21 Best Movies to Help You Learn Spanish

Looking for the best movies to learn Spanish with? Check these 21 films to help you learn Spanish.

Learning Spanish needs not be boring. Luckily, there are ways to make it simpler and more enjoyable. And one great way to kick-start your practice or enhance your skills is to watch Spanish movies.

And the reasons for learning Spanish through films are evident.

Seeing flicks in the language, you’re learning is a fantastic way to improve it. They are simple, memorable, and need little effort on your part.

They also captivate their audience because they are more fun than just reading a book. Further, hearing ordinary people speaking Spanish in daily situations is an easy way to become familiar with the language.

But for those who need to know about films across Spanish-speaking regions, choosing the best movies to study can take time and effort. 

To help you out on the journey of Spanish learning, I have made a list of the 21 best movies for learning Spanish. 

But before.


How does watching films help you learn Spanish?

There are several advantages of studying Spanish with movies.

Unlike textbooks, films are fun! It makes it more delightful if you like the theme, story, location, soundtracks, or star casts. So, you will be likelier to sit still and pay attention during an activity that doesn’t feel like work.

Movies have subtitles! When you see a word written in your native tongue or English and then hear it in Spanish, you are more likely to understand what’s being said.

The audio is the icing on the cake. As part of the shadowing technique, speaking as the characters talk makes it easier to recall what they say and memorize. You also tune your ear for Spanish by listening to the authentic language.

Dialogues have plenty of new words, phrases, and sentences. Not only are they more accessible and easy to remember because of context. Plata o Plomo of Narcos rings any bell to you?

There is a clear relationship between culture and language. Spanish films offer valuable insights into Hispanic countries’ customs, festivals, and cultural aspects.

Viewing Spanish movies is the best way to dive deep and immerse yourself. It can also help advance your career related to Spanish.

Many Spanish language lovers totally ignore this; such a fun way of learning. You wouldn’t realize what you are missing unless you start consuming media in Spanish.

If a Spanish school promises to teach you in two years. Then, you can combine it with films can cut the time to 1.5 years.

Where to see Spanish movies for learners?

Films, music, dramas, and video shows are available on various websites and online streaming services.

These films can be found on paid platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Hulu, as well as on free platforms like Vimeo, Viu, and YouTube.

Also, you can stream Spanish movies for learners online from the comfort of your own home. OTT platforms and easy access to the internet make it easy to find something for everyone.

21 Outstanding Movies for Learning Spanish

Learners of Spanish looking to improve their language skills should watch these 21 Spanish movies.

This is a glimpse of a perfect combination of enjoyment and learning together in a well-deserved, fun break.

Good movies to help you learn Spanish

1. Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) – 2014 (R)

Damián Szifrón, Augustin, and Pedro Almodóvar have combined their expertise and written six short stories in this film. A roller coaster masterpiece of a movie, Wild Tales, is hilarious, shocking, and thrilling.

With gruesome details and wry humor, the movie illustrates the wild passion of humans and the extremes of human behavior.

Each story features everyday dramatic situations involving universal emotions and extreme human reactions. One event follows another and bounces off the other.

You will learn some of the finest, unsavory, thrilling Argentine vocabulary from the flick’s hilarious and gripping nature. The film has always been one of my favorites. It won over 50 awards across the award shows.

2. The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto en sus Ojos) – 2009 (R)

Do you like nail-biting thrillers and mystery flicks? If so, then Juan José Campanella’s El Secreto de sus Ojos is a perfect choice for Spanish learners.

This masterpiece is known for its tale of justice, crime, pain, and society-related issues. It tells the story of Esposito, a retired lawyer writing a book about one of his unresolved homicide cases.

The suspects led Esposito on a chase in the film. It also shows his understanding of human nature.

Movies for learning Spanish

This Spanish movie gives you a glimpse into Argentina’s history, local dialects, i.e., Rioplatense, famous Spanish sayings, and expressions with “Ojos.”

