European Drama Movies

“That grand drama in a hundred acts, which is reserved for the next two centuries of Europe—the most terrible, most questionable and perhaps also the most hopeful of all dramas”.

Friedrich Nietzsche.

European Drama movies VF

Nietzsche was right when he said that the grand Drama was European. He certainly didn’t designate cinema at that time, but let us use his statement for this topic. Europe is indeed full of great movie directors, some of them having a great success internationally. Once the national frontiers crossed, Europeans find in their neighbors cinema a huge variety of drama movies, always depicting the society as it is or revealing a passionate but impossible love story. Europeans are excellent in producing great drama movies, making us cry or thinking forward. A click on the name of the movie will lead you to its trailer. Enjoy Europe!


Mysteries of Lisbon
Mistérios de Lisboa, dir. Raúl Ruiz
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ plunges us into a veritable whirlwind of adventures and escapades, coincidences and revelations, sentiments and violent passions, vengeance, love affairs, all wrapped in a rhapsodic voyage that takes us from Portugal to France, Italy, and as far as Brazil.


Bad education
La mala educación, dir. Pedro Almodóvar
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film is about two reunited childhood friends (and lovers) in the vein of a murder mystery. Sexual abuse by Catholic priests, transsexuality, drug use, and a metafiction are also important themes and devices in the plot


A prophet 
Un prophète, dir. Jacques Audiard
0,0/10 IMDB – Trailer

Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena cannot read not write. Arriving at the jail entirely alone, he appears younger and more fragile than the other convicts. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison, he is given a number of missions to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leaders confidence in the process.


Noi the Albino
Nói albino, dir . Dagur Kári
7,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film explores the life of teenage outsider Nói Kristmundsson in a remote fishing village in western Iceland with his grandmother Lína. The town is a sort of purgatory for Nói, surrounded by mountains and attainable only by boat during the winter, when the roads through the mountain passes are snowed over.


Breakfast on Pluto
dir. Neil Jordan
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

In the 1970s, a foundling lad, Patrick “Kitten” Braden, comes of age by leaving his Irish town for London, in part to look for his mother and in part because his trans-gender nature is beyond the town’s understanding.


dir. Joe Wright
7,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.


dir. Petter Nuss
7,6/10 IMDB – Trailer

When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Män som hatar kvinnor, dir. Niels Arden Oplev
7,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

A journalist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing — or dead — for forty years by a young female hacker. This movie is the adaptation of the first book in the trilogy known as the “Millennium series”, published in Sweden in 2005.


The Man Without a Past
Mies vailla menneisyyttä, dir. Aki Kaurismäki
7,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki’s “Finland” trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember


dir. Lars von Trier
8,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away…


God forsaken
Van God Los, dir. Pieter Kuijpers
7,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

Two small town Dutch boys whose socially unnatural friendship is so close, they care nothing for human or divine rules and lose all grip on reality, sliding into violent crime.


dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living off her benefit and the thefts committed by his gang, have a new source of money: their newborn son.


The White Ribbon
Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte, dir. Michael Haneke
7,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.


The Little Bedroom 
La Petite Chambre, dir. Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond
6,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

This is a story of the heart. Edmond’s is no longer strong. But it still beats with an independence which fights against the very idea of entering a retirement home, while at the same time refusing help from Rose, his home carer. Nonetheless she stands up to him.


Wild Blood
Sanguepazzo, dir. Marco Tullio Giordana
6,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

This film tells the story of two renowned actors of Fascist cinema, Luisa Ferida and Osvaldo Valenti, who were supporters of the Salò Republic. Accused of collaboration and torture, they were shot by the Partisans after the country was liberated.


Dog Days
Hundstage, dir. Ulrich Seidl
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

A family struggles to survive on dwindling rations as the United States gradually loses its global war. One day a stray man in a dog suit appears on the doorstep and attempts to become the family pet. The movie is characterized by a disturbing naturalistic style which is a trademark of Seidl’s directing. It stars a mix of professional and amateur actors and it became mildly controversial for its depiction of unsimulated sex scenes.

Czech Republic

dir. Ondrej Trojan
7,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

A man from a rural mountain area is brought to the hospital with serious injuries and desperately needs a transfusion. Eliska is the only one with the same blood type. Her blood saves his life, and a connection is formed


Return of the Storks
Návrat bocianov, dir Martin Repka
6,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

Return of the Storks follows the turbulent life of Vanda. Bewildered, she breaks up with her boyfriend and goes to Slovakia to find adventure. There she succumbs to the charm of the mysterious Miro. There are two problems: the guy is married and, more importantly, he’s involved in trafficking illegal immigrants from the East into Europe.


Sztuczki, dir. Andrzej Jakimowski
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

During the long summer holidays, six-year-old Stefek follows his 17-year-old sister Elka as she works by evening in a bar and prepares for her job interview with a large international company. One day, at the railway station, they see a man who Stefek suspects may be the father who abandoned him at birth.


Nereikalingi žmonės, dir. Maris Martinsons
7,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

Loss is a story about a Priest in Ireland who meets a woman Valda from his native Lithuania only to find out her mysterious identity is closely connected with a darkest secret of his past. The Lithuanian drama was inspired by Six Degrees of Separation and Dostoevsky’s line “the tears of that one tortured child”.


Return of Sergeant Lapins
Seržanta Lapiņa atgriešanās, dir. Gatis Šmits
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film is set in Riga, where Sergeant Krists Lapiņš returns from an international mission and moves into a remote flat in the city’s Āgenskalns district. However, although expecting to live a peaceful life, Krists finds himself involved in several adventures.


