Love foreign film? You need to check out some of the most amazing foreign language films of the 21st Century

If you love film then the chances are you want to tuck into every genre around. From Bollywood to Hollywood, romance to stories about travelling pants, there’s a lot to enjoy out there. With the addition of fantastic voiceovers, dubbing and subtitles, we can now also enjoy movies in foreign languages. Awful dubbing and inaccurate subtitles in particular, are a thing of the past. Instead, technology has advanced and professional subtitles are much more precise. Dubbing is accurate and voice actors used are professional and matched to the character, whether it be an Arabic voice over, French, German or otherwise.

If you’re looking for some inspiration as to what to watch this coming Saturday night, consider any of these incredible foreign language films of the 21st century:

Pan’s Labyrinth

Carmen – “You’re getting older, and you’ll see that life isn’t like your fairy tales. The world is a cruel place. And you’ll learn that, even if it hurts.”

Pan’s Labyrinth is a Spanish film directed by Guillermo Del Toro. It is deliciously dark, incredibly well written and the cinematography is stunning. The story is related to a mythical land created by a young girl in post-war Spain called Ofelia. In that land are characters, storylines and events that will stay with you for a long time after the film is over.


Ki-Taek – “They are rich but still nice.”

Chung-sook – “They are nice because they are rich”

Parasite is a Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho. It won an Oscar for best picture in 2019 and quite rightly so – it’s a visual masterpiece. It’s a dark, and often funny movie based on a young man from a poor family who gets a job with a wealthy family. The story then develops from there, with twists and turns that are anything but predictable.

City Of God

Steak With Fries – “Listen man I smoke, I snort… I have been begging on the street since I was just a baby. I have cleaned windshields, at stop lights. I have polished shoes, I have robed, I have killed, I ain’t no kid. No way. I’m a real man.”

City of God is a Portuguese film directed by Fernandez Meirelles and Katia Lund. Whilst it is thought-provoking, violent, and shocking at times, it is also beautifully shot and a fantastic insight into little known aspects of Brazilian culture.


Sra Sofia – “We are alone. No matter what they tell you, we women are always alone.”

Roma is a Spanish film directed by Alfonso Cuaron. It focuses on the story of a young lady that used to work for the directors family when he was a young child. There is a lot of focus on Mexican society and the different classes, reflecting on the past and how many aspects of the past are still relevant.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Luisa Cortes – “Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea.”

A Spanish film, Y Tu Mama Tambien focuses on teenagers in Mexico in the late 1990’s, where there were many social divisions impacting the youth of the day. It is considered a coming of age story, and has been famed for the amazing acting within the film.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One

Arabian Nights is a three part Portuguese film series directed by Miguel Gomes who also made a well-known film called Tabu. The story is about a Sultans wife who has to tell her husband stories like she will be executed if she does not do well. It is full of jokes and funny imagery, as well as a deep narrative that all humans can relate to.

Happy As Lazarro

Marchesa Alfonsina De Luna – “Human beings are like animals. Set them free and they realise they are slaves locked in their own misery. Right now, they suffer, but they don’t know. I exploit them, they exploit that poor man, it’s a chain reaction that can’t be stopped.”

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher, Italian Happy As Lazarro is a fairytale about a young man who loves to help others and when that role is over for him, he struggles. The results of this unfold throughout the film, and a darker side to the tale is told with beautiful and stark detail.


Jauja was directed by Lisandro Alonso and features heartthrob Viggo Mortensen, who plays a Danish character based in Argentina trying to find his missing daughter. It is made to be a very slow, beautiful film with beautiful imagery.

For more inspiration on the very best foreign language films with great professional voice overs or subtitles, take a look at this detailed article with more suggestions to check out.