10 Best French Action Movies
Fans of French movies might be interested in learning about the ten best French action movies. Here is a list of "must-see" movies made in France, in the French language. All are available with either subtitles or with English translations. It's always fun and interesting to watch flicks made outside of Hollywood and experience a novel take on the action/adventure genre.
"La Femme Nikita," 1990. Nikita is a young girl gone bad. She falls in with a criminal crowd and ends up committing murder in a violent drugstore shoot-out. She is arrested and sentenced to life in prison. There is an interesting turn of events, however, when the French intelligence agency decides that Nikita might be useful to them. Her way out of prison is to cooperate with this secret agency. She agrees, and the movie follows her in her new career. There are lots of action in this French thriller.
"Pacte des Loups," (Brotherhood of the Wolf), 2001. There is a wolf terrorizing and ravaging the countryside in 18th century France. Filled with lush landscapes, extravagant costumes and dark cinematography, this film features lots of interesting characters including noblemen and prostitutes. There is plenty of entertainment, especially in the fight scenes, in this French action flick.
"Diva, "1981. A young postman is in the dressing room of his favorite opera star when he finds an incriminating tape. It turns out that a policeman is actually a prominent mob boss. This is a crime drama about the Parisian mob which is also a love story.
"Le Samourai," 1967. French film personality Alain Delon stars in this film noir classic. Delon plays a mob hitman who always gets away with murder until one day, his luck runs out. He is seen by witnesses. He must then figure his way out of the mess.
"Asterix et Obelix aux Jeux Olympiques," (Asterix at the Olympic Games), 2008. In ancient Rome, Asterix and buddy Obelix must win the Olympic games so that their friend can marry the royal princess. They are opposed by Brutus, whose dad just happens to be Julius Caesar. Adventure, action and also comedy make this a French film worth watching.
"8 Women," (8 Femmes), 2002. Starring Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert, this French crime drama revolves around the murder of a man and the eight women who are in his home at the time of the murder. The dog doesn't bark, leading to the conclusion that the murderer must be one of the eight women present in the home. This is a "who-done-it" that entertains with its interesting story line and fine performances by leading French film stars.
"Joyeux Noel." (Merry Christmas), 2005. Set on the Western Front during 1914, this World War I movie treats the subject of a Christmas truce among members of the French, British and German armies. The pact is agreed to by the military men themselves but is not approved by the higher-ups. Watch the action unfold when the Christmas truce is found out by military brass.
"Persepolis," 2007. This is an animated film in which a young Iranian girl ends up penniless on the streets after the Islamic Revolution of the 1970's. It is a true story that follows the girl and her middle-class family as they must adjust to their new hard life following the upheaval of everything they have known.
"Delicatessen." 1991. A family is living over a butcher shop. Some unrecognizable meat starts becoming available. This film is a combination of horror and comedy. It has a surreal quality to it with creepy music and spooky sets.
"Children of Paradise." (Les Enfants du Paradis), 1945. Here is an oldie that has become a classic of French cinema. "Paradise" is the upper balcony, the cheap seats in which the poor sit, at a popular Paris theatre. The action takes place in the 1840's. A prostitute is falsely accused by the police of pick-pocketing and her boyfriend, who just happens to be a mime, defends her. A love triangle and a duel ensue.