Many beginners and intermediate French learners look for French movies they can easily understand and enjoy at the same time.
While watching movies is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the French language, adopt some sentence patterns and pick up a good chunk of vocabulary, it surely can be intimidating at first. Particularly for perfectionists who get frustrated if some of the French slips their comprehension.
This may sound like advice coming from a life coach, but the key is to relax, pick up a movie you’d enjoy, and let your unconscious brain do the job. Just turn on the subtitles and enjoy the movie.
If we convinced you how watching French movies is a perfect way to learn and enjoy, don’t let the question “which French movies should I watch if I want to learn French?” stand in your way. We handpicked a list of top 10 French movies not to be missed.
10 Must-See Movies in French 🎬
1. The Intouchables
Adapted from a true story, Intouchables tells how an accident left a millionaire quadriplegic – played by Francois Cluzet, a French art-house star. The plot starts when he hires Driss, a formerly imprisoned man from the suburbs to be his caretaker. His unlikely choice is what the movie is all about.
The two personalities seem like a world apart from each other, but eventually, they both find comfort and friendship in each other.
2. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (“Amélie”)
There is nothing ordinary about Amélie. As a young girl, she becomes a barmaid in a bar run by a retired circus performer in Montmartre. Life for Amélie is simple, she likes to feast on crèmes brûlées, skim stones across the Seine, and observe people while letting her imagination wander.
Her life’s purpose suddenly became apparent when she was 22 – to fix other people’s problems.
3. Les Visiteurs
Les Visiteurs is a French cult comedy film directed by Jean-Marie Poiré and released in 1993. It’s the story of a 12th-century knight that finds a formula to travel into time, and alongside his servant finds himself adrift in modern society. If you want to get a sense of French humor, this is the closes you can get.
Enjoy one of the four parts The Visitors II: The Corridors of Time, The Visitors: Bastille Day, and Just Visiting (film).
4 .Monsieur Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs Du Coran (2002)
Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, a novel by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, turns into a film adaptation, in 2003. Originally a play, it was based upon the life of Schmitt’s friend, Bruno Abraham Kremer.
A young Moïse commonly referred to as Momo, is a 13-year-old boy who lives with his father. However, his father’s edgy personality leaves him no choice but to take care of himself. When Momo starts shoplifting because he has no pocket money, the vendor gets to know the boy rather than accusing him of theft.
It was the beginning of their friendship. Mr. Ibrahim gradually starts teaching him the art of smiling and everything he knows about life.
5. Alceste À Bicyclette (2013)
Bicycling with Molière is a 2013 French comedy-drama film directed by Philippe Le Guay. It’s a story about two middle-aged actors renewing their friendship.
As well as being talented, Tanneur suffered a nervous breakdown three years earlier, which led him to exile himself to a rundown family manor.
He is similar to the central character in the play, Alceste – an outspoken critic of 17th-century social mores and artistic conventions. Watch the movie to find out how Alceste incarnates into modern society.
6. Astérix Et Obelix
In 1996, a French live-action film franchise named Asterix and Obelix was released, based on a comic book series of the same name by Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny. Just like the comic books, the film’s focal point is the adventures of Asterix and Obelix, two Gauls in Roman-occupied Europe.
The story takes place in 50 B.C. Asterix and Obelix live in a Gaulish village where a magic potion made by the Druids transforms the townsfolk into mighty soldiers.
In this bizarre surrealistic black comedy Delicatessen, Clapet runs a butcher shop with a macabre business, using human flesh to feed his customers in a small fictitious post-apocalyptic town where resources are scarce and food is scarce. Nonetheless, when his daughter falls in love with the next slaughter victim, all hell breaks loose.
Louison, an ex-circus clown in search of work and shelter, has joined the long list of disposable workers. However, this time Clapet’s plan is derailed when his daughter falls in love with the lovable Louison.
A couple, that’s over 80 years old is played by Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the giants of the French cinema for decades. They play retired and well-educated music teachers, whose relationship is severely tested when Anne suffers a stroke.
We don’t want to be the ones to spoil the movie for you, just say that even a casual viewer should be shocked by how Amour ends.
9. Un long dimanche de fiançailles
This is a fictional story about a young woman trying to find her fiancé in The Great War, based on the 1991 novel by Sébastien Japrisot.
As in this antiwar novel, A Very Long Engagement reveals the brutality and horror of trench warfare, as well as the official lies and corruption that led to the atrocities that were committed.
Mathilde tries to figure out what happened to the five men in the novel, as she unravels the mysteries around their destinies.
10. Three Colors: Blue
First, in the trilogy based on the French national motto, Three Colors focuses on a woman (Juliette Binoche) who grieves the death of her husband and child and discovers meaning in life through the loss.
A tragic auto accident has left Juliette Binoche (Juliette Binoche) haunted by the grief of losing her composer husband and young daughter. Her initial reaction is to pull away from her relationships, retreat into her apartment, and suppress her feelings.
It seems impossible to avoid human interactions on the busy streets of Paris, and she eventually finds herself in the company of Olivier (Benoît Régent), her old friend with a secret crush on her, who could draw her back into reality.
Choose Your Favorite French Movie and Get Cozy
We bet you want to tell all about your favorite movie in French once you’ve seen it.
If you are interested in learning how to speak about movies in French, follow Jérôme sensei, explaining step by step, everything you may say about any movie you’ve ever seen.
To learn more about French cartoons, read our article Best French cartoons to learn French.