Get up to 45% Off with the 12-month Challenge. Hurry! Ends soon!
Get up to 45% Off with the 12-month Challenge. Hurry! Ends soon!
PolishPod101.com Blog
Learn Polish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Best Polish Movies for Language Learning

Thumbnail

Watching Polish movies is a great way to supplement your language studies. This entertaining activity allows you to improve your listening skills, work on your vocabulary, and learn more about Polish culture. That said, not every movie will help you in the same way. 

In this blog post, we’ll enumerate ten Polish movies worth watching as a learner of the language. These are films that will both expose you to rich vocabulary and introduce you to the culture and society of Poland. Are you ready to learn Polish in a fun and relaxing way? Without further ado, here’s our Polish movies list for you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Sexmission
  2. A Short Movie About Love
  3. The Killer
  4. Gods
  5. The Last Family
  6. The Wedding
  7. The Hater
  8. How I Unleashed World War II
  9. Teddy Bear
  10. Day of the Wacko
  11. Final Thoughts

1. Sexmission 

Sexmission (or Seksmisja) is a cult Polish comedy. This film, made in 1984, is about two men who decide to sacrifice for science and become the first hibernated humans. They wake up in a world ruled by women, and it turns out that they are the last two men left on the planet.  

This movie features a number of Polish stars, including Jerzy Stuhr, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, and Beata Tyszkiewicz. Watching this film will allow you to familiarize yourself with popular Polish faces as well as famous quotes that have made their way into mainstream conversations. Here are some examples: 

  • Ciemność! Widzę ciemność. Ciemność widzę. – “Darkness! I see darkness. Darkness I see.”
  • Dzień dobry, zastałem Jolkę? – “Good morning. Is Jolka here?”
  • Nas? Bohaterów? Prądem?! – “Us? Heroes? With electric shocks?”

The movie also has some useful vocabulary for you. Here are a few of the words that are used often throughout the film:

  • samiec – “male”
  • płeć – “gender”
  • hibernować – “to hibernate”
  • zamrozić – “to freeze”
  • eksperyment – “experiment”
  • pigułka – “pill”

By the way, if you’d like to study more vocabulary related to natural science fields, PolishPod101 has you covered. 

Movie Types

2. A Short Movie About Love

A Short Movie About Love (Krótki film o miłości) is a full-length drama directed by famous Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski.

A shorter version of this movie is part of a miniseries entitled The Decalogue, all of which is worth watching due to its use of everyday vocabulary as well as vocabulary related to various social issues. You can find many of these Polish movies online for free through legal channels.

A Short Movie About Love is a story about a young, inexperienced man who falls in love with an older woman. It features famous actress Grażyna Szapołowska and actor/director Olaf Lubaszenko. A lot of vocabulary in the movie is commonly used and relates to love and relationships: 

  • kochać kogoś – “to love somebody”
  • zakochać się – “to fall in love” 
  • mieć obsesję – “to be obsessed”

Remember that as useful as it may be, watching movies alone won’t help you master a language. Discover other learning strategies with our lesson Romance and Love in Polish

3. The Killer 

The Killer (Kiler) is another Polish cult comedy. It was made in the late nineties but the person responsible for its success is the same man behind Sexmission, Juliusz Machulski. It also features famous Polish movie stars Cezary Pazura (dubbed as the Polish Jim Carrey), Jerzy Struhr (also in Sexmission), and Katarzyna Figura. 

The movie is about a taxi driver mistaken for an assassin. It’s full of funny misunderstandings and quotes that have made it to the mainstream. For example: 

300 dolarów? Co ja sobie za to kupię? Waciki? – “300 USD? What can I buy for it? Cotton pads?”

The Killer will teach you a lot of vocabulary about crime (and innocence) as well as vocabulary related to justice: 

  • zabić – “to kill”
  • niewinny – “innocent”
  • nieporozumienie – “misunderstanding”
  • policja – “police”
  • więzienie – “prison”
  • przestępca – “criminal”

Knowing vocabulary related to crime can be useful in emergency situations. Click on the link to learn how to say Help! and call the police in Polish.

4. Gods

Gods (Bogowie) tells the story of a world-famous cardiologist named Zbigniew Religa. The prominent doctor is played by Tomasz Kot, known for his role in the Polish Oscar-nominated movie Cold War. Gods became popular very quickly and there are many remarkable quotes from this movie, such as:

Polak Polakowi nawet porażki pozazdrości. – “A Pole may even be jealous of another Pole’s failure.”

The movie is very interesting on its own, but as a learner of the Polish language, you’ll also benefit from the medicine- and health-related vocabulary it introduces. The fact that it’s so relevant to everyday life makes it one of the best movies for learning the Polish language.

  • lekarz – “doctor”
  • pielęgniarka – “nurse”
  • Panie doktorze! – the way to address a male doctor
  • serce – “heart”
  • operacja – “surgery”

Do you need to see a Polish doctor? Here are some useful phrases for calling the Polish doctor’s office

5. The Last Family

The Last Family (Ostatnia rodzina) tells the story of a famous Polish artist named Zdzisław Beksiński and his eccentric family. It features the famous actor Andrzej Seweryn and a young generation star, Dawid Ogrodnik.

