Best new French Movies in 2018 & 2017 (Netflix & Cinema List)

The Vore's Film staff selects the top best French movies of 2019 in cinema, DVD and Netflix. Are Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Løve & Céline Sciamma France's biggest directors?

The country where cinema was born… the biggest and most important film industry of Europe. Where to start? An impossible task, but we somehow managed to compose a list of the best French movies. Definitely not exhaustive!
Breaking down the best French films of 2014, and the new French films for 2015 proved to be one hell of a job. 2012 was already an excellent year for French cinema with Rust & Bone, Holy Motors and Dans La Maison, 2013 blew us away with modern classics like La Vie d’Adele.

I do not think that in the last decade I have been able to put together such a hugely diverse list consisting of 8 French films that each are masterpieces in their own right. 2013’s list gives the French cinephile more than he could ever hope for – it has romance, comedy, thrillers, but mainly interpersonal dramas revolving around themes such as sexuality & lust (in six out of the eight films our desires of the flesh are recurrent themes).

New French movies in 2018

Top movies up for release in 2018

  • The Guardians

    DIRECTOR: Xavier Beauvois
    CAST: Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet, Iris Bry, Cyril Descours

    ... Read more

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  • Non Fiction

    DIRECTOR: Olivier Assayas
    CAST: Olivia Ross Juliette Binoche Guillaume Canet

    After focussing on the Parisian fashion scene in his mysterious latest effort 'Personal Shopper', Olivier Assayas turns his eye on the publishing world in 'Non Fiction'. Evolving around an editor and a writer who have problems keeping up with the changing industry (and their wives' desires), this one is one of Assayas' most light-hearted movies to date. Read more

    RATING: 85/100

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  • Image and Speech

    DIRECTOR: Jean-Luc Godard
    CAST: N/A

    Five stories, seemingly unconnected. A new elliptical movie by French cinema icon Jean-Luc Godard. Read more

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  • Maya

    DIRECTOR: Mia Hansen-Løve
    CAST: Juliette Binoche, Roman Kolinka, Cédric Kahn

    A French war reporter is held captive in war-tormented Syria. Read more

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  • The Mercy

    DIRECTOR: James Marsh
    CAST: Rachel Weisz Colin Firth David Thewlis

    After the highly successful biopic about Stephen Hawkins ('The Theory of Everything'), British director James Marsh returns with 'The Mercy'. A classic tale of survival about a yachtsman (Colin Firth) who is determined to win the 1968 Golden Globe race. Quite soon however, this solo endeavor ends up in a terrible disaster. Read more

    RATING: 73/100

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  • High Life

    DIRECTOR: Claire Denis
    CAST: Robert Pattinson Mia Goth Juliette Binoche

    Claire Denis is quite busy these days. In 2017, she released 'Un beau soleil intérieur', a (sort of) romantic comedy which surprised friend and foe. In 2018, she's back with a sci-fi adventure movie. Which is even more surprising. The plot evolves around a group of prisoners that, under the pretense of being released afterwards, are being sent to a black hole. During their travel, sexual experiments are being performed on them. With Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth and Juliette Binoche. Read more

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  • Annette

    DIRECTOR: Leos Carax
    CAST: Michelle Williams Adam Driver

    After his acclaimed movie 'Holy Motors', French cult filmmaker Leos Carax with a movie about comedian widower who has to raise his 2 year old daughter by himself. Read more

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  • Eva

    DIRECTOR: Benoît Jacquot
    CAST: Isabelle Huppert Gaspard Ulliel Julia Roy

    A new adaptation of James Hadley Chase's 1945 novel about a prostitute tearing a playwright down. Starring none other than Isabelle Huppert as Eva. Read more

    RATING: 80/100

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  • Black Tide

    DIRECTOR: Erick Zonca
    CAST: Vincent Cassel, Romain Duris, Charles Berling

    A detective (Vincent Kassel) has to resolve the murder of a child. At the same time, his estranged son tries to reconnect with him. Read more

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  • Coincoin and the Extrahumans

    DIRECTOR: Bruno Dumont
    CAST: N/A

    A sequel to Dumont's acclaimed detective comedy 'P'tit Quinquin', this upcoming film detective Commandant Van der Weyden investigating mysterious lava... Read more

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  • Proxima

    A female astronaut has to endure a tough training period, before she's able to leave on her mission. Read more

