Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini (2019)
The quote “happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” perfectly sums up the plot of this movie, which centers around a seemingly content family with three children: Angkasa, Aurora, and Awan.
However, things are not as they appear on the surface, and when Awan faces a major setback, she meets Kale, who introduces her to a whole new way of experiencing life.
This Indonesian movie is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. It explores themes of breaking, falling, growing, losing, and facing human fears, while also providing a fresh perspective on the intricate relationships that exist within families. I just know you’ll enjoy it!
English title: One Day, We’ll Talk About Home.
Which of these top Indonesian films do you plan on seeing, and why? Did we miss any good ones, and are there any Indonesian movies (2019) you’ve seen? Let us know!
What’s the best way to use these Indonesian films to boost your skills in Indonesian? Honestly, the simplest way is just to watch them. Put in that time to just get exposed to the language, and you’ll pick up quite a bit naturally.
If you’re interested in putting in a little bit more work to get results faster, it’s a good idea to watch a film (or maybe just an important scene) three times—once with no subtitles, watch the Indonesian movies with English subtitles the second time, and then a third time with no subtitles again, where you’re really paying attention to every word.
If you happen to have a way to get some actual DVDs from Indonesia, they’ll usually have Indonesian captions so that you can follow along and read as you watch. That’s my preferred way to watch foreign-language movies, and it trains your reading and listening skills simultaneously.
And then beyond the language benefit, you get great exposure to pop culture that can’t be studied. Amaze your friends and colleagues by quoting a film or comparing them to one of the characters—and they might be so impressed that they invite you to their next movie night!
That said, all of your practice and hard work will pay off! And IndonesianPod101.com is here to help you achieve greatness in your Indonesian language skills. Visit our array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, podcasts, and MyTeacher program (for Premium Plus members who want a one-on-one learning experience). Our tools + your determination = Indonesian mastery.
Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)
10. What’s Up Love? (Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?)
In Indonesia, this movie got to the cinemas in 2002 as Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?. What’s up with love features a female protagonist, ‘Cinta’. With a chick-flick genre, this movie was and keeps being the most-watch movies for Indonesian youngsters. The plot of this movie was exciting, fun, and of course with a little bit of twist. This movie is consists of the sweet and bitter lives of teenagers, friendship, and puppy love between the protagonists. This movie also completed with a memorable soundtrack that filled the entire movie – a plus point for this movie.
There you go, 10 all-time best Indonesian movies by Flokq. Surely you’ve heard about at least one of them. Do you have any other movies that you considered one of the best? Share with us by commenting down below!
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The Raid (2011)
Semuanya siap? Jalan!
“Everybody ready? Move out!”
The Raid is by far the best-known Indonesian film in the West. It’s known for being absolute, distilled, non-stop action, as it involves a team of highly trained police fighting their way through a decrepit slum building to catch a crime lord.
What the director and actors learned about action filmmaking from Merantau gets turned up to eleven here, with truly heart-pounding sequences of choreography from start to finish. It more than earned its spot on our list of Indonesian movies to watch!
And you’ll still manage to learn some Indonesian from it as well, because the crime boss loves to taunt his pursuers—perhaps even more than is prudent.
5. The Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi)
The rainbow troops or Laskar Pelangi is a movie that adapts from the bestselling book by Andrea Hirata in 2004. The storyline is based on the writer’s childhood life when the writer used to live in a Sumatran remote island named Belitong. The plot of this movie is talking about the life stories of the village children that struggle to achieve a good education and their big dreams in the future. This slice-of-life movie is not only brought up the cheerful life of the children but also the heartbreaking part of the poverty and corruption that persists in Indonesia. The director of the rainbow troops, Riri Riza, succeeds in bringing the sensitivity of this movie and the story also succeeds to reach the audience. Because of that, The Rainbow Troops succeed with a total of 4.6 million cinema audiences in Indonesia. Watch it now on Netflix, and Vidio.
1. The Raid
As one of the movies that succeed to reach the title of best box office movie in Indonesia, The raid is surely a movie that we cay say has its level compared to another local movie. Another thing that might prove how good this movie is – the fact that The Raid was able to get into the US box office and also at that time, this movie was able to secure its place in the 11th position of the most-watched movie.
