21 Most Watched Indonesian Movies in Worldwide (Interesting)

Movie is audio-visual media to communicates a message. Then, nowadays, development of Indonesian films has growth rapidly. The existence of various genres such as action, biopic, and biography added. Moreover, there are an increase according from people interest to watch Indonesia movies. Report said that there are seven films that up to one million viewers.

Then, the rapid increase make movie maker enterprise to produce movies. It contains high quality camera angle with a meaningful message. In addition, Indonesian film began to dominate cinemas than foreign movies. Moreover, there are almost 75% of films screened in a movie theater is Indonesian movies.

On the other hand, many people do not know there are some movies that got an award in International stage. Even many Indonesian movies entered into the largest US movie database, IMDB (Internet Movies Database). So, it shows that Indonesia has improved quality of movies. Then, there are several movies which recognized has the high qualities movies you must watched. Such as:

Tjoet Nja’ Dhien (1998)

movies, movie, great movieThe story of female hero from Indonesia named Tjoet Nja’ Dhien. She commonly popular as Cut Nyak Dien from Aceh, Sumatra island. She formed a war soldier against the army of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In historical record said that the war between the people of Aceh and the Royal Netherlands Army is the longest war in the history of the Dutch East Indies.

The struggle summarized well in this movie. Even, it also successfully captured a portrait of her figure which has two roles between hero and wife. It showed that Cut Nyak Dien not only good at leading war but also  never forgot his duty as a wife and mother. Then, it very consistent with the concept of emancipation according Islam literature.

On the other hand, this film was the first movie by Eros Djarot. The setting in good location made the movies alive. Christine Hakim became a major star in the film. She portrayed Tjoet Nja Dhien. Then, there are other senior actors like Piet Burnama and Slamet Raharjo. Moreover, this movies won eight awards in 1988 Cannes Film Festival.

You may search:

Daun di Atas Bantal (1998)

This movie focused on three children lived by selling Marijuana on the streets with hope. They wished to get out of poverty. At the beginning of history, the movie also depicted street life of children which are not appropriate according to their age. On the other hand, Daun di Atas Bantal produced by Garin Nugroho. Garin Nugroho born in Jogjakarta on June 6, 1961. Then, Christine Hakim is lead female actress. Garin actually want to show off about street life children and the grassroots. So, this film taken in Jogjakarta around 1997.  Moreover, the movie also played by Jogjakarta’s children and use local dialects. Daun di Atas Bantal won award in Asia Pasific Film Festival 1998.

You may search : Indonesian Language

Pasir Berbisik (2001)

movies, movie, great moviePasir Berbisik, popular as Whispering Sands, is a movie which tell a story about the girl’s life named Daya. She lived with her mother, Berlian and living in coastal areas, the black sand in isolated area. Meanwhile, Daya’s father, Agus disappeared when Daya still young. Daya lived under strict rule from her mother. Berlian forbid her to talk to strangers even around their neighbourhood. Then, Daya grown up became introverted woman. She has a strange habit that put her ear on the sand like if it whispered her. Dian Sastro who played Daya’s role acted successfully. This genre of movie brought new prospect to Indonesian film. The theme of social life came from reality of Javanese which strict and full of cultures. Then, cultural elements are much less pronounced in the use of Javanese traditional clothing, fabrics. Movie took place in black sandy beach, then moved to desert and white sandy areas. It located in East Java and fairly presented a beautiful scenery blended with the silence of nature. Overall, it served its own simplicity.

Moreover, the movie also has many meaningful message and lessons. Such as the importance of family existence, responsibility for a family, children, and also hard work. Indeed, the complete package in this movie worthy to won awards. It achieved award such as Best Cinematography Award, Best Sound Award, and Jury’s Special for Award for Most Promising Director in 2011 Asia Pasific Film Festival.

You may search: Indonesia Religion

Denias (2006)

Denias tell the story about young Boy named Denias who struggled to get education in Papua Island. Then, movie’s story written by John De Rantau based on true story taken a whole setting in Papua. The story based on Janias, a boy who survived and do every ways in order to get free education.Then, it portrayed truly Papua tribe. Such as traditional clothing of Wamena. As well as the accent also very strong at all. Therefore, the film looked completely pure. Moreover, Denias granted many achievement and awards both on National and International.

