Who doesn’t enjoy watching a good movie? Why not combine Spanish learning with your love of films, be it Latin American or from Spain?
In this article, you will discover 12 best Spanish movies for the language learner.
Watching Spanish movies will enhance your language skills.
There is a wide range of quality Spanish flicks for your viewing pleasure.
Watching these films without reading subtitles is a great way to learn and improve this incredibly beautiful and mellifluous Spanish.
More and more movies from Spanish-speaking countries are winning awards around the world, such as Amores Perros, Belle Époque, Mar Adentro, Todo Sobre mi Madre, El Secreto de Tu Ojos, Volver A Empezar, Sueño en Otro Idioma, El Laberinto del Fauno, etc.
The knowledge of Spanish will open up the world of Spanish Films to you.
It will allow you to watch marvelous, and exemplary works of Ricardo Darín, Javier Bardem, Luis Tosar, Eduard Fernández, Penélope Cruz, Maribel Verdú, and many more.
- How Can Movies Help You To Learn Spanish?
- 12 Best Spanish Movies for Learning Spanish
- 1. Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales) – 2014 (R)
- 2. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Labelrinto del Fauno) – 2006 (R)
- 3. Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries) – 2004 (R)
- 4. El Secreto en sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) – 2009 (R)
- 5. Amores Perros – 2009 (R)
- 6. The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) – 2004 (PG-13)
- 7. Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) – 1997 (R)
- 8. Volver (To return) – 2006 (R)
- 9. All About My Mother Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) -1999 (R)
- 10. Rec 1, 2, 3 and 4 – 2007 / 2009 / 2012 / 2014 (R)
- 11. Paraiso Travel – 2008 (R)
- 12. Maria Full of Grace – 2004 (R)
How Can Movies Help You To Learn Spanish?
Books and handouts alone are not sufficient if you want to improve your Spanish language learning process.
These movies can help improve your vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, local slang around the world, and learn new expressions.
Films stimulate your brain functions to improve your memory capacity, ability to focus, and attention span.
Watching Spanish movies is fun, and increases your knowledge of traditional Spanish life, culture, customs, local Spanish dialects, and slang.
Now, why don’t we grab these opportunities and use them to our advantage in learning Spanish?
Yes, there are lots of Spanish movies you can relax and watch to improve your accents, vocabulary, and pronunciation, including learning new expressions.
12 Best Spanish Movies for Learning Spanish
While there are tons of good Spanish movies for learning Spanish, I have only compiled the popular and those I have already seen.
Whatever your Spanish level, this list of Spanish movies that are guaranteed to improve your understanding of the language.
So here we go to some of the best Spanish films for Spanish learners!
1. Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales) – 2014 (R)
Wild Tales is a hilarious, roller coaster masterpiece of a movie.
As the name implies, the film consists of six short, different stories carefully written and directed by the combined expertise of Damián Szifron, Pedro Almodóvar, and Augustin.
The movie showcases the human race ridiculous passion, extremities of human behavior involving people in distress with gruesome details and wry humor.
Each of the featured stories demonstrates an everyday-dramatic situation where universal emotions and human reactions become extreme as the circumstances come together with one after the other and bounce off each other.
The flick’s hilarious and gripping nature will cause you to pick up some of the finest, unsavory, but thrilling Argentine vocabulary.
It is one of my favorite Spanish films all the time. No surprise that Relatos Salvajes won more than 50 awards across significant award shows.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Labelrinto del Fauno) – 2006 (R)
If you’re looking for a Spanish ‘fairy-tale’ for adults, Director, Guillermo Del Toro has a masterpiece for you: Pan’s Labyrinth!
The film’s setting is based deep inside a haunted forest, going back to the 1944 falangist Spain era — the start of a dictatorship that held Spain ransom till the middle of the 1970s.
Pan’s Labyrinth is an excellent movie for unusually learning Spanish history and language.
The film carries a fantastical symbolism that is very significant to the message it conveys. This movie indeed is an excellent choice if you want to increase your Spanish vocabulary.
The movie talks about Ofelia, a young girl who was left alone, exploring what resides within her surroundings.
On the other hand, her stepfather tries to crush raging opposition forces, and her mother is confined to the bed, awaiting Ofelia’s brother.
In the course of her wanderings, Ofelia discovered how she might be the sole heir to a kingdom that is hidden underground. However, this reality merges deeply with the lives of both her stepfather and mother leads.
3. Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries) – 2004 (R)
It is a biopic movie that portrays the youthful innocence of two friends challenged by the exploitation and poverty they encountered while touring South America.
The film saw Gael García Bernal stars as Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s awakening representation. The original ‘Che’ has a written diary of the journey he made while he was just 23 years old.
He was accompanied by Alberto Granado, his friend, both of whom were training to become doctors.
The people they met and the challenges they faced in traveling around the continent displays a version of the ‘Che’ right before the revolutionary.
The film “Diarios de Motocicleta” offers an excellent opportunity to learn the Spanish language from different cultures and varying dialects in South America.
It is one of the astonishing classical movies for learning Spanish, specially Castellano variants.
4. El Secreto en sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) – 2009 (R)
Here is one of the best Latin American thrillers. The movie is a masterpiece that tells the story of justice and pain.
The film is a brutal tale of a retired legal counselor by the name Esposito, who happens to be writing a book about one of his unresolved homicide cases.
The film saw Esposito being led on a chase by the suspects. It also depicts his knowledge and expertise of the human nature.
For those who like suspense and mystery, this is the movie to watch.
By watching one of these Spanish movies, you will learn about Argentina and its history & local dialects (Español Rioplatense), famous Spanish saying, and other expressions with “Ojos.”
It is perfect for communicating the nuances of Spanish culture and language.
5. Amores Perros – 2009 (R)
An award-winning movie that flows from Alejandro Gonzalez as the director.
The film Amores Perros (Love’s A Bitch) is a thriller that showcases lives on the edge of society in the heart of Mexico City.
Poverty, dog-fighting, and violence dominate the life of the central character, Octavio, and complicate issues further; he falls in love with his sister-in-law.
The Ameros Perros is a fast-action and gripping movie, with violent scenes and glimpses of tenderness that put you on edge all through.
It is the movie you can tune into for the best of Mexican Spanish slang, even as you will have to fight back the tears.
6. The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) – 2004 (PG-13)
Again, this is another award-winning film Featuring Javier Bardem masterclass – one of the best from Alejandro Amenábar.
The Sea Inside is the depiction of a real-life story of a ship mechanic who suffered a terrible accident. And, as a result, lost much of his physicality. Becoming a quadriplegic, Bardem fights for 28 years to obtain the right to die.
The story is very emotional, supported by powerful performances. It is a film that showcases the struggles and resilience of one man.
Although he could no longer live his life the way he wanted, Bardem relations with the people around him helped others flourish.
The movie is a captivating one, and it wasn’t much of a surprise that it won the best foreign-language film at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
It is internationally nominated for other awards as well.
With this fantastic Spanish movie, you will learn and improve various Spanish tenses such as Imperativo, Subjuntivo, and different vital Spanish tenses like Pretérito Indefinido, and Pretérito Imperfecto.
7. Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) – 1997 (R)
This is another super-thrilling romance movie from legendary director, Alejandro Amenábar.
The film focuses on a handsome young man who falls in love with a pretty woman.
But when he got involved in a terrible accident engineered by his ex-girlfriend on a suicide mission. It ended up disfiguring his face, and he had to deal with the reality of his love for the woman he loved.
It led to a series of unbelievable plots and nightmarish twists.
Abre Los Ojos is the movie that challenges your Spanish perception skills while leaving you in constant suspense.
This is one of the Spanish movies that is considered quite a challenge for Spanish speakers, putting your Spanish knowledge to the test.
8. Volver (To return) – 2006 (R)
Volver is a 2003 movie by Pedro Almodóvar, Spain’s most famous director.
The movie features Pedro’s favorite actress, Penelope Cruz.
She plays the central character who struggles to cope with life’s challenges and pick up the pieces after losing her husband to the cold hands of death.
The Volver is a story of three generations of women residing in Madrid who struggles and get through life as best they can.
Through this incredibly beautiful Spanish film, you will know more about Spanish life and Spanish accents and dialects of the Castilla–La Mancha region.
The story is genuinely a masterpiece as an all-Spanish movie.
9. All About My Mother Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) -1999 (R)
All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) is an attention-grabbing drama/comedy movie from Pedro Almodóvar. It is a 1999 classic movie.
The drama is about a vibrant and aspiring writer, Esteban, who tries to know who his father is and where he is — a secret Esteban’s mother keeps from him.
The movie is so powerful as such that it receives so many awards.
Want to enhance your knowledge about Advanced Spanish and various subordinate clauses?
Well, you should be watching it.
10. Rec 1, 2, 3 and 4 – 2007 / 2009 / 2012 / 2014 (R)
REC was released in 2007 and then followed by three sequels; REC 2 in 2009, REC 3: Génesis in 2012, and REC 4: Apocalypse in 2014.
This movie-series is another Pedro Almodóvar’s crime, drama, thriller, and horror movie.
It talks about a formal mental patient that takes women, prisoners, after his release because he hopes to convince someone to marry him.
This movie features Antonio Banderas in his early age of acting. It is a Spanish crime/drama movie that showcases Spain’s ability to compete in the horror movie genre.
11. Paraiso Travel – 2008 (R)
If you are looking for Spanish cinema from Latin America, you may want to try those from Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico.
Paradise Travel (Paraíso Travel) is one of the best Spanish movies for beginners who are just starting out learning Spanish.
It is one of the films that switch back and forth between English and Spanish.
The movie is a fast-pace Colombia showpiece that depicts the world of sex, drugs, and violence.
It is the type of flick that would never get you bored.
12. Maria Full of Grace – 2004 (R)
Maria Full of Grace (María, Llena Eres de Gracia) is also among the best movie for learning Spanish, especially for beginners.
The unflinching drama of a 17-year old, Maria Alvarez, lives with three generations of her family in rural Colombia. The movie talks about a pregnant Colombia teenager that turns herself into a drug mule.
She did all to raise some desperately needed cash for herself, her family, and to make it possible to live the American dream.
Spanish is one of the best foreign languages to learn for Jobs.