Best Movies, Documentary, Drama, Foreign-Language, History

The Best Movies About Immigration And Immigrants

“What are the best movies about Immigration And Immigrants?” We looked at 247 of the top Immigration films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 28 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Immigration” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 200+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 28 Immigration Movies



28 .) Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

 Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Emmi Kurowski, a cleaning lady, is lonely in her old age. Her husband died years ago, and her grown children offer little companionship. One night she goes to a bar frequented by Arab immigrants and strikes up a friendship with middle-aged mechanic Ali. Their relationship soon develops into something more, and Emmi’s family and neighbors criticize their spontaneous marriage. Soon Emmi and Ali are forced to confront their own insecurities about their future.

Purchase / Learn More



27 .) An American Tail (1986)

 An American Tail (1986) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects

A young mouse named Fievel and his family decide to migrate to America, a “land without cats,” at the turn of the 20th century. But somehow, Fievel ends up in the New World alone and must fend off not only the felines he never thought he’d have to deal with again but also the loneliness of being away from home.

Purchase / Learn More



26 .) Babel

 Babel Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Purchase / Learn More



25 .) Coming To America (1988)

 Coming To America (1988) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB

Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York, to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.

Purchase / Learn More



24 .) District 9

 District 9 Lists It Appears On:

  • Film School Rejects
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Thirty years ago, aliens arrive on Earth. Not to conquer or give aid, but to find refuge from their dying planet. Separated from humans in a South African area called District 9, the aliens are managed by Multi-National United, which is unconcerned with the aliens’ welfare but will do anything to master their advanced technology. When a company field agent contracts a mysterious virus that begins to alter his DNA, there is only one place he can hide: District 9.

Purchase / Learn More



23 .) For a Moment, Freedom

 For a Moment, Freedom Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Centers on a group of weary Middle Eastern refugees who have made their way to Turkey to apply for European visas.

Purchase / Learn More



22 .) Gangs Of New York (2002)

 Gangs Of New York (2002) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • Ranker

It’s 1863. America was born in the streets. Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points of America to seek vengeance against the psychotic gangland kingpin, Bill the Butcher, who murdered his father years earlier. With an eager pickpocket by his side and a whole new army, Vallon fights his way to seek vengeance on the Butcher and restore peace in the area.

Purchase / Learn More



21 .) Head-on (2004)

 Head-on (2004) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • IMDB
  • Wikipedia

Head On is German director Fatih Akin’s story of the alcoholic Cahit and Turkish Sibel. Akin tells the story of a love that can never be between two people who are too alike to not be together.

Purchase / Learn More



20 .) House of Sand and Fog

 House of Sand and Fog Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Ranker

Behrani, an Iranian immigrant buys a California bungalow, thinking he can fix it up, sell it again, and make enough money to send his son to college. However, the house is the legal property of former drug addict Kathy. After losing the house in an unfair legal dispute with the county, she is left with nowhere to go. Wanting her house back, she hires a lawyer and befriends a police officer. Neither Kathy nor Behrani have broken the law, so they find themselves involved in a difficult moral dilemma.

Purchase / Learn More



19 .) Illégal

 Illégal Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

A hugely successful DA goes into private practice after sending a man to the chair — only to find out later he was innocent. Now the drunken attorney only seems to represent criminals and low lifes.

Purchase / Learn More



18 .) Journey of Hope

 Journey of Hope Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

In a village in eastern Turkey, tales of the economic success of Turks in Switzerland inspire Haydar to convince his wife Meryem that they must go. He sells their livestock and small plot of land in exchange for passage for two. He wants to leave their seven children in the care of the eldest and his parents; his father advises him to take one son to be educated in Europe, as economic insurance. The three set off for Istanbul, Milan, and Switzerland, stowing away on a ship. At Lake Como, they pay the rest of their money to unprincipled men who abandon them at an Alpine pass before a blizzard. Father and son are separated from Meryem. Will anyone reach the land of promise?

Purchase / Learn More



17 .) Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

 Stranger Than Paradise (1984) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

Purchase / Learn More



16 .) The Namesake (2006)

 The Namesake (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • NPR

American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family’s unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.

Purchase / Learn More



15 .) The Perez Family

 The Perez Family Lists It Appears On:

  • EW
  • Ranker
  • We Are MITU

In the midst of the Mariel boat lift — a hurried exodus of refugees from Cuba going to America — an immigration clerk accidentally presumes that dissident Juan Raul Perez and Dorita Evita Perez are married. United by their last name and a mutual resolve to emigrate, Dorita and Juan agree to play along. But it gets complicated when the two begin falling for each other just as Juan reunites with his wife, Carmela, whom he hasn’t seen in decades.

