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Top 10 German Movies in 2019 to Boost Your German Skills

We know from experience that learning a new language can be time-consuming, hard, and sometimes frustrating. But with German movies, this won’t be the case. For this reason, we always suggest that our learners make the process fun by doing something they like—and everybody likes to watch a good movie. So why not combine watching a movie with learning a new language? Even experts say that watching movies and series is a great way to improve language skills quickly.

When looking for a good movie to watch, remember that fantastic movies extend beyond Hollywood. To drive this point home, consider that Oscars are even awarded to the best movie from a foreign country—and Germany won this prize more than once so far. But even on platforms like Netflix, you can find in-country produced German movies from multiple genres: drama, crime, comedy, sci-fi, cooking, nature, and many more.

Learning with fun and a purpose is the best combination for any beginner, intermediate, or advanced student. At GermanPod101, we give you a complete guide to the best German movies in 2019. Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in German.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. How to Study German with Movies
  2. List of German Movies
  3. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Master German with Movies

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1. How to Study German with Movies

1- What are the Benefits of Learning with Movies and TV Shows?

Interested in the German movies box office,but not sure how you can benefit from watching a movie in German to boost your language skills? We made a list for you:

  • You’re learning better and faster if you actually enjoy the way you’re learning. So if you like watching movies, then German movies to learn German are perfect for you.
  • It’s easier to understand vocabulary in the context of a situation that’s visually presented, with subtitles (and especially a combination of the two). We prepared for you some special vocabulary lists to keep in mind while watching a German movie.
  • You can get a feel for the right pronunciation and proper word stress much quicker.
  • You see daily language, sentence structure, and body gestures within real-life examples.
  • Learning with something we’re emotionally connected to is more practical.

2- How to Make Watching More Efficient

But don’t make the mistake of just turning on your TV and watching a movie in German. Prepare yourself to get the most out of the time you’re putting into watching the movie with these easy hints:

  • Prepare some basic vocabulary around the subject of the movie. If you’re watching a movie about a couple that’s falling in love, then you might want to learn some Valentine’s Day vocabulary.
  • Read a review and a short description of the movie to get used to the situation you’ll face.
  • Take a look at our special listening skills before you start watching.
  • Activate subtitles. When watching a German movie with German speech, use German subtitles. This will help you to learn how words are spoken and written at the same time. (Though you can also watch German movies with English subtitles to begin with.)
  • Enjoy the movie!

Here are the most common German vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

Top verbs


2. List of German Movies

Here you’ll find our list of the top ten German movies. Obviously, this isn’t a complete list of movies produced in Germany, just our favorites that we think will entertain you. On Wikipedia, you can get a more advanced list, and IMDB even offers a rated list.

Movie Genres

If you’re not sure where to watch when looking for movies in learning German, consider these options:

  • ARD and ZDF: The media libraries of these two leading German channels are free. Make sure to use a VPN.
  • Netflix: You already know what Netflix is and how to use it. You can find good German movies on NetFlix.
  • YouTube: Yes, when looking for German movies, YouTube has some you can find (but rather old ones, as this could be copyright infringement).
  • DVD: Just order everything on Amazon that you’ve ever desired.

1- Sonnenallee

Sun Avenue

When it comes to comedy German movies, this is a good choice.

Sonnenallee is a comedy film from the year 1999 about life in East Berlin, the communist party of the divided German nation in the late 70s. Sonnenallee itself is a street in Berlin that was intersected by the border.

The movie is about the pop culture and pop music in East Berlin. It shows the absurdity of everyday life in East Germany under the socialist government. The movie was well-received by the German audience, especially by those who grew up in the GDR.

You’ll probably notice while going through our list that in German movies, history is a common theme in many!

  • Popular quote: Ich lebe in der DDR. Ansonsten hab ich keine Probleme.
  • Translation: I live in the GDR. Apart from that, I do not have any problems.

    Suggested level of student: Intermediate

2- Good Bye Lenin

Good Bye Lenin

The movie Good Bye Lenin, released in 2003, is a tragicomedy film that features some of the most famous German actors, including Daniel Brühl. This is another story that takes place in East Germany, and centers on the socialist state of the GDR. But this time, the story takes place in 1990, right after the reunion of the two German nations.

A mother falls into a coma in 1989, and when she wakes up, her beloved East Germany isn’t there anymore. Her son tries to protect her from a fatal shock by concealing the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  • Popular quote: Euch Ossis kann man aber auch nichts Recht machen. Hauptsache ihr habt immer irgendwas zu meckern.
  • Translation: It is impossible to please you Eastern Germans. The most important thing for you is that you always have a reason to gripe about something.

    Suggested level of student: Advanced

3- Das Leben der Anderen

The Life of Others

This Oscar-winning drama was released in 2006 and takes place, once again, in socialist East Germany in the year 1984.

Here, an agent of the secret police called Stasi conducts surveillance on a free writer and his lover, and finds himself emotionally touched by the couple’s lives. This is a must-watch for any movie-lover.

