Some of the best films of the past decade are foreign language films and they are becoming increasingly more accessible as platforms such as Netflix are doing more to recommend foreign films to viewers.

foreign language films

Foreign films aren’t just a great way to pass the time, they are also an excellent way to boost your language skills if you are currently trying to learn a new language. Foreign films can help you learn localised phrases,  get used to different dialects and learn about the culture surrounding the language. Foreign language films aren’t for everyone though as some people find subtitles distracting and voiceovers too unrealistic.

If you’re willing to give a foreign film a try, below we have put together some of the best foreign languages films of the past decade:

Parasite (2019 – Korean)

Director: Bong Joon Ho
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
Awards: Parasite was the first non-English film to win the ‘Best Picture’ award at the 92nd Academy Awards. The film also won ‘Best International Film’, ‘Best Original Screenplay’ and ‘Best Director’ for Bong Joon Ho.
Plot summary: Parasite, originally titled Gisaengchung, follows the members of a poor family who scheme their way to become employed by a wealthy family and infiltrate their household by posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.
Best films

Roma (2018 – Mexican)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars:  Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Awards: Roma was the first Mexican entry to win ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 91st Academy Awards and also won ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Cinematography’. Roma was also nominated for 7 more Academy Awards including ‘Best Actress’ for Yalitza Aparicio and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for Marina de Tavira.
Plot summary: Cleo is one of two domestic workers who help Antonio and Sofía take care of their four children in 1970s Mexico City. Complications soon arise when personal matters interrupt the family’s life and Cleo gets some news of her own.

Leviathan (2014 – Russian)

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Stars: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov
Awards: Leviathan received a Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ and ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Cannes Film Festival Awards.
Plot summary: In a Russian coastal town, Kolya and his family face problems due to local corrupt Mayor. Kolya recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Foreign language films

Force Majeure (2014 – French)

Director: Ruben Östlund
Stars:  Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju
Awards: Force Majeure won the ‘Best Film’ award at the 50th Guldbagge Awards and was nominated for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 72nd Golden Global Awards.
Plot summary: Also known as the original title ‘Turist”, a Swedish family travel to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down.

Toni Erdmann (2016 – German)

Director: Maren Ade
Stars:  Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn
Awards: The German Film Awards gave Toni Erdmann the 2017 award for ‘Best Actor, ‘Best Feature Film, ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Film Direction.
Plot summary: A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO’s life coach.

So there you have our recommendations for some of the best foreign language movies. If you have any other recommendations please leave them in the comments section below, we’d love to hear them!

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