Why are Spanish movies on Netflix so useful for learning the language? And how does learning Spanish through watching movies even work?

Well in a moment, I’ll try and answer these questions in general terms. But if you want to skip straight to the Top Ten Best Spanish movies on Netflix you can click here or scroll down a little…

In one of his videos, Luca spoke about how he improved his English by watching hours of episodes of Friends. It’s the same idea for watching Spanish movies on Netflix. The great thing about learning a language by watching movies and TV is that you can be immersed in the language while familiarizing yourself with Hispanic and Latino culture and customs.

top 10 Spanish movies on Netflix

Features on Netflix for Language Learning

Netflix has some fantastic features that will assist you with your learning.

I am going to reveal what these great features are, as well as my Top Ten Spanish Movies on Netflix.

Language learning should always be fun, as enjoyment plays a big role in keeping you motivated. So, watch the best Spanish movies and make learning entertaining!

How to use subtitles

Before we get started, I wanted to point out that there are different options available on Netflix depending on your level. You can watch Spanish movies with English subtitles first, and then watch them with Spanish subtitles. When you’re more confident, you can watch movies without subtitles altogether. Find out more about how to use subtitles to optimize your learning here.

Why audio description is your best friend for improving listening skills

My personal favorite feature for learning Spanish is audio description, which exists for some but not all Spanish shows on Netflix. The reason I like this is that you can see the picture and know that the audio is describing exactly what you see. Therefore, the context will help your understanding and the Spanish audio description will assist your listening skills. This feature allows you to hear what you see, which improves comprehension and also boosts your vocabulary. It is an intense but fruitful way to immerse yourself in a language.

Regional restrictions on Spanish movies

It is also worth noting that Netflix is regional. Some movies are not available in every country. I have made this list with the USA in mind but, whilst we do not condone it, there are always options like using a VPN (or going on vacation!), to get around regional content issues. This may be a good option if you’re looking for Spanish movies on Netflix from Canada or elsewhere in the world. Netflix is also constantly adding and removing content. So, if you see something on this list that isn’t available in your region, check back another time.

So, Here it Goes: The Best Spanish Movies on Netflix

The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la ira)

One of the best Spanish movies on Netflix. The Fury of a Patient Man film poster with a Spanish man holding a shotgun

This popular Spanish movie is a thriller that delves into the violent nature of humans. It is both tense and fascinating. This is a movie that has fantastically captivating and complex characters. Jose, a man who is ordinarily solitary and good-natured, gets caught up in the lives of a recently released convict, his girlfriend, and their son. This unexpected encounter takes them on a three day journey which involves violence, emotional confrontation, and revenge. This award-winning cocktail of bitterness makes for a great Spanish movie, but it may not be one for the faint-hearted. You can look for other award-winning Spanish movies on Netflix with their search engine.

Holy Camp (La Hamada)

Poster of the Spanish movie Holy Camp with four women facing forwards with a yellow background

Those who are looking for Christian Spanish movies on Netflix may be a little disappointed with this one. However, while this film is slightly irreverent at times, its intention is to be a funny Spanish movie rather than a production that criticizes faith. It’s actually more entertaining than it may sound and ends up being a pretty good Spanish comedy. This musical features two naughty girls, Maria and Susana, who are sent to a Christian camp in the woods as a punishment. The movie, as well as providing genuinely funny moments, also includes an important air of sincerity that evokes a certain, but limited, level of reflection. This is probably what stops it from being just another trashy teen musical comedy of the Spanish genre.

Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate)

Image result for Como agua para chocolate film

This Mexican Spanish-language movie is a romantic drama with some elements of magical realism. It is a delight for the senses, as it interweaves the wondrous worlds of food and human relationships. It tells a story laced with high emotion, familial tension and tradition.

Part of a growing collection of Mexican Spanish movies on Netflix, in this film, the viewer is launched into the complexities of family dynamics within Mexico. These difficulties are relatable, in that we recognize the classic roles and hierarchy that still exist to some extent within today’s society. Although these relationships might seem pretty antiquated to the modern viewer, we get a glimpse into the role of women within Mexican society at that time. We also witness the heartache of the character Tita, who is forbidden from marrying her love, Pedro. This film is a cultural and culinary triumph. It is at its most enjoyable when we see Tita and Pedro’s somewhat problematic romance blossom. Much of the film draws metaphorical parallels between the world of food and everyday life.

Smoke and Mirrors (El Hombre de las mil caras)

top-10-best-spanish-movies-on-netflix-mosalingua

This is a hugely entertaining and gripping movie. This plot is wild. Some may feel that Netflix is saturated with spy movies, but I am convinced that Alberto Rodriguez has added a Spanish gem to the espionage genre. While there may be several in English, there aren’t many Spanish movies on Netflix like this one. It focuses on the corruption within the Spanish political system in the 1990s. As we watch, we are presented with a former spy’s revenge on the system that deceived and cheated him. Alongside an exciting script, is a beautifully colorful and striking movie. Viewers also benefit from the historical and political references, which may help you develop a slightly more specialized Spanish vocabulary.

Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos)

Spanish Movie poster for Spanish Affair. A man and a woman are on a boat at sea. They are kissing.