The movie is very well-made and engaging. It also uses a lot of everyday vocabulary that you, as a learner, should know:

  • rodzina – “family”
  • syn – “son”
  • mama – “mom”
  • malarz – “painter”
  • artysta – “artist”
     

Before you watch the movie, you may want to learn some other must-know terms for family members in Polish and some more phrases for when you’re in Poland at a family reunion

6. The Wedding

The Wedding (Wesele) is about a wedding that a rich small-town businessman organizes for his daughter. The film is directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, a director famous for not being scared of dealing with the weaknesses of Polish society. It features Maciej Struhr (the son of Jerzy Stuhr you know from Sexmission and The Killer) and Marian Dziędziel.

The film is interesting, as it shows what a Polish wedding looks like and the social significance of this event. It’s not your typical Polish wedding movie as it also reminds the viewer that such occasions are often far from perfect. Here’s one of the most famous quotes from the movie: 

I bardzo dobrze, bardzo dobrze! Jakby nikt nikogo nie nastukał, to wesele by się nie udało. – “Very good, very good! If no one had been beaten up, the wedding would have been a failure.”

The expressions and phrases used in the movie are related to family and marriage. You’ll learn how to say: 

  • ślub – “marriage”
  • wesele – “wedding”
  • panna młoda – “bride”
  • pan młody – “groom”
  • młodzi – “bride and groom”

To find some other important expressions related to Polish weddings, just click on the link! 

Top Verbs

7. The Hater

The Hater (Hejter) is one of the best Polish movies on Netflix. It’s about a young boy from a small town who’s trying to make it in Warsaw. This film was actually directed by the same person (Jan Komasa) who directed Corpus Christi, which was nominated for an Oscar.

The movie shows the difficulties that coming from a low-income household can cause, and it comments on the corporate culture in Warsaw. In terms of vocabulary, you’ll hear many slang expressions throughout the film as well as social media vocabulary:

  • moderować – “to moderate”
  • dodać na Facebooku – “to add on Facebook”
  • internetowy troll – “troll”
  • wiocha – “small city” (pejorative) 
  • bydło – “cattle” (pejorative about people)

8. How I Unleashed World War II

The Polish title of this movie is Jak rozpętałem drugą wojnę światową. This humorous Polish movie about war is another comedy, this one about a Polish soldier who allegedly started the Second World War by mistake. While humorous, the movie also introduces the viewer to some important events in Polish history. One of the most famous quotes from this movie is: 

Melduję posłusznie, panie pułkowniku, ja tę wojnę zupełnie niechcący wywołałem. – “I humbly report, officer, that I have started this war with absolutely no intent of doing so.”

What’s more, the movie features some Polish dialects. Most importantly, it uses a lot of vocabulary that you’ll likely hear in other Polish movies. The Second World War is a popular subject in some of the best Polish movies due to its cultural significance. Here are some examples of words you’ll hear and learn in this movie: 

  • wojna – “war”
  • żołnierz – “soldier”
  • karabin – “rifle”
  • pokój – “peace”
  • wojsko – “army”
  • czołg – “tank”
  • obóz – “camp”

Speaking of World War II, do you know why Warsaw is called the Phoenix City of Poland?

9. Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear (Miś) is definitely among the best Polish movies. It’s another comedy, this time with a sense of humor that could be described as absurd. It was a very popular genre during the communist rule, when censorship made artistic expression difficult.

The movie is the source of many famous quotes. One of the most loved ones is: 

Z twarzy podobny do nikogo. – “When it comes to his face, he doesn’t look like anyone.” 

What is it about? It’s difficult to explain, so let’s just say where it starts. A manager of a sports club is detained on the border as he finds out that a few pages disappeared from his passport… 

Important words and phrases in this movie include: 

  • paszport – “passport”
  • za granicą – “abroad”
  • rozmowa telefoniczna – “phone call”
  • drużyna sportowa – “sports team”
  • kierownik – “director” / “manager”

10. Day of the Wacko

Day of the Wacko (Dzień Świra) is a movie that’s both very funny and very sad. It’s a narrative about a day in the life of a frustrated, lonely, and underpaid Polish teacher. The protagonist is played by famous Polish actor Marek Kondrat. The cult status of the movie means it’s a source of many memorable quotes, such as: 

Co za ponury absurd… Żeby o życiu decydować za młodu, kiedy jest się kretynem? – “What a sad and absurd thing to decide about one’s life in one’s youth when one’s an idiot?”

The movie will introduce you to some realities of a teacher’s life in Poland. You’ll also learn a bit about the Polish school system and other frustrations of Polish people. The words and phrases you’ll hear include:

  • nauczyciel – “teacher”
  • szkoła – “school”
  • uczeń – “student”
  • Mamo! – “Mom!”
  • życie – “life”
  • zmarnować sobie życie – “to waste one’s life”
  • marzenie – “dream”

Do you know how to talk about your favorite school subjects from back in the day in Polish?

11. Final Thoughts

Today, we’ve introduced you to some of the best movies you can watch to learn the Polish language. Whether you want to watch an atypical Polish wedding movie or check out some Polish movies on Netflix, you’ll find something on our list with your name on it!

You can look for Polish movies online, as many of them are available for rent or (in the case of older films) even for free. Which movie are you most looking forward to? Have you seen any of them yet? Let us know in the comments section.

Watching Polish movies is a lot of fun, but unfortunately, you can’t rely on this method alone to learn the language. If you really want to make progress, you need a proper, structured learning program.  

On PolishPod101.com, you’ll find plenty of resources and recordings by native speakers. You’ll get a chance to learn a lot of vocabulary and get language exposure thanks to our learning pathways. Don’t hesitate—create your free lifetime account today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish