Fifty Foreign Faves

by Danofthewoods | created - 17 Mar 2013 | updated - 07 Feb 2015 | Public

I remember first watching "La Dolce Vita" and afterwards thinking, "Why am I wasting my time at the movie theaters every Saturday watching (mostly) crap when I could be home watching movies like this? Not enough good movies out there you say? Try jumping over the ocean or past the southern border of Texas. Thank you to the translators who gave me the ability to watch and understand these fifty cinematic gifts that changed my life. Without you, I would have had to learn Italian to see Fellini, Japanese to cringe cringe at Miike, or Greek to appreciate the linguistic somersaults of Lanthimos.

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1. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

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

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 88,645 | Gross: $0.05M

Ah, my favorite type of main character, the anti-hero. Guido is such a bastard and he knows it. Yet he seems to believe that there's no point in trying to change it. Somehow, despite the depressing implications of Guido's internal struggle, Fellini injects a bit of levity with his signature carnival type atmosphere.

2. Kynodontas (2009)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Thriller

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

Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia, Hristos Passalis

Votes: 56,495 | Gross: $0.11M

One of the most inventive, bizarre, and politically focused films I've ever seen. There are bursts of violence and cold, emotionless sex amidst the stark backdrop of a modern suburban home. Call it a metaphor for communism if you like. Whatever you want to call it, I loved it.

3. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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: 522,666 | Gross: $37.63M

History meets fantasy. Even without the beautiful historical intertwining we find here, the visuals and bizarre creatures are enough to make Tim Burton screech with envy.

4. Gozu (2003)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

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

A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino

Votes: 9,594 | Gross: $0.05M

Japanese Mulholland Drive. Loved it.

5. No Man's Land (I) (2001)

R | 98 min | Drama, War

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.

Director: Danis Tanovic | Stars: Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic, Georges Siatidis

Votes: 40,085 | Gross: $1.06M

I saw this one at Kendall Square Cinema years ago and it never left me. What happens when representatives of two sworn enemies are thrown together, in a place where they are forced to confront one another, not as political factions, but as human beings. A really beautiful film.

6. Playtime (1967)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden, France Rumilly

Votes: 14,858

Amidst the slapstick gags and bunglings of Monsieur Hulot lies a very real message about the superficiality and homogenous facade of modern times. Even aside from that, the almost 30 minute restaurant scene is a joyous celebration of comedy, never paying too much attention to any one character.

7. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (2006)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.1
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A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Soo-jung Lim, Rain, Hie-jin Choi, Byeong-ok Kim

Votes: 19,961

A "lighter" offering from Park Chan Wook if that's even possible. A young woman believes she's a cyborg sent to destroy the "white coats" who took away her crazy grandmother. Here we have two mentally disturbed people who manage to transcend their respective delusions long enough to find love.

8. Geung si sin sang (1985)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

7.6
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The planned reburial of a village elder goes awry as the corpse resurrects into a hopping, bloodthirsty vampire, threatening mankind. Therefore, a Taoist Priest and his two disciples attempt to stop the terror.

Director: Ricky Lau | Stars: Ching-Ying Lam, Siu-Ho Chin, Ricky Hui, Moon Lee

Votes: 2,773

Weird eighties Hong Kong humor with a splash of horror. I am just amazed that a movie this awesome exists. Hopping vampires. Yes, please!

9. 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: 598,578 | Gross: $33.23M

A classic and for good reason. The protagonist rivals Audry Hepburn for me in just how damned loveable she is. To top it off, this is one of the few movies I've seen that makes me feel like I'm reading a great book. The detail to character and the omnipotent narrator comes across as very literary to me. Being a literature snob, I loved it.

10. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

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

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 89,816 | Gross: $2.73M

Finally a movie that dances around the idea of two characters hooking up but they never do. Something you hardly ever see in American movies. The cinematography also looks like a moving Edward Hopper painting.

11. Thirst (2009)

R | 133 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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73 Metascore

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-suk Kim, Ha-kyun Shin

Votes: 34,658 | Gross: $0.30M

An imaginative spin on the vampire genre.

