Top 5 old Finnish movie classics of all time

Our overview of the best old Finnish movies of all time. Absolute must-see’s.

1. The Winter War – Talvisota (1989)
Director: Pekka Parrika
Cast: Taneli Mäkelä, Vesa Vierikko and Timo Torikka
IMDb Rating: 8.0

best finnish movies

This great Finnish movies deals with the story of two brothers who leave their village to fight the Russians in 1939. The brothers belong to a legion of reserve soldiers that all of a sudden got called in for service.

This film provides an impressive view of what a grave impact war can have. In comparison to most American War movies, this Finnish movie gives a realistic insight in to what war does not only to the people, but also to their families. Here you will not find sentimental and romanticized notions of war, but the rough and unpleasant reality.

2. The Man without a past – Mies vailla menneisyyttä (2002)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen and Annikki Tähti
IMDb Rating: 7.6

best finnish movies

When a man arrives in Helsinki he gets beaten so badly that he loses his memory. He suffers from amnesia. Because he cannot remember anything about himself he is not able to find a job either. Nor can he find accommodation. Fortunately, he finally finds a place to stay in a flat, where he starts a friendship with a young social worker, and hopes to get his memory back.

This film has received an impressive amounts of prizes. Although it was nominated but did not win the Oscar for best foreign language film, it won a lot of other awards. It is a unique and heartbreaking work. Although the plotline sounds a little corny, that is certainly not the case. It is probably one of the most famous Finnish movies.

3. Mother of Mine – Äideistä parhain (2005)

Director: Klaus Härö
Cast: Topi Majaniemi, Marjaana Maijala and Maria Lundqvist
IMDb Rating: 7.5

best finnish movies

During the First World War Eero gets separated from his biological mother. He was one of the 5000 children that was brought to neutral Sweden at the time war started. He feels very abandoned by his mother, but at the same time also cannot feel much sympathy for his foster mom. When he can finally return to Finland he remains confused.

A beautiful Finnish movie that portrays this delicate part of history very well. It has received a respectable amount of awards, and was Finland’s admission for the Oscars.

4. Drifting Clouds – Kauas pilvet karkaavat (1996)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen and Elina Salo
IMDb Rating: 7.5

best finnish movies

The second Kaurismaki movie in our top 10 list. This Finnish movie is about a couple that got hit hard by the recession. As a consequence they both lose their job. according to Finland experts this films provides a great insight in to the Finnish mentality and culture. At the same time, you will have to understand the culture to appreciate the humor to the fullest. Like most Aki Kaurismaki movies, this one is also very heavy. It is however, received very well internationally. It was especially a great success at the Cannes film Festival.

Fragment of Drifting Clouds (1996) (no english trailer available unfortunately):

5. Frozen Land- Paha maa (2005)
Director: Aku Louhimies
Cast: Jasper Pääkkönen, Mikko Leppilampi and Pamela Tola
IMDb Rating: 7.5

best finnish movies

In this great Finnish Movie, the misery of the one gets continuously handed over to the other. Starting with a teacher who loses his job. As a result also his son suffers because the teacher takes up drinking again. The film deals with exactly what Finland is known for: alcohol abuse. This is the central theme of the film. Despite its heavy topic, it is the most watched Finnish movie of 2005.

Curious about more than these best Finnish Movies? Check out the rest of our Foreign movies countries.