Best Foreign-Language Movies 2021

The top Foreign-Language film of 2021, The Truffle Hunters, also happens to be one of the top documentaries of the year, but it’s not the only film on this list doing double duty. One of them, Flee, also appears on the list of Best Animated Movies, and there are two other films — Acasa, My Home and Sabaya — keeping The Truffle Hunters company on the Best Documentaries list. If that wasn’t enough, exactly half of the top 10 Foreign-Language films here, including festival darlings like Drive My Car and Parallel Mothers, also show up on our GTA list of Best Dramas. In other words, some of the year’s best cinema in general came from outside of Hollywood, and while they may not always be as easy to find at your local multiplex as the latest studio tentpole, they’re always worth seeking out.

The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2021) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 103831%
Critics Consensus: The Truffle Hunters explores a world most viewers will know nothing about -- with delightfully savory results.
Synopsis: A handful of men search for rare, expensive and delicious white Alba truffles deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy.... [More]

#2

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103961%
Critics Consensus: Quo Vadis, Aida? uses one woman's heartbreaking conflict to offer a searing account of war's devastating human toll.
Synopsis: Bosnia, July 11th 1995. Aida is a translator for the United Nations in the small town of Srebrenica. When the... [More]
Directed By: Jasmila Zbanic

#3

Slalom (2020)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102794%
Critics Consensus: Led by Noée Abita's outstanding central performance, Slalom offers a moving account of oppression and abuse in the guise of mentorship.
Synopsis: This riveting, Cannes-selected #MeToo drama from debut filmmaker Charlène Favier follows the relationship between a teenage ski prodigy and her... [More]
Directed By: Charlène Favier

#4

Drive My Car (2021)
97%

#4
Adjusted Score: 107659%
Critics Consensus: Drive My Car's imposing runtime holds a rich, patiently engrossing drama that reckons with self-acceptance and regret.
Synopsis: Two years after his wife's unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer... [More]
Directed By: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

#5

Flee (2021)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107684%
Critics Consensus: Depicting the refugee experience through vivid animation, Flee pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking to present a moving memoir of self-discovery.
Synopsis: FLEE tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20... [More]
Directed By: Jonas Poher Rasmussen

#6

Parallel Mothers (2021)
96%

#6
Adjusted Score: 107469%
Critics Consensus: A brilliant forum for Penélope Cruz's talent, Parallel Mothers reaffirms the familiar pleasures of Almodóvar's filmmaking while proving he's still capable of growth.
Synopsis: Two women, Janis and Ana, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#7

Two of Us (2019)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 102569%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable feature debut for director/co-writer Filippo Meneghetti, Two of Us tells a deceptively complex love story while presenting a rich acting showcase for its three leads.
Synopsis: Two retired women, Nina and Madeleine, have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are... [More]
Directed By: Filippo Meneghetti

#8

Luzzu (2021)
98%

#8
Adjusted Score: 100239%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and emotionally impactful, Luzzu uses one man's story to capture the struggles of a region at a cultural crossroads.
Synopsis: A hardworking Maltese fisherman, Jesmark is faced with an agonizing choice. He can repair his leaky luzzu -- a traditional,... [More]
Directed By: Alex Camilleri

#9

Acasa, My Home (2020)
100%

#9
Adjusted Score: 101509%
Critics Consensus: Acasa, My Home presents a powerful documentary portrait of one family's odyssey that illustrates bittersweet truths about freedom and society.
Synopsis: A rural Romanian couple and their nine children must learn to live in the big city.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Radu Ciorniciuc

#10

Sabaya (2021)
100%

#10
Adjusted Score: 101535%
Critics Consensus: Sabaya presents a scary and sobering look at human suffering -- and the efforts of those dedicated to ending it.
Synopsis: Members of a group risk their lives trying to save Yazidi women and girls who are being held as sex... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Hogir Hirori