30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (2023)

“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.

And if you’re here because you’re looking for a fun way to learn other languages, check out doesnottranslate.com, a database of words that don’t directly translate to other languages.

30. Retablo (2017)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (1)

7.0

Country

Germany, Norway, Peru

Director

Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L., Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio

Actors

Amiel Cayo, Claudia Solís, Coco Chiarella, Hermelinda Luján

Moods

Dark, Depressing, Discussion-sparking

Fourteen-year-old Segundo dreams of being just like his father Noé, a revered tableau artist in their small Peruvian town. The teenage apprentice follows Noé’s every move and instruction, that is until one day, he discovers a shocking truth about Noé’s identity. Hurt, angered, and incredibly confused, Segundo starts detaching from his family, as well as from the life he thought he’d wanted to live.

Retablo is a slow but vibrant film, set in Peruvian locales and spoken in the country’s indigenous tongue, Quechua. Its limited dialogue smartly reflects the people’s own silence when it comes to sex and gender ideas, although the movements themselves—from traditional parties to teenage fights—have a lot to say about masculinity, conservatism, and the dangers of their excess. Retablo might be a difficult watch for some, but it’s just as necessary and enlightening.

29. I Am Jonas

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (2)

7.0

Country

France

Director

Christophe Charrier

Actors

Aure Atika, David Baïot, Félix Maritaud, Ilian Bergala

Moods

Dark, Romantic

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.

28. 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.

27. Tune in for Love (2019)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (4)

7.0

Country

South Korea

Director

Ji-woo Jung, Jung Ji-woo

Actors

Choi Jun-young, Hae-In Jung, Heo Ji-na, Jang Se-won

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Romantic

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.

26. The Platform (2019)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (5)

7.0

Country

Spain

Director

Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Actors

Alexandra Masangkay, Algis Arlauskas, Antonia San Juan, Chema Trujillo

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.

25. Seventeen (2019)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (6)

7.0

Country

Spain

Director

Daniel Sánchez Arévalo

Actors

Biel Montoro, Carolina Clemente, Chani Martin, Daniel Fuster

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.

24. The Wolf’s Call (2019)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (7)

7.0

Country

France

Director

Abel Lanzac, Antonin Baudry

Actors

Alexis Michalik, Antonin Baudry, Arthur Choisnet, Bastien Ughetto

Moods

Action-packed

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.

23. 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.

22. The African Doctor

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (9)

7.2

Country

Belgium, France

Director

Julien Rambaldi

Actors

Aissa Maiga, Bayron Lebli, Bernard Eylenbosch, Bwanga Pilipili

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Grown-up Comedy

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.

21. Omar (2013)

30 Best Foreign Movies on Netflix Right Now (10)

7.2

Country

Palestine, Palestinian Territory

Director

Hany Abu-Assad

Actors

Adam Bakri, Adi Krayem, Doraid Liddawi, Eyad Hourani

Moods

Raw, Thought-provoking, Thrilling

Ask yourself how many Palestinian movies you have seen before. You will want to give this smart and twisty Academy Award nominee by Golden Globe winning director Hany Abu-Assad a chance to change your answer. Omar, a Palestinian baker, climbs the West Bank Wall to see his lover, Nadia, whom he wants to marry. When Israeli soldiers catch and humiliate him, he gets implicated in the shooting of an Israeli soldier, and eventually gets arrested and faces an extremely lengthy sentence. Later, his captors’ motives and his own get tangled up in politics, friendship, trust, and love. Omar is a highly realistic, compelling crime drama you don’t want to miss.

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