From international thrillers to romantic foreign movies – travel the world from the comfort of your couch with these international movies to watch now on Netflix.
The brave new world of streaming doesn’t just let us re-watch classic sitcoms from yesteryear, but it also lets us try something completely new. Which is why there’s never been a better time to get into the wide world of foreign movies, with so many different tastes, styles, and histories to dig into. Whether you’re in the mood for a saucy European romance, or a historical action-packed Indian epic, there is plenty of foreign movies on Netflix right now.
With so much to choose from, we’ve curated a list of Australia’s 10 best foreign movies on Netflix to stream now, helping you queue up on your weekend binge. So snuggle up on the couch, pop some corn, and enjoy a taste of world cinema and the best foreign language movies – all without ever leaving your couch!
Roma follows the life of an Indigenous live-in housekeeper in Mexico City and her relationship with an upper middle-class family. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this semi-autobiographical work details his middle-class upbringing 1970s Mexico, tense with social unrest and class conflict. This black-and-white hard hitting international film masterpiece takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey, letting them experience this unique time for Mexico through a perspective not often captured in film. Nominated for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards, this Spanish language drama is a rare gem that captures the heart and soul of a place lost to time, of a feeling indescribable yet palpable in every frame. Funded and ready to watch on Netflix; don’t miss one of the best Mexican films ever made.
One of the greatest Japanese anime films of all time, Spirited Away showcases the power and imagination of both animation and foreign films. Often titled as the ‘Walt Disney of Japan,’ director Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbour Totoro) takes the viewer on an enthralling adventure inspired by Japanese folklore and child-like wonder. A modern fairy-tale like no other, Spirited Away tells the story of 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino as she enters the land of spirits and monsters, where she must escape a magical bathhouse and rescue her parents. This thrilling plot is accompanied by richly detailed animation, making every frame a visual delight. Be swept away by Spirited Away, now streaming on Netflix.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho of Parasite and Snowpiercer fame, Okja is an action-adventure film both saccharine sweet and morbidly horrifying. Revolving around the young girl Mija and her quest to reunite with her genetically engineered super-pig Okja, the film sheds light on the cruel behind-the-scenes happenings of consumerism and the friendly façade of corporate capitalism. One of the best South Korean films on Netflix, this anti-capitalist ode is a must-watch for film lovers all over the world. To quote Joon-ho, don’t let the “one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles” stop you from enjoying this quirky delight.
Eat Drink Man Woman
A 1994 Taiwanese comedy-drama, Eat Drink Man Woman is a delightful romp full of family dysfunction. Directed by Ang Lee (Life of Pi), this Taiwanese cult classic tells the interweaving story of the Zhu family, as each member must overcome the struggles of love, life, and family. Similarly to real life, Eat Drink Man Woman exudes that even at the worst of times, family will always come together for their shared passion for food. One of the best Chinese language films on Netflix, devour Eat Drink Man Women as soon as you can!
Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
If you’re looking for the best foreign movies to stream on Netflix, this entry comes with a catch: a historical Indian epic of gargantuan proportions, Baahubali is so big they had to split the film into two parts. Yet that compromise shouldn’t stop you from binging this tour de force of filmmaking. Both Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was directed by S. S. Rajamouli. This romantic foreign movie on Netflix tells the grand love story of Sivudu, a strapping young man, and the young warrior woman Avantika. Apart from uncovering a family legacy, this over-the-top action, charming romance and captivating musical showcases the vibrancy and dynamism of Indian cinema. Considered as one of the best Indian films of all time, be sure to book-out your weekend with this sweeping magnum opus.
Kung Fu Hustle
An action-comedy hybrid, Kung Fu Hustle shows how to have a little fun with the past while also being a rip-roaring good time. Directed and starring Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Hustle centres on petty criminal Sing as he challenges the infamous local Axe Gang, discovering his true destiny. A parody of Hong Kong kung fu flicks from the 70s, Kung Fu Hustle pokes fun at the poor dubbing and over-the-top fights while revelling in the earnest joy found in Hong Kong cinema at that time. Streaming on Netflix Australia, hustle over and watch this homage to Chinese cinema!
While the world may be familiar with Bruce Lee, it wasn’t until 2008 when the world learnt the history behind his master. The 2008 Hong Kong martial arts film Ip Man follows the life of martial arts master Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen) and his struggles during the Japanese occupation of Southern China in 1935. Impactful action scenes go hand-in-hand with heart-wrenching drama, revealing how the human spirit can survive in the harshest of conditions. Directed by Wilson Yip, start streaming one of the best modern Chinese films today.
I Lost My Body
While Pixar and Disney have defined animation as mostly family friendly films, international filmmakers have used the medium as a space to explore more adult themes. Released globally in 2019 to Netflix, I Lost My Body tells the story of the young Moroccan man Naoufel who must explore an unfamiliar Paris to reunite with his conscious severed hand. A French animated film directed by Jérémy Clapin, I Lost My Body is a touching exploration of loss, both physically and emotionally. In fact, this quirky and bizarre adult animation was nominated for Best Animated film at the 92nd Academy Awards. Beautifully animated and heart-wrenchingly delicate, don’t lose this animated gem.
Your Name Engraved Herein
For those wanting a more intimate, romantic foreign movie to watch on Netflix, look on over to Your Name Engraved Herein. Directed by Patrick Kuang-Hui Liu, this Taiwanese romance explores the burgeoning relationship between two male students in 1988 Taiwan, at the end of the country’s martial law. What follows is a heartbreaking affair, as neither knows how to grapple with their true feelings for one another. Released in 2020, Your Name Engraved is one of the best foreign LGBT movies to stream on Netflix, letting you experience both repression of 1980s Taiwan, as well as the bittersweet feeling of what could have been.
Hand of God
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), the Hand of God is an understated Italian drama that explores the directors own past. Set in 1980s Naples, young Fabietto (Filippo Scotti) – without many friends or relationships – is trying to pursue his love of football. Yet when a sudden family tragedy strikes, his future becomes more uncertain. This intimate and emotional coming-of-age drama packs an emotional wallop, highlighting the beauty of youth. One of the best European films on Netflix, add Hand of God to your watchlist as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for more things to watch on Netflix now, start streaming your way through our list of the 15 Best Netflix Originals Documentaries. And if you love international thrillers, you’ll also love these 10 Best Horror Movies to Stream Now on Netflix.