The 14 Best French Films to Watch When You'd Rather Be in France

Updated 10/28/19
@juliamateian

This article is updated monthly with our latest picks.

There are a lot of things to love about France. From the iconic effortless elegance of the fashion and bistro culture, to the many cinematic masterpieces, architectural triumphs, and beautiful destinations, there's a reason we Francophiles have an actual name. So if you, too, have ever looked in the mirror to practice your best Anna Karina impression, spent some time praising Jean-Luc Godard, or you'd simply rather be on a vacation in France right now, you've come to the right place. We rounded up the best French films to transport you there. Even if you don't consider yourself a Francophile, the 14 movies below are some of the best films from cinema history, foreign or not, including old classics, modern-day flicks, suspenseful thrillers, stylish indies, quirky dramedies, and more. Get a sense of each, and then curate your own watch list.

Here are our picks for the best French films to stream tonight.

01 of 14

Slack Bay (2017)

slack bay

 Amazon

A large, wealthy, eccentric family spends a summer in a picturesque cliffside locale. Though a mysterious disappearance is the crux of the plot and we learn what happened during the beginning of the movie, this dark comedy proves that the best question isn't always whodunit. Enchanting, whimsical, delightfully strange, funny, and insightful—there are plenty of reasons to watch Slack Bay.

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

02 of 14

Raw (2017)

raw

 Amazon

What happens when a young vegetarian, who wants nothing more than to fit in at veterinary school, turns into a cannibal? This French-Belgian horror film is what. Directed by Julia Ducournau and starring Garance Marillier, this movie is perfect for anyone who likes slow-burning, coming-of-age thrillers.

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

03 of 14

The Intouchables (2012)

intouchables

 Amazon

Revolving around the unconventional friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his live-in caretaker, this dramedy is heartwarming, funny, and thoroughly entertaining. Though you'll probably fall in love with both protagonists on their own, the bond they share together is most compelling.

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

04 of 14

Mustang (2016)

mustang

 Amazon

If you've loved all things Sofia Coppola since the day you saw The Virgin Suicides, brace yourself. Instead of being transported to 1960s Midwest American suburbia, you'll hone in on a remote Turkish village where five orphaned sisters are put on lockdown indefinitely for playing in the water with boys. Though quite different plot-wise, this film revolves around similar themes of the bond of sisterhood and the policing of female sexuality.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

05 of 14

Jules et Jim (1962)

jules et jim

Amazon

If you haven't seen this classic, now's the time to press play. Made in 1962, this new-wave romance drama explores the relationships between two best friends in love with the same woman. Jeanne Moreau stars as Catherine, a fun young woman at the center of a love triangle.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

06 of 14

Clouds of Sils Maria (2015)

clouds of sils maria

 Amazon

When two successful actresses, one in the prime of her youth and another middle-aged, are cast to be lovers in a romantic lesbian drama, sexual tension ensues, especially when the older actress's assistant enters the picture. Aside from the compelling narrative, the cast is also incredible. It stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Gracë Moretz.

07 of 14

He Even Has Your Eyes (2016)

he even has your eyes

 Netflix

A French-African couple have been wanting to adopt a baby for a long time. And when the opportunity finally arises, they find out the baby is white. This is one of those rare films that's able to productively and thoughtfully use satire and humor while unpacking racism. 

Available on: Netflix

08 of 14

The Artist (2012)

best french films

 Amazon

It's got romance, it's got drama, it's got humor. Set in Hollywood during the prime of the silent-film era, The Artist is the perfect thing to watch when you're looking for a light, feel-good movie with a nostalgic flair. Just remember that it's silent.

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

09 of 14

Girlhood (2015)

best french films

 Amazon

Brought to us by the director of Tomboy and Water Lilies, you can expect Girlhood to be another triumphant tale. When a young girl leaves home to escape her abusive father, only to become financially dependent on an older man, she learns how to find inner strength to forge a new path for herself. Though heartbreaking at times, it's ultimately uplifting and inspiring. 

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

10 of 14

Contempt (1963)

best french films

 Amazon

It doesn't get better than this quintessentially French film starring Bridgette Bardot and directed by Jean-Luc Godard. A playwright recounting Homer's Odyssey sounds like a pretty boring premise, but you can count on Godard, Bardot, and other stars to make this your new favorite film, if it isn't already.

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

11 of 14

Amélie (2002)

best french films

 Amazon

If you want to watch something unique, Amélie is a must-see. You'll get drawn into the world of a quirky and charming young woman living in Paris when she falls in love. Having to read the subtitles if you don't speak French is so worth it.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

12 of 14

Dheepan (2016)

best french films

 Amazon

This movie is a must-see, though make sure you're prepared for tears. It follows three Tamil refugees who pose as a family to escape Sri Lanka for France. It's directed by Jacques Audiard, who is known for his work on A Prophet

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

13 of 14

Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

best french films

 Amazon

Blue Is the Warmest Color lives up to its enticing title, following two young girls as they fall in love and explore their budding sexualities. It's an artful, engaging, and thought-provoking movie.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix

14 of 14

Amour (2012)

best french films

 Amazon

Truly one of the most moving and beautiful love stories ever portrayed in cinema, Amour is going to bring on all the feels. We're invited to witness a couple's relationship right when one of them suffers from a stroke. Awe-inspiring doesn't even begin to describe the bond between the elderly couple at the center of this film.  

Available on: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

Up next: These are the best date-night movies of all time.

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