My Favorite Foreign Films (So Far)

Having rated over 2000 films and having regularly watched movies for 38 of my 52 years, I decided to put my top 48 from my 9 and 10 ratings. My favorite foreign directors are Akira Kurosawa and Pedro Almodovar, but my list extends far beyond them.
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1.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
2.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Post-WWII Italy, a working class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
3.
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years. (171 mins.)
Director: Kaige Chen
 
4.
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. (158 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
5.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
 
6.
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.)
 
7.
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary about the life and work of Leni Riefenstahl, a German film director most notorious for making the most effective propaganda films for the Nazis. (180 mins.)
Director: Ray Müller
 
8.
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
 
9.
Umberto D. (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome. (89 mins.)
 
10.
March of the Penguins (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. (80 mins.)
Director: Luc Jacquet
 
11.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
12.
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.)
 
13.
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.)
 
14.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Japan in the 16th century (or so), an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them, or cause them to turn on each other...and him... (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
15.
Open Your Eyes (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured. (117 mins.)
 
16.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1968, a Czech doctor with an active sex life meets a woman who wants monogamy, and then the Soviet invasion further disrupts their lives. (171 mins.)
Director: Philip Kaufman
 
17.
The Star Maker (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A photographer and the types of people he encounters. (113 mins.)
 
18.
Murmur of the Heart (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
This is a jolly coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Laurent Chevalier who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon... (118 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
19.
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute. (101 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
 
20.
Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Radford
 
21.
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household. (125 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
22.
Since Otar Left (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The one joy in the lives of a mother and daughter comes from the regular letters sent to them from Paris from the family's adored son... (103 mins.)
 
23.
Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975... (99 mins.)
Director: Joan Chen
 
24.
Cries & Whispers (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
25.
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.)
 
26.
Two Women (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the Italy of WWII, a widow and her lonely daughter seek for distance between them and the horrors of war. (100 mins.)
 
27.
Roma (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Joaquín Góñez, a novelist in his sixties recalls his emotions, his wild years in Buenos Aires, the memories of old friends, the meaning of loyalty and the intimate relationship with his mother, Roma. (155 mins.)
 
28.
Bad Education (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends. (106 mins.)
 
29.
The Other Side of the Bed (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Two couples entwine on their search for love. (114 mins.)
 
30.
A Dama do Lotação (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Carlos and Solange, childhood sweethearts, marry after a chaste courtship. On their wedding night, Solange refuses to make love to him... (90 mins.)
 
31.
Kundun (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems. (134 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
32.
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.)
 
33.
Monsoon Wedding (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India. (114 mins.)
Director: Mira Nair
 
34.
Mediterraneo (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war. (96 mins.)
 
35.
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 19-year old former chambermaid Conchita. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
 
36.
Belle Epoque (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 1931, a young soldier (Fernando) deserts from the army and falls into a country farm, where he is... (109 mins.)
Director: Fernando Trueba
 
37.
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.)
 
38.
Amores Perros (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love. (154 mins.)
 
39.
Metropolis (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (153 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
40.
Sex and Lucia (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Various lives converge on an isolated island, all connected by an author whose novel has become inextricably entwined with his own life. (128 mins.)
Director: Julio Medem
 
41.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other. (106 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
42.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
43.
Talk to Her (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas. (112 mins.)
 
44.
Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206. (126 mins.)
Director: Sergey Bodrov
 
45.
The Piano Teacher (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher. (131 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
 
46.
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.)
 
47.
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
 
48.
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