Poster of three French movies

Netflix's Top 15 French Films

As a language nerd and a movie buff, I have a special place in my heart for movies. I love movies for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that I learn so much from them. It’s true. There are thousands of resources to help you learn French, but nothing beats seeing the language in action. Doing so allows you to become more comfortable with the sounds, accent, and flow of the language in a very immersive way. 

Watching movies in French is not only an engaging way to learn the language, but also a quick way to increase your vocabulary and improve your listening and comprehension skills. The film industry in France and other French-speaking countries has produced some of the world's greatest films, and many of these films have now become classics enjoyed by viewers all over the world. 

You do not have to go to Quebec or Paris to get an authentic French movie experience. There are some really good classic movies from the homeland of French films that you can watch no matter where you live. 

These 15 films represent some of the best French films ever made in recent history and also early on, along with a couple of other recommendations for both foreign and older classics.

1) Amélie (2001)


Amelie film poster

Image credit: IMDb

When a young Parisian waitress discovers family artifacts in her apartment, she delivers them to their rightful owners. She decides to help others by performing anonymous acts of kindness throughout Paris and finds love along the way. The romantic comedy-drama was nominated for five Academy Awards and won four of them. It is listed as one of the 1001 movies you must see before you die.

2) Intouchables (2011)


Intouchables (2011)

Image credit: iMDb

A wealthy quadriplegic in a Paris mansion demands a live-in caregiver. A young offender shows up for an interview, but he isn't interested in the position. To his surprise, he is hired. Following that, the two men develop a strong bond. There is an American spin-off but I enjoyed this better.

3) Bon Cop Bad Cop 1 & 2 (2006 & 2017)

Trailer 1

Trailer 2 

Bon Cop Bad Cop 1 movie poster

Image Credit: iMDb

When a murdered corpse is discovered on the Ontario-Quebec border, two Canadian detectives from Ontario and Quebec must work together to solve the case.

4) Ensemble c'est tout (2007)


Ensemble c'est tout (2007) movie poster

Image credit: iMDb

Camille falls ill with the flu and takes shelter in her neighbour Philibert's house. The poor young nobleman and his gourmet friend Franck share a large apartment. On the other hand, Camille is considered an intrusion by Franck, and he will go to any length to keep her away.

5) Demain Tout Commence (2016)


Demain Tout Commence (2016)

Image Credit: Freaking Geek

Samuel enjoys a carefree existence on the French Riviera, with a sense of humour and nonchalance. It is not until Kristin, a previous lover, informs him that he is the father of a baby girl, hands the baby over, and disappears. The man wanders the streets of London, looking for the mother. After Gloria and her father become inseparable, her mother reappears eight years later.

6) La Famille Bélier (2014)


La Famille Bélier (2014) movie poster

Image Credit: IMDb

Every member of the Bélier family is deaf except their 16-year-old daughter Paula. As the interpreter for her parents, especially on the family farm, she is indispensable. Her music teacher encourages her to prepare for a singing contest organized by Radio France one day, after spotting her talent. It was a choice that meant separating from her family and taking the first step toward independence for her.I watched this movie on a flight to Bordeaux for my immersion program and related to it so much.

7) Qu’est ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu (2014)


Qu’est ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu  poster

Image Credit: Radio canada

The Verneuils are of the "old France" generation, descended from an upper provincial bourgeoisie. Nonetheless, they have always kept an open mind. Their tolerance was tested when their first daughter married a Muslim, their second a Jew, and their third a Chinese. The youngest, who had recently met a devout Catholic, gave them the strongest hope that one of them would marry in church. This multicultural film is sure to make you laugh so hard you might cry. The second part came out in 2019 and the third is coming in 2022! 

8) Mauvaises herbes (2018)


Mauvaises herbes (2018) movie poster

Image Credit: IMDb

Waël,a former street youngster, makes a living in the Paris suburbs by running little con jobs with Monique, a retired woman who clearly adores him. His life changes when a friend of Monique's, Victor, gives him, at Monique's request, a brief volunteer job in her centre for children who are not enrolled in school.

9) Monsieur Lazhar (2011)


Monsieur Lazhar (2011) movie poster

Image Credit: IMDb

The multiple award-winning movie tells the story of Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, who fills in for a deceased teacher who committed suicide at an elementary school. His life is equally concealed: he is requesting political asylum in Quebec and, like the children, has suffered a tremendous loss.

10) Starbuck (2011)

Starbuck (2011) film poster

Image Credit: IMDb

David Wozniak, 42, decides to take control of his life after failing so many times. In his youth, he was a surrogate at a fertility clinic, and he learned that he had 533 biological children. 142 of whom claim that he is the true donor, code-named Starbuck.

11) Menteur (2019)


Menteur (2019) movie poster

Image Credit: IMDb

Simon lies a lot. His family, friends, and colleagues surprise him with an ultimatum: learn to tell the truth. Simon continues to live in denial, resulting in a seemingly endless stream of lies. A rare circumstance occurs in which all the lies he has told in his life become true. With the assistance of his twin brother and a new colleague, he must figure out how to escape this nightmare.

12) 1981 (2009)


1981 (2009) poster

Image Credit: Imdb

The Trogi family moved into a new home in 1981. Ricardo, 11, is the new kid at school in a wealthy neighbourhood, and he worries about his reputation. Ricardo fabricates a false family history that he must maintain diligently in order to look likeable in the eyes of his new acquaintances.

13) Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont (2016)


Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont  poster

Image Credit: IMDb

As a young doctor from Kinshasa, Congo, Seyolo Zantoko seized the opportunity to work as a country doctor in a small French community in 1975. Soon after they arrived in Marly-Gomont, Seyolo and his family grew discouraged. The villagers, who have never been in contact with Africans, were terrified. Yet Seyolo was eager to succeed and would do anything to gain the locals' trust.

14) Coco avant Chanel (2009)


coco channel poster

Image Credit: Netflix

The life of fashion legend Coco Chanel, from orphan to cabaret singer to Parisian haute couture queen.

15) La vie en rose


la vie en rose picture

Image Credit:

The movie is based on the life of the legendary French singer Édith Piaf. At the age of 19, she was discovered singing on a street corner after her grandmother raised her in a brothel. She lived a tragic life, despite the fame she gained.


For all you movie lovers out there, it is important to be able to have a conversation about movies. Watch French-speaking movies and try to write down what you hear. You may even record a small paragraph in which people are talking about their favourite movies or actors and then listen to it constantly until you get it right. Do not forget that sentences tend to be longer than the previous ones. In casual French, long sentences flow together, so you will need to practise becoming comfortable with words being in the middle of sentences to learn this flow.

Don't just watch the subtitles, try to understand them as well. Even if you don't understand, it's okay; you'll get there one day!

About the author

French writer Stephanie photo

Stephanie has a knack for making language learning and teaching fun and engaging. She holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor's Degree in French Studies and is fluent in three languages. The writer has lived in France, Ghana, and Canada, and enjoys reading, travelling, and writing about her adventures.


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