There are several awards achieved by Denias. Such as:

  1. Best Children’s Feature Films in 2007 in Asia Pacific Screen Awards
  2. Best Cinematography in 2006 Indonesian Film Festival
  3. Special Awards for Ethnicity Film in 2006 Indonesian Film Festival

You may search : Gamelan Facts

Berbagi Suami (2006)

Salma as mother who firmly keep her principle. She also attentive with her husband, named Abah and son. Then, the conflict begins when Salma knew that Abah married two women beside her. However, Salma still patient to survive her life and support Abah who adopts a polygamous marriage. Then, Abah faces illness and make his third wives worried.

The film directed by Nia Dinata already won several film awards. It won Best Film at the Bali International Film Festival, Golden Orchid Award as Best Foreign Language Film in Hawaii Film Festival 2007, and the Silver Award in the Lyon Asian Film Festival to 11 in France. Then, in Indonesia, it won Best Artistic Awards in 2006 Indonesian Film Festival.

The Photograph (2007)

movies, movie, great movieThe Photograph is film by Nan T. Achnas who also directed Whispering Sands. The theme of this movie is unusual than others. Then, the movie is clearly not intended for the audience who loved general genres, but it purpose to aimed an audience who loved art movies. Moreover, the lead male actor using formed actor from Singapore named Lim Kay Tong.

The story tell about Sita, portrayed by Shanty, a young mother who migrated away to survive, and Mr. Johan (Lim Kay Tong), a veteran photographer from Chinese who always been overshadowed by memory of the death between his wife and son. Then, Sita works as  a singer in nightclub. She survived for provide her daughter and ailing grandmother. Sita who faces many problems end up working at Mr. Johan. After that, Sita learned many lesson about how to become good photographer. On the other hand, the strength of movie lays on charming of photographic composition.

The shots dominated by static camera with only occasional use of camera movement. Then, the selection of Chinese Slum as set and powered fit low-key lighting, match with story life between Sita and Mr. Johan. Last but not least, Lim Kay Tong played so captivating as Mr. Johan.

You may search : Most Expensive Universities in Indonesia

Moreover, The Photograph movie won two awards at the 43rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival . It won as the second winner of the second Special Jury Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Award.

Laskar Pelangi (2008)

movies, movie, great movieLaskar Pelangi Movie is a movie made by Riri Riza and based on Laskar Pelangi Novel written by Andrea Hirata. It tells the story about the lives of poor children who have a high motivation to get education in Belitong Island, Bangka Belitung province, Sumatra Island. Belitong located off the east coast of Indonesia which dominated by Malays and Chinese tribes.

Starting ftom a Muhamadiyah school where children are in danger of being dissolved by the provincial Education Department if the students can not reach 10 children. Then, the issues for the sake of problems faced by Muhammadiyah school and their children in order to get education able to give us a comparison. It shows that there are still many children face difficulties to reach their dreams.

Moreover, It also won the award as Best Film in 53rd Asia Pacific Film Festival in Taiwan and Golden Butterfly Award in International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults in Iran. Then, Laskar Pelangi also played in several arena of international films such as 2009 Barcelona Asian Film Festival  in Spain, the 2009 Singapore International Film Festival, 11th Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, 2009 Busan International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009 in United States.

You may search :

On the other hand, Laskar Pelangi has got at least 4.631.841 audiences and got several awards such as:

  1. Favorite Movie in 2009 Indonesian Movie Awards.
  2. Best Film in 2009 Asian Film Awards in Hongkong (Superior)
  3. Best Editor in 2009 Asian Film Awards in Hongkong (Superior).


3 Doa 3 Cinta (2008)

movies, movie, great movieThis movie is first work of a movie marker named Nurman Hakim as well as scriptwriter.  The story of the film is semi-autobiographical of him which ever studied in Boarding School. Then, the movie was starring by two young great stars, Nicholas Saputra and Dian Sastrowardoyo. As well as the other stars such as Yoga Pratama, Yoga Bagus, Butet Kertarajasa, and Jajang C. Noer.

