The list of the 10 best German movies with English subtitles includes some of the best movies to ever come out of Europe. German cinema has a culture all of its own, with often edgy, tense and dark themes. With a unique perspective on life formed by war and its own intellectual history, Germany produces some truly exquisite movies.

  1. “Das Boot” One of the best German movies with English subtitles, this film is set in a World War In submarine and examines the unique interactions that occur when men are trapped together. Clocking in at almost three hours, this is one serious war movie.

  2. “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” Veering a bit from standard German movies, this film, one of the best German movies with English subtitles, is an adventure flick directed by the great Werner Herzog. It follows a soldier named Lope de Aguirre as he travels through South America looking for the mythical “city of gold.”

  3. “Europa, Europa” This movie is based on the autobiography of real-life Solomon Perel. Perel was a Jew who passed himself off as an Aryan to escape persecution during the Nazi regime. There are many tense moments but Perel, of course, survives.

  4. “The Boat is Full” This film is set during World War II and chronicles the movements of a group of refugees as they cross into Switzerland. In order to stay in the country as refugees, they concoct a story that they are a family and must do everything they can to keep from being sent back.  

  5. “Good-Bye Lenin!” This film, one of the best German movies with English subtitles, won seven German Film Awards. It’s about a very pro-East German woman who falls into a coma, during which the countries are reunited. After she awakes, her son does whatever he can to make her think communism is alive and well.

  6. “Triumph of the Will” Certainly one of the best German movies with English subtitles, this controversial film was the product of directing genius Leni Riefenstahl. Though considered ahead of its time due to her use of music and cinematography, the film’s purpose as a Nazi propaganda film cause it to be shunned in some quarters.

  7.  “The Lives of Others” As with many German films, this movie is set in World War II and looks at some of the agents of the East German Stasi secret police as they spy on their neighbors. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

  8. “Run, Lola, Run” This thriller is one of the best German movies with English subtitles, an exciting film from start to finish. Lola receives a call from her boyfriend at the film’s open and he is in distress. The rest of the movie follows her as she runs frenetically, trying to help him.

  9. “the American Friend” This film star the American star Dennis Hopper and is a tribute to the film noir style. The stylish film is suspenseful and has a plot that is difficult to penetrate during the first viewing, but was internationally acclaimed, receiving acceptance into the Cannes Film Festival.

  10. “Beyond Silence” This film focuses on the protagonist Lara, who has deaf parents that she assists. After being given a clarinet she becomes an accomplished musician, but when she is set to leave home to attend a music school, she is very conflicted.