The 8 best French movies on Netflix

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There is no easy way to navigate to “French Films” in the Netflix “International Films” genre. And Netflix’s offer of French films has continued to shrink. While you won’t find French Impressionist cinema of the 1930s or the French Nouvelle Vague of the 60s and 70s, you can still find some of the best French films of the 21st century.

So if you’re looking for Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, or Eric Rohmer, you might want to check out services like The Criterion Channel or Sundance Now. But if you want to find out what’s going on in French cinema right now, from topical political tales to cutting edge experiences, Netflix is ​​a surprisingly good resource.

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Year: 2011
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Kind: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Evaluation: PG-13
Duration: 100 minutes

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In his black-and-white ode to the golden age of Hollywood, Gallic writer-director Michael Hazanavicius honors form as well as content, presenting his romantic melodrama about the rise of a new ingenuous and the downfall of a silent movie star in the 1920s and Los Angeles of the 1930s in luxurious black, white and shimmering silver undertones. It is a magnificent, ambitious and nostalgic company which demonstrates that its creators are, indeed, artists. —Annlee Ellingson


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Year: 2013
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Stars: Léa Sydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Kind: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
Evaluation: NC17
Duration: 187 minutes

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Three-hour films are usually the setting for westerns, period epics, or tragic romances. They are usually not intimate character pieces, but Blue is the warmest color (The Life Of Adele Chapters 1 and 2) amply justifies its length. A beautiful, wise, erotic and devastating love story, this story of the beginning, middle and possible end of a young lesbian couple uses its runtime to give us a full picture of two individuals growing up together and separate over the years. It hurts like real life, but leaves you spellbound by its power. –Tim grierson


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Year: 2015
Directors: Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Marc-André Grondin, Jean Rochefort, Olivier Gourmet, Macha Grenon, Philippe Katerine
Kind: Animation, Adventure
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Evaluation: PG
Duration: 105 minutes

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Keeping world history real in narratives that jump through decades and centuries is hard enough – making sense of alternate history when it is articulated at breakneck speed through multiple eras of European cultural advancement is simply difficult. Think about April and the extraordinary world like an intense workout for your brain, in which the film shapes a surrogate Earth in a matter of minutes and unleashes bursts of detail, visual and sound, in an effort to recalibrate the past. Inattention and lack of imagination do not have to apply. Good news for diligent viewing types: April and the extraordinary world is pretty awesome, a compact, hands-off world-building exercise that rewards a patient and observant audience. If you can keep up with the pace of the film’s plot unfolding, you’ll experience a wonderful ride littered with talking cats, fabulous steampunk backdrops, roller coaster excitement, and terrific characters, all drawn to the basic beauty of the world. cel animation. April and the extraordinary world reminds us of the aesthetic value of traditional animation and the need for human ingenuity, all without treating its audience like idiots. —Andy Crump


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Year: 2002
Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Thomas Kretschmann, Maureen Lipman, Ed Stoppard
Kind: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Evaluation: R
Duration: 148 minutes

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While many great performances rely on dramatic and touching dialogue, Adrien Brody’s turn as real-life musician Wladyslaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski’s Holocaust drama The pianist is silent, a lost soul with sullen eyes clinging to a world covered in gray. As the main character, Brody has become a living skeleton, an all-too-real portrayal of one of history’s darkest periods. –Justin jacobs


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Year: 2019
Director: Jeremy Clapin
Stars: Hakim Faris Hamza, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick d’Assumçao
Kind: Animation, Science-Fiction
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Evaluation: NR
Duration: minutes

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While we’re on board, at least passively, for as many follow-ups as Pixar wants to give Toy story, be patient as long as another lasts, I lost my body is a unique animated film, more and more of the kind that, frankly, is no longer made. Partly because hand-drawn feature films made by small studios are rarer than ever, but mostly because this is a decidedly grown-up animated film, surrounded by oblique narrative and imbued with grief. Ostensibly about an anthropomorphic hand climbing and weaving its way through town to find the person it was once attached to – the story of her breakup slowly revealing itself – the beauty of director Jeremy Clapin’s footage, often covered in grime and decay, is how revealing they can be when tied irrevocably to the prospect of a tiny hand navigating both its nascent life on the treacherous urban subway and traumatic memories of the past of its host body. I lost my body is a modest and heartbreaking achievement, one that the Academy needs more than ever before to prioritize large studio rates that are normally competent. – Dom Sinacola


