best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but you still have time to impress your significant other with foreign-language shows and movies. But don’t worry, not all movies with subtitles are stuffy prestige dramas. We have quite an eclectic collection of foreign movies and TV shows in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, which include a zany New Zealand comedy, a bombastic Chinese blockbuster, a classic action anime series, a reunion for a beloved K-drama couple, and a Mexican twist on a hit baking competition.

Fire up those subtitles and let’s get streaming.

Best Foreign Movies and TV Streaming Now

The Breaker Upperers ­– Netflix

Country: New Zealand

Genre: Comedy

Director: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek

Cast: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston, Jemaine Clement, Celia Pacquola.

I usually feature only foreign-language films on this column, but I’m making an exception for The Breaker Upperers, the hysterical New Zealand comedy from Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek. Sami and van Beek direct and star in the absurd comedy about two women who partner up to start an agency breaking up couples after they discover they’ve been cheated on by the same man. But when one of them grows a conscience, it throws their business, and friendship, out of whack. The Breaker Upperers is a worthy successor to the brand of irreverent Kiwi comedy pioneered by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. Sami and van Beek are a dream comedy odd couple, delivering droll, vanity-free performances that veer on slapstick, though the pair are unafraid to get serious and emotional when the story calls for it. While the film loses steam toward the end of its story, the first half is so sharp, smart and ludicrous that it totally makes up for the limp second half.

Watch This If You Like: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Rushmore, Bridesmaids, Sunshine Cleaning, rewatching Flight of the Conchords.

Wolf Warrior 2 – Hulu

Country: China

Genre: Action

Director: Wu Jing

Cast: Wu Jing, Celina Jade, Frank Grillo, Hans Zhang, Wu Gang.

This week in select U.S. theaters, you can watch one of China’s biggest action stars save the world and espouse Chinese values in the country’s first sci-fi epic. While it may be a while before you can catch The Wandering Earth, there’s another bombastic, operatic Chinese blockbuster starring Wu Jing that you can watch from the comfort of your own home: Wolf Warrior 2. “A sequel?” you may ask. “Shouldn’t I watch Wolf Warrior first?” No need, my friend. This testosterone-fueled exercise in Chinese nationalism needs very little prior knowledge to understand what is happening. Everything explodes! Wu Jing’s super soldier Leng Feng is an absurdly powerful, ridiculously capable Captain America-meets-Jason Bourne, but for China! At one point, Leng Feng stops all African conflict by wrapping himself up in a Chinese flag and nobly standing at the center of the battlefield! And if you do watch Wolf Warrior first, you’ll deprive yourself of seeing Frank Grillo chew the scenery as the cartoonishly evil American mercenary out to kill Leng Feng. It’s terrible. It’s great. You should watch it now.

Watch This If You Like: Ip Man, Fate of the Furious, Red Dawn, watching China make digs at America for 2 hours.

Code Geass – Hulu

Country: Japan

Genre: Action anime series

Director: Goro Taniguchi

Cast: Jun Fukuyama, Yukana, Takahiro Sakurai, Fumiko Orikasa, Ami Koshimizu.

Released in 2006, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Revolution (or simply called Code Geass) was a mega-hit that helped grow anime’s global impact in the mid-2000s. I missed this series the first time it came around, but watching it now, I can see why it was such a huge hit. It’s got political intrigue, mechs, high school shenanigans, and stunning European-influenced design — all the elements that an anime needs to be a crossover hit. But describing it by its separate parts probably does a disservice to this genre-bending series. Following exiled Britannian prince Lelouch, Code Geass takes place in an alternate near-future in which Japan has been conquered by the Holy Empire of Britannia, a vague approximation of every Western civilization. Angered by the Japanese peoples’ violent subjugation at the hands of the ruthless Britannian military, Lelouch stages a revolution using the masked alter ego Geass.

Watch This If You Like: Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, DN Angel, The Legend of Zorro, masked vigilantes.

Touch Your Heart – Viki

Country: South Korea

Genre: Romantic comedy K-drama

Creator: Jinnie Choi

Cast: Yoo In-na, Lee Dong-wook.

After Dramafever suddenly shuttered last year, niche K-drama streaming sites like Viki and Kocowa hurried to fill in the gap. While Viki had a moderate collection of Korean dramas and reality shows before, it’s now starting to acquire new, in-demand content, like the cute, quirky romantic series Touch Your Heart, which sees the highly anticipated reunion of the popular supporting couple from the hit 2016 drama Goblin. That’s right, Yoo In-na and Lee Dong-wook are back, and their chemistry is as electric as ever. Touch Your Heart allows the magnetic pair to stretch their comedy chops after their characters in Goblin kept meeting tragic obstacles. In Touch Your Heart, Yoo stars as a former It Girl whose drug scandal derails her career. Given the chance to make her comeback in a buzzy drama, she jumps at the chance to shadow a lawyer for a few months, but Lee’s straightlaced attorney has no patience for a shallow actress. Shenanigans ensue, sparks fly, etc. But more than just being an opportunity for Yoo and Lee to reunite, Touch Your Heart is a funny, winking romantic drama that’s not afraid to lampoon the Korean acting industry. It’s not a sharp satire by any means, but it eases the sugary-sweetness of the typical romance storylines of the genre.

Watch This If You Like: Jane the Virgin, The Comeback, Goblin, writing fan fiction about how this series is actually Wang Yeo and Sunny meeting again as their resurrected selves.

¡Nailed It! México – Netflix

Country: Mexico

Genre: Reality competition series

Cast: Omar Chaparro, Anna Ruiz.

Cakes! Pinterest fails! Amateur bakers embarrassing themselves in front of a panel of over-reacting celebrity judges! What’s not to love about ¡Nailed It! México, the Mexican version of the popular American baking competition? Actor Omar Chaparrio hosts the Spanish-language competition series, which brings the Nailed It! culinary franchise south of the border. Home bakers in Mexico face off to (attempt to) recreate edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize, while three judges — including renowned baker Anna Ruiz — determine their success. The twist: none of these home bakers are very good. For those who eagerly devour episodes of Chopped but whose cooking skills barely make it past burned chicken nuggets, this series is for you. It’s endearing to watch these home bakers struggle with recipes that you could barely do any better, and the flamboyant themes tied to Mexican culture makes ¡Nailed It! México a refreshing change of pace from the American series.

Watch This If You LikeChopped, The Great British Bake Off, Cake Wars, knowing what fondant is.

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