20 highly rated European films

What do directors from old Europe make films about, what worries the public of countries with a high standard of living? To answer these questions at least partially, we have made a selection of European films – from already cult films to little-known, but no less interesting projects. Androids, LGBT, dementia, alcohol, loneliness and many other topics are covered in these dramas and comedies, where every viewer can find something new for themselves.

Firebird (2021)

The Estonian director’s film has become one of the most discussed novelties in European cinema in the press. The action of the melodrama originates in the 70s at the air force base in western Estonia. Private Sergei Serebrennikov is going through the last week of his service, and the typist Louise, his girlfriend, is already planning a life together with a young man. However, the appearance of Lieutenant Roman in the military unit changes the plans of both heroes and awakens passions that were dangerous in those days.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Firebird

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Tom Pryor, Nicholas Woodeson, Oleg Zagorodny …

Country:
Estonia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


I’m Made for You (2021)

A young German woman, Alma, agrees to participate in an android experiment in order to get funding for her science project . For some time, she will have to live with Tom, a robot whose algorithms are designed to be the perfect companion for a woman. He is smart, handsome and kind. However, the employee of the Berlin Museum is not as predictable as other members of the fairer sex. This novelty of European cinema is a highly rated comedy film that reflects on the technologies of the future and what it really means to love.

Original title:
Ich bin dein Mensch

Genre:
Fantasy, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens, Sandra Hüller …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


One More (2020)

An Oscar-winning fresh film from Europe introduces the viewer to several middle-aged teachers . The heroes of the cool alcodrama Peter, Martin, Tommy and Nikolai are going to a fashionable restaurant to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the latter. The birthday boy tells his friends an entertaining hypothesis that a constant blood alcohol content of 0.5 ppm can significantly improve the quality of life. Without thinking twice, the quartet of Danes decides to test the theory on themselves.

Original title:
Druk

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang…

Country:
Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Father (2020)

Next on the list of the best European cinema is a heartbreaking feature film, whose creators tried to show the process of fading a person with dementia. Elderly London aristocrat Anthony lives in a spacious apartment, but recently he cannot take care of himself on his own, according to his daughter Ann. She also hires a nurse, Laura, for her father. Meanwhile, the world of an 80-year-old man is changing – he is lost in time, becomes quick-tempered and suspicious, and his daughter for some reason changes her appearance.

Original title:
The Father

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams…

Country:
Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Pain and Glory (2019)

What to do when the best years are behind? The protagonist of the European film Salvador is a lonely aging director at the end of his career trying to answer this question. A tired and broken person literally drowns in memories – childhood, the death of a mother, a woman, climbing the ladder of success and failures. Wandering through the halls of memory, he decides to call an actor whom he has not seen for over 20 years. And this meeting starts a series of events that can help the hero rethink the past.

Original title:
Dolor y gloria

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Echeandia…

Country:
Spain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Body of Christ (2019)

One of the best European films of recent years, which received favorable reviews from the audience, tells about Daniel, who has just left the colony. The guy finds himself in a small town where a tragedy has recently occurred. Events develop in such a way that the young man’s dream of becoming a priest can come true – he pretends to be a seminary graduate and takes the place of a sick pastor.

Original title:
Boze Cialo

Genre:
Drama, France

Actors:
Bartosz Belenya, Alexandra Konechna, Eliza Rytsembel …

Country:
Poland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Portrait of a girl on fire (2019)

An elegant and sensual French film takes the viewer to Brittany in 1770. The young artist Marianna arrives here to paint a portrait of Eloise, the daughter of a noble gentleman. The portrait is intended for the girl’s fiance as a pre-wedding gift. However, the bride is not so easily approached because she does not want to get married and does not want to pose. Then Marianne pretends to be her companion and draws a portrait from memory, but over time, feelings flare up between the girls.

Original title:
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Noemi Merlan, Adele Enel, Louana Bayrami…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Hard Ride (2018)

Our top foreign films will continue with an excellent European farce comedy recommended for viewing by heavy metal fans. A Norwegian festival promoter is trying to run Impaled Rektum, possibly the worst musicians in their country. The guys go to Norway to perform at the festival. And what their rock journey will result in, you will find out by watching this Scandinavian film about rural Finnish rockers .

Original title:
Hevi reissu

Genre:
Comedy, music

Actors:
Johannes Holopainen, Samuli Jaskio, Antti Heikkinen …

Country:
Finland, Norway, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.0


Tiger Theory (2016)

In the Berger family, it is generally accepted that married men live longer than their single comrades. And all because every woman knows how to make her husband happy without even asking his opinion. Jan is already over 60, and only now he began to think that it would be time to get rid of the comprehensive guardianship of his wife, because every year her merciless care strangles the man more and more. He comes up with a very unusual way to escape from family hell – to portray Alzheimer’s disease.

Original title:
Teorie tygra

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Jiri Bartoshka, Elishka Baltserova, Tatyana Wilhelmova…

Country:
Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.2


Underworld (2016)

An interesting European thriller film worth watching for fans of feminist cinema with a gripping plot. This story takes you back to the times of the Wild West , when strength and cruelty ruled everyday life. We see defenseless Liz running away from her father’s house. She is picked up by a wagon, and the girl ends up in a brothel. And it seems that she is not at all afraid of this state of affairs. Who is she hiding from, and why does the fate of a prostitute scare her less than a meeting with a mysterious pastor?

