The 40 best Iranian films

by nejady | created - 17 Mar 2012 | updated - 13 Apr 2013 | Public
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1. Hamoun (1990)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama

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

Hamoon's wife is leaving him. He is also unsuccessfully trying to finish his Ph.D. thesis. He is forced to reexamine his life. In a series of flashbacks and dreams, Hamoon tries to figure ... See full summary »

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Bita Farahi, Sedigheh Kianfar, Turan Mehrzad

Votes: 5,367

2. A Separation (2011)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Mystery

8.4
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95 Metascore

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini

Votes: 174,313 | Gross: $7.10M

3. Zir-e poost-e shahr (2001)

92 min | Drama

7.5
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77 Metascore

Tuba works daily at a grueling textile factory in Iran, returning home every night to deal with the rest of her problematic family, which includes: a pregnant daughter whose husband beats ... See full summary »

Director: Rakhshan Banietemad | Stars: Golab Adineh, Mohammad Reza Forutan, Baran Kosari, Ebrahim Sheibani

Votes: 1,199

4. Davandeh (1984)

94 min | Drama

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

After enrolling in a school, an impoverished boy finds conflict with his classmates and decides to compete to earn their respect.

Director: Amir Naderi | Stars: Abbas Nazeri, Madjid Niroumand, Musa Torkizadeh

Votes: 1,149

5. Darbareye Elly (2009)

119 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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

The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Merila Zare'i

Votes: 32,971 | Gross: $0.11M

6. Gaav (1969)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

8.1
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An old villager deeply in love with his cow goes to the capital for a while. While he's there, the cow dies and now the villagers are afraid of his possible reaction to it when he returns.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Mahin Shahabi, Ali Nassirian, Jamshid Mashayekhi

Votes: 4,710

7. The House Is Black (1963)

20 min | Documentary, Short

8.0
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Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad | Stars: Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri

Votes: 3,133

8. Khane-ye doust kodjast? (1987)

83 min | Drama, Family

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

An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Babek Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Khodabakhsh Defaei, Iran Outari

Votes: 6,671

9. Avaze gonjeshk-ha (2008)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Family

8.0
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74 Metascore

When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes ... See full summary »

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan, Hamid Aghazi

Votes: 7,332 | Gross: $0.12M

10. Nassereddin Shah, Actor-e Cinema (1992)

92 min | Comedy, Drama, History

7.5
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Mirza Ebrahim Khan, travels past in time to introduce cinematography to the previous king who can afford to pay for the new industry. But Nasser-e-din Shah takes an interest in the actress ... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Akbar Abdi, Morteza Ahmadi, Dariush Arjmand, Ezzatolah Entezami

Votes: 714

11. Shabe Yalda (2001)

85 min | Drama

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

Hamed is unemployed. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter immigrate to Europe for a better future. Missing his family, he imprisons himself and starts to revise his life in isolation.

Director: Kiumars Poorahmad | Stars: Elham Charkhande, Mohammad Reza Forutan, Hilda Hashempour, Maryam Poorahmad

Votes: 472

12. Arous-e atash (2000)

116 min | Drama, Thriller

7.2
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Director: Khosrow Sinai | Stars: Mehdi Ahmadi, Hamid Farokhnezhad, Saeed Poursamimi, Salimeh Rangzan

Votes: 314

13. An shab ke barun amad (1967)

35 min | Documentary, Short

7.5
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A documentary which explores what did or did not happen on a rainy night a young boy allegedly saved a train from crashing.

Director: Kamran Shirdel

Votes: 207

14. Chaharshanbe-soori (2006)

102 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.9
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84 Metascore

On the last Wednesday before the spring solstice ushers in the Persian New Year, people set off fireworks following an ancient Zoroastrian tradition. Rouhi, spending her first day at a new job, finds herself in the midst of a different kind of fireworks -- a domestic dispute between her new boss and his wife.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Hamid Farokhnezhad, Hediyeh Tehrani, Taraneh Alidoosti, Pantea Bahram

Votes: 6,819

15. The Lizard (2004)

115 min | Comedy, Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A recently jailed petty thief disguises as a Mullah and succeeds in escaping; but has to stay in the Mullah' role longer than he expected to.