Purchase / Learn More



14 .) Welcome (2009)

 Welcome (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can’t swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won’t be as easy as he imagined… The community of struggling illegal aliens in Calais

Purchase / Learn More



13 .) Dancer In The Dark (2000)

 Dancer In The Dark (2000) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma learns to cope through her love of musicals, escaping life’s troubles – even if just for a moment – by dreaming up little numbers to the rhythmic beats of her surroundings.

Purchase / Learn More



12 .) Entre Nos

 Entre Nos Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Spanish Mama
  • We Are MITU

Abruptly abandoned by her husband in a country completely foreign to her, Colombian native Mariana (Paola Mendoza) struggles to take care of herself and her two young children on the unforgiving streets of New York City. Sebastian Villada, Laura Montana and Anthony Chisholm also star in this gritty independent drama jointly written and directed by Mendoza and her collaborator Gloria La Morte.

Purchase / Learn More



11 .) The Border (1982)

 The Border (1982) Lists It Appears On:

  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty
  • Ranker

A corrupted border agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman’s baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Purchase / Learn More



10 .) The Kite Runner

 The Kite Runner Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

Purchase / Learn More



9 .) America, America (1963)

 America, America (1963) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty
  • NPR
  • Ranker

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family’s fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to America

Purchase / Learn More



8 .) Children of Men

 Children of Men Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child’s birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.

Purchase / Learn More



7 .) El Norte (1983)

 El Norte (1983) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • NPR
  • We Are MITU

Brother and sister Enrique and Rosa flee persecution at home in Guatemala and journey north, through Mexico and on to the United States, with the dream of starting a new life.

Purchase / Learn More



6 .) Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

 Moscow on the Hudson (1984) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BFI
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty

A Russian circus visits the US. A clown wants to defect, but doesn’t have the nerve. His saxophone playing friend however comes to the decision to defect in the middle of Bloomingdales. He is befriended by the black security guard and falls in love with the Italian immigrant from behind the perfume counter. We follow his life as he works his way through the American dream and tries to find work as a musician.

Purchase / Learn More



5 .) Sin Nombre (2008)

 Sin Nombre (2008) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • NPR
  • We Are MITU

Set on the border, where Mexico becomes the crucible and the fearsome gangs of today’s Mexican countryside, the gauntlet, to freedom. The stories of a girl living in Honduras and hungering for a brighter future, and two teen gang members, for whom the Mara Salvatrucha is near their entire universe, become interlaced on the train to the border, a journey that will determine the future of their lives

Purchase / Learn More



4 .) The Immigrant (2014)

 The Immigrant (2014) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

In 1921 New York. an immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.

Purchase / Learn More



3 .) In America (2003)

 In America (2003) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BuzzFeed
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire
  • Ranker

An Irish immigrant family adjusts to life in the United States, a chance to get over the lost son. They have no money and the apartment is in bad condition.

Purchase / Learn More



2 .) The Godfather Part II (1974)

 The Godfather Part II (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • BuzzFeed
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

Purchase / Learn More



1 .) The Visitor (2007)

 The Visitor (2007) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire
  • Ranker

