The Best Iranian Movies of all Time

by iranvolley | created - 28 Oct 2016 | updated - 28 Oct 2016 | Public
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1. About Elly (2009)

119 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

87 Metascore

The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Merila Zare'i

Votes: 38,026 | Gross: $0.11M

2. Close-Up (1990)

Not Rated | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of Hossain Sabzian that impersonated the director Mohsen Makhmalbaf to convince a family they would star in his so-called new film.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abolfazl Ahankhah, Mehrdad Ahankhah

Votes: 12,440 | Gross: $0.00M

3. The Glass Agency (1998)

114 min | Action, Drama, Romance

The Glass Agency is the story of a war veteran living in post war Iran. It depicts veterans who are suffering from social problems after the war. Society does not understand them and the ... See full summary »

Director: Ebrahim Hatamikia | Stars: Parviz Parastui, Reza Kianian, Habib Rezaei, Qhasem Zare

Votes: 4,949

4. Killing Mad Dogs (2001)

135 min | Drama, Thriller

While the post-revolution frenzy is at its peak in Iran, a woman attempts to help her secretive husband out of jail by settling his debts for him on her own.

Director: Bahram Beizai | Stars: Mozhdeh Shamsai, Majid Mozaffari, Reza Kianian, Mitra Hajjar

Votes: 1,928

5. A Cube of Sugar (2011)

116 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The story happens in an old house in an old city of Iran. Because of the wedding of the youngest sister, Pasandide, all of her sisters come to their old house to help their mother.

Director: Reza Mirkarimi | Stars: Reza Kianian, Negar Javaherian, Farhad Aslani, Saeed Poursamimi

Votes: 2,990

6. The Willow Tree (2005)

96 min | Drama

74 Metascore

Youssef, a blind university professor, is suddenly diagnosed with a fatal disease and must undergo treatment in France. Back home, will he find the life he had before?

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Parviz Parastui, Roya Taymourian, Soghra Obeisi, Mohammad Amir Naji

Votes: 3,688 | Gross: $0.03M

7. Snake's Fang (1990)

105 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Reza, the veteran worker of a print house whose sight is adversely affected because of his job, loses his mother. Finding the gloom reigning over the home beyond bearing, he departs to ... See full summary »

Director: Masud Kimiai | Stars: Faramarz Sadighi, Golchehre Sajadieh, Ahmad Najafi, Hassan Rafi'i

Votes: 171

8. Captain Khorshid (1987)

118 min | Crime, Drama

Khaje Majed informs the authorities about Captain Khorshid smuggling with his ship. The authorities take the smuggling and burn it. Farhan is a new arriver in the port. He wants to smuggle ... See full summary »

Director: Naser Taghvai | Stars: Dariush Arjmand, Ali Nassirian, Saeed Poursamimi, Parvaneh Massoumi

Votes: 670

9. Duel (II) (2004)

133 min | Action, Drama, War

The story of Zeinal, a man who after 20 years of being a POW, tries to clear up his past.

Director: Ahmad Reza Darvish | Stars: Saeed Rad, Pejman Bazeghi, Parivash Nazarieh, Parviz Parastui

Votes: 1,078

10. Gheisar (1969)

100 min | Crime, Drama

A young man's drive to avenge for his sister and brother.

Director: Masud Kimiai | Stars: Behrouz Vossoughi, Pouri Baneai, Naser Malek Motiee, Jamshid Mashayekhi

Votes: 2,369

11. Tight Spot (1973)

114 min | Drama, Thriller

This film, based on a well-known novel of the same name by Sadegh Chooback, is about a wronged man seeking revenge. Director Amir Naderi's inspiration for making the film was one of his ... See full summary »

Director: Amir Naderi | Stars: Behrouz Vossoughi, Parviz Fanizadeh, Jafar Vali, Enayat Bakhshi

Votes: 389

12. Hajji Washington (1983)

98 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

A loyal and simple-minded statesman is appointed as the first Iranian ambassador in the U.S. but soon starts to lose his mind from homesickness and inaction.

