Greece is a country filled with rich cultures and unique islands. However, they also have many riches in art and cinema.
With these fourteen best Greek movies, you can start to watch and immerse yourself in a curated guide. This list has everything, whether you love romance, biopic, or comedy.
1. Eftihia (2019)
Greek 2h 3m IMDb
Director: Angelos Frantzis
Stars: Karyofyllia Karabeti, Katia Goulioni, Pigmalion Dadakaridis
One of the most well-loved Greek films, Eftihia, is a detailing of the life of one of the most influential Greek lyricists. The film showcases Eftihia Papagianopoulou’s younger years and apparent rise to the top as a lyricist. All of the events happening in the backdrop of Greece during her time.
You will love this film if you are a fan of Greek music and its history. It’s an excellent way to know more about the song and the woman behind it all. The film also features a significant number of music that many Greek people learned and grew up with.
The film is also known for its excellent scenes, aesthetic visuals, and brilliant acting. Its authentic portrayal led it to garner many accolades not just in Greece but in other countries as well.
2. Dogtooth (2009)
Greek 1h 37m IMDb
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia
The Oscar-nominated 2009 film Dogtooth plays with the idea of isolation and indoctrination inside the confines of a family.
It provides a subtle commentary on the societal justification for the most fundamental institutions in communities. With a thriller genre at its core, Dogtooth will make your heart race as you follow the characters’ fate.
The film revolves around three siblings trying to reach the outside world. Being kept by their family in isolation in their villa, they grow up without much connection to the outside world. With the new presence in their life, can they finally see freedom?
Dogtooth is one of the most influential films in modern Greek cinema. The movie has many nominations and awards from the local Hellenic Film Academy Awards and international film associations. This film is an excellent starter if you want to look at the Greek thriller and suspense genre.
3. Little England (2013)
Greek 2h 12m IMDb
Director: Pantelis Voulgaris
Stars: Penelope Tsilika, Sofia Kokkali, Aneza Papadopoulou
A 20th-century romance involving the complicated life and affair between two sisters, Little England is not a typical romance film.
With the patriarchal obligations behind their back, the two are pushed into a fate they do not want. Between the drama and love, can the two reconcile and finally have the life they want?
Little England is a certified hit with the Greek audience, leading to a gross box office of $3,078,029. It’s the second highest-grossing film in Greece for the year and the highest-grossing film in the local film category. Many audiences and critics love the movie for its excellent cinematography and brilliant cast.
Director Pantelis Voulgaris also garnered many awards for the film, writers, and cinematography. The costume design in the movie also garnered awards due to its accuracy and attention to detail.
4. The Other Me (2016)
Greek 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Sotiris Tsafoulias
Stars: Pigmalion Dadakaridis, Dimitris Katalifos, Manos Vakousis
The Other Me is one of Greek cinema’s most well-known psychological thrillers. It’s well known for its excellent writing and gripping story shrouded with mystery. It’s a perfect film if you love detective flicks.
The story follows Dimitris Lainis (Pigmalion Dadakaridis), a criminology professor chosen by the police for help with the case.
With five murder cases without an obvious connection, Dimitris must find the culprit with only one clue: quotes from Pythagoras. Dimitri becomes more sympathetic towards the suspect as the scene slowly unfolds in front of him.
If you love a film-noir feel in your movies, then you will enjoy The Other Me. With its wonderfully crafted mystery, you will have your mind running and at the edge of your seat.
5. Worlds Apart (2015)
English 1h 53m IMDb
Director: Christopher Papakaliatis
Stars: J.K. Simmons, Maria Kavoyianni, Andrea Osvárt
In the middle of socioeconomic turmoil, three Greek love stories are also being formed. Being in love with foreigners, they must all reconcile and let each other feel, even if it sometimes worlds apart. Can they breach the love in the middle of chaos?
The film is well praised due to its writing and cinematography. The use of colors and framing are extensively utilized to emphasize the different tones of each story. Intertwining the plots is also loved by the audiences due to its execution.
At its core, Worlds Apart offers a subtle commentary about Greece’s socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. With the use of a drama romance story, people are more entwined to connect with foreign or local audiences.
6. Miss Violence (2013)
Greek 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Alexandros Avranas
Stars: Themis Panou, Reni Pittaki, Eleni Roussinou
Miss Violence is a heavy film without a doubt. The different chaotic turmoil in the life of the cast will have you reeling at the edge of your seat. It’s an excellent film that grapples with the harsh reality of prostitution and violence.
The film follows the suicide of Angeliki, an eleven-year-old girl. Everyone is shocked by what she did, but as the story unfolds, many of the family secrets go to the forefront. With the truth coming out, the family must grapple with the consequences of their actions.
Despite its heavy themes, Miss Violence is an excellent allegory of the patriarchal society present in Greece.
Its brilliant horror storytelling emphasizes the horror of humankind rather than any supernatural force. The film is not for everybody, but if you love some horror with a side of social commentary, then this film is excellent for you.
7. Cloudy Sunday (2015)
Greek 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Manousos Manousakis
Stars: Giannis Stankoglou, Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Andreas Konstantinou
Set in Germany-occupied Thessaloniki, two star-crossed lovers must fight for their right to love each other despite being of different beliefs.
With the rising violence and prejudice toward the Jewish people, Vasilis Tsitsanis (Andreas Konstantinou) and Estrea Beza (Hristina Heila-Fameli) secretly hid their love for each other. Can destiny finally let them love each other? Or will the prejudices break them apart?
Cloudy Sunday is an excellent period film with the advantages of technology in modern times. Its cinematography is highly praised due to its authenticity to the story.
The grappling love between the characters will have you looking out for the success of their relationship in such hard times. If you love some modern Greek cinema, Cloudy Sunday is an excellent choice for you.
