The 100 Best International Movies of All Time

International cinema has always had a profound influence on American movies. At the same time, many of the great films in languages other than English retool the styles and genres of popular American movies. Have you ever forgotten you were reading subtitles as you were swept up in the action on screen? Westerns, film noirs, and even romances tap into universal visual languages of movement, action, and emotion that draw in worldwide audiences.

Stacker's list of the 100 best international movies includes the science fiction masterpiece of German Expressionist style, Metropolis, with its epic, futuristic city and iconic robot gone bad. You'll also find the smash hit Parasite, a taut thriller from South Korea that captured acclaim across the globe for its suspenseful, tragicomic look at two families from different classes.

We feature work from major auteurs of European cinema like Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut of the French New Wave, Vittorio De Sica of Italian neorealism, and Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel. Our list also includes major Japanese masterpieces from Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi, and Hirokazu Koreeda, Hong Kong cinema's Wong Kar-wai, Tawainese auteurs Ang Lee and Edward Yang, and contemporary films from South Korea's Lee Chang-dong and Bong Joon-ho. International cinema often has a political or philosophical bent—a rebel core—as it frequently explores the human condition within histories of oppression. While African cinema and women directors are underrepresented on this list and across the international film festival circuit, Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire from France in 2019 masterfully reinvents ideas around gendered gaze. Get ready for films you've heard about and obscure gems that just may become your new cinematic obsession.

Stacker compiled data (from July 2020) on all international movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be directed by a non-American, be primarily in a language other than English, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore, and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. Stacker's list combines the scores from critics and audiences to give you a sense of a movie's greatness. Check out our list to see what you've already watched—and what great and underappreciated must-see to add to your watchlist.

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 "Cidade de Deus"
Directors Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund during the photocall for their film "Cidade de Deus" on May 18, 2002 during the 55th Cannes Film Festival. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

100. 'City of God' (2002)

- Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 130 min

Set in an impoverished neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro (the "city" of the title), this acclaimed Brazilian film cast local amateur actors, many of them children, as street urchins pulled into gang warfare. Known for its hyperkinetic action style and disturbing, hard-to-watch violence, City of God depicts the way the drug trade ensnares residents in an inescapable life of brutality and crime.

99. 'Cinema Paradiso' (1988)

- Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 155 min

Giuseppe Tornatore's Italian romance is as much a love letter to cinema itself as it is a story of young love. Told in flashbacks, it unfolds across 40 years as a village youngster befriends the projectionist at the local cinema tasked with censoring movie kisses. Cinema Paradiso offers a look at the rapturous experience of watching movies and getting swept up in the magic of film.

98. 'Once Upon a Time in the West' (1968)

- Director: Sergio Leone
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 165 min

Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti Western, the term for cowboy epics produced in Italy and popular in Europe, became a major stylistic influence. Leone creates a harsh American mythos (often using locations in Spain) to depict vengeance and gunslinging with cynical and comedic brio. Once Upon the time in the West, a notable masterpiece of the genre, stars Henry Fonda as a black-hatted bad guy and Charles Bronson as the harmonica-playing cowboy out to get him.

97. 'The Handmaiden' (2016)

- Director: Park Chan-wook
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 145 min

Visually lavish and laced with seduction and betrayal, this critically acclaimed crime thriller is set in 1930s Korea during the Japanese occupation. The plot revolves around a Korean maid who schemes with her boss to defraud a wealthy Japanese heiress. The Handmaiden is one of the standout films of South Korean cinema for its masterful style and love story between women.

96. 'Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India' (2001)

- Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 224 min

Nearly four hours long and filled with the exuberant musical numbers of popular Indian cinema, Lagaan was a global blockbuster and critical hit nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Set in a rural village during British rule, colonial overlords offer residents a means to pay their taxes through a game of cricket, and the community must rally to win.

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95. 'Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring' (2003)

- Director: Kim Ki-duk
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 103 min

Told in five vignettes that follow the seasons of the title, this visually stunning South Korean film offers a meditation on peace and anguish. The director, Kim Ki-duk, plays the central character in one sequence, an apprentice-turned-monk who goes through a series of trials throughout his life. Set near a temple surrounded by exquisite and serene natural beauty, lives are assailed by the harshness of being human.

94. 'Ernest & Celestine' (2012)

- Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 80 min

This gorgeously animated French/Belgian family film based on children's books follows a mouse and bear who become unlikely friends despite belonging to warring factions. When each finds themselves on trial, they work together to end the prejudice that would keep them from being friends. It's known for an innovative, visual design that resembles watercolor paintings imbued with sweetness and depth.

93. 'Talk to Her' (2002)

- Director: Pedro Almodóvar
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 112 min

Pedro Almodóvar's acclaimed Spanish melodrama focuses on two men who pine for women in comas (one has been raped and impregnated) and develop a friendship in a hospital around their shared obsessions. Almodovar is known for visually enigmatic tableaux drenched in highly emotional setups. Talk to Her arguably overcomes issues with sexism through humanistic themes around love and compassion.

92. 'The Death of Mr. Lazarescu' (2005)

- Director: Cristi Puiu
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 153 min

Cristi Puiu's raucous black comedy follows a cantankerous widower over the course of one night as he is shuffled from hospital to hospital after complaining of pain. This Romanian film set in Bucharest uses a verite style to critique the darkly farcical nature of health care systems and the surreality of physical anguish.

