Your next favorite TV show or movie could come from anywhere — and it’s most likely not from the West. Case in point: Netflix’s biggest show of all time, Squid Game, proved last year that a South Korean drama series could top the streaming charts. As the demand for international entertainment options increases, global streaming giants have invested in making movies and series from across the world accessible.

With so many options to choose from, we can understand it’s hard to know just where to start. Whether you’re in the mood for an extravagant Indian blockbuster, a Chinese reality TV binge or an Indonesian film festival darling, we’ve got you. Following the love we received for our inaugural international streaming guide last year, we asked our team of reporters and editors around the world to recommend the best thing they’ve watched this year, and where you can stream it. We hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

Yosi, the Regretful Spy

Inspired by real-life events, this spy thriller, set in the early 90s, follows a young intelligence operative working for the federal police, who infiltrates a Jewish community in Buenos Aires. His higher-ups inform him that the sting operation is an effort to collect information about a plan to establish a new Jewish state in Patagonia. In truth, the information is being used for a much more sinister purpose, leading up to the 1992 suicide bombing of the Israeli Embassy. A dark but engrossing story of Argentina’s antisemitic history, this show was originally produced as a mini-series but has now been picked up for a second season.

Country: Argentina
Format: Series
Language: Spanish
Genre: Thriller/Historical Drama

How to watch? Amazon Prime Video


This sweeping adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s bestselling historical fiction novel follows a Korean family through several generations, spanning nearly 80 years. The series is a rare spotlight on the stories of Zainichi Koreans –– a long-marginalized ethnic community within Japan –– but it’s also a moving multigenerational family portrait. It tracks one family from the colonial occupation of Korea in the early 1900s through to the discrimination they faced as eventual immigrants in Japan. The scale of this historical saga is matched by extravagant production design and costume work, and lush cinematography. The Korean and Japanese-speaking cast includes Academy Award winner Youn Yuh-jung (Minari).

Country: South Korea
Format: Series
Language: Korean, Japanese, English
Genre: Historical/Family Drama

How to watch? Apple TV+

Dubai Bling

Following the runaway success of the Dubai edition of the The Real Housewives franchise, Netflix is launching its own reality TV series that promises to capture the gaudy luxury of Dubai’s wealthy elites. Unlike Housewives, the show will feature an all-Arab cast chock-full of influencers, socialites, CEOs and, well, some housewives, too. Dropping on October 27, if the trailer is any indication, it will be an easy binge-watch for reality TV fanatics looking for high drama with low stakes.

Country: UAE
Format: Series
Language: Arabic, English
Genre: Reality

How to watch? Netflix

Neptune Frost

Neptune Frost brings an art-house flair to Rwandan cinema. Neptune, a hacker by trade, travels to an e-waste dump inhabited by societal outcasts who mine coltan ore. Together, they form a hacker collective and attempt a rebellion against a colonial regime that exploits the natural resources of the area. Set in the hills of Burundi, the film is an Afrofuturist, cyberpunk trip from director, musician, rapper and poet Saul Williams. Its commentary on resource extraction aside, the film is a must-watch for its pulsating soundtrack and out-of-this-world visuals.

Country: Rwanda
Format: Movie
Language: English, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi
Genre: Drama/Musical

How to watch? Amazon Prime Video, YouTube


If you haven’t watched the powerful performances of Tamil actor Dhanush, Karnan is the perfect opportunity to correct that mistake. Set in a village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Karnan tells the story of a young man who fights for the rights and dignity of his fellow villagers, many of whom are from the marginalized Dalit community. The younger generation in the village begins a fight against caste discrimination, typified by the local government’s refusal to provide a bus stop for the village. It’s a long film, but if you stick with it, there is a rollercoaster of emotions to experience, and a handful of powerful performances.

Country: India 
Format: Movie
Language: Tamil
Genre: Drama

How to watch? Amazon Prime Video

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Walter Mercado was a queer Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer who hosted a talk show in the 90s for Spanish speakers across Latin America. At its height, the program reached over 120 million households. This Netflix documentary not only traces the rise of the legendary TV personality, who was known for his dazzling capes and captivating mystic persona, but also includes scenes with Mercado himself in an intimate portrait of the last years of his life. The documentary features appearances by fans –– Lin-Manuel Miranda included –– who speak to Mercado’s influence and legacy.

Country: U.S.
Format: Movie
Language: English
Genre: Documentary/Biopic

How to watch? Netflix


This drama from the young breakout writer-director Wregas Bhanuteja follows Sur, a university student who loses her scholarship after photos of her drinking are circulated online. She has no memory of the night when they were taken, while she was at a party hosted by the campus theater group. Together with a close friend, she sets out to investigate what happened that night and find out who took the pictures. Their search leads them to uncover a pattern of abuse by members of the theater group. Deftly taking on heavy topics such as campus sexual abuse in contemporary Indonesia, Photocopier was lauded at the 2021 Busan International Film Festival.

Country: Indonesia
Format: Movie
Language: Bahasa Indonesia
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

How to watch? Netflix


The international reality competition show Chuang (or Produce Camp) is a phenomenon. Each series sees the formation of a boy band in real time, with viewers around the world voting for their favorites. Last year’s edition was the fourth and final installation, but though the hype cycle may be over, Tencent Video gives you the option of going back to binge past seasons. The latest edition featured contestants from around the world, including Thailand and Russia (which had sparked some controversy in China). Each episode is a chance to see top-notch vocal, dance, and musical talent from these idols in the making.

Country: China
Format: Series
Language: Mandarin
Genre: Reality/Competition

How to watch? WeTV

Spy x Family

With over 26 million print copies sold, Spy x Family has long been a manga heavyweight in Japan. Now, its anime adaptation is one of the most popular series in the country, telling the unlikely story of a spy who needs to build a fake family for his missions, not realizing that his fake wife is an assassin and his fake daughter is a telepath who can read minds. It’s a comedic series, but one with a surprising amount of heart.

Country: Japan
Format: Series
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime

How to watch? Hulu, Crunchyroll

Silverton Siege

Inspired by true events, Silverton Siege depicts a 1980 hostage crisis in South Africa. After facing an ambush by the police, three anti-apartheid freedom fighters take over a nearby bank in Pretoria. The siege escalates after they demand the release of Nelson Mandela in exchange for the hostages. A gripping thriller, the movie is made by its period-piece backdrop and strong leading performances, including a turn by veteran South African actor Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy, Blood Diamond).

Country: South Africa
Format: Movie
Language: English
Genre: Crime/Historical Drama

How to watch? Netflix


RRR is the third highest-grossing Indian film ever (and the most expensive), and it lives up to every expectation you’d have of such a blockbuster. Extravagance, larger-than-life action sequences, incredibly choreographed song and dance scenes, and lots of slow-motion eye candy fill the three-hour run time. The film has been praised for its maximalist approach to filmmaking that can, at times, put Hollywood superhero movies to shame.

Country: India
Format: Movie
Language: Telugu
Genre: Action

How to watch? Netflix

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

This documentary follows Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year in the remote village of Bakhta, which is inhabited by just 300 people. A portrait of life in the Taiga, the expansive forest that stretches across the region, the film is co-directed by Dmitry Vasyukov and the legendary documentary filmmaker Werner Herzog, who also voiced its English narration. One scene depicts a man felling a tree to turn into skis; another shows parents rubbing tar on their children to keep away mosquitoes. Originally released in 2013, the film is an immersive look at how communities in Siberia brave some of the most extreme conditions in the natural world.

Country: Russia
Format: Movie
Language: Russian, English
Genre: Documentary/Nature

How to watch? Amazon Prime Video, Tubi