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The Best Foreign Thriller Movies, Ranked

Updated March 16, 2020 2.2k votes 371 voters 24.2k views50 items

List RulesOnly thriller films in a language other than English. Vote up the best foreign action movies.

If you love a good adrenaline rush, check out some of these superb foreign thriller movies to get your heart rate pumping. Thriller films are always enticing, with that mix of action, adventure, and larger-than-life characters.

Foreign thriller films add an extra layer of excitement as they simultaneously offer you the opportunity to broaden your horizon and learn more about other cultures. From new foreign action movies to long-beloved classics, you'll find films to satiate your craving for action and adventure in the list below. 

What are some great foreign language action films? Tom Tykwer's 1998 German film Run Lola Run follows the title character as she tries to save her boyfriend's life. The film is set in three parts each, with a small variance that changes the plot immensely. The Swedish adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is also a great foreign thriller. The Hunt - a 2012 Danish film - is a slow-burner, full of psychological suspense. Other good foreign thrillers include Oldboy, The Lives of Others, and I Saw the Devil.

Do you have a favorite foreign thriller? Give the best movies a thumbs up, and please add any good films we may have missed.

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  • 1
    Oldboy
    118
    44

    Oldboy

    Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae

    Released2003

    Directed byPark Chan-wook

    Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook, based... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    84
    21

    The Invisible Guest

  • 3
    The Body
    83
    22

    The Body

    Belén Rueda, José Coronado

    Released2012

    Directed byOriol Paulo

    The Body is a 2012 thriller film written by Oriol Paulo and Lara Sendim; and directed by Oriol... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Secret In Their Eyes
    75
    25

    The Secret In Their Eyes

    Ricardo Darín, Mariano Argento

    Released2009

    Directed byJuan José Campanella

    The Secret in Their Eyes is a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The Chaser
    64
    17

    The Chaser

    Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jung-woo

    Released2008

    Directed byNa Hong-jin

    The Chaser is a 2008 South Korean action thriller film directed by Na Hong-jin. A disgraced... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
    72
    24

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    Noomi Rapace, Marika Lagercrantz

    Released2009

    Directed byNiels Arden Oplev

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller film based on the novel of... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    I Saw The Devil
    79
    37

    I Saw The Devil

    Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik

    Released2010

    Directed byKim Jee-woon

    I Saw the Devil is a 2010 South Korean psychological thriller horror film directed by Kim... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Man From Nowhere
    62
    27

    The Man From Nowhere

    Won Bin, Kim Sae-ron

    Released2010

    Directed byLee Jung-beom

    The Man from Nowhere is a 2010 South Korean action thriller film directed by Lee Jeong-beom.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    The Lives Of Others
    55
    21

    The Lives Of Others

    Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe

    Released2006

    Directed byFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck

    The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    The Hunt
    51
    25

    The Hunt

    Mads Mikkelsen, Alexandra Rapaport

    Released2012

    Directed byThomas Vinterberg

    The Hunt is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg. The story is set in a... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Skin I Live In
    43
    17

    The Skin I Live In

    Antonio Banderas, Blanca Suárez

    Released2011

    Directed byPedro Almodóvar

    The Skin I Live In is a 2011 Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Pedro Almodóvar... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Tell No One
    50
    25

    Tell No One

    Kristin Scott Thomas, Harlan Coben

    Released2006

    Directed byGuillaume Canet

    Tell No One is a 2006 French thriller film directed by Guillaume Canet and based on the novel... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Headhunters
    41
    18

    Headhunters

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aksel Hennie

    Released2011

    Directed byMorten Tyldum

    Headhunters is a 2011 Norwegian-Swedish action thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum and... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    REC
    25
    5

    REC

    Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet

    Released2007

    Directed byPaco Plaza, Jaume Balagueró

    REC is a 2007 Spanish horror film, co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Wild Tales
    32
    13

    Wild Tales

    Ricardo Darín, Leonardo Sbaraglia

    Released2014

    Directed byDamián Szifron

    Wild Tales is a 2014 Argentine-Spanish black comedy film directed by Damián Szifron. The film... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Hidden Face
    32
    15

    The Hidden Face

    Clara Lago, Alexandra Stewart

    Released2011

    Directed byAndrés Baiz

    The Hidden Face is a 2011 Colombian thriller film directed by Andrés Baiz. An official... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Nine Queens
    28
    11

    Nine Queens

    Ricardo Darín, Oscar Nunez

    Released2002

    Directed byFabián Bielinsky

    Nine Queens is a 2002 Argentine crime drama film written and directed by Fabián Bielinsky and... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Lady Vengeance
  • 19
    Parasite
    20
    2

    Parasite

    Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun

    Released2019

    Directed byBong Joon-ho

    Parasite is a 2019 South Korean dark comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. An... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Orphanage
    26
    12

    The Orphanage

    Geraldine Chaplin, Belén Rueda

    Released2007

    Directed byJuan Antonio Bayona

    The Orphanage is a 2007 Spanish horror film and the debut feature of Spanish filmmaker J. A.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Run Lola Run
    39
    27

    Run Lola Run

    Franka Potente, Armin Rohde

    Released1998

    Directed byTom Tykwer

    Run Lola Run is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Timecrimes
    32
    22

    Timecrimes

    Karra Elejalde, Nacho Vigalondo

    Released2007

    Directed byNacho Vigalondo

    Timecrimes is a 2007 Spanish science-fiction thriller film directed by Nacho Vigalondo. A man... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
    20
    11

    A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

    Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò

    Released2014

    Directed byAna Lily Amirpour

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  • 24
    Animal Kingdom
    22
    13

    Animal Kingdom

    Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid Michôd

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  • 25
    Furie
    5
    2

    Furie

    Ngô Thanh Vân, Cát Vy

    Released2019

    Directed byLê Văn Kiệt

    Furie is a 2019 Vietnamese action film directed by Lê Văn Kiệt. An ex-gangster, Hai Phuong... more on Wikipedia