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12 Extraordinary Movies Set In Croatia That Will Inspire You To Visit!

12 Extraordinary Movies Set In Croatia That Will Inspire You To Visit!

Croatia’s emergence in the international film scene is a testament to its breathtaking landscapes and rich historical tapestry, making it a prime destination not only for filmmakers but also for travelers seeking the best Croatia tours.

The country’s cinematic allure is intertwined with its tourism, as fans of these films often embark on journeys to experience firsthand the settings of their favorite scenes. This synergy has led to a growing interest in Topdeck bus tours and similar ventures, which offer immersive experiences through Croatia’s scenic locales, often frequented by film crews. These tours provide a unique opportunity to walk the cobblestone streets of ancient towns, sail the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic, and explore the lush countryside, all of which have been beautifully captured on film.

Moreover, the influence of Croatian cinema extends beyond its borders, contributing to a broader appreciation of European cinema, including some of the best Austrian movies. The cinematic exchange between neighboring countries like Austria and Croatia enriches the film industry, offering diverse perspectives and storytelling techniques.

Films set in Croatia often feature collaborations with talent from across Europe, creating a melting pot of artistic expression.

Movies Set In Croatia

These movies not only showcase Croatia’s visual splendors but also delve into its rich cultural heritage and history. From the grandeur of Dubrovnik’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the serene beauty of the Dalmatian islands, the films set in Croatia capture the essence of its past and present. They weave tales that reflect the soul of the nation, from its struggles and triumphs to the everyday lives of its people.

This cinematic journey through Croatia’s landscapes and narratives is more than just entertainment; it’s a celebration of the country’s enduring spirit and a compelling invitation to explore its wonders. Whether through the lens of a camera or the eyes of a traveler, Croatia stands out as a jewel of Europe, its stories and sceneries waiting to be discovered.

Wondering where to watch? It depends on where you live in the world and which streaming services you have. We link to the streaming service we watch on in each case - be it Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, or elsewhere.

You can get one month free of Amazon Prime (or a 6-month trial for students) of Amazon Prime and also get immediate access to FREE Two Day shipping, Amazon Video, and Music. While you won't be charged for your free trial, you'll be upgraded to a paid membership plan automatically at the end of the trial period - though if you have already binged all these, you could just cancel before the trial ends.

Apple TV+ also has a one-week trial, and Hulu has a one-month trial (which can be bundled with Disney!). Another option might be using a VPN to access Netflix titles locked to other regions. Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries worldwide and each country has a different library and availability. US Netflix is (understandably) one of the best. 

While we wish everything could just be in one place - for now, it seems these are the best streaming platforms to watch on.

Movies Set In Croatia
Movies Set In Croatia
Movies Set In Croatia

Winnetou (1963)

Winnetou is a classic Western film from 1963, directed by German director Harald Reinl. Reinl was a prolific filmmaker, known for his work in German cinema during the 1950s and 1960s. He directed a number of popular films during this time, including several entries in the Winnetou series.

The film follows the story of Old Shatterhand, a cowboy who travels to the American West and becomes embroiled in a conflict between settlers and the Native American tribes who have lived on the land for generations. Along the way, Old Shatterhand forms a close bond with the Apache chief Winnetou, and the two work together to try to bring peace to the troubled region.

The film’s story is classic Western fare, with plenty of action, adventure, and drama. The relationship between Old Shatterhand and Winnetou is particularly compelling, with the two men from vastly different worlds finding common ground and forging a deep friendship.

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure film with a classic Western feel, Winnetou is an excellent choice. With its stunning landscapes, compelling characters, and thrilling action sequences, this film is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

The Tin Drum (1979)

The Tin Drum is a remarkable film directed by Volker Schlöndorff, based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Günter Grass. Schlöndorff is a renowned German filmmaker, known for his powerful and politically charged films. He won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this film, which is considered a masterpiece of European cinema.

The story is set in the coastal city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) in the 1930s and 1940s. The protagonist is Oskar, a young boy who decides to stop growing at the age of three, after witnessing the rise of Nazism in his hometown. He communicates with the world through his tin drum and his piercing scream. As he witnesses the atrocities of war and fascism, he tries to make sense of the world around him and find a way to survive.

