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The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History  

Ranker Film
5.8k votes 637 voters 19.2k views 129 items

List Rules Vote 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 famous foreign movies, including everything from Life Is Beautiful to City of God to Let the Right One In.

What 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 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.

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26
8½ is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni, Barbara Steele
8½ is a 1963 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Co-scripted by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, and Brunello Rondi, it stars Marcello Mastroianni as Guido ...more
27
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet
Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction art film adaptation of Polish author Stanisław Lem's novel Solaris. The film was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative ...more
28
La Dolce Vita is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Nico, Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni
La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian comedy-drama film written and directed by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and ...more
29
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Lina Leandersson, Tom Ljungman, Philip Hersh
Let the Right One In is a 2008 Swedish romantic horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson. A 12-year-old boy (Kåre Hedebrant) develops a friendship with a vampire child (Lina Leandersson) in ...more
30
Cinema Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Leopoldo Trieste
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, internationally released as Cinema Paradiso, is a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. The film stars Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, ...more
31
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist ...more
32
The 400 Blows is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jeanne Moreau, Jean Piere Leaud, Jean-Claude Brialy
The 400 Blows is a 1959 French drama film, the debut by director François Truffaut; it stars Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, and Claire Maurier. One of the defining films of ...more
33
The Path of Glory is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
aliamiri added Maurice Evans, Valerie Hobson, Felix Aylmer
The Path of Glory is a 1934 British comedy film directed by Dallas Bower and starring Maurice Evans, Valerie Hobson, Felix Aylmer, Henry Daniell and Athole Stewart. Two European countries plan a ...more
34
Border is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Eva Melander, Jorgen Thorsson, Ann Petrén
Border is a 2018 Swedish fantasy film directed by Ali Abbasi A customs officer who can smell fear develops an unusual attraction to a strange traveler while aiding a police investigation which ...more
35
Tokyo Story is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Setsuko Hara, Chishū Ryū, Kyōko Kagawa
Tokyo Story is a 1953 Japanese film directed by Yasujirō Ozu. It tells the story of an aging couple who travel to Tokyo to visit their grown children. The film contrasts the behavior of their ...more
36
Apu trilogy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
The Apu Trilogy comprises three Bengali films directed by Satyajit Ray: Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar. They are based on two Bengali novels written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay: ...more
37
Burning is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-seo
Burning is a 2018 South Korean mystery drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong, based on the short story "Barn Burning" by Haruki Murakami. A part-time worker (Yoo Ah-in) hoping to spend ...more
38
The Conformist is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Dominique Sanda
The Conformist is a 1970 political drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The screenplay was written by Bertolucci based on the 1951 novel The Conformist by Alberto Moravia. The film features ...more
39
Le Samouraï is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Alain Delon, François Périer, Cathy Rosier
Le Samouraï is a 1967 French-Italian crime film directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville, starring Alain Delon as Jef Costello.
40
All About My Mother is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Penélope Cruz, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Antonia San Juan
All About My Mother is a 1999 Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and ...more
41
Shoplifters is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka
Shoplifters is a 2018 Japanese drama film directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. A poor, shoplifting family adopts a homeless girl after noticing signs of abuse.
42
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi, Ayano Shiraishi
Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical novel Grave of ...more
43
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
aliamiri added John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
44
La Haine is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui, Benoît Magimel
La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white drama/suspense film written, co-edited, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It is commonly released under its French title in the English-speaking world, ...more
45
Run Lola Run is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Franka Potente, Armin Rohde, Moritz Bleibtreu
Run Lola Run is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain ...more
46
L'Avventura is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
L'Avventura
47
Wild Strawberries is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means ...more
48
Three Colors is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy
The Three Colors trilogy is the collective title of three films directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, two made in French and one primarily in Polish: Three Colors: Blue, Three Colors: White, and ...more
49
The Passion of Joan of Arc is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Antonin Artaud, Michel Simon, Renée Jeanne Falconetti
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a 1928 silent French film based on the actual record of the trial of Joan of Arc. The film was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and stars Renée Jeanne ...more
50
Come and See is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Aleksei Kravchenko, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Vladas Bagdonas
Come and See is a 1985 Soviet drama film directed by Elem Klimov about and occurring during the Nazi German occupation of the Byelorussian SSR. Aleksei Kravchenko and Olga Mironova star as the ...more