The Top 5 Must-Watch Foreign Films of 2019

The Top 5 Must-Watch Foreign Films of 2019
The Top 5 Must-Watch Foreign Films of 2019. Image source: Pixabay

It comes as no surprise that the majority of the most anticipated films this year come from Hollywood. With several blockbusters already released such as “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: End Game,” “Spiderman: Far From Home,” “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin,” and more hitting the cinemas in the final half of 2019, movie enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to.

There are a number of highly anticipated foreign language films to watch this year as well. These movies come from different parts of the world and span various genres.

If you’re making a list of must-watch new movie releases in the UAE, broaden your mind and cultural horizons by including these 2019 foreign language films:

1.    Photograph

Directed by Ritesh Batra, “Photograph” is an Indian coming-of-age romantic film.

Set in Mumbai, the movie is about a struggling street photographer Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who works tirelessly to pay off an old family debt. Aside from being constantly stressed out for trying to make ends meet while settling his dues, he also receives pressure from his grandmother to get married as soon as possible.

To get his grandmother off his back, Rafi shows her a picture of a shy stranger and tells her the woman is his fiancée. However, the pressure doesn’t stop there; his grandma wants to meet his bride-to-be.

Rafi eventually finds the woman and convinces her to act as his fiancée and introduces her to his grandmother. 

The film does a fantastic job of showcasing Mumbai and presenting its many facets that can bring two strangers together.

2.    Parasite

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” is a South Korean dark comedy thriller. It is the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film explores materialism and desire for social status in a scary, laughable, yet thought-provoking way.

The movie revolves around the family of Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), an unemployed driver. He, his wife, and college-aged kids live in a semi-basement apartment in near poverty.

One of his kids, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), is recommended by his friend to replace him as the English tutor of a high school student. The student is the daughter of an affluent family. Ki-woo is immediately hired by the student’s mother.

From there, the film shows how Kim Ki-taek’s family manages to ingratiate themselves in the life of the wealthy family and the lengths they will go through to get out of poverty.

3.    The Wild Goose Lake

Directed by acclaimed director Diao Yinan, “The Wild Goose Lake” is a gangster drama set in modern China. The film is the director’s ode to Chinese crime noir.

The film mixes flashbacks and contemporary action to detail the life of Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge) as a criminal wanted by the law for killing a cop and his fellow mobsters. While on the run, he meets Liu Aiai (Gwei Lun-Mei), a bathing beauty or sex worker.

The movie has a lot of exciting, surreal action scenes that show how he evades capture by both parties. Romance and fatalism are also heavily featured in the film, so expect some heart-wrenching scenes as well.

The movie also showcases director Yinan’s expertise in using vibrant backdrops and sounds to pull you in the dramatic world of China’s underground crime world.

4.    The Truth

“The Truth” is an upcoming French-Japanese film directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It is the filmmaker’s first movie set outside Japan.

It stars Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, and Ethan Hawke. It will be first screened at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

The film revolves around the tumultuous relationship between French cinema legend Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter, Lumir (Juliette Binoche), a screenwriter.

When Fabienne’s memoir is published, a lengthy confrontation ensues. Both mother and daughter express honesty and their real emotions about their relationship and each other for the first time.

5.    Wicked Games

One of the most highly anticipated foreign films this year, “Wicked Games” is from the renowned Austrian director, Ulrich Seidel.

Set in Germany and Romany, the movie narrates the stories of two brothers who reunite in their hometown in Austria to bury their mother. After the funeral and some catching up, the siblings return to their normal lives.

However, the brothers are unable to forget their haunted past, which will soon catch up with them.

Although the movie’s release date has already been pushed several times, it is expected that it will be screened at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

To successfully immerse yourself in new worlds and other cultures, make sure you watch these foreign films in one of the best luxury cinemas in Dubai.



Paul Fox is the Director of Roxy Cinemas under Meraas Group/DXB Entertainments. Roxy Cinemas currently has five Dubai locations: The Beach, La Mer, City Walk, Box Park, and Bollywood Parks.