If you’re passionate about films and languages, then why not combine it to speed up your journey to language fluency? After all, viewing flicks is an effective method to develop an ear for the language. It sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? So, here are twelve must-watch movies for learning German.
The benefits of language are astonishingly evident, and I wrote extensively about that. Of all the language choices, German consistently ranks as one of the most sought-after foreign tongues. If you’re reading this article, then most likely, you already know German. Maybe you’re keen on learning the German language, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best out of your German courses.
Do you know you can make your German lessons both fun and engage at the same time? That is what watching German movies offers you when studying the German language. Films are probably one of the most powerful language learning approaches because it provides you enough entertainment to move northwards in your acquisition of German.
- How Watching Movies Helps in Learning German Language
- 12 Best German Movies for Learning Germans
- 1. The Lives of Others (Das Leben Der Anderen) — 2006 (R)
- 2. Good-Bye, Lenin! — 2003 (R)
- 3. The Educators (The Edukators) — 2004 (R)
- 4. The Crocodiles — 2001
- 5. Downfall (Der Untergang) — 2004 (R)
- 6. Ostwind 2 (Windstorm 2) — 2015
- 7. Soul Kitchen — 2009
- 8. Funny Games — 2007 (R)
- 9. Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) — 2001 (R)
- 10. The Boat (Das Boot) — 1981 (R)
- 11. The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) — 2009 (R)
- 12. Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) — 1998 (R)
- Rounding Up (The Final Words)
How Watching Movies Helps in Learning German Language
The key to successful language learning is MOTIVATION! That’s right. You may have all the resources you need, and the time it requires to achieve successful learning. But, if you lack inspiration, even the most enabling environment will not help you to succeed in your quest to master German, the “language of science and machines.”
Watching German movies is one excellent way you can motivate yourself to learn a foreign language. When you watch German talkies, it helps you tackle the various grammatical peculiarities that form part of the language. Also, despite language complexity, German films help you enhance the lesson process, making it less cumbersome and enjoyable.
Between German classes, it’s essential to immerse yourself in a language’s culture. And watching movies is a great way to improve history, customs, and of course, German language skills. Thanks to modern technology, you can now enjoy hundreds of films with different audio and subtitles at your comfort whenever and wherever you wish.
12 Best German Movies for Learning Germans
As long as you have the time, learning German through films is one thing you will never get bored of doing. So, below is a compilation of some of the best 12 German movies for learning German. Sit back, relax, grab some popcorn, and lets the amusement begin!
1. The Lives of Others (Das Leben Der Anderen) — 2006 (R)
The list will be incomplete without mentioning Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of Others) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It is a masterpiece that explores the pervasive suspicion of East Germany.
The story narrates an insight into what life was like in communist East Germany in the 80s’. The time when citizens were often under surveillance by the secret police, also known as the Stasi.
Critically acclaimed, this movie is about an agent Gerd Wiesler when he was conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover to find out that the writer is committing treason. He, eventually, becomes personally involved in the case through the thoughts and desires.
Winner of Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards, it is one of the best German movies ever made. The Lives of Others is a flick for everyone — especially those studying German — should watch. The lengthy dialogues about complex sociopolitical will undoubtedly prove to be difficult, but valuable for advanced learners.
2. Good-Bye, Lenin! — 2003 (R)
If you’re a fan of comedy and social commentary, Good Bye Lenin is a must-watch for you. It is one of the bets German rated films of the 21st century directed by the legendary Wolfgang Becker.
The film tells the hilarious story of a young, energetic man whose mother (a socialist) came out of a coma that was caused by a heart attack, unknown to her that the East and West have been reunified. The son has to make sure that her mother doesn’t discover the truth. It is to prevent her from slipping back into another coma. Thus, he has to come up with a lot of tricks to make her believe that nothing has changed. And her republic is still much thriving.
It teaches divergent in the cultural point of understanding from a German view and perception regarding the reunification. Lots of Interesting vocabulary for discussing political ideology.
3. The Educators (The Edukators) — 2004 (R)
If you love being in suspense and thrilled at the same, this movie will help you get into a top engagement in gaining German.
The Edukators is about a group of enthusiastic activists from Berlin who break into the homes of wealthy people to make the people feel insecure by leaving behind confusing notes and rearranging the furniture of the house they broke into. Then it happens when one of the wealthy homeowners came home unexpectedly, forcing the young activists to scheme and plot how to kidnap the homeowner.
The cinema offers an ample opportunity to understand everyday speech. It will also help you to enhance your pronunciation and accents.
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4. The Crocodiles — 2001
If you love shorts videos related to family and kids, this movie will help.
The film is derived from a famous German novel for young adults, which tells the story of two closed outcasts that later teamed up with a gang from the locality. Then follow the hilarious nature of things as they unfold on a considerable foe. Thanks to the immense popularity, the filmmaker also produced two sequels from it.
