Lord of the Rings. A Roman Holiday. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Some films are so iconically tied to where they are from, it’s hard to separate them.
IMDB (The Internet Movie Database) rates every film out of 10, according to public vote. The site’s ‘country of origin’ function lets you filter titles by country, so you can see all films produced, filmed or otherwise credited to each location.
We used this tool to figure out the top-rated film from every country in the world, according to the public.
- Surprisingly, there were a few films that were linked to countries for less than obvious reasons, such as Fight Club (1999), set in America, being listed as Germany’s top-rated movie.
- Song of the Sea (2014) was the top-rated film from Luxembourg although it is based on Irish and Celtic characters.
- Room (2015) was both filmed and set in Canada but due to a co-production with Ireland, it comes out as Ireland’s best movie.
- Iceland’s top movie is Dancer in the Dark (2000), starring national treasure Björk.
Every film a classic
Some of the films that make the list will come as no surprise - South Korea’s Parasite (2019), or Poland’s The Pianist (2002), for example. These critically acclaimed films are loved in their home country and worldwide!
The top rated film from Iceland, Dancer in the Dark (2000) features national treasure Bjork; and it’ll come as no surprise that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) is the top rated film from New Zealand. Brazil’s top rated film, City of God (2002), centres around the country’s iconic favelas; many of the actors are residents of real-life favelas in Rio de Janeiro, too.
The highest rated
The top rated film on the list is Bangladesh's Jibon Theke Neya, a 1970 satirical drama. This movie gets a whopping 9.4 stars, beating out other popular titles like The Shawshank Redemption (9.3 stars) and The Dark Knight (9.0 stars).
The other most highly rated films on the list include:
- The Chaos Class (Hababam Sinifi) (1975): Turkey - 9.3 stars
- Maya Bazaar (1957): India - 9.2 stars
- Zana (2019): Kosovo: - 9.1 Stars
The top rated film from the UK is superhero classic The Dark Knight (2008), with 9 stars.
The lowest rated
The lowest-scoring film on the list is Contract Killers, the 2008 action flick from Trinidad and Tobago, which came in with only 4.5 stars.
Other less popular films on the list include:
- Wrong Cops (2013): Angola - 6 stars
- Viva Riva! (2010): Democratic Republic of Congo - 6.2 stars
- New York, I Love You (2008): Bahrain - 6.2 stars
The average score across the board was 7.9 stars.
The country of origin for some films may surprise you
Plenty of top rated films are ‘from’ multiple countries; due to different filming locations, production sites or funding.
You might be surprised to discover Fight Club (1999) is the top rated film from Germany - the film’s international funding means both America and Germany are listed as countries of origin.
Room (2015), is set in Toronto but makes the list as the top rated film from Ireland. It was co-produced by the Irish Film Board and based on the eponymous book by Canadian-Irish author, Emma Donoghue.
Other surprising co-productions include Paris, Je t’aime (2006), the top rated film from Liechtenstein; and the follow up film, New York, I Love You (2008); the top rated film from Bahrain.
Most popular genres
Drama is the most popular genre on the list, making up 41% of these top-rated movies. As well as 58 dramas, there were:
17 adventure films
13 action films
11 crime films
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) is the only western on the list, featured as the top rated film from both Italy and Spain.
Interestingly, some genres have no representation:
0 science fiction
An oldie, but a goodie?
Are contemporary films more highly rated, or do countries stick to the classics?
The most popular year for top rated films was 2018, suggesting it’s newer films that rake in more popular votes - 111 of the list are 2018 films. It’s worth mentioning that a few of these are double ups, with Capernaum featuring as the top rated film from Cyprus, Lebanon and Qatar; and The Wild Pear Tree coming in as the top rated film from both the Republic of North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There’s a handful of 2019 films on the list too, including:
- Truth and Justice (Estonia)
- Zana (Kosovo)
- The Rifleman (Latvia)
- Parasite (South Korea)
- My Thoughts are Silent (Ukraine)
The oldest film on the list is The Courtyard of the Ballads (Portugal) released in 1942, followed by Maya Bazaar (1957) from India, and Macario (1960) from Mexico.
An honorable mention for 2004 as another popular year for filmmaking - 10 different films appear on the list from that year:
- Song of the Sea (Belgium)
- Interstellar (Canada)
- Maikol Yordan Traveling Lost (Costa Rica)
- Difret (Ethiopia)
- Kya Dilli Kya Lahore (Fiji)
- The Good Lie (Kenya)
- Kyrgyzstan (Queen of the Mountains)
- Luxembourg (Song of the Sea)
- Mauritania (Timbuktu)
- Russia (The Fool (II))
Films with multiple countries of origin
The film that features the most on the list is The Message, an 1976 Islamic epic drama chronicling the life of the prophet Muhammad. This makes the list as the top rated film from found countries; Kuwait, Libya, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. (The film was also co-produced in the UK and Lebanon, too).
The full data
Notes on the data
Data from IMDB's user scores. Examined country by country in August 2020. Only feature films with over 1000 votes were counted.
Stream all about it!
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