From Peaky Blinders to Layer Cake; House of Cards to Training Day, both British and American entertainment are admired the world over. But this love isn’t exactly reciprocated for other nations’ media – well, at least not until recently anyway.
The past few years have given us a spate of quality international content, which is why foreign TV and cinema playing on western screens is becoming increasingly common.
Of course, credit where credit’s due: actors, crews, and flawless productions rightly deserve their recognition. However, they weren’t quite enough for foreign audiences in the past, so what’s changed?
The persistence of on-demand streaming giants has no doubt played an important role, as has the chance to watch on the move. Discovering new, foreign favorites while abroad or also at home is way more accessible, and turning foreign entertainment into a language-learning opportunity is too.
So, which site should you subscribe to for your fix? Keep reading to see which popular streaming services are the best for international content, and the shows and movies you simply shouldn’t pass up.
Netflix is one of the top VOD services out there. It’s not only great for its huge library of Hollywood hits – it has an unmissable selection of international content, too. Just look at the recent flurry surrounding Squid Game, the latest winner to come out of South Korea.
France has given us Lupin, a much-loved mystery thriller that’s moving into its third season; the award-winning German show, Dark, is still a talking point for its foreign viewers, and Money Heist has really put Spain on the entertainment map.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video has a massive choice of foreign language content available. In fact, there are hundreds of movies and TV shows on offer.
It doesn’t come close to Netflix in terms of originals in this category, but English-speaking viewers have access to entertainment from India, Spain, Japan, and various other countries. It’s worth pointing out, though, that a lot of what it hosts can only be viewed by renting, and isn’t viewable directly through a subscription, like Bong Joon-Ho’s Academy Award-winning Parasite.
Some of Amazon’s top options from around the world include Train To Busan (South Korea), Astrid (France), and Kesari (Hindi). One movie you should definitely take the time to watch is Snowpiercer. It’s another creation from the wonderful mind of Bong Joon-Ho, but this one uses English, South Korean and Czech dialogue.
Anime has enjoyed a worldwide following for years, and hasn’t quite struggled with the same kickback from foreign audiences. But its availability through streaming platforms like Crunchyroll means its fanbase is strong and growing more than ever.
Crunchyroll users take pride in the fact that their subscriptions directly contribute to supporting the anime industry as well as creators. It hosts over 1,200 shows, with all of the most popular ones available, and has produced more than 60 of them itself.
Naruto, Ghost in the Shell, Fullmetal Alchemist, Death Note, Samurai Champloo, and so many other fan favorites are ready to watch. Having over 1,200 shows listed means there are plenty you can discover yourself, too.
Though recently established, Lingopie has already made a massive impact on the streaming scene. Put it this way: no other VOD platform blends binge-watching with language learning quite like Lingopie does. The catalog of content isn’t as vast as the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but you can still catch some of the best international entertainment around. And this is all while improving your foreign language skills.
From comedy to telenovelas – users have 1000s of hours’ worth of movies and TV shows to choose from. Nicolas and Psychosomatic are two of the latest unmissable titles to come out of Argentina, and Your Last Day On Earth, a gripping short movie from Spain, isn’t just a great watch – it’s also one of the best ways to learn Spanish, especially for beginners.