91. 'All About My Mother' (1999)

- Director: Pedro Almodóvar
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 101 min

One of Pedro Almodóvar's most iconic films about women, mothers, and lavish femininity, All About My Mother won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The story follows a bereft mother who loses her son in an accident, and it explores gender and sexuality in ways that both expose and explore norms, using the director's signature baroque, melodramatic style.

90. 'Poetry' (2010)

- Director: Lee Chang-dong
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 139 min

Director Le Chang-dong cast Yoon Jeong-hee, a major South Korean movie star of the 1970s and '80s, to play Mija, the 66 year-old grandmother with early-stage Alzheimer's at the center of his wistful, tragic film. The drama revolves around the death of a young girl who has been raped by several boys, including Mija's grandson.

Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos
Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival. Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images

89. 'Blue Is the Warmest Colour' (2013)

- Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 180 min

Adapted from a graphic novel, Blue is the Warmest Colour explores the relationship between two French teenagers, a shy high schooler and an art student with blue hair. The film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, though it was surrounded by controversy during its release. Lead actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos reported on grueling and abusive set conditions, and director Abdellatif Kechiche was criticized for objectifying female bodies and sexuality.

88. 'The Blue Angel' (1930)

- Director: Josef von Sternberg
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 min

Marlene Dietrich rose to stardom as the domineering nightclub singer who cajoles a staid professor into being her stage-act clown. Director Josef von Sternberg steeps the proceedings with the style that characterizes early German Expressionist cinema. Shadows and severe angles give a foreboding tension to the theme of untamed sexuality wreaking havoc.

87. 'Band of Outsiders' (1964)

- Director: Jean-Luc Godard
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 95 min

Lead actress Anna Karina was married to director Jean-Luc Godard during production of this iconic film of the French New Wave style. Godard is famous for an irreverence toward conventional film style and for depicting characters who are listless but ultra-cool. Band of Outsiders follows a team of criminals who embark on a hapless robbery.

86. 'Deep Red' (1975)

- Director: Dario Argento
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 127 min

This influential Italian horror film uses stylized gore and pulpy setups to achieve its darkly brutal humor. Known for shock violence, director Dario Argento infuses the story of a barbaric serial killer with technical bravado that elevates the usual slasher plot to art-cinema glory. Murder scenes are especially chilling and graphic.

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85. 'Burning' (2018)

- Director: Lee Chang-dong
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 148 min

Burning stars Yoo Ah-in and Jeon Jong-seo, along with Steven Yeun (Glenn on the television series The Walking Dead) as a trio of disaffected young people in Paju, South Korea, who become increasingly obsessed with each other. When one of them disappears, the mystery and pace become increasingly sinister and brooding. Director Lee Chang-dong uses an elegant, atmospheric film style that seems somber and banal before erupting in unexpected detours.

84. 'Ida' (2013)

- Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 82 min

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, who left Poland in his teens, discovered in adulthood that his grandmother was killed at Auschwitz. His acclaimed film Ida, set in the 1960s, follows a similar narrative in its focus on a young woman, about to become a nun, who learns that her parents were Jewish and were murdered during the Nazi occupation.

83. 'Beau travail' (1999)

- Director: Claire Denis
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 92 min

French auteur Claire Denis, who grew up in colonial Africa, is known for defying film conventions in her lyrical, enigmatic explorations of colonialism and the people caught within it. Beau Travail, loosely based on Herman Melville's Billy Budd, offers an intimate, poetic look at military life for young men desperate to win the favor of their commander, as one jealous man plots to ruin the stature of another.

82. 'In the Mood for Love' (2000)

- Director: Wong Kar-wai
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 min

Wong Kar-wai's elegiac, gorgeously rendered romance is a masterpiece of love and longing. A man and a woman who live in the same apartment complex discover that their spouses are having an affair and then fall for one another. Set in 1960s Hong Kong, costumes and set details evoke the beauty of the era while also expressing lurking emotions beneath lush surface color.

81. 'Turtles Can Fly' (2004)

- Director: Bahman Ghobadi
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 min

Turtles Can Fly takes place in a Kurdish refugee camp on the border of Iraq and Turkey just before the American invasion of 2003. Writer-director Bahman Ghobadi uses a stark, realistic style to immerse the audience in the lives of the camp's children, a cast of nonprofessional actors who lend the film an immediacy as it depicts the ravaged anguish of life near minefields.

80. 'The Wages of Fear' (1953)

- Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 131 min

This French-Italian production is set in a fictional and remote Latin American town where villagers live in squalor, exploited by the American oil company based there. The film is famous for edge-of-your-seat suspense as truck drivers, hired for the dangerous mission, travel over rough terrain with loads of nitroglycerin. The film captures the futility of living under capitalism and provided the template for action films with a bomb-on-board plotline.

