Hands Down, These Are the 12 Best Foreign Films on Netflix

Broaden your horizons.

Updated 09/30/19

 GETTY IMAGES/GRAPHIC BY CRISTINA CIANCI

We're big fans of foreign films, so we've compiled a list of movies we think will inspire almost anyone to queue up a feature with subtitles. No matter your taste in movies—whether you're a fan of laugh-out-loud comedies, harrowing coming-of-age stories, or epic romances—you'll want to add one of these foreign films to your watch list, stat.

With everything from a thought-provoking film about two women navigating their culture's complex traditions, to a romantic movie centered around two strangers who are reunited by chance on a plane 10 years after meeting on a train, these are hands down the best foreign films on Netflix right now. Trust us—you're actually going to want to stay in tonight and stream a movie with subtitles after scrolling through this list.

Here are our picks for the best foreign films to watch on Netflix.

01 of 12

Us and Them (2018)

Us and Them

 IMDb

The Country: China

The Language: Mandarin

The Premise: Two strangers who met on a train 10 years ago reunite by chance when they wind up sitting next to each other on a plane. Directed by Rene Liu, this decade-spanning love story will pull on your heartstrings. If you're looking for a heart-warming romance to watch, add Us and Them to your Netflix queue stat.

Available on: Netflix

02 of 12

Sand Storm (2016)

Sand Storm

 Kino Lorber

The Country: Israel, Germany, and France

The Language: Arabic

The Premise: Set in a Bedouin village in southern Israel, Sand Storm tells the story of two women, a mother and a daughter, who are forced to confront the complex traditions that define their lives. In the end, they must learn to see the world from the other's perspective in order to survive. If you're looking to broaden your view of the world, add this hidden gem to your watch list.

Available on: Netflix

03 of 12

Sunday's Illness (2017)

Sunday’s Illness

 Zeta Cinema

The Country: Spain

The Language: Spanish, French

The Premise: In this thought-provoking film directed by Ramón Salazar, a middle-aged adult woman reunites with her mother after being abandoned by her 35 years ago. Can 10 short days bring the estranged mother and daughter closer together? Or will it only drive them farther apart after the daughter's true motives for pursuing the reunion are revealed?

Available on: Netflix

04 of 12

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Y_tu_mama_tambien_-poster-.jpg
Su debut en mercados estadounidenses. IFC Films

The Country: Mexico

The Language: Spanish

The Premise: Two teenage boys embark on a cross-country road trip with an unexpected passenger—a gorgeous older woman. While Y Tu Mamá También is undeniably fun and sexy, director Alfonso Cuarón's film is more than just a summer flick. As the boys make their way from city to city, they're forced to confront the complexities of male friendship in this coming-of-age film.

Available on: Netflix

05 of 12

Palm Trees in the Snow (2015)

Palm Trees in the Snow

 Warner Bros.

The Country: Spain

The Language: Spanish, Kriolu, and Aragonese

The Premise: Told in flashbacks, this romantic Spanish drama follows a young woman as she travels from Spain to her family's tropical plantation in Guinea and uncovers a shocking secret. Set in late-20th century Guinea and early-21st century Spain, this film is as visually stunning as it is thought-provoking.

Available on: Netflix

06 of 12

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

Clouds of Sils Maria

 IFC Films

The Country: France, Germany, and Switzerland

The Language: English

The Premise: In this Olivier Assayas film, Kristen Stewart is cast as the personal assistant to an insecure movie star (Juliette Binoche) who's reprising the role that launched her career 20 years earlier. When the pair head to the Swiss Alps to escape the industry and practice running lines, they're forced to confront their complex relationship.

Available on: Netflix

07 of 12

To Each Her Own (2018)

To Each Her Own

 Netflix

The Country: France

The Language: French

The Premise: No one is more surprised than Simone when, in the midst of coming out as a lesbian to her conservative Jewish family, she discovers that she's attracted to a man. As you'd expect, tension-filled hilarity ensues. This French film, directed by Myriam Aziza, expertly infuses a bit of comedy into a heartwarming, eye-opening plot.  

Available on: Netflix

08 of 12

Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Blue Is the Warmest Color
FilmFan/Wikimedia Commons/Fair Use

The Country: France

The Language: French

The Premise: Abdellatif Kechiche's provocative film focuses its sights on first love—and all the passion and devastation that come with it. While a three-hour runtime may seem a bit daunting, it's worth setting aside the time to watch this intimate character portrait.

Available on: Netflix

09 of 12

Aquarius (2016)

Aquarius
IMDb

The Country: Brazil

The Language: Portuguese

The Premise: A 65-year-old widow vows to live in her seaside apartment until she dies after her landlord reveals a plan to sell all the units to a developer who has other plans for the property. The standoff spurs bittersweet memories that reveal why she's so reluctant to leave the building.

Available on: Netflix

10 of 12

Everybody Knows (2019)

everybody knows movie

 Focus Features

The Country: Spain

The Language: Spanish

The Premise: Husband and wife, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, team up in this Spanish flick about lingering love. When a woman and her children travel from Argentina to Spain to attend her sister's wedding, her daughter gets kidnapped. A dark web of secrets then unfolds.

Available on: Netflix

11 of 12

On Body on Soul (2017)

on body on soul

 IMDb

The Country: Budapest

The Language: Hungarian

The Premise: A man and woman meet at work discover they have the same dreams at night and decide to make them come true. They're mysterious connection bonds the shy and socially awkward pair.

Available on: Netflix

12 of 12

Berlin, I Love You (2019)

Berlin, I love you

 Saban Capital Group

The Country: Germany

The Language: German

The Premise: Starring some of your favorite actors like Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren, this German film deals with break-ups, same-sex relationships, and vignettes of passion that unify the city. If you saw and loved Paris, Je T'aime or New York, I Love You, this is your new favorite.

Up next: These are, hands down, the best movie for your next date night.

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