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.

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 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
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, Sci-Fi, 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: 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, Music, Mystery
Actor: Carme Elias, 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, Nicolas Bauwens, Tommy-Lee Baïk
Director: Christophe Charrier
Rating: 12
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, Drama
Actor: Aissa Maiga, Bayron Lebli, Marc Zinga
Director: Julien Rambaldi
Go to Netflix
The Endless Trench (2019)

This historical drama opens with one of the most thrilling chase scenes in recent memory, as Higinio Blanco, the man at the center of the story, escapes government forces during the Spanish Civil War.

He goes into hiding that, without him realizing, would last 33 years. He would only emerge in a government amnesty in 1969, as would many like him across Spain.

Themes of love (Higinio was confined with his newlywed wife), solitude and fear are at the center of a story that remains thrilling even when it goes through the isolation years.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Aitor Arregi, Antonio de la Torre, Belén Cuesta, Belén Cuesta, Emilio Palacios, Jon Garaño, Jon Garaño, José Manuel Poga, Jose Manuel Poga, Jose Mari Goenaga, Vicente Vergara
Director: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga
Rating: 16
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, Peter Plaugborg, Petrine Agger, Rasmus Bjerg, Sarah Viktoria Bjerregaard, Tammi Øst, Tammi Ost, Tommy Kenter
Director: Bille August
Rating: TV-14
Go to Netflix

More lists like this one

A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
2
Drama
19
Documentary
15
Romance
3
Average score
92.3%
from our staff
Average score
95.7%
from our users