The Best Foreign Language Films

by sykobanana | last updated - 09 Feb 2014 | Public

In order from favourite to least (IMO). A work in progress...

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1. 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: 518,224 | Gross: $37.63M

2. 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: 254,032 | Gross: $0.27M

3. Ying xiong (2002)

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

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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: 158,395 | Gross: $53.71M

4. 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: 484,481 | Gross: $10.06M

5. Nine Queens (2000)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.9
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80 Metascore

Two con artists try to swindle a stamp collector by selling him a sheet of counterfeit rare stamps (the "nine queens").

Director: Fabián Bielinsky | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Leticia Brédice, María Mercedes Villagra

Votes: 42,149 | Gross: $1.22M

6. The Dreamers (2003)

NC-17 | 115 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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62 Metascore

A young American studying in Paris in 1968 strikes up a friendship with a French brother and sister. Set against the background of the '68 Paris student riots.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, Eva Green, Anna Chancellor

Votes: 90,898 | Gross: $2.53M

7. Infernal Affairs (2002)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.1
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75 Metascore

A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Directors: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak | Stars: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang

Votes: 101,525 | Gross: $0.17M

8. Trollhunter (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.0
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61 Metascore

A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

Director: André Øvredal | Stars: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum, Glenn Erland Tosterud

Votes: 59,409 | Gross: $0.25M

9. Volver (I) (2006)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.6
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84 Metascore

After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo

Votes: 82,683 | Gross: $12.90M

10. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

8.6
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79 Metascore

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 586,811 | Gross: $7.56M

11. Nochnoy dozor (2004)

R | 114 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
58 Metascore

A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Valeriy Zolotukhin

Votes: 49,040 | Gross: $1.49M

12. Jesus of Montreal (1989)

R | 120 min | Drama

7.5
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A group of actors put on an unorthodox, but acclaimed Passion Play which incites the opposition of the Catholic Church while the actors' lives themselves begin to mirror the Passion itself.

Director: Denys Arcand | Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Rémy Girard

Votes: 6,195 | Gross: $1.60M

13. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.8
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78 Metascore

In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious "Axe Gang" while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.

Director: Stephen Chow | Stars: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen, Siu-Lung Leung

Votes: 107,865 | Gross: $17.11M

14. 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: 122,259 | Gross: $4.06M

15. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

R | 152 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.8
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76 Metascore

A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling, Lena Endre

Votes: 186,545 | Gross: $10.10M

16. Lebanon (2009)

R | 93 min | Drama, War

6.9
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85 Metascore

During the First Lebanon War in 1982, a lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town.

Director: Samuel Maoz | Stars: Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen, Michael Moshonov

Votes: 10,006 | Gross: $0.37M

17. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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84 Metascore

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 54,734 | Gross: $0.80M

18. Efter brylluppet (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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: 27,831 | Gross: $0.41M

19. The Chorus (2004)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Music

7.9
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56 Metascore

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music.

Director: Christophe Barratier | Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Kad Merad

Votes: 48,401 | Gross: $3.64M

20. 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: 186,849 | Gross: $11.49M

21. Dnevnoy dozor (2006)

R | 132 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
59 Metascore

A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Mariya Poroshina, Vladimir Menshov, Galina Tyunina

Votes: 31,053 | Gross: $0.45M

22. Di renjie: Tong tian di guo (2010)

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

6.6
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75 Metascore

An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, Chao Deng, Carina Lau, Bingbing Li

Votes: 8,936 | Gross: $0.46M

23. The Dinner Game (1998)

PG-13 | 80 min | Comedy

7.7
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73 Metascore

To amuse themselves at a weekly dinner, a few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an ... See full summary »

Director: Francis Veber | Stars: Thierry Lhermitte, Jacques Villeret, Francis Huster, Daniel Prévost

Votes: 32,047 | Gross: $4.07M

24. Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (2008)

R | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

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

The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 28,654 | Gross: $0.13M

25. Mou gaan dou II (2003)

Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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In this prequel to Mou gaan dou (2002), Chan Wing Yan has just become an undercover cop in the triads while Lau Kin Ming joins the police force. Both the triads and the police find an enemy in a rival crime boss.

Directors: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak | Stars: Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Francis Ng

Votes: 14,459

26. Joyeux Noel (2005)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, History, Music

7.8
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70 Metascore

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

Director: Christian Carion | Stars: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Natalie Dessay

Votes: 23,654 | Gross: $1.05M

27. Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot (2009)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

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

A man and his friends come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Dany Boon, André Dussollier, Nicolas Marié, Yolande Moreau

Votes: 26,219 | Gross: $1.26M

28. Paris, je t'aime (2006)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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

Through the neighborhoods of Paris, love is veiled, revealed, imitated, sucked dry, reinvented and awakened.

Directors: Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin, Emmanuel Benbihy, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Gérard Depardieu, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydès, Walter Salles, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Leonor Watling, Ludivine Sagnier, Fanny Ardant

Votes: 65,639 | Gross: $4.86M

29. Read My Lips (2001)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.4
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82 Metascore

She is almost deaf and she lip-reads. He is an ex-convict. She wants to help him. He thinks no one can help except himself.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Devos, Olivier Gourmet, Olivier Perrier

Votes: 11,844 | Gross: $1.36M

30. Ruby & Quentin (2003)

Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Crime

7.2
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After hiding his loot and getting thrown in jail, Ruby, a brooding outlaw encounters Quentin, a dim-witted and garrulous giant who befriends him. After Quentin botches a solo escape attempt... See full summary »

Director: Francis Veber | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Jean Reno, Richard Berry, André Dussollier

Votes: 23,350

31. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

8.2
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97 Metascore

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey

Votes: 20,763 | Gross: $0.06M

32. Space Battleship Yamato (2010)

TV-14 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.1
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In 2199, the crew of the space battleship Yamato set out on a journey to the planet Iskandar to acquire a device that can heal the war-ravaged Earth.

Director: Takashi Yamazaki | Stars: Takuya Kimura, Meisa Kuroki, Toshirô Yanagiba, Naoto Ogata

Votes: 5,210