Director: Kamal Tabrizi | Stars: Parviz Parastui, Bahram Ibrahimi, Shahrokh Foroutanian, Farideh Sepah Mansour

Votes: 8,880

16. Zamani barayé masti asbha (2000)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, War

7.7
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78 Metascore

Young Iranian Kurds (brothers and sisters) try to save the youngest of them, who is seriously ill.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi | Stars: Ayoub Ahmadi, Rojin Younessi, Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini, Madi Ekhtiar-dini

Votes: 5,922 | Gross: $0.70M

17. Offside (I) (2006)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

7.3
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85 Metascore

Struggle of Women in a country that excludes them from entering the stadiums.

Director: Jafar Panahi | Stars: Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Golnaz Farmani

Votes: 6,403 | Gross: $0.18M

18. Safar e Ghandehar (2001)

Not Rated | 81 min | Biography, Drama, War

6.8
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76 Metascore

After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Nelofer Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Ike Ogut, Sadou Teymouri

Votes: 5,974 | Gross: $0.02M

19. Mahiha ashegh mishavand (2005)

96 min | Drama, Romance

7.0
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After 22 years, Aziz decides to return to his hometown, to sell some family possessions, including the house where he was born. But for his astonishment, the place is now a small restaurant... See full summary »

Director: Ali Rafie | Stars: Reza Kianian, Roya Nonahali, Golshifteh Farahani, Maryam Saadat

Votes: 842

20. Nema-ye Nazdik (1990)

Not Rated | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

8.3
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The true story of Hossain Sabzian that impersonated the director Mohsen Makhmalbaf to convince a family they would star in his so-called new film.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abolfazl Ahankhah, Mehrdad Ahankhah

Votes: 10,681 | Gross: $0.00M

21. Zendan-e zanan (2002)

106 min | Drama

6.7
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Spanning 18 years in an Iranian women's prison, this follows two women: the new prison warden, a tough as nails devout Muslim who has served in the army on the Iraqi front, and a young ... See full summary »

Director: Manijeh Hekmat | Stars: Roya Nonahali, Roya Taymourian, Pegah Ahangarani, Golab Adineh

Votes: 779

22. Taste of Cherry (1997)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

7.7
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An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi

Votes: 17,038 | Gross: $0.31M

23. Maxx (2005)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Musical

6.3
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An invitation for a famous Iranian bandmaster, Maxx, living in a foreign country, is accidentally sent to a young cabaret singer with the same name.

Director: Saman Moghadam | Stars: Farhad Aeesh, Reza Ahadi, Pegah Ahangarani, Morteza Akbari

Votes: 666

24. Bashu, gharibeye koochak (1989)

120 min | Drama

8.1
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Lost and left behind in a foreign country after running away, a little boy whose family have been killed during the war is saved and trained by a middle-aged woman.

Director: Bahram Beizai | Stars: Susan Taslimi, Parviz Poorhosseini, Adnan Afravian, Bashu

Votes: 1,761

25. Nakhoda Khorshid (1987)

118 min | Crime, Drama

7.4
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Khaje Majed informs the authorities about Captain Khorshid smuggling with his ship. The authorities take the smuggling and burn it. Farhan is a new arriver in the port. He wants to smuggle ... See full summary »

Director: Naser Taghvai | Stars: Dariush Arjmand, Ali Nassirian, Saeed Poursamimi, Parvaneh Massoumi

Votes: 555

26. Gavaznha (1974)

120 min | Drama

8.1
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Wounded by the police, a thief looks up his old friend in order to leave the proceeds of his theft with him. Instead, he finds that his friend is a drug addict. He sticks around to try and ... See full summary »

Director: Masud Kimiai | Stars: Behrouz Vossoughi, Faramarz Gharibian, Nosrat Partovi, Garshasb Raoufi

Votes: 1,378

27. Ansuyeh Atash (1990)

100 min

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

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Director: Kianoush Ayari | Stars: Siamak Atlassi, Atefeh Razavi, Khosrow Shojazadeh, Parvin Solaymani

Votes: 59

28. Kheili dour, kheili nazdik (2005)

121 min | Drama

7.6
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Dr. Alam, a very profiled specialist in neurology and a successful surgeon, is drowned in his professional and social work, in a way that he has totally forgotten all about his son Saman. ... See full summary »

Director: Reza Mirkarimi | Stars: Afshin Hashemi, Elham Hamidi, Ashkan Khatibi, Mohammadreza Najafi

