My Personal Top 25 (Foreign Films)

by zoszosl | created - 09 Jul 2011 | updated - 09 Jul 2011 | Public

No particular order for this one

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1. Man Bites Dog (1992)

NC-17 | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.

Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde | Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert, Hector Pappaert

Votes: 31,733 | Gross: $0.21M

Very dark and satirical, not for everyone. Fans of Tarantino would probably like this.

2. Funny Games (1997)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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: 51,983

Much like Man Bites Dog, dark-humored and satirical. Both films are actually targeted at the audience's view of violence on film. Perhaps not as brutal as Man Bites Dog, but all the more cold at heart

3. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

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

Votes: 94,070 | Gross: $0.05M

A brilliant and dreamy concept, a play on truth and fiction that hasn't been done before (and really hasn't quite been matched yet).

4. Red Desert (1964)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama

In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti, Xenia Valderi

Votes: 10,938

So many different elements combine into this beautiful film by Michelangelo Antonionni. From industry to electronic ambiance to the emotionally troubled Monica Vitti, this film is a truly original classic.

5. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

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: 61,780

This film is like tuning a string on an instrument from limp until it's so tight it's about to bust apart. It starts out with literally no tension and then all of the sudden takes drastic turns that I honestly would pity for those who didn't see it coming. Not for everyone, but a truly interesting and incredible experience.

6. Walkabout (1971)

GP | 100 min | Adventure, Drama

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, John Meillon

Votes: 19,449

Nicolas Roeg is so visual a filmmaker that it doesn't really even matter what the characters say. What you see being portrayed instead of what is heard is an infinite amount more important. His visual style is pretty singular, yet it does tend to differ from film to film. This is my favorite from him, because it's a classic story of children being lost in the wilderness, but with the Roeg-flare to it, a style which is definitely unforgettable.

7. Antichrist (2009)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Horror

49 Metascore

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Votes: 100,111 | Gross: $0.40M

Lars Von Trier can film anything and make it a masterpiece. It really is no surprise that he could take on the horror genre and succeed so well, because he understands that visually a film can be scary, and without dialogue or even people for that matter. And he took this idea to the fullest and made the arch enemy of this film, of all things, Nature.

8. The Conformist (1970)

R | 113 min | Drama

100 Metascore

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio

Votes: 21,203

The look of this film is masterful alone. But the story is very inventive and clever that Bertolucci proved himself to be just as much an auteur and perfectionist as Fellini.

9. Chungking Express (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Faye Wong

Votes: 48,131 | Gross: $0.60M

How to describe Wong Kar-Wai cinema (and this film in particular)? The best adjectives I could come up with...this is heartfelt, noir, cool, suave, funny, stunning, romantic and visually breathtaking. Most definitely worth watching.

10. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller

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: 197,807 | Gross: $5.38M

Dubbed as the "Mexican Pulp Fiction", but i think it's a lot more than that. This film has its own message and own style. There isn't much I can say for it though, (it is indeed indescribable), but I know it is a masterpiece and so well done, perhaps even more so than Pulp Fiction.

11. Irreversible (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: 98,929 | Gross: $0.75M

Again dubbed as another American film, this time dubbed as Memento. This film has its own style and has a much wider scope than Memento. It is a story of revenge that doesn't want you to understand or cope with the main characters, but perhaps we are forced to reconcile with them just by human instinct. However the scope this film goes from the end of the revenge to the beginning of revenge and perhaps even the beginning of time.

12. Run Lola Run (1998)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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: 173,203 | Gross: $7.27M

A fun little excursion. This also has a larger scope than its own plot, looking at the world as a whole instead of just one or two people in it. But ultimately you are Lola and Manni's side the whole time and follow their chase against time with not enough time to breath and take everything in. Quite an adrenaline rush of a film.

13. My Life to Live (1962)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama

Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe, Guylaine Schlumberger

Votes: 21,752

My favorite from Godard, because it's like looking at a 60's version of Tarantino. This is a very pop-cultured yet artfully meaningful film, and seldom do the two mix so beautifully, let alone mix at all.

14. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

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: 425,529 | Gross: $0.71M

A kung-fu Charles Bronson, monte-crisco story of revenge that is unrelenting in its pace, style and context. Many twists and turns, and in the end is really a load of fun despite how dark it is.

15. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 287,849 | Gross: $5.51M

An obvious classic, all due to Bruno Ganz's undeniably masterful performance. In a day in age of either unrealistic or dishonest war films, it's an interesting experience to see a film from the opposite side and see all the different mindsets and perspectives.

16. Solaris (1972)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 64,622

People often compare this with 2001 A Space Odyssey. The director of this film actually made Solaris with the intention of making it anti-2001, as he thought Kubrick's film was rather heartless. While I don't agree with him, this film does have somewhat more of a humane cause, but still has a view of the universe that is true to it's unknown nature and many cosmic mysteries. The look of this film is beautiful and it is indeed more of a visual experience. If you are patient enough this should prove rewarding.

17. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

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: 55,572 | Gross: $19.52M

Very rock'n'roll yet so romantic in the Fellini sense. Many beautiful moments of love and romance, yet the message conveyed is that these lifestyles are destructive and wrong. It's hard to truly understand but not as hard to enjoy.

18. If.... (1968)

R | 111 min | Drama

In this allegorical story, a revolution led by pupil Mick Travis takes place at an old established private school in England.

Director: Lindsay Anderson | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan

Votes: 19,059

Chaos and rebellion run amok with surrealism. B&W and Color are mixed so beautifully, and fantasy and reality are mixed but perhaps not as easy to distinguish between. Regardless a beautiful experience.

19. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 60,299 | Gross: $0.34M

Cool and all about love. Modern filmmaking being born here and a true classic that will remain forever.

20. Enter the Void (2009)

Not Rated | 161 min | Drama, Fantasy

69 Metascore

A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Olly Alexander

Votes: 54,958 | Gross: $0.34M

The ultimate trip.

21. The Host (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Horror

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: 79,790 | Gross: $2.20M

At times a scary monster movie and at others a heartfelt comedy, and mix the two together to get black humor. This film shifts different genres, but is also lots of fun even if you can't really keep up with it.

22. Blow-Up (1966)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle

Votes: 47,619

A 1960's mod film, with a possibly non-existent murder mystery. Light on dialogue but still oh so cool.

23. Europa (1991)

R | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård

Votes: 17,389 | Gross: $1.01M

So visual it's almost in between a painting and a film. Fully noir, really great stuff. Lars Von Trier gives us more hypnotic trips to take.

24. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

R | 139 min | Sci-Fi, Drama

81 Metascore

An alien must pose as a human to save his dying planet, but a woman and greed of other men create complications.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry

Votes: 20,106 | Gross: $0.10M

Misunderstood in America, but just looking at the true artistic vision of Roeg, and you can see that while there might not be a whole lot of logic to it, it's truly a work of art.

25. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 85,923

French New Wave at its best. A classic for pretty much every generation, and a good mix of artful storytelling and cool.