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Purchase / Learn More




The 200+ Additional Best Movies About The Immigrant Experience



#MoviesLists
(Films Appear On 2 Lists Each)
29A Better LifeIMDB
Ranker
30Ae Fond Kiss…IMDB
Wikipedia
31An American RhapsodyIMDB
Ranker
32Avalon (1990)AV Club
IMDB
33BiutifulIMDB
Wikipedia
34Black Girl (1966)BFI
Indie Wire
35Brick Lane (2007)IMDB
Wikipedia
36Brooklyn (2015)AV Club
IMDB
37Crossing OverIMDB
Ranker
38Dheepan
Film School Rejects
Wikipedia
39Dirty Pretty ThingsIMDB
Wikipedia
40Distant Lights (2003)IMDB
Wikipedia
41Eden Is WestIMDB
Wikipedia
42Green CardEW
IMDB
43In This World (2002)IMDB
NPR
44Inch’Allah dimancheIMDB
Wikipedia
45It’s a Free World…IMDB
Wikipedia
46La Promesse (1996)IMDB
Indie Wire
47Le HavreIMDB
Wikipedia
48Letters from AlouRanker
Wikipedia
49Live and BecomeIMDB
Wikipedia
50Lost Boys of SudanBuzzFeed
IMDB
51Machan (2008)IMDB
Wikipedia
52Maria Full Of Grace (2004)AV Club
EW
53MorgenIMDB
Wikipedia
54Persepolis
Film School Rejects
IMDB
55Provoked: A True StoryIMDB
Wikipedia
56ScarfaceIMDB
Ranker
57Shun Li and the PoetIMDB
Wikipedia
58SpanglishEW
IMDB
59The Joy Luck Club (1993)BFI
IMDB
60The Other Side of ImmigrationRanker
Remezcla
61The Secret of the Grain (2007)IMDB
Indie Wire
62TitanicIMDB
Ranker
63Under The Same MoonIMDB
We Are MITU
64Which Way HomeRemezcla
Spanish Mama
(Films Appear On 1 Lists Each)
6510th DayWikipedia
6630 Days in AtlantaWikipedia
67A Girl in AustraliaWikipedia
68A Hearty ResponseWikipedia
69A Private EnterpriseWikipedia
70A Separation
Film School Rejects
71Aadujeevitham (film)Wikipedia
72Acqua Fuori Dal RingWikipedia
73Africa ParadisWikipedia
74Alambrista!IMDB
75Alamo BayEW
76Alucarda”
We Are MITU
77Amerika SquareWikipedia
78Anita and Me (film)Wikipedia
79Bajo la misma luna
Spanish Mama
80Banat (film)Wikipedia
81BandhobiWikipedia
82Bend It Like BeckhamWikipedia
83Beyond BordersRemezcla
84Bhaji on the Beach (1993)BFI
85Black and White (2008 Italian film)Wikipedia
86Blue EyesRanker
87Bread and ChocolateWikipedia
88Burning in the WindWikipedia
89Colossal Youth (film)Wikipedia
90Coneheads (1993)Miss Liberty
91CrashBuzzFeed
92Cronos”
We Are MITU
93Danny From North Korea (2013)Miss Liberty
94Departures (2011 film)Wikipedia
95Desierto
We Are MITU
96Dirty HeartsWikipedia
97DocumentedRemezcla
98Dog Days (2013)Miss Liberty
99Don’t Tell AnyoneRemezcla
100Elysium (film)Wikipedia
101Eternity and a DayIMDB
102Far and AwayIMDB
103Fast Food NationIMDB
104Fear Eats the Soul (1974)BFI
105Feathered DreamsWikipedia
106First SnowfallWikipedia
107Five Minarets in New YorkIMDB
108Flame in the StreetsWikipedia
109Flores de otro mundoWikipedia
110Flowers from Another WorldIMDB
111Food ChainsRemezcla
112Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural AmericaRemezcla
113Four SonsRanker
114Gaijin 2: Love Me as I AmWikipedia
115Gaijin: Roads to FreedomWikipedia
116God’s Own Country (2017 film)Wikipedia
117Golden DoorIMDB
118Grow Your Own (film)Wikipedia
119Growing Up SmithWikipedia
120Hasta el viento tiene miedo”
We Are MITU
121Hatred (2012 film)Wikipedia
122Heaven’s Gate (1980)AV Club
123Home Again (2012 film)Wikipedia
124How I Discovered AmericaWikipedia
125I Am Not LorenaWikipedia
126I Can’t Sleep (1994)BFI
127I NicoteraWikipedia
128I Remember Mama (1948)AV Club
129I, the OtherWikipedia
130Il GauchoWikipedia
131Il Sangue verdeWikipedia
132Immigrants (1948 film)Wikipedia
133Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita)IMDB
134Immigration BattleRemezcla
135In Vanda’s RoomWikipedia
136James’ Journey to JerusalemWikipedia
137KatzelmacherWikipedia
138L’Italia s’è rottaWikipedia
139L’uccello migratoreWikipedia
140La ciudad
Spanish Mama
141La HaineIMDB
142La maldición de la llorona”
We Are MITU
143La Tía Alejandra”
We Are MITU
144LamericaWikipedia
145Last Resort (2000)BFI
146Late MarriageWikipedia
147Leo SonnyboyWikipedia
148Lethal Weapon 4Wikipedia
149Like CrazyRanker
150Living on One Dollar
Spanish Mama
151Long Arm of the Law Part 3Wikipedia
152MacheteIMDB
153Man at SeaWikipedia