Original title:
Brimstone

Genre:
Thriller, drama, detective, western

Actors:
Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Kit Harington …

Country:
Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Perfect Strangers (2015)

The plot of the most popular European film is played out within the walls of one apartment during dinner. A group of bosom friends, consisting of three married couples and one bachelor, decides to play a game. Everyone puts their phones on the table, calls are received on speakerphone, and text messages are read aloud. No one even imagined what kind of discoveries a harmless game would turn into, but as it turned out, everyone has something to hide. Will couples stay together after such an evening of revelations? And can friends accept each other’s secrets?

Original title:
Perfetti sconosciuti

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Giuseppe Battiston, Anna Folletta, Marco Gialini, Kasia Smutnyak …

Country:
Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Ove’s second life (2015)

Ove was once a young man madly in love with his wife, but now he is just a lonely grumpy widower. The old man lives in the suburbs and tirelessly monitors public order. In between patrolling the streets, Uwe tries to commit suicide, but someone constantly interferes with him. And now these new neighbors are a noisy international family! This modern European film is a comedy-drama based on the best-selling book by Swede Frederik Backman. Especially the movie will appeal to those who appreciate Scandinavian humor and good life stories.

Original title:
En man som heter Ove

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Rolf Lassgard, Bahar Pars, Philip Berg…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Virgin Mountain (2014)

Fuxi is a 43-year-old overweight and bald man who still lives with his mother. He works at the airport and in the evenings does mini-reenactments of World War II battles . Fuxi is a very kind, sympathetic, but lonely person. And, most likely, such a habitual life of his would continue further, but the hero meets a neighbor girl – a baby who has become his friend. And this is only the first step towards a new life, because soon Fusi will meet a woman.

Original title:
Fúsi

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Gunnar Jonsson, Ilmur Kristjaunsdouttir, Sigurjoun Kjartansson…

Country:
Iceland, Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.4


The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared (2013)

On the day of the celebration of his anniversary, old Allan climbs out the window in his slippers and disappears in an unknown direction. In just the first hour of freedom, he manages to get into a skirmish with racketeers. Now both the police and the bandits are chasing the grandfather. But this is not the first time Allan gets into trouble, so he does not lose optimism – an adventurer in life and a bomb specialist, he is ready for any blow of fate. The elderly man never sought fame and was not interested in politics , but he became a key figure in many of the most important events of the 20th century.

Original title:
Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann

Genre:
Comedy, adventure

Actors:
Robert Gustafsson, Mia Scheringer, Ivar Viklander …

Country:
Sweden, Russia, UK, France, Spain, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Great Beauty (2013)

65-year-old writer Jep Gambardella lives in Rome and has not written a book for a long time. The man is surrounded by disillusioned people – once popular artists, mediocre artists, drunken stars and degrading heirs of titles. In this vain and lost world, our hero is looking for an answer to the question – is it possible to return the taste for life? An interesting European cinema with beautiful visuals and an unusual presentation, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, creates a unique portrait of human emotions against the backdrop of a magnificent Roman summer.

Original title:
La grande bellezza

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli…

Country:
Italy, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


1+1 (2011)

The European film, which has already become a classic, introduces the viewer to the rich aristocrat and disabled Philip. As an assistant, he hires a young black guy – an uneducated ghetto inhabitant with a criminal past. Despite the fact that Driss is not at all suitable for the role of a nurse for the paralyzed Philip, their acquaintance will be the beginning of an absolutely incredible friendship between two people from different worlds – a friendship that will save both.

Original title:
Intouchables

Genre:
Drama, comedy, biography

Actors:
Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ni…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.8, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Headhunters (2011)

A cool European film co-produced by Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany – an adaptation of the book masterpiece, the Scandinavian thriller by Jo Nesbø. Roger Brown is considered to be one of the best recruiters in the country. However, the search for specialists is not his only income. A man is engaged in robbery – stealing paintings from the rich. One day, Roger meets Claes Graaff, the owner of an original Rubens worth a fortune. That’s just the new victim of a fraudster is not as simple as it seems, and the usual adventure this time can turn into a deadly mess.

Original title:
Hodejegerne

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Axel Henni, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Syunnöve Makodi Lund…

Country:
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Wall (2011)

A middle-aged woman goes on a trip to the Alps with her friends, an elderly couple. Having settled in a mountain hut, the couple decide to walk to the nearest settlement, leaving their dog to our heroine. The next morning, the woman realizes that the couple never returned, and an invisible wall frames the top of the mountain . So she finds herself completely alone against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes, and her company is only a dog, a cow and a few kittens .

Original title:
Die Wand

Genre:
Drama, detective, fantasy

Actors:
Martina Gedek, Lux, Karlheinz Hakl …

Country:
Austria, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.8


Devil’s Double (2011)

This film, shot by European cinematographers, is based on real events and is full of violence and bloody scenes. The plot develops in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein’s son Uday decides to hire a double to push the whole routine onto him. But what price a copy of the hated offspring of a dictator pays is better not to even know. Secretly, the man dreams of escaping from the hell created by the younger Hussein, but this is not so easy to do.

Original title:
The Devil’s Double

Genre:
Thriller, drama, biography

Actors:
Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Ravi …

Country:
Belgium, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Parade (2011)

A young gay couple is having a hard time in Serbia, where every day men face human intolerance. The situation is complicated by the fact that Mario, one of the partners, is an ardent gay rights activist. And when he decides to organize the first gay pride parade in his native country, he cannot do without outside help. One criminal authority with his associates agrees to take care of the protection of the event in return for a certain service.

Original title:
Parada

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Nikola Koyo, Milos Samolov, Hristina Popovich …

Country:
Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, France, Macedonia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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