engaging story that qualifies as one of the best drama movies of 2006.

  10. “The Good Shepherd.” This is a controversial selection for this list as many critics panned this movie for its complexity and subject matter. This film ostensibly tells a fictionalized version of the birth of the CIA through the eyes of a calculating, highly driven agent who is so ruthless that he arranges the assassination of his son's fiance.