My Top Foreign Language Films

by TheFabulousThomasJ | created - 31 Mar 2011 | updated - 31 Mar 2011 | Public
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1. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 176,484 | Gross: $11.99M

2. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 599,540 | Gross: $33.23M

3. The Bubble (2006)

Unrated | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
61 Metascore

The movie follows a group of young friends in the city of Tel Aviv and is as much a love song to the city as it is an exploration of the claim that people in Tel Aviv are isolated from the ... See full summary »

Director: Eytan Fox | Stars: Ohad Knoller, Yousef 'Joe' Sweid, Daniella Wircer, Alon Friedman

Votes: 4,974 | Gross: $0.16M

4. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 126,782

5. Il ladro di bambini (1992)

114 min | Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Antonio, a policeman (carabiniere), has an order to take two children (Rosetta and her brother Luciano) from Milan to Sicily to an orphanage. Their mother has been arrested for forcing ... See full summary »

Director: Gianni Amelio | Stars: Enrico Lo Verso, Valentina Scalici, Giuseppe Ieracitano, Florence Darel

Votes: 2,122 | Gross: $0.93M

It took me a while to find this title, because I saw and knew it under its' Italian moniker "Il Lladro di Bambini"

6. Arabian Nights (1974)

NC-17 | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of Mid-West Asia, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Franco Merli, Tessa Bouché

Votes: 5,750

Pasolini's lusty and soulful retelling of the Aladdin stories; be forewarned, it's not Disney appropriate!

7. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax

Votes: 13,893

8. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist

Votes: 9,876

9. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)

NC-17 | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
55 Metascore

An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Victoria Abril, Antonio Banderas, Loles León, Julieta Serrano

Votes: 20,022 | Gross: $4.09M

10. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

R | 106 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
88 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ana López Mercado

Votes: 99,029 | Gross: $13.62M

11. Hausu (1977)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Horror

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt's country home, which tries to devour the girls in bizarre ways.

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Ai Matsubara

Votes: 13,534

12. The Holy Mountain (1973)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, Juan Ferrara

Votes: 27,581 | Gross: $0.06M

13. Bad Education (2004)

NC-17 | 106 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
81 Metascore

An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara, Daniel Giménez Cacho

Votes: 48,846 | Gross: $5.21M

14. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Horror, War

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In World War II Italy, four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Paolo Bonacelli, Laura Betti, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle

Votes: 43,735

15. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 188,746 | Gross: $11.49M

16. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 7,900

17. Mon Oncle (1958)

Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can't quite fit into the surroundings.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Lucien Frégis

Votes: 15,171

18. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 19,239

19. Yossi & Jagger (2002)

R | 65 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

Romance blooms between two soldiers (Knoller, Levi) stationed in an Israeli outpost on the Lebanese border.

Director: Eytan Fox | Stars: Ohad Knoller, Yehuda Levi, Assi Cohen, Aya Steinovitz

Votes: 6,022

20. Paradise Now (2005)

PG-13 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
71 Metascore

Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad | Stars: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hamza Abu-Aiaash

Votes: 20,696 | Gross: $1.45M

21. Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (2007)

PG-13 | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town.

Director: Eran Kolirin | Stars: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour

Votes: 11,574 | Gross: $3.05M

22. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)

Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini, Marcello Morante

Votes: 8,731

23. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
93 Metascore

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 54,374 | Gross: $19.52M

24. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

PG-13 | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
91 Metascore

When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.

Director: Sylvain Chomet | Stars: Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas

Votes: 45,441 | Gross: $7.00M

25. The Wedding Banquet (1993)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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    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.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Winston Chao, May Chin, Ah-Lei Gua, Sihung Lung

Votes: 11,789 | Gross: $6.93M

Even though this film has dialog in English, the majority of it is in Mandarin.

26. Como agua para chocolate (1992)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
86 Metascore

When tradition prevents her from marrying the man she loves, a young woman discovers she has a unique talent for cooking.

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez

Votes: 14,740 | Gross: $21.67M

27. A Special Day (1977)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two neighbors, a persecuted journalist and a resigned housewife, meet during Hitler's visit in Italy in May 1938.

Director: Ettore Scola | Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, John Vernon, Françoise Berd

Votes: 8,745

28. Talk to Her (2002)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
86 Metascore

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling

Votes: 92,714 | Gross: $9.28M

29. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 256,256 | Gross: $0.27M

30. La Cage aux Folles (1978)

R | 110 min | Comedy

7.3
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    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. They try to conceal their lifestyle and their ownership ... See full summary »

Director: Édouard Molinaro | Stars: Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault, Claire Maurier, Rémi Laurent

Votes: 8,251 | Gross: $20.42M

The original; even though the English language remake by Mike Nichols ("The Birdcage") is just as equal to this. . .

31. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
89 Metascore

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.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 292,401 | Gross: $11.29M

32. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

NC-17 | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Horror

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui

Votes: 14,830

33. My Life as a Dog (1985)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama, Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman

Votes: 15,952 | Gross: $8.35M

34. Le placard (2001)

R | 84 min | Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
72 Metascore

A man spreads the rumor of his fake homosexuality with the aid of his neighbor, to prevent his imminent firing at his work.

Director: Francis Veber | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michèle Laroque

Votes: 14,986 | Gross: $6.67M

35. Ieri oggi domani (1963)

Not Rated | 119 min | Comedy, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Stories about three very different women and the men they attract.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Aldo Giuffrè, Agostino Salvietti

Votes: 5,799

36. Accattone (1961)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pimp with no other means to provide for himself finds his life spiraling out of control when his prostitute is sent to prison.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini, Paola Guidi

Votes: 5,977

37. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.3
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    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.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 109,870 | Gross: $0.33M

38. Matador (1986)

NC-17 | 110 min | Drama, Thriller

7.0
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An ex-bullfighter who gets turned on by killing, a lady lawyer with the same fetish and a young man driven insane by his religious upbringing - these are the main characters in this stylish... See full summary »

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Assumpta Serna, Antonio Banderas, Nacho Martínez, Eva Cobo

Votes: 9,086 | Gross: $0.21M

39. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 87,581 | Gross: $3.52M

40. Walk on Water (2004)

R | 103 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
65 Metascore

Following the suicide of his wife, an Israeli intelligence agent is assigned to befriend the grandchildren of a Nazi war criminal.

Director: Eytan Fox | Stars: Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, Caroline Peters, Gideon Shemer

Votes: 6,109 | Gross: $2.71M