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Some of the best Modern Foreign Thrillers


With plenty of jaw-dropping action scenes amongst twisting plots to keep you gripped, some of today’s most enthralling thrillers exist outside of the English language. No exception is French crime drama The Sweeny: Paris coming to cinemas and exclusively to Sky Store on April 15.

Buren (Jean Reno) is an old time cop who doesn’t play by the rules, whilst his squad uses force when it comes to the law. With every move closely monitored by their new boss Lenoir, Buren knows his time is running out. When a heist turns into a bloodbath, Buren soon realises that it is part of a bigger operation and, with nothing to lose, decides to take action.

To celebrate the release of The Sweeney: Paris on April 15, we take a look at some of the greatest foreign thrillers to have hit our screens in recent years.

A Prophet (2009)


Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet stars Tahar Rahim. It follows an imprisoned petty criminal of Algerian origins who rises in the inmate hierarchy, becoming an assassin and drug trafficker as he initiates himself into the Corsican and then Muslim subcultures.

District 13 (2004)


From critically-acclaimed French producer Luc Besson, District 13 is a French thriller most notable for its intense parkour, impressively completed without any computer generated effects.  In the near future social problems have overrun the poorer suburbs of Paris, most aggressively affecting ghetto B13. A young punk is determined to take down the ruthless crime lord that controls the walled-off, unlawful area that he is forced to reside in, but when his sister is kidnapped he must team up with an undercover cop to attempt any kind of retaliation.

Oldboy (2003)


Chan-wook Park’s adaptation of the manga is a stunning piece of work. After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. We follow his quest for the truth. Things become more twisted and darker the further he goes. It also featured one of the best fight scenes of all time.

The Raid (2011)

the raid

Reuniting director Gareth Evans with his star Iko Uwais in a second collaboration after their first action film, Merantau (2009), The Raid upped the ante to showcase some truly hard-core, full-body fighting. Leaving his pregnant wife behind, special tactics officer Rama (Uwais) joins a 20-man elite squad in a bid to fulfil a cryptic promise to bring his father home. Intending to capture crime lord Tama Riyadi, who boldly stands in a tenement protected by an army of killers, the team face an onslaught of violence, devious betrayal and desperate negotiation as they fight to reach him.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)


Based on the best-selling novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows journalist Mike Blomkvist as he investigates how a woman from a wealthy family suspiciously disappeared forty years ago. Uncovering a notebook containing a list of names and numbers that even the most elite investigators have not been able to decipher, Blomkvist hires Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a tattooed, ruthless computer hacker. The two become lovers, but as they begin to unravel a dark, terrifying family history, the investigative mission instinctively becomes a protective one.

The Sweeney: Paris (2016)

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An adaption of the 70s British TV crime drama, The Sweeney: Paris exposes the story of warped, old-school cop Buren (Jean Reno). Refusing to play by the rules, his squad comes under threat when new boss Lenoir makes it his mission to follow their every move. When a heist turns into murder, a former convict’s house is raided in a bid to race against the ticking clock, but his plan quickly fails when the convict has a rock-solid alibi. Taking risky measures out of desperation, Buren quickly realises that he has nothing left to lose and has no choice but to take extreme action.

You’ve also got the likes of Gomorrah, The Lives of Others, City of God, Headhunters, The Hunt, Elite Squad, Mother, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Tsotsi, The Keeper Of Lost Causes, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Incendies, TimeCrimes, Battle Royale, A Hijacking, Infernal Affairs and so many more.

What are your favourite modern foreign thrillers?



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