"I Vitelloni"
Italian director Federico Fellini portrayed while signing autographs with the Italian actor Alberto Sordi, in Lido, Venice for presenting the movie "I Vitelloni" at the Movie Festival, 1953. Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images

79. 'I Vitelloni' (1953)

- Director: Federico Fellini
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 104 min

Federico Fellini directed and co-wrote this autobiographical film about "vitelloni" (or "layabouts") who are beset with post-war ennui in the provincial coastal town of Rimini, Italy. Five young men, all friends, struggle with women and artistic yearning as they try to break through paralysis and enter adulthood. It was an international hit that showcased Fellini's early-career style and themes.

78. 'The Spirit of the Beehive' (1973)

- Director: Víctor Erice
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 98 min

In a small Spanish town, a screening of the horror classic Frankenstein for the local villagers inspires a young viewer to obsess over the plot. Soon, she believes the spirit of the monster is hiding out in a barn. Victor Erice's film is considered a masterpiece of Spanish cinema for its portrait of the effect of wartime trauma told through a child's fantastical point of view.

77. 'The Seventh Continent' (1989)

- Director: Michael Haneke
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 min

Michael Haneke's debut feature follows a family of three who go about their daily routine with a robotic, pervasive despair. In an interview, Haneke commented that these characters are enslaved by these everyday gestures, and this Austrian film set in Australia, the continent of the title, explores the pervasive cynicism of everyday routine.

76. 'Cold War' (2018)

- Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 89 min

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski based this sweeping love story partly on his parents' tumultuous relationship as they moved across Europe from Poland, fleeing communist rule in the postwar period. The acclaimed film is a co-production between Poland, France, and the U.K., lauded for its lush black-and-white cinematography and the tautly drawn passion between two Polish musicians who have a love affair across continents and years.

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75. 'Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner' (2001)

- Director: Zacharias Kunuk
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 172 min

The first Inuit-language fictional film was shot on digital video and garnered international acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival while becoming a box-office hit in Canada. Filmed in Igloolik in Northern Canada and set in ancient times, the mythic drama features stunning natural landscapes as the backdrop for an engrossing plot, based on legend in which rival men vie for a woman, and the winner ends up chased away.

74. 'Son of Saul' (2015)

- Director: László Nemes
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 107 min

In this devastating Holocaust drama, a Hungarian Jew and camp prisoner tasked with burning the bodies of murdered Jewish people tries to bury the body of a killed child. Hungarian director László Nemes uses a roving camera and tight closeups to capture a grim horror that builds with unrelenting tension. Son of Saul was highly acclaimed for what was considered a responsible depiction of unbearable human suffering.

73. 'Rocco and His Brothers' (1960)

- Director: Luchino Visconti
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 179 min

When Luchino Visconti's lush melodrama premiered in Italy in 1960, the most violent scenes went to a censored black screen while the soundtrack played. The family epic about five brothers in post-war Milan descends into sordid plot twists when two of the young men, both boxers, fight over the same woman.

72. 'Persona' (1966)

- Director: Ingmar Bergman
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 83 min

Ingmar Bergman's Persona is emblematic art cinema drenched with ambiguous psychological theory and filled with symbolic imagery. Liv Ulmann stars as an actress who has stopped talking, and Bibi Andersson plays the nurse who is to care for her at a Swedish coastal cottage. Surreal visuals use shadows and mirror shots to depict the two women as doubles, perhaps suggestive of a single character or a split feminine psyche.

71. 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind' (1984)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 117 min

Breathtaking and strange visuals create the apocalyptic futurescape of this thrilling eco-fable set in the aftermath of industrial disaster. The setting is both natural and technological as it follows a princess who tries to bring peace to the world in the face of giant insects out to poison everything. This is an early masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki, who would transform the Japanese anime genre with his original, vibrant stories for both adults and children.

70. 'The Wild Pear Tree' (2018)

- Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 188 min

The much-praised Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is known for long, visually stunning meditations on the human condition. The Wild Pear Tree follows a college graduate who returns to his hometown of Çanakkale and contends with his family and history as he tries to find an audience for his "meta-fiction" novel. Ceylan creates a compelling drama about the ways youthful arrogance shifts into acceptance.

"About Elly"
Actress Merila Zareibarzi and director Asghar Farhadi attend the "About Elly" press conference during the 59th Berlin International Film Festival at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 7, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Dominique Charriau/WireImage/Getty Images

69. 'About Elly' (2009)

- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 119 min

A group of married friends with young children spend a weekend on the shores of the Caspian Sea, bringing along the single Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti) to set her up with a divorcee. These plans go awry after an accident where Elly disappears and an unexpected guest shows up. Director Asghar Farhadi also wrote this tense social drama about middle-class Iranians bound up in moral quandaries.

68. 'Only Yesterday' (1991)

- Director: Isao Takahata
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 118 min

Only Yesterday was a box-office hit in Japan, popular due to its innovative use of animation to tell a tender, poignant story about an adult woman who confronts memories of the child she used to be. She takes a train from Tokyo to the countryside in northern Japan, and through a series of affecting flashbacks recalls the truth of who she is in this soulful meditation on memory's strong effect on the present.

67. 'Eyes Without a Face' (1960)

- Director: Georges Franju
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 90 min

Georges Franju's grisly, stylish horror film influenced countless movies since its 1960 premiere in France. It follows a doctor who is determined to restore his daughter's face after she is disfigured in an accident. Chilling visuals include the daughter's eerie, mannequin-like mask and a prolonged face-removal operation.

66. 'Gett' (2014)

- Directors: Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 115 min

Ronit Elkabetz (who also stars in the lead role) co-directed Gett, a co-production of Israel, Germany, and France, with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz. The acclaimed drama, which examines a woman caught in a patriarchal system, is the third film in a series about her fraught marriage. Set in Israel, the story follows a woman who seeks divorce from a cruel husband but must contend with rabbinical law, which favors the will of men.

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65. 'A Summer's Tale' (1996)

- Director: Éric Rohmer
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 113 min

Éric Rohmer wrote and directed this third chapter in his themed quartet of films, Tales of the Four Seasons. This summer entry takes place in a French resort town, where a young man meanders through his vacation waiting for his girlfriend to arrive and becomes loosely involved with two other women. Rohmer's style captures an aimless and ambiguous tone toward romance and love.

64. 'The Class' (2008)

- Director: Laurent Cantet
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 128 min

The Class won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, garnering critical acclaim for its vibrant, realistic depiction of the relationship between a teacher and his students over a year. The film was cast with actual students from the Paris school where it's set, in a neighborhood with a multiracial population.

63. 'Toni Erdmann' (2016)

- Director: Maren Ade
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 162 min

Toni Erdmann immerses the audience in the complicated relationship between a father and his adult daughter in this wry drama that matches heart with humor. Sandra Hüller plays Ines, an executive based in Bucharest whose prankster father shows up in disguise and disrupts her staid, corporate life. At first she's put off, but she slowly warms to his presence in this German-Austrian drama directed by Maren Ade.

62. 'My Neighbor Totoro' (1988)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 86 min

Considered one of the greatest animated films of all time, My Neighbor Totoro takes place in the Japanese countryside during the late 1950s, following two young sisters who intermingle with fantastical spirits they meet in their home and the nearby woods. The enchanting, visionary film by Hayao Miyazaki captures the wonders and difficulties of childhood through an encounter with the forest king, Totoro, who resembles an adorable, enormous plush toy.

61. 'After Life' (1998)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 119 min

Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda's sublime, mystical film centers on the afterlife, exploring the experiences of 22 newly arrived people who are asked to choose their most precious memory so it can be filmed before they move into the next realm. The film is a meditation on both the power of memory and the cinematic possibilities for capturing its essence.

60. 'Leviathan' (2014)

- Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 140 min

This bleak and brooding drama takes place in a coastal town near the Barents Sea, where local politics simmer with an underbelly of corruption. Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev infuses his film with poetics of the ordinary which includes whale bones on a beach and blighted properties. Leviathan follows one family's attempt to save their home as they tangle with the local courts amid a bureaucratic nightmare.

59. 'Tristana' (1970)

- Director: Luis Buñuel
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 99 min

Tristana is an exploration of the power dynamics between the titular young woman (Catherine Deneuve) and the stifling, much older man she's sent to live with who eventually becomes her husband. Luis Buñuel's sleek takedown of patriarchy uses a more reserved surrealist style and takes place in Toledo, Spain, around the early 1930s. French movie star Deneuve's lines were dubbed in Spanish.

Das Boot
kpa/United Archives/Getty Images

58. 'Das Boot' (1981)

- Director: Wolfgang Petersen
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 149 min

This influential submarine thriller captures the claustrophobic isolation of German World War II soldiers who endure harrowing combat missions and mishaps as they try to make it to port by Christmas. The film's success launched German filmmaker Wolfgang Peterson as a major director of Hollywood action movies, including the ocean-set thrillers The Perfect Storm and Poseidon.

57. 'Nobody Knows' (2004)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 141 min

Hirokazu Koreeda's somber drama is based on a true story and stars nonprofessional child actors as it explores the plight of four abandoned children living in a Tokyo apartment. After their mother leaves, the kids have to fend for themselves and evade the landlord in this affecting and emotional film that focuses on the quiet moments of their harrowing plight.

56. 'Winter Sleep' (2014)

- Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 196 min

Nuri Bilge Ceylan sets his long, dark story (adapted from works by Anton Chekov) in Turkey's Cappadocia mountains during the onset of winter. The setting provides a thematic chill as drama plays out between a wealthy hotel-owning landlord and a tenant who lashes out after he falls behind on rent.

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55. 'The Tale of The Princess Kaguya' (2013)

- Director: Isao Takahata
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 137 min

Dazzling hand-drawn animation combines the minimalism of watercolor illustrations with soaring movement to give this adaptation of a Japanese folktale a captivating magic. A young princess with otherworldly origins experiences earthly adventures both commonplace and epic before she is called back to a prior home. Isao Takahata's enchanting tale features a devastating and beautiful farewell.

54. 'Still Walking' (2008)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 115 min

Hirokazu Koreeda's elegiac, wistful family drama pulls audiences into a Japanese household still contending with a death 12 years later. Koreeda is known for his immersion in the everyday details of the worlds his characters inhabit. Here, the remaining adult children return to the home of their elderly parents to mark the anniversary of the death of their oldest brother, who drowned trying to save another boy who, now grown, also comes to visit.

