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25 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” as Parasite director Bong Joon-ho is now famous for saying.

Here are our curated recommendations for the best non-English-language movies streaming on Netflix. Like all lists on agoodmovietowatch, this one is updated every month to remove expiring movies and add new ones, so make sure you bookmark it!

Happy watching.

Thithi (2015)

Thithi is a 2015 Kannada film from India that begins with the death of 101-year old Century Gowda, and follows his family as they prepare for his funeral celebration 11 days later. The story-line focuses on 3 generations of his descendants, as his son, grandson and great-grandson are caught up in individual dramas related to the impending funeral as well as their own personal aspirations. His son Gaddappa, an elderly wanderer, absconds with a traveling family of shepherds, his grandson Thammanna hatches an elaborate plan to claim the family land for himself, and his great-grandson Abhi becomes enamored by a young shepherd girl whom he pursues doggedly. Filmed using non-professional actors recruited from villages in the southern Karnataka state of India, Thithi is a humorous and enjoyable portrait of life in a rural part of South Asia rarely seen by the world-at-large. As a realistic slice-of-life, the film gives the viewer an outsider’s glimpse into not just the lifestyle of many residents of rural India, but also their elaborate customs and rituals related to death according to Hindu tradition. Thithi is the type of film that moves at its own deliberate pace, but ultimately provides a winning experience in both its storytelling and its cultural significance.

(Jamie Rutherford)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Abhishek H.N., Channegowda, Pooja, Pooja S.M., Singri Gowda, Thammegowda S.
Director: Raam Reddy
Rating: N/A, Not Rated
Go to Netflix
Kung Fu Hustle (2005)

Written, directed and starring the auteur Stephan Chow, Kung Fu Hustle is a distillation of decades of Hong-Kong Cinema's greatest export : the martial arts comedy. Full of numerous allusions and witty nods to other greats in the genre, this film is nonetheless entirely fresh and new. Equal parts hilarious and breathtakingly action-packed, Kung Fu Hustle showcases an enormous amount of raw talent, cinema magic and ass-kicking for any true cinema connoisseur.

(Nick)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy
Actor: Bruce Leung Siu-Lung, Chiu Chi-Ling, Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Eva Huang, Jazz Lam, Kai Shi Chen, Lam Suet, Lam Tze-chung, Qiu Yuen, Stephen Chow, Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Wah Yuen, Xing Yu, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah
Director: Stephen Chow
Rating: R
Go to Netflix
Wadjda (2012)

Wadjda is a smart, spirited 10-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to own her own bike, something that is frowned upon in the Saudi Arabian suburb where she lives. While it’s not technically illegal for women to own bikes, it is thought of as something that is “dangerous to a girl’s virtue,” and it’s worth noting that this is a society where women are also not allowed to drive their own cars. Wadjda devises numerous schemes to earn enough money to buy a bike (selling bracelets, making mixes of Western pop songs, delivering clandestine messages between men and women), before getting caught by the headmistress at her school. It is then that Wadjda hits on the ultimate money-making scheme: there is to be a Koran-reciting contest at her school with a hefty cash prize, and she’s determined to win. There is a subplot involving a growing rift between Wadjda’s parents; while there is clearly a lot of love between both parties, it becomes increasingly clear that her father may be leaving her mother for another woman who could potentially bear him a son (a common practice). This subplot is handled with respect and little judgement though, as it is simply the way things work in this culture. Yet, as Wadjda is coming-of-age and learning about the limitations placed on her as a girl, she is obviously negotiating ingenious ways of pushing back against those limitations. The film is subtle and humane in how it handles the slowly changing cultural and gender dynamics in a traditionally conservative, patriarchal society. It wouldn’t work without a strong central performance from first-time actor Waad Mohammed though -- she is never less than believable as a clever, determined and joyful 10-year-old, and her journey towards adulthood is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

(Tara Goe)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd, Alanoud Sajini, Dana Abdullilah, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Rafa Al Sanea, Reem Abdullah, Sultan Al Assaf, Waad Mohammed
Director: Haifaa al-Mansour
Rating: PG
Go to Netflix
The Wolf’s Call (2019)

A thrilling French movie about a nuclear submarine division that is confronted with a world-ending scenario.

One sonar agent is at the center of the story, his exceptional hearing capabilities are the main resource of the submarine commanders he works for (one of whom is played by the masterful Reda Kateb).

Wolf’s Call tries very hard to be a Hollywood movie, but even if it serves as a reminder that countries like France don’t have to always make arthouse films to be noticed, the visual effects and the writing fall short of that big-budget feel.

Still, if you’re looking for a fun movie that’s full of surprises, solid acting, and a great heroism tale, you’ll love this.

