41 Responses

  1. Gwen
    Gwen at |

    I confess I have not seen most of these on your list. I am on my Netflix account as we speak! I have had the chance to see the number one and two though. I actually joined Netflix to get the chance to watch the Seven Samurai, it blew me away. A very good movie and a very good choice to put on your list. Hero is a great movie as well. I liked it. A really good list. Thank you for giving me some movies to watch. I am sure I will enjoy them!

    1. Joseph
      Joseph at |

      What about The 400 Blows? Have you seen it?

  2. Jonathan Hopkins
    Jonathan Hopkins at |

    four words; "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

  3. beno
    beno at |

    booooo! where is no man's land?

  4. Tanya Bennett
    Tanya Bennett at |

    My all time favorite foreign film is Godard's Breathless, followed closely by Wim Wenders' Until the End of the World and the Hairdresser's Husband (not sure of director). Run Lola Run, too- I think all of the films I just named are better than your #4 which I found kind of long and boring. I'm kind of surprised that Kieslowski's Red, White and Blue films didn't make this list even though personally not sure if I would place them on here…

  5. Jose Sinclair
    Jose Sinclair at |

    I agree with most of these suggestions.. the last films I eliminated were Run Lola Run, Crouching Tiger (I liked Hero a little more), Eat Drink Man Woman, L'avventura, Goodbye Lenin, No Man's Land, Gospel According to St Matthew, Nowhere in Africa, Chungking Express.. I love Asian films now

    At my site I have a foreign film list of about 50 faves.. There are really about 25 that could all be top 10 with no argument!

    Thanks for all the comments! Re Netflix: Excellent foreign catalog available!

  6. Jose Sinclair
    Jose Sinclair at |

    oops – I did include Chungking, with the sequel! Wong Kar-Wai is mesmerizing visually.

    the one I missed is The Lives of Others, the Oscar-winning German film about surveillance of citizens, similar to Coppola's The Conversation

    Also check out the excellent Czech film Zelary, filmed over 18 months in the mtns of Yugoslavia, about the underground in WW2..

    ..jose (list author)

  7. michael b
    michael b at |

    This gives me something to expand on as I am a bit behind the times in regards to films, I just don't seem to have the time to relax and enjoy, thanks for the list !

  8. Nothing profound
    Nothing profound at |

    Hi Jose-interesting list. I'm an old timer and have seen thousands of foreign films which I absolutely adore. A recent one I saw and was bowled over by was Suzanne Bier's "After the Wedding." All her films are intense, highly emotional, tragic and worth seeing. Here are some of my all-time favorites:

    Wild Strawberries-Bergman

    The Apu Trilogy-Ray


    Children of Paradise-Carne

    The Tokyo Story-(and everything by Ozu)

    Grand Illusion-Renoir

    Pauline at the Beach-Rohmer

    Four Hundred Blows-Truffaut

    La Strada-Fellini

    Twenty Four Eyes-Kinoshita

  9. Jose Sinclair
    Jose Sinclair at |

    This is a good list also.. for some reason, Ray's Apu Trilogy is not available on dvd, that's been frustrating. Strawberries is one of the more pleasant Bergman films – he too often concentrates on personal angst and his films never reach any conclusion, sometimes ending in the middle of a crisis. I found Children of Paradise to be long and un-involving for me, plus I shy away from any films with French mimes!

    Ozu, Renoir, Fellini – all terrific, one can enjoy any of their films. For Fellini most prefer 8 1/2, I like La Dolce Vita, about some jaded and decadent film personalities. Rohmer and Traffaut (and Godard) all bore me to the point of wanting to just get up and leave! I think I have an anti-French cinema bug.

    Kinoshita is a new name for me, I'll definitely check that out.

    Probably the most entertaining foreign films I left off were Run Lola Run, Diva, and La Film Nikita (two French action films!). These are a little lighter in theme, but all exciting crime films. Diva has another classic chase sequence, with the film's star on a motor scooter being chased by everyone who wants his secret recording of a shy opera star who won't record. Nikita is a Bond-ish assassin film, not at all like the sexy TV-series that was loosely based on it.

    I was recently dazzled by Ugetsu, by Mizoguchi, a spooky, atmospheric ghost story during a time of civil war in Japan.

    Thanks for all the other suggestions!

  10. Lorne
    Lorne at |

    My two favorites…



    1. Robin
      Robin at |

      Lorne, I love those too! Especially Delicatessen.

  11. Rakesh
    Rakesh at |

    Hey I'vent seen most of these, but heard a lot about them. By the way, have u seen The Lives of Others ? its one of the best movies i've ever seen. Also my list would have Downfall and The Sea Inside. But then again, i've just started watching world cinema 🙂

  12. Steve
    Steve at |

    Das Boot.

  13. Burnique
    Burnique at |

    How about Life is Beautiful?