This iconic Spanish romantic comedy is a hugely popular film that gives an amusing insight into the colloquial language and the idiosyncrasies of different regions in Spain. This is a cultural feast for anyone who wants a greater understanding of particular differences that exist within Spain and the customs and stereotypes that shape certain Spanish districts. In this film, a southern Spanish man travels to Basque Country where he becomes infatuated with a Basque woman. This paves the way for a wholesome and witty collision of cultures that is both enthralling and endearing.

Whilst improving your Spanish, you’ll gain a better understanding of some of the more unusual aspects of Spanish culture as well as a peek into Spanish nationalism. If you enjoy it, check out the sequel, Spanish Affair 2, also in the collection of Spanish movies on Netflix.

Sex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo)

Spanish movie poster for Sex and Lucia. A woman is smiling whilst holding a photo of a couple. The top corner of the photo is on her mouth.

This rather risqué Spanish movie is not one for the prudish. However, beyond the openly sexual content of the film (you have been warned), is a production that holds a sophisticated and complex idea. It is this side of the film that makes it one of the best Spanish movies on Netflix today. It will leave viewers asking several questions – don’t be alarmed if you’re not entirely sure what is happening! This is a film that is both visually and intellectually stimulating.

In the movie, Lorenzo is an author who has been advised to include a considerable amount of sex in his work. Lorenzo has an impassioned encounter on a beach, a wild affair with someone who deeply admires his work, and a love affair with a nanny. These three sexual liaisons are not without consequence and the film intertwines and explores sexual intrigue and deep sadness to produce something which will excite the viewer as well as provoke thought. Personally, I think this is one of the saddest movies on Netflix. For a more detailed dissection of the movie, check out this review by the New York Times.

The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo)

Spanish movies on Netflix, Poster for The Invisible Guest. Four people shoulder to shoulder looking stern. Two men are on the left and two women are on the right with a grey background.

This 2016 film is a great Spanish murder mystery. A successful businessman from Barcelona, who is being charged with the murder of his mistress, must produce an account of his actions. To add to the turmoil, he has just three hours to devise his testimony. A high-caliber trainer gives him witness coaching to ensure he is ready to go on trial. This is a tense and dramatic movie that demonstrates the dangerous and destructive consequences of lies and deception. Flashbacks bring this Netflix film to life and keep the viewer engaged. I think that makes it one of the best Spanish movies on Netflix, especially as we try to piece this jigsaw puzzle together – all in Spanish of course!

Veronica

Spanish movie poster for the film Veronica. An old nun is facing forward in a darkened room with a younger woman standing behind her in the background.

Some reviews of this excellent Spanish horror movie claim that it is one of the scariest Spanish movies on Netflix. If you like movies that raise your heart rate while you improve your Spanish, this may be the film for you. I am not convinced that this movie is really that scary but it is hugely entertaining as it also wrestles with death, sexuality and fear. This, combined with the scary visuals in this film, bumped it into our Top Ten Best Spanish movies on NetflixFor an article that studies the varying and conflicting views of this film, read this piece from the Express.

100 Meters (100 Metros)

Spanish movie poster for 100 meters. Birdseye view of a man curled up on a grey bed in the fetal position.

This is perhaps the most heartwarming of our best Spanish movies on Netflix. This true story will introduce viewers to some interesting Spanish vocabulary. Ramon comes to terms with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the realization that he will not be able to walk 100 meters in just a few months’ time. However, he doesn’t allow this news to be a prophetic truth. He decides to complete an Ironman race and defy the odds. Ramon soon becomes an accomplished athlete with MS. This is a great Netflix film that shows one man’s grit and determination. Probably the most accessible of our Top Ten Best Spanish Movies on Netflix, this movie also has the Spanish audio description which I mentioned how to use in the introduction. Enjoy!

Toro

Spanish movies on Netflix: poster for Toro. Side profile of a man looking out to sea while smoking a cigarette.

Here we have a wonderfully vicious and brilliant Spanish movie on Netflix. Its plot moves so quickly that it will thrill even the most hard-to-please viewer. Toro, who was trying to leave his criminal past behind him, is forced back into his old way of life in order to rescue his brother and niece from a brutal gang leader known as Romano. This genre is quickly becoming a classic for Spanish language films, if it isn’t already. For its genre, it has to be one of the best on Netflix. While certain aspects aren’t very believable, the hard-hitting violent content and phenomenally fast pace more than make up for it. A fantastical thriller, this film is full of action and shows a relationship between brothers that defies logic but provides great entertainment.

Concluding Thoughts and Some Important Tips

Watching a film in Spanish should be enjoyable but it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. When we watch, we can easily develop some really bad habits that may hinder our progress. That’s why I strongly suggest you employ this advice on how to watch a film or series really effectively and avoid bad habits. It’s a short article so it won’t take you long and will save you time in the long run.

I tried to get a range of genres in my Top Ten Best Spanish Movies on Netflix list. If you’re hungry for more great quality Spanish content, a solution is on the way. Soon we’ll be releasing what we think is the greatest Spanish course to help you watch TV and movies. We are confident that this course will optimize your language learning progress and ensure that you have great fun. Keep an eye out for it, and in the meantime, check back in with the blog often for other great resources.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself while you watch these Spanish movies on Netflix. When you watch movies in English for pleasure, I am sure you can be very picky about what you watch. The same can be true when watching Spanish movies on Netflix. Don’t simply watch stuff because it’s in Spanish – try and find a topic or genre that you know you love.

More resources

Below is a list of useful resources if you are interested in using movies and series to improve your skills:

Until next time, happy viewing!