Do you know of any good French TV shows or movies?

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone out there knows of TV shows or movies in French that can be watched online? If so where? Please feel free to post any links here. I think this type of immersion really helps you to learn language.

One tip I have is you can listen to french music on iRadio, Or watch TV on the app called France TV & Radio.

December 11, 2013


There are great suggestions already in this thread, I discovered the Extr@ series and it seems awesome for language learning.

Oliwia75 proposed links for the two main French private TV channels websites, I would add (link for all contents accessible from out of France for all public channels - it's mostly news shows from what I gather) and, the website of another channel that is known for its entertainment and comedy shows (might be challenging, with cultural references, slang, etc. but rewarding when you get there).

There are also short series, with 3 minutes episodes, that could be a good watch for learners. My all time favorite French series is called Kaamelott, an absurd take on King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail. It is filled with regionalisms and cultural references, but also a lot of situation comedy, so it might be bearable from fairly low levels in French comprehension (I strongly suggest French subtitles, although they're not easy to find without buying the DVD's...). Here is a quite challenging example, see what you can make out of it:

The other very popular series in this format is Caméra Café, the every day life at an office full of stereotypical Frenchmen (as in viewed by themselves), from the vantage point of the coffee machine. It can be vulgar at times, beware if you don't like that much. There is a Québec version, and here an example (not for kids, but the episode's theme makes the actors talk slower and more clearly):

I'm actually very curious as to what level you need to get to before you can appreciate Kaamelott or Caméra Café, please come&give feedback if you try!

December 13, 2013

For movies, some have been cited, and among the very popular comedies let me add "Astérix et Obélix: mission Cléopâtre" 2002, "Le diner de cons" 1998, "Intouchables" 2011, "les trois frères" 1995, "Quatre garçons pleins d'avenir" or the very absurd but absolutely cult "la cité de la peur" 1994. For older (sometimes more accessible, pace-wise) comedies, check out actors Louis de Funès (usually in the role of a powerful but unbearable man facing burlesque situations), Bourvil (in roles of a naive, good hearted man - 'le Corniaud' and 'la Grande Vadrouille' 1965-1966 feature both of these guys and were immensely popular in France), or Pierre Richard (70's-80's, slapstick and 'family' comedy). I don't go into details for each movie as each of the ones I cited is a must-see imho :-)

For dramas, a tough one is "Polisse" (police misspelled in the way a kid could do), the story of a police department dealing with child abuse, "la Haine" 1993, about French 'banlieues', which means suburbs but now often has the connotation of low-income, high criminality areas.

If you have access to netflix streaming, you'll find a bunch of good movies in French, including Intouchables (mentioned above), Ridicule (1993 drama, set in the period just before French revolution in the 17th century, paints and mocks the royal court and its ways), polisse (mentioned above - I'll stress one more time that it's emotionally a very tough one) and a bunch of others that are very popular, such as the Closet (comedy, man pretends he's gay to sneakily keep his job), Populaire (2013 romantic comedy, set in the 50's a man pushes his female employee to enter a typing contest), Romantics anonymous (two very shy people trying to make a relationship happen - worth it at least for actor Benoît Poelvoorde), OSS 117 (two movies with Jean Dujardin - James Bond spoofs), the Visitors (1993 very popular comedy, this one probably didn't age too well - a 12th century noble man and his servant accidentally travel through time to modern days).

Should keep you busy for a while, have fun :)

December 13, 2013
  • 2013

I love Kaamelot! I don't understand everything, but I do catch some words, and can listen for sentences, especially if I know what the episode is about. There's a list of episodes in the Wikipedia entry (in English) for Kaamelot, and knowing a show's theme and repeating the show, helps me understand more of the dialog. Very funny!

June 18, 2015

Oh wow, thanks for all the recommendations and suggestions! I tried the Kaamelott link and. Wow. I'm definitely not there yet. It seems kind of funny? But I think I'll stay over here with my Disney movies for now. It's been a few years since I read French in school, and unfortunately those 5 years of education were... lacking. (side-note, it wasn't 'til I started up on Duo that I found out that the 'ent', like, mang-ent, boiv-ent, wasn't pronounced. And a lot of other things that are apparently part of the basics.)

I looked up the French Caméra Café on youtube, and that also seems kind of fun/neat. I get bits and pieces, and pretty much get the gist of what's going on, which is always cool. I'll definitely be watching more of it. Don't have Netflix, and I think the one the parents have is the Swedish one, so not sure if I'd be able to find the movies anyway. :/

Thanks again! :)

December 13, 2013

Yes it's not very accessible, I'd say you need to get t the point where you can get a simple conversation going before trying this type of shows. And even then it will be challenging, but my thought was that with 3-4 minutes long episodes, you can watch it once with english subtitles, once with french ones without it being too much of a hassle. I would say Kaamelott is the most challenging among what i proposed, because of all the slang, cultural references, etc. I just really, really like it.

