8 Best Foreign Films on Netflix

The cinema allows us to shift our focus and consider other points of view. In the case of foreign films, this may help us understand people from different countries and cultures. Streaming services like Netflix give us access to a bevy of foreign films from around the globe. Our list will bring you the best foreign films on Netflix. We’ll use criteria such as critical and audience scores and bring you films from different countries, genres, and ratings to provide you with a list that is both varied and balanced.

8. He Even Has Your Eyes (2016)

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Release Date on Netflix: May 1, 2017
Writers: Marie-Francoise ColumbaniSébastien Mounier
Director: Lucien Jean-Baptiste
Running Time: 94 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Streaming on: Netflix US, Argentina, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Austrailia, Czech Republic, India, Lithuania, Slovakia, UK, Poland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Russia, Spain

This comedy centers on a French-African couple who have been waiting many years for the chance to adopt a child. When they finally get the call, they discover that the baby available at the time is white. The film deals with some complex family issues in a comedic light from a fresh perspective.

If you want to see more French movies you can stream from home, check out our collection of French movies on Netflix!

7. Trollhunter (2010)

Genre: Action/Horror
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writer: André Øvredal
Director: André Øvredal
Running Time: 104 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Streaming on: Netflix India, US

You may be tempted to write off director Andre Ovredal’s film as just another “found footage” movie in the vein of Blair Witch Project and similar features. However, Trollhunter stands on its own thanks to great cinematography, a gruff and darkly humorous performance from its titular lead, portrayed by Otto Jespersen. The various trolls in the film are rendered very well, and each one acts as its own creative set piece. The backdrop of the Norwegian landscape adds to the visual style of the movie.

6. The Wailing (2016)

Genre: Horror
Added to Netflix: March 12, 2016
Writers: Hong-Jin Na
Director: Hong-Jin Na
Running Time: 154 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix US, UK, Canada, Australia

Rarely do horror films effectively utilize every minute of their running time. The Wailing, an epic Korean horror, manages to accomplish this feat quite well. The film starts out with a mysterious disease ravaging a small Korean village. When a policeman’s daughter falls ill, he consults a shaman for guidance. The film’s beginning sets it up as something else, which makes the tension and twists throughout that much more satisfying.

5. Mustang (2015)

Genre: Drama/Romance
Release Date on Netflix: July 9, 2016
Writers: Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Running Time: 97 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Streaming on: Netflix US, Japan

This Turkish entry into the best foreign films on Netflix is another coming-of-age saga. In it, five girls that flirt casually with some classmates are disciplined by their overbearing grandmother. Each one is a free spirit in her own way, and we see how they develop as individuals and together in the tight confines of the home they share. The director handles delicate and tense subject matter with a light touch that makes the movie more heartwarming than it might be otherwise.

4. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)

Genre: Romance/Comedy/Drama
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Alfonso Cuaron and Carlos Cuaron
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Running Time: 101 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix US

This is a classic Mexican film that sees younger versions of Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna before their days in big projects like Mozart in the Jungle or Star Wars. It’s comical, romantic, and dramatic all at once in addition to being one of the best foreign films on Netflix. The road trip shared by the two young men is juxtaposed against the life of their older female companion as she begins to reflect on paths not taken.

3. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Genre: Romance
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Running Time: 180 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
MPAA Rating: NC-17
Streaming on: Netflix US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan

You may think three hours is just too long for a foreign film. But if you do, you’ll miss out on one of the best foreign language films on Netflix in terms of romance and drama. This is yet another film that moves fluidly across various genres. It is at once a drama, a romance, and a coming-of-age piece about two young women who explore what it means to be sexual together.

This movie is also featured ion our collection of lesbian movies on Netflix – check them out! You might also like our list of the best gay movies streaming on Netflix!

2. Ip Man (2008)

Genre: Martial Arts/Action/Biography
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Edmond Wong
Director: Wilson Yip
Running Time: 106 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix US, UK, Argentina, Sweden, German, Australia, Norway, Canada, Japan

Ip Man is a powerful film that crosses several genre lines. The result is a semi-biographical account of the life of Ip Man, the martial arts master responsible for training famous actor Bruce Lee. This film takes place decades before that, however, during a time when Japan occupies much of China. The choreography and a strong performance by Donnie Yen make this a movie that is more than the sum of its parts.

1. The Square (2013)

Genre: Documentary
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: N/A
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Running Time: 105 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
MPAA Rating: Mature
Streaming on: Netflix US, UK, Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil, Norway, Canada, Sweden

Not to be confused with the unrelated 2008 film of the same name, The Square is one of the best foreign films on Netflix in the documentary category. It looks at the 2011 revolution in Egypt only a couple of years after the event and whilst the aftermath was still reshaping the country. The movie provides viewers with a street-level retelling of the events that were so overwhelming that two separate governments imploded because of them.

Conclusion

Whether you’re in the mood for something heartwarming and touching, funny, frightening, dramatic, romantic, or a combination of these elements, we have just what you need. Our list of the best foreign films on Netflix has something for all audiences and covers a wide array of genres. The list spans several countries to give you options for multiple perspectives. Please feel free to send us your suggestions for the best foreign films on Netflix through our comments section!

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