The 24 best films of all time on curfews and bans on going out

24 films curfews ban on going out
Locked up: Natalie Portman in "V for Vendetta" | © Warner Bros

If you are no longer allowed to leave your own apartment or house at all because of a curfew, or only for special reasons, your life changes fundamentally. For you personally, for your family, friends and neighbours. Many things can happen that would otherwise be unthinkable. Good, but also bad.

Here you will find a selection of the 24 best feature films, all of which deal with curfews and bans on going out and the consequences. The Filmpuls editorial team’s selection of the best films of all time on the subject of pandemic is listed by score (best films first).

Important: From the fictional feature films in this list you cannot (!) draw any (!) conclusions about the curfews in connection with the current measures due to the coronavirus / COVID-19!

V for Vendetta
The 24 best films of all time about curfews

Video ThumbnailV for Vendetta
FilmtitelV for Vendetta (2005)
DirectorJames McTeigue
StarsHugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ =  not worth seeing

In “V for Vendetta” Evey (Natalie Portman) is accidentally involved in a terrorist attack by a masked and megalomaniacal character, V (Hugo Weaving). V follows the steps of Guy Fawkes, a kind of XVII century terrorist who wanted to blow up the English parliament in London.

In the present, Orwellian London lives under the fascist government of Chancellor Adam (Sir John Hurt). In the city there is a curfew and terror. V wants to fight the regime by blowing up government buildings. Evey is hunted by the secret police, who believe she is V’s accomplice and want to help him destroy the British Parliament.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
The 24 best films of all time about curfews

Video ThumbnailPerfume: The Story of a Murderer
FilmtitelPerfume: The Story of a Murderer
DirectorTom Tykwer
StarsBen Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Francesc Albiol

The French orphan Jean-Baptiste Grenouille lives in the neglected slums of 18th century Paris. He has an incredibly fine sense of smell. For him it is both a blessing and a curse. Little by little – while the young man discovers the world and a multitude of primitive smells – one scent in particular remains frustratingly elusive for him: the scent of a woman’s body.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is obsessed with capturing the female essence. So he devotes himself to the dark search for the ultimate perfume; a complicated process that requires more and more sacrifices and puts an entire city in turmoil. A curfew is imposed in an attempt to put a stop to Grenouille.

The 24 best films of all time about curfews and bans on going out

Video ThumbnailDetroit
FilmtitelDetroit (2017)
DirectorKathryn Bigelow
StarsJohn Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore

On July 23, 1967, during a celebration for the return of black veterans from the Vietnam War, Detroit police raided an unlicensed club. While the suspects were arrested, a mob formed. They start throwing stones at the officers, looting nearby shops and setting fires, which starts the 12th Street Riot. A riot that has gone down in the history books in the United States.

Since the state authorities and police are unable to maintain public order, Governor George W. Romney authorizes the Michigan Army National Guard and U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson sends army paratroopers to Detroit to provide assistance.

On the second day of riots despite curfews and curfews, two police officers pursue a fleeing looter. One of the vigilantes kills the man with a shotgun, but is allowed to remain on duty because his superiors cannot decide whether to charge him with murder.

Une affaire de femmes

Video ThumbnailUne affaire de femmes
FilmtitelUne affaire de femmes (1988)
DirectorClaude Chabrol
StarsIsabelle Huppert, François Cluzet, Marie Trintignant, Nils Tavernier

Marie Latour, a woman with little education, raises her two children in a shabby apartment in occupied France during the Second World War in “Une affaire de femmes”. In 1941 her husband Paul returns home from German captivity. Paul is too ill to take up work. Conversely, Marie discovers that she can earn money with abortions.

Many of her clients are knocked up by the German occupying forces in the city, which is suffering from a curfew. Marie uses her earnings to buy better food and clothes, looks for a new apartment and, through an acquaintance, rents out her bedrooms to prostitutes during the day. She is indifferent to her husband Paul; but his humiliations grow as does her income.


Video ThumbnailBlindspotting
FilmtitelBlindspotting (2018)
DirectorCarlos López Estrada
StarsDaveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones

Colin is a convicted felon. He’s struggling to make it through the last three days of his probation without any trouble. Collin works with his short-winded best friend Miles at a moving company in Oakland, a city in the Bay Area. One night, while waiting for a red light, Collin witnesses a white cop shooting a black civilian.

