Finding movies in French online might not always be easy when you are not actually in French. Though the French are known for their amazing cinema, getting access to said cinema might be tricky if you don’t know where to look.
Assuming you have already watched every French language movie on Netflix (if you haven’t check here how you can easily find foreign language content on Netflix).
Does learning languages through movies actually work?
Yes, it most certainly does. Here’s why.
Language is culture
The themes that are featured in movies are often very telling of the things that are big issues in a country. Who are the main characters, who are the ‘good guys’, who are the villains.
Though fictional, most movies give you a great look inside the lives of actual native speakers. You can see which themes are of importance and how people handle different situations in life.
If you don’t have the money to travel across the world and drown yourself in native speakers, watching movies is a good substitute.
Language is culture, and culture is language. Understanding more about the culture will make it easier to understand the language.
Another important thing when learning a language is that it is the easiest way to be exposed to real speech. Especially if you don’t live in the country of your target language, watching movies is an excellent way of actually immersing yourself in real speech.
In comparison to most language courses, these conversations aren’t meant to perfectly match the words you just had to study, and they won’t be pronounced clearly with time in between in order for you to process what has just been said.
Much of what you will hear you won’t be able to understand and that is exactly why you should watch it.
The best thing is that you are exposed to the way native people speak without having to respond to it. You also have the ability to add subtitles, be it in your own language or the language you are trying to learn, or pause it and write things down (if necessary).
It’s for any skill level
While most language learning materials are geared towards one skill level, watching movies and series is great for anyone trying to improve their skills. If you are starting out it can make you get used to the sound of the language and the speed of natural speech, and when you are already fluent you can use it to keep up your skills and diversify your vocabulary.
You can watch any movie with subtitles in your own language, subtitles in your target language and ultimately even without (though keeping subtitles in your target language might actually beneficial).
Each person is different, and therefore each person will learn a language in a different way. No matter what your skill level is, the chances are you will learn new words and expressions.
Most importantly – watching movies is fun. Although memorizing words from a book can be an important way of studying vocabulary, most people won’t find much joy in the actual process of repeating these words over and over again.
Finding something you enjoy, like watching movies, and combining it with language learning is the perfect way of learning a new language without feeling like you are actually doing anything.
Not only that, but doing something fun will ensure you actually do it on a regular basis, and consistency is the most important factor for your success.
Are you on Netflix? Netflix offers tons of movies in foreign languages, but they aren’t always easy to find.
All of these reasons make movies and tv shows the perfect aid for your language learning journey.
So, without any further ado let’s get into the list. Here are 20 movies you must watch when you are learning Spanish.
All French language movies or movies dubbed in French will be added to one of our Youtube playlists. Make sure to check these out and see if there are any new movies added that weren’t mentioned in this post.
Our playlists counts over 30 movies, so you should definitely be able to find something to your liking.
Most of these movies will also have either English or French subtitles to help you out if necessary.
1. Mes Petites Amoureuses, 1974
“A study of minor events in the adolescence of a boy growing up in small towns. Daniel lives with his grandmother and, after one year of high school, has to go to live with his mother in the south of France. She is a seamstress living in a tiny apartment with her lover Jose, a Spanish farm worker. Daniel would like to continue school, but his mother cannot afford it, so she sends him to work as an apprentice in a moped repair shop. Daniel wiles away his time in the shop, and learns about girls from the other boys in town. When he returns to visit his grandmother next year, it is obvious that he has grown up faster than his old friends.” —Will Gilbert
2. Juste Avant La Nuit, 1971
“Charles Masson, an advertising executive, is having an affair with Laura, the wife of his best friend, the architect François Tellier. Charles strangles Laura when one of their S&M games goes too far. Dazed, Charles walks out of the borrowed apartment in Paris and soon bumps into François in a nearby bistro. They drive back together to Versailles, where they have beautiful neighboring houses designed by François. The owner of the apartment had seen Laura and Charles together two months earlier, but she does not tell the police on the advice of François. Even though the police do not seem to have any clues to the crime, Charles has a difficult time coping with the situation, and trying to live a normal life with his two children and loving wife Hélène.” —Will Gilbert
3. La Moustache, 2005