Director: Ali Hatami | Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Richard Harrison, Ransel Cass, Mario Donatone

Votes: 412

13. The Lizard (2004)

115 min | Comedy, Drama

A recently jailed petty thief disguises as a Mullah and succeeds in escaping; but has to stay in the Mullah' role longer than he expected to.

Director: Kamal Tabrizi | Stars: Parviz Parastui, Bahram Ebrahimi, Shahrokh Foroutanian, Farideh Sepah Mansour

Votes: 11,214

14. A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral (2006)

85 min | Comedy, Drama

Two desperate men watching a wrecked petrol station for goverment,whilst looking for their strange loves.

Director: Saman Salur | Stars: Mohsen Tanabandeh, Nader Fallah, Mohsen Namjoo, Mahmoud Nazaralian

Votes: 915

15. Crazy Rook (2015)

110 min | Drama, Thriller

A group of people who met on social media are forced to work together when one of them commits a crime which if not solved, will concern all of them.

Director: Abolhassan Davoodi | Stars: Tannaz Tabatabayi, Saber Abar, Saed Soheili, Nazanin Bayati

Votes: 1,329

16. The Song of Sparrows (2008)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Family

74 Metascore

When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes ... See full summary »

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan, Hamid Aghazi

Votes: 8,254 | Gross: $0.12M

17. Where Is the Friend's House? (1987)

83 min | Drama, Family

An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Babek Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Khodabakhsh Defaei, Iran Outari

Votes: 7,858

18. Mum's Guest (2004)

103 min | Comedy, Drama

A mother of a poor family, has guests coming over, yet doesn't know how to get the dinner party altogether with limited resources.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Golab Adineh, Parsa Pirouzfar, Amin Hayayee, Hassan Pourshirazi

Votes: 2,992

19. Offside (I) (2006)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

85 Metascore

Struggle of Women in a country that excludes them from entering the stadiums.

Director: Jafar Panahi | Stars: Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Golnaz Farmani

Votes: 6,825 | Gross: $0.18M

20. The Cyclist (1989)

82 min | Drama

The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Mahshid Afsharzadeh, Firouz Kiani, Samira Makhmalbaf, Mohammad Reza Maleki

Votes: 1,634

21. The Cow (1969)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

An old villager deeply in love with his cow goes to the capital for a while. While he's there, the cow dies and now the villagers are afraid of his possible reaction to it when he returns.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Mahin Shahabi, Ali Nassirian, Jamshid Mashayekhi

Votes: 5,162

22. The Longest Night (2001)

85 min | Drama

Hamed is unemployed. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter immigrate to Europe for a better future. Missing his family, he imprisons himself and starts to revise his life in isolation.

Director: Kiumars Poorahmad | Stars: Elham Charkhande, Mohammad Reza Forutan, Hilda Hashempour, Maryam Poorahmad

Votes: 499

23. Taste of Cherry (1997)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi

Votes: 18,992 | Gross: $0.31M

24. The Maritime Silk Road (2011)

114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A young student of Shiraz university joins Captain Soleiman on a maritime journey to China in 11th BC.

Director: Muhammad Bozorgnia | Stars: Pegah Ahangarani, Dariush Arjmand, Payam Dehkordi, Ezzatolah Entezami

Votes: 342

25. The Fish Fall in Love (2005)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Romance

After 22 years, Aziz decides to return to his hometown, to sell some family possessions, including the house where he was born. But for his astonishment, the place is now a small restaurant... See full summary »

Director: Ali Rafie | Stars: Reza Kianian, Roya Nonahali, Golshifteh Farahani, Maryam Saadat

Votes: 891

26. White Nights (2003)

103 min | Drama, Romance

A young university professor, who leads a quiet and reclusive life and fills his life with reading and teaching literature, meet a young girl who has altered the course of her life for the ... See full summary »

Director: Farzad Motamen | Stars: Mehdi Ahmadi, Hanie Tavassoli, Mohsen Shah-Ebrahimi, Hilda Hashempour

Votes: 757

27. Night Bus (2007)

90 min | Drama, Romance, War

Two young Iranian soldiers guard a bus load of prisoners of war on a trip to prison.

