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.

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.

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

A poetic and peculiar movie from Senegal about a girl who is forced to marry a wealthy businessman instead of her love interest. The latter, a poor construction worker, embarks on a risky journey across the sea to Europe. The story takes a supernatural turn thereafter, one that is unlike anything seen before in stories around immigration, but one which makes sense. Still, the excellent acting and the long takes that immerse you in what life is like in Senegal, both in and out of the margins of society, are the reasons to watch here. Atlantics’ characters are believable and will capture your interest throughout the usual and unusual parts of the movie. They provide rare insight into narratives that most of us have never been exposed to.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Abdou Balde, Amadou Mbow, Amina Kane, Aminata Kane, Coumba Dieng, Diankou Sembene, Ibrahima Mbaye, Ibrahima Traore, Mama Sane, Mame Bineta Sane, Mariama Gassama, Mati Diop, Nicole Sougou, Traore
Director: Mati Diop
Rating: TV-14
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: Horror, Sci-Fi
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: Romance
Actor: Choi Jun-young, Jung Eugene, Jung Hae-in, Jung Ji-woo, 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
Actor: Carme Elias, Eva Llorach, Najwa Nimri
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: Romance
Actor: Félix Maritaud, Nicolas Bauwens, Tommy-Lee Baïk
Director: Christophe Charrier
Rating: 12
Go to Netflix
Everybody Knows (2018)

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem star in this mystery by Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian Oscar-winning director of A Separation and The Salesman. When Laura returns to her small Spanish hometown with her two daughters, she is greeted with the warm welcome worthy of someone who once was a loved member of the community. However, when an event concerning one of her daughters happens at a wedding, secrets come to the surface about her history that threaten the fabric of the whole village. Laura is masterfully played by Penélope Cruz, who seems to shift gears in this Spanish-language movie. Farhadi is outside of his usual territory, but he does what he does best: deliver a rich, thrilling family drama.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Barbara Lennie, Carla Campra, Eduard Fernandez, Elvira Minguez, Inma Cuesta, Javier Bardem, Jose Angel Egido, Penélope Cruz, Ramon Barea, Ricardo Darín, Roger Casamajor, Sara Salamo
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Rating: R
Go to Netflix
The African Doctor

In this French movie based on a true story, a med-school graduate from Congo is offered a job as the doctor to the president of Zaire. He refuses and chooses instead to move to a small town in France in hopes of getting French citizenship and securing a better future for his children.

The story, which starts in 1975, is set in a village where people had never seen a Black person. To that, Seyolo, the doctor, says: “so what? Now they will.”

The culture clash is both villagers-to-new-arrivals and the other way. Seyolo tells his family that he was hired in a village “north of Paris”, but all they hear is “Paris”, only to be shocked by the state of the rainy and muddy countryside village.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Aissa Maiga, Bayron Lebli, Marc Zinga
Director: Julien Rambaldi
Go to Netflix
A Fortunate Man (2018)

This is a gorgeous Danish period drama that’s based on a famous story and book in Denmark called Lykke-Per (or Lucky Per) by Nobel Prize-winning author Henrik Pontoppidan.

Per, the son of an overbearing catholic priest, leaves his family house in the country side to seek a new life in Copenhagen. His passion about engineering was at the time contrary with the Christian faith, but manages to introduce him to the capital’s elite, and a chance at social ascension.

Lykke-Per and A Fortunate Man are about nature versus nurture. Per’s passion about engineering and renewable energy (back in the 1920s) is set against his need to emancipate and the pride that was instilled in him by his upbringing.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Anders Hove, Benjamin Kitter, Bille August, Esben Smed, Jens Albinus, Julie Christiansen, Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, Katrine Rosenthal, Ole Lemmeke, Rasmus Bjerg, Sarah Viktoria Bjerregaard, Tammi Øst, Tammi Ost, Tommy Kenter
Director: Bille August
Rating: TV-14
Go to Netflix

A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
Drama
16
Documentary
14
Romance
2
Average score
92.3%
from our staff
Average score
95.7%
from our users
There are
3
more suggestions in this category.
Find them by going back to agoodmovietowatch.com