The film is a powerful and intense allegory about the rise of Nazism and the horrors of war. The setting in Croatia adds a layer of complexity to the film, as it reflects the historical tensions between Germany and its neighboring countries. The film’s visual style is stunning, with bold colors and surreal imagery that create a haunting atmosphere.

The Tin Drum is a great film anyone who is interested in European cinema and in exploring difficult and complex themes. It is a film that deserves to be seen and discussed, and that will leave a lasting impact on anyone who watches it.

Black Cat, White Cat (1998)

Black Cat, White Cat is a film directed by Emir Kusturica, a renowned filmmaker from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kusturica has won numerous awards, including the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival twice, and he is known for his unique and eccentric approach to filmmaking.

The film takes place in a small village in Croatia and follows the story of two gangsters, Matko and Dadan, as they try to outsmart each other and come up with a scheme to make some money. Matko, who is in debt to Dadan, decides to marry off his son to the sister of a wealthy businessman, but things don’t go as planned.

The plot of Black Cat, White Cat is filled with twists and turns, as the characters navigate their way through a series of hilarious and absurd situations. The film is set against the backdrop of the Balkans, and Kusturica does an excellent job of capturing the unique culture and traditions of the region.

The film features vibrant and colorful cinematography, which perfectly captures the chaotic and lively atmosphere of the village. The film is also full of memorable characters, from the larger-than-life gangsters to the quirky and lovable villagers.

Black Cat, White Cat is a must-see film for anyone who appreciates quirky and offbeat comedies. It’s a testament to Kusturica’s talent as a filmmaker and a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the Balkans. Don’t miss out on this gem of a film!

No Man’s Land (2001)

No Man’s Land is a war drama film directed by Bosnian filmmaker Danis Tanović. The film won the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2002, and it marked Tanović’s breakthrough in the international film industry.

The film takes place in Croatia during the Bosnian War, which lasted from 1992 to 1995. It tells the story of two soldiers, a Bosnian and a Serb, who are trapped in a trench between enemy lines. They are soon joined by a United Nations peacekeeper, and the three of them become entangled in a web of absurdity and tragedy as they try to survive.

No Man’s Land is a powerful and thought-provoking film that highlights the absurdity of war and the complexities of human relationships in times of conflict. Tanović’s direction is masterful, as he seamlessly blends humor and tragedy to create a film that is both entertaining and profound.

The film’s setting in Croatia adds to the realism and authenticity of the story, as Tanović himself lived through the Bosnian War and witnessed the devastation it caused firsthand. The film’s portrayal of the war is both honest and empathetic, and it serves as a reminder of the human cost of armed conflicts.

The film is a perfect example of how powerful storytelling can be used to create social and political commentary, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in the intersection of cinema and social issues.

No Man’s Land is perfect for those interested in war films, social commentary, or just great storytelling. The film is a masterpiece of modern cinema, and it deserves all of the accolades it has received.

A Wonderful Night in Split (2004)

A Wonderful Night in Split is a Croatian film directed by Arsen Anton Ostojic. Ostojic is a highly regarded Croatian filmmaker, known for his unique perspective and thoughtful storytelling. He has won numerous awards for his work, including Best Director at the Pula Film Festival.

The film takes place in Split, a city on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, and follows the story of four characters whose lives intertwine on a single night. The characters include a young woman trying to escape an abusive relationship, a taxi driver who is struggling with his own demons, a wealthy businessman who is in town for a conference, and a street musician who is trying to make ends meet.

One of the best things about A Wonderful Night in Split is the way that it captures the essence of modern-day Croatia. The film showcases the beauty and vibrancy of Split, while also exploring some of the darker aspects of life in the city. It’s a film that is both deeply personal and universally relatable, and it’s sure to resonate with anyone who has ever found themselves struggling to make sense of their own life.

