10 Best 2024 Foreign-language Movies So Far

Updated March 30, 2024 • Staff
This year, three foreign-language movies are up for the Best Picture Academy award: Anatomy of a Fall, Past Lives, and The Zone of Interest. Usually, films not in English are relegated to International Feature, so this is an unprecedented move on the Academy's part. To be sure, there's still a lot to be done for full and fair representation, but it's an encouraging step in the right direction, one that will hopefully lead to more people appreciating the diverse beauty of world cinema. And so, on that note, we're compiling a list of the best foreign-language movies that have come out this 2024. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled and updating this article as we move along the year, but for our money, these are the most enjoyable so far.
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10.

It Is Night in America (2024)

With expired film stock, seemingly random shots, not much dialogue, and virtually no plot, there is little to recommend It is Night in America for casual viewing. It is definitely experimental, and as director, editor, and sound designer Ana Vaz presents these shots of animals and urban landscapes, it doesn’t feel like it’s meant for entertainment. But there’s a curiously poignant tone, with the blue tint darkening the cityscape, in their eyes. Night falls for these creatures, who once had a home in this city, and all they can do is survive. É Noite na América isn’t quite the eco-horror it proclaims to be, but its moody and trancelike direction is an interesting approach to the nature documentary genre.

Our staff rating: 6/10
Genre: Documentary
Director: Ana Vaz
9.

Red Ollero: Mabuhay is a Lie (2024)

If Red Ollero's first special on Netflix doesn't have the most consistent laughs or the most original punchlines to make, it still serves as a good introduction for users of the platform to crass, everyday Filipino humor. Whether due to editing or Ollero's writing itself, there are a number of times during his set when he stays on a topic for far too long without adding much insight to it or building on things he's already said. But as the special goes on, there's still something to be taken from how Ollero treats the mundane with an almost hyperfixation. Intentionally or not, he sketches out an absurd view of ordinary life in the Philippines with the self-assurance of someone who doesn't care whether you're grossed out or not.

Our staff rating: 6.1/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Red Ollero
Director: Ryan Puno
8.

Bhakshak (2024)

With an urgent subject and plenty of that trademark Netflix polish, Bhakshak is nothing if not watchable and consistently engaging. However, for all of its motivated performances and high production values, there actually doesn't seem to be much that happens in the film by way of investigation or character development. Much of the plot seems to progress solely on inertia, or through conversations that only ever repeat the film's themes. And with every new, intense scene of young girls being threatened or hurt at the hands of abusive men, it becomes harder to understand what these scenes are trying to tell us, especially when they keep the victims as voiceless as they are from the beginning.

Our staff rating: 6.2/10
Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Aditya Srivastava, Bhumi Pednekar, Chittaranjan Tripathy, Murari Kumar, Pubali Sanyal, Sai Tamhankar, Sanjay Mishra, Surya Sharma, Tanisha Mehta, Umesh Shukla, Vibha Chibber
Director: Pulkit
Rating: R
7.

The Heartbreak Agency (2024)

Two people with different thoughts on love discover a common ground: they’re both anti-romantics. Realizing they got off on the wrong foot, they spend more time with each other and bond over realistic ideas of modern love. At one point, Maria (Rosalie Thomass) and Karl (Laurence Rupp) even diss romantic comedies for their cheesy music and naive understanding of fate and destiny. Their conversations are engaging and thoughtful, even and especially when they oppose one another. But just when you think you’re watching something smart and novel, Maria and Karl fall into the same implausible trappings they claim to hate. Suddenly, the film turns soft and transforms into the romantic comedy it once criticized. If only it had pushed into anti-romance territory even further and allowed Maria and Karl to truly hash out their differences, thorns and tension and all, then this could have been a truly interesting romantic film. Instead, it’s a standard romantic comedy that’s worse off for pretending to be above the genre, even though it’s really not.

Our staff rating: 6.5/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Actor: Arash Marandi, Charleen Deetz, Cora Trube, Denise M'Baye, Jakob Schreier, Jerry Hoffmann, Laurence Rupp, Margarethe Tiesel, Maria Hofstätter, Özgür Karadeniz, Paula Schramm, Rosalie Thomass
Director: Shirel Peleg
Rating: PG-13
6.

Murder Mubarak (2024)

Mystery films and whodunits have placed the rich and powerful in their crosshairs for generations now, and Murder Mubarak proudly follows in that tradition through a tried and tested formula. So while there isn't anything particularly surprising here, the film nails the tone it needs, smartly placing the focus away from the central crime and poking fun at the entire ecosystem of privilege and ego that gets revealed in its wake. Unfortunately, the movie also doesn't sustain this momentum till the end, as it abruptly stumbles toward its inevitable revelations without giving itself time to let the consequences breathe. When it's all over, it actually feels like we don't know many of these individual characters any better than the overall situation they're in.

Our staff rating: 6.7/10
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Actor: Aashim Gulati, Brijendra Kala, Deven Bhojani, Dimple Kapadia, Grusha Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Sanjay Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Suhail Nayyar, Tara Alisha Berry, Tisca Chopra, Varun Mitra, Vijay Varma
Director: Homi Adajania
5.

