The Best Movies About Immigration

List Rules
Movies about immigrants, immigration, and life in a new country.
This is a crowdranked list of the top films where immigration is a major focus or plot element. Since America is a country of immigrants, settled by numerous different cultural groups over the years. It's no wonder that much of American cinema features stories about immigrants and immigration. From Ellis Island, to an influx of Irish Americans displaced by the Potato Famine, to Latino immigrants today, it's no surprise that this list has so many classic films about immigration - a classic American issue. But in recent times we have also seen an influx of films by non-American filmmakers tackling the subject of immigration, usually in a dramatic as opposed to comedic manner. 
The movies on this list all tackle the topic of immigration in one way or another – whether through a historical lens, looking at how life was affected by immigration through Ellis Island into New York City (including the formation of gangs for survival), or whether it takes a more dramatic approach by featuring a modern couple kept apart due to an immigration law. There are even "genre movies" in recent years that at their core are really about immigrants and cultural aliens - see District 9 or Children of Men
This list features the best immigration movies including: Scarface, Children of Men, Like Crazy, In America, House of Sand and Fog, The Border, The Kite Runner, and Journey of Hope. Vote up your favorite immigration film or add one you love that isn't already on the list.
Ranked by
  • Gangs of New York
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Martin Scorsese
  • District 9
    Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
  • The Kite Runner
    Khalid Abdalla, Homayoun Ershadi, Zekeria Ebrahimi
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Marc Forster
  • Children of Men
    Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine
    • Released: 2006
    • Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
  • America America
    Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Elena Karam
    • Released: 1963
    • Directed by: Elia Kazan
  • In America
    Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine, Sarah Bolger
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Jim Sheridan
  • The Visitor
    Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Haaz Sleiman
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Tom McCarthy
  • House of Sand and Fog
    Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: Vadim Perelman
  • Scarface
    Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
    • Released: 1983
    • Directed by: Brian De Palma
  • The Forever Purge
    Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, Tenoch Huerta
    • Released: 2021
    • Directed by: Everardo Gout
  • Journey of Hope
    Necmettin Çobanoglu, Nur Surer, Emin Sivas
    • Released: 1990
    • Directed by: Xavier Koller
  • Titanic
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
    • Released: 1997
    • Directed by: James Cameron
  • The Border
    Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine
    • Released: 1982
    • Directed by: Tony Richardson
  • Tigertail
    John Cho, Christine Ko, Fiona Fu
    • Released: 2020
    • Directed by: Alan Yang
  • Like Crazy
    Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
    • Released: 2011
    • Directed by: Drake Doremus
  • Blue Eyes
    Frank Grillo, David Rasche, Erica Gimpel
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: José Joffily
  • Welcome
    Vincent Lindon, Olivier Rabourdin, Yannick Renier
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: Philippe Lioret
  • A Better Life
    Demián Bichir, José Julián, Dolores Heredia
    • Released: 2011
    • Directed by: Chris Weitz
  • The Perez Family
    Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Anjelica Huston
    • Released: 1995
    • Directed by: Mira Nair
  • Crossing Over
    Harrison Ford, Sarah Shahi, Ashley Judd
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: Wayne Kramer
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson
    • Released: 2011
    • Directed by: John Madden
  • The Second Civil War
    James Earl Jones, Phil Hartman, Ron Perlman
    • Released: 1997
    • Directed by: Joe Dante
  • The Immigrant
    Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: James Gray
  • Dirty Pretty Things
    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sergi López
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Stephen Frears