Genre: Action, Thriller
Actor: Alexis Michalik, Antonin Baudry, Damien Bonnard, François Civil, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Marc Ruchmann, Mathieu Kassovitz, Omar Sy, Paula Beer, Pierre Cevaer, Reda Kateb, Sebastien Libessart
Director: Abel Lanzac, Antonin Baudry
Rating: TV-14
Go to Netflix
Seventeen (2019)

At the age of 17, Héctor runs away from a juvenile detention center and embarks on a journey to find a shelter dog he had befriended in a rescue center whom he has found out has just been adopted. Along his quest, he is joined by his ailing grandmother and older brother. 

Featuring beautiful landscapes of northern Spain, wonderful chemistry between the two central actors, and a simple yet dynamic story, Seventeen proves that what makes a movie great is the quality of its ingredients, not the quantity.

(Sonia Botsarova)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Biel Montoro, Carolina Clemente, Chani Martin, Daniel Fuster, Edgar Costas, Inigo Aranburu, Itsaso Arana, Javier Cifrian, Jorge Cabrera, Kandido Uranga, Lola Cordon, Mamen Duch, Nacho Sanchez, Patxi Santamaria
Director: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix
The Platform (2019)

The Platform is the closest thing to Parasite released so far. This interesting Spanish movie is about 90% a science-fiction drama and 10% a horror movie. It’s an allegory set in a future where prisoners live in vertical cells, and each cell has to wait for the cell above it to eat to get food. Depending on the floor where prisoners wake up, they might not get any food at all. This creates for disturbing situations that are hard to see as not representative of our modern societies.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Actor: Alexandra Masangkay, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Iván Massagué, Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix
Tune in for Love (2019)

This slow romance is set in a Seoul bakery during the 1990s. A boy fresh out of juvenile detention and a part-time employee fall for each other while working there. For a while, their existence is joyful and quiet as they sell bread and bond. However, the Asian financial crisis of 1997 forces the bakery to close. This makes them seek different jobs away from each other. As a romance, Tune in for Love is not original but it doesn’t need to. It’s just easy and enjoyable.

Genre: Drama, Romance
Actor: Choi Jun-young, Jung Eugene, Jung Hae-in, Jung Ji-woo, Jung Yoo-jin, Kim Go-eun, Kim Guk-hee, Nam Mun-cheol, Park Hae-joon, Yoo Yeol
Director: Ji-woo Jung, Jung Ji-woo
Go to Netflix
Quién te cantará (2018)

In this unique Spanish drama-thriller, a famous 90s popstar called Lila loses her memory and forgets how to perform. A big fan of hers, Violeta, is offered the unique opportunity of helping her idol find herself again.

Quién te cantará, which translates to “who will sing to you” is a fascinating exploration of fandom and the relationship between fan and idol. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that Lila’s music, made specifically for the movie, is fantastic!

It's from a promising new Spanish director, Carlos Vermut. His last movie, Magical Girl, was widely acclaimed and won awards in almost every festival it showed in.

Genre: Drama, Music, Mystery
Actor: Carme Elias, Carolina Yuste, Catalina Sopelana, Eva Llorach, Inma Cuevas, Julián Villagrán, Najwa Nimri, Natalia de Molina, Vicenta N'Dongo
Director: Carlos Vermut
Rating: 16
Go to Netflix
I Am Jonas

This atmospheric 82-minute French drama is set between 1995 and the present time, between a shy and lonely teenage version of the main character, Jonas, and an extroverted, chain-smoking one. The common thread between the two is a night gone wrong at a local gay bar.

I Am Jonas is a detailed portrait of a troubled, self-loathing character, and an exploration of the long-lasting impact of trauma experienced young.

Genre: Drama, Romance, TV Movie
Actor: Aure Atika, Félix Maritaud, Ilian Bergala, Nicolas Bauwens, Tommy-Lee Baïk
Director: Christophe Charrier
Rating: 12
Go to Netflix
Just Another Love Story (2007)

This Danish thriller is about a man who gets into a car accident with a woman and, upon visiting her at the hospital, gets mistaken for her boyfriend by her wealthy family.

The man in question is Jonas, a family guy with two cheerful children who is also going through a text-book case of mid-life crisis. So when he realizes that Julia lost her memory and that she shows interest in him, he steps into the role of her boyfriend.

Things escalate very quickly, both as Julia starts to get some of her memory back and her actual boyfriend arrives. If you like Scandinavian noirs like Headhunters, you will love this.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Actor: Anders W. Berthelsen, Bent Mejding, Charlotte Fich, Dejan Cukic, Ditte Hansen, Ewa Fröling, Flemming Enevold, Josephine Raahauge, Karsten Jansfort, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Rebecka Hemse, Rune Klan, Timm Vladimir
Director: Ole Bornedal
Rating: Not Rated
Go to Netflix

More lists

A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
3
Drama
19
Documentary
Romance
4
Average score
92.3%
from our staff
Average score
95.7%
from our users