12. La Strada (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

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

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani

Votes: 49,939

The second most loveable main character on this list after Amelie.

13. Nattvardsgästerna (1963)

Not Rated | 81 min | Drama

8.1
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A small town priest struggles with his faith.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom, Max von Sydow

Votes: 15,993

The only Bergman film on this list which some might find blasphemous. What can I say? "Wild Strawberries" didn't open my mind up the way everyone said it would...but this one did. A priest fights with himself as he feels his faith in God slipping away. All told in black and white on a snowy, sunny day. Despite it's bleak tone, I fell in love with the snow-swept countryside. Definitely worth a watch.

14. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

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

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 60,690

Maybe my number one "evil woman" film. There are also many hints of the surreality here that made me love Gozu.

15. Lady Vengeance (2005)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon

Votes: 59,728 | Gross: $0.21M

My favorite of the vengeance trilogy. I know, I know. Oldboy rocks. Nobody is disputing that. But I couldn't get over the symbol of the white tofu cake. When she first gets out of prison at the beginning of the movie, she refuses the cake, given to her as a sign of purification for one's sins or crime (a common practice in Korea). However, she does not accept the white cake until she has exacted her meticulous revenge. On a snowy night, in the street, she buries her face ferociously in the cake. Beautiful symbolism. The Bride from Kill Bill cries on a bathroom floor. This one eats cake. Both encompass the same feeling of relief.

16. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

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

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 185,869 | Gross: $2.12M

This movie creates a cold, stark snowy sense of place unlike any that I've seen before or after it. The setting is enough to take your breath away. The uniform bland housing complex and barren black trees. I don't even consider this a horror film. It's just an impeccably shot, lighted, and executed movie.

17. 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: 291,946 | Gross: $11.29M

It took me way too long to see this one. Strangely, this film echoes the portrait I hold of God. That he/she/it is removed from the people and has a minimal say about what happens to them. The transition the main character makes from staunch governmental supporter to humanist is gradual and almost imperceptible at times. I think that all of his fascist conviction finally topples over the edge after he hears the writer play that tune on the piano to mourn his friend. Loved it.

18. The Orphanage (2007)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.5
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74 Metascore

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep, Mabel Rivera

Votes: 130,048 | Gross: $7.16M

I think of this movie every time I play "Red Light Green Light" with my students. See it and you'll know why.

19. 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: 54,302 | Gross: $19.52M

The American actress with the white kitten on her head. Classic. A very similar character found in 8 1/2. I also loved the closing scene at the house party on the beach.

20. Requiem (2006)

93 min | Drama

7.0
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82 Metascore

An epileptic girl suffers a breakdown during her first year at university, then decides to seek help from a priest in battling the troubles associated with her strict upbringing.

Director: Hans-Christian Schmid | Stars: Sandra Hüller, Burghart Klaußner, Imogen Kogge, Anna Blomeier

Votes: 5,136 | Gross: $0.01M

A more clinical, dramatic look at demonic possession. This film is very unique in that it really doesn't try to push you towards one specific conclusion about the girl's condition. Is she really possessed by a spirit or is it all a matter of psychiatry? I think of this as the polar opposite to The Exorcist.

21. The Host (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.0
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85 Metascore

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae

Votes: 78,121 | Gross: $2.20M

Read the plot line and you'll think "What's the deal with all of the hype?" Just watch the damn film. It's as much (if not more so) about the characters than it is about the mutated beast that lurks in Han River. Ultimately it's a movie about family and the lengths we're willing to go to save one another.

22. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

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

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 489,752 | Gross: $10.06M

I held off watching this one for a while thinking, "I'm not really into the whole anime thing." Boy was I wrong! This is a masterpiece of folklore with visuals straight out of a fever dream or hallucination. Never have I felt like I was watching a dream on the screen than when I watched "Spirited Away."