  14. hmv15
    hmv15 at |

    What!!! No Godzilla???

  15. Riny T
    Riny T at |

    I loved Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, Central Station, The Sea Inside, The Orphanage, I've Loved You For So Long, Cinema Paradiso….

  16. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth at |

    One of the best movies I've seen so far is "let the right one in" . The book is so good also. It's a swedish film. The Best

  17. RanGo
    RanGo at |


    Rashomon – Kurosawa (1950)

    Taxi – Gérard Pirès (1998)

    La Haine – Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)

  18. Silvia
    Silvia at |

    You forgot La Dolce Vita and Morte a Venezia… Rocco e suoi fratelli… And for comedy, Le grand blond avec une chausssure noire and Le retour du grand blond.

    Happy torrenting, everyone!

  19. Nave
    Nave at |

    You guys should watch Kung-fu Hustle.
    I loved that movie, but I had it on VHS so I don’t really know if it had English voice-overs or not.

  20. B
    B at |

    I would personally include Cache by Michael Haneke. I've never seen a film in the modern era so fundamentally and powerfully play with the concept of "a film." Great list.

  21. blahblah
    blahblah at |

    Where is Old Boy? In my opinion its not only one of the best foreign films but also one of the best films ever period.

  22. Four Jacks
    Four Jacks at |

    THE GODFATHER films were shot by GORDON WILLIS not Vittorio Storraro. I agree that Coppola was influenced by The Conformist – especially for GF2. But the DP was "The Prince of Darkness" Gordon Willis. Show the man some respect!

  23. Jille
    Jille at |

    The Hairdresser's Husband, Antonia's Line, The Scent of Green Papaya, Jesus de Montreal . . . All amazing, must-see cinema. Pretty much anything by Almodovar is nothing short of genius.

  24. Tina
    Tina at |

    No Man's Land!

  25. Matthew Gist
    Matthew Gist at |

    Anyone who thinks Hero is a better movie than Seven Samurai is an idiot; in fact, Hero isn't an even remotely decent film. It was more or less a CGI extravaganza designed for Western palates that carries the despicable message that totalitarianism and killing on a massive scale is justified so long as it unites people under one ruler. If you want to see a genuinely good film by director Zhang Yimou, then you need to see To Live (1994) and, while you're at it, check out his 1991 film, Raise the Red Lantern (2001). Hero is trash. I also have to agree wholeheartedly with someone who asked where Oldboy (2003) is. There can be no proper top ten films list that does not acknowledge the cinematic brilliance of Park Chan-wook's greatest masterpiece.

  26. Wally
    Wally at |

    Where…is..THE SEVENTH SEAL!?

    1. John Fisher
      John Fisher at |

      Didn’t see your post there. Completely agree, such a great film.

    2. Film Ninja
      Film Ninja at |

      Agree. Persona, Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and Fanny & Alexander are all top 10 caliber!

  27. John Fisher
    John Fisher at |

    How about the 7th Seal?

  28. Robin
    Robin at |

    Curse of the Golden Flower. An absolutely beautiful film.

  29. Peter Boucher
    Peter Boucher at |

    I have 3 to mention that are not this list : 1). “Au Revoir Les Enfants”, directed by Louis Malle (French) ; 2) “Battleship Potemkin”, directed by Sergei Einstein (Russian), 3). The Bicycle Thief, directed by Vittorio Da Saca (Italian). Honorable Mention : “Man Bites Dog”, directed by Benoit Poelvoorde (French)

  30. Ravi Ganne
    Ravi Ganne at |

    Interesting. Can never imagine Hero at #1 and the omitttance of Bergman’s classics, OldBoy etc..etc. Guess you’lll never find agreement on such a list.

    I’ve been copiling Top 10 lists across nations @ http://cineinternational.blogspot.com/search/label/Top%2010

  31. Peter Boucher
    Peter Boucher at |

    Well, it is a foreign movie (British), but how about “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Stanley Kubrick

    1. Film Ninja
      Film Ninja at |

      Come on… that’s not really a foreign language now is it?

  32. Rirah
    Rirah at |

    I am looking for a nice foreign movie and I see City of God mentioned pretty often. I guess I will give it a try, thanks!

  33. Film Ninja
    Film Ninja at |

    I can’t imagine how anyone would call themselves a “cinephile” if they ignore all foreign language films. Anyway here are a few of my own favorites you could put on this type of list (along with many other solid titles suggested by others):

    The Leopard
    Nights of Cabiria
    Rules of the Game
    Battle Royale
    A Prophet
    Spirit of the Beehive
    Army of Shadows
    Battle of Algiers

  34. Mr. Stinky
    Mr. Stinky at |

    Good list; great comments. How about ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ and ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’?

  35. Toby
    Toby at |

    No Das Boot? Better than anything else on this list!


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