The 12 Top German Movie Recommendations to Help You Learn German

Watching a movie in German can help you learn the language

Watching a movie in a foreign language is a fun and helpful way to help you learn the language. If you're at the beginning of your language-learning journey, look for films with subtitles, either in German or English translations, depending on your level of ability.

But even if you're not a pro, letting your brain relax and not try so hard and just absorb the language on the screen taps into a different way of learning.

It's how people naturally learn their native tongue: by listening and needing to understand.

We asked our readers what movies were especially helpful to help them learn the language.

Here are 12 of their German movie recommendations:

1. "Sophie Scholl – Die ​Letzten Tage," 2005

Ken Masters says: "Sorry, don’t have time to write a full review, but it’s not necessary -- these films, especially Sophie Scholl, speak for themselves. And, if you’re interested in the history of film, then you have to watch the silent film 'Metropolis' (1927)."

2. "The Edukators," 2004

Kieran Chart says: “I would recommend ‘The Edukators.’ It’s a really good movie and also has an interesting message. To add to that, ‘The Counterfeiters’ (‘Die Fälscher’) is a really good German war movie concerning a Nazi plot to counterfeit English and American money and flood the economy with these false notes, bringing it to its knees.

Then, of course, it would be remiss of me to not include ‘Das Boot.’ Really worth a watch. Suspense doesn’t get better in a movie. Enjoy.”

3. “Die Welle” (“The Wave”), 2008

Vlasta Veres says: “‘Die Welle’ is also one of my favourites. The story starts with a simple high school workshop, where through a game, a teacher explains how fascism works.

However, you can see how gradually students start getting carried away and start acting violently toward other groups. This movie perfectly depicts the psychology of a group and how humanness can step away in front of instincts inside us that are frightening. Definitely a must see.”

4. “Himmel uber Berlin” (“Wings of Desire”), 1987

Christopher G says: This “is a film I have seen often; it never fails to challenge and force questions. Wonderful direction and script by Wim Wenders. Bruno Ganz communicates with silent gestures more than his words. Intriguing line: ‘Ich weiss jetzt, was kein Engel weiss.’”

5. “Erbsen auf Halb 6,” 2004

Apollon says: “The last film that I watched was ‘Drei.’ Such a good movie. But I’ve watched before a better one called “Erbsen auf Halb 6,” about a blind woman and a famous movie director who becomes blind after an accident.”

6. “Das Boot,” 1981

Sachin Kulkarni says: “The last German film I saw was ‘Das Boot’ by Wolfgang Petersen. This movie dates back to World War II and is about a submarine carrying a relatively young crew. Very good movie with a sad ending.”

7. “Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland,” 2011

Ken Masters says: “A serious/comical look at Turks in Germany.

Mostly lighthearted, but dealing with sometimes serious subjects and cultural differences.”

8. “Pina,” 2011

Amelia says: “Testimonials and dance moves created by the company’s dancers make a beautiful tribute to the choreographer Pina Bausch.”

9. “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” 1979

Gary NJ says: Werner “Herzog’s ‘Nosferatu’ from 1979 with Klaus Kinski and Bruno Ganz is very good. The scenery and music are great. A good creepy movie for fall or Halloween.” This film is an arthouse vampire horror flick.

10. “Goodbye Lenin,” 2003

Jaime says: “... a bittersweet take on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the western economic change in East Germany, which he tries to hide from his ill mother.”

11. “Das Leben der Anderen,” 2006

Emmett Hoops says: “‘Das Leben der Anderen’ is probably the most beautiful, most moving film to come out of Germany in the past 30 years.

Another good one is ‘Der Untergang,’ with Bruno Ganz as Hitler. It shows the insanity of National Socialism brought to its inevitable (and hotly desired by Hitler) conclusion.”

12. “Chinesisches Roulette,” 1976

Anonymous says: “The climax of the film is the 15-minute guessing game of the title, with lots of questions of the form ‘if this person were X, what kind of X would they be?’ Plenty of practice with Konjunktiv 2.”