Best-Reviewed Dramas 2016

Focusing on themes as diverse as sexual identity, family relations, race, and adolescent isolation, the best dramas of 2016 include a few buzzworthy titles and a couple of overlooked surprises.

The order of the list reflects the scores as of December 31, 2016, but the number displayed on the Adjusted Tomatometer may change as more reviews keep getting added after the end of the year.

#1

Moonlight (2016)
98%79%

#1
Adjusted Score: 121078%
Critics Consensus: Moonlight uses one man's story to offer a remarkable and brilliantly crafted look at lives too rarely seen in cinema.
Synopsis: A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His... [More]
Directed By: Barry Jenkins

#2

Manchester by the Sea (2016)
96%78%

#2
Adjusted Score: 116779%
Critics Consensus: Manchester by the Sea delivers affecting drama populated by full-bodied characters, marking another strong step forward for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.
Synopsis: After the death of his older brother Joe, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked that Joe has made him sole... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Lonergan

#3

Little Men (2016)
97%63%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104695%
Critics Consensus: Little Men takes a compassionate look at the ways in which adult problems impact childhood friendships -- and offers another affecting New York drama from director Ira Sachs.
Synopsis: Two teens develop a growing friendship in Brooklyn, N.Y., while the feud between their respective parents (Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle)... [More]
Directed By: Ira Sachs

#4

Fences (2016)
92%75%

#4
Adjusted Score: 107600%
Critics Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful.
Synopsis: Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

#5

The Fits (2015)
96%54%

#5
Adjusted Score: 101688%
Critics Consensus: As gripping as it is unique, the thrillingly kinetic The Fits marks debuting writer-director Anna Rose Holmer as a singular talent.
Synopsis: An 11-year-old tomboy (Royalty Hightower) tries to fit in with her peers after joining an all-girl dance team.... [More]
Directed By: Anna Rose Holmer