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Best French movies of 2017

Top rated 2017 French movies

  • Ava

    DIRECTOR: Léa Mysius
    CAST: Noée Abita Laure Calamy Juan Cano

    When a 13-year old girl finds out she is about to lose her sight within months, she decides to make the most out of the next summer. Read more

    RATING: 81/100

    RELEASE DATE: June 21st, 2017

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  • Happy End

    DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke
    CAST: Isabelle Huppert Mathieu Kassovitz Jean-Louis Trintignant

    The ever-brilliant director Michael Haneke returns with a delightfully sour new film about a rich family falling apart. Where Haneke's movies tend to be pitch-black, 'Happy Ending' is surprisingly funny. Read more

    RATING: 92/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 4th, 2017

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  • Réparer les vivants

    DIRECTOR: Katell Quillévéré
    CAST: Tahar Rahim Emmanuelle Seigner Anne Dorval

    A surgeon, a surfer and a middle-aged women... There are plenty of ensemble films where the lives of very different people intersect. Too many maybe. 'Heal the living' follows the same concept on paper, but Katell Quillévéré's beautiful and unsentimental style of directing make this film a true standout in an overcrowded niche. Read more

    RATING: 81/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 13th, 2019

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  • Rock’n Roll

    DIRECTOR: Guillaume Canet
    CAST: Guillaume Canet Marion Cotillard Philippe Lefebvre

    Rock' n Roll is the new project by actor/director Guillaume Canet, a funny and highly autobiographical tale where he plays himself as a director who wants to prove he's still got 'the touch' as an artist. Read more

    RATING: 77/100

    RELEASE DATE: February 15th, 2017

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Best French movies on Netflix or DVD in 2019

2010's best rated French movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  • La Vie D’Adele

    DIRECTOR: Abdellatif Kechiche
    CAST: Léa Seydoux Adèle Exarchopoulos Salim Kechiouche

    While the editors of Cahier du Cinema felt that L’inconnu du Lac topped La Vie d’Adele, I personally prefer the intimate, (lets just say it) voyeuristic portrait of a young French girl who is unsure of her sexual orientation in La Vie d’Adele. It is without a doubt the best French film of 2013 (for the US and UK 2014). In this coming of age story we follow Adele, a high schooler, who starts her first lesbian relationship with an enigmatic older bohemian artist played by Lea Seydoux. The film was immediately recognized for what it is, a masterpiece. It was honored with the Palme d’Or prize at Cannes Filmfestival, and the two female leads got special mentions. Besides much critical acclaim, there were non-sense objections made against the 10 minute love scene which was described as pornographic. The film got extra juicy when later on Seydoux and Exarchopoulos accused the French-Tunisian director of not making them feel comfortable and because of the harsh working conditions made them feel like prostitutes. In sum, more than enough reason to go see it. Read more

    RATING: 95/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 19th, 2013

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  • Elle

    DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven
    CAST: Isabelle Huppert Laurent Lafitte Anne Consigny

    Paul Verhoeven's brilliant return to form is a wildly funny and disturbing tale of a woman (Isabelle Huppert) determined to avenge her rapist. This might sound like your average exploitation revenge flick, but it isn't like anything you've seen! Read more

    RATING: 73/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 25th, 2016

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  • Venus in Fur

    DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski
    CAST: Emmanuelle Seigner Mathieu Amalric

    Admittedly, the trailer of Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski’s latest project, is anything but inviting. Fortunately the film itself shows the genius of Roman Polanski, and deserves a place amongst the best French films 2013. The film is, in a nutshell, about an actress who desperately wants to persuade a director to cast her for a role in his play. La Vénus à la fourrure is very well received, and as not uncommon for Polanski films has also polarized the audience. Read more

    RATING: 73/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 22nd, 2014

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  • Bande de Filles

    DIRECTOR: Céline Sciamma
    CAST: Karidja Touré Assa Sylla Lindsay Karamoh

    Sciamma is a master in potraying the growing pains of young girls. Naissance de Pieuvres dealt with a fourteen year old girl falling in love with another girl at a swimming pool during a hot long summer and Tomboy told the story of a ten year old cross dresser. Her latest effort is without a doubt her strongest; yet again a beautifully photographed film about a teenage girl from the outskirts of Paris dealing with love, friendship and gender issues. Please make sure to check out our LGBT list to read more on Sciamma’s films. Read more

