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26 Fresh Jean-Luc Godard Movies

Like Citizen Kane, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or The Godfather, Jean-Luc Godard‘s Breathless is a milestone in our cinematic history, one of those movies that vastly broadened what filmmakers could express and dream. Breathless arrived in 1960 riding the crest of the French New Wave, a rebellious fountainhead of avant-garde creativity that featured auteur directors hammering apart norms, both filmmaking and societal. Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a Humphrey Bogart-idolizing crook on the run with his American flame (Jean Seberg), Breathless was pioneering in its brash visuals, fragmentary editing (including jump cuts and long takes), and narrative flexibility with all its personal and philosophical diversions.

Godard had a legendary run in the 1960s, directing 15 films up to 1968. Many are Certified Fresh classics, including the industry-skewering Contempt, romantic drama Masculine-Feminine, heist film Band of Outsiders, the no-special effects sci-fi Alphaville, and Pierrot le fou, Godard’s sort of alternate take on Breathless, reuniting him with Belmondo and one of seven feature collaborations with Anna Karina.

Godard’s 1967 apocalyptic road film Weekend infamously ends with an “End of Cinema” title card, declaring his renouncement of commercial work. The mood was reflective of the May 1968 strikes and revolutions that would reshape contemporary France. 1969’s Joy of Learning, shot before and after the civil unrest, would be banned from theaters.

For the rest of his career, Godard’s films would become increasingly militant and stridently experimental, with modern critical interest resurging in the early 2000s with In Praise of Love. Freed of whatever tenuous interest he had in narrative convention, Godard investigated new ways of communication in cinema, with the best of this late period seen in the 3D film Goodbye to Language and his final work, The Image Book.

#1

Breathless (1959)
96%90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102549%
Critics Consensus: Breathless rewrote the rules of cinema -- and more than 50 years after its arrival, Jean-Luc Godard's paradigm-shifting classic remains every bit as vital.
Synopsis: Petty thug Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) considers himself a suave bad guy in the manner of Humphrey Bogart, but panics and... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#2

Masculine-Feminine (1966)
96%86%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100275%
Critics Consensus: A '60s time capsule stuffed with ideas about politics, pop culture, and the battle of the sexes, Masculine-Feminine is one of Godard's classic black-and-white films.
Synopsis: Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud), a young idealist trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, takes a... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#3

Band of Outsiders (1964)
94%91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 97958%
Critics Consensus: An oddball heist movie with an dark streak that picks apart every rule in filmmaking.
Synopsis: Cinephile slackers Franz (Sami Frey) and Arthur (Claude Brasseur) spend their days mimicking the antiheroes of Hollywood noirs and Westerns... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#4

Contempt (1963)
92%85%

#4
Adjusted Score: 96864%
Critics Consensus: This powerful work of essential cinema joins "meta" with "physique," casting Brigite Bardot and director Godard's inspiration Fritz Lang.
Synopsis: A philistine in the art film business, Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) is a producer unhappy with the work of his... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#5

Alphaville (1965)
91%81%

#5
Adjusted Score: 96414%
Critics Consensus: While Alphaville is by no means a conventional sci-fi film, Jean-Luc Godard creates a witty, noir-ish future all his own.
Synopsis: Government agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is dispatched on a secret mission to Alphaville, a dystopian metropolis in a distant... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#6

The Image Book (2018)
90%52%

#6
Adjusted Score: 93986%
Critics Consensus: Potentially insurmountable for viewers not attuned to the director's wavelength, The Image Book is typically confounding - and ultimately rewarding - late-period Godard.
Synopsis: Jean-Luc Godard provides social commentary during a montage of digitally altered, color-saturated film clips.... [More]
Starring: Jean-Luc Godard
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#7

Goodbye to Language (2014)
88%47%

#7
Adjusted Score: 89998%
Critics Consensus: As visually thrilling as it is inscrutable, Goodbye to Language 3D offers a late-period masterpiece from a legendary director still very much in control of his craft.
Synopsis: As a stray dog wanders from town to country over the course of several seasons, a married woman and a... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#8

Pierrot le Fou (1965)
88%87%

#8
Adjusted Score: 92553%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, subversive, and overall beguiling, Pierrot le Fou is arguably Jean-Luc Godard's quintessential work.
Synopsis: Uninterested in his wife (Raymond Devos), Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo) wearies of his stagnant life. But when the couple hires... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#9