The Temptation Of St. Tony
Püha Tõnu kiusamine, dir. Heiko Õunpuu 
7,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

A mid-level manager who develops an aversion to being “good” finds himself confronting the mysteries of middle-age and morality as he loses grasp of what was once his quiet life.


A Prisoner in the Caucasus 
Kavkazkie plenniki, dir. Yury Khashchavatski
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

This is a movie about Russia-Chechnya war. It is based on documentary shots from Chechnya by stringers – independent movie operators, selling their videos to TV channels. These shots were too horrible to be shown on TV. This movie has won an Award at the 2nd International Film Festival on Human Rights in Geneva.


My Joy
Schastye moe, dir. Sergey Loznitsa 
6,9/10 IMDB – Trailer

The story about a few days in the life of truck driver Georgi seems to be a never-ending nightmare, a spiral of violence and abuses of power. A man goes to work and on his way he is sucked into the everyday madness of his country, losing his health and memory in the process and ends up as a murderer, who calmly lies down to sleep after committing the crime.


Bed of Procust
Patul lui Procust, dir. Viorica Mesina and Sergiu Profan
7,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

Ladima commits suicide in the opening sequence. Later his friend, Fred Vasilescu, while spending an afternoon in bed with his voluptuous actress-mistress, Emilia, discovers that Ladima had been in love with her also and wrote her numerous letters. Bed of Procust, possibly the first Moldavian production ever screened at an international festival, is an adaptation of a famous Romanian novel by Camil Petrescu


4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile, dir. Cristian Mungiu
7,9/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film is set in Communist Romania in the final years of the Nicolae Ceauşescu era. It tells the story of two students, roommates in the university dormitory, who try to arrange an illegal abortion. After making its worldwide debut at Cannes, the film made its Romanian debut on 1 June 2007, at the Transilvania International Film Festival.


Sorstalanság, dir. Lajos Koltai
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

Based on the 2002 Nobel prize-winning novel by Imre Kertesz, Fateless chronicles the attempts of 14-year-old Gyuri Koves to reconcile the unimaginable horror of having been incarcerated in German concentration camps. On his return to Budapest Gyuri finds those around him treat him with indifference.


dir. Igor Stern
5,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

For a police officer to investigate a suspicious death is pretty standard. For him to develop a fascination for the dead person is less usual. Yet Inspector Dusan will enter into the dead man’s world, mixing with his friends and his ex-girlfriend. 09:06 is a strange story of redemption(s) which starts as a police mystery and becomes a dark psychological thriller.


Buick Riviera
dir. Goran Rušinović
6,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

Hasan Hujdur is a 42-year-old Muslim from Bosnia living in America, who finds utopia behind the wheel of his Buick Riviera. Surrounding everything that Hasan loves is a prejudiced world afraid of a culture they cannot understand and a religion they cannot comprehend. Hasan is a quiet man, who stands distant from his beliefs, however it is these beliefs that inevitability lead to his untimely death.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Esma’s Secret: Grbavica
Grbavica, dir. Jasmila Žbanić
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

Jasmila Zbanic’s debut movie focuses on the Balkan War’s painful aftermath on a Bosnian woman and her daughter. Esma is living with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in Grbavica, a quarter of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. When Sara wants to participate in a school trip, Esma tries to find a way to pay the full price, although a certificate proving Sara’s father is a war hero would allow her a discount


Life is a Miracle
Живот је чудо, dir. Emir Kusturica
7,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film opens just as construction has been completed on a railway connecting a mountainous regions of eastern Bosnia and western Serbia in 1992. Luka, a Serbian engineer, has moved to Bosnia from Belgrade with his mentally unstable wife, Jadranka, and his football-playing son, Miloš, to run a railway station and act as caretaker.


Мајки, dir. Milčo Mančevski
7,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

A child’s friend is accosted by a flasher so she decides to go to the police herself; a film crew sets out to find the old traditions and discovers a grandmother living alone in an abandoned village; retired cleaning women are found raped and strangled in a small town. The innovative structure of “Mothers” highlights the delicate nature of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary.


The Sorrow of Mrs. Schneider
Trishtimi i zonjës Shnajder, dir. Piro Milkani and Eno Milkani
7,0/10 IMDB – Trailer

It’s 1961 and an Albanian student, together with a group of Czech students, is shooting his graduate movie on a motorcycle factory, in the small market-town of Český Šternberk, in then Czechoslovakia. Coming from a country that is completely isolated from the rest of Europe, he is fascinated by the lifestyle, society and “erotic exuberance” of the Czech golden youth, yet feeling strong links with his family in his homeland.


The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner
Светът е голям и спасение дебне отвсякъде, dir. Stefan Komandarev
8,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

The story of Alex, who, with the help of his charismatic grandfather, Bai Dan, embarks on a journey in search of his real self. The film has received generally favorable reviews from film critics and audiences around the world, having received more than 20 festival awards


Kynodontas, dir. Giorgos Lanthimos
0,0/10 IMDB – Trailer

Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence ‘the sea’ refers to a large armchair and ‘zombies’ are little yellow flowers.


dir. Ümit Ünal
6,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film’s plot spans a decade and evolves around the relations of two middle class, urban couples, Veli and Selda, Veli’s business partner Ender and Gül. Selda is romantically and sexually involved with Ender, while Gül and Veli are also in an extramarital relationship. The film examines Turkey’s financial and cultural turmoils of the past 20 years through these four middle-class people who search for their own places and stances in society, and through their romantic, friendly and treacherous relations.

If you liked this article, you may also like European Drama movies, Comedy Movies, Legends and Fairy Tales.

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