11 great French movies to watch on Netflix in September 2021


Exhausting all of Netflix’s English TV and cinema? Then it may be the time to find a few French movies to watch. Whether you have to stay home and or you’re just getting cozy, these are the French movies to watch on Netflix in September 2021.

Now, here’s the good news (because we definitely all deserve some!).

When it comes to finding French films on Netflix, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Provided, of course, that you know where to look. 

Revelation, we know: you can get French movies on Netflix – they’re just not easy to find… hint, hint, Netflix: a French cinema category would be nice. 

So to help you learn French, we’ve compiled a list of the top French films on Netflix, with movies from France and the wider French-speaking world.* 

Whether it’s an oh-so-bingeable French series on Netflix or a two-hour film you’re after, trust us: there’s no better way to learn French and familiarise yourself with the French accent. 

*We’ve marked which country each film comes from, and included films with actors from a variety of places. Just like with Spanish movies on Netflix and Netflix’s Spanish series, different French speaking countries have different accents and phrases.

Stay entertained with these 11 French movies on Netflix 

All of these films are available on US Netflix at present. 

1. Le Monde est à toi (The World Is Yours) – 2018

Tomatometer: 95%

Genre: Thriller, Comedy

Director: Romain Gavras

Country of origin: France

A crime-caper French comedy about a small-time drug dealer looking to get out of the business and move to Morocco. He takes on one last job and ends up tangled up with the Illuminati (a secret society at the centre of a number of real and fictitious conspiracy theories), among other things. 

2. Funan – 2018

Tomatometer: 93%

Genre: Animation, Drama

Director: Denis Do

Country of origin: France, Belgium

Set in Cambodia in 1975, this animated film follows a family fleeing from – and then held by – the Khmer Rouge, separated but always seeking each other. Based on Denis Do’s research and the memories of his Cambodian mother, Funan is a tearjerker, to say the least.

3. La Vie scolaire (School Life) – 2019

Tomatometer: 90%

Genre: Teen Movie, Comedy, Drama

Directors: Grand Corps Malade, Mehdi Idir

Country of origin: France

La Vie scolaire is a critically acclaimed teen comedy-drama following the new Vice Principal of a middle school in the suburbs of Paris, as she gets to know the school’s students and helps the school turn things around. The film received the Cinephiles of the Future Award from the Seville European Film Festival, was nominated for a few other French film awards, and has been largely well-received as a humorous and engaging take on the inspiring teacher-meets-at-risk youth cinema trope.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

4. Le Chant du loup (The Wolf’s Call) – 2019

Tomatometer: 85%

Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Drama, War

Director: Antonin Baudry

Country of origin: France

If you’re in the mood for an action thriller of a war movie, Le Chant du loup is one of the better releases in recent years. The heart-pounding film follows a submarine’s Sonar Officer. Up against the clock, he seeks a French ballistic missile submarine, his keen sense of hearing to end a threat of nuclear war.

5. Anelka: Misunderstood – 2020

Tomatometer: 76%

Genre: Sports Documentary

Director: Franck Nataf, Éric Hannezo

Country of origin: France

Anelka: Misunderstood profiles the career of the one-time bad boy of French football, Nicolas Anelka, and has him weigh in on his own rise and fall. One of Netflix’s original offerings in the French language, fans of The Last Dance looking for another sports doc about a highly competitive, capable player will find an interesting profile of a controversial, yet talented football (soccer) player.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

6. Atlantics – 2019

Tomatometer: 96%

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Mati Diop

Country of origin: Senegal, France, Belgium

Rendered in a combination of Wolof and French, Atlantics takes place in a suburb of Dakar, following a pair of young lovers and the looming construction of a new high-rise tower. A rare drama that successfully weaves together themes of romance, revenge, migration, and a touch of the supernatural, Atlantics made waves (no pun intended) both for its universal acclaim and as the first film made by a black woman to be featured in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. 

While the Senegalese accent may be a bit tricky at first for French learners, it’s a good challenge. Just make sure you have the subtitles on – unless you speak Wolof, too!

