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From 'Metropolis' to 'Parasite': 100 best international movies of all time

  • #40. Harakiri (1962)

    - Director: Masaki Kobayashi
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 85
    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Runtime: 133 min

    Masaki Kobayashi’s masterpiece set in 17th-century feudal Japan features striking widescreen compositions that depict the rebellion beneath a staid tradition of samurai rules and conventions. Intense violence and arresting fight scenes surround the tragedy of a family caught up in the upheaval within a brutal regime reliant on the suicidal practice of seppuku, or harakiri.

  • #39. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

    - Director: Luis Buñuel
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 93
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 102 min

    Spanish director Luis Buñuel is arguably the originator of cinematic surrealism, infusing his films with a dizzying clash of strange symbols and dreamlike interludes. “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for France for its elaborate, surrealist take on uppercrust friends trying in vain to have dinner that takes a detour into bizarre and subversive revelry.

  • #38. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

    - Director: Ang Lee
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 94
    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Runtime: 120 min

    Tawainese director Ang Lee brought wuxia, a martial arts genre, to mainstream audiences worldwide with this huge critical and box-office success. Gorgeous visual design and stunningly kinetic combat sequences using state-of-the-art special effects wowed audiences. Set in early 19th-century China, the story follows a retired warrior drawn back into a revenge saga.

  • #37. Days of Being Wild (1990)

    - Director: Wong Kar-wai
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 96
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 94 min

    Wong Kar-wai is one of Hong Kong’s major directors, renowned for his vibrant, dreamlike visual style that brings epic emotional scope to the everyday lives of his characters. “Days of Being Wild” is an early-career drama that follows a listless young man searching for his birth mother while stringing along two women vying for his heart.

  • #36. The Lives of Others (2006)

    - Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 89
    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Runtime: 137 min

    German writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s film debut concerns the Stasi East German police, who spied on those deemed a threat to the state, especially artists. Set in 1980s East Berlin, this dramatic thriller creates a pervasive tension as it exposes the secrets of spies and those they surveil.

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  • #35. Shoplifters (2018)

    - Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 93
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Runtime: 121 min

    Set in the lesser-seen, impoverished districts of Toyko, Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Shoplifters” follows a family who relies on petty theft to support their existence. They take in a young child who’s being abused, and this act upturns their world. The Japanese film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival, renowned for its striking emotional inquiry into what makes a family.

  • #34. Amour (2012)

    - Director: Michael Haneke
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 94
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 127 min

    Michael Haneke’s “Amour” won numerous major awards, including the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A co-production of France, Austria, and Germany, it explores the relationship between an elderly couple after one of them has a series of debilitating strokes.

  • #33. Roma (2018)

    - Director: Alfonso Cuarón
    - Stacker score: 90
    - Metascore: 96
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 135 min

    Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical film is loosely based on his own childhood experience growing up during the civil unrest in 1970s Mexico City. Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her debut performance as the live-in housekeeper of an affluent household in a film that explores class.

  • #32. The Best of Youth (2003)

    - Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
    - Stacker score: 91
    - Metascore: 89
    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Runtime: 366 min

    Originally intended as a miniseries for Italian television, “The Best of Youth” clocks in at six hours long, though critics found it to be an enthralling drama that earns its length as it follows two brothers across four decades. The two men clash in ideals and careers in a surprisingly engrossing melodrama that explores the divisions and connections in families.

  • #31. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

    - Director: Masaki Kobayashi
    - Stacker score: 91
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Runtime: 128 min

    Set in feudal Japan in 1725, director Masaki’s Kobayashi’s family drama explores the rigid injustice of social systems and the price for rebelling against them. A lord first demands that a samurai’s son marry his cast-off concubine, but then demands her return after the couple have fallen in love and had a child. Stunning black-and-white cinematography conveys this world’s oppressive structure, as well as the passion of those who choose to defy it.

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