23. La ardilla roja (1993)

114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.3
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Jota is about to commit suicide. As he fighting against himself, trying to jump off a bridge, a girl riding a motorcycle falls off the bridge. He runs to help her, and goes with her to the ... See full summary »

Director: Julio Medem | Stars: Emma Suárez, Nancho Novo, María Barranco, Karra Elejalde

Votes: 3,759

Came across this one when someone recommended that I see "Lovers of the Arctic Circle." This was the only one by the director that I could find and I absolutely loved it. The cinematography creates a very unsettling atmosphere that convinces the viewer that they're in the dark about certain things. There's a real sense of foreboding here. It reminds me a lot of David Lynch's approach to storytelling.

24. 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: 11,563 | Gross: $3.05M

A loveable troupe of musicians experiencing difficulties as they trundle towards a scheduled concert. This film pays such close attention to the composition of each shot and how the characters' sky-blue military suits contrast with the surroundings. A visually beautiful movie that seems to channel a Wes Anderson sentiment in character exchanges.

25. My Sassy Girl (2001)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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

Based on a series of true stories posted by Ho-sik Kim on the Internet describing his relationship with his girlfriend. These were later transformed into a best-selling book and the movie ... See full summary »

Director: Jae-young Kwak | Stars: Tae-hyun Cha, Ji-hyun Jun, In-mun Kim, Wok-suk Song

Votes: 40,006

For me, it's the Korean "Annie Hall." A remarkable meditation on the nature of romantic relationships disguised as just another romantic comedy.

26. The Princess and the Warrior (2000)

R | 135 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

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

Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes... See full summary »

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Franka Potente, Benno Fürmann, Joachim Król, Lars Rudolph

Votes: 13,431 | Gross: $0.87M

Here's a film that suffered from the infamous sophomoric doldrums. Let's face it; after the dazzling success of "Run Lola Run," how could the director duo really top that? Most will probably say that they didn't. However, I think (know) that this is a more ambitious script and the film's crammed with color and style to boot. As good as "Run Lola Run"? Maybe not. But still pretty damn good!

27. Ni na bian ji dian (2001)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Romance

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

A watch salesman meets a young woman soon leaving for Paris and becomes infatuated, so he begins to change all the clocks in Taipei to Paris time.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai | Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao

Votes: 3,877 | Gross: $0.19M

A damn fine unconventional romance that doesn't feel the need to fill up the air with dialogue. Outstanding cinematography.

28. Pelísky (1999)

115 min | Comedy, Drama

8.4
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Two families, Sebkovi and Krausovi, are celebrating christmas, but not everyone is in a good mood. Teenage kids think their fathers are totaly stupid, fathers are sure their children are ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Hrebejk | Stars: Michael Beran, Miroslav Donutil, Simona Stasová, Kristýna Nováková

Votes: 3,580

When I saw this film in the Czech Republic, it's title was "Pelisky." It's a great family/holiday movie that showcases some unusual Christmas pastimes of that country. Carp swimming around in the bathtub before being cooked comes to mind.

29. The White Ribbon (2009)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, Mystery

7.8
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82 Metascore

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 58,704 | Gross: $2.22M

Another outstanding film that highlights Haneke's versatility as a director, along with his writing skills. I first thought that this was an adaptation of a novel. Nope. Straight from the mind of Michael Haneke. This is a contender, in my mind, for one of the best screenplays ever written. Truly incredible.

30. Castaway on the Moon (2009)

116 min | Drama, Romance

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

A failed suicide attempt leads a heartbroken man to live a life in the wilderness.

Director: Hae-jun Lee | Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Ryeowon Jung, Yeong-seo Park, Mi-kyeong Yang

Votes: 12,686 | Gross: $3.73M

A Korean dark comedy that shows the strangeness of human nature and how far some people will go when they're at the end of their rope. I love the reclusive girl who wears a space helmet whenever she goes outside. It really is like she's living on the moon.

31. Soldier of Orange (1977)

R | 165 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

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

During WW2, Dutch students join the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Rutger Hauer, Jeroen Krabbé, Susan Penhaligon, Edward Fox

Votes: 9,664

It's been years since I've watched this one but it's still my favorite Verhoeven film. There's something sort of James Bond-ish about the agents in this one.

32. Suspiria (1977)

92 min | Horror

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

A newcomer to a prestigious ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amidst a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 53,661

Technicolor madness with a soundtrack that will haunt you whenever you turn out the lights.

