Trust me, if you're one of those people who refuses to watch a movie with subtitles, then you are really missing out on what Netflix has to offer. Some of the best movies ever made have come from outside of Hollywood, so don't let the language barrier prevent you from seeing some amazing South Korean horror movies or enjoying a heart-wrenchingly intense French love story. Whether you're a fan of comedies, dramas, romances, or horrors, some of the best films I've seen have been found in the under-explored international section in the Netflix library. To show off what Netflix has to offer, I have compiled a list of 10 of the best foreign films on Netflix so you can see how mind-blowing they are for yourselves.
If you've been on Netflix recently, then you've probably seen the movie Roma listed in the "trending now" section, and there's a good reason for it. This autobiographical drama was inspired by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's own childhood in Mexico City. It beautifully weaves together personal tragedy and triumphs against the political upheaval and unrest of the day. A love letter to the women who raised him, this film has already won major awards at film festivals all over the world and has Netflix hoping for an Oscar.
9. The Invisible Guest
Although it's not often listed in many "Best of Netflix" lists, I stumbled upon this foreign gem purely by accident... Just kidding, Netflix recommended it to me because I'm a woman in my mid-thirties, therefore I'm totally obsessed with crime shows (they know everything). This Spanish crime thriller follows a successful businessman who has been framed for the murder of his lover. Stay with it because it will have you at the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. Even better, I can personally guarantee you that you won't figure out what really happened until the very last scene of the film. Have fun trying, though.
Look, there's no other way to say it: Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is totally cool, and his newest documentary-fiction fusion, Taxi, proves it. In his native Iran, filmmaker Jafar Panahi has been banned from both making new films and leaving the country, but he hasn't let that stop him. For the film, Panahi posed as a cab driver and drove around Tehran, offering free rides to his passengers in exchange for hearing their stories and their thoughts on living under an authoritarian regime. The film, which was digitally smuggled out of the country, premiered in competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Bear and the FIPRESCI Prize. Because Pahani has been banned from traveling, his niece collected the awards on his behalf.
No, I'm not talking about Veronica Mars, I'm talking about the Spanish horror movie Veronica, also known as Netflix's "scariest movie ever." It's based on a true story about the unsolved case of a young girl in Madrid in 1990 named Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro, who mysteriously died after using an Ouija board. This movie masterfully distorts reality, leaving viewers to wonder whether what is happening is genuine or the result of Veronica’s imagination. Seriously, it's freaking terrifying, subtitles and all.
6. Blue Is The Warmest Color
Blue is the Warmest Color is a provocative, award-winning French love story that follows two girls as they fall recklessly and intensely in love with one another. Despite its questionable title, this widely-acclaimed film went on to receive the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. Not too shabby.
5. Clouds Of Sils Maria
Clouds of Sils Maria is an enthralling, complex drama starring French actress Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloë Grace Moretz. In the film, Kristen Stewart is cast as the personal assistant to an insecure movie star (Juliette Binoche) who's reprising the role that launched her career 20 years earlier. In her youth, Maria played the younger woman, Sigrid, but now that she's older, the part has been given to a cold, calculating Hollywood starlet (Chloë Grace Moretz). Honestly, the stellar and captivating performances are what makes this movie a must-see.
Listed as one of the "10 Recent Sexploitation Movies You Have To Watch," Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac is a FIVE-HOUR epic tale of suffering, degradation, and depression. Don't think you can make it through five hours? Luckily the film is broken into two separate parts so you don't have to commit to watching Netflix all day long. In the movie, a "middle-aged bachelor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) beaten up and lying in the alleyway behind his apartment." He then takes her back to his home and listens as she recounts her lascivious life story. Sounds intense, right? Just wait for the film’s violent (and shocking) conclusion.
3. Train To Busan
Listed as one of the "10 Underrated Horror Movies Only The Biggest Movie Buffs Know About," this South Korean horror film isn't just your average zombie flick. Considered by many to be one of the best films of 2016, Train to Busan is a nail-biting thriller that follows a group of people on a train who must fight to survive when there is a zombie virus outbreak inside of the train itself. Thanks to the actors' superb performances and the film's top-notch cinematography, it's now getting its own Hollywood remake.
2. Cinema Paradiso
Released in 1988, Academy-Award winning Cinema Paradiso is certainly not a new film, but it's definitely a classic that everyone should see. Told in a flashback, a filmmaker looks back on his childhood following the death of his advisor Alfredo, a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Viewers watch as Salvatore falls in love with filmmaking. His passion brings the audience through the changes in cinema and the dying trade of traditional filmmaking, editing, and screening. It's nostalgic, touching, and 30 years later, people are still talking about it.
Provided you have the stomach for it, the French-Belgian horror film Raw made it on Screen Rant's "Top 5 Favorite Movies Of 2017" list for a reason. It's well worth streaming on Netflix. After uncovering a dark secret, a young vegetarian is soon overcome with a craving for meat, but it's not as simple as just picking up a bucket of KFC. This movie is weird, intense, graphic, and nightmare-inducing. It's so nasty, in fact, that audience members from the Toronto International Film Festival were rumored to have fainted in horror at what they saw on the screen.