Best Foreign Language Films

by bubblebla | created - 25 Jul 2011 | updated - 10 Feb 2013 | Public

For the first 5 movies listed, they're in order from my very favourite to least favourite, and for the rest after that I have a lot of trouble deciding which I love more so they're in no particular order. Either way, I love all these movies. There are still tons of foreign language movies I haven't seen yet, so this list may change or be re-organized from time to time.

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1. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
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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: 289,728 | Gross: $11.29M

2. The Sea Inside (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

8.0
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74 Metascore

The factual story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a thirty-year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas, Mabel Rivera

Votes: 69,016 | Gross: $2.09M

3. Italiensk for begyndere (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.1
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77 Metascore

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Anders W. Berthelsen, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Anette Støvelbæk, Peter Gantzler

Votes: 11,814 | Gross: $4.45M

4. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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68 Metascore

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Votes: 122,283 | Gross: $4.06M

5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

PG-13 | 112 min | Biography, Drama

8.0
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92 Metascore

The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny

Votes: 94,604 | Gross: $5.99M

6. Open Your Eyes (1997)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.8
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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.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martínez

Votes: 56,441 | Gross: $0.37M

7. The Celebration (1998)

R | 105 min | Drama

8.1
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82 Metascore

At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen

Votes: 69,881 | Gross: $1.65M

8. Bad Education (2004)

NC-17 | 106 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
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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: 48,615 | Gross: $5.21M

9. The Man Without a Past (2002)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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84 Metascore

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti, Juhani Niemelä

Votes: 18,921 | Gross: $0.92M

10. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

8.2
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98 Metascore

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 518,363 | Gross: $37.63M

11. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.6
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75 Metascore

The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa, Michiyo Ohkusu

Votes: 43,018 | Gross: $0.85M

12. Dolls (2002)

114 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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71 Metascore

Three stories of never-ending love.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi, Kyoko Fukada

Votes: 14,146 | Gross: $0.00M

13. Idioterne (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama

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

The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Bodil Jørgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing, Troels Lyby

Votes: 25,956 | Gross: $0.01M

14. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller

8.1
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83 Metascore

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.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

Votes: 189,845 | Gross: $5.38M

15. Ying xiong (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

7.9
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85 Metascore

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 158,419 | Gross: $53.71M

16. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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89 Metascore

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Dandan Song

Votes: 97,555 | Gross: $11.05M

17. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

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

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 406,663 | Gross: $0.71M

18. La piel que habito (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.6
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70 Metascore

A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes

Votes: 113,603 | Gross: $3.19M

19. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.2
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80 Metascore

A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.

Director: Juan José Campanella | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Carla Quevedo

Votes: 152,114 | Gross: $20.17M

20. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

R | 126 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.8
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75 Metascore

The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mía Maestro, Mercedes Morán

Votes: 87,867 | Gross: $16.76M

21. Den brysomme mannen (2006)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.4
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In a strange city where every person seems content beyond reason a new man arrives in town and stirs up trouble by asking too many questions.

Director: Jens Lien | Stars: Trond Fausa, Petronella Barker, Per Schaanning, Birgitte Larsen

Votes: 14,308

22. Run Lola Run (1998)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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77 Metascore

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri

Votes: 170,598 | Gross: $7.27M

23. Jagten (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama

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

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm

Votes: 205,616 | Gross: $0.69M

24. Efter brylluppet (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama

7.8
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78 Metascore

A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rolf Lassgård, Neeral Mulchandani

Votes: 27,836 | Gross: $0.41M

25. A Royal Affair (2012)

R | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.6
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73 Metascore

A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.

Director: Nikolaj Arcel | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Trine Dyrholm

Votes: 37,859 | Gross: $1.55M

26. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

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

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 75,490 | Gross: $8.26M

27. Talk to Her (2002)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.0
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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: 92,265 | Gross: $9.28M

28. Yip Man (2008)

R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

8.1
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59 Metascore

During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan, Ka Tung Lam

Votes: 186,021

29. The Chaser (2008)

Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.9
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64 Metascore

A cash-strapped pimp and former police detective draws upon the skills of his old job to track down his missing stable of prostitutes.

Director: Hong-jin Na | Stars: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim

Votes: 43,319

30. Kirschblüten - Hanami (2008)

Unrated | 127 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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62 Metascore

After Rudi's wife Trudi suddenly dies, he travels to Japan to fulfill her dream of being a Butoh dancer.

Director: Doris Dörrie | Stars: Elmar Wepper, Hannelore Elsner, Aya Irizuki, Maximilian Brückner

Votes: 5,006 | Gross: $0.10M

31. Funny Games (1997)

Unrated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
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69 Metascore

Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering

Votes: 50,057

32. Rust and Bone (2012)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

7.5
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73 Metascore

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette

Votes: 54,502 | Gross: $2.06M

33. Die Fremde (2010)

Unrated | 119 min | Drama

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

Umay is a young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life in Germany against the resistance of her family. Her struggle initiates a dynamic, which results in a life-threatening situation.

Director: Feo Aladag | Stars: Sibel Kekilli, Nizam Schiller, Derya Alabora, Settar Tanriögen

Votes: 4,735 | Gross: $0.02M

34. Michael (II) (2011)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Thriller

7.0
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64 Metascore

Five months in the life of a pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement.

Directors: Markus Schleinzer, Kathrin Resetarits | Stars: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss

Votes: 3,894 | Gross: $0.02M