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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
50 19
The Intouchables is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

2
42 16
The 400 Blows is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

3
56 31
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Amélie Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

4
32 14
Breathless is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

5
11 1
Eyes Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Alida Valli, Pierre Brasseur, Édith Scob Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French-Italian horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's novel, directed by Georges Franju, and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. During the film's production, ...more

6
17 5
The Rules of the Game is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
nickflames added 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

7
33 20
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

8
15 4
The Passion of Joan of Arc is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

9
12 2
Three Colors: Blue is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Emmanuelle Riva Three Colors: Blue is a 1993 French drama film written, produced, and directed by the acclaimed Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. Blue is the first of three films that comprise The Three ...more

10
17 8
Jules and Jim is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

11
11 3
Three Colors: Red is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob Three Colors: Red is a 1994 film co-written, produced, and directed by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. It is the final film of The Three Colors Trilogy, which examines the French ...more

12
15 7
The Grand Illusion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

13
9 2
The Battle of Algiers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added 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

14
9 2
A Trip to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
1525046840750 added Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy, Bleuette Bernon A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and ...more

15
9 2
Cyrano de Bergerac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

16
15 8
Amour is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

17
17 10
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

18
10 4
Contempt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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.

19
10 5
Diabolique is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

20
7 2
Rififi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

21
7 2
Belle de Jour is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli Belle de Jour is a 1967 French drama film directed by Luis Buñuel. A frigid young housewife (Catherine Deneuve) decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

22
10 5
Delicatessen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

23
5 0
The Wages of Fear is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Yves Montand, Darío Moreno, Peter van Eyck The Wages of Fear is a 1953 French-Italian thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Yves Montand, and based on a 1950 novel by Georges Arnaud. When a South American oil well ...more

24
13 9
The Diving Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

25
9 5
Z is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

26
7 3
Vivre Sa Vie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

27
6 2
Le Samouraï is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added 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.

28
6 2
Orpheus is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

29
5 1
A Very Long Engagement is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
1523799670183 added 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

30
16 13
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

31
9 6
The City of Lost Children is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

32
6 3
Army of Shadows is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

33
5 2
Three Colors: White is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Jerzy Stuhr Three Colors: White is a 1994 French-Polish comedy-drama art film co-written, produced, and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. White is the second in The Three Colors Trilogy, themed on the ...more

34
3 0
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, Josette Day Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part ...more

35
6 4
Band of Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Band of Outsiders Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard

36
5 3
Elle is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
MaltheTuxen added Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny Elle is a 2016 international psychological thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by David Birke, based on the novel Oh... by Philippe Djian. Djian's novel was released in 2012 and ...more

37
4 2
Purple Noon is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added 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

38
4 2
La Piscine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added 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
3 1
Rocco and His Brothers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added 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

40
2 0
Mommy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Isak Cederberg added Patrick Huard, Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément Mommy is a 2014 Canadian drama film directed by Xavier Dolan. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the ...more

41
9 9
A Prophet is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

42
6 6
The Red Balloon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
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

43
1 1
Jean de Florette is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added Gérard Depardieu, Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil Jean de Florette is a 1986 French period drama film directed by Claude Berri, based on a novel by Marcel Pagnol. It is followed by Manon des Sources. The film takes place in rural Provence, ...more

44
1 1
The Red Circle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Lucy Hall added 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

45
1 1
Manon of the Spring is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added

46
0 0
Welcome to the Sticks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added Kad Merad, Dany Boon, Michel Galabru Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis is a 2008 French comedy film directed, co-written by and starring Dany Boon, co-starring Kad Merad and Zoé Félix. The film broke nearly every box office ...more

47
0 0
Les Visiteurs du Soir is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added Simone Signoret, Alain Cuny, Arletty Les Visiteurs du Soir is a 1942 film by French film director Marcel Carné, best remembered for Les Enfants du Paradis. The film was released on 5 December 1942 in Paris during the Nazi ...more

48
0 0
The Most Assassinated Woman in... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
Anna Mouglalis, Niels Schneider, Eric Godon The Most Assassinated Woman in the World is a 2018 French mystery thriller film directed by Franck Ribière. Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris has the leading lady Paula Max (Anna Mouglalis), ...more

49
0 0
La gloire de mon père is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added La gloire de mon père

50
0 0
Le château de ma mère is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces
madfrenchwoman added Le château de ma mère