Movies to Introduce You to Muslim Culture(s)

by MonkeyPundit | created - 06 Jan 2016 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

A list of movies that show accurate portraits of Muslim culture, history, and life.

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1. 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: 79,626 | Gross: $4.44M

2. A Separation (2011)

PG-13 | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Family

95 Metascore

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini

Votes: 186,795 | Gross: $7.10M

3. The Kite Runner (2007)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama

61 Metascore

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Khalid Abdalla, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, Atossa Leoni, Shaun Toub

Votes: 73,289 | Gross: $15.80M

4. Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015)

PG-13 | 105 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

52 Metascore

A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a real hero who earned his remembrance in time and history.

Directors: Khurram H. Alavi, Ayman Jamal | Stars: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain, Thomas Ian Nicholas

Votes: 16,486 | Gross: $0.49M

5. The Message (1976)

PG | 177 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

This epic historical drama chronicles the life and times of Muhammad and serves as an introduction to early Islamic history.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka

Votes: 39,010

6. The Other Son (2012)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

63 Metascore

Two young men, one Israeli and one Palestinian, discover they were accidentally switched at birth.

Director: Lorraine Lévy | Stars: Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi

Votes: 3,054 | Gross: $1.16M

7. My Name Is Khan (2010)

PG-13 | 165 min | Drama

50 Metascore

An Indian Muslim man with Asperger's syndrome takes a challenge to speak to the President of the United States seriously and embarks on a cross-country journey.

Director: Karan Johar | Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Sheetal Menon, Katie A. Keane

Votes: 87,339 | Gross: $4.02M

8. Takva (2006)

96 min | Drama

A promotion brings a Muslim's relationship with God into question.

Director: Özer Kiziltan | Stars: Erkan Can, Meray Ülgen, Güven Kiraç, Öznur Kula

Votes: 10,373

9. Safar e Ghandehar (2001)

Not Rated | 81 min | Biography, Drama, War

76 Metascore

After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Nelofer Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Ike Ogut, Sadou Teymouri

Votes: 6,077 | Gross: $0.02M

10. Wadjda (2012)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour | Stars: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd

Votes: 15,951 | Gross: $1.35M

11. The Color of Paradise (1999)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Family

80 Metascore

Mohamed, a young blind boy, returns to his rural home for the summer and yearns for his father's acceptance.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Hossein Mahjoub, Mohsen Ramezani, Salameh Feyzi, Farahnaz Safari

Votes: 13,519 | Gross: $1.81M

12. Before the Rain (1994)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

In the republic of Macedonia, amid war in Bosnia, an Albanian girl being hunted by Christians is offered protection by a monk who has taken a vow of silence.

Director: Milcho Manchevski | Stars: Katrin Cartlidge, Rade Serbedzija, Grégoire Colin, Josif Josifovski

Votes: 12,541 | Gross: $0.76M

13. Na putu (2010)

100 min | Drama

From Bosnia/Herzegovina: Amar finds a new job working with a community of Muslims. This affects his relationship with his girlfriend Luna as his beliefs begin to change.

Director: Jasmila Zbanic | Stars: Zrinka Cvitesic, Leon Lucev, Ermin Bravo, Mirjana Karanovic

Votes: 1,668

14. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

R | 130 min | Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson

Votes: 12,193 | Gross: $0.52M

15. Shahid (2012)

Not Rated | 129 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The account of Human Rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary commitment to justice.

Director: Hansal Mehta | Stars: Rajkummar Rao, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia

Votes: 11,724

16. New Muslim Cool (2009)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary

Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez ended his life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim. Now he's moved to Pittsburgh's tough North Side to ... See full summary »

Director: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

Votes: 37

17. London River (2009)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, Mystery

67 Metascore

Two strangers come to discover the fate of their respective children in the 2005 terrorist attacks on London.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb | Stars: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyaté, Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem

Votes: 3,393 | Gross: $0.00M

18. Aroni Tokhon (2017)

126 min | Biography

A Hindu man and a Muslim woman fall in love with each other and have to contend with the tensions that exist between their communities.

Director: Sourav Chakraborty | Stars: Paoli Dam, Pradip Mukherjee, Prateik, Indraneil Sengupta

Votes: 30

19. Omar (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

75 Metascore

A young Palestinian freedom fighter agrees to work as an informant after he's tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier's killing.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad | Stars: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Eyad Hourani, Samer Bisharat

Votes: 11,673 | Gross: $0.36M

20. Ali and Nino (2016)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Romance, War

50 Metascore

Love story of a Muslim Azerbaijani boy and Christian Georgian girl in Baku from 1918 to 1920.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Adam Bakri, María Valverde, Mandy Patinkin, Connie Nielsen

Votes: 3,925

21. Madaari (2016)

Not Rated | 133 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

When Nirmal loses his family in a disaster caused by government corruption, he embarks on a journey seeking accountability and revenge.

Director: Nishikant Kamat | Stars: Irrfan Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Vishesh Bansal, Tushar Dalvi

Votes: 10,305

22. Ali (2001)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

65 Metascore

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles

Votes: 86,100 | Gross: $58.20M

23. 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: 86,355 | Gross: $2.08M

24. Bar Bahar (2016)

103 min | Drama

78 Metascore

Three Palestinian women living in an apartment in Tel Aviv try to find a balance between traditional and modern culture.

Director: Maysaloun Hamoud | Stars: Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh, Shaden Kanboura, Mahmud Shalaby

Votes: 1,667 | Gross: $0.11M

25. Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

An illegal Nigerian immigrant discovers the unpalatable side of London life.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sophie Okonedo, Sergi López

Votes: 37,900 | Gross: $8.11M

26. The Visitor (I) (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama

79 Metascore

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira, Hiam Abbass

Votes: 39,716 | Gross: $9.42M

27. Out in the Dark (2012)

96 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

69 Metascore

A drama centered on the love affair between two men on opposite sides of the Mid-East conflict: Palestinian student Nimer and Roy, an Israeli lawyer.

