Summer Foreign Films: What to Watch, What to Skip

Evaluating the upcoming crop of buzzed-about films from abroad

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Clockwise from top left: Farewell, My Queen, Easy Money, Little White Lies, and Chicken With Plums.

Sure, this summer has some tantalizing Hollywood offerings in store for moviegoers. But those hungry for something other than—or in addition to—all-American multiplex fare will also have a handful of foreign-language films to pick from.

Out of the seven most eagerly anticipated releases from abroad, six are French and one Swedish—a testament to France's highly productive film industry and its potential appeal for U.S. audiences. Refreshingly, though, this summer's crop of French movies is an outward-looking, globe-trotting bunch, with one film set in Italy, another in Iran, and a third in Prague, London, and Montreal (as well as Paris, bien sûr). And the potpourri of languages spoken in the Swedish one—Arabic, Spanish, and Serbian among them—suggests that European cinema is starting to put the continent's ever-growing diversity up onscreen.

Here's a breakdown of which foreign-language films you shouldn't miss this summer and which ones you'd be better off skipping.

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Jon Frosch is a film critic for FRANCE 24 based in Paris. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Village Voice, The Hollywood Reporter, and others.

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