53. 'A Prophet' (2009)

- Director: Jacques Audiard
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 155 min

This co-production between France and Italy takes the familiar prison drama and its intrigue to new heights. A young French Algerian, Malik (Tahar Rahim), who can neither read nor write, gets a five-year sentence and finds himself embroiled between rival convict factions. Malik is soon pulled into the Corsican mob in charge and rises in their ranks.

52. 'The Triplets of Belleville' (2003)

- Director: Sylvain Chomet
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 80 min

This jazz-fueled animated film features a charming visual style and an original score by Benoît Charest, who was nominated along with French writer-director Sylvain Chomet for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, "Belleville Rendez-vous." The story follows a grandmother who joins up with the famed jazz-singing triplets on an odyssey to find her grandson, who's been kidnapped while competing in the Tour de France.

51. 'Masculin Féminin' (1966)

- Director: Jean-Luc Godard
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 103 min

Masculin Féminin continues French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's early experiments with film style through innovative uses of sound, documentary-like cinematography, and nonlinear narration. Using an experimental film-essay format, this satirical exploration of Paris youth culture follows the romance between a pop singer and a brooding romantic who are, as an intertitle suggests, "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola."

50. 'The Wild Child' (1970)

- Director: François Truffaut
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 83 min

François Truffaut's haunting debut The 400 Blows inaugurated the French New Wave film movement with its chronicle of a young juvenile delinquent. Truffaut returns to the emotionally harrowing experiences of youth and adolescence in The Wild Child, which explores the Tarzan-like history of a young boy found in the woods in 1798 who is then gradually socialized into French society.

49. 'Le Petit Soldat' (1963)

- Director: Jean-Luc Godard
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 88 min

French New Wave actress Anna Karina made her film debut in Jean-Luc Godard's second film, which continues the auteur's rebellious aesthetic that thwarts conventions of traditional French cinema. Le Petit Soldat concerns covert conflicts between the Algerian Liberation Front and the French government. The film was initially banned in France due to what were viewed as controversial depictions of French authorities using torture.

Wild Strawberries
Herbert Dorfman/ Corbis/Getty Images

48. 'Wild Strawberries' (1957)

- Director: Ingmar Bergman
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 91 min

At the end of his life, a curmudgeonly professor takes a road trip to receive a late-career honor and on the way takes a nostalgic journey through his past. Considered a masterpiece of Swedish cinema, the film features dream revelries exploring the psychology of the human condition and uses memory as a key entrypoint.

47. 'Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion' (1970)

- Director: Elio Petri
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 115 min

Elio Petri's critically acclaimed Italian police thriller is both a how-to on getting away with murder and a scathing critique of institutional corruption. After a detective kills his mistress, he's put in charge of the case in this taut, stylish drama that investigates a crime as well as Italy's systems of power.

46. 'Persepolis' (2007)

- Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 96 min

A co-production of France and Iran, Persepolis adapts the hit graphic novel of the same name by Marjane Satrapi, who also co-directed this animated film. Satrapi's autobiographical story follows her riveting experience growing up during the Iranian revolution. The animated style resembles a living comic book rendered in stark but dramatic black-and-white images.

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45. 'L'Argent' (1983)

- Director: Robert Bresson
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 85 min

French auteur Robert Bresson was 80 years old when he directed this spare, contemplative drama, based on a Leo Tolstoy novella, that examines the soul of criminality. The film follows a random but harrowing series of events in which an otherwise average family man gets pulled into a crime, is convicted, and then proceeds further down what seems an inevitably dark path.

44. 'Gangs of Wasseypur' (2012)

- Director: Anurag Kashyap
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 321 min

Released in two parts due to its over-five-hour running time, this popular, innovative spectacle of Indian cinema offers a revision of the gangster genre that references both classic and contemporary movies in its kinetic, colorful style. Exuberant long takes, vibrant action scenes, and ultra-violence accompany this mafia revenge tale set across 70 years.

43. 'Solaris' (1972)

- Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 167 min

Andrei Tarkovsky's science fiction art film set on a space station is considered a masterpiece of Russian cinema. A psychologist travels to a space station to investigate strange occurrences and soon finds himself caught up in the weirdness. His long-dead wife shows up, along with other baffling occurrences, in this contemplative drama that uses the isolation and mysteries of space to consider human experience, the nature of reality and perception, and memory.

42. 'Le Cercle Rouge' (1970)

- Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 140 min

French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville is known for his stylish, gripping crime films that explore and expose the dark pessimism of the gangster universe. His influential films depict the ultra-cool panache of lawless men like those in Le Cercle Rouge, a quintessential heist film that keeps audiences rooting for bad guys to get away with the impossible.

41. 'Beauty and the Beast' (1946)

- Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément (uncredited)
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 93 min

This French adaptation of the well-known fairy tale offers an enchanting and visually sumptuous production design. Black-and-white cinematography takes on a surrealist edge in this technically masterful story about a woman imprisoned by a monstrous beast who then falls in love with her. The film is known for its stirring, poignant romance and depth that goes well beyond a child's story.

 Harakiri
FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives/Getty Images

40. 'Harakiri' (1962)

- Director: Masaki Kobayashi
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 133 min

Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece set in 17th-century feudal Japan features striking widescreen compositions that depict the rebellion beneath a staid tradition of samurai rules and conventions. Intense violence and arresting fight scenes surround the tragedy of a family caught up in the upheaval within a brutal regime reliant on the suicidal practice of seppuku, or harakiri.