Director: Michael Mayer | Stars: Nicholas Jacob, Michael Aloni, Jameel Khoury, Alon Pdut

Votes: 6,304

28. Paradise Now (2005)

PG-13 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

71 Metascore

Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad | Stars: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hamza Abu-Aiaash

Votes: 21,068 | Gross: $1.45M

29. Haider (2014)

Not Rated | 160 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A young man returns to Kashmir after his father's disappearance to confront his uncle - the man he suspects of playing a role in his father's fate.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj | Stars: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon

Votes: 44,269 | Gross: $0.90M

30. The Secret of the Grain (2007)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama

83 Metascore

In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche | Stars: Habib Boufares, Hafsia Herzi, Farida Benkhetache, Abdelhamid Aktouche

Votes: 6,179 | Gross: $0.09M

31. Amira & Sam (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

An army veteran's unlikely romance with an Iraqi immigrant is put to the test when she is faced with the prospect of deportation.

Director: Sean Mullin | Stars: Martin Starr, Dina Shihabi, Paul Wesley, Laith Nakli

Votes: 2,360 | Gross: $0.03M

32. Des hommes et des dieux (2010)

PG-13 | 122 min | Drama, History

86 Metascore

Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

Director: Xavier Beauvois | Stars: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Philippe Laudenbach

Votes: 13,701 | Gross: $3.95M

33. Caramel (2007)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

A romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut.

Director: Nadine Labaki | Stars: Nadine Labaki, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisèle Aouad, Yasmine Al Massri

Votes: 11,097 | Gross: $1.06M

34. He Named Me Malala (2015)

PG-13 | 88 min | Documentary

61 Metascore

A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, Khushal Yousafzai

Votes: 3,962 | Gross: $2.64M

35. The String (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Romance

Malik has a lot on his plate when he returns home to Tunisia after living in France. He's processing his father's death, he can't come out to his mother, and his childhood anxieties have ... See full summary »

Director: Mehdi Ben Attia | Stars: Claudia Cardinale, Antonin Stahly Viswanadhan, Salim Kechiouche, Driss Ramdi

Votes: 1,673

36. Yes (I) (2004)

R | 100 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

In this film, told almost entirely in iambic pentameter, She is a scientist in a loveless marriage to Anthony, a devious politician. He is a Lebanese doctor in self-imposed exile, working ... See full summary »

Director: Sally Potter | Stars: Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson

Votes: 2,877 | Gross: $0.40M

37. Maqbool (2003)

132 min | Crime, Drama

The intrigue of the Shakespearean tragedy 'Macbeth' is transposed to the Mumbai underworld.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj | Stars: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah

Votes: 7,201

38. My Brother the Devil (2012)

Not Rated | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

Two teenage brothers must face their own prejudices head on if they are to survive the perils of being British Arabs growing up on the streets of gangland London.

Director: Sally El Hosaini | Stars: James Floyd, Elarica Johnson, Fady Elsayed, Saïd Taghmaoui

Votes: 2,838 | Gross: $0.01M

39. Etz Limon (2008)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, War

74 Metascore

The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.

Director: Eran Riklis | Stars: Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael, Ali Suliman, Doron Tavory

Votes: 5,862 | Gross: $0.57M

40. Khuda Kay Liye (2007)

Not Rated | 168 min | Drama

The movie deals with the difference of opinion between the westernized, educated, modern Muslims and their counterparts who follow their religion and live life in the name of 'God'.

Director: Shoaib Mansoor | Stars: Shaan Shahid, Fawad Khan, Iman Ali, Austin Marie Sayre

Votes: 8,617

41. Le ciel attendra (2016)

105 min | Drama

At 17, Sonia almost left her family to go jihad. She was convinced that this was the only way for her and her family to go to heaven. She finally came back to reason. Unlike Mélanie, 16 ... See full summary »

Director: Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar | Stars: Noémie Merlant, Naomi Amarger, Sandrine Bonnaire, Clotilde Courau

Votes: 601

42. The Big Sick (2017)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.

Director: Michael Showalter | Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano

Votes: 94,883 | Gross: $42.87M

43. Fetih 1453 (2012)

Not Rated | 162 min | Action, Drama, History

After the death of his father Murat II, Mehmet II ascends to the Ottoman throne. After braving internal and external enemies, he decides to complete what he was destined to do - conquer Constantinople.

Director: Faruk Aksoy | Stars: Devrim Evin, Ibrahim Celikkol, Dilek Serbest, Cengiz Coskun

Votes: 54,018 | Gross: $0.07M

44. Lion of the Desert (1980)

PG | 173 min | Biography, Drama, History

In Fascist Italy pre-World War II, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Benito Mussolini to fight in the colonial war in Libya to vanquish the Arab nation. However, ... See full summary »

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, Irene Papas

Votes: 11,940

45. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 73,099 | Gross: $48.17M

46. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

R | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

63 Metascore

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the Crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Martin Hancock

Votes: 243,840 | Gross: $47.40M

47. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 57,505 | Gross: $9.03M

48. Body of Lies (2008)

R | 128 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

57 Metascore

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani

Votes: 194,349 | Gross: $39.39M

49. AmericanEast (2008)

R | 110 min | Drama

A family man (Badreya) opens an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant with his best friend, who's Jewish.

Director: Hesham Issawi | Stars: Sayed Badreya, Erick Avari, Anthony Azizi, Amanda Detmer

Votes: 252

50. In a Better World (2010)

R | 118 min | Drama, Romance

7.6