Colin starts having nightmares and experiences hallucinations. Miles buys a gun for self-protection, an action that Collin deeply disapproves of. While Miles shows increasingly unpredictable behavior, his ex-girlfriend Colins warns him of the dangers of continuing his friendship with Miles.


Video ThumbnailVermisst
FilmtitelMissing (1982)
StarsJack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea

Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ =  not worth seeing

In September 1973, the American journalist Charles Horman arrives in Chile with his friend in the city of Valparaiso in the film “Missing”. There he is supposed to meet his wife Beth and bring her back to New York. However, both are surprised by a military coup to replace President Salvador Allende. Charles is arrested by the military power.

Charles’s father Ed Horman, a conservative businessman from New York, arrives in Chile to join Beth in the search for his missing son. The American consulate promises to find Charles, while the sceptical Beth does not trust the word of the American authorities. She begins to search for Charles Horman despite curfew.

Au revoir les enfants
Die 24 besten Filme aller Zeiten über Ausgangssperren

Video ThumbnailAu revoir les enfants
FilmtitelAu revoir les enfants (1987)
DirectorLouis Malle
StarsGaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

In the feature film “Au revoir les enfants” (Goodbye, Children) 1944, the student Julien Quentin and his brother François travel to a Catholic boarding school in the countryside. There is no sign of curfews or curfew here. Julien is a good student. When a new student enters the boarding school, the first cracks in their relationship become apparent. Julien discovers that the new student is a Jew and that the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends.

Soon the Gestapo comes to the school to investigate the students and the priests who are at the boarding school.

The 24 best films of all time about curfews

Video ThumbnailCasablanca
FilmtitelCasablanca (1942)
DirectorMichael Curtiz
StarsHumphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ =  not worth seeing

“Casablanca” tells the story of Rick Blaine, a cynical, world-weary ex-patriot He runs a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco, in the early stages of the Second World War. Despite the pressure he constantly receives from the local authorities, Rick’s café has become a kind of refuge for refugees. They try to obtain illegal papers from him to help them escape to America.

When Ilsa, a former mistress of Rick’s, shows up at his café with her husband one day, Rick is faced with a difficult challenge.

The Breadwinner 
The 24 best films of all time about curfews and bans on going out

Video ThumbnailThe Breadwinner
FilmtitelThe Breadwinner (2017)
DirectorNora Twomey
StarsSaara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus, Laara Sadiqg

Parvana is an 11-year-old girl who grew up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. Her everyday life is marked by curfews. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy to support her family.

While working alongside her friend Shauzia, Parvana discovers a new world of freedom – and danger. She draws strength from the fantastic stories she invents as she sets out in search of her father. The “breadwinner” is an inspiring story about the power of hope. The actress and director Angelina Jolie co-financed this film as a producer.

Cove Road

Video ThumbnailCove Road
FilmtitelCove Road (2012)
DirectorJonathan Keogh
StarsJohn Avelino, Lani Barry, Bryan DeMarco, Gerrit Graham

A murderer sneaks around in “Cove Road” under the alias Henry VIII in the quiet town of Bluefish, New York. As the list of his victims grows, a curfew is imposed on the city. Meanwhile, Kevin Keffler hosts a house party with friends to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation after the first year of college.

After curfew, an accident happens that calls all friendships into question. Before sunrise, Kevin has to make a potentially fatal decision.

Wild Rose
The 24 best films of all time about curfews

Video ThumbnailWild Rose
FilmtitelWild Rose (2018)
DirectorTom Harper
StarsJessie Buckley, Matt Costello, Jane Patterson, Lesley Hart

Rose-Lynn Harlan is a 23-year-old working girl from Glasgow, Scotland. She is fresh out of prison where she was incarcerated for a year on drug charges. Rose-Lynn is trying to get her chaotic life under control. In the process she gets back together with her children, the older Wynonna and the younger Lyle. These were looked after by her grandmother Marion during her imprisonment. The grandmother openly despises her daughter’s lifestyle. Her mother Marion struggles to understand her daughter. For Rose-Lynn is determined to travel to Nashville, Tennessee – the cradle of country music. There she wants to become a famous country singer.

Thanks to her mother’s good name, Rose-Lynn gets a job as a cleaning lady in the house of Susannah, an upper class woman married to James. Disturbed, self-destructive and strongly influenced by her boyfriend and occasional lover Elliot (a fan of alcohol, night and wild parties), “Wild Rose” Rose-Lynn finds herself trapped at a crossroads where she is fighting against her worst enemy: herself.