A Wonderful Night in Split is a powerful and thought-provoking film that is well worth watching. It’s a testament to Ostojic’s talent as a filmmaker, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Whether you’re a fan of independent cinema or just looking for a compelling story, this film is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Fine Dead Girls (2002)

Fine Dead Girls is a Croatian film directed by Dalibor Matanić and released in 2002. Matanić is a renowned Croatian director, screenwriter, and playwright, known for his work on films such as The High Sun and The Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside. He is also a recipient of numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film is set in a small town in Croatia, where two lesbians move into a house owned by a married couple, Vinko and Marina. The couple’s relationship is already strained, and the arrival of the lesbians exacerbates their issues. As tensions rise, the town’s prejudices and secrets begin to unravel, leading to tragic consequences.

The film deals with themes of homosexuality, bigotry, and violence, making it a harrowing and thought-provoking watch. It highlights the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Croatia, a country where homophobia is still prevalent.

The film is an example of great cinematography. The picturesque Croatian countryside is captured beautifully, providing a striking contrast to the dark and unsettling themes of the film. The performances of the cast, especially the two lead actresses, are also outstanding.

Fine Dead Girls is a powerful and haunting film that tackles important issues with sensitivity and nuance. It is a must-watch for fans of foreign cinema and anyone interested in exploring complex social issues through the medium of film.

The High Sun (2015)

The High Sun is a beautifully crafted film directed by Dalibor Matanić, a Croatian filmmaker known for his unique perspective on contemporary Balkan society. Matanić’s career spans over two decades, during which he has directed several award-winning films.

The High Sun tells a gripping story of love, loss, and the enduring power of human connection. Set in Croatia, the film explores three love stories that span over three decades and are connected by a tragic event that took place during the Yugoslav Wars. The film examines how the legacy of war and trauma continues to impact the lives of ordinary people and how love can be a source of healing and resilience in the face of adversity.

The film is shot in three different time periods, with different actors playing the same characters at different stages of their lives. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the beauty and complexity of the Croatian landscape. The characters are well-developed, and the performances are exceptional, particularly those of the lead actors, Tihana Lazović and Goran Marković.

The film is not afraid to delve into the difficult realities of life in post-war Croatia, but it also celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances.

The High Sun is an outstanding film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the human condition and the complexities of contemporary Balkan society.

The Constitution (2016)

The Constitution is a Croatian drama film released in 2016, directed by Rajko Grlic. The film follows the story of four neighbors living in a Zagreb apartment complex who are all struggling to deal with their personal issues, while Croatia is still trying to rebuild after the Yugoslav wars. The film tackles themes such as identity, nationalism, prejudice, and love. It received several awards, including the Grand Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

The film’s plot revolves around four characters who live in a building complex in Zagreb. Vjeko (Nebojsa Glogovac), a Croat, is a retired police officer who holds onto his nationalist beliefs. Maja (Ksenija Marinkovic), a Serbian, is a professor of literature who tries to keep her distance from her neighbors.

Luka (Dejan Acimovic), a gay man, is a nurse who is ostracized by the other residents. And finally, Azra (Bojana Gregoric), a Muslim, is a housewife who is married to Vjeko. The story explores their relationships with each other and how their prejudices and beliefs are challenged as they deal with personal and societal conflicts.

The film is set in Croatia, and it does an excellent job of depicting the country’s social and political landscape. It portrays a society still grappling with the legacy of the Yugoslav wars, and the tensions and divisions that arise as a result. The film’s characters are complex and nuanced, and the performances by the actors are outstanding.

The Constitution should be watched by anyone interested in watching a thought-provoking and engaging drama that explores important themes such as identity, nationalism, and prejudice.

The Gray Man (2022)

The Gray Man is a highly anticipated action-thriller film directed by the Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony Russo, known for their work on Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers films. This Netflix original features an all-star cast, including Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, and Chris Evans.

The film follows Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling), a former CIA operative turned freelance assassin who is hunted by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former colleague turned nemesis. The story takes place in several international locations, including Croatia, where Court seeks refuge and attempts to turn the tables on his pursuers.

The film’s plot is engaging and action-packed, with impressive fight sequences and a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game between the two leads. The setting of Croatia provides a visually stunning backdrop for the film’s intense and thrilling moments.

The Gray Man features some impressive performances from its talented cast. Ryan Gosling delivers a nuanced and captivating portrayal of the complex and conflicted protagonist, while Chris Evans brings a menacing energy to his role as the determined antagonist. Ana de Armas shines in her supporting role, adding depth and emotion to the story.

The Gray Man is a must-see for fans of the action-thriller genre and for those who appreciate expertly crafted and well-executed filmmaking. The Russo brothers have once again proven their mastery of the genre and have created a thrilling and memorable cinematic experience. Don’t miss this one!

Who’s Singin’ Over There? (1980)

Who’s Singin’ Over There? is a classic Yugoslav film released in 1980, directed by Slobodan Sijan, who is known for his talent for capturing the absurdities of everyday life. The film was a massive hit in Yugoslavia, and it has since gained a cult following internationally.

The story takes place in April 1941 in the midst of World War II, in Yugoslavia, as a group of people from various walks of life boards a bus headed for Belgrade. As they travel through the countryside, they encounter a series of comedic and tragic obstacles that test their patience and their ability to work together.

The film is set against the backdrop of the German invasion of Yugoslavia and highlights the chaos and fear of war. Despite the challenging circumstances, the characters display resilience and a sense of humor, which makes for a heartwarming and entertaining story.

Slobodan Sijan’s direction is outstanding, as he creates a rich tapestry of characters that are relatable and engaging. The cinematography by Aleksandar Petkovic is impressive, showcasing the beauty of the Croatian countryside. The film’s soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring traditional Balkan folk music that complements the story’s setting and the characters’ experiences.

If you are a fan of classic cinema, Who’s Singin’ Over There? is a must-watch. It is a timeless masterpiece that has stood the test of time and remains relevant to this day. The film’s portrayal of the impact of war on everyday people is both universal and deeply personal, and it is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.

The Reaper (2014)

The Reaper is a Croatian film directed by Zvonimir Juric, who is known for his socially engaged and politically aware cinema. Juric started his career as a documentary filmmaker, and his early films explored the complex social and political realities of post-Yugoslav Croatia. In The Reaper, Juric continues his exploration of the dark corners of Croatian society and tells a haunting story of crime and punishment.

The film follows the story of a middle-aged man named Josip who works as a gravedigger in a small town in Croatia. Josip is a quiet and introverted man who lives alone and has no friends. However, his routine is disrupted when he is accused of being a serial killer who preys on young women.

The evidence against Josip is circumstantial, but the police are convinced of his guilt, and he is forced to go on the run. Josip’s search for the real killer leads him on a dark and dangerous journey through the underbelly of Croatian society.

The film is set in Croatia and offers a grim portrayal of the country’s post-war reality. Juric’s use of naturalistic lighting and handheld camerawork adds to the gritty and unsettling atmosphere of the film. The story is also enriched by a strong supporting cast of Croatian actors who bring depth and authenticity to their roles.

The Reaper is a gripping and thought-provoking film that will leave a lasting impression on its audience. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in socially engaged cinema and the complexities of human nature.

The Bridge (2020)

The Bridge is a captivating Croatian drama directed by Ivan Skoric, known for his work on several award-winning short films. Skoric’s talent for crafting a visually striking film is evident in The Bridge, where he expertly uses the natural beauty of the Croatian landscape to create a breathtaking backdrop for the story.

The film’s plot follows Marko, a successful businessman who returns to his hometown after years of absence to attend his father’s funeral. Marko soon discovers that his father was involved in a scandalous affair with a woman named Ana, and her husband has demanded compensation from Marko’s family. As Marko attempts to navigate this difficult situation, he becomes increasingly drawn to Ana, and the two begin a passionate affair that threatens to tear apart both of their families.

The Bridge is set in the stunning countryside of Croatia, with its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage adding to the film’s charm. Skoric’s direction is masterful, skillfully weaving together elements of romance, family drama, and suspense to create a compelling and thought-provoking story.

One of the best things about The Bridge is the excellent performances from the cast. Franjo Dijak delivers a standout performance as Marko, perfectly capturing the character’s complex emotions and inner turmoil. Additionally, Jelena Jovanova shines as Ana, bringing a sense of vulnerability and depth to her character.

The Bridge is a must-see film for fans of thought-provoking dramas. Skoric’s direction, combined with the stunning Croatian setting and excellent performances from the cast, make for an unforgettable cinematic experience. Highly recommended!