Director: Kiumars Poorahmad | Stars: Khosro Shakibai, Mohammad Reza Forutan, Amir Mohammad Zand, Elnaz Shakerdust

Votes: 465

28. The Tenants (1987)

109 min | Comedy, Drama

The tenants of a rundown building on the outskirts of Tehran with no legal heir face major housing problems to deal with: major repairs and threat of eviction by greedy building manager who wants to own the building.

Director: Dariush Mehrjui | Stars: Akbar Abdi, Ezzatolah Entezami, Farimah Farjami, Manouchehr Hamedi

Votes: 1,501

29. 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: 195,686 | Gross: $7.10M

30. Gabbeh (1996)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

When an old couple washes their gabbeh - a type of Persian rug - a young woman magically appears and tells them her life story.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Shaghayeh Djodat, Hossein Moharami, Rogheih Moharami, Abbas Sayah

Votes: 2,680 | Gross: $0.27M

31. Tambourine (2008)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

Mohammad is sent to an apartment situated in uptown Tehran to install their satellite dishes, while having satellite TV is illegal in Iran. He arrives there with a girl named Shirin who ... See full summary »

Director: Parisa Bakhtavar | Stars: Baran Kosari, Saber Abar, Hamed Behdad, Afarin Chitsaz

Votes: 2,407

32. Border Café (2005)

107 min | Drama, Romance

"Cafe Transit" depicts an independent-minded widow who bucks tradition to run her dead husband's truck stop café.

Director: Kambuzia Partovi | Stars: Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy, Parviz Parastui, Nikos Papadopoulos, Svieta Mikalishina

Votes: 1,870

33. Felicity Land (2011)

90 min | Drama

A look at the lives of 3 well-off Iranian couples who are ostensibly living an idyllic life and are going to have a get-together for a birthday party. Each couple bearing their own sordid ... See full summary »

Director: Maziar Miri | Stars: Mahnaz Afshar, Amir Aghaee, Hamed Behdad, Hengameh Ghaziani

Votes: 1,498

34. Trapped (2013)

102 min | Drama, Thriller

This fascinating moral thriller is centered on the bristling relationship between two very different young women in contemporary Tehran. Moving to the city for her studies and desperate for... See full summary »

Director: Parviz Shahbazi | Stars: Pegah Ahangarani, Behrang Alavi, Nazanin Bayati, Ahmad Mehranfar

Votes: 638

35. Iron Island (2005)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

74 Metascore

Some poor people in the Southern coasts of Iran do not have any place to live, and thus, they reside on an old, abandoned ship in the sea. Captain Nemat, their chief, tries to persuade the ... See full summary »

Director: Mohammad Rasoulof | Stars: Ali Nassirian, Hossein Farzi-Zad, Neda Pakdaman

Votes: 613 | Gross: $0.02M

36. Golchehreh (2011)

100 min | Drama

Based on a true story about Taliban in Afghanistan and how they tried to destroy their National film archive and closing the movie houses.

Director: Vahid Mousaian | Stars: Afshin Hashemi, Hedayat Hashemi, Hossein Moheb Ahari, Ladan Mostofi

Votes: 72

37. Maxx (2005)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Musical

An invitation for a famous Iranian bandmaster, Maxx, living in a foreign country, is accidentally sent to a young cabaret singer with the same name.

Director: Saman Moghadam | Stars: Farhad Aeesh, Reza Ahadi, Pegah Ahangarani, Morteza Akbari

Votes: 765

38. Still Life (1974)

93 min | Drama

For more than three decades, aging Iranian Mohamad Sardari (Zadour Bonyadi) has worked as a crossing guard at a desolate train station. Through the years, Mohamad has done little to stifle ... See full summary »

Directors: Houshang Baharlou, Morteza Momayyez, Sohrab Shahid Saless | Stars: Zadour Bonyadi, Mohammed Kani, Hibibollah Safarian, Habib Safaryan

