Ugh, there is nothing on!
Remember the old days of channel surfing?
Before streaming services, you just had to hope there was something interesting on TV—or plan your life around the TV Guide.
Thankfully, those days are gone.
Now that we have got options like Amazon Prime Video, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. And German videos are no exception.
If you are looking for fun new ways to boost your language skills, you can start tonight by streaming German movies. We will show you five flicks from a variety of genres, which will all supercharge your listening comprehension and vocabulary skills in different ways.
So put down that remote and get streaming!
What Makes Amazon Prime a Good Source for German Movies?
Movies are a great tool when it comes to learning a language, and you will find plenty of German options to choose from on Amazon Prime.
Amazon frequently updates its Prime Video selection, so there is a good chance that there will always be something new to watch whenever you log in.
You will also see that there are a few recent releases on Amazon Prime—you will not have to wait around for months for a movie to come out like you would have to on the mainstream TV channels.
If you are looking for even more German movies to stream, check out FluentU.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or practice anytime, anywhere on the mobile app for iOS and Android.
Sit Back, Relax and Stream the Best German Movies on Amazon Prime
Note: All of the movies on this list were available at the time of publication. Because Amazon rotates its selection, you’ll have to check the availability of each of these offerings.
“Edelweisspiraten” (“Edelweiss Pirates”)
You might have already heard about the Edelweisspiraten if you have spent some time studying German history. They were a group of young Germans who helped with the Nazi resistance during World War II. The movie tells their story and shows how they took on the Hitler Youth and Gestapo.
During the movie, the group of young friends befriend an escaped convict who helps them sabotage the German war effort further.
You might recognize the convict if you are an avid fan of German music, as he is played by Bela B, the drummer from the pop-punk band Die Ärzte.
“Bis Gleich” (“Till Then”)
No time to sit down and watch a feature-length movie? No problem. I have got just the movie for you! “Bis Gleich” is a short film that clocks in at only 20 minutes.
This sweet film tells the tale of an elderly couple who live across the road from each other. Though they share a daily routine, they have never met face-to-face, until a twist of fate brings them together in an unexpected way.
This charming film is not too heavy on dialogue, so it will be perfect for beginner learners to follow as they do not have to worry about losing track of what is going on.
As it is slow-paced, it is a great film for any learner to pop on when they do not really feel like studying. You can simply sit back and let the sweet story wash over you!
In fact, this movie is so simple to understand, you could even watch it with some of your friends or family who are not learning German. The plot is super easy to pick up and the sparse dialogue is really there to add a richness to the characters and their situation.
“Der Architekt” (“The Architect”)
“Der Architekt” is the story of Georg Winter, an award-winning architect who is called back to his home village to attend his mother’s funeral. His wife and two adult children travel with him to the snowy village up in the mountains to see where he grew up.
However, during their time there, the arrival of the mysterious Hannah and her son, Alex, brings up some hard truths from Georg’s past.
The family are then stuck together with the architect and his secrets when an avalanche cuts off the village from the outside world for a few days. The movie was directed by Ina Weisse, a famous actress in Germany known for her roles in TV shows like “Tatort” (“Crime Scene”).
As you might already know, European cinema is generally a lot more laid-back when it comes to portraying nudity and, as you can see from the above trailer, there is some full-frontal nudity in this movie. It covers quite a few adult topics, which are only suitable for an older audience.
These types of topics are often quite difficult to understand in a foreign language, so this film is most suitable for advanced learners.
If you know anything about Berlin in the 1990s, you probably already know that it had a reputation for being a big party city. “Berlinized” is a documentary that looks back at Berlin in the early and mid ’90s and its raucous party scene.
You will see a lot of original video footage from parties and concerts, and there are also plenty of interviews with some of the main movers and shakers from back then.
The dialogue in this documentary is quite fast-paced, so it is a good idea to wait until you have a particularly strong grasp of German before you watch the movie. If you ever get a bit confused about what is going on, you can always turn the subtitles on by selecting them in the settings.
There are some English-speaking interviewees in the documentary, and they are subtitled in German—it is worth leaving the subtitles on so that you can read the German ones and squeeze in some reading practice!
Written in 1881 by the Swiss author Johanna Spyri, “Heidi” is one of the most famous works of literature to come out of Switzerland. This popular Swiss tale is about the eponymous character, who is raised in the Alps by her grandfather. However, Heidi is then sent to live with an upper-class family in Frankfurt.
The story then shows how she struggles in her new home and eventually starts to adjust to her new surroundings.
This is a classic children’s story that has enchanted kids for well over a century. It is a straightforward tale, one that is extremely easy to follow. As it is a kids’ movie, you can expect that the language is simple enough for German learners of all levels.
If you ever get confused by the plot, you can always switch on the subtitles for a bit. It is also a nice idea to read the book (in German, of course!) before you watch the movie so that there is no chance of you missing anything in the story!
This movie includes audio options in German (as well as English).
Now all that is left to do is binge your way through this list!
Laura Harker is a freelance writer based in North Yorkshire, U.K.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.