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15 German Movies and TV Shows You Must Watch Today

One of the most effective ways to learn anything is to mix entertainment with education.

When it comes to learning how to speak German, it could be traveling to a German speaking country, speaking with a native speaker, or watching German movies & TV shows.

Most of us are already spending a portion of our day lounging on our couch watching Netflix (or another network), so why not take advantage of that free time?

How to effectively watch Movies and TV shows to learn a new language

If your goal is to learn German or any other language, we recommend following our quick guidelines.

1. Watch movies and shows you actually enjoy: It surprises us how often we hear about a student being forced to watch a boring documentary to learn a language. The reality is, you're not going to retain anything if your brain is not engaged with what's in front of you. That's why we always recommend sticking to genres they ACTUALLY enjoy. If you love comedy, find comedy movies in German to watch, etc.

2. Leverage the power of subtitles: Subtitles are kind of like training wheels for learning a language. If you are:

  • a beginner level: listen in your native language, use German subtitles
  • an intermediate level: listen in German, use subtitles in your native language
  • an advanced level: listen in German, no subtitles

3. Engage by writing down new words and lessons: Last but not least, we advise you to write things down! We know this ruins the whole 'chill out' experience, but we promise it'll be worth it. There are multiple studies that show writing things down once we've learned it can help us retain more information.

You can still enjoy the movie, and your future self will thank you for it!Without further ado, we've curated the top German movies and shows to save you time. You'll find the length, genre, and trailer link to each movie so you can dig further if needed.

Enjoy!

15 German Movies & TV Shows You Must Watch Today

1. Lore

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Length: 1h 49 mins
Trailer Link

One of a kind movie that tells the story of World War II from the German perspective. While the present time of Lore takes place after the war is over, you'll witness what happened in the past five years.

2. A Coffee in Berlin (Oh Boy)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 1h 26 mins
Trailer Link

Taking place in the span of just one day, this university dropout attempts to figure out his purpose in life roaming the streets of Berlin. Expect a good chunk of laughter and inspiration as you watch. It's also completely in black and white.

3. Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg)

Genre: Drama
Length: 1h 50 mins
Trailer Link

Kreuzweg is a religious-based film of a fourteen-year old Catholic girl pursuing her deeper relationship with God. Despite the modern world she lives in, and a nice boy she meets, nothing will stop her from living her biblical life.

4. The Wave (Die Welle)

Genre: Drama

Length: 1h 50 mins
Trailer Link

Ever wondered how Hitler was able to influence the German people? This university professor wanted to find out through a series of unconventional experiments with his students. And it gets out of control.

5. Hitlers Kinder (Hitler's Children)

Genre: Drama
Length: 50 mins

Get ready for a psychologically thrilling ride with this short drama. As the title suggests, it centers around how Hitler was able to convince his young children and millions of people with beliefs and morals. The level of German is ideal for intermediate and advanced speakers.

6. Der Junge Karl Marx

Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Length: 1h 58 mins
Trailer Link

This historical drama follows the early years of Karl Marx between Paris, Brussels, and London, on his road to exile. Full of police repression, riots, and political revolutions, anyone who's familiar with the Marx revolution will love this drama.

7. Axolotl Overkill

Genre: Drama
Length: 1h 34 mins
Trailer Link

A 16-year old girl from Berlin mourns the recent death of her mother. In the process, she develops an odd obsession with a white-collar criminal in the hospital.

8.  Toni Erdmann

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 2h 42 mins
Trailer Link

A heartfelt comedy about a father looking to reconnect with his daughter. Unlike the traditional paths of reaching out to his daughter directly, he plays an alter ego by acting as her boss's life coach.

toni-erdmann

9. Barbara

Genre: Drama
Length: 1h 45 mins
Trailer Link

After trying to leave Germany, a female physician gets arrested and is now being monitored by the Stasi as she begins her new difficult life.

barbara

10. Girl on a Bicycle

Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 1h 41 mins
Trailer Link

Love romantic twists with a touch of comedy? You'll love Girl on a Bicycle. An Italian man who works as a tour bus driver just proposed to his German stewardess. Until he meets a beautiful French girl on a bicycle and decides to marry her too. Get ready to laugh in awe.

girl-on-a-bicycle

11. Two Lives

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Length: 1h 37 mins
Trailer Link

A Sundance film that takes place in 1990 when the Berlin wall is about to be taken down. While everything seems to be going positively, a Norwegian woman finds herself being accused as a 'war child' due to the relationship of a German soldier and her mother.

two-lives-film

12. Night Train to Lisbon

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Length: 1h 52 mins
Trailer Link

A Swiss professor takes a train to Lisbon and seeks to uncover the truth about the life and death of a Portuguese poet who wanted to overthrow Salazar's dictatorship.

night-train-to-lisbon

13. You Are Wanted

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Length: 49 mins
Trailer Link

This thrilling show is centered around a German man who is the victim of a cybercrime attack, where he's accused of a series of crimes he didn't commit. The rest is history.

you-are-wanted

14. Babylon Berlin

Genre: Crime, Drama
Length: 45 mins
Trailer Link

Welcome to Berlin in the 1920's: a city full of violence, crime, greed, and mayhem.Get ready for a first-person perspective of what went down during this era, and how German's truly spoke back in those days.

15. Deutschland 83

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Length: 42 mins
Trailer Link

A rookie spy is recruited to spy on the West German army. His recklessness puts him and his side in trouble, and the result is extreme.

Hope you enjoyed this. Which of these German movies and TV shows were your favorite?

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