39. 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' (1972)

- Director: Luis Buñuel
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 102 min

Spanish director Luis Buñuel is arguably the originator of cinematic surrealism, infusing his films with a dizzying clash of strange symbols and dreamlike interludes. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for France for its elaborate, surrealist take on uppercrust friends trying in vain to have dinner that takes a detour into bizarre and subversive revelry.

38. 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (2000)

- Director: Ang Lee
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 120 min

Tawainese director Ang Lee brought wuxia, a martial arts genre, to mainstream audiences worldwide with this huge critical and box-office success. Gorgeous visual design and stunningly kinetic combat sequences using state-of-the-art special effects wowed audiences. Set in early 19th-century China, the story follows a retired warrior drawn back into a revenge saga.

37. 'Days of Being Wild' (1990)

- Director: Wong Kar-wai
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 94 min

Wong Kar-wai is one of Hong Kong's major directors, renowned for his vibrant, dreamlike visual style that brings epic emotional scope to the everyday lives of his characters. Days of Being Wild is an early-career drama that follows a listless young man searching for his birth mother while stringing along two women vying for his heart.

36. 'The Lives of Others' (2006)

- Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 137 min

German writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film debut concerns the Stasi East German police, who spied on those deemed a threat to the state, especially artists. Set in 1980s East Berlin, this dramatic thriller creates a pervasive tension as it exposes the secrets of spies and those they surveil.

35. 'Shoplifters' (2018)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 121 min

Set in the lesser-seen, impoverished districts of Toyko, Hirokazu Koreeda's Shoplifters follows a family who relies on petty theft to support their existence. They take in a young child who's being abused, and this act upturns their world. The Japanese film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival, renowned for its striking emotional inquiry into what makes a family.

34. 'Amour' (2012)

- Director: Michael Haneke
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 127 min

Michael Haneke's Amour won numerous major awards, including the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A co-production of France, Austria, and Germany, it explores the relationship between an elderly couple after one of them has a series of debilitating strokes.

33. 'Roma' (2018)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 135 min

Alfonso Cuarón's semi-autobiographical film is loosely based on his own childhood experience growing up during the civil unrest in 1970s Mexico City. Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her debut performance as the live-in housekeeper of an affluent household in a film that explores class.

32. 'The Best of Youth' (2003)

- Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 366 min

Originally intended as a miniseries for Italian television, The Best of Youth clocks in at six hours long, though critics found it to be an enthralling drama that earns its length as it follows two brothers across four decades. The two men clash in ideals and careers in a surprisingly engrossing melodrama that explores the divisions and connections in families.

31. 'Samurai Rebellion' (1967)

- Director: Masaki Kobayashi
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 128 min

Set in feudal Japan in 1725, director Masaki's Kobayashi's family drama explores the rigid injustice of social systems and the price for rebelling against them. A lord first demands that a samurai's son marry his cast-off concubine, but then demands her return after the couple have fallen in love and had a child. Stunning black-and-white cinematography conveys this world's oppressive structure, as well as the passion of those who choose to defy it.

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30. 'A Brighter Summer Day' (1991)

- Director: Edward Yang
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 237 min

Edward Yang is a quintessential director of the Taiwanese New Wave cinema movement known for its stylistic innovations and political content specific to Tawainese identity and history. A Brighter Summer Day, set in 1960 and based on a true event, follows a teenage boy caught up in gang life who murders his girlfriend. Yang's captivating realist style uses long takes to create a mesmerizing and affective tragedy.

 Hungarian film-maker Bela Tarr
Hungarian film-maker Bela Tarr Carole Bellaiche/Getty Images

29. 'Werckmeister Harmonies' (2000)

- Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 145 min

The Hungarian husband-wife auteur team of Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky creates another strange masterpiece made up of long takes and somber black-and-white cinematography instilled with a philosophy of politics. Werckmeister Harmonies is set in a small European village where a circus comes to town with a giant whale carcass in tow, eventually inciting violent riots.

28. 'Umberto D.' (1952)

- Director: Vittorio De Sica
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 89 min

Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece of the Italian neorealist cinema examines the plight of an elderly man, Umberto, and his dog adrift in a social system with no means to support them. The film features long takes of the details of everyday existence as Umberto gets evicted from the room he rents, then is discharged from a hospital, finding himself without options to survive.

27. 'Elevator to the Gallows' (1958)

- Director: Louis Malle
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 91 min

French director Louis Malle's debut film, a crime thriller with a Miles Davis soundtrack, imbues film noir with a jazz edge. An adulterous couple plots a murderous scheme that leaves one of them locked in an elevator in scenes that teem with claustrophobic suspense. One thing after another goes awry as the crimes go from bad to worse on a twisting path toward doom.

26. 'Journey to Italy' (1954)

- Director: Roberto Rossellini
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 97 min

Star Ingrid Bergman was married to director Roberto Rossellini during the production of this Italian film shot in English and dubbed for its release in Italy. Rossellini was a master of the Italian neorealist cinema, but in this drama he turned to an upper-crust British couple on holiday in Naples who drift apart. Critics found it a modern transformation of the director's previous style into a work that explores the mysterious inner lives of the married couple at its center.