Number Two (1975)
100%79%

#9
Adjusted Score: 70793%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man's (Pierre Oudrey) family consists of a dissatisfied housewife (Sandrine Battistella), aging grandparents and two curious children.... [More]
Directed By:

#10

The Chinese Girl (1967)
95%73%

#10
Adjusted Score: 78229%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This dark French comedy by Jean-Luc Godard focuses on a group of students who have embraced Maoist ideals and strive... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#11
Adjusted Score: 95887%
Critics Consensus: Two or Three Things I Know About Her marks a turning point in Godard's filmography -- one that may confound more narratively dependent audiences, but rewards repeated viewings.
Synopsis: A Paris housewife (Marina Vlady) earns extra spending money as a part-time prostitute.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#12

Weekend (1967)
93%78%

#12
Adjusted Score: 93177%
Critics Consensus: Jean-Luc Godard fixes his considerable ire against French society and the broader human condition in the morbidly funny Weekend, an abstract road trip to damnation that finds the enfant terrible in peak form.
Synopsis: Roland Durand (Jean Yanne) and his wife Corinne (Mireille Darc) embark on a weekend getaway to the French countryside. Each... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#13

Detective (1985)
91%54%

#13
Adjusted Score: 42459%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Director Jean-Luc Godard's avant-garde drama/comedy follows Emile Chenal (Claude Brasseur) and his wife, Françoise (Nathalie Baye), as they lean on... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#14

Every Man for Himself (1980)
90%67%

#14
Adjusted Score: 72761%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The lives of a man (Jacques Dutronc), a woman (Nathalie Baye) and a prostitute (Isabelle Huppert) intersect.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#15

First Name: Carmen (1983)
89%61%

#15
Adjusted Score: 57969%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beautiful terrorist Carmen (Maruschka Detmers) asks her uncle, an eccentric filmmaker (Jean-Luc Godard), to borrow his beach house to make... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#16

My Life to Live (1962)
88%92%

#16
Adjusted Score: 90379%
Critics Consensus: Anna Karina's arresting performance provides a humanizing anchor to Jean-Luc Godard's stylistically explosive portrait of a prostitute.
Synopsis: In director Jean-Luc Godard's landmark drama, Nana (Anna Karina), a young Parisian woman who works in a record shop, finds... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#17

Made in U.S.A. (1966)
85%60%

#17
Adjusted Score: 73759%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The body count rises as a journalist (Anna Karina) -- under surveillance herself -- searches for her lover's killer in... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#18

A Married Woman (1965)
85%83%

#18
Adjusted Score: 74061%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Frenchwoman (Macha Méril) needs her husband's (Philippe Leroy) security and her lover's (Bernard Noël) passion.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#19

Les carabiniers (1963)
79%68%

#19
Adjusted Score: 45980%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Unscrupulous people make promises of riches and power to lure country bumpkins (Marino Masé, Albert Juross) into a war.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#20

The Little Soldier (1963)
78%73%

#20
Adjusted Score: 58376%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A French army deserter (Michel Subor) escapes from torturers to his left-wing lover (Anna Karina) and mission.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#21

Six in Paris (1965)
75%70%

#21
Adjusted Score: 75059%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A sextet: "Saint Germain-des-Pres," "Gare du Nord," "Rue Saint-Denis," "Place de l'Etoile," "Montparnasse-Levallois," "La Muette."... [More]

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 19200%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#23

Hail Mary (1985)
73%63%

#23
Adjusted Score: 64483%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jean-Luc Godard explores faith and relationships in this story of a virginal Swiss woman who learns she is pregnant.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#24

Our Music (2004)
69%72%

#24
Adjusted Score: 70473%
Critics Consensus: A dense, but thoughtful meditation about war by Jean-Luc Godard.
Synopsis: In this three-part experimental film, director Jean-Luc Godard explores violence, media and morality. In the first segment, "Hell," actual battle... [More]

#25

Nouvelle Vague (1990)
67%68%

#25
Adjusted Score: 26800%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hitchiker (Alain Delon) is taken in by a wealthy industrialist (Domiziana Giordano).... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#26

Far From Vietnam (1967)
64%91%

#26
Adjusted Score: 42806%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Six revolutionary filmmakers from France's New Wave era come together in this documentary to demonstrate their collective contempt for the... [More]
Starring: