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5 Greatest Foreign-Language Films

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If you want to see the works of talented movie-creators around the world, learn about new cultures, or expand your foreign-language vocabulary, you need to watch foreign films. Once you step over the threshold of domestic films, you’ll find yourself in an unexpected world of new artistic expressions, stories, and cultures.

True film-fanatics won’t miss the opportunity to test the waters of foreign films. However, the question that imposes itself is where to start? And how to spot the good ones? That’s what we will help you with.

To truly understand the value of foreign films, you should watch the following masterpieces. 


  • Year: 1979
  • Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller

The talk about the greatest foreign-language films can’t pass without mentioning one of the greatest filmmakers. Stalker is Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece that is considered to be the brightest gem of Russian cinematography. 

The film takes place in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, The Zone. You get to observe three travelers in their search for The Room, a mythical place that supposedly fulfills any earthly desire. 

The suspense and the psychological complexity are stunningly wrapped into creative and unforgettable imagery. Tarkovsky filled the movie with ambivalent dialogue, impeccable visuals, and wonderful chaos. 

In the Mood for Love

  • Year: 2000
  • Director: Wong Kar-wai
  • Genre: Romance

Romance, beauty, and power – three notions that dominate this praised Chinese film. With scenes that evoke admiration, Wong Kar-wai draws us into a melancholic and delicate story of deceived spouses. 

We learn about society’s oppression in the 1960’s Hong Kong. The oppression leaves star-crossed lovers unable to follow their emotions even after the realization that their spouses are cheating on them with each other.

LA Times critic Justin Chang beautifully described this admirable film. He wrote thatNever before has a film spoken so fluently in the universal language of loss and desire.

La Dolce Vita

  • Year: 1960
  • Director: Federico Fellini
  • Genre: Comedy-drama

The famous Fellini film restlessly holds its position as one of the best films of all time. If you haven’t seen La Dolce Vita until now, make this your priority. 

Follow Fellini’s (anti)hero a reporter, Marcello Rubini, on his hedonistic adventures. The emptiness of a modern society that Federico portrayed so well in the film can easily be associated with some elements of today’s society as well.

This film has brought stunning Italian fashion under the spotlight while giving us an indulging satire composed of visual extravaganzas. 

Pan’s Labyrinth 

  • Year: 2006
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Genre: Fantasy

Graphic, artistic, and haunting scenes of Pan’s Labyrinth will forever stick in your mind. Guillermo del Toro allows you to step into a dark fairy tale carried on the wings of disobedience and choice. 

This Spanish film perfectly blends the charms of a fantasy world with the horrors of reality. Keep up with the headstrong girl Ofelia as she takes on three tasks that she must conquer to prove her reign in the underworld. 

Once you finish this film with your mouth wide open, you’ll understand why it won several Academy Awards. What’s more, the rich visuals and chair-gripping scenery will explain why it won the hearts of people around the world. You won’t even need translation for the movie with such vivid storytelling.


  • Year: 2001
  • Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Genre: Romantic comedy

Romantic comedies are a rarity on the best-movies list. This is why this unbelievably charming and memorable French film has found its way on our list of greatest foreign-language films. 

Who would have thought that a Montmartre waitress Amélie can win over the world? But Jean-Pierre’s inventive film-making has made that happen. The beautiful and witty quotes will leave you hunting for the best translation service online so that you can assure that nothing is lost in translation.

Overall, this film is a true event. The colors, the music, and a story that makes your heart warm made Amélie one of the most popular French movies ever made.

Wrapping Up

Give yourself a chance to explore the wonders of foreign-language cinematography. With these suggestions in your possession, there is no doubt that you’ll get sucked in the whirl of foreign films. Let these masterpieces show you the works of artistic geniuses around the world.

Author’s Bio: Merissa Moore is a writer and editor who specializes in content. Thanks to her in-depth analysis and impeccable writing skills, she was able to transform her greatest passion – writing – into a profession. Her inquisitive nature and thorough analysis have led her to work as a writer in a variety of fields. Merissa is still trying to develop her skills by attending workshops and courses. She enjoys hiking and reading in her spare time.

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