Votes: 653

39. Moneyless (2009)

108 min | Drama, Romance

A haughty acclaimed newly married fashion designer named Iraj is shown the door by his boss after the boss's son arrives at Iran to take over his father's company. Iraj reluctant to ... See full summary »

Director: Hamid Nematollah | Stars: Bahram Radan, Leila Hatami, Nader Fallah, Siamak Ansari

Votes: 1,737

40. Girl's Dormitory (2004)

96 min | Drama, Horror

Story of two friends Roya and Shirin who are abut to enter the college in a city near Tehran. They rent a house but little by little they begin to notice some horrible problems and disappearing of the newly brides.

Director: Mohammad Hossein Latifi | Stars: Baran Kosari, Negar Javaherian, Majid Salehi, Sadeq Safaei

Votes: 409

41. A House Built on Water (2002)

108 min | Drama, Fantasy

A surrealist story about Dr. Sepidbakht who one night when driving hit an angel with his car and his hand is injured deeply by touching that angel's fingers. He has several problems in his ... See full summary »

Director: Bahman Farmanara | Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Reza Kianian, Hediyeh Tehrani, Jamshid Mashayekhi

Votes: 927

42. A Man Like Rain (1997)

90 min | Drama, War

Mansor Ghasemi an Iranian leader is captured by the Iraqis. But in the camp they don't know him so a spy is hired to go among the Iranian captures and recognize him. The Iranians manage to ... See full summary »

Director: Saeed Soheili | Stars: Abolfazl Poorarab, Hossein Ansari, Fatemeh Sameti, Hamid Taleghani

Votes: 37

43. The Wooden Bridge (2012)

98 min | Drama, Romance

Wooden Bridge was a passage over the northern trench of old Tehran, connecting the capital to the countryside of Shemiran. A connection between old Tehran and modern Tehran.

Director: Mehdi Karampour | Stars: Mahnaz Afshar, Borzou Arjmand, Farhad Aslani, Mehran Modiri

Votes: 841

44. Women's Prison (2002)

106 min | Drama

Spanning 18 years in an Iranian women's prison, this follows two women: the new prison warden, a tough as nails devout Muslim who has served in the army on the Iraqi front, and a young ... See full summary »

Director: Manijeh Hekmat | Stars: Roya Nonahali, Roya Taymourian, Pegah Ahangarani, Golab Adineh

Votes: 820

45. I Am Taraneh, I Am Fifteen Years Old (2002)

110 min | Drama

64 Metascore

Fifteen year old Taraneh, whose widowed father is in jail, refuses the unwanted attentions of carpet salesman Amir - until Amir's mother talks Taraneh into accepting Amir's marriage ... See full summary »

Director: Rasoul Sadrameli | Stars: Taraneh Alidoosti, Negar Javaherian, Hossein Mahjoub, Mahtab Nasirpour

Votes: 2,571

46. Modest Reception (2012)

100 min | Comedy, Drama

An Iranian couple from the city drive around a remote mountainous region. They hand out bags of money to poor villagers in return for them carrying out unusual requests the couple make of them.

Director: Mani Haghighi | Stars: Taraneh Alidoosti, Mani Haghighi, Saeed Changizian, Esmaeel Khalaj

Votes: 1,611

47. Ice Age (2015)

106 min | Crime, Drama, Family

In the tenth year of marriage, Babak and Manizheh face the biggest challenge of their life. Financial problems and difficult social situation cause Babak to work very hard and this leads to... See full summary »

Director: Mostafa Kiayee | Stars: Farhad Aslani, Sahar Dolatshahi, Mohammad Kamal Alavi, Mahtab Keramati

Votes: 746

48. Journey to Chazzabeh (1996)

84 min | War

Vahid is making a movie about the war. He invites a musician friend of himself Ali to compose a theme music for this film. But Ali can not make his mind. So they go to visit the real places... See full summary »

Director: Rasool Mollagholi Poor | Stars: Habib Allahyari, Farhad Aslani, Habib Dehghan Nasab, Mehdi Faghih

Votes: 127