154Man of the Year (1971 film)Wikipedia
155Man Push Cart (2005)AV Club
156Man’s HeartWikipedia
157Massacre Mafia StyleWikipedia
158MayrigWikipedia
159Mi Familia (My Family)
We Are MITU
160Mississippi MasalaEW
161Monsieur LazharWikipedia
162Moonlighting (film)Wikipedia
163Mother of MineIMDB
164My Beautiful LaundretteWikipedia
165My Family (Mi Familia)EW
166My Son the Fanatic (film)Wikipedia
167Myna Has GoneWikipedia
168Nala DamayanthiWikipedia
169Nana Means KingWikipedia
170New American GirlsRemezcla
171New FriendWikipedia
172Nymphomaniac (film)Wikipedia
173Once You’re Born You Can No Longer HideWikipedia
174Oriundi (film)Wikipedia
175OssosWikipedia
176Paddington (2014)BFI
177Palermo or WolfsburgWikipedia
178Paper MarriageWikipedia
179Pappa e cicciaWikipedia
180Pressure (1976)BFI
181PummaròWikipedia
182Queenie (miniseries)Wikipedia
183Ramji LondonwaleyWikipedia
184Roadtrip Nation: Beyond the DreamRemezcla
185Russian DiscoWikipedia
186Salami AleikumWikipedia
187Sallah ShabatiWikipedia
188Samba (2014 film)Wikipedia
189Seducing MaaryaWikipedia
190Serial (Bad) WeddingsWikipedia
191Silent Nights (film)Wikipedia
192Simshar (film)Wikipedia
193Sin PaísRemezcla
194SolinoWikipedia
195SoursweetWikipedia
196Spaghetti HouseWikipedia
197Stand and DeliverIMDB
198Strange OccasionWikipedia
199Stroszek (1977)AV Club
200Sugar (2008)AV Club
201TerrafermaIMDB
202The Ballad of the Windshield WashersWikipedia
203The Best Exotic Marigold HotelRanker
204The Bilingual LoverWikipedia
205The Boat Is FullWikipedia
206The Cardboard VillageWikipedia
207The Deserter’s WifeWikipedia
208The EmigrantsIMDB
209The Far Country (1986)Miss Liberty
210The Girl Who Spelled Freedom (1986)Miss Liberty
211The Girl with the PistolWikipedia
212The Great Man (2014 film)Wikipedia
213The Hand That FeedsRemezcla
214The IntouchablesIMDB
215The Journals of MusanWikipedia
216The Last Stop (film)Wikipedia
217The Loser Takes It AllWikipedia
218The Magnetic TreeWikipedia
219The Melon RouteWikipedia
220The MongrelWikipedia
221The New LandIMDB
222The PartyIMDB
223The Right DistanceWikipedia
224The Second Civil WarRanker
225The Silence of LornaIMDB
226The SwissmakersWikipedia
227The TerminalIMDB
228The Wind Blows RoundWikipedia
229Things from Another World (film)Wikipedia
230This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse”
We Are MITU
231Three Colours: WhiteWikipedia
232Time of the GypsiesIMDB
233To Rob a ThiefWikipedia
234Trevico-Turin: Voyage in FiatnamWikipedia
235True North (film)Wikipedia
236Una Vida, Dos PaísesRemezcla
237Underwater DreamsRemezcla
238VendettaRanker
239Veneno para las hadas”
We Are MITU
240Vetri Kodi KattuWikipedia
241West Side StoryIMDB
242Where is the Friend’s Home?
Film School Rejects
243Who is Dayani Cristal?Remezcla
244Words and SinsWikipedia
245YaseminWikipedia
246Young Tiger (2014 film)Wikipedia
247ZozoWikipedia


15 Best Immigrant Film Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
AV Club Coming to America: 19 movies about U.S. immigration – AV Club film
AZ Central Top 10 films about immigrants – AZCentral.com
BFI 10 great films about immigration and migrant experience | BFI
BuzzFeed 10 Must-See Immigration Related Movies – BuzzFeed
EW Here are 11 movies about the immigrant experience | EW.com
Film School Rejects 11 Essential Movies About The Lives of Immigrants and Refugees
IMDB The Movies About Immigration and Immigrants – IMDb
Indie Wire 10 Essential Films About the Immigrant Experience | IndieWire
Miss Liberty Pro-immigration: Films & documentaries | MissLiberty.com
NPR Arrivals And Departures: Films Explore The Immigrant Experience – NPR
Ranker Immigrants In Film | The Best Movies About Immigration – Ranker
Remezcla 15 Documentaries About the Experience of Undocumented Immigrants
Spanish Mama The Best Resources for Exploring Immigration in Spanish Class
We Are MITU 7 Movies That Represent Different Latino Immigration Experiences In …
Wikipedia Category:Films about immigration – Wikipedia

 

Click Here To Subscribe To The Cinema Dailies Youtube Channel!

You Might Also Like