This is one of the best Latin American suspense movies and is ideal for communicating Spanish culture and language nuances. This suits learners at the intermediate level of the Spanish proficiency tests.

3. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Labelrinto del Fauno) – 2006 (R)

This is the incredible story of a young princess. She lives the life of a young human girl named Ofelia in war-torn 1944 Spain, five years after the Spanish Civil War, during the early Francoist era.

The tale knots this real world with a mythical world centered on an overgrown, deserted labyrinth. And then, there is a bizarre faun creature with whom the main character, Ofelia, comes into contact.

While the story revolves around war and rebellion, many touching parts of the film will undoubtedly draw you in and make it a pleasure to watch.

“Pan’s Labyrinth” is an excellent choice to help with past and present tenses and the use of “Ser” and “Estar.” You also learn many unknown words about war, revolution, and uprising. Use subtitles if the dialogues are more complex and quick.

4. Amores Perros (2000) (R)

Alejandro González Iñárritu directed his directorial debut, Amores Perros. 

It has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is one of the most influential Spanish-language thrillers of all time.

This anthology comprises three stories connected by the same horrific car accident in Mexico City. There is a connection between them, even in the presence of dogs.

A fast-paced, gripping movie with violent scenes and glimpses of tenderness, this flick will keep you on your toes. It also gives valuable insight into Iárritu’s early cinematic style, which offers a unique viewpoint.

You will better understand the Mexican dialect since the movie was made in Mexico. This suits those preparing for B1 of the SIELE examination.

5. The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de Motocicleta) – 2004 (R)

The movie portrays the innocence of two young friends who encounter exploitation and poverty while touring South America.

Gael García Bernal plays Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s awakening replica in the film. Che kept a diary of his journey when he was just 23 years old.

Learn Spanish with movies

He was assisted by Alberto Granado, his friend, who both trained to become doctors. Before the revolution, the people they encountered and their challenges displayed a version of the ‘Che.’ His experience on the trip inspired him to make a positive difference in the world.

The Motorcycle Diaries is a superb way to understand Latin American cultures and dialects of different regions. It can be tricky sometimes; still, it is suitable for all levels.

This is one of the most noteworthy classic movies for learning Spanish, especially Castellano. You will surely love it if you are a fan of history and travel.

6. Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) – 2004 (PG-13)

Alejandro Amenábar provides another outstanding performance with Javier Bardem’s masterclass.

“The Sea Inside” is the true story of Ramón Sampedro, a ship mechanic from Spain who suffered a horrible accident resulting in losing much of his physicality.

As a person with quadriplegia, Bardem fought for 28 years to realize his dying wish. This movie showcases the struggles and resilience of one man and is accompanied by powerful performances.

Bardem’s relationships with those around him helped others flourish, even though he could no longer live the life he wanted.

It is no surprise that the film won both the Golden Globe and Academy Awards for the best foreign-language film. It is also nominated internationally for multiple awards.

This Spanish movie will help you learn and improve various tenses. For instance, Imperative, Subjunctive, and Past Indefinite and Imperfect. Plus, you’ll gain a lot of advanced-level vocabulary.

7. Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) – 1997 (R)

It is a super-thrilling contemporary romance film by legendary director Alejandro Amenábar. The story revolves around a charming young man who falls in love with a pretty girl.

He had to deal with the consequences of his love when he got involved in a horrible accident caused by his ex-girlfriend on a suicide mission. In the accident’s aftermath, his face was disfigured, and he was forced to face reality.

Even with its unbelievable plot and nightmarish twists, Abre Los Ojos will keep you on the edge of your seat. But, at the same, it challenges your Spanish perception skills.

The film won the Best Picture award at the Tokyo Film Festival and is famous for its passionate and captivating story.

Among the Spanish movies you will find here, this one will test your understanding of Spanish. It also helps you gain a better grasp of the Spanish language regarding real-life conversations.