On the other hand, the story focus on three young students in a small cottage located in Jogjakarta namely Huda (Nicholas), Rian (Yoga Pratama), and Bagus (Yoga Bagus). The three of them are good friends and have dreams and hopes. There are no significant conflict caused the makers only want to show daily activities of Boarding School Students.

You may search :

Meanwhile, 3 Doa 3 Cinta also known as 3 Wishes 3 Loves awarded in International awards namely the Grand Prize of the International Jury at the International Festival of Asian Cinema Vesoul, France. As we know that Vesoul International Festival of Asian cinema is the biggest festival of Europe with a focus on Asian movies.

Pintu Terlarang (2009)

movies, movie, great moviePintu Terlarang also known as Forbidden door is an Indonesian thriller adapted from the novel by Sekar Ayu Asmara. The movie was directed by Joko Anwar. Then, FORBIDDEN DOOR tells of Gambir (Fachry Albar) , as a sculptor who has a beautiful wife named Talyda (Marsha Timothy). He held a solo exhibition with statue of a pregnant woman as main focus. It used homemade material so even hunted by collectors. So, the gallery owner demanded Gambir to make a statue of a pregnant woman more. Then, Gambir spend more time in Studio. However, while in the studio, Gambir often experience strange phenomenon. He often heard a knock on the door in the studio. Gambir was curious, but he remembers that Talyda prohibits him to open it.

An appreciation from various countries flow for Forbidden Door. In addition after entered in the list of 100 Best Movies in the world in 2009, the Forbidden Door ‘was selected and screened at the event International Film Festival Rotterdam to 38 on 21 January to 1 February 2009.

Then, it screened three times at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival ( SFIAAFF) between 12, 13, and March 21, 2010. Moreover, it also won award at the prestigious award in the 2016 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFAN) in South Korea. As well as prestigious award from the UK’s leading film magazine ‘Sight & Sound’ as one of the best films in the world in 2016.

You may search : Indonesian Red Cross Society

Merantau (2009)

movies, movie, great movieMerantau means migration, the activities which commonly done by rural youths to migrate from their origin place. Yuda ( Iko Uwais), who skilled in Silat Harimau, one of Indonesian Martial Arts. He left his origin place and try to life in Jakarta. However, live in Jakarta not going smoothly. Yuda experiences setbacks and uncertainty. On the other hand, this movie contains many Indonesian culture such as Minangkabau (West Sumatra) traditions and traditional Martial Arts.

For most of Minangkabau tribe, migration is an ideal way to reach between success and maturity. Migration teaches not only wealth and scientific knowledge, but also the prestige and honor of individuals. Then, Pencak Silat are elements of the personality of the Indonesian nation.

Merantau got a honorable mention for Audience Award at Fantastic Fest 2009 in Texas and entered as the top 11 best action movies ever by kungfu cinema. Then, it won award at international festivals to be the best film at the film festival action, ActionFest 2010 held in Asheville, North Carolina, United States.

You may search : Indonesia Flag

Rumah Dara (2010)

movies, movie, great movieRumah Dara known as Macabre. The story began about Adjie (Ario Bayu) and Astrid (Sigi Wimala), who is expecting her first child to born, went to Bandung with her friends. This trip is a last attempt of Adjie to away from her sister, Ladya (Julie Estelle). He will go to Australia in next day.

Ladya always blame to Adjie for the tragedy in the past. However, Ladya still accompany Adjie to the airport. In airport, they met Maya (Imelda Therinne),  a woman who claimed that she was robbed. Then, they help Maya and drove her to her home. At home, they were introduced to a graceful and mysterious woman named Dara (Shareefa Daanish). This is where the sincere  and good intentions into a disastrous start.

On the other hand, the movie recognized as the best thriller movie ever. Moreover, the movie received an award at the international level. Such as LA screamfest horror movie festival in 2007, Best International short movie in the International Horror and Sci Fi Film Festival of Phoenix, Arizona , Audience Choice award in Freakshow Film Festival of Orlando, Florida, NYC Horror Film Festival as well as the award Horrorthon Horror Film Festival of Dublin, Ireland.