25. 'Yi Yi' (2000)

- Director: Edward Yang
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 173 min

Edward Yang, an auteur of the Tawainese New Wave film movement, won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival for his intimate, detailed look at the everyday lives of three generations of a family in Taipei. The drama unfolds at an unhurried pace as a father of two endures problems at work, a mother-in-law in a coma, and a wife in a midlife crisis—all presented in a gentle, droll, and deeply affecting style.

24. 'La Dolce Vita' (1960)

- Director: Federico Fellini
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 174 min

There are several iconic scenes in Federico Fellini's rhapsody on hedonism and excess, including the fountain frolic and the opening sequence where a statue of Jesus dangles from a helicopter. Marcello Mastroianni plays a tabloid columnist moving through a series of surreal vignettes across Rome in an exploration on love and celebrity that upends film conventions.

23. 'Jules and Jim' (1962)

- Director: François Truffaut
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 105 min

François Truffaut, a major director of the French New Wave, uses elements such as handheld shots, freeze frames, roving pans, newsreel footage, and superimposition to create a sense of vivid yet ethereal realism in Jules and Jim. Jeanne Moreau plays the woman at the center of one of the quintessential cinematic love triangles. The film follows two friends who fight for opposite sides during World War I and fall for the same enigmatic woman.

22. 'Pépé le Moko' (1937)

- Director: Julien Duvivier
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 94 min

Julien Duvivier's atmospheric romance takes place in the dark, twisting alleys and porticos of the Casbah district of Algiers, a gritty, labyrinthine world where the gangster Pépé holes up to evade police. Pépé falls for a mysterious woman, but love leads to downfall. Duvivier's style emerged as part of the Poetic Realism movement in French film that later influenced the doomed characters and bleak themes of film noir.

21. 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' (2019)

- Director: Céline Sciamma
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 122 min

Céline Sciamma's mesmerizing love story creates a new cinematic language, one that explores a female gaze that reinvents what it means for women both to look and be looked at beyond the conventions of male objectification. Set in late 18th-century France, an artist, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), is commissioned to paint the portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). The painting, meant for a groom whom Héloïse has never met, becomes a subversive and romantic project for the two.

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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

20. '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' (2007)

- Director: Cristian Mungiu
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 113 min

Cristian Mungiu's searing, minimalist thriller-of-the-everyday became the first Romanian film to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in 1987 in communist Romania, the story follows what two college-age women go through when one of them seeks an abortion in a culture where it's illegal. Cinematography focuses on the stark details of an oppressive world seen through intimate long takes.

19. 'The Battle of Algiers' (1966)

- Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 121 min

Using the stylistic tenets of the Italian neorealist film movement, The Battle of Algiers is shot in black-and-white with nonprofessional actors to achieve a sense of documentary reality in depicting the history of the Algerian War of Independence from the French government. It was a joint production between Italy and Algeria and was initially banned in France.

18. 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' (1966)

- Director: Sergio Leone
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Runtime: 178 min

Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western classic The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly has little dialogue, instead relying on a riveting visual language that includes epic landscapes and arresting closeups. It was shot without sound, with all actors dubbing their own voices in post-production. Star Clint Eastwood's lines were dubbed by an Italian voice actor for the film's premiere in Italy.

17. 'A Separation' (2011)

- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 123 min

The first Iranian film to win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is also one of the great films about divorce. Asghar Farhadi's drama opens with the separating couple (Leila Hatami and Payman Maadi) directly addressing both the camera and a family court judge. The audience is pulled into a tense and intimate world where it's impossible to choose sides in the complicated dispute that unfolds with the couple's young daughter, who is caught in the middle.

16. 'Ran' (1985)

- Director: Akira Kurosawa
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 162 min

Akira Kurosawa reimagined Shakespeare's King Lear as a drama between a warrior king and his three sons in 16th-century Japan. Ran brings the conflict to the battlefield in sweeping combat spectacles that show the renowned director's technical prowess. The bleak themes of the original play become even more epic as the kingdom fractures with grand cinematic beauty.

15. 'Grave of the Fireflies' (1988)

- Director: Isao Takahata
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 89 min

Grave of the Fireflies is a haunting tearjerker, revered for bringing human depth to animated characters. This Japanese film follows two siblings in the aftermath of the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The two struggle as they make their way through landscapes both harsh and fantastical to capture the tragic, heart-wrenching experience of its young heroes.

14. 'Rififi' (1955)

- Director: Jules Dassin
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 118 min

Jules Dassin, an American blacklisted during the McCarthy era, directed the influential heist film Rififi in France. This bleak, dread-soaked caper includes a suspenseful play-by-play break-in that requires meticulous safecracking. The criminal gang, each member with their own expertise, looks to pull off that one final job, but nothing goes as planned.

13. 'Au Hasard Balthazar' (1966)

- Director: Robert Bresson
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 95 min

French director Robert Bresson's cinematic ode to the life of a donkey, Balthazar, seems an unlikely subject for critical acclaim. Bresson uses a stark and direct style where "au hasard" or "at random" encounters are both brutal and compassionate. The film achieves a poetic presentation of the human condition that evades the sentimental, despite its exploration of these themes through an animal's perspective.