The 24 best films of all time about bans on going out

Video ThumbnailAnthropoid
FilmtitelAnthropoid (2016)
Director Sean Ellis
StarsJamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Brian Caspe, Karel Hermánek Jr.

Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ =  not worth seeing

This feature film is based on the extraordinary and true story of Operation Anthropoid, a kamikaze mission during World War II to assassinate SS-General Reinhard Heydrich.

Heydrich, the Reich’s third commander after Hitler and Himmler, was the chief architect of the Final Solution and the leader of the Nazi occupying forces in Czechoslovakia. Their reign of terror prompted self-appointed Czech and Slovak soldiers, despite the curfew, to concoct a top-secret mission to change the face of Europe forever.

Gadjo Dilo

Video ThumbnailGadjo Dilo - Beloved Stranger
FilmtitelGadjo Dilo (1997)
DirectorTony Gatlif
Stars Romain Duris, Rona Hartner, Izidor Serban, Ovidiu Balan

Stéphane, a young French man from Paris, travels to Romania in the feature film “Gadjo Dilo – Beloved Stranger”. He is looking for the singer Nora Luca, whose songs his father had listened to constantly before his death. On a frozen road he meets old Izidor, a member of the Roma community, and tells him about Nora Luca. Izidor takes him to his village. Stéphane believes that Izidor will take him to Nora Luca when the time comes. So he lives with the Roma for several months.

The villagers don’t like him at first, but as they gradually get to know him better, the suspicion gives way. In summer, the ice finally breaks between Stéphane and the beautiful Sabina, and a secret is revealed.

La battaglia di Algeri
The 24 best films of all time about curfew hours

Video ThumbnailLa battaglia di Algeri
FilmtitelLa battaglia di Algeri (1966)
DirectorGillo Pontecorvo
StarsBrahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Samia Kerbash

“La battaglia di Algeri” (Battle of Algiers) is about the Algerian war of liberation. In 1954, the National Liberation Front (NLF) of Algiers shoots at French police. In return, the police chief places a bomb in the Arab quarter and kills many inhabitants. The NLF sends three women with bombs to two pubs and the Air France office in the European quarter, escalating the conflict.

The French government imposes curfews and sends troops. Their commander, Colonel Mathieu, is disregarding human rights and torturing NLF commanders. In 1962 the Algerians nevertheless achieve their longed-for independence from France.

Roma città aperta

Video ThumbnailRoma città aperta
FilmtitelRoma città aperta (1945)
DirectorRoberto Rossellini
StarsAnna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

“Roma città aperta” (Rome, Open City) is set in World War II. The Nazis occupied Rome. But because Rome is classified as an open city, most Romans can get out onto the streets. But life is still difficult because there is a curfew, basic food is rationed and the Nazis are still looking for resistance fighters.

At this time widowed mother Pina is about to marry her neighbour Francesco. Despite their situation – Pina is pregnant and Francesco is an atheist – they are married by the Catholic priest Don Pietro Pelligrini. The day before the wedding, Francesco’s friend Giorgio Manfredi arrives, whom Pina has never met because he, who works for the resistance, needs a hiding place.

Being Blacker

Video ThumbnailBeing Blacker
FilmtitelBeing Blacker (2018)
DirectorMolly Dineen
StarsBlacker Dread

“Being Blacker” is the story of the renowned reggae record shop owner and music producer Blacker Dread, his extended family, his friends and the city of Brixton.


Video ThumbnailRoja
FilmtitelRoja (1992)
DirectorMani Ratnam
Stars Arvind Swamy, Madhoo, Pankaj Kapur, Nassar

Roja, a young woman, was born and raised in South India. She prays that the handsome young Rishi, who comes to visit her sister, will become her future brother-in-law. Eventually Roja marries Rishi and they leave the village to settle in the city.

Rishi, who works for the Indian government, is ordered to go on a secret mission to the troubled state of Kashmir, where even curfews have done nothing to calm the situation. Roja is also travelling with her husband. She is promptly kidnapped and held for ransom by a group of jihadist fighters who want an independent Kashmir.

Acta General de Chile (

Video ThumbnailActa General de Chile
FilmtitelActa General de Chile (1986)
DirectorMiguel Littin
StarsHortensia Allende, Salvador Allende, Fidel Castro, Joan Garcés

In 1985, Chilean director Miguel Littin, who was in exile, secretly returned to his home country, the then military dictatorship of Chile. Torture, curfew and suspicion reigned there. In his documentary film “Protocol on Chile” he tells about life in the country. The Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Marquez wrote the world’s best-selling book “Clandestine in Chile : The Aventures of Miguel Littin” about the shooting of this film.

