8 of the best international films to watch on Netflix

8 of the best international films to watch on Netflix
Totally worth the subtitles (Picture: Miramax, CJ Entertainment, Artificial Eye, Vertigo Releasing)

When searching for a movie to watch on Netflix, it’s easy to get lost in the vast catalogue of titles on offer.

The streaming service has everything from big American blockbusters and awards-darlings to cult classics and under-appreciated British gems.

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Look a little further afield, though, and you’ll find an extensive collection of international cinema, traversing Europe, South America, the Middle East, East Asia and Africa.

Hollywood might still be lagging behind in diversity and representation but as audiences, we can fully embrace all countries, cultures and languages by supporting foreign films.

Here are eight of the best available to watch on Netflix now.

Ip Man (2008)

Wilson Yip’s Cantonese biographical martial arts movie chronicles the life of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man during the Sino-Japanese war.

Starring Donnie Yen as Ip, the film blends engaging military conflict drama with expertly choreographed kung fu action.

It subsequently spurred two sequels (2010’s Ip Man 2 and 2015’s Ip Man 3), with Ip Man 4 due for release later this year.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)

This French coming-of-age romantic drama received widespread critical acclaim back in 2013, winning the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Inspired by Julie Maroh’s graphic novel of the same name, it charts introvert Adele’s (Adele Exarchopoulos) relationship with blue haired artist, Emma (Lea Seydoux), as she grows from a teenager into an adult.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour is an honest, emotional and symbolic exploration of sexual identity, love, social class and freedom.

City Of God (2002)

Adapted from Braulio Mantovani’s 1997 novel, City Of God is a Brazilian drama surrounding illegal organised criminal enterprises in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro.

Loosely inspired by real events and spanning the 60s, 70s and 80s, it follows narrator Rocket, whose passion for photography helps him escape a life of drugs and crime.

With 55 awards under its belt, and four Oscar nominations, City Of God is a powerful and energetic film that leaves a lasting impression.

The Man From Nowhere (2010)

Won Bin stars as a mysterious widower and former Army Intelligence covert operator in Lee Jeong-beom’s South Korean action thriller.

The brutal and blood-soaked revenge movie sees Bin’s character, Cha Tae-sik, embarking on a rescue mission when his only friend – a young girl called So-mi – is kidnapped.

It’s one of the best Korean movies out there.

Under The Shadow (2016)

Babak Anvari’s directorial debut is set in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq conflict and centres on a mother trying to protect her daughter from mysterious evil spirits while her husband is at war.

Having premiered at Sundance in 2016, this Persian language film puts a unique spin on the horror genre and features a superb central performance from Iranian-German actress Narges Rashidi.

Victoria (2015)

Laia Costa stars in Sebastian Schipper’s German crime drama as a Spanish woman who befriends a group of young men while living in Berlin, only to find herself caught up in a heist.

Almost all of the dialogue is improvised and, similar to Alexander Sokurov’s experimental drama Russian Ark, it was shot in a single continuous take, which is all the more impressive when you learn that Schipper only had three attempts to get it right.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Crouching Tiger is an absolute classic in the world of martial arts movies – widely credited as one of the most influential foreign language films in the western world.

Ang Lee’s (Life Of Pi) Oscar-winning epic centres on a young woman in ancient China who longs for adventure rather than the arranged marriage that’s expected of her.

Combining sweeping cinematography with beautiful scenery and breath-taking fight sequences, it’s a film that never gets old.

Dangal (2016)

Nobody could have quite anticipated the success of Nitesh Tiwari’s Hindi language biographical sports drama, which tells the story of an amateur wrestler who trains his daughters to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

Both entertaining and inspirational, Dangal champions girls being just as strong as boys and explores with humour and humanity the often complex relationship between fathers and daughters, inside and outside of competitive sports.

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