Top 100 Best Foreign Films

by themadmovieman | created - 03 Feb 2017 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

A list of the top 100 best foreign films I've ever seen (we're counting only films not in the English language here). Enjoy!

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1. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

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

Votes: 630,018 | Gross: $7.56M

From Brazil

2. A Short Film About Love (1988)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance

An innocent virgin spies on his frontal neighbor and falls in love with her, thus starts using tricks on her which he hopes will lead to them meeting.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Grazyna Szapolowska, Olaf Lubaszenko, Stefania Iwinska, Piotr Machalica

Votes: 15,900

From Poland

3. Battle Royale (2000)

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

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: 157,128

From Japan

4. Relatos salvajes (2014)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

Six short stories that explore the extremities of human behavior involving people in distress.

Director: Damián Szifron | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, María Marull, Mónica Villa, Diego Starosta

Votes: 145,388 | Gross: $3.11M

From Argentina

5. 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: 177,075 | Gross: $7.27M

From Germany

6. Ah-ga-ssi (2016)

Not Rated | 144 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

84 Metascore

A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-Woong Cho, So-Ri Moon

Votes: 72,348 | Gross: $2.01M

From South Korea

7. Elle (I) (2016)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling

Votes: 52,777

From France

8. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 188,725

From Japan

9. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

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: 231,172

From Japan

10. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao

Votes: 24,636 | Gross: $2.60M

From China

11. Two Days, One Night (2014)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama

89 Metascore

Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin

Votes: 40,529 | Gross: $1.44M

From Belgium

12. Thang Nam Ruc Ro (2018)

118 min | Comedy, Drama

Go-go sisters brings together two parallel stories about young ambitious teenage girls and middle-aged women who have experienced life's sweet spiciness.

Director: Quang Dung Nguyen | Stars: Hoang Yen Chibi, Thanh Hang, Hoang-Oanh, Anh Hong

Votes: 196

From Vietnam

13. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Yukiji Asaoka, Tôru Masuoka, Masako Araki, Hayato Isohata

Votes: 8,663

From Japan

14. Alphaville (1965)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Valérie Boisgel

Votes: 19,889 | Gross: $0.05M

From France

15. Goodnight Mommy (2014)

R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

81 Metascore

Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don't recognize.

Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz | Stars: Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Susanne Wuest, Hans Escher

Votes: 34,304 | Gross: $1.17M

From Austria

16. Chalard games goeng (2017)

130 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Lynn, a genius high school student who makes money by cheating tests, receives a new task that leads her to set foot on Sydney, Australia. In order to complete the millions-Baht task, Lynn and her classmates have to finish the international STIC(SAT) exam and deliver the answers back to her friends in Thailand before the exam takes place once again in her home country.

Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya | Stars: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Chanon Santinatornkul

Votes: 12,691

From Thailand

17. Linda Linda Linda (2005)

114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

A music group of girls need to learn to play a song before the school festival.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Doona Bae, Aki Maeda, Yû Kashii, Shiori Sekine

Votes: 2,938

From Japan

18. Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

PG-13 | 79 min | Comedy, Music

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: 6,096

From Finland

19. (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: 97,576 | Gross: $0.05M

From Italy

20. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 79,362 | Gross: $8.26M

From Spain

21. La piel que habito (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

70 Metascore

A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes

Votes: 120,828 | Gross: $3.19M

From Spain

22. Innocent Voices (2004)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller, War

66 Metascore

A young boy, in an effort to have a normal childhood in 1980's El Salvador, is caught up in a dramatic fight for his life as he desperately tries to avoid the war which is raging all around him.

Director: Luis Mandoki | Stars: Carlos Padilla, Leonor Varela, Xuna Primus, Gustavo Muñoz

Votes: 6,805 | Gross: $0.84M

From Mexico

23. Open Your Eyes (1997)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martínez

Votes: 58,953 | Gross: $0.37M

From Spain

24. Divorce Italian Style (1961)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A married Sicilian baron falls in love with his cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his wife.