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Year: 2017
Director: Lucien Jean-Baptiste
Stars: Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Aïssa Maïga, Zabou Breitman
Kind: Comedy
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N / A
Evaluation: TV-MA
Duration: 94 minutes

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Few films have managed to capture the absurdity inherent at the heart of racism, but He even has your eyes achieves just that, while providing an entertaining look at young couples and those terrifying first stages of motherhood. From director Lucien Jean-Baptiste (who stars in the film), the French-speaking comedy centers on a young black couple in Paris who decide to adopt a little boy with blue eyes, blond hair and very white. Transracial adoption has been an acceptable aspect of society for so long, and it’s fascinating how absurd things get when adoptive parents aren’t white. Jean-Baptiste plays Paul Aloka, but the film is carried by the performance of Aïssa Maïga in the role of his wife, Salimata. The two must navigate between a racist and intrusive adoption agent and the shock, awe and disappointment of their family members as they venture into parenthood for the first time – and yet, in some way or another. on the other hand, the film never feels heavy or depressing, despite the seriousness of the subjects. Unlike many other similar works dealing with race and racism, He even has your eyes is written in such a way that it doesn’t explain too much the point of view of the black characters, or (thank goodness) to center one of the white characters either. Some of the cultural humor specific to Sali’s Senegalese family will only be funny to those of us who grew up in fear that our mothers would hear us sucking our teeth. But like all stories tied to a specific narrative and told with a distinctive voice, the film has a universal quality that makes it a heartwarming delight from start to finish. –Shannon M. Houston


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Year: 2018
Directors: Shojiro Nishimi (as Shojirou Nishimi), Guillaume Renard
With : Giancarlo Esposito, Vince Staples, RZA, Dascha Polanco
Kind: Animated, Action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%
Evaluation: NR
Duration: 105 minutes

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France and Japan have always had a transcontinental love affair when it comes to art. From the impact of ukiyo-e prints on the rise of Impressionism to the influence of Jean “Moebius” Giraud’s comics on artists like Hayao Miyazaki and Katsuhiro Otomo, the aesthetic trajectories of these two countries have been in constant conversation history. MFKZ is only the last link in this chain of cultural exchanges, an international work whose origins highlight the flaws in what we can call “animation” or “world animation”. Co-directed by Shojiro Nishimi from Studio 4 ° C and comic book author Guillaume “Run” Renard, MFKZ is adapted from the original Fox cartoon Mutafukaz and follows Angelino, an onyx-skinned young man who leads a minimum-wage survival life in Dark Meat City, a fun mirror image of south-central Los Angeles to the Brazilian favelas. Angelin’s sweet and modest life is turned upside down when he crosses paths with a mysterious young woman and subsequently has a moped accident. Waking up with a horrendous headache and suddenly trapped in a centuries-old plot of shadowy government agents, Angelino and his friends Vinz and Willy must find a way to escape the city alive, while uncovering the secrets of the Angelin’s own forgotten past. MFKZ is a work of perseverance, and it shows. As it flares up before dying out in its final moments, the sight is admittedly entertaining and worth seeing, if only to savor the thrill of its visual excess. Whether MFKZ is an end in itself or the entry of a bigger series to come, it’s a wonder to see such a self-declared international effort claim its legitimacy amid the medium’s global transformation. –All Saints Egan


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Year: 2016
Director: Benjamin weill
Stars: Devi Couzigou, Mathis Crusson, Victor Le Blond
Kind: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N / A
Evaluation: TV-MA
Duration: 80 minutes

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In this hour and 20 minute film, a group of French teenagers – Delete, King Kong, Flé O and Copkiller – obsessed with American rap culture on the West Coast set out on a journey to retrieve a dangerous object. lost (originally stolen). As is often the case, this trip shows the deep friendship of four boys navigating their own identities while trying to impress the girls of their dreams. Their journey takes them out of their small French town, via hitchhiking, a bicycle and a stolen car. Epic water gun battles ensue and internet connections are brought to light, as these four boys roam western France to find a way out of the tangled web they have woven for themselves – same. –Grace Williamson


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