**Disclaimer** for all the top 10 movie recommendation lists we only recommend movies we have seen, so there may be better ones out there not on the list. We also focused on mostly newer movies as people may not be introduced to them yet, but did touch on some older ones. Feel free to comment on some good foreign movies not included so we can watch them.
10: The Chaser (2008) - Released in South Korea February 14 2008 .
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now. The Chaser is a very good thriller that also mixes in action and some humor. Unfortunately The Chaser is being re-made in 2010 for American audiences, but you should definitely see the original first.
9: Madeo (2009) – Released In South Korea May 28 2009.
A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it’s his mother’s call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned. Madeo is a very good but slow moving drama-mystery, but will reward the viewer with an interesting experience and outcome. Madeo is very cultural heavy, but most people should be able to follow the events whether or not they have knowledge of Korean culture.
8: Spirited Away (2001) – Released In Japan July 20 2001.
In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures. The only animated film on the list, this Japanese Anime film features an amazing world that will suck the viewer into. There is an English dub of the movie for those who do not like subtitles, but I’d recommend watching the subtitled version if possible.
7: Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Released in the UK April 9 2004.
Shaun doesn’t have a very good day, so he decides to turn his life around by getting his ex to take him back, but he times it for right in the middle of what may be a zombie apocalypse… But for him, it’s an opportunity to show everyone he knows how useful he is by saving them all. All he has to do is survive… And get his ex back. Somewhat of a cult classic, if you Haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead you should it features a funny spin on the zombie horror genre. Shaun of the Dead is filled with British humor, so may not be for everyone, but it’s still worth checking out.
6: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – Spanish Film released at Cannes May 27 2006.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is the story of a young girl who travels with her pregnant mother to live with her mother’s new husband in a rural area up North in Spain, 1944, after Franco’s victory. The girl lives in an imaginary world of her own creation and faces the real world with much chagrin. A fantastic movie that ties in fantasy with reality and a must see if you haven’t had the pleasure to watch it yet. Even though there are lots of fantasy elements the movie has a dark overtone.
5: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) – Released in Sweden February 27 2009.
Swedish thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s novel about a journalist and a young female hacker. Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.A very good suspense film which develops the characters who are part of a trilogy. Along with the main plot the subplots help towards the development.
4: Let The Right One In (2008) – Released in Sweden October 24 2008.
Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire. It isn’t very scary, but is one of the better Vampire movies out there with the way the story is told and how well the child actors portrayed their parts. Let The Right One In is being remade as “Let Me In” in the US as we speak , but there is no way they can top the original and anyone interested in the tale should see the sweedish version first.
3: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) – Film made in Argentina released August 13 2009.
The story, set in 1999, is told in flashback form: in June 1974 a federal justice agent, Benjamín Espósito, becomes spellbound by and subsequently entangled in the investigation of the crime of a young woman, brutally raped and murdered inside her house in a Buenos Aires neighborhood. He then plans to write a novel about the murder and starts to revisit the events that took place. A mystery filled with fantastic dialogue and character development and winner of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
2: Shutter (2004) – Released in Thailand September 9 2004.
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past and begin to be haunted by it. One of the best horror films made with some very effective scares and a good story to compliment it. Just make sure you avoid the American remake of Shutter since it does not compare at all to the original Thai version and changes most of the details.
1: City of God (2002) – A Brazilian film released at Cannes May 18 2002.
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. Wonderfully told story and one of the best movies of all time that everyone should see at least once.
Originally posted 2010-03-29 07:48:17.