The Raid surely brings other perspectives to a commoner in how local movies can reach the audience differently compared to before. The story brought up by The Raid is telling about a mission that is given to a special force team to clear out a gang of mafia and get a certain VIP out of their hideout. This movie also succeeds in mixing a traditional martial art, Pencak silat, inside the fights in this movie, make it something that might be unbelievable to watch. You can catch its action on Netflix, Vidio, and Bioskop Online.
Geez and Ann (2021)
Ann is a free-spirited woman who enjoys having casual relationships with men. She meets Geez, and they develop a strong connection.
However, their relationship becomes complicated, and Geez decides to leave Indonesia to follow his dreams.
Ann then meets her boss, Bayu, who makes her feel cherished. The movie revolves around Ann’s struggle to choose between Geez and Bayu, as she navigates her feelings and emotions.
This Indonesian romance movie is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good love triangle. It’s a complex, emotionally-charged story that explores the highs and lows of love and will have you rooting for your favorite couple until the very end.
Dilan 1990 (2018 )
Nanti kita akan bertemu di kantin.
“We’ll meet at the school canteen later.”
Many Indonesian popular movies are romances. Nostalgia for the 1990s isn’t limited to the West. This much-awaited film is based on the best-selling novel Dilan: dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990 or “Dilan: He Was My Dilan, 1990.”
It’s a romance about the one boy at school who’s too cool to care—and yet he’s sure he’s going to end up with the girl. That kind of confidence makes him a total mystery. How are her friends going to react when she tells them?
People all over the world love stories about school romances and adventures. With a film like this, you can see what it’s like to grow up in a school system that’s likely quite different from your own, and yet with enough of the same things for you to be able to connect with the characters.
Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Indonesian.
4. Marlina and The Murderer in Four Acts (Marline si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak)
If you’re looking for more movies that can be added for your next must-watch, we have something for you. Marlina and the murderer in four acts or maybe more popular as Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak is a drama movie helmed by Mouly Surya’s directorial excellence. Marlina and the murderer in four acts is a ‘satay western’ type of movie. It combines the idea of feminism that comes from a Western culture with the Indonesian culture. The movie can be described as pieces that are divided into four parts, this might be new to the Indonesian film industry. This movie talks about the female protagonist, Marlina, that is doing her revenge because she is raped by local men. You can catch the thrill on Netflix.
Perahu Kertas (2012)
Kugy and Keenan’s love story is full of twists and turns. Kugy, a lively tomboy, has a special ritual of turning her thoughts into paper boats.
Meanwhile, Keenan, a painter at heart, is pressured by his father to pursue economics. As their relationship faces various challenges, they eventually fall out of friendship.
This film touches on themes of kindness, honesty, determination, and simplicity.
If you’re in the mood for a heart-warming romance, you won’t want to miss this Indonesian film. It’s a beautiful love story that will sweep you off your feet and make your heart skip a beat. From the first scene to the last, you’ll be rooting for the characters and believing in the power of true love.
Indonesia has a vibrant cinema industry with a plethora of interesting films to choose from.
Whether you’re a fan of heart-warming dramas or action-packed thrillers, there’s no shortage of captivating content to explore.
I hope this list has piqued your interest and inspired you to dive deeper into the world of Indonesian movies.
And if you’re hungry for more great Asian dramas, don’t forget to check out my list of short Kdramas with less than 6 episodes. You definitely don’t want to miss out on these gems!
Adikku akan menjadi Raden Ayu.
“My child will become royalty.”
It’s the late 19th century, and Indonesia is very different from today. The Dutch East India Company maintains political control, while the local Javanese regents run things in Central Java. Perhaps you can imagine that this is not a world where women have a whole lot of autonomy. Our heroine Kartini wants to change that.
This is the true story of Indonesia’s most famous woman emancipator, who worked so hard for her cause that she’s still memorialized every year with a national holiday: Hari Kartini or “Kartini Day.”
Language learners may be interested in the film as it authentically introduces quite a lot of Javanese phrases, seeing as the Indonesian language wasn’t standardized until the 1940s. Fortunately, there are subtitles for those sections.
