Friends complain to me about not knowing what to watch all the time. And most of them do this while completely disregarding foreign movies and shows.
You can’t complain both about not knowing what to watch and about subtitles. Not watching movies or shows that require subtitles limits your options to one of literally hundreds of languages of content on Netflix. Of course you never know what to watch.
But I get it, Netflix is full of crap. Netflix Originals have taken a turn for the worst, there are more of them but fewer quality ones.
As for non-Netflix-Originals, people just don’t see them anymore. In fact, Netflix algorithms purposefully promote Netflix content and little else. This is proven by a recent experiment in which a viewer decided to watch everything that Netflix recommended to them for two weeks.
The result was a staggering preference for titles that Netflix spent money on, not so much for what was actually good. Or to quote the author “I am now no closer to knowing what I want, but at least I know what Netflix wants.” (promoting their own movies).
So, what’s the solution? In our opinion, foreign-language films.
The difference between Netflix’s spending on English-language content and other languages is astounding. So, you have little chance of watching something bad even if it’s recommended by Netflix.
Basically, non-English Netflix Originals have the quality reference that English Netflix Originals did a couple of years ago. Netflix still only finances quality foreign productions.
This applies to TV shows too. A great example is the Italian show Suburra, a thrilling depiction of modern-day Rome. Or Dogs of Berlin, an edgy story of the underworld of the German capital. And of course, Money Heist, one of the most compelling bank heist shows (and movies) ever made. Think Prison Break, but better.
And in non-Netflix Originals, the world is your oyster – literally. Not only do foreign movies remain little-seen in the U.S., but some of the best ones are available on Netflix. I’m talking Oscar-winning good (list below).
I leave you with our staff’s 10 highest rated foreign language films currently streaming on Netflix. But again, beyond these movies – I really encourage you to try more foreign films. You will not be disappointed and you will have a much easier time finding what to watch.