As streaming platforms continue their surge in popularity, the availability and diversity of international movies, particularly German cinema, have grown immensely.
Denisa from Spring German (that’s a project I co-founded) also has a take on the best Netflix Originals – although it’s a little bit different than ours, it’s still a great list. The more German movies on Netflix, the better!
Netflix has become a critical platform for showing some of the best German movies, enriching viewers’ experiences worldwide. These films not only offer an intro to German culture and history but also serve as valuable tools for language learning.
The German film selection on Netflix appeals to a variety of tastes, spanning from comedies and thrillers to documentaries and TV dramas.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best German movies on Netflix.
How to learn German with German movies on Netflix?
Learning German with German movies on Netflix offers a dynamic and fun approach to language acquisition: it mixes entertainment with education – just like you can watch any German movie on Lingopie (read our Lingopie review if you’re not convinced!)
Initially, beginners may watch films with English subtitles to bridge the gap between understanding and listening. After that, switching to German subtitles refines reading skills and make sure that sentence structure and grammatical awareness stays with you. Active listening and pronunciation exercises, such as pausing to mimic challenging phrases, enhance verbal skills.
And beyond passive watching, you can engage with the storyline by making predictions or contemplating character decisions in German – all of this transforms viewing into an interactive learning experience! An experience you can even share with your German-speaking friends.
The power of repetition, through re-watching favorite films (my tip is Friends, for sure 😉 ), reinforces language patterns and vocabulary.
But still, keep in mind that this approach is not enough. It can help you, but it’s not enough. To truly harness the potential of this method, it’s crucial to supplement cinematic learning with structured educational resources, like Conversation Based Chunking. A method I developed and which has helped thousand of students to learn languages.
Sign up now to receive your German Conversation Based Chunking Guide.
#1 Paradise (Paradise): A German tv-thriller you don’t want to miss – 2023
Storyline: Taking place in the near future, the corporation AEON has evolved into a massive pharmaceutical empire worth billions.
The company achieved this through a groundbreaking technology that enables the transfer of lifespan from one individual to another. Facing financial struggles, Elena and her husband Max are unable to afford insurance claims, leading Elena to make the difficult decision to sell 40 years of her life to AEON. Max, who is employed by the company, is determined to reclaim his wife’s lost years and discovers that the CEO of AEON is targeting Elena’s lifespan.
Watch the movie on Netflix official site, here’s the trailer:
#2 All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues): A contemporary book adaption in German cinemas – 2022
Storyline: The plot centers on young Paul Bäumer and his companions Albert and Müller, who join the German military willingly, fueled by patriotic passion that fades as they confront the harsh truths of war.
Paul’s beliefs about the enemy and the morality of the conflict quickly erode. As the ceasefire approaches, Paul continues to fight without a clear objective, solely to fulfill the high-ranking officials’ wish to conclude the war with a German offensive.
One of the new releases of great German films about WWII:
#3 Isi & Ossi (Isi & Ossi): A romantic comedy for language learners – 2020
Storyline: Wealthy young woman Isabella, who dreams of being a chef, teams up with impoverished young man Oscar, who aspires to be a boxer, in order to pressure her parents into allowing her to attend a culinary school (which they consider inappropriate) by pretending to date him
Despite coming from challenging family backgrounds and appearing to be very different, their shared love of rap music indicates a deeper compatibility that goes beyond their surface differences and their fake relationship.
Practice German language with a lighthearted comedy.
#4 Blood & Gold (Blood & Gold): One of the great war tv dramas – 2023
Storyline: Taking place in the spring of 1945, right before the end of the Second World War, Elsa and Heinrich soon discover that they share more than just a mutual adversary.
They both strive for equality, resisting the Nazis and fighting for their loved ones. Heinrich is on a quest to find his daughter, while in Elsa’s secluded town, there is a valuable Jewish gold treasure that the Nazis are determined to seize. A thrilling pursuit for the treasure ensues, with the villagers facing off against the SS.
The desire for the gold leads to long-hidden secrets coming to light and culminates in a violent confrontation in the village’s church.
Learn about German history while enjoying movies from Germany!
#5 The Four of Us (Du Sie Er & Wir): Best movie for a romantic laugh and thought-provoking – 2021
Storyline: Following a four-week exchange of partners, two couples reunite at a secluded beach house and realize that everything is different. Suddenly, they find themselves questioning their emotions and reexamining their decisions and beliefs.
A romantic movie popular on Netflix:
#6 What We Wanted (Was wir wollten): An Austrian drama based on a short story – 2020
Storyline: The film follows Alice and Niklas, who are content, with no shortage of anything – except for a child. Despite multiple unsuccessful attempts at invitro fertilization, they decide to take a vacation in Sardinia in hopes of putting their longing for a child behind them. All their suppressed emotions come flooding back when a lively Tyrolean family moves in next door, seemingly possessing everything that Alice and Niklas desire.
A sudden and unexpected event alters their perspective on life, revealing that the most simple and natural things in life may not always bring fulfillment.
#7 Race to the Summit (Duell am Abgrund): A documentary about rock climbing – 2023
Storyline: Brave mountaineers Ueli Steck and Dani Arnold challenge each other in a daring competition to break speed records on the formidable north faces of the Swiss Alps.
A coming-of-age documentary about rock climbing:
#8 Rock My Heart (Rock My Heart): An eye-watering drama – 2017
Storyline: Jana, who is 17 years old, was born with a congenital heart condition. Despite this, she purposely seeks out risky and daring activities in an attempt to challenge her fate. Her parents disapprove of her behavior and are increasingly worried for her safety.
If you choose this movie, you’re looking at one of the best coming-of-age-dramas:
#9 The Perfumier (Der Parfumeur): Crime drama with a police detective in focus – 2022
Storyline: A police investigator endeavors to win back her partner and her ability to smell, seeking assistance from a perfumer who resorts to lethal tactics in order to create the ideal scent.
Immerse yourself in the language with this German movie:
#10 Into the Beat ( Into the Beat – Dein Herz tanzt): Music, dancing and love – 2020
Storyline: A ballerina stumbles upon hip-hop and now must decide between following in her family’s footsteps or pursuing her newfound passion.
Cultural insights with the eyes of a ballet dancer:
Learn with German movies and tv shows with Conversation Based Chunking
Movies and TV shows present a rich resource for language learning through an experience known as Conversation Based Chunking.
This method involves actively listening to and repeating dialogues, focusing on “chunks” of language in real-life conversations, such as phrases or expressions – in their natural context. You can learn the most common German phrases easily with this method and you can start speaking German in no time!
German films offer a unique and effective medium for learning the language because they allow learners to hear the natural speech patterns and intonations of native speakers. Watching movies you like can make learning more enjoyable.
Download your German Conversation Based Chunking Guide and practice German with the help of the best German movies on Netflix!