Habibi & Ainun (2012)
Habibi is a brilliant young man with an ambitious dream to unify Indonesia through the creation of an airplane.
His love story with Ainun, a young doctor, is just as captivating. Together, they set out to pursue Habibi’s dream, moving to Germany to make it a reality.
The story of their lives is not only inspiring for Habibi’s unwavering determination, but also for the depth of their relationship and the love they shared.
If you’re looking for a movie that will touch your heart and inspire you to chase your dreams, this Indonesian movie is a must-watch. Habibi and Ainun is a beautiful story of hope, perseverance, and the transformative power of love that will leave you feeling uplifted and ready to take on the world.
Hujan Bulan Juni (2017)
Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana.
“I want to love you simply.”
Is there anything more romantic than a poem-based love story?
Sapardi Djoko Damono’s well-known poem was turned into a feature film of the same name, a title which means “Rain in June.”
In the film, a literature professor named Pingkan gets the opportunity to travel to Japan for an extended study period. Her longtime significant other, Sarwono, feels left behind by this, and asks to accompany her to her hometown when she gives a lecture. Since he’s not from there, Pingkan’s father starts showering her with questions about their relationship.
The film is gorgeously shot in Manado, Solo, and Japan, and as part of the story there are nine readings of Sapardi’s poems. It’s an amazing story about love and family—and with so much culture packed into two hours, how could you miss it?
15. Love for Sale
Another Indonesian movie that you should watch is Love For Sale. The storyline is quite interesting and will not bore the audience. Raising the issue of romance in the digital era, Richard, who is acutely single, is too picky in choosing a partner. Until one day, he was challenged by his friend who was about to get married to bring his partner to the wedding. He also looks for a way to find a partner in a short time, until he meets Arini from a matchmaking application until finally, love grows between them. However, the end of the story has succeeded in making the audience happy, are you too?
KKN Desa Penari (2022)
Prepare to be drawn into a spine-tingling tale of terror and superstition as five university students organize a campus program in a remote village.
But as they disregard local customs and disturb otherworldly beings, they unwittingly unleash a curse that threatens their very lives.
This movie is a must-watch, not only for its exciting storyline but also for the valuable lessons it imparts.
Brace yourself for one of the scariest horror movies you’ll ever see. This Indonesian flick will have you jumping out of your seat, with hair-raising jump scares and spine-chilling suspense that will keep you on edge from start to finish.
Kafir: Bersekutu dengan Setan (2018 )
“Is he…the one?”
Here’s another, seeing as Indonesian horror movies are so well-received.
The subtitle, which translates as “Allying with Satan,” should give you a bit of a hint about what this film has in store.
When the head of a family dies under strange circumstances, it’s only natural that the mother would be distraught. But “distraught” doesn’t cover her strange behavior. Eventually, it’s up to her daughter to discover what’s going on, and to fight back against forces far beyond her control.
Don’t confuse this film, which enthralled audiences upon release, with another horror film by the same name released in 2002. That one got only middling reviews—better save your time for the movies that count.
5 CM (2012)
The film depicts the adventure of a group of friends with diverse personalities who embark on a journey to conquer the peak of Mount Semeru.
Along the way, they encounter unexpected challenges and dramas that put their friendship to the test, but also bring them closer together.
The stunning natural scenery of the mountain provides a beautiful backdrop for this engaging and thrilling story.
If you’re a fan of movies about triumphing over adversity, this Indonesian movie is a must-watch. It’s a story of friendship and perseverance that will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately leave you feeling hopeful for the future. With relatable characters and a heartfelt message, this movie is sure to stay with you long after it’s over.
This movie is more than just about love, it’s about friendship. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a heartwarming story of a group of friends exploring life together?
This is the story of Genta, Arial, Zafra, Riani, and Ian. They’ve been friends for a long time and have grown up together, yet have been apart from each other as they reached adult life. To celebrate their friendship anniversary, they decided to cut all ties with each other for three months and come back again to do a challenging trip to hike Mount Semeru. The journey of hearts and dreams might be your next tear-jerker. You can watch this movie on Iflix.
Ada apa dengan Cinta? (2002)
Karena kita adalah satu.
“Because we are one.”
