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Recent Internationally Released Italian Films


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Terence Hill


Here are some of the highest rated (by viewers and reviewers) internationally released Italian films of recent years. 

I provide links to the Internet Movie Database page for each film via the title and film poster.  And to the film at, if it's available.

And there are links to various reviews that might help you decide if you want to make the effort to see the film when it makes an appearance near you.  (Some are already available on DVD.)

This is not a comprehensive list, but instead of list of some of the best-in-show, so to speak. 

Many Italian films never get international releases.  So if you're in Italy, check out what's showing and see what film jewels you can discover.

La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth)  by Marco Tullio Giordana (2003)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "Spanning four decades, from the chaotic 1960s to the present, director Marco Tullio Giordana’s passionate epic THE BEST OF YOUTH follows two Italian brothers through some of the most tumultuous events of recent Italian history."  For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times:  "Every review of "The Best of Youth" begins with the information that it is six hours long. No good movie is too long, just as no bad movie is short enough. I dropped outside of time and was carried along by the narrative flow; when the film was over, I had no particular desire to leave the theater, and would happily have stayed another three hours. The two-hour limit on most films makes them essentially short stories. "The Best of Youth" is a novel."  To read more...

Io non ho paura (I'm Not Scared) by Gabriele Salvatores (2004)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "Italian director Gabriele Salvatores (MEDITERRANEO) masterfully directs this eerie and engrossing suspense thriller involving a 10-year-old boy who lives in rural southern Italy."  For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by David Denby of The New Yorker:  "“I’m Not Scared,” based on an award-winning novel by the young Niccolò Ammaniti, and adapted by Ammaniti and Francesca Marciano, is a lyrical throwback to such movies as René Clément’s “Forbidden Games” (1952) and other works of the humanist European cinema of a half century ago. Like “Forbidden Games,” the movie reveals the sordidness of adult behavior as it appears to half-comprehending but pure-hearted children."  To read more...

Respiro (Grazia's Island) by Emanuele Crialese (2003)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "On Lampedusa, an island near western Sicily, rival boy gangs play roughly among seaside cliffs. Husbands go out to sea and wives work in the fish-packing plant. Pleasures are simple and fun is restricted to Saturday nights. The reality for all who live on Lampedusa is that island life can be as cruel as it is heartwarming, as suffocating as it is charming."  For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times:  "Fishing and canning are the local industries, everybody lives in everybody else's pockets, and the harsh sun beats down on a landscape of rock and beach, sea and sky, and sand-colored homes surrounded by children and Vespas....Do such people really live on Lampedusa, and is this film an accurate reflection of their lives? I have no idea. I tend to doubt it. But perhaps it doesn't matter, since they exist for the 95 minutes of this film and engage us with their theatricality."  To read more...  Available from

Pane e tulipani (Bread and Tulips) by Silvio Soldini (2001)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "Winner of nine David di Donatello Awards among numerous other international prizes, BREAD AND TULIPS is a charming romantic comedy from director Silvio Soldini. Licia Maglietta is simply magnificent as Rosalba, a fortyish married woman who is abandoned at a rest stop during a family bus trip. Suddenly feeling that something is missing from her life, she hitches her way toward Venice..."   For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by James Berardinelli of Reelviews:  "Director Silvio Soldini has a clear understanding of what audiences want from a motion picture like this, and he delivers it without hesitation - a strong female protagonist, a mature love story that isn't bogged down by saccharine or melodrama, and some effectively realized moments of comedy. Bread and Tulips doesn't offer much in the way of substance, but that doesn't prevent it from having a high enjoyability quotient."    Available from

L'Ultimo bacio (The Last Kiss)  by Gabriele Muccino (2002)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "This intricately woven story centers on four buddies who are all about 30 years old and who are starting to think about settling into a more serious phase of their lives."  For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle:  "Its appeal for American audiences is unmistakable: It's more honest, more daring, more funny and more sexy (and yet somehow less prurient) than the romantic comedies we make on this side of the Atlantic. The subtle cultural differences are fascinating to observe. Here's a movie about an unmarried couple expecting a baby, and neither side of the family is scandalized, and the movie itself doesn't make a fuss about it. Another difference is that attractive young women in "The Last Kiss" have no compunctions about flying into blood-curdling rages so searing they can melt the fillings of guys sitting in the audience watching."  To read more...  Available from

Così ridevano (The Way We Laughed) by Gianni Amelio (2001)

A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  "A working class illiterate, Giovanni (Enrico Lo Verso), takes in his younger brother Pietro (Francesco Giuffrida). Sicilians displaced in late 1950s Turin, Italy, they struggle to get by with Giovanni working odd jobs while he pressures Pietro to keep with his studies."  For a full synopsis and their collection of reviews...

From a review by Kevin Thomas of The Los Angeles Times:  "To watch Gianni Amelio's luminous "The Way We Laughed" is to reconnect with Italian cinema in all its richness of emotion and command of expressive gesture....The film's impact is shocking and charged with the full-bodied emotion seemingly so intrinsic to the Italian nature. This sweeping, confounding conclusion therefore unfolds with a beauty and an ease that seem truly organic. "The Way We Laughed" has that feeling of being a work of art."  Available from

Here are some you can check out for yourself with these links to the IMDB:

I cento passi (One Hundred Steps) by Marco Tullio Giordana (2000)

Dopo mezzanotte (After Midnight) by Davide Ferrario (2004)

La finestra di fronte (The Window Opposite) by Ferzan Ozpetek (2003)

Il cuore altrove also called Incantato (The Heart is Everywhere) by Pupi Avati (2003)

Fellini:  I'm a Born Liar (Fellini:  Je suis un grand menteur) by Damien Pettigrew (2002)

L'embalsamatore (The Embalmer) by Matteo Garrone (2002)

Or try Rotten Tomatoes...  and this list of Italian films Available from



Also see my pages:

Francesco Nuti on Christmas

Biography of Terence Hill

Biografia di Terence Hill

Terence Hill