This movie is excellent for learning kid speech in German. It brings you the best of the German version spoken by youths of the modern era.
5. Downfall (Der Untergang) — 2004 (R)
For history lovers and the events that happened during the Second World War, this is the movie to watch. This is one of my all-time favorite German movies along with The Lives of Others.
Downfall paints a gripping picture of what transpired in the last one week and three days (10 days) of the life of the German Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, while in his underground bunker. The intense, gripping, and enthralling scenes will assuredly keep you at the edge of your seat.
This movie teaches you the accent of the German language as spoken in Austria. The actions and pictorial presentation allows you to follow the flow of the vocabulary used in the film.
6. Ostwind 2 (Windstorm 2) — 2015
Ostwind is another fabulous movie for the viewing pleasure of families and children.
The storyline is a very touching one. It is a family talkie that employs the confirmed method of pairing together a girl and a strong-looking horse. You may have seen this movie before, but have you seen it in German?
The movie is a great way to learn and understand the German language—all from the perspective of a child. It also offers many vocabulary and expressions for your learning advantages.
7. Soul Kitchen — 2009
It is a typical comedy movie for the fun-loving German language enthusiasts.
The film rounds in on Zinos, a German-born Greek proprietor and the financial problems facing his local restaurant in Hamburg. Zinos who don’t have any form of medical insurance ends up with a disc problem. With his girlfriend going to China and his brother out of prison, the storyline led to a coherent, funny movie that boasts a huge cast.
Many useful and entertaining vocabularies make it easy to follow the movie. It opens up one’s understanding of the German way of life between food and relationship.
8. Funny Games — 2007 (R)
If you love programs about psychos, this Austrian psychological thriller one is a must-watch.
Funny Games is a psychological masterpiece movie that describes the life of psychopaths. Two friends who are psychopaths hold a family in their cabin and kept them hostage. The two young hostage-takers and the events that follow their escapades characterize the movie as criticism and reflection of violence portrayed in the media.
The psychopathic display uses an extensive vocabulary that motivates one to listen carefully and understand the pattern of speech as used by the 21st century young Germans.
9. Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) — 2001 (R)
Nirgendwo in Afrika is a must-watch for the typical history lovers. It is a film that won the Academic Award in 2003 for the best foreign-language film in the world.
The film focuses on a Jewish family that went through a lot of issues when relocating from Germany to Kenya in the period of World War 2. The film saw a lot of intriguing and emotional moments as the family was faced with unprecedented challenges and hurdles.
If you’re just learning how to speak German, this film will surely be of help to you. The language spoken by the actors is clear and simple, making it a perfect option for beginners to pass the Goethe-Zertifikat exam.
10. The Boat (Das Boot) — 1981 (R)
The Boat is a classic German movie. It is one of the most expensive films ever produced in Germany.
The film describes how life is for soldiers during the war in the seas. It is the story of the German U-boats operating in the Atlantic Ocean during the toughest hours of World War 2.
For these movies, two complete U-boat submarines were built for the exterior and interior filming. The scraggy beards and pale faces of the soldiers depict what life is for soldiers doing battle in the war fronts. It is such a touching and engaging movie.
The sailors speak raw German, which is suitable for a beginner. The vocabularies and speech pattern is simple to grasp and follow coherently.
11. The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) — 2009 (R)
A black-white movie perfect for those language students that admire watching movies with a dark tone.
The White Ribbon portrays religion, state authority, and immense violence. It was set in a small but determined German town, signifying life in the early period of the 1980s. The movie shows an action pack and thought-provoking series of suspense-filled events affecting this little German village and its Protestant inhabitants.
The slow pace of the spoken language makes sit a perfect movie for students preparing for various German language proficiency tests.
12. Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) — 1998 (R)
Directed by Tom Tykwer, this is another fast-paced drama movie where Lola, a woman who is running around the city in search of a big bag of cash to save his boyfriend.
If you like a movie with lightning speed with a thrilling plot, you will inevitably like Run Lola Run. Manni, Lola’s boyfriend, loses a bag with 100.000 Deutschmarks (the old currency of Germany) that belong to his criminal boss. To save her boyfriend’s life, she had to find the money quickly. The flick plays in three strings that show three possible storylines. The capitative movie will make you think about various possibilities.
This movie serves its purpose well, exhibiting plenty of slang at a rapid pace. It would be challenging to watch if you’re an elementary level German students. If you want to understand, watch it with subtitles.
Rounding Up (The Final Words)
Learning German can be fun if you relish watching films. The German-speaking countries produce some well-known producers, directors, music composers, actors, and actresses. I hope you enjoy our selection of German movies, which can improve the natural flow of the language. Have fun!
If you want additional tips or suggestions for the must-watch movies for learning German, let me know in the comment section below.