8. Nyfes (2004)
Greek 2h 8m IMDb
Director: Pantelis Voulgaris
Stars: Damian Lewis, Victoria Haralabidou, Andréa Ferréol
Aboard the SS King Alexander in 1922, Niki Douka must board to the promised land of the United States.
To the sheer twist of destiny, she falls in love with an American photographer Norman Harris. As she belongs to the bride to a single Greek bachelor, she must not do anything that might keep her from that fate.
Nyfes, or ‘Bride,’ is a film that shows the social confines most Greek women went through in the 20th century. As familial duties are prevalent in the culture, the protagonist can’t disobey her parents for fear of retribution. It’s an excellent examination of the Greek culture that might still apply today.
With a gross box office of $5,000,509, Nyfes is a hit in the Greek and international cinema. It also garnered multiple accolades from local and international film academies.
9. Rembetiko (1983)
Greek 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Costas Ferris
Stars: Sotiria Leonardou, Nikos Kalogeropoulos, Michalis Maniatis
A classic from the 80s, Rembetiko shows the turmoil of early to mid-20th century Greece in the eyes of Marika Ninuo.
The film showcases Greek society’s inner chaos and economic problems through music. With the excellent writing and direction of Costas Ferris, the film is considered a classic in the film cinema.
If you are a fan of Greece and its culture and looking to delve deeper, this film is an excellent starter. Ferris showcases many historical events as well as personal struggles in Greek society. Along with the chaos, the film also emphasizes the artistic and musical talents of the Greek community.
The film garnered many awards and accolades for its writing, acting, and music. It’s also well-praised in Greece for its authentic depiction of Greek society, especially in the slums.
10. Balamos (1982)
Greek 1h 22m IMDb
Director: Stavros Tornes
Stars: Stavros Tornes, Kyriakos Vilanakis, Eleni Maniati
A subtle and philosophical film, Balamos follows the titular character’s journey to find a horse.
As he wanders the bazaar of Thessaly, he finds himself in a place where any horse will never take him. With the help of the mysterious magical figure Kyriakos, Balamos is pulled towards the word of the unfamiliar.
The film is one of the works of Stavros Tornes. It serves many philosophical backgrounds to the Greek audience and society. Thessaloniki Film Festival granted Tornes the Best Director Award in the release of this film.
If you are in for a fun fairytale adventure set in the Greek farmland and across many odd worlds, then Balamos is perfect for you. Being an art-house-style film, it might not be for everybody, but it’s worth a shot.
11. Politiki Kouzina (2003)
Greek 1h 48m IMDb
Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Stars: Georges Corraface, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou
A mix of Greek and Turkish culture, Politiki Kouzina by Tassos Boulmetis is one of the highest tickets sold in Greek cinema history.
With a million tickets in its pocket, the film is a well-loved classic from the early 2000s. If you want a bite out of Greek Culture, this film about cooking and family is perfect for you.
The film revolves around the journey of Fanis Iakovidis (Georges Corraface). Grizzled in his life, Fanis decided to return to his hometown in Constantinople. In the presence of his old home, the memories came flooding back to him as he rediscovers his old love and hobbies.
This film is an excellent must-watch for you if you love culture, food, and a subtle societal commentary. It shows the old times and the prejudices that come with the period.
12. Zorba the Greek (1964)
English 2h 22m IMDb
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas
Zorba the Greek is a certified classic in Greek cinema, Zobra the Greek offers a dramatic comedy film with a touch of lust. Despite being made almost sixty years ago, the film still reigns as the highest-grossing film in Greece, with a gross of $23.5 million.
The film revolves around the mismatched friendship between an English writer and a middle-aged Greek man.
With a small inheritance on a Greek Island, Basil (Alan Bates) tries to find his luck by clearing his mind on a vacation. In his journey, he befriended one of the locals Alexis Zorba (Anthony Quinn).
The comedic duo of the two leads to the success of the film. Ripe with shenanigans and emotional plot beats, Zorba the Greek will make you laugh and cry simultaneously.
13. Safe Sex (1999)
English 1h 40m IMDb
Director: hanasis Papathanasiou, Michalis Reppas
Stars: Mina Adamaki, Alexandros Antonopoulos, Kostas Grekas
If a funny and raunchy Greek film is what you want, then Safe Sex will suit you. The film revolves around the modern society in Greece along with its ramifications of it. If you love a look into the contemporary life of a Greek person, this film is an excellent starter.
The film revolves around seemingly individual relationships with sex. Whether the lack or surplus of the action, the movie showcases nuances and the fun in the life of widely different people. In the end, they might appear to be more connected than expected.
The film is a certified blockbuster in its release. Safe Sex is a commercial success with a gross of $10 million. Along with the high turnover of its finances, many Greeks and foreign audiences love the film’s story despite its raunchy nature.
14. Loafing and Camouflage (1984)
Greek 1h 39m IMDb
Director: Nicos Perakis
Stars: Nikos Kalogeropoulos, Giorgos Kimoulis, Takis Spyridakis
Being on the list of the highest-grossing film of all time in Greece, Loafing and Camouflage is a certified classic. Revolving around the misadventures of a group of friends during their military enlistment, Loafing and Camouflage serve as a fun and exciting journey for its audiences.
The film follows Pvt. Giannis Papadopoulos (Nikos Kalogeropoulos), as he and his friends manage their life in the enlistments for army camps. Not wanting to join the army, they decided not to enlist. However, as controversies arise, they are forced to do it anyway.
Loafing and Camouflage is a critical and commercial success. It not only serves as a commentary on the army camps at that time but also showcases a fun adventure film.
As we can see from these fourteen Best Greek Movies, many genres and styles are available in Greek cinema. If you are interested in the long and winded culture of the country, be sure to binge their movies and immerse yourself.