Top Ten Films of the 21st Century

Since the year 2000 there have been thousands of films released around the world. Some are brilliant, some not so brilliant. Here is the list of our top 10 foreign language films of the 21st century. If you like the look of any of them, then simply click on the titles and you can buy them from Amazon. 

Whether you can't believe we have missed out your favourite film or else you think we have it spot on, leave a comment below the list with your thoughts. 


Top 10 Foreign Language Films of the 21st Century...So Far


1. Hidden (Austria/France, 2005): Michael Haneke’s film depicts a normal, successful couple who have their comfortable lives disrupted when a series of secretly filmed videos of their family are sent to them. The father’s search for the perpetrator leads him to remember a dark past.

Pan's Labyrinth

2. Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico, 2006): Director Guillermo del Toro weaves the horror of the Spanish Civil War with the dark fairy tale world of a little girl’s imagination. He frequently creates some of the most stunning and original imagery of any film in this list.

City of God

3. City of God (Brazil, 2002): Set in the heart of a Brazilian favela, City of God depicts the unforgiving criminal life of the slum’s inhabitants. Shocking and visceral yet never sensationalist, it created a whole new type of mafia film that many have since tried to emulate.

Spirited Away

4. Spirited Away (Japan 2001): This animated fantasy is in equal measure beautiful and mad, but certainly never boring. Ten-year-old Chihiro finds herself being drawn deeper and deeper into the spirit world where she meets all sorts of stunning characters.

4 Months, 3 weeks, 2 days

5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Romania 2007): This Romanian tale of illegal abortion is certainly not an easy watch. However, it is one of the most intense and harrowing films you are ever likely to see. Just be prepared. We did warn you.

uncle Boonmee

6. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand 2010): Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010, Uncle Boonmee... is a sparse film that relies on creating a beautiful and elusive cinematic world rather than any discernible plot. Often baffling, always stunning.


7. Oldboy (South Korea 2003): This intriguing and often shocking film tells the tale of a man who is kidnapped and locked in a hotel room for 15 years with no explanation. Part of director Park Chan-wook’s ‘Vengeance Trilogy’ it ignores every convention of the traditional ‘thriller’.


8. Gomorrah (Italy 2008): There is no single linear storyline in Gomorrah, but instead a sprawling criminal world created through every new character introduced. Set in the suburbs of Naples, director Matteo Garrone presents a world full of remarkable imagery and emotion.

Waltz with Bashir

9. Waltz With Bashir (Israel 2008): The 1982 Israeli-Lebanon war is depicted through a uniquely stylistic animation that both draws attention to the violence on screen and distances you from it. Highly personal and often traumatic but a film that everybody should see.

Crouching Tiger

10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan/China 2000): One of the most commercially successful foreign language films of the decade, it won four Oscars and dazzled audiences across the world. The staggering fight scenes and beauty of the scenery set the bar very high for all future martial arts films.

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