34 Best Spanish Movies On Netflix To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

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34 Best Spanish Language Movies On Netflix — Hispanic Heritage Month 2020
Entertainment And News

September 15th to October 15th is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. Why not celebrate the Spanish language and the artistic prowess of this dynamic culture with the best Spanish movies on Netflix?

Often overlooked by mainstream media, some of the most moving stories of culture and history are told by filmmakers and actors in Spanish-language movies. Hispanic Heritage Month, and every month, is a chance to correct this whitewashing in the film industry by recognizing the contributions and influence of the Latinx community to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States and the world. 

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And it’s not just native speakers who can enjoy these Spanish Netflix movies. Given that Spanish is one of the most geographically widespread spoken languages, it’s about time we diversify the stories we see on screen by turning our attention to, and our subtitles on, Spanish movies.

These internationally celebrated films follow characters from Mexico to Spain, and are a great tool for those looking to expand their Spanish vocabulary.

34 Best Spanish Movies on Netflix

1. Verónica (2017)

Just in time for Spooky Season! The tragic true story behind this movie is reimagined as terrifying horror, as a young group of friends tries out an Ouija board (also known as a spirit board, or talking board) during a solar eclipse.

2. Todos Lo Saben (2019)

Academy Award winners and real-life power couple, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, star opposite each other in this tense thriller.

When Laura and her 2 children travel to Spain for a family wedding, she finds herself thrust into a nightmare after her daughter is kidnapped. Her quest to save her daughter unveils a secret past with unexpected people involved. 

3. La llamada (2017)

Hilarious and heartwarming, this musical comedy is Spain’s answer to Sister Act.

Rebellious teens, Maria and Susana, find themselves in deep trouble after sneaking away from their Catholic summer camp to party. Prevented from expressing their love of music, the girls set out to show the nuns the power of song, and the power of fun. 

4. Roma (2018)

This powerful Mexican drama won Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, and after watching it’s easy to see why. Set in black-and-white in the 70s, the emotional story intertwines the story of a housekeeper with the middle class family she cares for. 

5. 7 Años (2016)

When a successful company is investigated by the government, its 4 founders prepare to have their massive tax fraud uncovered.

In an attempt to save their reputations, they decide one person must take the fall and the 7-year prison sentence. Unable to agree on who should accept the blame, they hire a professional mediator.

6. La Dictadura Perfecta (2014)

This wildly funny political satire speaks to the world of “Fake News” and takes its inspiration from the real-life events of Enrique Peña Nieto’s campaign during the 2012 presidential election in Mexico.

After an international faux pas goes viral, the Mexican Government urges a powerful Mexican television corporation to create a media distraction. 

7. El Laberinto Del Fauno (2006)

That’s Pan’s Labyrinth for you English speakers! This Guillermo del Toro fantasy masterpiece is set in Francoist Spain in 1944.

Fairy tale-obsessed 10-year-old Ofelia is visited by an old Faun who tells her she's the heir to the throne of a mysterious underworld. To reunite with her father, the king, she must undergo 3 gruesome tasks to prove herself. 

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8. Tarde Para La Ira (2016)

For 8 years, Ana has raised her son alone, waiting for her convicted boyfriend to be released from prison. Upon his release, his violent behavior threatens her family’s safety.

Jose, a regular at the cafe she works in, offers Ana the promise of escape, but his ulterior motives suggest a different fate. 

9. 100 Metros (2017)

Inspirational and tear-jerking, this is the true story of Ramón Arroyo.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Arroyo sets out to an Ironman Triathlon, despite being told that he won't make it past the first 100 meters. To do so, he enlists the help of his former athlete father-in-law who has a battle of his own on his hands. 

10. El Hoyo (2019)

El Hoyo interrogates society’s hierarchal structure in this reimagined prison system.

In the movie, prisons are built with just one cell, containing two inmates, at each level. At mealtimes, food descends from the top-down, meaning lower levels only receive leftovers, if anything at all. Deprivation and starvation lead to a violent uprising and daring rebellion. 

11. Soltera Codiciada (2018)

When Maria Fe is savagely dumped, she's inspired to start a blog that teaches others how to get over a breakup. Sweet and silly, this feel-good comedy is inspired by a real-life popular Peruvian blog.

12. Palmeras En La Nieve (2015)

Fans of the historical novela by Luz Gabás will love this film adaptation.

Shifting between past and present, the movie tells the story of Clarence, who discovers her family’s dark past after the death of her father. She travels to Africa to attempt to right the wrongs of her ancestors. 

13. El Hombre De Las Mil Caras (2016)

This thriller takes its plot from the real-life story of former Spanish spy and businessman, Francisco Paesa.

After playing a key role in a government plot against terrorism, Paesa is framed and exiled from Spain. When he's finally allowed to return, he comes back with a vengeance and is set on exacting revenge against the police commissioner who ruined his life. 

14. Como Agua Para Chocolate (1992)

Employing the art of magic realism, this is an epic historical film with a twist that challenges gender norms, tradition, and family.

Based on a popular Mexican novel of the same name, this movie became the highest-grossing foreign-language film ever released in the United States at the time of its release.

15. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Gael García Bernal stars as a teenager traveling through Mexico with his best friend and an older woman named Luisa. Luisa is escaping her husband’s affair and the boys must conjure up a road trip that they initially made up just to entice her.

It's a story of youth and lust told across the beautiful Mexican landscape. Because sun-filled road trips were definitely missed this year. 

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16. Nuestros Amantes (2016)

This is a love story with a catch. Actually, there are several catches.

When Carlos and Irene begin dating, there are some ground rules: neither can reveal personal information about themselves, names included, and their relationship must be solely best on enjoying time spent together.

All is well... until Irene discovers Carlos is married to the woman her boyfriend recently left her for. 

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17. El Ciudadano Ilustre (2016)

This deadpan comedy is a fun way for Spanish language learners and speakers to get a sense of the divide between South American and European Spanish language and culture.

When a Nobel-prize winning author who has been living in Spain returns to his Argentinian hometown to receive an award, he's confronted with undeniable ties and irreconcilable differences between himself and his roots. 

18. Neruda (2016)

This film also stars Gael García Bernal, this time as a young policeman tasked with hunting down famed politician and poet, Pablo Neruda, as part of the suppression of communism in Chile during the mid-1940s. Biographical and honest, the movie shows Neruda in a desperate quest to escape and save his life. 

19. Toc Toc (2017)

Zany and side-splitting, this movie appeals to the same comedic tastes as the American film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. A group of OCD patients are forced to endure each other’s behavioral issues in the waiting room of their flight-delayed doctor as they arrive for their appointments. 

20. El Club de Los Insomnes (2018)

Have trouble sleeping? This rom-com follows an aspiring photographer and a pregnant veterinarian who form a unique friendship in a local mini-mart. Keeping each other, and the cashier, company each night while their lives are in a moment of crisis. 

21. Vivir Dos Veces (2019)

Three generations unite with a common cause in this wistful, heartwarming comedy set in Valencia.

When retired math teacher, Emilio, is diagnosed with rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s disease, he, his daughter and granddaughter embark on a quest to find his childhood crush before his memory is lost completely.

22. El Hijo (2019)

Set in Argentina, this psychological thriller is as eerie as it is clever. Artist and father Lorenzo struggles with paranoia and mental degradation as he fears his wife is trying to keep him from their infant son. 

23. El Otro Hermano (2017)

Another Argentinian thriller, this time with even more twists and deception. After his mother and brother are murdered, a man enlists the help of a local thug to pull off a life insurance scam, but soon finds himself out of his depth on a sinister path. 

24. También la Lluvia (2010)

Gael García Bernal appears for a third time on this list, starring in this drama as a Spanish director who travels to Bolivia to make a film about Christopher Columbus’ conquest.

The film cleverly parallels Spanish colonialism and the exploitation of the New World when the cast and crew find themselves facing a moral dilemma while working with Bolivian extras.

25. Carteristas (2018)

As plots go, this isn’t the most unpredictable, but it’s an easy watch and the setting in Columbia’s beautiful capital makes it worthwhile. A master thief takes 3 young prodigies under his wing and teaches them to become successful pickpockets. 

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26. Adú (2020)

A new addition to Netflix, this movie follows three-interlocking stories with one thing in common: Africa.

In an attempt to flee to Europe, 6-year-old Adú and his sister try to sneak on an aircraft in Cameroon. An environmental activist witnesses a life-altering event. And in the autonomous Spanish city of Mellia, civil guards face a group of African immigrants desperately trying to cross the border fence. 

27. Thi Mai (2017)

In the mood for something lighthearted? This comedy is heartwarming, albeit kind of cheesy and predictable. It’s not the most intellectually stimulating movie you could watch, but it’s a good watch nonetheless.

When her adult daughter dies unexpectedly, a mother travels with her two friends to Vietnam, determined to bring home the baby girl her daughter had planned to adopt.

28. Fe De Etarras (2017)

Netflix’s second attempt at a Spanish-language original comes in the form of this dark, controversial comedy that satirizes recent Spanish history and the Basque conflict, for those invested in European politics. A group of wannabe Basque terrorists wait for a new mission while Spain takes its shot at a soccer World Cup title.

29. Durante La Tormenta (2018)

When 12-year-old Nico witnesses a murder and dies trying to escape, he leaves behind a video recording that tells a dark story. Twenty-five years later, Vera Roy, who has the power to travel across parallel universes, finds the tape and sets out to prevent the murders from occurring. 

30. La Hora Final (2017)

This compelling true story follows two Peruvian detectives who must go undercover to capture Abimael Guzman, the leader of the terrorist organization, Shining Path. Embroiled in the violence of 1992 Lima, the detectives’ intense and complex relationship threatens their mission and their lives. 

31. Contratiempo (2016)

With more twists and turns than can be counted, this Spanish thriller takes you on a suspenseful journey. When his mistress is mysteriously murdered, a young entrepreneur has just 3 hours to prove his innocence. 

32. El Guardián Invisible (2017)

Another Spanish thriller, but this time set in the Navarre, the hometown of Inspector Amaia Salazar. Amaia returns to the Baztan valley to catch a serial killer who is hunting teens. There, she must confront her own terrors and the subject of her ongoing nightmares. 

33. El Alien y Yo (2016)

Take a break from all those terrifying thrillers with this fun comedy with a brilliant soundtrack. Hoping to update their sound and expand their audience, a punk band recruit Pepe, a keyboardist with Down Syndrome. But when he captivates fans and steals the show, jealousy arises. 

34. Bellas de Noche (2016)

Though this is technically a documentary rather than a film, this cinematic masterpiece is still well worth a watch.

Bittersweet and moving, it follows the lives of 5 incredible women who once captivated audiences as showgirls of the 70s and 80s in Mexico City. Now, they have been forced to overcome personal challenges and adapt to the rapidly changing world of entertainment.

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Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for YourTango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.