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french The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces  

Ranker Film
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Artistic cinematography, romantic stories, and creative directing have made French films a favorite all over the world. The best French movies ever made feature characters seeking adventure and falling in love. This is a list of the top French masterpieces including everything from The City of Lost Children to The 400 Blows to Blue is the Warmest Color.

What other classics will you find on this list of the greatest French movies of all time? The offbeat romance Amélie won over audiences with its story of a quirky young lady who finds love in the most unexpected of places. It was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards in 2001. Jules and Jim is another beloved French film. In 2011, the French silent film The Artist made an international splash and took home the Oscar for best picture. Other good movies featured on this best French films list include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Grand Illusion, and The Intouchables.

Do you have a favorite film from France? Give the best movies a thumbs up and add some of them to your queue.

list ordered by

1
17 5
Breathless is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Breathless Jean Seberg, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Paul Belmondo Breathless is a 1960 French film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard about a wandering criminal and his American girlfriend. It was Godard's first feature-length work and represented ...more

2
18 6
The Intouchables is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Intouchables Omar Sy, François Cluzet, Anne Le Ny The Intouchables is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy. Nine weeks after its release in France on 2 ...more

3
22 11
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Amélie Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

4
10 3
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Persepolis 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

5
11 4
Jules and Jim is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Jules and Jim Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Michel Subor Jules and Jim is a 1962 French film directed by François Truffaut. Set around the time of World War I, it describes a tragic love triangle involving French Bohemian Jim, his shy Austrian ...more

6
15 8
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Blue Is the Warmest Color Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky Blue Is the Warmest Colour, also known as Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2, is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film written, produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring ...more

7
16 9
The 400 Blows is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The 400 Blows 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

8
8 4
Amour is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Amour Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva Amour is a 2012 French-language drama film written and directed by the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert. The narrative ...more

9
6 3
The City of Lost Children is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The City of Lost Children Ron Perlman, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Dominique Pinon The City of Lost Children is a 1995 French-German-Spanish science fantasy drama film directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Ron Perlman, who does not speak French, and ...more

10
6 3
Delicatessen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Delicatessen Dominique Pinon, Karin Viard, Ticky Holgado Delicatessen is a 1991 French film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, starring Dominique Pinon and Karin Viard. It is set in an apartment building in a post-apocalyptic France of an ...more

11
6 4
A Prophet is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
A Prophet Leïla Bekhti, Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup A Prophet is a 2009 French prison drama film directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit. It stars Tahar Rahim in the ...more

12
5 3
Contempt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Contempt Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Jean-Luc Godard Contempt is a 1963 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the Italian novel A Ghost at Noon by Alberto Moravia. It stars Brigitte Bardot.

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13
5 3
Band of Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Band of Outsiders Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard

14
4 2
The Red Balloon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Red Balloon Renaud Séchan, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov The Red Balloon is a 1956 fantasy featurette directed by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. The thirty-four minute short, which follows the adventures of a young boy who one day finds a ...more

15
4 2
Orpheus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Orpheus 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

16
4 2
Rififi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Rififi 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

17
4 2
Diabolique is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Diabolique Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

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18
3 1
Cyrano de Bergerac is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Cyrano de Bergerac Gérard Depardieu, Ludivine Sagnier, Vincent Pérez Cyrano de Bergerac is a 1990 French comedy drama film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and based on the 1897 play of the same name by Edmond Rostand, adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière and ...more

19
6 5
The Diving Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Lenny Kravitz, Max von Sydow, Emmanuelle Seigner The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a 2007 biographical drama film based on Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir of the same name. The film depicts Bauby's life after suffering a massive stroke, on 8 ...more

20
5 4
The Grand Illusion is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Grand Illusion Erich von Stroheim, Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio La Grande Illusion is a 1937 French war film directed by Jean Renoir, who co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Spaak. The story concerns class relationships among a small group of French ...more

21
5 4
Z is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Z Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin Z is a 1969 Algerian French language political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, with a screenplay by Gavras and Jorge Semprún, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis ...more