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

7. Bon Cop, Bad Cop – 2006

Tomatometer: 78%

Genre: Action, Comedy

Director: Eric Canuel

Country of origin: Canada

This hilarious Québécois action comedy follows two police officers – one English and one French speaking – who are forced to work together to stop a serial killer. While its critical score is somewhat low, it was popular enough to spawn a sequel, which is also available on Netflix (if not as widely loved). 

The French in Bon Cop, Bad Cop is Québécois through and through, so a word to the wise: it could be tough to understand if you’re used to the French spoken in France.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

8. La femme la plus assassinée du monde (The Most Assassinated Woman in the World) – 2018

Tomatometer: 86%

Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Period Drama

Director: Franck Ribière

Country of origin: Belgium, France

Set in the 1930s at the Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris, The Most Assassinated Woman in the World loosely portrays the life of real-life Actress Paula Maxa. In the film, Paula – who has been murdered on stage thousands of times as part of her work with the famously gruesome theatre company – finds herself being stalked by a real, would-be assassin.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

9. Je ne suis pas un homme facile (I Am Not An Easy Man) – 2018

Tomatometer: 80%

Genre: Comedy, Satire

Director: Éléonore Pourriat

Country of origin: France

This fantastical rom-com takes a chauvinist man and plops him in a matriarchal world, where women rule and men get catcalled. While the territory of a person getting hit on the head and awakening to find themselves in a topsy-turvy world is well-trodden in the rom-com space, reviewers and audiences agree that Je ne suis pas un homme facile does it with a fresh take and a sparkle that many similar films have lacked.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

10. Les affamés (Ravenous) – 2017

Tomatometer: 87%

Genre: Zombie, Thriller

Director: Robin Aubert

Country of origin: Canada

Idiosyncratic, nuanced and laidback are not words usually used to describe zombie films. But this Canadian indie entry into the zombie apocalypse genre is exactly that. Set in a small town in rural Québec, Ravenous has humour, philosophy and gore. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Also available on UK Netflix

11. J’ai perdu mon corps (I Lost My Body) – 2019

Tomatometer: 96%

Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama

Director: Jérémy Clapin

Country of origin: France

Also available on Netflix in the UK

An original, creative and gruesome animated film. I Lost My Body follows a hand that’s been cut off, seeking its body. The hand remembers their life together (hand and body), including meeting a woman and falling in love.

Also available on the UK version of Netflix

And there you have it! Those are the 10 best French movies on Netflix today. 

But wait: there’s more…

Immersion at home doesn’t have to start and end with French movies on Netflix.

These days, there’s also a plethora of binge-worthy French films on other streaming channels, like HBO and Amazon Prime. 

French classics, now on HBO

With the launch of HBOMax, those lucky souls with a login have access to a huge library of cinema classics, including the works of some of the major directors of the French New Wave. Here are our recommendations for the best French movies to watch on HBO:

  1. Au revoir les enfants (Goodbye, Children)
  2. Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7)
  3. Essential films by François Truffaut: Tirez sur le pianiste (Shoot the Piano Player); Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim); Le Dernier métro (The Last Metro)
  4. Essential films by Jean-Luc Godard: À bout de souffle (Breathless); Masculin Féminin

Available in the US

3 recommendations for French films available on Amazon Prime

And if you’re looking to rent some of the best French films of the last 20 years, you can turn to Amazon Prime to watch:

  1. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amélie) (rent)
  2. La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour) (rent)
  3. Paris, Je T’aime (Paris, I Love You) (Free with ads via IMDbTV)

Available on the US and UK versions of Amazon Prime

Wow! You really have a lot of choices – on Netflix and beyond. All you need to do now is get online and watch something! So, what French movie will take your French to the next level?

For those of you looking for more support with your language learning…

Busuu is an app offering free language courses in 12 different languages – including French. 

Emily Duncan is a Canadian writer, comedian and avid language learner currently based in New York City. Emily’s first language is English, she’s fluent in French, speaks some Irish, and is currently learning Japanese and Spanish. Emily loves dogs, iced coffee, and cooking experiments.