The 20 BEST FRENCH FILMS from the LAST 20 YEARS

by skembo | created - 16 Oct 2010 | updated - 17 Oct 2010 | Public
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1. La Femme Nikita (1990)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

56 Metascore

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière

Votes: 62,859 | Gross: $5.02M

2. Delicatessen (1991)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Pascal Benezech, Jean-Claude Dreyfus

Votes: 75,169 | Gross: $1.79M

3. The Visitors (1993)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Fantasy

A medieval knight and his servant are asking a familiar wizard to move them back in time to prevent father-in-law's accidentally killing. Instead, they fly away to the 20th century.

Director: Jean-Marie Poiré | Stars: Christian Clavier, Jean Reno, Valérie Lemercier, Marie-Anne Chazel

Votes: 29,432 | Gross: $0.70M

4. Low Profile (1993)

106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A disillusioned police detective, used as a scapegoat by his corrupted superior, fights back by becoming a competent criminal.

Director: Claude Zidi | Stars: Patrick Bruel, Sandra Speichert, Didier Bezace, Jean Yanne

Votes: 239

5. Queen Margot (1994)

R | 159 min | Biography, Drama, History

Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.

Director: Patrice Chéreau | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vincent Perez

Votes: 15,304 | Gross: $2.02M

6. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 928,080 | Gross: $19.50M

7. La Haine (1995)

Not Rated | 98 min | Crime, Drama

24 hours in the lives of three young men in the French suburbs the day after a violent riot.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili

Votes: 132,139 | Gross: $0.31M

8. Le Dîner de Cons (1998)

PG-13 | 80 min | Comedy

73 Metascore

A rich publisher meets a stupid but very kind person. Publisher planned to laugh at him, but it so happened that this person was the only one who stay with him when publisher's life began to crumble.

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

Votes: 34,488 | Gross: $4.07M

9. I Stand Alone (1998)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain, Martine Audrain

Votes: 18,052 | Gross: $0.05M

10. The Crimson Rivers (2000)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

49 Metascore

A murder detective must follow the footsteps of a brutal killer within the secrets of a classist college.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Jean Reno, Vincent Cassel, Nadia Farès, Dominique Sanda

Votes: 54,398 | Gross: $0.63M

11. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

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: 653,156 | Gross: $33.23M

12. 8 Women (2002)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

64 Metascore

One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be eager than the others to know the truth. Gimme, gimme, gimme some clues to make up my mind. And eventually enter the truth. Oh, thou cruel woman!

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve

Votes: 27,081 | Gross: $3.08M

13. Irréversible (2002)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

51 Metascore

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia

Votes: 107,375 | Gross: $0.75M

14. 36th Precinct (2004)

Not Rated | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

2 cops are promised by the retiring chief of the Paris police that the one, getting the violent gang robbing armored trucks, will get his job. The 2 will do whatever it takes to get the promotion, even if it means breaking the law.

Director: Olivier Marchal | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, André Dussollier, Valeria Golino

Votes: 15,503

15. Caché (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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: 66,381 | Gross: $3.63M

16. Anthony Zimmer (2005)

89 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

In Nice, the international police force and the Russian mafia are chasing Anthony Zimmer, an intelligent man responsible for laundry of dirty money in France. Zimmer had extensive plastic ... See full summary »

Director: Jérôme Salle | Stars: Sophie Marceau, Yvan Attal, Sami Frey, Gilles Lellouche

Votes: 7,341

17. La Vie en Rose (2007)

PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

66 Metascore

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 77,463 | Gross: $10.30M

18. Persepolis (2007)

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

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: 82,144 | Gross: $4.45M

19. Welcome to the Sticks (2008)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

A French public servant from Provence is banished to the far North. Strongly prejudiced against this cold and inhospitable place, he leaves his family behind to relocate temporarily there, with the firm intent to quickly come back.

Director: Dany Boon | Stars: Kad Merad, Dany Boon, Zoé Félix, Lorenzo Ausilia-Foret

Votes: 36,628 | Gross: $1.48M

20. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb

Votes: 88,215 | Gross: $2.08M



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