These films are really awesome due to their great story lines and wonderful cinematography.
I would advise watching these films with subtitles on instead of dubbed, although dubbing can be hilarious it does not keep the authentic feel of the films so only watch them dubbed when drunk or really bored.
5. City of God
An epic gangster film set in Brazil with a wonderfully complex plot line which scales from Rocket's (the main protaganist) childhood to later on in his life in which time he witnesses his freinds get dragged into lives of crime and drugs and sees the continuos escalation of violence in Brazil first hand. The film has a large array of different characters that all posses different traits and characteristcs that make them unique within the films harsh environment, and the film stays consistent with the story not spiraling off in a tangent as you see with certain other films, I have included this film in the list because of its incredibly stylish representation of gang warfare in Brazil and the films completely incredible story.
4 13 Tzameti
This ones not for the faint of heart as almost the whole film is based upon the concept of raising the audiences tension and it manages it superbly, it has a slow build up which leads to a hauntingly dramatic climax. This is a French film (I usually dislike french cinema greatly due to french directors often trying to over "Artsify" the film, I just made that word up sounds cool though) but this film is an exception and although it does maintain some of these roots by making it "Film Noire" it allows the film to maintain a great deal of the suspense which it tries to install in the audience. The film tells the story of Sebastien who while working as a construction worker steals a letter addressed to the owner of the house he is working on, containing instructions regarding a mysterious job which promises to pay out a fortune, he follows the instructions which unwittingly traps him in a dark and violent underworld game played by the rich. This game involves 13 contestants who undergo a large game of Russian roulete,arranging themselves into a circle and pointing and ultimately firing their revolver at the man in front of them, the amount of bullets in each revolver increases each round. Spectators place bets on who will survive. It is horryfying at times but well worth the watch due to the well thought out plot and superb acting by all the actors involved.
They are planning to remake an American version of the film with an all star cast( Mickey Rourke, 50 cent, Jason Statham) :( which while it still has potential I doubt it will be as good as the original, watch it.
This film is extremely stylish and very cool, it tells the story of a blind samuria called Zatoichi who is a well known film icon in Japan as he is represented in many films, but I would recommend first of all seeing this one before exploring further. The story is not too complex as long as you follow it carefully but it contains quite a strange mix of genres, comedy, action and sort of musical(there is no singing per se but the fight scenes mix so well with the music that it feels as though it sort of is, plus there is a truly amazing musical performance at the end of the film). While you would expect an action film about samurais to be extremely bloody, it isn't, instead while their is blood present it is done in a strangely animated way its hard to explain but incredibly awesome, and looks very realistic beats cgi any day.
While I believe the many people reading this will just judge this films as one of those wierd films you see every so often in video stores e.g. Ninja Warrior VIII (just made that up but probably exists) but trust me its not, its great, and I recommend it whole heartedly.
I have to admit at first I refused to watch the film because I thought that it would just be one of those crap horror films that have churning out in cinemas lately, but when I watched this I was blown away beats any horror film Hollywood has made in years. The Host is a comedy/horror film that covers both genres superbly, It tells the story of a family who at first are living average lives in Korea near the Han River but upon the appearance of a terryfying creature (its like a cross between Godzilla and the creature from the black lagoon, much smaller then godzilla) which kidnaps Hyun-seo (the daughter of the main protaganist Park Gang-du) and so the familly are forced to hunt the creature down while the military and the goverment try to stop them claiming the creature is the cause of a highly dangerous virus. The film is great and switches constantly between comedy and horror and unlike other horror films that try to achieve this it is actually funny. This film is great and most of the film is in english which is cool.
1. Battle Royale
This the grand-daddy of all foreign films and it is absoloutely awesome, no foreign film I have seen to this day has managed to surpass the films stylish presentation, the films plot is nothing amazing but due to great direction it turns into an amazing story with great characters. Pretty much the story is that a class of college kids in Japan are brought into the battle royale program by the goverment, where they have to effectively kill each other off on an island with a weaponry they are assigned where the only surviving contestant is announced the winner e.g. (crossbow, pistol, uzi, pot lid, list goes on) the reason for them doing this is that there is great unemployment and students are uprising against their elders, effectively. The film is extremely violent but because of the subject matter it sort of has to be. Go out buy it, rent it whatever, thats all I have to say.
Other Great Foreign Films not mentioned:
The Audition(creepy but cool)
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