33. Gin gwai (2002)

R | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
66 Metascore

A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she would be able to see again. However, she got more than what she bargained for when she realized she could even see ghosts.

Directors: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Angelica Lee, Chutcha Rujinanon, Lawrence Chou, Jinda Duangtoy

Votes: 25,967 | Gross: $0.50M

This one scared the hell out of me when I first saw it. I still haven't worked up the courage to watch it again. But even after only one viewing, it's one of my favorite horror movies, period.

34. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
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When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 112,448 | Gross: $0.03M

Best serial killer in any movie. Rather than the cocky haughtiness of a Hannibal Lector, this guy is genuinely tormented by his illness. He's a victim as much as the children he kills.

35. El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Western

7.5
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A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau

Votes: 20,784

A surreal masterpiece.

36. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)

R | 103 min | Drama, Romance

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

A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim, Young-min Kim

Votes: 67,586 | Gross: $2.38M

Another gem from Korea that marks the development of a boy into a man, and finally into a wise man, by the seasons. A quiet, beautiful, thoughtful film that shows the possibility of all of for redemption.

37. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

8.1
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Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 44,976

A horror classic that's more original, strange, and creative than anything that's come out of the horror genre since The Shining.

38. Persepolis (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

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

A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution.

Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi | Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux

Votes: 76,993 | Gross: $4.44M

A great book deserves a great movie. This is one of the rare cases where that actually happens.

39. Run Lola Run (1998)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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: 171,196 | Gross: $7.27M

Oliver Stone and Guy Ritchie, eat your hearts out. How's this for splicing and dicing, editing that jumps around with the seemingly thoughtless precision of a surgeon.

40. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

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

7.8
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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: 45,401 | Gross: $7.00M

Is this technically "foreign" if not a single word is spoken throughout the entire film? Regardless, this one is a miracle of pantomime showing that speech is not necessary to tell a story.

41. Battle Royale (2000)

Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

7.7
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81 Metascore

In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 149,940

A gory, extreme Lord of the Flies type film. Not for the feint of heart!

42. The Red Balloon (1956)

Approved | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

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

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 13,831

Such innocence in this film. If only once in my life could my goal or motivation be so simple as a red balloon!

43. Caché (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou, Annie Girardot

Votes: 60,018 | Gross: $3.63M

An enigmatic and sometimes baffling thriller that deserves to stand beside any Hitchcock film.

44. Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

PG-13 | 78 min | Comedy, Music

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Siberian rock band Leningrad Cowboys go to the USA in pursuit of fame.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänänen, Sakke Järvenpää, Heikki Keskinen

Votes: 5,686

If the Blues Brothers played polka instead of R&B, it might look something like this. So funny!

45. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Mystery, Thriller

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: 410,489 | Gross: $0.71M

It deserves every ounce of the hype it gets. I said it once and I'll say it again; this film takes home the award for the most warped, demented, and sadistic method of revenge I have ever seen. It'll make you squirm but it's totally worth it.

46. Noroi (2005)

115 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the "kagutaba."

Director: Kôji Shiraishi | Stars: Jin Muraki, Rio Kanno, Tomono Kuga, Marika Matsumoto

Votes: 7,161

A found footage horror film better than any of its American counterparts. VERY VERY creepy!

47. Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

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

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim

Votes: 21,271

When the flags and expectations of their superiors are stripped away, North Korean and South Korean soldiers are just men, looking for friendship on the graveyard shift. A good companion film to "No Man's Land."

48. Choyonghan kajok (1998)

101 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

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

A family opens a mountain inn where their first guest commits suicide. Suddenly all their guests befall horrible fates.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: In-hwan Park, Mun-hee Na, Kang-ho Song, Min-sik Choi

Votes: 3,280

Dark humor at it's finest with a killer soundtrack of American classics.

49. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

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

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi, Dorian Gray

Votes: 31,150 | Gross: $0.75M

SPOILER!: Fellini almost leaves you crestfallen at the end of this one when "Mr. Right" ends up just wanting to rob her. And yet, here comes the director with his lightening of the load via parades and dancing children as Cabiria wanders away from the cliff and through the forest. Fellini will never leave you hanging!