“Marc is sitting in his bath one morning and asks his wife, “how would you feel if I shaved off my mustache?” She doesn’t think it’s a great idea, for the 15 years they’ve been married, she’s never known him without his ‘stache. He shaves it off anyway, but when he sees his wife, she doesn’t notice, neither do their friends at dinner that night, neither do his co-workers. Marc finally flips out, shouts at everyone, tells them he’s tired of their little joke, and what do they really think. His wife and co-workers are appalled, what is he talking about, he’s never had a mustache. In fact, he’s imagining other things as well, or is he? “—poco loco
4. L’Insoumis, 1964
“1961. Luxemburger Thomas Vlassenroot deserted the French Foreign Legion during the Algiers Putsch. His lieutenant, Fraser, initiated the desertion for the two of them, Fraser believing he could do more for the French working for an underground organization. However, Thomas readily admits that he no longer has any political motivations or affiliations, and thus is hiding out from the authorities in Algiers. Fraser offers him a proposition: help him kidnap Lyonais lawyer, Dominique Servet, who is in Algiers to defend two Algerian nationalists. Fraser will mastermind the job, but Thomas is required to help him both carry out the kidnapping, as well as stand guard over Dominique for one week. She is only one of two kidnap victims that will be held, each victim with a guard apiece, the other victim’s guard being Amerio, a fellow member of Fraser’s organization. Unlike Fraser and Amerio, Thomas does the job as a mercenary for pay: the F60,000 he needs to be able to get back home to Luxembourg. His want to go to Luxembourg is despite he not knowing if there is any future for him there, beyond going back to his childhood home, where his mother is taking care of his infant daughter. After the successful kidnapping and as the week progresses, Thomas feels compelled not only to assist Dominique, but also help her escape as he has fallen in love with her. He has to accomplish this task against the threat of Fraser and Amerio’s watchful eyes. He is able to do so, but sustains a serious abdominal wound in the process. As a wounded Thomas tries to make his way back to Luxembourg, he has to elude Fraser and his colleagues. But Thomas may feel further compelled to reconnect with Dominique in Lyon. If he does, the question becomes what she will think in him doing so.” —Huggo
5. No Man’s Land, 1985
“Jean (Jean-Philippe Écoffey), a young Swiss whose watchmaking skills no longer prove useful in the real world, dawdles his time away either in his parents’ farm or in Lucie’s restaurant-bar. He sleeps with Lucie (Marie-Luce Felber) but doesn’t love her, as he becomes smitten with an insecure Algerian woman (Betty Berr) who travels between France and Switzerland daily for work. Meanwhile, Paul (Hugues Quester), a mechanic in his father’s automobile shop with dreams of immigrating to Canada, periodically smuggles items across the border to make money, and gets Jean to help him out on occasions. Gradually, the police begin to frequent the nightclub run by Paul’s lover Madeleine (Myriam Mézières) to inquire about his whereabouts. Paul gets an offer to smuggle a large amount of gold, and knowing the police are hot on his trail, decides to take the risk “for the last time” along with a hesitant Jean.” – Wikipedia
6. Que La Bete Meure, 1969
“A sports car races through the French countryside. A young woman is in the passenger seat. It enters a small village at high speed. It hits Charles Thénier’s nine-year-old son, who is returning from the beach, and drives on without stopping. Charles vows to have his revenge, keeping a journal of his thoughts.” – Wikipedia
7. Piceless, 2006
“A widower who loses custody of his daughter finds himself unable to hold down a job. He agrees to drive a truck across the country, no questions asked. But when he discovers what he is delivering, he is faced with a life-changing choice.” – IMDb
8. Three Lives and Only One Death, 1996
“Take a walk into the dreamlike world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisting ride. Four strangely symmetrical stories unfold involving love, lust, crime, and time.” – IMDb
9. Je T’aime, Je T’aime
“After attempting suicide, Claude is recruited for a time travel experiment, but, when the machine goes haywire, he may be trapped hurtling through his memories.” – IMDb
10. Diesel, 1985
“A prositute (Anges Sorel) tries to change her life after her release from prison, but a murderous slave organization, the Consortium, is determined to bring her back to the fole or kill her, which forces her to seek help from Liberty, an anti-Consortium organization.” —Anonymous
11. A Prophet
“Malik El Djebena, a 19-year-old French youth of Algerian descent, is sentenced to six years in prison for attacking police officers. Alone and illiterate upon his arrival, he falls under the sway of Corsican mobsters, led by César Luciani, who enforces a brutal rule.” – Wikipedia
12. Deep In The Woods, 2010
“In 1865, Timothee, a wanderer, arrives in a village in southern France pretending he is deaf and mute. There, he is struck by the beauty of a young woman, Josephine, and asks for hospitality at the house of Dr Hughes, her father. At dinner, he makes strange tricks inducing weird reactions in Josephine. The next day, he comes back when she is alone and makes her fall in a state of hypnotic lethargy before taking advantage of her. Overwhelmed by his powerful hypnotic gift, she follows him even though she seems to be disgusted and afraid of him. He takes her deep into the woods and continues to abuse her until he is arrested and tried. But how did Josephine accept to follow him?”
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