Best French-Canadian Movies of the 2000s, Ranked

Some of the best Canadian movies are linked to the French region of Canada, with several of the most accomplished filmmakers, like the late Jean-Marc Vallée and acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve having come from Quebec. Indeed, this region of Canadian cinema has many historical ties to the film industry, and it has been notable for producing some of the best talent in the country.

French-Canadian movies have been gaining attention for many decades, however, modern filmmakers such as Xavier Dolan have provided a resurgence in public attention to French-Canadian narratives. With a focus on quotidian lives of the diverse population of people in Quebec, French-Canadian cinema has been praised for its overall examination of the human condition. Here are the best French Canadian movies of the 2000s, ranked.


7 Borderline

Borderline was released in 2008 and was directed by Lyne Charlebois, telling the story of Kiki, a literature student at Montreal university, who suffers from borderline personality disorder and is reminiscing on her past as she turns 30. We see her past through flashbacks, showing her unstable up-bringing, which manifested later in life in her struggles with intimacy. The film is a powerful story of self-reflection and is directed beautifully.

Related: Best French-Canadian Movies of the 2010s, Ranked

6 Everything is Fine

Everything is Fine was directed by Yves-Christian Fournier and tells the story of a young man named Josh (Maxime Dumontier), who experiences severe trauma when his four closest friends all commit suicide. It is assumed that his friends were in on a suicide pact, which leaves Josh wondering why he was not included in this, spending the rest of the film trying to make sense of his grief.

5 Maelstrom

Maelstrom is a psychological drama which was written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, being released in 2000. The film tells the story of Bibiane (Marie-Josée Croze), a rich part-time model who begins to question her life after she is left with trauma from a miscarriage. She descends into substance abuse and becomes romantically involved with the son of a man that she killed in a hit-and-run during an evening of drunk driving. The film was a huge critical success and was highly awarded at events such as the Genie Awards and the Montreal Film Festival.

4 Far Side of the Moon

Far Side of the Moon is a 2003 film directed by Robert Lepage. Lepage also stars as the main character, divorcé Philippe Rogere, who is struggling to fund his education when his mother unexpectedly dies, which leaves him confused and lost. He becomes overwhelmed with grief and searches for his estranged brother in order to attempt to mend their relationship and find a connection. The film received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Related: Best Canadian Movies of the 2000s, Ranked

3 Polytechnic

Polytechnic is a 2009 film also directed by Villeneuve, starring Maxim Gaudette, Sebastien Huberdeau, and Karine Vanasse. The film is based on the 1989 event known as the Montreal Massacre, as outlined by The Guardian, which is re-enacted through the eyes of two students who witness the horrifying tragedy of a misogynistic gunman as he murders 14 young women. The film is disturbing, but emotionally moving, and received many awards after its release.

2 The Barbarian Invasions

The Barbarian Invasions was released in 2003 and was directed by Denys Arcand, starring Rémy Girard, Stéphane Rousseau, and Marie-Josée Croze. The movie is a sequel to the 1986 movie The Decline of the American Empire, and continues the story of Remy, who in this film is terminally ill with cancer. This leads to him reconnecting with his son, who is a finance worker in London, much different to his socialist father. They reconnect and discuss the complexities of life through lots of moving conversations. The film received positive reviews and was the first Canadian film to win in the Best Foreign Language category at the Oscars.


CRAZY is a 2005 coming-of-age film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, which tells the story of Zac, a young gay man who endures homophobia while growing up in Quebec in the 1960s and 70s. He is conflicted with his Catholic upbringing and deals with emotions of shame that isolate him from his family. The film features a particularly interested soundtrack and was a huge commercial success as well as a hit with critics alike.

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