  • Popular quote: Bei Verhören arbeiten Sie mit Feinden des Sozialismus—vergessen Sie das nie!
  • Translation: When interrogating, you are working with enemies of socialism—never forget this!

    Suggested level of student: Advanced

4- Der Untergang

Downfall

This historical drama, released in 2004, features the last days of the Nazi regime around the person Adolf Hitler in his bunker. It’s set during the battle of Berlin in WWII. This movie is based on the book from his former secretary Traudl Junge, and other accounts during this time. The movie not only shows the person Hitler as bad and evil, but also plays with the human side of Adolf Hitler.

  • Popular quote: Das ist unerhört! Der Russe steht 12 Kilometer vorm Stadtkern und ich erfahre das sozusagen auf Nachfrage.
  • Translation: That’s unheard of. The Russian is 12 kilometers from the city center and I find out about it on demand.

    Suggested level of student: Beginner

5- Das Experiment

The Experiment

This is one of my personal favorite German films of all time.

This German thriller (not quite a German movie horror) was released in 2001 and shows a social experiment in which twenty male participants are hired to play either prisoners or guards. The ten prisoners have to follow the orders and the guards have to establish order without using violence. This results in an interesting experiment about humanity, leadership, social difficulties, and more. You’ll be emotionally touched by this movie—and shocked at the same time.

  • Popular quote: Ach ja und Herr Strafvollzugsbeamter, da wär’ noch was: Sie riechen streng!
  • Translation: Oh yes, Mr. Prison Official, there would be something else: You smell strong!

    Suggested level of student: Intermediate

6- Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage

Sophie Scholl - The Final Days

This historical drama from 2005 is about the last days of Sophie Scholl who was a part of the White Rose, a non-violent anti-Nazi resistance group.

With her brother Hans, she and their group make leaflets showing the crimes of the Nazi regime and deploy them illegally in the University of Munich. She was found guilty and executed on the same day.

  • Popular quote: Heute hängt ihr uns, morgen werdet ihr es sein.
  • Translation: Today you hang us, and tomorrow it will be you.

    Suggested level of student: Beginner

7- Die wilden Kerle

The Wild Boys

Here we have not just one movie, but five.

A group of friends form a football team and have their own pitch. A group of older and stronger kids take their field and a rivalry forms. These movies have a special character and aren’t formed only around the subject of football. They also show the process of growing up as a boy (and as a girl), basic relationships, family problems, and the importance of a childlike nature.

  • Popular quote: Alles ist gut, solange du wild bist.
  • Translation: Everything is good as long as you are wild.

    Suggested level of student: Beginner

8- Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

The Baader Meinhof Complex

This play is about a German left-oriented terrorist organization from the 60s and 70s called The Red Army Faction. They organized bombings, robberies, and even assassinations. The movie was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

  • Popular quote: Ich kann keine Kommunisten leiden.
  • Translation: I do not like any communist.

Suggested level of student: Intermediate

9- Keinohrhasen

No Ear Rabbits

This movie, released in 2007, features the famous German actor Til Schweiger playing a press reporter who was sentenced to eight months, but instead chooses to work 300 hours in a daycare center with children. He’s not a family person at all, and fairly free with women. There he meets Anna, who is an old classmate from Ludo. She has unfinished business with him and the film walks a good borderline between love and comedy.

  • Popular quote: Es ist purer Egoismus wenn du den ganzen Tag zu Hause frustriert rumsitzt und von jemandem erwartest, dass er dich permanent glücklich macht.
  • Translation: It’s pure egoism if you are sitting the whole day frustrated at home expecting someone to make you happy permanently.

    Suggested level of student: Intermediate

10- Deutschland: Ein Sommermärchen

Germany: A Summer’s Tale

This documentary film accompanies the German national football team during their preparations, and during the World Cup in their own country in 2006.

It starts at the bootcamp in Sardinia and follow the team through to third place in the playoffs against the national team from Portugal. It does a great job of showing how the excitement that national teams have to play a World Cup in their own country, while also covering topics of sportsmanship and the professional football world.

  • Popular quote: Heute brennt hier der Baum! Heute brennt hier der Baum!
  • Translation: Today the tree is burning here! Today the tree is burning here!

    Suggested level of student: Intermediate


3. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Master German with Movies

You got a glimpse of ten German movies you should watch in 2019. By now, you should know how German movies with subtitles can help you to improve your German language skills and why movies in learning German make the learning process more efficient. .

What do you think your favorite German movie will be from our list? Drop us a comment to let us know.

To prepare you a bit before getting into German movies, GermanPod101.com has a lot of free resources on different subjects, as well as free courses for beginner-, intermediate-, and advanced-level students.

But if this doesn’t boost your German fast enough, we can offer you a private teacher service that specializes in your personal needs and the goals you have for your German language learning.

Know that your hard work and practice will pay off, and someday you’ll be speaking German like a true native!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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