Votes: 2,038

29. Saz Dahani (1974)

75 min | Drama

7.2
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Set on the sun-drenched southern coast of Iran, from which director Amir Naderi hails, "Harmonica" begins as a young boy receives a musical present from abroad. Fascinated and envious, his ... See full summary »

Director: Amir Naderi

Votes: 185

30. Mehman-e maman (2004)

103 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
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A mother of a poor family, has guests coming over, yet doesn't know how to get the dinner party altogether with limited resources.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Golab Adineh, Parsa Pirouzfar, Amin Hayayee, Hassan Pourshirazi

Votes: 2,556

31. Mogholha (1973)

92 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.5
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A director of a television series on the history of cinema, who has been grappling with the screenplay of his first feature film, receives an assignment to oversee the installation of a ... See full summary »

Director: Parviz Kimiavi | Stars: Fahimeh Rastegar, Parviz Kimiavi, Aqa Seyyed, Ali Mirza

Votes: 85

32. Sagkoshi (2001)

135 min | Drama, Thriller

7.9
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Golrokh an Iranian lady who is a talented author struggles to settle her presumably disloyal but amorous husband's debts that his business partner has caused and left him to bear the ... See full summary »

Director: Bahram Beizai | Stars: Mozhdeh Shamsai, Majid Mozaffari, Reza Kianian, Mitra Hajjar

Votes: 1,694

33. Dayereh-e zangi (2008)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
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Mohammad is sent to an apartment situated in uptown Tehran to install their satellite dishes, while having satellite TV is illegal in Iran. He arrives there with a girl named Shirin who ... See full summary »

Director: Parisa Bakhtavar | Stars: Baran Kosari, Saber Abar, Hamed Behdad, Afarin Chitsaz

Votes: 1,960

34. Noghteh Zaf (1983)

120 min

7.1
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Director: Mohamad Reza Aalami | Stars: Hossein Parvaresh, Javad Golpaygani, Jamshid Hashempur, Mohammad Abhari

Votes: 25

35. The Tenants (1987)

109 min | Comedy, Drama

7.9
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The tenants of a rundown building on the outskirts of Tehran with no legal heir face major housing problems to deal with: major repairs and threat of eviction by greedy building manager who wants to own the building.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Akbar Abdi, Ezzatolah Entezami, Farimah Farjami, Manouchehr Hamedi

Votes: 1,202

36. Khoon bazi (2006)

78 min | Drama

6.9
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Sara is addicted to drugs. Her fiance Arash is away in Canada studying and doesn't know about her addiction. One month before his returning to Iran Sara decides to quit her addiction but that will not be as easy as she thinks so.

Directors: Mohsen Abdolvahab, Rakhshan Banietemad | Stars: Bita Farahi, Baran Kosari, Bahram Radan, Masoud Rayegany

Votes: 570

37. Ragbar (1972)

128 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.6
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A well educated and humble teacher arrives in a new city and at a new job in the pre-revolutionary Iran. He falls in love with a hardworking underprivileged young woman that nurses her very... See full summary »

Director: Bahram Beizai | Stars: Parviz Fanizadeh, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Jamshid Layegh, Parvaneh Massoumi

Votes: 306

38. Madian (1986)

100 min | Drama

7.2
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Rezvaneh is informed that her daughter Golbooteh is gave birth to a child. She rides the mare and with Rahmat her brother depart for the village in which her daughter lives. In the way she ... See full summary »

Director: Ali Zhekan | Stars: Susan Taslimi, Hossein Mahjoub, Firouz Behjat-Mohamadi, Ataollah Zahed

Votes: 33

39. Shir Sangi (1987)

87 min | Drama, History

7.3
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The body of an English man who is been killed with a scythe is found in the Bakhtiary's area. Khoda Morad whose job is making stony lions with another man Kohyar bury the body. An officer ... See full summary »

Director: Masoud Jafari Jozani | Stars: Ali Nassirian, Ezzatolah Entezami, Valiyollah Shirandami, Ali Reza Shoja-Nuri

Votes: 66

40. Shabah-e kazhdom (1987)

110 min | Drama

6.7
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A scriptwriter who can't convince the company to produce his movie, decides to operate the story in real life.

Director: Kianoush Ayari | Stars: Kazem Afrandnia, Manijeh Aghai, Nasser Aghayi, Jahangir Almasi

Votes: 39