50 Greatest Foreign-Language Movies

Foreign language means not in English, or mostly not in English.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic... (94 mins.)
 
2.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
3.
Babette's Feast (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father... (102 mins.)
Director: Gabriel Axel
 
4.
Red Sorghum (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. In the nearby... (91 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
5.
The Makioka Sisters (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
This sensuously beautiful film chronicles the activities of four sisters who gather in Kyoto every year to view the cherry blossoms... (140 mins.)
Director: Kon Ichikawa
 
6.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
7.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. (127 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
8.
Salaam Bombay! (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The boy Krishna is abandoned by his mother at the Apollo Circus and she tells him that he can only return... (113 mins.)
Director: Mira Nair
 
9.
Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A motley quintet of inept small-time thieves bungle the burglary of a local pawnshop in this Italian farce. (106 mins.)
Director: Mario Monicelli
 
10.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
11.
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
 
12.
And the Ship Sails On (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers. (132 mins.)
 
13.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
 
14.
Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret. (104 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
15.
Day for Night (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew. (115 mins.)
 
16.
Le Boucher (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town. (93 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
 
17.
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls. (188 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
18.
The 400 Blows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. (99 mins.)
 
19.
Madame Rosa (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor... (105 mins.)
Director: Moshé Mizrahi
 
20.
Viridiana (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior. (90 mins.)
Director: Luis Buñuel
 
21.
The Phantom of Liberty (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
This surrealist film consists of a series of only vaguely related episodes, most famously the dinner... (104 mins.)
Director: Luis Buñuel
 
22.
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama... (193 mins.)
Director: Jacques Rivette
 
23.
Boyfriends and Girlfriends (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Paris outskirts Blanche, a young clerk, befriends Lea, a girl livelier than she is. Lea is going... (103 mins.)
Director: Éric Rohmer
 
24.
The Lives of Others (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. (137 mins.)
 
25.
Ju Dou (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with... (95 mins.)
 
26.
Osama (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The Taliban are ruling Afghanistan, they being a repressive regime especially for women, who, among other things... (83 mins.)
Director: Siddiq Barmak
 
27.
Children of Heaven (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair. (89 mins.)
Director: Majid Majidi
 
28.
The Kite Runner (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble. (128 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
29.
Z (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles. (127 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
 
30.
Black and White in Color (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors... (90 mins.)
 
31.
Bride of Fire (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(116 mins.)
Director: Khosrow Sinai
 
32.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
 
33.
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Solange is depressed: she's stopped smiling, she eats little, she says less. She has fainting fits.... (108 mins.)
Director: Bertrand Blier
 
34.
Jean de Florette (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell. (120 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
 
35.
Manon of the Spring (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A beautiful but shy shepherdess plots vengeance on the men whose greedy conspiracy to acquire her father's land caused his death years earlier. (113 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
 
36.
La Cage aux Folles (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two gay men living in St. Tropez have their lives turned upside down when the son of one of the men announces he is getting married... (103 mins.)
 
37.
Das Boot (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror. (149 mins.)
 
38.
The Tin Drum (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with... (142 mins.)
 
39.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist. (155 mins.)
 
40.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young woman separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision. (91 mins.)
Director: Jacques Demy
 
41.
Lust, Caution (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee. (157 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
42.
Pushing Hands (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
All the while, Master Chu tries to find his place in the foreign American world. (105 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
43.
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
To satisfy his nagging parents, a gay landlord and a female tenant agree to a marriage of convenience, but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand. (106 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
44.
The Lover (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other. (115 mins.)
 
45.
Infernal Affairs (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop. (101 mins.)
Director: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
 
46.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. (116 mins.)
Director: Roberto Benigni
 
47.
Let the Right One In (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. (115 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
 
48.
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current... (108 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
49.
Sandakan 8 (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8. (120 mins.)
Director: Kei Kumai
 
50.
The Road Home (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback. (89 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang