Film The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History  

Ranker Film
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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.

list ordered by

1
44 14
Bicycle Thieves is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Lamberto Maggiorani Bicycle Thieves, is a 1948 film directed by Vittorio De Sica. The film follows the story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the ...more

2
41 15
Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film takes place in 1587 during the Warring States Period of Japan. It follows ...more

3
37 15
8½ is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
38 17
La Dolce Vita is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
41 20
The Lives of Others is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the ...more

6
56 34
City of God is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Alice Braga, Seu Jorge, Matheus Nachtergaele City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. The story was ...more

7
39 20
The Seventh Seal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Denmark during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of ...more

8
37 19
In the Mood for Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Roy Cheung In the Mood for Love is a 2000 Hong Kong film directed by Wong Kar-wai, starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. The film premiered on 20 May 2000, at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, where it was ...more

9
33 16
Rashomon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Machiko Kyō Rashomon is a 1950 Japanese period drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa, working in close collaboration with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. It stars Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori ...more

10
34 17
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released ...more

11
23 9
Come and See is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Aleksei Kravchenko, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Vladas Bagdonas Come and See is a 1985 Soviet war 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 ...more

12
24 10
Le Samouraï is listed (or ranked) 12 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.

13
24 10
Battleship Potemkin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Antonov Battleship Potemkin, sometimes rendered as Battleship Potyomkin, is a 1925 silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that ...more

14
32 17
Apu trilogy is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
27 13
La Haine is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
52 35
Cinema Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Brigitte Bardot, John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin 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

17
38 23
My Neighbor Totoro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Noriko Hidaka, Ikue Ōtani, Sumi Shimamoto My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film – which stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika ...more

18
33 19
Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav ...more

19
52 36
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more

20
25 12
Wings of Desire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Peter Falk, Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin Wings of Desire is a 1987 Franco-German romantic fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The film is about invisible, immortal angels who populate Berlin and listen to the thoughts of the human ...more

21
26 13
Stalker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Alisa Freindlich Stalker is a 1979 art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, with its screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. Loosely based on the novel The Roadside Picnic, the film features a mixture ...more

22
19 7
The Secret in Their Eyes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Ricardo Darín, Mariano Argento, Soledad Villamil The Secret in Their Eyes is a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited by Juan José Campanella and written by Eduardo Sacheri and Campanella, based on Sacheri's ...more

23
21 9
The Spirit of the Beehive is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Fernando Fernan Gomez, Ana Torrent, Laly Soldevila The Spirit of the Beehive is a 1973 Spanish drama film directed by Víctor Erice. The film was Erice's debut and is considered a masterpiece of Spanish cinema. The film focuses on the ...more

24
21 9
Children of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Reza Naji, Christopher Maleki, Amir Farrokh Hashemian Children of Heaven is a 1997 Iranian family drama film written and directed by Majid Majidi. It deals with a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. It was nominated ...more

25
43 29
Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

26
26 14
Tokyo Story is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
26 14
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Beat Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action thriller film adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the screenplay written by ...more

28
30 18
Run Lola Run is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
20 9
The Battle of Algiers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Gene Wesson The Battle of Algiers is a 1966 war film based on occurrences during the Algerian War against the French government in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers. An ...more

30
16 6
Orpheus is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares Orpheus is a 1950 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet, Orpheus and ...more

31
16 6
Rome, Open City is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero Rome, Open City is a 1945 Italian drama film directed by Roberto Rossellini. In its English subtitled release it was named, Open City. The picture features Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and ...more

32
30 19
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Lina Leandersson, Tom Ljungman, Philip Hersh Let the Right One In is a 2008 film directed by Tomas Alfredson.

33
20 10
Three Colors is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
20 10
The Conformist is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
49 37
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

36
38 27
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
14 5
Harakiri is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsurō Tamba, Akiji Kobayashi Harakiri is a Japanese jidaigeki film directed by Masaki Kobayashi. The story takes place between 1619 and 1630 during the Edo period and the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate. It tells the story ...more

38
14 5
Rififi is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Jules Dassin, Robert Hossein, Carl Möhner Rififi is a 1955 French crime film adaptation of Auguste Le Breton's novel of the same name. Directed by American filmmaker Jules Dassin, the film stars Jean Servais as the aging gangster Tony ...more

39
33 23
Princess Mononoke is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson, Jada Pinkett Smith Princess Mononoke is a 1997 anime epic action historical fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It was animated by Studio Ghibli and produced by Toshio Suzuki. The film stars the ...more

40
18 9
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
20 11
Blow Up is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History

42
20 11
The 400 Blows is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
24 15
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
ShawnReynolds added Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more

44
37 28
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more

45
17 9
Good bye, Lenin! is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Daniel Brühl, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas Good Bye, Lenin! is a 2003 German tragicomedy film. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, the cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. Most scenes were shot ...more

46
19 11
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Iggy Pop Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian-American animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent ...more

47
22 14
All About My Mother is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
23 15
The Passion of Joan of Arc is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
24 16
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
15 8
L'Avventura is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History