For earlier levels I'd try some of the popular older movies in the list, especially Louis de Funès ones, but like you say animation movies are a great idea too, especially if you know the story already.

Depending on where you live (Sweden might not work so well in that respect, but who knows), it might pay off to check the DVD's you might have access to for audio languages: if you can watch the french dubbed version of a movie you like, not only you'll learn but you'll also get a good laugh at Bruce Willis' deep and rocky French voice :-)

December 14, 2013

I imagine, and I've lost a great deal of that through not using it for 3 years. That would be a great idea, the english subs and then the french ones. Think it's just that finding the english ones would be hard, for most things, I was on a hunt for Mulan with subtitles, and then I saw it without subtitles and it was fine. I didn't understand every word, and even less from Mushu, but still quite a lot of it.

I did look, that was the first place I thought I'd try, though my DVD collection is tiny, and the only other languages or texts are Nordic Languages, and Finnish. But, Christmas is coming up, so I asked for some Disney movies with French (or German) audio, if they can be found up here. Otherwise I'll have to see if I can buy some from when I have the money to spend. 9.99e + shipping isn't too bad, depending on high the shipping is. Suppose after that I can expand to some of my favorite non-animated movies. I really want to go check out what Nightmare Before Christmas is like in French.

But I like your list(it's very thorough) and I've bookmarked the page, so I'll look into some of them when I get the chance. It's nice to see more options than Amélie. We watched that movie ~6-7 times, in the 5 years I took french.

December 14, 2013

I heard of Extr@ French. Many people have recommended it. I, however, quickly stopped watching as soon as I heard "l'americain" yell out a grossly blasphemous mispronunciation of "valises" in such a way, multiple times in succession, that it actually immediately got engraved in my memory.

I find it, for me, extremely dangerous because I'm—especially as a beginner soaking up everything like a sponge—very vulnerable to picking up on his bad habits, especially when they are laden with emotion/stress/intonation like in the above-mentioned example.

Anyway, for some reason French subtitles are extremely hard to find. You'll have original French movies with English subtitles readily available, but the French nowhere to be found! o_O. The times I did see the French, they weren't even direct translations!

Someone on a forum online hinted to the fact that there was a good reason for this, but he "didn't want to get into it" and never explained... :\

EDIT: I just realized that your post was written two years ago...

January 5, 2016

The reason not to get into explaining how to get subtitles is that unfortunately you end up needing to do stuff illegally in the process. As in, the subtitles are easy to get for all mainstream movies, in multiple language, from safe websites, but they are sync'ed and designed to be used with ripped, illegal video files. You can't easily use them if you got the DVD of that movie, for example. Using a streaming service such as netflix in conjunction with a program that let you choose which country your are "viewing from" used to allow one to get foreign movies with original language subtitles - but netflix for example has since then decided they aren't ok with it anymore (for a reason similar to why there are DVD "zones"). One day they'll let you choose from all subtitle languages I hope, and that will be pretty great in its own right.

In the mean time, buying/renting DVDs is your best bet, because it will say right on the box what you'll get in terms of subtitles, and usually they're at least decent in quality. It's often the subtitle track for the hearing impaired, which can be a bit distracting, but has its own interesting features.

You can also try "normal" youtube videos and turn on the closed captions [cc]. Most of the time it's machine-generated and quite entirely untrustworthy, but some videos have a reviewed version - that's the case of that caméra café video I link in that first post for example.

If you find something in French on regular tv, even news shows on tv5, say, try the "subtitles" button on your remote (sometimes in an options menu). A lot of tv channels have a subtitle feed at all times, which can be imperfect for live shows, but should be of good quality for anything that is staged.

Another thing to try is to choose something easily accessible to all online, jump into it and start a discussion here to try and make sense of it together. Not exactly hassle-free but it can be fun in its own right :) I'll certainly help if you come bug me on my profile (and perhaps insist because i still haven't got the hang of keeping up with profile notifications. Sometimes i get an email, sometimes i dont)

Good luck!

March 30, 2016

Each is tagged with CEFR levels and some even have worksheets and lesson plans.

December 13, 2013

Thanks for this!! :)

April 2, 2017

If you are interested in learning Québécois, check out Les Parent. It's a really cute show about the daily life of a family five (two parents with three boys). The show is funny, entertaining, and relatable, so check it out!

You can watch season 1 for free with French subtitles on youtube here:

You can also watch season 1 - 6 on Netflix with French and English subtitles if you are in Canada or have a VPN.

Season 1-8 are available on ICI but again, you have to either be in Canada or have a VPN. Also, on the ICI site, season 8 is the only season you can watch without paying for a subscription.

If you really want to watch French TV, get a VPN! It's worth it, trust me, especially if you have Netflix. If you are seriously looking into it, I would suggest getting Express VPN. You can use it on your computer and your phone and watch TV all over the world without being blocked. Works like a charm :D

January 4, 2016
  • 2013

C'est fantastique!

January 4, 2016

Really great!

March 30, 2016
  • 2013

J'aime "le Petit Nicholas" via Youtube. J'aime aussi les chansons de Jacque Brel aussi en Youtube! Bonne Chance!

December 14, 2013

I just finished watching "Les Revenants" ("The Returned"). It has an 8.5 on imdb and it has a really cool dark and eery vibe to it. It aired on SundanceTV in the US so you can download them with english subs :)

April 17, 2014
  • 2013

J'aime bien Les Revenants !

June 18, 2015

Ouais, j'aime beaucoup Les Revenants. Vous pouvez aussi le regarder sur Netflix aux Etats-Unis :)

January 4, 2016
  • 2013

Je pense que le premier saison de Les Revenants est plus meilleur que le deuxième saison.

April 3, 2017

French radio stations online:

I don't have access to youtube at the moment, but a quick Google search provides a link to the French "Extrt@" playlist:
As I said, I can't access it, so I don't know if the Google link is correct. It's a "comedy" series aimed at language learners. I haven't seen the French one, but the German one is very well done and helpful.

Edit: It occurs to me now that dasalasmarquez's link may also be for "Extr@". If that's the case, sorry for double-posting!

December 12, 2013

Oh my god this reminds me of "Hélène et les garçons" and "Les filles d'à côté" (really sh*ty French TV shows aired back in the 90s.)

December 12, 2013

When I saw the German version I thought it reminded me of crappy ABC shows like "Full House" (also from the 90's) and was very tempted to turn it off and move on. I got past the first episode and was hooked though. Once you realize that they focused more on the language learning than production value/cheesy acting/laugh track, you start to enjoy the show and the story a little more. It really was worth while and I still go back and watch it regularly for practice, each time catching more than the previous time. I hope the French is as worthwhile.

December 12, 2013

I just browsed a bit through the episodes. It seems it's the same story in every language. I'm definitely keeping that in mind for my German practice. [for now I'm not far enough in the tree, I just tried watching an episode and I don't understand much :-( ]

December 12, 2013

Good luck with your German! :-)

December 12, 2013

Les choristes is a good one, it's about a French choir. I found a weird one on netflix the other day called La fee, theres an accent agou on the first e, it's very odd, but the French is easy to understand. and then the last one I would recommend would be Bienvenue chez les ch'tis. Great romantic comedy. We had to watch it in class so I'm going to assume that it is helpful. I'm a sophomore in college by the way and should be in an advanced grammar and composition class if that helps you kind of determine what level they are. I'm not sure if you can find them online, but they're all decent movies.

Another tip, if you have any DVDs, see if you can change the language on them. Sometimes they make small mistakes, but they're a great tool because you can watch them in english and then in french so you know the basics of the movie and can guess what they are saying.

Netflix, you can put on french subtitles for any show or movie that you watch. Just found that out. I know it's not in french, but every little bit helps.

Hope that helps.

December 12, 2013

Careful with Bienvenue chez les ch'tis, part of it is in the Northern dialect :-) But the moments they speak it are clearly highlighted.

December 16, 2013

Try Kaeloo which is a french "children's" cartoon that's actually quite mature (by US standards) and funny. You can find it on youtube

December 14, 2013
  • 2013

For children's videos in French, I found "Sherlock Yak, Zoo Detective". I'm not sure if it is French, or Canadian, I see it is also translated into Spanish. The director of a zoo, a yak, is also the zoo's detective. He solves mysteries with his assistant, a cat. Each episode is about 12 minutes long.

March 30, 2016
December 12, 2013

Thanks! Looks like a nice show. :)

December 12, 2013

do a search on "extra french avec sous-titres"

December 12, 2013


Well, I don't know if that works outside of France, but here you have "replays" of French TV (TV shows, movies...): -------------

Tell me if it works wherever you are, I'm interested!

December 12, 2013

I like "Extras", and all the episodes are on YouTube. First one:

Having the subtitles in French and also listening in French really helps because the show is easy to comprehend so you get fully immersed.

December 25, 2013

Hello everyone,

I know that my French isn't good enough but I'd like to watch Engrenages (Spiral) online but with some English or at least French subtitles. Does anyone know such a website?

August 5, 2014

OMG, I don't know if you ever ended up watching it, but definitely DO watch Engrenages if you can. There's no way I could understand it without subtitles, but I'm hoping some day I can!

March 29, 2016

I did, tried my best even without French subtitles. I'm doing decently with listening in comparison to writing or speaking for that matter.

January 11, 2017

Don't know but i've been searching for this for about a year too. Don't the French subtitle their DVDs?

September 2, 2015

You can watch Spiral with French audio and English subtitles on American Netflix. If you don't live in the USA, just use a proxy, such as Hola plugin for chrome.

October 31, 2015
  • 2013

I have found Spiral on Netflix.

April 3, 2017
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