Entertainment
951 voters

The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History

Updated May 14, 2021 10.9k votes 951 voters 27.1k views451 items

List RulesVote up the best movie from outside of the United States.

Hollywood may be the epicenter of the movie business, but many of the best films released each year hail from all over the world. The top world cinema movies feature classic stories of love, loss, and overcoming adversity. This is a list of the greatest and most famous foreign films, including everything from Life Is Beautiful to City of God to Let the Right One In.

What foreign films will you find on this list of the best movies in other languages? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon combines mind-bending effects, beautiful cinematography, and dynamic story-telling in an entertaining, Oscar-winning package. Ang Lee directed the all-star cast, which included Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Aiyi. Jules and Jim is another fantastic non-English movie beloved by world cinema fans. The 2011 French film The Artist emulated the style of classic silent films, much to the delight of modern audiences. Other good foreign language movies featured on this list include Battle Royale, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro.

Do you have a favorite foreign film? Give the best movies a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and please add any great features that are missing.

 

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    146
    38

    Parasite

    Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun
    Parasite is a 2019 South Korean dark comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. An...  more

    More Parasite 

    #20 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#126 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • 2
    132
    57

    Bicycle Thieves

    Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
    Bicycle Thieves, is a 1948 film directed by Vittorio De Sica. The film follows the story of a...  more

    More Bicycle Thieves 

    #138 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#17 of 18 The Saddest Movies In Which No One Actually Dies

  • 3
    137
    62

    Oldboy

    Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu
    Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook, based...  more

    More Oldboy 

    #62 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#81 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

  • 4
    107
    41

    The Lives Of Others

    Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe
    The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker...  more

    More The Lives of Others 

    #43 of 333 The Best Political Films Ever Made#31 of 125 The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s

  • 5
    123
    54

    My Neighbor Totoro

    Noriko Hidaka, Ikue Ōtani
    My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao...  more

    More My Neighbor Totoro 

    There's Totally a My Neighbor Totoro Sequel, But You Can Only See It At The Ghibli Museum#51 of 80 Animated Movies That Make You Cry The Most

  • 6
    100
    36

    Burning

    Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun
    Burning is a 2018 South Korean mystery drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong, based on the...  more
  • 7
    99
    37

    The Pianist

    Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann
    The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski,...  more

    More The Pianist 

    #110 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#53 of 195 The Best Movies About Music

  • 8
    120
    56

    Cinema Paradiso

    Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret
    Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, internationally released as Cinema Paradiso, is a 1988 Italian drama...  more

    More Cinema Paradiso 

    #75 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies#52 of 135 The Best Movies About Movies

  • 9
    166
    93

    City Of God

    Alice Braga, Seu Jorge
    City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and...  more

    More City of God 

    #167 of 666 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#17 of 23 23 Disturbing, Brutal Movies Based on Real-Life Atrocities

  • 10
    113
    51

    The Seventh Seal

    Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson
    The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman....  more

    More The Seventh Seal 

    #98 of 225 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made#161 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • 11
    111
    53

    Metropolis

    Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich
    Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science fiction drama film directed by Fritz...  more

    More Metropolis 

    #61 of 180 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies#18 of 51 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies

  • 12
    147
    86

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Sergi López, Maribel Verdú
    Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It...  more

    More Pan's Labyrinth 

    #39 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms#138 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 13
    149
    91

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz
    Life Is Beautiful is a 1998 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring...  more

    More Life Is Beautiful 

    #957 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#12 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies

  • 14
    162
    106

    Seven Samurai

    Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura
    Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by...  more

    More Seven Samurai 

    #70 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#195 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 15
    103
    55

    Nosferatu

    Max Schreck, John Gottowt
    Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by...  more

    More Nosferatu 

    #8 of 120 The Best Silent Movies of All Time#92 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 16
    138
    89

    Amélie

    Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
    Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with...  more

    More Amélie 

    #61 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time#222 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 17
    80
    39

    Stalker

    Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn
    Stalker is a 1979 art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, with its screenplay written by Boris...  more
  • 18
    119
    74

    Roma

    Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira
    Roma is a 2018 Mexican drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The film follows the life of an...  more

    More 

    The History Behind The Movie 'Roma'#1 of 65 The Best Cinco De Mayo Movies

  • 19
    86
    45

    Apu trilogy

    Subir Banerjee, Pinaki Sen Gupta
    The Apu Trilogy comprises three Bengali films directed by Satyajit Ray: Pather Panchali,...  more
  • 20
    84
    44

    Grave Of The Fireflies

    Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi
    Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao...  more

    More Grave of the Fireflies 

    #314 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#315 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 21
    86
    46

    Princess Mononoke

    Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson
    Princess Mononoke is a 1997 anime epic action historical fantasy film written and directed by...  more

    More Princess Mononoke 

    #49 of 534 The Best Animated Films Ever#173 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s

  • 22
    65
    28

    Wings Of Desire

    Peter Falk, Bruno Ganz
    Wings of Desire is a 1987 Franco-German romantic fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The...  more

    More Wings of Desire 

    #15 of 25 The Greatest Band Cameos In Movie History#88 of 95 The Best 1980s Fantasy Movies

  • 23
    59
    24

    The 400 Blows

    Jeanne Moreau, Jean Piere Leaud
    The 400 Blows is a 1959 French drama film, the debut by director François Truffaut; it stars...  more

    More The 400 Blows 

    #2 of 135 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces#19 of 44 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked

  • 24
    105
    68

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese...  more

    More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

    #94 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#1038 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 25
    80
    46

    La Dolce Vita

    Nico, Anita Ekberg
    La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian comedy-drama film written and directed by Federico Fellini....  more

    More La Dolce Vita 

    #49 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s#17 of 24 Great Movies Where The Hero Doesn't Change Or Grow At All