Hollywood's reach is vast, and there's no underestimating the influence of American movies on the rest of the world. But these films are part of a larger conversation, one you don't want to miss out on.

After all, it's France that deserves the lion's share of the credit for treating film as an art form instead of just a commodity. In early journals like Cahiers du Cinéma, young critics, many of whom would go on to make films themselves, found artistic value in pulpier or forgotten American movies. 

This is but one example of our global cinema. The movies selected here should help illustrate how much the film industry is a huge web of influence, with directors and films you've maybe never heard of shaping the creation of American classics. And despite the title of this piece—50 Foreign Films to See Before You Die—don't stop with just these pictures. Treat this as a primer, and seek out more from the directors and countries mentioned.

Written by Jennifer M. Wood (@j_m_wood), Ross Scarano (@RossScarano), and Radheyan Simonpillai (@FreshandFrowsy)