I never get it when people say they don’t like foreign films because of the subtitles. I actually love subtitles because I find I focus on the movie more and become more invested in what’s happening. There is such a rich tapestry of foreign cinema out there, and it deserves to be discovered and explored fully. When compiling a list of the Top 5 Foreign Movies, it’s certainly going to be subjective, and you may well have your own personal favorites. But, I can only share my personal tastes with you, so, without further ado, here are my 5 favorite foreign movies.
Three Colours: Blue (1993)
The first of the Three Colours trilogy, Blue is a French drama movie directed by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. The movie surrounds a woman who loses her husband and child in a car accident, who tries to cut herself off from the world, but can’t escape the power of human connection. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting, and one of the finest films Juliette Binoche has ever done. In fact, the whole trilogy is sensational, but Blue is the standout installment.
City of God (2002)
Brazilian masterpiece City of God is one of the most harrowing and unforgettable movies I’ve ever seen. A sobering look at the lives of two boys caught up in the world of crime on the unforgiving streets of Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s and 1980s. A multi-award winning movie, City of God is a film that’s important for a lot of reasons and gives an insight into the real struggles of those trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and crime in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.
A Prophet (2009)
A Prophet is a pretty gnarly French crime flick, about an Algerian petty criminal who rises through the ranks of organized crime in a French prison. The movie won a BAFTA Award and was Academy Award nominated. It is a gangster film with plenty of heart, not to mention the social realism it portrays. The film is pretty violent, so it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but, if you can get through it you won’t regret it. The movie is a compelling character study, as well as a riveting look at the world of prison crime and hierarchy.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
A riotous ride through the chop-socky action-packed world of Hong Kong cinema. Kung Fu Hustle owes a big debt to the Hong Kong martial arts movies of the ‘70s and ‘80s but is much more self-aware. With shades of Kill Bill, and tongue firmly in cheek, this movie that sees a young gangster vying to join a famous gang, but setting off a turf war in 1940s Shanghai. The film is an absolute blast – hysterical, visually stunning, and with some fantastic choreography and fight scenes. The cast bounce of one another superbly and writer-director-producer-actor Stephen Chow handles things masterfully.
You might have a list of your own, and you may find some of the entries on here rather controversial. But, these ranks as some of the best foreign movies ever made. They all tell stories well, have important messages, and fantastic performances from the cast. If you’ve not seen any of the films on this list, you need to check them out right now.