12. 'Children of Paradise' (1945)

- Director: Marcel Carné
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 189 min

Children of Paradise was shot on soundstages during the restrictive Vichy regime during World War II and is considered an achievement in French studio filmmaking. The film is a long, epic costume drama set in the 1830s with a style that is traditional and straightforward with stagy, affected performances. It's filled with subversive subtext as it follows a beguiling woman who has four different suitors, each with their own agenda.

11. 'Rashomon' (1950)

- Director: Akira Kurosawa
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 88 min

One of the most influential Japanese films of all time, Rashomon is most famous for its narrative structure and the way it calls point-of-view into question. A crime takes place in feudal-era Japan, where locals try to make sense of a rape and murder with details that emerge in vignettes seen from four different perspectives.

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Pan's Labyrinth
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

10. 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006)

- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 118 min

Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's resplendent and bizarre fairy tale for adults brims with surreal intrigue and nightmare scenarios involving a child-eating creature known as The Pale Man with eyes in his palms. Taking place in Spain during World War II, Pan's Labyrinth mixes realistic history with a fantastical descent into the underworld to depict the horrors of wartime.

9. 'The Leopard' (1963)

- Director: Luchino Visconti
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 186 min

Opulent costumes and settings recreate 1860s Sicily, where an aristocratic family copes with the social changes that threaten their dynasty. Burt Lancaster stars as the patriarch, a prince looking to protect his family's empire in an epic tale known for its sweeping scale and decadent beauty. The Leopard was screened in English in the U.S., and while Lancaster was filmed speaking English, he was later dubbed by an Italian voice actor, with awkward results.

8. 'The Conformist' (1970)

- Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 113 min

Italian auteur Bernardo Bertolucci infuses his drama about conformity with stylish, color-rich cinematography that captures 1930s Paris, where an Italian assassin, Marcello, is sent to kill his outspoken, antifascist former professor. Bertolucci's nonlinear narrative moves across Marcello's life to explore how his obsession with acceptance contributes to his fascist sympathies and easy betrayals.

7. 'Metropolis' (1927)

- Director: Fritz Lang
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 153 min

Fritz Lang's iconic science fiction classic is a masterwork of German Expressionism and the silent cinema. In Metropolis, elites frolic on garden rooftops while workers toil in the depths below, subdued by monstrous machinery. The iconic, art-deco-inspired robot Maria suggests a fear of technology in this highly influential film known for its vast scale and striking visuals.

6. 'Army of Shadows' (1969)

- Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 145 min

Army of Shadows was an obscure French masterpiece about resistance during World War II until it garnered a critical resurgence of attention upon its American release in 2006. Director Jean-Pierre Melville makes the proceedings unrelentingly bleak in this chilling depiction of betrayal and despair for those who resist the Nazi regime.

5. 'Fanny and Alexander' (1982)

- Director: Ingmar Bergman
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 188 min

Known for arthouse classics Persona and Wild Strawberries, Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman may be most acclaimed for this sprawling family drama with supernatural elements set in the early 1900s. Two children (the plot is semi-autobiographical) must contend with the brutal bishop their mother marries after the death of their beloved father. Bergman's characteristic themes of psychological mayhem play out through the children's dreams and desperation for escape.

4. 'Three Colors: Red' (1994)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 99 min

Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy took the French flag as inspiration and thematically tethered to its mottos three artsy, interlinked dramas that were co-produced by France, Poland, and Switzerland. The final Red, after Blue and White, stars Irène Jacob as a student and model whose life intersects with a retired judge. Critics hailed Red as the best of the three (it has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes) due to its atmospheric beauty and interconnected themes.

3. 'Spirited Away' (2001)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 125 min

This coming-of-age adventure is a wondrous masterpiece of Japanese animation from acclaimed writer-director Hayao Miyazaki. In this brilliantly original fairy tale, a 10-year-old girl, Chihiro, loses her parents and finds herself adrift in a world filled with strange gods and creatures. Vivid worldbuilding and glorious visuals make this a family film that transcends the usual fare with heartfelt depth and mesmerizing intensity.

2. 'Parasite' (2019)

- Director: Bong Joon-ho
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 132 min

The affluent home in Parasite becomes a setting for nightmarish conflicts between a rich household and the poor family they hire as servants. Bong Joon-ho entwines domestic class struggles with a dark, surrealist edge. Parasite became the first foreign language film to win the Best Picture Oscar, while also winning for Best Foreign Language Film—the first time South Korea had been nominated in either category.

Seven Samurai
A poster designed by Peter Strausfeld for Akira Kurosawa's 1954 drama "Seven Samurai" starring Toshiro Mifune. Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

1. 'Seven Samurai' (1954)

- Director: Akira Kurosawa
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 207 min

Akira Kurosawa's battle-heavy masterpiece remains one of the most influential films of all time. In 16th-century Japan, a ragtag group of seven fighters band together at a village outpost as plunderers surround from all sides. The tense and prolonged final battle, as well as the "team of heroes against impossible odds" narrative, show up again in countless combat and action films that obsess over honor and what makes a hero.

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