Sang Pemimpi (2011)

It known as The Dreamer is an Indonesian movies which the second movie of Laskar Pelangi’s tetralogy. The film was directed by Riri Riza with producer Mira Lesmana.  Use the the backdrop of the 80s, tells the story about teenagers life of Ikal, Arai, and Jimbron.  Arai is the son of a lowly worker families in Belitong. Together with his cousin, Arai and his friend, Jimbron, they continue high school in port far away from where they live.

Then, In 2010, Sang Pemimpi recorded as the movie with many International Awards. Such as Best Film in Spanish Youth Jury in de Cine para la Infancia y la Juventud Festival in Spain, Netpac Critics Award in the Singapore International Film Festival, third runner up in choice of a spectator category in the Udine Far East Film Festival, Italy. Then, it awarded as CASTELLO D’ORO in Castellinaria International Youth Film Festival Bellinzona, Switzerland and Golden Butterfly award in 2011 Special Jury Award of the Children’s Film World Organization.

The Raid:Redemption (2011)

movies, movie, great movieThe Raid: Redemption is a very thrilling action movie. It took place in a majority of the old building that is set as storied. The Raid: Redemption is written and directed by Gareth Evans. Then, Gareth Evans as the director select highly qualified actors who skilled in martial arts. Such as Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Joe Taslim. Meanwhile, there are also Ray Sahetapy, Donny Alamsyah, Pierre Gruno, Tough Satrya along with other as supporting casts.

Then, the awards won by this movie are 2011 The Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, TIFF and 2012 Audience Award and the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Film in the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in International stages. While it got many awards in national Film Festival.

The Mirror Never Lies (2011)

movies, movie, great movieThe movie told about story of a girl named Pakis, portrayed by Gita Lovalista, which still in elementary school. He missed his father who disappeared while searching fishes in the sea. Then, the mirror was the last gift from her father. So, she always carrying around the mirror and hope her father will returned. Then, with her friend, Lumo, she try to find her father. However, the efforts opposed by her mother, Tayung, played by Atiqah Hasiholan. Tayung always angry when Pakis talked about her father and tried to convinced that his father already died.

On the other hand, this film sent the appropriate message to movie gigs. It showed Bajo traditional traditions, a close bonding between Bajo tribe and Sea. They assumed that sea is part of their lives. Moreover, this movie successfully illustrate how humans must love and keep the natural sources. Overall, it managed to lifted emotional feeling of audience and made it more appreciative.

On the other hand, this movie got some International awards such as in Sixth Asia Pacific Screen Awards held in Brisbane, Australia 2012 ago. Then, won Best Directing in the event China International Children’s Film Festival 2013 (CICFF) 12th in Siping City, Jilin Province, China.

You may search: Biggest Earthquake in Indonesia

Modus Anomali (2012)

The story of this movie start with a man (Rio Dewanto) suddenly woke up in a state buried in the ground in the middle of a foreign forest. Meanwhile, He only has a cell phone without any contacts in it and he do not know about his identity. Then, after finding a mysterious house, he realized that he must save himself and his closest people of mysterious figures who tried to attack him. Modus Anomali produced by Sheila while the story and director directed by Joko Anwar.  It won prestigious award at the Bucheon Award Network of Asian Fantastic Films (Naff) which is part of the Busan International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea.  Modus Anomali beat 23 movies were selected from approximately 100 projects in various countries including the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Africa.

You may search:

 The Witness (2012)

The Witness is thriller movie directed by Muhammad Yusuf and produced by Skylar Pictures. Gwen Zamora, a beautiful artist Angel serves as a Philippine became lead female actress. Then, the background story of this movie is simple. it tells the search facts about who is murder of a whole families except Angel (Gwen).  Angel discovered many facts which led to the killer he had never met before. On the other hand, The Witness was first aired in the Philippines commercially on March 21, 2012. The Witness was given an A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), which is an official organization of the Philippines Development Council.