Badland Hunters (2024)

After the critical and commercial success of Concrete Utopia, it makes sense for Lotte Entertainment to turn it into a franchise. Badland Hunters is a more action-focused spinoff, with that dystopian world looking like a wild, wild Seoul and Ma Dong-seok as its lone ranger. Compared to its predecessor, the commentary is scant, the plot is thin, and the only thing that connects it is the apartment. But even with the B-movie mad scientist plot, long-time stunt coordinator Heo Myung-haeng makes his directorial debut wildly entertaining, with solid action that doesn’t depend too much on CGI. Human reptiles aside, Badland Hunters is just so fun to watch.

Our staff rating: 6.8/10
Genre: Action, Drama, Science Fiction
Actor: Ahn Ji-hye, Ahn Seong-bong, Hong Yi-joo, Jang Young-nam, Jeong Gi-seop, Jung Young-ju, Kim Young-sun, Lee Han-joo, Lee Hee-jun, Lee Jun-young, Ma Dong-seok, Park Hyo-joon, Park Ji-hoon, Roh Jeong-eui, Seong Byeong-suk
Director: Heo Myeong-haeng
Rating: R
4.

Sixty Minutes (2024)

While not having world-ending stakes or large-scale operations, Sixty Minutes just works as an action movie. Sure, the plot is familiar and a little far fetched, but the film maximizes the potential of its premise, with excellently choreographed fight sequences working in tandem with the cinematography to reflect the MMA fighter leading the movie. Each moment isn’t wasted, with the action escalating each time Octa finds out about the hidden information kept from him about the match he’s planned to skip, and the film easily keeps track of his journey through neon-lit stopwatch faces and maps. And when we (and Octa) feel tired from all the fighting, the film ends right on time after sixty (and twenty nine) minutes.

Our staff rating: 7/10
Genre: Action, Drama
Actor: Alain Blazevic, Aristo Luis, Balázs Megyeri, Bettina Hoppe, Bruno Salgueiro, Dennis Mojen, Emilio Sakraya, Eniko Fulop, Florian Schmidtke, Georg Blumreiter, Harry Szovik, Janna Striebeck, José Barros, Laurent Winkler, Livia Matthes, Ludger Bökelmann, Marie Mouroum, Mehmet Ateşçi, Morik Heydo, Nyamandi Adrian, Paul Wollin, Philipp Droste, Steffen Jung, Tatjana Šojić, Tayssir Khalfallah, Vassilis Koukalani
Director: Oliver Kienle
Rating: R
3.

Captain Miller (2024)

Set in the British colonial era, Captain Miller is more unapologetically violent than its counterparts, but it’s not mindlessly so. Sure, the film has plenty of spectacle with numerous battles between townsfolk versus British colonialists, some scenes having gruesome, gory deaths. But in between these battles is Dhanush as the central character, contemplating the oppression from his fellow countrymen, the dignity denied to him from both the colony and more privileged locals, and the choices he chooses to make in spite of this. It’s not a straightforward bad versus good anti-colonial film like RRR, and it may not be as emotionally compelling, but Captain Miller is certainly a unique take on British colonialism with all of director Arun Matheswaran’s signature style.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action, Adventure
Actor: Abdool Lee, Aditi Balan, Bose Venkat, Dhanush, Edward Sonnenblick, Elango Kumaravel, Jayaprakash, John Kokken, Kaali Venkat, Mark Bennington, Nivedhithaa Sathish, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Shivaraj Kumar, Sumesh Moor, Sundeep Kishan, Swayam Siddha, Viji Chandrasekhar, Vinoth Kishan
Director: Arun Matheswaran

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2.

The Parades (2024)

When it comes to ghosts, plenty of films are centered around personal, unresolved business in the living world, but rarely do films examine how the spirit world would be, unless it’s for fantastical fights or horrific terror. The Parades instead focuses on a world of lost, but ordinary, and thankfully kind, souls. And as the film builds its calm world, Minako (and the viewers) get to meet the people who would form her eventual found family, whose various lives uncover the intimate and personal hopes of ordinary people, shaped by the events of their respective times. While the film doesn’t fully resolve all their stories, The Parades celebrates life, in all forms, and the powerful ways storytelling and community helps us go through it.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Akari Takaishi, Ayumu Nakajima, Daiken Okudaira, Denden, Hana Kino, Hiroshi Tachi, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Lily Franky, Mai Fukagawa, Masami Nagasawa, Nana Mori, Ryusei Yokohama, Shinobu Terajima, Takuya Wakabayashi, Tetsushi Tanaka, Yuina Kuroshima, Yukiya Kitamura
Director: Michihito Fujii
Rating: PG-13
1.

You Are Not Alone: Fighting the Wolf Pack (2024)

After the La Manada rape case in 2016, it was necessary to document this event, especially since the widespread national outrage and demonstrations managed to move the country to change the way Spain defines consent. You Are Not Alone: Fighting the Wolf Pack documents this arduous journey. While it’s done through the familiar Netflix true crime approach, there’s some respect given to the victim that hasn’t been given previously by the media. The film sticks to the actual verbatim words used by the victim, albeit edited for clarity, but they ensured that their words were not accompanied with photos or similar looking actors, keeping the truth of their words without risking their safety. While the documentary’s direction isn’t new, the outrage is still felt, as well as the genuine hope of a country that came together to ensure justice.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Carolina Yuste, Natalia de Molina
Director: Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar
Rating: R

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