Special Report

Best Foreign Films of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Continental Distributing

35. Playtime (1967)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (21,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (51 reviews)
> Directed by: Jacques Tati
> Language: French

Director and star Jacques Tati reprises the role of Monsieur Hulot for this inventive comedy. Largely free of dialogue, it sends the clumsy and old-fashioned character on a series of misadventures through the modern world.

Source: Courtesy of Rialto Pictures

34. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (41,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (53 reviews)
> Directed by: Luis Buñuel
> Language: French

Featuring the world’s most frustrating dinner party, this surrealist satire follows a group of cultural elitists through various dream states. The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw called it “an exotic and brilliant hothouse flower of a film.” It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Source: Courtesy of Cine Classics

33. The Rules of the Game (1939)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (28,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (51 reviews)
> Directed by: Jean Renoir
> Language: French

Renoir’s foremost masterpiece uses interpersonal entanglements as a gateway to cunning satire. The story takes place during a weekend retreat and cleverly peels back the layers of upper class society. It was initially banned by the French government for “having an undesirable influence over the young.”

Source: Courtesy of New Yorker Films

32. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (55,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (50 reviews)
> Directed by: Werner Herzog
> Language: German

Actor Klaus Kinski delivers an almost too-convincing performance as Don Lope de Aguirre in this historical adventure. Set in the 16th century, it depicts the mad Spanish explorer on his perilous search for El Dorado. Production was beset by various troubles, including repeated clashes between Kinski and the crew.

Source: Courtesy of Astor Pictures Corporation

31. La Dolce Vita (1960)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (71,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (74 reviews)
> Directed by: Federico Fellini
> Language: Italian

Federico Fellini’s love letter to the Italian sweet life doubles as a subtle critique of modern society. At the heart of the story is a hedonistic journalist (Marcello Mastroianni), who drifts through Rome while indulging his various whims. In addition to its enduring title, the film is also the source of the term “paparazzi.”

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