Top 150 French films

by juliensabourdin | created - 23 Nov 2012 | updated - 07 May 2018 | Public
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1. Day for Night (1973)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut, Valentina Cortese

Votes: 18,648 | Gross: $0.02M

2. Playtime (1967)

Not Rated | 155 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden, France Rumilly

Votes: 17,553

3. Casque d'Or (1952)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Three gangsters and an ex-con carpenter all fall for the same beautiful, golden-haired woman in Belle Époque France.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussières

Votes: 4,679

4. Army of Shadows (1969)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, War

99 Metascore

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret

Votes: 18,825 | Gross: $0.74M

5. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 25,113

6. The Mother and the Whore (1973)

210 min | Drama, Romance

The chauvinist Alexandre balances relationships with several women, including the maternal Marie and the sexually liberated Veronika, in the post-1968 intellectual scene of Paris.

Director: Jean Eustache | Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun, Isabelle Weingarten

Votes: 4,629

7. The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (1973)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A bigoted Frenchman finds himself forced to impersonate a popular rabbi while on the run from a group of assassins - and the police.

Director: Gérard Oury | Stars: Louis de Funès, Miou-Miou, Suzy Delair, Marcel Dalio

Votes: 11,236

8. Garde à vue (1981)

87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A police inspector, suspecting an attorney of two child sex murders, has him held for a questioning session that goes on for hours.

Director: Claude Miller | Stars: Lino Ventura, Michel Serrault, Romy Schneider, Guy Marchand

Votes: 3,905

9. La Chevre (1981)

91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A daughter of a millionaire, distinguish by incredible bad luck, goes missing. The idea how to find her is either insane or brilliant - to send after her an equally unlucky person.

Director: Francis Veber | Stars: Pierre Richard, Gérard Depardieu, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Corynne Charbit

Votes: 7,447

10. Contempt (1963)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Romance

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli, Giorgia Moll

Votes: 26,072 | Gross: $0.04M

11. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 23,040 | Gross: $0.30M

12. Le Jour Se Leve (1939)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events that led him to the killing.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Jean Gabin, Jacqueline Laurent, Arletty, Jules Berry

Votes: 6,218 | Gross: $0.03M

13. Merci la vie (1991)

117 min | Drama

Camille, a naive schoolgirl meets an intiguing influence in Joelle, a slightly older and much more experienced spirit. Camille follows her new friend through the discovery of sex and the ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Blier | Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anouk Grinberg, Michel Blanc, Jean Carmet

Votes: 1,053

14. La Cérémonie (1995)

Not Rated | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A newly hired maid for a rich countryside family befriends a post-office clerk who encourages her to rebel against her employers.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel

Votes: 9,288 | Gross: $0.08M

15. The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)

R | 125 min | Drama, Romance

Alex, who's homeless and addicted to alcohol, and Michèle, who's losing her sight, form a relationship while sleeping rough on Paris's Pont-Neuf bridge.

Director: Leos Carax | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Klaus-Michael Grüber, Marion Stalens

Votes: 11,430 | Gross: $0.12M

16. The Confession (1970)

GP | 139 min | Drama, History, Thriller

Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Gabriele Ferzetti, Michel Vitold

Votes: 3,387 | Gross: $0.14M

17. The Phantom of Liberty (1974)

R | 104 min | Comedy

A series of surreal sequences that critique morality and society in a stream of consciousness style.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli, Monica Vitti

Votes: 13,201 | Gross: $0.01M

18. César and Rosalie (1972)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

Cesar is in love with Rosalie. But Rosalie isn't making it easy for him, especially when her old flame enters the picture.

Director: Claude Sautet | Stars: Yves Montand, Romy Schneider, Sami Frey, Bernard Le Coq

Votes: 2,339

19. Panique (1946)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

After an elderly maid is murdered, opinions are manipulated, evidence is planted, violence erupts, and panic ensues.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Viviane Romance, Michel Simon, Max Dalban, Émile Drain

Votes: 1,215 | Gross: $0.04M

20. Les Misérables (1934)

Not Rated | 281 min | Drama

The lives of numerous people over the course of 20 years in 19th century France, weaved together by the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean on the run from an obsessive police inspector, who pursues him for only a minor offense.

Director: Raymond Bernard | Stars: Harry Baur, Charles Vanel, Paul Azaïs, Max Dearly

Votes: 1,448

21. Love Without Pity (1989)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Romance

25 years old Hippo doesn't have a job, doesn't study either but lives from the money his younger brother earns with dealing and from occasional Poker winnings -- he's a representative of a ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Rochant | Stars: Hippolyte Girardot, Mireille Perrier, Yvan Attal, Jean-Marie Rollin

Votes: 623

22. House of Tolerance (2011)

Not Rated | 122 min | Drama

75 Metascore

At an elegant Parisian bordello at the dawn of the 20th century, exists a cloistered world of pleasure, pain, hope, rivalries, and most of all, slavery.

Director: Bertrand Bonello | Stars: Noémie Lvovsky, Hafsia Herzi, Céline Sallette, Jasmine Trinca

Votes: 5,866 | Gross: $0.02M

23. Beau travail (1999)

Unrated | 92 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Djibouti.

Director: Claire Denis | Stars: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin, Richard Courcet

Votes: 7,395 | Gross: $0.25M

24. In the Beginning (2009)

130 min | Drama

France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and ... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Giannoli | Stars: François Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devos, Gérard Depardieu, Soko

Votes: 2,153

25. The Ring Finger (2005)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

Iris finds a new job working in a preservation lab where she gradually enters into a troubled relationship with her boss.