50. The Vanishing (1988)

Not Rated | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller

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

Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor.

Director: George Sluizer | Stars: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege, Gwen Eckhaus

Votes: 27,864

I just saw this one recently. It's one of the scariest films I've ever seen because it taps into one of my greatest fears: having someone I love be abducted. I'm not crazy about the ending but the masterful storytelling throughout the rest of the film makes up for it.

51. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
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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: 255,885 | Gross: $0.27M

What I love the most about this one is the motivations of each samurai that assisted the besieged farmers. There would be no money, awards, or glory for their labors. They received only room and board for putting their lives on the line for strangers. This is a truly foreign concept for me in a present world where money must always change hands for services rendered. It seems to me that these samurais accepted the job of saving the small village from bandits for the sheer adventure of it, to add one more chapter to their meandering tale of death, dreams, and near escapes. There's something almost like the dreams of young boys play-fighting in the woods about it, something intrinsically childlike although here, death is always present.

52. Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

Approved | 177 min | Crime, Drama, Sport

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

Having recently been uprooted to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers each look for a new way in life when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Claudia Cardinale

Votes: 12,850

Dazzling cinematography and acting aside, the storyline of this family epic is complex and multi-layered. It would be an excellent companion piece with "East of Eden." Two brothers, one almost unrealistically righteous and the other completely demented by envy and animalistic urges wage a moral war with the displaced family caught in the middle. I LOVE this movie. It's a bit of a chore to watch due to its length and heavy subject matter, but anyone who watches it will be richly rewarded.

53. El espíritu de la colmena (1973)

Unrated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.0
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87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 13,550

This is a very unsettling movie that creates such a creative language of its own through the use of recurring images and subtly referenced back story. It was so refreshing to watch something that didn't beat you over the head with symbolism and feel the need to spell it out for you as so many American films do. This film puts some confidence in the viewer and allows them to make their own deductions about an occasionally abstract plot.

54. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

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

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 206,090

A bittersweet pastoral tale that chronicles how the very young grapple with the sometimes tragic realities of our world. Loved it.

55. Milyang (2007)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama

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

A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song, Yeong-jin Jo, Mi-kyung Kim

Votes: 4,684

If God is so great, then why does he/she/it allow such horrific things to happen to people? This great Korean offering tackles that question, presenting viewers with a woman who pits herself against God and everyone who worships him after her only child is kidnapped.

56. 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: 15,148

Another playful commentary from Tati on the disappearing past and an invasive technological present.

57. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

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

In Lapland Finland, under the eternal midnight sun, two ardent lovers will reunite once again after a long period apart, governed by a powerful and eloquent circular motif that is woven by destiny, faith and love.

Director: Julio Medem | Stars: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martínez, Nancho Novo, Maru Valdivielso

Votes: 16,196 | Gross: $0.50M

A dazzling matrix of coincidences that leaves the viewer reeling. It's cinematography is so creative as is the approach to narrative. Plus the evolution of the love between Otto and Ana shows them at many different stages in their physical and psychological lives. Well worth a viewing.

58. Days of Being Wild (1990)

Unrated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

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

A man tries to find out who his real mother is after the woman who raised him tells him the truth.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau

Votes: 13,773 | Gross: $0.14M

The first installment in Kar Wai Wong's trilogy (2. In the Mood for Love 3.) 2046). While, in my opinion it gets a little disjointed in the end (due to some material that was created under the assumption that there would be a "sequel") the Xavier Cugat tunes, occasional bursts of violence, and dark rainy streets lit by streetlamps make up for any shortcomings. It's a beautiful tangled tale of heartbreak, cruelty, and perseverance.

59. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

NC-17 | 180 min | Drama, Romance

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

Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche | Stars: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing

Votes: 110,318 | Gross: $2.20M

60. Jour de Fête (1949)

Not Rated | 70 min | Comedy

7.4
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Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Guy Decomble, Paul Frankeur, Santa Relli

Votes: 6,164