Let’s start with one of the most recognizable Indonesian films to a local audience. Ada apa dengan… is a pretty common phrase meaning “What’s up with…” Here, Cinta is a play on words, because while it’s the name of the main character, it also simply means “love.”
Perhaps you can already tell that this is a love story, which makes up many Indonesian top movies. When it comes to Indonesian movies, romance is certainly a favorite.
Although named after the word “love,” Cinta and her girlfriends pledge to steer clear from high-school boy-girl romance, believing that they only need each other. When Cinta accidentally met Rangga, Cinta couldn’t shake her attraction to the knowledgeable and handsome Rangga, torn between the pledge she made with her best friends and the attraction inside her.
The film was an enormous success, launching the careers of the principal cast (several appear in other movies on this list). More than ten years later, they actually reprised their roles for a sequel, again to massively positive reception.
Comic 8 (2014)
Kita serius merampok bank. Ikut nggak?
“We’re gonna rob a bank. You in?”
Everybody knows the general idea behind a heist. You get the team together, everybody’s got their own specialty, and then you crack the joint wide open.
Only, what if you never got the team together in the first place? What if everybody just had the same idea to rob the same bank at the same time? That’s Comic 8.
Everyone’s got their own reason for this heist, and once it all starts coming together, everyone is more invested than they thought they would be. The whole thing is played for laughs, naturally, and if you’ve got any previous exposure to Indonesian media, you may recognize certain celebrities playing larger-than-life versions of themselves.
The film was such a hit that a two-part spiritual sequel was immediately fast-tracked into production, called Comic 8: Casino Kings. Check those out as well if the fun wasn’t enough in the first film!
Pengabdi Setan (2017)
In this movie, the mother had been battling a mysterious illness for three years until her passing. With their father away in search of work, the children were left to grapple with their loss alone.
However, as strange occurrences start taking place, the children become convinced that their mother’s spirit is still present in their home and trying to communicate with them.
If you’re looking for a horror movie that’s different from anything you’ve seen before, check out this Indonesian film. It’s a haunting, atmospheric movie that will stick with you long after the credits have rolled.
English title: Satan’s Slaves
3. Impetigore (Perempuan Tanah Jahanam)
Another movie that we recommend is Impetigore, another box office movie with Joko Anwar’s directorial skills. This movie is not only a hit in Indonesia, but it also getting much praise in a lot of countries such as the Netherlands. After the highest top-selling horror movies in Indonesian cinematic history, Satan’s Slave (Pengabdi Setan), Joko Anwar made a comeback with Impetigore. This movie has a cultural setting, making this movie perfect to be in the night slot of film festivals. This movie talks about a female protagonist, Maya, that is trying to find what is left for her in the land of Java. Joko Anwar succeeds to make the atmosphere in the screening as something terrifying and spooky for its audience.
6. Habibie and Ainun
For Indonesians, these names ring a special bell in all of our hearts. Habibie, or B.J. Habibie, was Indonesia’s third president. However, this is the story of how he met and found love to Ainun, his late wife. Their story has long been known to be mesmerizing and romantic, even before turned into move script. This move attracted so many hearts, from young adults to the older generations, all enjoyed the beautiful story of a struggle to strive together as a couple. It has also been made into trilogy with the sequel Rudy Habibie and then Habibie & Ainun 3. Watch this heartwarming movie on Netflix and Viu.
People also read: 7 Best Romantic Movies of All Time
Setiap anak lelaki akan berjalan cari pengalaman hidup.
“Every young boy will journey to face the trials of life.”
Indonesia doesn’t have the same reputation as China or Japan as a country known for its martial arts. Once you see one of the best Indonesian martial arts movies, though, that’s about to change for you.
A martial arts expert named Yuda journeys from his village to Jakarta to teach his style, known as silat. It’s not as easy to find work as he expected, but he’s not short on adventure. After intervening to stop a man from hitting a woman on the street, he finds himself thrown into the criminal underworld and on the run from human traffickers.
The action choreography is superb in this film, blasting it into the international spotlight. After it became such a hit, director Gareth Hew Evans started work on another film, using the same highly skilled actors…
Keluarga Cemara (2018)
After being swindled out of their wealth, a family relocates from Jakarta to Bogor. The transition from a bustling city to a quiet village proves challenging as they adjust to their new surroundings.
