There is perhaps no easier nor more enjoyable way to "study" Spanish than to watch Spanish-language films. It used to be hard to see them outside the Spanish-speaking world, but home video has changed all that. This list includes the top Spanish-language films of all time ranked by their U.S. box office receipts. The title in each listing is the one primarily used for U.S. marketing. Although most Spanish-language films marketed for home video are subtitled, not dubbed, check before buying.
Guillermo del Toro skillfully combines the genres of fantasy, historical fiction and horror in this 2006 favorite.
A visually delightful tale about a rural Mexican woman growing up in a dysfunctional family, this film was nominated for the 1993 Golden Globe for best foreign film. It is based on the novel by Laura Esquivel.
This 2004 Argentine film tells the based-on-real-life story of a young Che Guevara, who went on a long motorcycle trip across South America with close friend, Alberto Granado, in the early 1950s while taking a year off from medical school in Argentina. The film is based on memoirs from the trip. It stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. Guevara is the Cuban revolutionary whose image is well-recognized throughout Latin America.
In this film written and directed by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, two men share an unusual friendship while their girlfriends are in comas.
Pedro Almodóvar's Todo sobre mi madre
tells the story of Manuela, a 40-ish single mother of a teenage son. The boy never knew his father, and we find out throughout the film how the father's absence has affected both the boy and the mother. A tragedy forces Manuela, played by Cecelia Roth, to leave her home in Madrid and seek the father. The relationships she makes or revives there form the heart of the movie.
This is a 2004 HBO Films release about a 17-year-old Colombian girl who becomes a drug mule, transporting drugs to the United States in her digestive system. It was filmed in both the United States and Colombia, where, you may notice, people address even family members and close friends as usted
This 1988 Pedro Almodóvar film focuses on the lives of two dubbing actors (played by Carmen Maura and Fernando Guillén) and their increasingly complicated relationships.
This 2002 Mexican hit starring Gael Garcia Bernal tells the story of a priest who falls into corruption.
The 2000 film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu tells three distinct stories that have an event in common, a Mexico City car accident. Leading actors are Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Bauche, Álvaro Guerrero, Goya Toledo and Emilio Echevarría.
Shot in film noir style, La mala educación
tells the story of two Catholic schoolboys growing up in Spain in the 1960s. The boys, Ignacio and Enrique, fall in love and draw the jealous attention of a priest, Padro Manolo. The story weaves its way through the next two decades and includes vaguely autobiographical elements relating to Almodóvar.
This 1990 Pedro Almodóvar film tells the story of a former mental patient (Antonio Banderas) who is obsessed with a former porn star (Victorial Abril) addicted to heroin.