Director: Pietro Germi | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Leopoldo Trieste

Votes: 9,961

From Italy

25. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 195,113 | Gross: $11.99M

From Italy

26. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

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: 539,157 | Gross: $10.06M

From Japan

27. Turist (2014)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

A family vacationing in the French Alps is confronted with a devastating avalanche.

Director: Ruben Östlund | Stars: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren

Votes: 40,552 | Gross: $1.36M

From Sweden

28. Death of a Cyclist (1955)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama

A couple having an affair strike a bicyclist with their car and do not offer aid out of fear of their relationship being exposed.

Director: Juan Antonio Bardem | Stars: Lucia Bosé, Alberto Closas, Bruna Corrà, Carlos Casaravilla

Votes: 2,724

From Spain

29. Busanhaeng (2016)

Not Rated | 118 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

72 Metascore

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon | Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Su-an Kim

Votes: 101,750 | Gross: $2.13M

From South Korea

30. 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: 80,637 | Gross: $4.44M

From France

31. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

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: 560,119 | Gross: $37.63M

From Spain

32. Benvenuti al sud (2010)

102 min | Comedy

Overwhelmed by his wife, a Northern Italy postal worker feigns a disability to request a transfer to Milan and when he's unmasked is sent for two years to a far and tiny village near Naples... See full summary »

Director: Luca Miniero | Stars: Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Siani, Angela Finocchiaro, Valentina Lodovini

Votes: 6,952

From Italy

33. 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: 298,089 | Gross: $5.51M

From Germany

34. Memoirs of a Murderer (2017)

118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A television reporter and a detective try to track down a serial killer known as the Tokyo Strangler.

Director: Yû Irie | Stars: Paolo Andrea Di Pietro, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Toyotaka Hanazawa, Mitsuru Hirata

Votes: 1,202

From Japan

35. War and Peace (1966)

Unrated | 427 min | Drama, History, Romance

A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, ... See full summary »

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk | Stars: Lyudmila Saveleva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Boris Zakhava

Votes: 5,356

From the Soviet Union

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

R | 103 min | Drama, Romance

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: 70,249 | Gross: $2.38M

From South Korea

37. The Man Who Copied (2003)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

André, relatively poor, falls in love with Silvia, a neighbor whom he spies with a telescope. Falling more and more in love with her, he begins to follow her around the city and realizes ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Lázaro Ramos, Renata de Lélis, Sérgio Lulkin, Heitor Schmidt

Votes: 8,354 | Gross: $0.02M

From Brazil

38. 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: 446,029 | Gross: $0.71M

From South Korea

39. El Alien y yo (2016)

82 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Lauro, Rita and Agus have a punk band that's not very successful, so they decide to bring a keyboard player to "refresh" their sound, and that's when they meet Pepe, a talented player. In ... See full summary »

Director: Jesús Magaña Vázquez | Stars: Ines De Tavira, Juan Castelazo, Paco de la Fuente, Juan Ugarte

Votes: 100

From Mexico

40. The Intouchables (2011)

R | 112 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot

Votes: 653,644 | Gross: $13.18M

From France

41. Kokuhaku (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 31,504

From Japan

42. A Separation (2011)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

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: 190,591 | Gross: $7.10M

From Iran

43. Itsu mata kimi to (2017)

114 min | Drama

A wealthy Japanese couple living in Nanjing flee China at the end of the Second World War, and struggle to rebuild their life over the following decade back in Japan.

Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa | Stars: Osamu Mukai, Machiko Ono, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ishin Narita

Votes: 11

From Japan

44. Joint Security Area (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

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: 22,956

From South Korea

45. 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: 638,486 | Gross: $33.23M

From France

46. Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)

TV-14 | 116 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

A coming of age story involving young love and a mysterious music, coming from a crystal radio left as a memento by an absent father, that leads a young heroine deep into a hidden world.

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Hilary Haag, Corey Hartzog, Leraldo Anzaldua, David Matranga

Votes: 11,061

From Japan

47. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 535,701 | Gross: $57.60M

From Italy

48. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Votes: 39,313 | Gross: $0.02M

From France