22
3 2
Vivre Sa Vie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
My Life to Live Anna Karina, Peter Kassovitz, Sady Rebbot My Life to Live is a 1962 French drama film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It was released as My Life to Live in North America and as It's My Life in United Kingdom. The DVD releases use the ...more

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23
2 1
The Rules of the Game is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
nickflames added The Rules of the Game Jean Renoir, Marcel Dalio, Julien Carette The Rules of the Game is a 1939 French film directed by Jean Renoir and starring Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély, Marcel Dalio, Julien Carette, Roland Toutain, Gaston Modot, ...more

24
6 6
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Artist John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, James Cromwell The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama in the style of a black-and-white silent film. It was written, directed, and co-edited by Michel Hazanavicius, produced by Thomas Langmann and ...more

25
3 3
Army of Shadows is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Army of Shadows Simone Signoret, Lino Ventura, Jean-Pierre Cassel Army of Shadows is a 1969 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It is a film adaptation of Joseph Kessel's 1943 book of the same name, which blends Kessel's own experiences as a member ...more

26
2 2
The Passion of Joan of Arc is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
The Passion of Joan of Arc 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

27
1 1
Purple Noon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Purple Noon Romy Schneider, Marie Laforêt, Ave Ninchi Purple Noon is a 1960 film directed by René Clément, based on the 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. The film stars Alain Delon in his first major film, ...more

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28
0 0
A Very Long Engagement is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
1523799670183 added A Very Long Engagement Jodie Foster, Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou A Very Long Engagement is a 2004 French romantic war film, co-written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. It is a fictional tale about a young woman's desperate search ...more

29
0 1
L'Eclisse is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added L'Eclisse Alain Delon

1962

L'Eclisse is a 1962 Italian drama film written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Alain Delon and Monica Vitti. Filmed on location in Rome and Verona, L'Eclisse is about a young ...more

30
0 1
The Red Circle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added The Red Circle Yves Montand, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté Le Cercle Rouge is a 1970 crime film set in Paris, France. It was directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and stars Alain Delon, Andre Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté and Yves Montand. It is known ...more

31
0 1
Nobody Else But You is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
dxw8 added Nobody Else But You Arsinée Khanjian, Clara Ponsot, Anne Le Ny Nobody Else But You is a 2011 French thriller≈ film directed by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu.

32
0 1
Le Samouraï is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Le Samouraï 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.

33
0 1
Rocco and His Brothers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Rocco and His Brothers Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Annie Girardot Rocco e i suoi fratelli is a 1960 Italian film directed by Luchino Visconti, inspired by an episode from the novel Il ponte della Ghisolfa by Giovanni Testori. Set in Milan, it tells the story ...more

34
0 1
Two Men in Town is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Two Men in Town Alain Delon, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Gabin Two Men in Town is a 1973 Franco-Italian film directed by José Giovanni.

35
0 1
Any Number Can Win is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Any Number Can Win Alain Delon, Jean Gabin, José Luis de Vilallonga Any Number Can Win is a 1962 French film directed by Henri Verneuil. The film is based on the novel The Big Grab by Zekial Marko .

36
0 1
Le choc is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Le choc Catherine Deneuve, Alain Delon, Jean-Louis Richard Le choc is a 1982 French crime thriller film directed by Robin Davis and starring Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, and Philippe Léotard. Based on the novel La position du tireur ...more

37
0 1
The Widow Couderc is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added The Widow Couderc Alain Delon, Simone Signoret, Robert Favart La veuve Couderc is a 1971 action-drama film directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre.

38
0 1
La Piscine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added La Piscine Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Jane Birkin La Piscine is a 1969 Italian-French film directed by Jacques Deray, starring Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin. Set in summertime on the Côte d'Azur, it is a drama ...more

39
0 1
Un flic is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added Un flic Catherine Deneuve, Alain Delon, Richard Crenna Un flic is a 1972 French film, the last directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It stars Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, and Richard Crenna. Delon had previously worked with Melville on 'Le Samourai' ...more