Film The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History  

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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
67 16
Roma is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf Roma is a 2018 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

2
90 40
City of God is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
66 25
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
69 29
Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 4 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. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven ronin to combat bandits ...more

5
62 32
Bicycle Thieves is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
60 33
The Seventh Seal is listed (or ranked) 6 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 it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess, who has come to ...more

7
31 11
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
aliamiri added James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes fears of a nuclear ...more

8
46 25
Rashomon is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
47 26
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
54 32
My Neighbor Totoro is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
49 28
8½ is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
75 50
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
51 30
The Lives of Others is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
71 47
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Amélie Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

15
55 34
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
59 38
Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
Oldboy Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

17
46 27
La Dolce Vita is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
47 28
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
32 16
Border is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
47 29
Princess Mononoke is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
41 24
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
49 31
In the Mood for Love is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
20 6
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History
aliamiri added Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more

24
35 19
Tokyo Story is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
29 14
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 25 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