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The history of Canadian cinema is just as bright as that of its American neighbors, but for some reason it doesn’t get as much hype as it deserves. The very first feature film evangeline, manufactured by a Canadian company, dates back to 1913 when it enjoyed both critical and commercial success. Many other Canadian films have remained so over the years, but are rarely seen in the “best films” list.



According to The Varsity, Canadian cinema is largely overshadowed by American cinema, particularly Hollywood films. In short, this has led to a systemic lack of support for developing Anglo-Canadian talent on their own soil. In fact, it’s no secret that many Canadian artists migrate to Hollywood or New York in search of better opportunities – just look at the number of Canadian actors in the MCU! We’re here to remind you that there are indeed quality Canadian productions, especially from the 2010s, that are worth your time. Here’s our list of the top eight.

8th Sleeping Giant (2015)

Named for the Sleeping Giant Cliffs in Thunder Bay, Ontario sleeping giant is a Canadian drama film. It was developed from a short film that had already won major critics awards. The plot follows three teenagers who form an unbreakable friendship during summer vacation. The friendship is fueled by raging hormones accompanied by reckless behavior such as jumping off high cliffs. Director Andrew Cividino beautifully captured the fragile but strong bond of male friendship at such a perilous chapter in everyone’s life. It carries a certain sense of nostalgia that wins all hearts.

See also: Best Coming of Age Movies of the 2010s, Ranked

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7 mom (2014)

Canada seems to excel at making dramatic films as we have one more on our list. This time it’s called the 2014 film mummy, which is closely linked to a mother-son relationship. The mother struggles to contain his son with anger issues to prevent him from being institutionalized until a neighbor shows up and helps her. There’s no denying that there’s a certain gay subtext between the two women who take care of son Steve together. The film shows how loving people don’t really save her. Director Xavier Dolan also decided to unconventionally shoot the film in a 1:1 aspect ratio, which is an interesting choice for a film.

6 Maudie (2016)

Maudie is a biographical drama about the life of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis, played by Sally Hawkins. It follows her life as a person struggling with rheumatoid arthritis while working as a housekeeper for Everett Lewis, played by Ethan Hawke. Following the film’s release and popularity, there was an upsurge in interest in Lewis’ art. Hawkins proved to be an amazing actress for the way she embodied Lewis’ character. Hawke also played his role as a despicable man perfectly. Both the film and the paintings will definitely make you cry.


5 FUBAR 2 (2010)

That FUBAR franchise has become a cult classic since its release in 2002. The first film follows two lifelong best friends Terry and Dean, headbangers who constantly drink beer during their daily lives and adventures. the second movie FUBAR: Balls against the wall, who is released eight years later, and follows the two on their way across the country to turn the oil industry into a gold mine. The special thing about this film are the improvised lines of the two main actors: David Lawrence and Paul Spence.

4 Arsons (2010)

Incenses is a drama film directed by Denis Villeneuve that tells the story of twins who travel to the Middle East to uncover their mother’s secrets and fulfill her last wishes. Even if the country is not mentioned, it is believed that the story takes place in the middle of the Lebanese civil war. The film was also nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. Although Villeneuve’s filmography is flawless anyway, Incenses highlights his best qualities in such a way that directors in Hollywood can be just as jealous of his abilities.

Also see: Here are some of the best Canadian films of all time

3 Stories We Tell (2012)

stories we tell is a documentary film directed and written by Sarah Polley who decided to investigate and unveil her family’s mysteries. It focuses on Polley’s parents and how she is the result of an extramarital affair, as well as other historical events in her family’s life. You can watch the story just as well as the real version of the Mamma Mia! movies. The film received critical acclaim, having been named one of the top 10 Canadian films of all time by the Toronto Film Festival and being included in the BBC’s list of the greatest films of all time.

2 Rebels (2012)

rebel or war witch is a dramatic war film that revolves around 14-year-old girl Komona, played by Rachel Mwanza, as her life grows as she is forced to become a Civil War soldier. The film is narrated by Komona herself as she tells her unborn child the story of her unhappy life. Komona is also believed to be a witch in the community. The filming is so gripping that one hardly forgets that it is not a documentary. It shows the sad reality of thousands of children around the world who are forced to fight adult wars.


1 Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

Last but not least, Monsieur Lashar is a French-language drama that tells the story of an Algerian substitute teacher who helps his new students deal with grief after their previous teacher committed suicide. As he navigates the students through this difficult time, Lazhar must also confront his own struggles and losses from his past. The film can be viewed without hesitation; Despite dealing with suicide, there are no triggering scenes to consider. Instead, it focuses on the heartwarming relationship between the teacher and the students, as well as the theme of joint Algerian immigration to Montréal and the adjustment process they go through.

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