Top 5 Italian Movies


While films made in America are prevalent all over the world, many people don’t realize that other countries also have cinema. One of the best examples of this is Italy. Italians have been making films longer than Americans have, some of which could easily be regarded as some of the best of all time. For those of you who are exploring Italian cinema and don’t know where to start, here are the top five best Italian films (in my opinion).

1. Bicycle Thieves (1948) (Drama)

The victim becomes the victimizer in Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. Lamberto Maggiorani’s incredible performance brings the character of Antonio to life, and adds even more heart to the already emotional and thoughtful film. The cinematography, music, and twist ending all make Bicycle Thieves a foreign classic. Several filmmakers have stated Bicycle Thieves as their favorite film, including Josh Safdie and Roger Corman. 

2. The Great Silence (1968) (Western/Spaghetti Western)

Widely regarded as Sergio Corbucci’s best film, The Great Silence takes the tropes of the spaghetti western and puts them in the snow. With career-best performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski, The Great Silence tells an enthralling story full of twists, violence, and an unforgettable ending. This film is absolutely necessary for anyone interested in westerns.

3. Il Sorpasso (1962) (Comedy/Drama)

Road comedies may not be the most popular subgenre, but several films over the years have taken the concept and knocked it out of the park. One of which is Dino Risi’s Il Sorpasso (also known as The Easy Life). While the film may only feature two characters prominently, their onscreen charisma and charm bring the film to life. The film also features one of the most unexpected endings in all of cinema, and it adds to the “instant classic” sense the film already possesses. 

4. 8 ½ (1963) (Fantasy/Drama)

Federico Fellini’s most well-known and beloved film is also easily his best. Marcello Mastroianni gives the performance of his career as struggling filmmaker Guido. With it’s clever use of classical music, stunning cinematography, and visual symbolism,  8 ½ is a cinematic experience unlike any other, and you certainly will never forget it. The dreamlike pacing of the film adds to the sense of wonder even more, and it’s no question that 8 ½ is one of the best films made about film ever. 

5. L’Avventura (1960) (Drama/Mystery)

Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura is arguably his best film to date, and it kicked off an absolutely incredible trilogy of films (the other two being La Notte and L’Eclisse). The simplistic story of a young woman going missing on an island while on a trip is turned into something truly extraordinary by the black and white cinematography and diverse cast of characters. Every actor gives it their all, and with Antonioni’s writing and directing, their characters are brought to life in this captivating, mesmerizing, and extraordinary film.