You may search:

Lovely Man (2012)

This movie directed by Teddy Soeriaatmadja and starring by Raihaanun and Donny Damara. It tells the story about Cahaya (Raihaanun), who decided to go to Jakarta to find her father, Saiful. Saiful was left house since she was four years old. Then, Cahaya discovers that his father is far from expectations. Saiful is transgender who works as transvestite named Ipuy. Although this film is full of controversy related transgender existence, it won International awards as Best Director and Best Film at the Palm Spring Film Festival in the US.

You may search: Indonesian Language

Habibie & Ainun is adapted a true love story between Habibie, third president of Indonesia and Ainun, his wife. It tells the story an extraordinary between struggle carrier and love. Played by actor Reza Rahardian that act as Habibie and Bunga Citra Lestari who played as Ainun. Then, snows, Germany, sacrifice, pain, loneliness and the temptation of wealth and power when they returned to Indonesia. Many moral message drawn by this movie. Moreover, it reaches 4,000.000 audiences. Then, the success of Habibie Ainun proved by won awards in ASEAN International Film Festival Award (Afifa) held in Malaysia, in March 2013.

You may search:

Jalanan (2013)

Jalanan tells the story about the life in Jakarta through the eyes of three singers namely Titi, Boni, and Ho who marginalized from the bustle of the capital city. Using original songs as strong character of three singers, they portrayed loneliness, grief, romance, divorce disputes, festive marriage, until their sexual urges in the middle of Jakarta caused by the development of globalization and corruption.

On the other hand, Jalanan is not highly praise by Indonesian people. However, In International stage, it won several achievements. Such as Best Documentary in 2014 Busan International Film Festival in Korea managed to set aside about 60 movies of various countries. Moreover, it won award at the 63rd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) in 2014.

What They Don’t Talk When They Talk about Love (2013)

movies, movie, great movieThis movie tells about Fitri (Ayushita), a girl who has blind disability since birth. Then, Fitri like to talk with doctor ghost who lived around the pool behind the school. Every friday night, Fitri writes letter for doctor ghost about her personal things that she only told to pool. Doctor ghost want to reply the message, but he unable to do that. On the other hand, it presents some scenes related to the sexual and might look vulgar than other local films. Everything describe how desire between the bond of love and struggle.

Overall, this is a  humane love story and does not need to provide excessive dramatization with particular regard to weaknesses of his characters. Both of visual and music are perfectly blend. it between beautiful and poetic. So, it recognized as the best movie in the last few years. It clearly described about love does not have to always say verbally, and even through the eyes and actions of any implied love can be delivered with a real and sincere.

Moreover, In 2014, the movie won three major awards from the Indonesian Movie Awards 2014. Meanwhile, Zeke Khaseli and Yudhi Arfani won best music arranger in the Asia Pacific Film Festival in 2013.

You may search: Volcanoes in Indonesia

The Raid 2:Punk (2014)

movies, movie, great movieIt is the second sequel of The Raid:Redemption. The story start with Bejo, the ambitious young gangster who wants to kill his Rama’s brother, Andi. Then, Rama met Bunawar who invite Rama to join the police task force as undercover officer. Their task is seeks to expose a private room which the police commissioner corrupt.  While Rama initially rejected, he agreed to join them after seeing the death of his brother. On the other hand, compare to the first sequel, Punk has a larger scale in terms of story and action scene portion. Brutal and gory scenes are main focus for most action scene.

On the other hand, the low budget of this film is certainly much smaller than Hollywood action films. However, Gareth Evans again proved that the Indonesian movie can spawn action movie gigs and spread it to the world without getting caught in the CGI effects and others.

Moreover, The Raid 2 has won several awards such as Best Special Effects, Best actor, Best Editing, Best Camera System in 2014 Maya Award, 2014 Equator Film Expo (EFX) Award for International Achievement, and 2015 Asian Film Aards for Best Editor.

The development of the film industry in Indonesia is arguably growth better. It proven there are films that have been entered into the arena Internasional and able to compete with other Hollywood movies with a quality that can not be underestimated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.