Stripped of their former privilege, they experience hardships they’ve never known before. But through their struggles, they learn to stick together and strengthen their family bonds.
As one of the film’s theme songs goes, “the most valuable treasure is family.” This movie offers a fresh perspective on life and the importance of family and is a must-see for anyone seeking inspiration.
As they navigate their new reality, they learn to appreciate the things that truly matter in life – love, support, and the bonds of family. With powerful performances and a touching story, this movie is a must-watch for anyone who values the importance of family.
Semesta Mendukung (2011)
Muhammad Arief is a bright student who is passionate about physics, but he comes from a low-income family in Madura.
He lives with his father, Muslat, who has a gambling addiction, while his mother works as a migrant worker in Singapore. Arief works part-time at a garage to save money to reunite with his mother.
His teacher, Mrs. Tari Hayat, recognizes Arief’s talent in physics and encourages him to participate in a Science Olympiad in Singapore.
However, Arief’s primary goal is to find his mother. With the help of his supporters, Arief wins the competition and finally reunites with his mother.
This inspiring movie teaches us not to give up on our dreams, no matter how challenging the circumstances may be.
Negeri Dongeng (2017)
Senang, sedih, sebel, capek…uff!
“Happy, sad, upset, exhausted…phew!”
Indonesia is known as a country of islands, and, occasionally, volcanoes. Many foreigners living there for years would be hard-pressed to name more than a handful of mountains.
So this docudrama ends up being educational and inspiring at the same time! It’s about a tight-knit group of friends who take on the pretty extreme challenge of climbing Indonesia’s tallest mountains. Seven friends, seven cameras, seven mountains.
These aren’t Everest-style escapades of ice and snow, but rather grueling hikes through thick jungle in stifling heat that soon gives way to thin air and gusts of wind that threaten to blow the tents off the mountainside.
All of the footage is absolutely sublime, and it exposes you to jaw-dropping views of parts of Indonesia that rarely get attention, like Papua and Sulawesi.
24. One Day, We’ll Talk About Today
An Indonesian movie that discusses problems that often occur in a family,One Day, We’ll Talk About Today (NKCTHI). NKCTHI managed to become the most favorite family drama in 2020. The film adaptation of the novel by Marcella FP successfully brought the emotions of the audience for 2 hours 1 minute.
25. Newly Rich
Another Indonesian film that is no less entertaining is Newly Rich. Tells the story of a family with a mediocre but happy economy. Until finally the father died and gave a very large inheritance. They can ask for extras whenever they want. However, this turned out to be the point where the problems came repeatedly. Until one day the lawyer who arranged the inheritance said that there was no longer any additional money for them. Watch Newly rich to find out how the story goes.
Source: Disney Hotstar
2. Satan’s Slaves (Pengabdi Setan)
With a story about pure love, Joko Anwar, the producer of this movie, succeed to make the audience cries their heart out with this movie. Kost room, Traffic, Warteg, wet street, might be familiar in the slum area of Jakarta. With different perspectives and views, Joko Anwar is trying to take the audience also to be inside the movie, as if they are there with the actors and actresses. From the view that is in the entire movie, we can see that this movie is trying to combine living with poverty and the hard life to survive the Jakarta lifestyle. This movie was supposed to ‘hit’ the rich who forget to see the life around them. Enjoy the thrill of this movie on Netflix.
Jalan Yang Jauh Jangan Lupa Pulang (2023)
As a middle child from an Indonesian family, Aurora feels lost and insignificant in her family’s shadow and seeks a fresh start in a London school.
Despite finding love with a boyfriend, Aurora’s life takes a turn for the worse, but with the unwavering support of her loyal friends Kit and Honey, she finds the strength to overcome her struggles.
However, when she loses contact with her family, Aurora must face her challenges alone and discovers the courage to create a new path beyond her family.
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This Indonesian coming-of-age movie is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good coming-of-age story. It tackles the relatable themes of finding oneself and forging a new identity, an d the importance of having a loyal community.
English title: A Long Way; Don’t Forget to Go Home.