État de siège

Video ThumbnailÉtat de siège
FilmtitelÉtat de siège (1972)
StarsYves Montand, Renato Salvatori, O.E. Hasse, Jacques Weber

In Uruguay, an official of the US Agency for International Development is kidnapped by a group of urban guerrillas in the early 1970s. Against the background of real interrogations, the film examines the brutal consequences of the struggle between the Uruguayan government and the left-wing Tupamaro guerrillas.

The Central Park Five 
The 24 best films ever about bans on going out and curfews

Video ThumbnailThe Central Park Five
FilmtitelThe Central Park Five  (2012)
DirectorKen Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
StarsAntron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana

In 1989, five black and Latin American teenagers from Harlem are arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York’s Central Park. They all spend between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confesses that he alone committed the crime. Which leads to the false convictions being overturned.

Set against the backdrop of a decaying city plagued by violence and racial tension and where curfews and restricted areas are commonplace, “The Five of Central Park” tells the story of a miscarriage of justice, attempts at manipulation by police, media hype for sensational stories in the service of an outraged public, and five lives in which everything changes.

Yolda – Rüzgar geri getirirse
The 24 best films of all time about curfews

Video ThumbnailYolda - Rüzgar geri getirirse
FilmtitelYolda -Rüzgar geri getirirse (2005)
DirectorErden Kiral
StarsYesim Büber, Halil Ergün, Mehmet Esen, Israfil Köse

With his feature film ” Yolda -Rüzgar geri getirirse” Erden Kiral pays homage to one of the greatest cinema artists of Turkish cinema: Yilmaz Guney. This feature film is about the days the director spent in the company of Yilmaz Guney. In one of the most memorable scenes of this film, Erden Kiral shows the ecstasy and joy on the faces of the people who meet Yilmaz Guney at a wedding reception in an obscure hotel.

Films about larger-than-life personalities are often political in Turkey. Yolda is no exception. The film is a mixture of biography and call to support Yilmaz Guney’s fight against the Turkish authorities.


Video ThumbnailFiraaq
FilmtitelFiraaq (2008)
DirectorNandita Das
StarsInaamulhaq, Nassar, Shahana Goswami, Nawazuddin Siddiquig

During riots in the city of Gujarat an injured Muslim woman asks the main character of the film, Arati, for a hiding place. But Arati doesn’t open her front door. Because her husband Sanjay has looted goods from shops, and his brother Devan even sexually harasses Muslim women.

Police arrest five Muslim men with guns. The situation escalates.

Salvatore Giuliano
The 24 best films of all time about bans on going out

Video ThumbnailSalvatore Giuliano
FilmtitelSalvatore Giuliano (1962)
Director Francesco Rosi
StarsFrank Wolff, Salvo Randone, Frederico Zardi, Pippo Agusta

In 1950 the 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found shot dead in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and other rebels were recruited by separatist politicians for their struggles, and the days before and after Giuliano’s death.

Will the murderers be pardoned as promised after the declaration of Sicily’s self-determination?

Ghatak: Lethal

Video ThumbnailGhatak: Lethal
FilmtitelGhatak: Lethal (1996)
DirectorRajkumar Santoshi
StarsSunny Deol, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Danny Denzongpa, Amrish Puri

Shambunath lives with his younger son Kaashi in a village. Together they travel to Mumbai. When they arrive there, they discover that a curfew has been imposed on the place where their friend lives and that there is nobody around.

Mui du du xanh
The 24 best films of all time about night curfews and bans on going out

Video ThumbnailMùi du du xanh
FilmtitelMùi du du xanh (1993)
DirectorAnh Hung Tran
StarsNu Yên-Khê Tran, Man San Lu, Thi Loc Truong, Anh Hoa Nguyen

Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ =  not worth seeing

A small farm girl, Mui, goes to town as a new servant to a family. There is a riot. She’s not allowed to go out. At her new place of work, the mother is still mourning for her daughter, who would have been as old as Mui. In her mind, she treated Mui as her daughter. Ten years later, Mui, now a young woman, is sent to a new house, to a young pianist and his fiancée.

The musician fell in love with Mui. He teaches her to read and write. Finally he leaves his girlfriend and marries Mui.

Filmpulse Editorial Office
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Under the heading "Filmpulse Editorial Office", contributions appear which are jointly produced by several members of the staff.

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