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  • Writer's pictureFernanda Matsuoka

10 blockbuster Movies to Inspire Your Trip to the Benelux

Updated: Jun 26

George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt strolling through Dam Square in Ocean's 12.

The Benelux region, encompassing Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, is a treasure trove of cultural, historical, and scenic wonders. What better way to inspire your journey than through the lens of cinema? Here are ten captivating films, ordered by their critical and commercial success, that showcase the beauty, history, and charm of the Benelux countries, offering a perfect prelude to your travel adventure.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

A heartwarming and poignant love story follows two young lovers navigating their way through love and illness. Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, a significant portion of their journey takes place in Amsterdam, capturing the city's iconic canals, the Anne Frank House, and the serene atmosphere of the Vondelpark. Their emotional trip to Amsterdam not only strengthens their bond but also provides a visually stunning backdrop to their story. The portrayal of the city’s romantic and historic charm serves as a perfect introduction to Amsterdam’s unique cultural landscape.

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

The Monuments Men (2014)

Directed and starring George Clooney, this historical drama tells the riveting true story of a World War II platoon tasked with rescuing priceless art masterpieces from Nazi thieves. The ensemble cast, including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and John Goodman, brings to life the real-life heroes who risked everything to preserve cultural treasures, such as the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. Despite mixed reviews, the movie offers a compelling look at the bravery and dedication required to save Europe's artistic legacy during one of history’s darkest times.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%

In Bruges (2008)

This dark comedy follows two hitmen as they hide out in the medieval city of Bruges after a job gone wrong. Starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, the film brilliantly captures the city's gothic architecture, picturesque canals, and historic squares.

Bruges becomes a character in itself, with its haunting beauty and quiet, reflective ambiance providing a perfect counterpoint to the film’s darkly comic narrative. Through its richly detailed depiction of Bruges, the movie immerses viewers in the city’s timeless atmosphere and unique charm.

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

A captivating story behind one of Johannes Vermeer’s most famous paintings unfolds, starring Scarlett Johansson as the young maid who becomes the subject of the masterpiece. Set in 17th-century Delft, the film captures the essence of Vermeer’s artistic vision and the socio-economic conditions of the time. The atmospheric cinematography, reminiscent of Vermeer’s own use of light and shadow, draws viewers into the quiet beauty and tension of the maid's world. It offers a deeply immersive experience that transports viewers back to the Dutch Golden Age.

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%

Amsterdam (2022)

A mystery comedy that weaves a tale set against the backdrop of 1930s Amsterdam. Directed by David O. Russell and featuring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington, the film's intricate plot and captivating visuals bring the historical and cultural richness of Amsterdam to life. This film will inspire you to explore the city’s iconic sites, delve into its history, and experience the vibrant culture that makes Amsterdam a timeless destination.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%

The Admiral (Original title: Michiel de Ruyter) (2015)

A historical epic that brings to life the adventures of Michiel de Ruyter, one of the Netherlands' most renowned naval heroes. The film vividly portrays 17th-century naval battles and the political landscape of the Dutch Golden Age. Filmed across various historical locations in the Netherlands, "The Admiral" showcases the rich maritime history and architectural beauty of Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Vlissingen. This movie will inspire you to delve into the Netherlands' seafaring past, visit maritime museums, and explore the coastal towns that played a significant role in Dutch naval history.

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%

Nightwatching (2007)

An exploration into the life of Rembrandt van Rijn and the mystery surrounding one of his famous paintings. The film portrays Amsterdam in the 17th century, focusing on the city's artistic and cultural milieu.

The distinctive visual style captures the opulence and darkness of Rembrandt’s world, blending biographical drama with an artful examination of one of the most famous paintings in history. The film offers a unique insight into the life of one of the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age and the societal dynamics of the time.

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%

Van Gogh: Painted with Words (2010)

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this intimate portrayal of Vincent van Gogh uses his letters to tell his story. The narrative explores Van Gogh’s relationships, his mental struggles, and his artistic evolution. It beautifully captures the essence of Van Gogh’s life and art, offering a deeply personal and moving exploration of his genius. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance was widely acclaimed, earning him a nomination for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor.

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A

Ocean's 12 (2004)

This star-studded heist film, featuring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, takes the crew on an international escapade that includes significant scenes set in Amsterdam. The city’s picturesque canals and historic architecture provide a stunning backdrop for the film’s intricate heist sequences. The movie not only delivers entertainment with its clever plot and charismatic cast but also showcases the beauty and charm of Amsterdam. The ensemble cast and engaging storyline make it a delightful watch for fans of both heist films and European locales.

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

Black Book (2006)

A gripping World War II thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven, it follows the story of a Jewish singer who becomes a spy for the Dutch resistance. The film is notable for its intense storytelling and complex characters, showcasing the perilous life of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The realistic portrayal of wartime hardships and the meticulous attention to historical detail make it a standout in the genre. Carice van Houten delivers a powerful performance, bringing depth to her character's harrowing journey.

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%


Dive Into the Cinematic World of Benelux

These films not only entertain but also offer a window into the rich cultural and historical tapestry of the Benelux region. Whether it’s the picturesque canals of Amsterdam, the medieval allure of Bruges, or the artistic heritage of Delft, these cinematic masterpieces provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of this fascinating part of Europe.

Plan Your Cinematic Journey

Inspired by these films, your journey through the Benelux region will be filled with memorable experiences. From the artistic streets of Delft to the medieval allure of Bruges, the vibrant canals of Amsterdam, and the eclectic charm of Brussels, each destination offers a unique story waiting to be discovered. So, grab some popcorn, enjoy these films, and let the magic of cinema inspire your next adventure in the Benelux region.

Ready to turn your cinematic dreams into reality? Contact Sapiens Travel DMC to create a tailor-made itinerary that captures the essence of these iconic films and brings the Benelux experience to life.


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