Need New Films? The Best Filipino Movies

What are the best Filipino Movies? 

The Philippines is full of culture with diverse influences from many invading countries in the past – and the entertainment industry is not crossed off the list. Creating Pelikulang Pilipino (Cinema of the Philippines) started during the late 1900s – and for a good reason. We have different actors and actresses showcasing the talent a Filipino can offer when it comes to acting worldwide.

The Philippines has a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant film industry that has existed since the late 1900s. From classic dramas and comedies to independent and digital productions, the Philippine movie industry, or Pelikulang Pilipino, has produced a wide range of films that have captivated audiences in the Philippines and internationally.

In this post, we will discuss the Top 10 Best Filipino Movies of All Time

They showcase the creativity and ingenuity of Filipino filmmakers and their dedication to producing quality films that tell the stories of the Filipino people. 

These movies offer entertainment and a glimpse of the rich culture and history of the Philippines.

best filipino movies

How is the Filipino movie industry?

The Filipino movie industry, also known as Pelikulang Pilipino, exists since the late 1900s. It has gone through many ups and downs, but it emerged as one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic film industries. The industry has produced many Filipino movies, from classic dramas and comedies to independent and digital productions.

The industry also faced many challenges, including censorship, financial constraints, and competition from foreign films. However, it has been able to overcome these obstacles and produce films that reflect the unique culture and history of the Philippines. Ever since, the Philippines cinema has been booming in exporting its movies to other countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In recent years, the industry has seen a surge in independent and digital filmmaking. With more and more filmmakers exploring themes and topics that are relevant to contemporary Philippine society. This has led to a new wave of Filipino cinema that is more diverse, experimental, and socially conscious.

What is the original Filipino movie?

The history of Filipino cinema dates back to the early 1900s when foreign entrepreneurs brought the first moving pictures to the country. 

It was not until 1919, however, that the Philippines released the first Filipino-produced and directed film, “Dalagang Bukid” (Country Maiden). The movie, directed by José Nepomuceno, tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a city boy. The challenge? They must navigate the cultural differences between their rural and urban backgrounds.

Despite the challenges faced by the nascent film industry, “Dalagang Bukid” became a commercial success and helped establishing the Filipino film industry. The film’s themes of love, social class, and cultural identity resonated with audiences. It aslo and paved the way for other Filipino filmmakers to create movies that reflected the country’s unique cultural heritage.

Over the years, Philippine cinema has grown and evolved, with filmmakers exploring various themes and genres. From the golden age of Philippine cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, which produced classic Filipino movies such as “Genghis Khan” and “Anak Dalita,” to the modern era of independent cinema and digital filmmaking. The industry continues to thrive and captivate audiences both in the Philippines and abroad.

best filipino movies

What are the main themes of Filipino movies?

Filipino movies explore a wide range of themes that reflect the country’s unique cultural heritage. These themes include love, family, social class, cultural identity, history, and politics. From classic dramas and comedies to war films and documentaries, Philippine cinema offers a diverse range of perspectives and stories that capture the essence of what it means to be Filipino.

One of the most prominent themes in Filipino movies is love. 

Love stories are a staple in Philippine cinema, and they come in all forms – from romantic dramas to romantic comedies. These movies often depict the struggles and triumphs of love, and they showcase how love can change a person’s life.

Family is another important theme in Filipino movies. 

The importance of family is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture, and many movies highlight the role of the family in shaping a person’s identity and values. These movies often depict the complexities of family relationships and showcase how families come together, support each other, and overcome adversity.

Social class is also a theme in Filipino movies, particularly dramas. 

Filipino movies depict people’s struggles from different social classes and how their lives intersect. They often highlight the injustices and inequalities in society and the challenges people face when trying to overcome them.

Cultural identity is another important theme in Filipino movies. 

These movies frequently highlight the abundant cultural heritage of the Philippines and the numerous influences that have contributed to forming the country’s identity. They showcase the Filipino people’s distinctive habits, rituals, and traditions and how these things have developed over time.

History and politics are also themes that are explored in Filipino movies. 

The nation’s turbulent history, including its periods of colonization, conflict, and political instability frequently appeared in these movies. They illustrate the efforts that the people of the Philippines endured to gain their freedom, as well as the difficulties that the Filipino people continue to confront in the present day.

That said, we can all agree on how the industry embarked on every stepping stone until its success today. Any Filipino movies can be noticed, from revealing the actual characteristics of modern society to producing films with different influences. 

Top 10 Best Filipino Movies of All Time

1. Himala (IMDb 8.1)

Himala is undoubtedly one of the greatest Filipino movies of all time. The term “Himala” means miracle. The movie starring Nora Aunor – a Filipino screen legend, portrays the story of a villager who said that the Virgin Mary paid a visit to her, which explains the title. 

After the visit, Elsa (Nora Aunor) claims that a life-changing experience happened, giving her extraordinary healing power. Some villagers were overwhelmed, and the sick people immediately took advantage, while it caused panic in others.

The movie was released on Christmas Day in 1982 and won Best Film. Then the title “Best Actress” for Nora Aunor in the Metro Manila Film Festival the same year. It also became the first Filipino film to be included in the competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

You can watch Himala for free on this link.

2. Oro, Plata, Mata (IMDb 7.9)

Oro, Plata, Mata is a famous Filipino movie that has gained international recognition – mainly from the Chicago International Film Festival, over the years. The multi-awarded Filipino filmmaker Peque Gallaga directed the film, released in 1982.

This dramatic war film tells the story of two wealthy families in the Philippines, both of whom are trying to survive during the occupation of the Japanese regime in the country. Oro, Plata, Mata is a must-watch for anyone interested in Filipino-Japanese culture and history. Or for anyone who appreciates a well-crafted and compelling story.

The Oro, Plata, and Mata movie is accessible on this link.

3. Metro Manila (IMDb 7.6)

Directed by Sean EllisMetro Manila is a movie about Oscar Ramirez and his family moving from rural life in Banaue to the bustling city of Manila in search of a better life. The film was shot entirely in Manila, which gives the viewers a real glimpse of life in the city.

Metro Manila was released in 2013 as a British independently-produced movie. This movie is so powerful and moving as it captures the essence of living in Manila. It was also selected as the British Entry at the 86th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category. Unfortunately, the movie was not nominated.

Watch the full movie of Metro Manila for free on this link.

4. Four Sisters and a Wedding (IMDb 7.2)

Four Sisters and a Wedding is undoubtedly one of the Filipino movies that have captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide. The movie’s story is beautifully written, with powerful dialogues that will resonate with anyone with a big family – let alone four big sisters.

The movie is about appreciating the importance of family, mainly if a wedding is coming up. The four sisters, played by Toni Gonzaga, Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, and Shaina Magdayao, each have a distinct personality and backstory that puts the wedding of CJ (Enchong Dee) to Antoinette (Angeline Quinto) in jeopardy.

Four Sisters and a Wedding is a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and family, and you can watch its full movie for free here.

5. Graceland (IMDb 6.6)

Graceland is one of the best Filipino movies where a father-daughter love is tested in a world where corruption, poverty, and family loyalty are showing off. The movie is centered around a father named Marlon Villar, portrayed by Arnold Reyes, a driver for a powerful and corrupt politician. Marlon’s world gets turned upside down when his daughter is kidnapped. Instead of the politician’s daughter, he is blackmailed by an unknown assailant.

The sense of tension and danger you will get from this film has earned its place as one of the best Filipino movies of all time. Released in 2012, the movie captures life’s gritty and oppressive nature when involved with a politician.

Watch the full movie for free here.

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6. The Kingmaker (IMDb 7.6)

The Kingmaker is a documentary film that explores the political career of the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. Directed by Lauren Greenfield, the film is a powerful and thought-provoking examination of the Marcos family’s controversial legacy in the Philippines. The film takes viewers on a journey through Imelda’s life, from her humble beginnings in a small town to her rise to power as the wife of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

The movie is a must-watch for anyone interested in politics, history, or documentary type of film. It has a compelling and engaging story that offers a unique perspective on one of the most controversial figures in the country’s modern history.

You can watch The Kingmaker movie for free on this link.

7. Norte, the End of History (IMDb 7.5)

Love, loss, and redemption are the themes of Norte, the End of HistoryThis movie lasted over four hours and was first seen at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It also received wide acclaim for its enthralling, psychic story and cinematography, which grounds the awards the movie gained from the 2014 Gawad Urian Awards.

The characters are fully realized and multidimensional, grappling with their demons and striving to find meaning and purpose in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving. The Norte, the End of History, is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience a transcendent film.

Watch the Norte, the End of History full movie for free on this link.

8. Caregiver (IMDb 6.4)

The Caregiver is a masterpiece and one of the best Filipino movies of all time. Starred by Sharon Cuneta, also known as the Megastar, the movie highlights the struggles of every overseas Filipino worker (OFW) as a caretaker. What makes Caregiver stand out is its knack for balancing drama with comedy. The movie has several heartwarming scenes that are sure to make you both laugh and cry at the same time.

Released in 2008 with director Chito S. Rono, the movie served Sharon Cuneta to bag Film Actress of the Year at the 2009 Box-Office Entertainment Awards. The level of authenticity of this film truly depicts the struggles of OFWs and the sacrifice they make to feed their families.

Watch the full movie for free here.

9. One More Chance (IMDb 7.4)

The film stars John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, two of the most talented and famous actors in the Philippines, starred in this romantic drama film released in 2007.

One More Chance tells the story of Popoy and Basha, two college sweethearts together for five years. However, they decide to break their relationship when Basha realizes she wants to pursue her career goals. Which leaves Popoy feeling hurt and betrayed. This is a must-watch for those looking for a powerful and emotional movie where love, heartbreak, forgiveness, and second chances are explored.

Watch One More Chance’s full movie for free here.

10. Hello, Love, Goodbye (IMDb 7.3)

This romantic-drama film, directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, tells the story of two Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who fall in love while working in Hong Kong. This movie depicts the challenges and sacrifices that migrant workers often face while working abroad, such as being homesick, dealing with demanding employers, struggling to save money, and prioritizing a love life.

Apart from the excellent storytelling and dialogues, the movie’s cinematography is the stunning visuals of Hong Kong’s busy streets and skyscrapers. Truly, Hello, Love, Goodbye is one of the best, highest-grossing Filipino movies of all time. The chemistry between the lead actors, Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, is undeniable.

Watch the full movie for free on this link.

best filipino movies

Not Enough Time? What are the best 5 Filipino movies?

Are you too busy too watch all 10 movies? Here’s a selection of the best five movies.

The Filipino movies in this post are a mix of classic and modern films. What they have in common is that they captured the hearts of audiences’ hearts in the Philippines and worldwide. 

Himala” is a timeless masterpiece that explores themes of faith, miracle, and human nature. 

Oro, Plata, Mata” is a war movie which depicts two wealthy families’ struggles during the Japanese occupation. 

Metro Manila” offers a glimpse of life in the bustling city of Manila.

Four Sisters and a Wedding” is a heartwarming family drama showcasing the family’s importance. 

Lastly, “Graceland” is a tense and gripping thriller exploring the dark underbelly of Philippine politics and corruption. 

These movies offer a diverse and influential representation of Philippine cinema and culture for if you’re busy.

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