This selection of French Netflix movies has something for everyone, from romantic comedies and dramedies to thrillers and mysteries. Furthermore, you will be able to sharpen your skills if you are learning French. Nonetheless, it’s tough to find “French Movies” on Netflix’s “International Movies” category page. Yet the selection of French movies on Netflix continues to decline. A few of the finest French films from the 21st century can still be found, despite the absence of classics like The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), Napolèon (1927), Fievre (1921), Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Breathless (1960), and Adieu Filipina (1962), which were known to be the best movies of the 1930s, 60’s and ’70s.
Additionally, if you want to enjoy these movies, you can try platforms like The Criterion Channel or Sundance Now. But, if you want to watch something coming fresh out of french cinema then this article is just for you.
For your convenience, I’ve put up a list of the top 10 French films now streaming on Netflix to get you started. Choose one that appeals to you, lay back, and enjoy!
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#1. The Summit Of The Gods (2021)
French Name: Le Sommet Des Dieux
Director: Patrick Imbert
To capture their images for his company’s magazine, a young photojournalist named Makoto Fukamachi follows a Japanese team up the southwest face of Everest. The mountaineers were forced to retreat due to their lack of preparation. Fukamachi becomes frustrated when taking images of mountain climbers who are irresponsible and without hope. Unexpectedly, a hustler in Kathmandu approaches him and offers to sell George Mallory’s vest pocket camera to Fukamachi.
Fukamachi declines the offer because he doesn’t trust its veracity. But suddenly, he sees missing mountaineer Habu Joji standing in front of a restaurant. During a trip, Habu lost both of his fingers. Fukamachi recognizes him as a result. Mallory’s camera is snatched from him by Habu, who also threatens the pimp. Habu mystifies Fukamachi’s questions and vanishes into the shadows.
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#2. I Lost My Body (2019)
French Name: J’ai perdu mon corps
Director: Jérémy Clapin
The film’s plot revolves around a severed hand that traverses the city to find its host body, revealing the story of its severing and the trauma that its host body faced. Besides, the director, Jérémy Clapin, creates visually stunning and evocative scenes that are linked to the hand’s perspective and its surroundings, showcasing the beauty in filth and decay. Moreover, the author praises the film’s unassuming and quietly heartbreaking achievement and suggests that the Academy should prioritize it over the expectedly competent big studio fare.
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#3. Lost Bullet (2020)
French Name: Balle Perdue
Director: Guillaume Pierret
The story is about Lino, a mechanical prodigy who was famous for his ram-powered automobiles until the day he was seized in a botched robbery. He is offered a bargain to avoid prison after being seen by the leader of a senior police team officer. Lino has more than proven himself nine months later. Nonetheless, he is unexpectedly falsely charged with murder and is driven to discover the only proof of his innocence which is the crime’s bullet, hidden in a lost car.
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#4. Divines (2016)
Director: Uda Benyamina
The film observes two young women, Dounia and Maimouna, who dream of escaping their Paris banlieue estate and making a lot of money. The film has a strong focus on their relationship and portrays them as a great soromance. While the film is energetic and entertaining, it ends on a bleak note. All in all, Divines is an impressive debut for Benyamina, and the film’s combination of genre thrills and character drama makes it a must-see for fans of international cinema.
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#5. Sentinelle (2021)
Director: Julien Leclercq
“Sentinelle” – a French action thriller film released in 2021. The film follows the story of a French soldier named Klara, played by Olga Kurylenko, who returns home to Nice from a traumatizing deployment in Syria. After her sister is attacked and left in a coma, Klara takes it upon herself to seek revenge on the perpetrators using her military training. Along the way, she becomes entangled in a larger criminal operation and must fight to protect not only her sister but also her own life. The film is directed by Julien Leclercq and features a cast including Marilyn Lima and Michel Nabokoff.
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#6. Raw (2016)
Director: Julia Ducournau
The film follows the story of Justine, an incoming college student who discovers an uncontrollable desire to consume raw meat during her time at a veterinary school. The review suggests that while the film can be classified as a coming-of-age story, it delves into much darker themes such as fear of feminine sexuality, family legacies, and popularity politics. The film receives praise for its visceral and harrowing qualities, but also for its ability to explore deeper, more complex issues beyond the surface-level gore. Nonetheless, it is a great option for those with a taste for horror and a willingness to explore the uncomfortable aspects of the human experience.
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#7. Oxygen (2021)
Director: Alexandre Aja
This is a 2021 sci-fi horror film “Oxygen,” available on Netflix. The film is directed by Alexandre Aja, known for his extreme horror films such as “Haute Tension.” However, this movie, “Oxygen” is not what viewers might expect from Aja, as it ultimately serves as a love letter to human survival with catharsis at its core. Further, the film follows a woman, played by Mélanie Laurent, who wakes up in a cryogenic chamber with no memory of her identity or how she got there. With only 33 percent of her oxygen reserve left, she must find a way to escape. Moreover, the review praises the film’s ability to build tension and fear within the confines of the chamber, which makes the woman’s true location unknown and adds to the terror. The movie “Oxygen” is incredible for viewers who enjoy horror films that explore the depths of human survival.
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#8. Funan (2018)
Director: Denis Do
Funan – a period drama animated film that tells the story of a Cambodian woman named Chou. Chou separate from her young son during the Khmer Rouge revolution in 1975. The film follows Chou’s torturous journey as she tries to reunite with her son while struggling to survive under the brutal regime. Along the way, Chou forms a bond with other survivors who are also searching for their loved ones, and they all face incredible danger and sacrifice in the face of unimaginable tragedy. “Funan” is a powerful and moving exploration of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit.
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#9. The Wolf’s Call (2019)
French Name: Le Chant du loup
Director: Antonin Baudry
“The Wolf’s Call” is a 2019 French action thriller film that follows the story of a young sonar technician, Chanteraide, who has an exceptional hearing ability. Moreover, he recruits to join the French Navy’s elite submarine squadron, and his first mission is to track a foreign submarine that has entered French territorial waters. Chanteraide soon realizes that the fate of the world is at stake, as the foreign submarine is carrying dangerous cargo and could trigger a nuclear war. Further, with his unique skill set, Chanteraide becomes a key player in the race to prevent a global catastrophe. The film is an intense and gripping thriller that combines stunning visuals with heart-pumping action sequences.
#10. Atlantics (2019)
Director: Mati Diop
The film follows the story of a young woman named Ada and her lover Souleiman, who struggle to make ends meet in Dakar, Senegal. Souleiman, a construction worker who has not paid in months. And Ada is betrothed to a wealthy man she doesn’t love. When Souleiman and his colleagues leave the country by sea in search of better opportunities. Therefore, Ada stays left behind to face the consequences of their departure. Consequently, as supernatural events begin to occur, Ada appears forced to confront the harsh realities of class, migration, and the global economic system. Nevertheless, the movie, “Atlantics” is a haunting and visually stunning film that explores themes of love, loss, and social justice through the lens of West African mythology and contemporary issues.