    RATING: 69/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 18th, 2014

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  • Eastern Boys

    DIRECTOR: Robin Campillo
    CAST: Robin Campillo Gilles Marchand

    Part thriller, part romance gay drama, Eastern Boys tells the story of Daniel, a middle-aged Parisian men who embarks on a potentially dangerous romantic relationship with a young immigrant from Eastern Europe. In his naivety, he invites the boy over at his house, unaware of his dangerous friends who use Daniel merely as a bait. Eastern Boys is one of those rare hybrid films which is both tender during its romantic scenes and nerve-wracking during others. Read more

    RATING: 69/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 31st, 2014

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  • L’inconnu du Lac

    DIRECTOR: Alain Guiraudie
    CAST: Pierre Deladonchamps Christophe Paou Patrick d'Assumçao

    In the current influx of gay-themed films L’inconnu du Lac is the top of the bill. It is magnificently subtle and spectacularly in-your-face at the same time. Placed in a Eric Rohmer kind of setting at a picturesque French lake where men come to spend their summer days, and occasionally have intercourse in the nearby woods. One of the sun and sex worshippers is Franck who falls in love with the attractive and manly Michel, one of the other guests, although he knows full well that Michel cannot be trusted and is highly dangerous. The film gives the viewer a great sense of the local gay-scene, and despite that the film is largely a very light story, it at one point slowly transforms into a dark yet subtle thriller. A modern French film by Alain Guiraudie (Le roi de l’évasion, 2009) that could truly become a cult classic. Read more

    RATING: 69/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 30th, 2013

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  • Clouds of Sils Maria

    DIRECTOR: Olivier Assayas
    CAST: Juliette Binoche Kristen Stewart Chloë Grace Moretz

    Very recently, it was announced that Kristen Stewart is the first American actress in over a thirty years to be nominated for a César Award, the French equivalent of the Oscar. If it had not been sufficiently proved yet, then Clouds of Sils Maria absolutely does: there’s more to Stewart than that sulky girl in love with vampires. In Clouds, Kristen Stewart plays the agent of an aging actress Maria(Binoche) who becomes haunted by her past as she takes on a role in a play that once launched her career. The two rehearse in a remote villa in the French Alps, which ends up in a psychological clash between the young and the aging as Maria has to come to terms with her fading career. Read more

    RATING: 68/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 10th, 2015

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  • Jeune et Jolie

    DIRECTOR: François Ozon
    CAST: Marine Vacth Géraldine Pailhas Frédéric Pierrot

    One of my favorite modern French filmmakers, François Ozon, never fails to beautifully frame intimate interpersonal dramas, often touching upon controversial and almost juicy topics, with great honesty and sincerity. Perhaps best known for his English/French spoken ‘thriller film’ Swimming Pool (2003), and more recently with one of the best French films of 2012, Dans la Maison (2012), Ozon released the highly anticipated Jeune et Jolie aka Young and Beautiful in early 2013. His film, featuring the astonishing Marine Vacth (above), portraits the story of a 17-year old upper-class Parisian girl who takes the exploration of sexuality to a whole new level by secretly trying her luck as a call girl. Jeune et Jolie, not unlike most Ozon films, is a visual treat, but perhaps lacks the depth of his previous films. Despite the often heard critique that the film is slightly superficial, Jeune et Jolie remains an absolute must-watch because it succeeds in making the viewer relate to – and understand the desire to sell your body, and the odd sense of satisfaction it accomplishes Read more

    RATING: 68/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 25th, 2014

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  • Les Salauds

    DIRECTOR: Claire Denis
    CAST: Vincent Lindon Chiara Mastroianni Julie Bataille

    An a-typical ‘revenge’ film-noir that through mesmerizing yet disturbing scenes unfolds into a genre film without you realizing it. Completely stripped of actual action scenes, Les Salauds gets under your skin slowly, and does not let go until the end. The amazingly intuitive and visual storytelling by the experienced Claire Denis, keeps you in a constant a state of pleasant bewilderment, never really getting a grip on the characters, but strongly feeling their emotions. In the lead we find Marco, played by Vincent Lindon (Welcome, 2009)) who returns to Paris to target the man who Marco’s sister holds responsible for the suicide of her husband. Read more

    RATING: 61/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 16th, 2013

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