The best Vietnamese movies


When we think of stunning cinema from the east, we tend to think of the movies that emerge from China and Japan. But Vietnam also has a booming film industry, and there have been some fantastic movies made by Vietnamese filmmakers over the years. We thought we'd outline what we believe are the very best Vietnamese movies that have ever been released, based on our thoughts but also on the criteria from review websites such as Rotten Tomatoes. Let's get into the list:

The Third Wife (2018)

Because Vietnamese cinema is still finding its feet on the global stage, some of the movies we include in this best-of list will be recent - The Third Wife is a great example of this. Although it is only a few years old, the movie has already become known as one of the best Vietnamese movies of the last 10 years. The movie shows how patriarchal systems can limit the autonomy of women, and it is a powerful piece of cinema. We highly recommend you give it a watch. You can stream this movie via Kanopy.

Song lang (2018)

This movie is currently sitting with a perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is very impressive. It tells the story of an unlikely relationship between a debt collector and the star of an opera troupe. The film is notable not only because of how beautiful it looks but also because of the performances from a group of actors who were previous to this film, mostly unknown. This film is a prime example of Vietnamese cinema at its best. You can stream this movie via Tubi.

The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

We absolutely had to include this Vietnamese movie in our list, because it is another Vietnamese movie currently sitting with a 100% perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The truth is that not much actually happens in the movie until the very end, but it is so extremely well-made by the director Tran Anh Hung that you are just totally gripped throughout the almost 2-hour runtime. If you're looking for a slow, romantic movie, then look no further than The Scent of Green Papaya. You can stream this movie via Kanopy.

The Housemaid (2016)

This horror film set in the 50s is about a young housemaid working at a plantation who starts to bond with the male owner, however, as they become closer she realizes that he does not live alone. In fact, his wife, although deceased, is still there. It maintains a tense atmosphere throughout the movie and there are plenty of twists and surprise turns to keep you guessing until the end. We really enjoy this movie and think it shows that the Vietnamese can also do horror. This movie is sitting with a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently.