If you are a cinephile like me, chances are that you are always thrilled to discuss or explore the best French movies on the streaming service Netflix. If you are still wondering what foreign movies to hop on that guarantees the frills and thrills of great cinematic work, you should seriously consider French movies. France arguably has the most successful film industry in Europe, both critically and commercially, and there has been an increase in the number of great French movies been released in recent years.
Given the illustrious cultural history, the cuisines, the participation in world politics, the impact of wars, and the fashion mecca that it is known as, France and French movies have won hearts all across the globe. Consequently, the nation has become one of the largest purveyors of international movies.
This is not just about filmmakers; the French film and cinema industry has offered some of the finest actresses and actors that have graced our screens. Brigitte Bardot, Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Alain Delon, Isabelle Huppert, and Audrey Tatou are some of the internationally acclaimed actors and actresses from France or are fluent in French.
There are Many French Movies to Watch on Netflix, But Here Are My Picks:
We are Family (2016) | C’est quoi Cette Famille?!
This is one of the funniest French comedies on Netflix. C’est quoi Cette Famille is about a kid called Bastien and his six other half-siblings. It happened that Bastien’s parents have married but separated only to be remarried on several occasions. This ultimately meant he had several half-brothers and half-sisters whom he lived with.
After ‘enduring’ the brevity of living arrangements together with parents changing constantly, Bastien’s siblings decide not to move places any longer. Rather, they want their parents to stay with them for long. Comprising of rib-cracking moments, C’est quoi Cette Famille is an authentic description of the typical urbane kids’ culture.
I Am Not an Easy Man (2018) | Je ne suis pas un homme facile
This is another French comedy with the ‘Me Too’ theme that ingeniously subverts 21st-century misogynistic clichés. Shameless bigot Damien hits his head and wakes up in an alternate universe where women now have all of the power customarily possessed by men. In this unfamiliar matriarchal setting, he must live through a smorgasbord of problems like workplace and street sexual harassment, regular family and social pressure to have children, and fashions that require him to shave his whole body and don uncomfortable clothes.
I am Not an Easy Man does a great job of dissecting how the societal ills that women face related to classic gender roles. In spite of the seriousness of the themes, this movie is a light-hearted film with a lot of happy moments and a little crude hilarity that will doubtless make you smile and, at the same time, leave you with much stuff to ponder on.
Nothing to Hide (2018) [Le Jeu]
Nothing to Hide is the aggregation of fears, shocks, and horrors. It starts with three couples- Vincent and Marie (both doctors), Marco and Charlotte, Lea and Thomas, and Ben a lonely dude. During dinner, the seven decide to make their phone conversations, pictures, and messages public. This was something that started as a game, but it didn’t end as exactly expected.
Imagine the scene where men and women receiving sexts, voicemails from mistresses, kinky pictures, etc.; this game ended up being something no one saw coming. Without a doubt, the seven all had ghosts in their cupboards.
The Climb (2017) [L’Ascension]
The Climb is a refreshing tale with its own uplifting and warm moments. It features Sam, an unemployed guy who is in love with Nadia but to prove his unmistakable affection for her, he promises to ascend Mt. Everest despite his zilch mountaineering experience. He goes off to Nepal with a Nutella jar and a book and is stunned by the audacity of his experience, much before reaching the mountains. Sam makes many friends en route.
The African Doctor (2016)
Seyolo Zantoko just became a doctor, and now he starts a new challenge. He moves with his family to a small French village in the rural side, where he tries to become one of the most revered doctors. The African Doctor is mostly about the tale of the struggles of a Congolese descent in France to integrate into society. The movie delivers a poignant narration with a tinge of comedy. Simultaneously, it also tells a timeless tale of immigrants’ challenges along with family problems. The African Doctor can be considered a wonderful satire of culture and race.
Divines were nominated for a Golden Globe, and it tells the story of a teen from a broken home in Paris that crosses path with a young dancer who rocked her world. Even though the plot appears uncomplicated, it is not so simple. Every scene, character, setting, relationship, and element strikes with magnificent strength. From a daughter-mother talk to a classroom argument, almost every scene is poignant. Divines is a movie about survival in a crazy universe where the characters feel so real. Actresses Déborah Lukumuena and Oulaya Amamra put in incredible shifts in this movie.
I Lost My Body (2019)
In 2019, I Lost My Body became the first animated movie to clinch the Critic’s Week Grand Prize at Cannes. At the Academy Awards, it was also nominated for the Best Animated Feature losing to Toy Story 4. This rare adult animated movie deploys strange storytelling as it narrates how a severed hand that escapes from a Parisian lab to reunite with the body. It is the story, often told in flashbacks, of Noufel and his hand. I Lost My Body is critically acclaimed and regarded as having one of the most authentic and creative storylines.
Earth and Blood (2020)
Earth and Blood is a thoroughly armed action thriller that was originally titled ‘La Terre et le Sang’. Julien Leclercq directed the movie, which is extremely based on paramilitary and artillery display. In this flick, Said (played by Sami Bouajila) involuntarily offers a job to Yanis (played by Samy Seghir), who is a troubled guy on parole for a misdemeanor. Yanis conceals cocaine in Said’s sawmill, which his half-brother had stolen from a dangerous gang of drug dealers.
Unknowingly, Said fights to protect his daughter Sarah (played by Sofia Lessafre) as they come under attack by the gang. What happens is an exhilarating and nervous chase for safety against Adama (Eriq Ebouaney), the drug lord.
This is a romantic comedy and the first Netflix-produced film that is French. Directed by Julie Hygreck, the story is about Jeremy (Syrus Shahidi), a young man who films activities from his daily life as a miniseries to stay linked with his bed-ridden dad. Lola (Charlotte Gabris), his girlfriend, works at a comic bookstore and is a superhero buff. She is also the only girl who consents to go on a date with Jeremy. But as soon as she discovers some of her boyfriend’s lost footage, she gets incredibly angry and calls it to quit. Blockbuster revolves around how Jeremy attempts to win Lola’s heart back.
Lost Bullet (2020) | Balle Perdue
Written and directed by Guillaume Pierret, Lost Bullet is about Lino (Alban Lenoir), an automobile mechanic with a criminal past who incurs police attention as Officer Charas (Ramzy Bedia), his police friend, and mentor is killed by a group of cops. To prove his innocence, Lino must find the lost bullet. If you are a fan of realistic action flicks, this movie will give you a treat of impact scenes like cars colliding, toppling, etc. It is super adrenaline-pumping.
You might have a little trouble finding some of the best movies on Netflix, but these are brilliant picks you should find easily. They range from romance to action with strong characterization, great directing, and outstanding plots that will keep you on the edge of your seat for their entire duration. And I suggest that you watch with English subtitles to understand the language and culture better. Even if you’re merely interested in improving your language skills, watching some of these French movies will let you in on how French filmmakers are shaping the industry one shot at a time