Director: Diane Bertrand | Stars: Olga Kurylenko, Marc Barbé, Stipe Erceg, Edith Scob

Votes: 1,085

26. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin

Votes: 19,333 | Gross: $0.11M

27. Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest (2006)

PG | 99 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

Raised by the same woman, the dark-complexioned, Asmar, and the flaxen-haired, Azur, set out on a quest to a strange and magical land to liberate the enchanting Djinn-fairy; but, only one can save her. Will the brothers be triumphant?

Director: Michel Ocelot | Stars: Cyril Mourali, Karim M'Riba, Hiam Abbass, Patrick Timsit

Votes: 2,638

28. Terror's Advocate (2007)

Unrated | 135 min | Documentary, Biography, History

75 Metascore

A documentary on Jacques Vergès, the controversial lawyer and former Free French Forces guerrilla who has defending unpopular figures such as Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Jacques Vergès, Klaus Barbie, Barbet Schroeder, Bassam Abu Sharif

Votes: 1,445 | Gross: $0.04M

29. Code Unknown (2000)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama

74 Metascore

A young man harasses a homeless woman, another man protests, the police arrest both and the woman has to leave the country. What were their various story-lines leading up to this event?

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Josef Bierbichler, Alexandre Hamidi

Votes: 11,037 | Gross: $0.10M

30. Betty Blue (1986)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

A lackadaisical handyman and aspiring novelist tries to support his younger girlfriend as she slowly succumbs to madness.

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix | Stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Béatrice Dalle, Gérard Darmon, Consuelo De Haviland

Votes: 16,647 | Gross: $2.00M

31. The Tenant (1976)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 36,305 | Gross: $1.92M

32. Le Bossu (1959)

105 min | Action, Adventure

Prince Philippe de Gonzague decides to get rid of his cousin Duke de Nevers, having wished for long his properties and wealth.

Director: André Hunebelle | Stars: Jean Marais, Bourvil, Sabine Sesselmann, Jean Le Poulain

Votes: 1,069

33. Calvaire (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

52 Metascore

Marc, a traveling entertainer, is on his way home for Christmas when his van brakes in the middle of a jerkwater town with some strange inhabitans.

Director: Fabrice du Welz | Stars: Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigny, Jean-Luc Couchard

Votes: 11,158 | Gross: $0.00M

34. Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998)

122 min | Drama, Romance

Friends of a recently deceased minor painter Jean-Baptiste take a train in Paris for Limoges, where he wished to be buried, and all the people on the train have their problems.

Director: Patrice Chéreau | Stars: Pascal Greggory, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Charles Berling, Jean-Louis Trintignant

Votes: 1,765 | Gross: $0.06M

35. When the Cat's Away (1996)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

Chloe, a young woman, is going on holidays. She entrusts her beloved cat to Madame Renée's care. But one day Madame Renée (an old lady of the neighborhood) can not find the cat. Chloe ... See full summary »

Director: Cédric Klapisch | Stars: Garance Clavel, Zinedine Soualem, Renée Le Calm, Olivier Py

Votes: 3,117 | Gross: $1.65M

36. Love Songs (2007)

Unrated | 91 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

70 Metascore

A musical interpretation of three lovers living in Paris.

Director: Christophe Honoré | Stars: Ludivine Sagnier, Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, Chiara Mastroianni

Votes: 8,625 | Gross: $0.10M

37. Secret Things (2002)

Unrated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

55 Metascore

Two young women find themselves struggling to survive in Paris, street-wise Nathalie, a stripper, and naïve Sandrine, a barmaid. Together, they discover that sex can be used to their ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Brisseau | Stars: Coralie Revel, Sabrina Seyvecou, Roger Miremont, Fabrice Deville

Votes: 4,382 | Gross: $0.10M

38. Fear City: A Family-Style Comedy (1994)

93 min | Comedy

A second-class horror movie has to be shown at Cannes Film Festival, but, before each screening, the projectionist is killed by a mysterious fellow, with hammer and sickle, just as it happens in the film to be shown.

Director: Alain Berbérian | Stars: Chantal Lauby, Alain Chabat, Dominique Farrugia, Gérard Darmon

Votes: 7,804

39. A Christmas Tale (2008)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny

Votes: 6,395 | Gross: $1.06M

40. De Nuremberg à Nuremberg (1989)

240 min | Documentary

A two-part TV documentary on World War II, made exclusively from archive footage.

Director: Frédéric Rossif | Star: Philippe Meyer

Votes: 181

41. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Two sisters leave their small seaside town of Rochefort in search of romance. Hired as carnival singers, one falls for an American musician, while the other must search for her ideal partner.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, George Chakiris, Françoise Dorléac, Jacques Perrin

Votes: 7,446 | Gross: $0.09M

42. Love After Love (1992)

104 min | Drama, Romance

Lola is an independent woman, a professional writer with 2 men on a string. Both men are married with children. When the men, and Lola, face having to make choices, Lola's comfortable life ... See full summary »

Director: Diane Kurys | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Bernard Giraudeau, Hippolyte Girardot, Lio

Votes: 312 | Gross: $0.08M

43. Of Gods and Men (2010)

PG-13 | 122 min | Drama, History

86 Metascore

Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

Director: Xavier Beauvois | Stars: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Philippe Laudenbach

Votes: 14,266 | Gross: $3.95M

44. Distracted (1970)

85 min | Comedy

A comedy about an absent-minded man who works at a advertising company. He topples from one problem to another.

Director: Pierre Richard | Stars: Pierre Richard, Marie-Christine Barrault, Maria Pacôme, Catherine Samie

Votes: 1,164