The Best Foreign Films for Those Looking for an Escape

For the foreseeable future, we are stuck looking out on the world from the comfort of our living rooms. In the interest of providing a brief escape, here are a few of our favorite foreign films that will completely transport you.


This 2001 French film breaks any language barriers with its lively visual storytelling, enticing viewers into a world of colorful romance that leaves you with an overwhelming feeling that there’s more to life.

This comedy follows a young woman as she creates her own world, filled with love, beauty, and adventure. The real escape in this film, though, is in the fact that it was filmed in over 80 Parisian locations, capturing the indelible charm and mystery of the City of Light. If you’ve ever thought of Paris as a magical destination, this film will certainly deliver.

City of God

This 2002 Brazilian crime film follows Rocket, an aspiring photographer living in Rio de Janeiro and seeking a big break that will help him escape the gang-run slums where he grew up.

The film is many things, but most importantly, it’s one that you’ll have difficulty looking away from, despite the violent, shocking, and oftentimes disturbing content. The performances are compelling and the story itself is so captivating, it’ll stay with you long after the credits roll.

You’ll be transported to the lawless slums of Rio de Janeiro, and while you’ll hardly be able to call such an experience a vacation, you’ll walk away with new appreciation for all that you have. Not all stories are beautiful, but an emotional journey is the type of escape that will take you away from the day-to-day monotony of quarantine, at least for a little while.


There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about Bollywood films that leave you feeling uplifted, energetic, and with an overwhelming desire to move to India as soon as humanly possible.

Queen is no exception, though it does redefine the way you think about Bollywood. The film follows a woman on a solo European backpacking trip after a failed marriage attempt. While the trope of going on your honeymoon alone after being left at the alter isn’t totally new, Queen breathes new life into it, leaving you in a state of complete enjoyment, all the way through the film.

As an added bonus, if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug but are stranded in the comfort of your own home, this is the sweet escape you’ve been looking for. It offers all the travel content you could possibly want, with an underlying message of self-discovery that leaves you feeling positive and inspired.


Finally, there’s the highly rated Spanish film set in Mexico City that has had critics buzzing for years.

Roma is in many ways a feminist film, filled with female bonding, relationship complications, and an overall homage paid to female laborers. Set in the 1970s, Roma is a vignette of these women’s lives in a way that’s so simultaneously real and marvelous that you won’t be able to look away.

It’s rare to watch a film that utterly transports you to another time and place, but the true mastery of Roma is that it does just that, and then some.

As we continue navigating these strange times, it’s essential that we grant ourselves these small escapes—tiny mental and emotional vacations. These foreign films are not only well reviewed, but they are also the perfect opportunity to delve into a story and (mentally) leave your couch for a while.

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