8. Volver (To return) – 2006 (R)

A 2003 movie, Volver, is directed by Pedro Almodóvar, one of Spain’s most famous directors. Penelope Cruz, Pedro’s favorite actress, stars in the film.

Having lost her husband to death, she struggles to cope with life’s hardships and picks up the pieces after losing him. Besides keeping her teenage daughter under control, she also needs to manage the grocery store owned by the family.

The Volver tells the story of three generations of women in Madrid who struggle and try to make the best of life. This is truly a masterwork and an entertaining and dramatic movie; this is a must-see.

This lovely Spanish film and the dialects of the Castilla–La Mancha region will teach you more about standard Spanish accents and life. You also learn many colloquial words and phrases in Spanish for everyday use.

9. Maria Full of Grace – 2004 (R)

The movie Maria Full of Grace (Maria, Llena Eres de Gracia) is perfect for Spanish beginners.

Films for Spanish learners

A movie about a pregnant Colombian teenager, Maria Alvarez, decides to become a drug mule despite being pregnant. The film follows her life with three generations of her family in rural Colombia.

She sacrificed everything for her and her family to raise some cash they desperately needed.

10. Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother Mother) -1999 (R)

‘Todo Sobre Mi Madre’ is one of Pedro Almodóvar’s most famous comedy and drama films. It was released in 1999.

Esteban struggles to discover who his father is and where he is. This is a secret his mother refuses to divulge. He then uncovers that his father is a young and aspiring writer.

Many awards have been given to the movie because it is so powerful.

Are you interested in learning more about Advanced Spanish and the various subordinate clauses? If so, this is a must-see Spanish movie to improve your language skills and help you pass the B2 of the Spanish DELE test.

11. Paraiso Travel – 2008 (R)

If you’re looking for Spanish cinema from Latin America, try one from Mexico, Colombia, or Argentina.

Paradise Travel is one of the best Spanish films for beginners who have just started learning Spanish.

In this film, English and Spanish are switched back and forth. Colombian showpiece depicting drugs and violence in a fast-paced manner. There is never a dull moment in this movie.

12. Rec 1, 2, 3 & 4 – 2007 / 2009 / 2012 / 2014 (R)

After the release of REC in 2007, three sequels were released; REC 2 in 2009, REC 3: Genesis in 2012, and REC 4: Apocalypse in 2014.

The film series is another of Pedro Almodóvar’s crime, drama, thriller, and horror films.

In the story, a person with a mental health condition takes women and prisoners after being released to get married.

It is a Spanish crime/drama film that showcases Spain’s ability to compete early in the horror genre. Antonio Banderas stars in this movie.

13. Perdiendo el norte (Off Course) – 2015

Directed by Nacho G. Velilla, Perdiendo el Norte is another comedy film that will amuse throughout 104 minutes. This film has full of wit, jokes, comical scenes, funny costumes, and other comical moments.

In this story, two young Spanish men with a university education decide to move to Germany to find better job prospects. But soon, they will discover that finding a good job is more complex than expected.

Movies for Spanish learners

You can expect to hear many interesting Spanish phrases and words on different topics. This includes youth unemployment, economic emigration, language barriers, and health issues.

This film is ideal for both beginners and intermediate-level Spanish learners. The dialogues are easy-to-understand, and you will get it even without too much focus.

14. Perfectos desconocidos (Perfect Strangers) – 2018 (R)

This Italian adaptation 2017 comedy thriller was a huge commercial success directed by Alex de la Iglesia.

This film is about seven friends who have known each other all their lives, gathering together for dinner. There is a game suggested by one character: reveal each other’s worst secrets.

To do this, everyone at the party plays a game in which they read messages aloud or put incoming phone calls on the speakers to make the party exciting. Of course, some would have preferred to bury their secrets, but this promises an entertaining evening.

The language is simple to understand, and you will quickly discover who is hiding what and why. The movie is excellent for brushing up on your Spanish conversational skills.

15. Talk to Her (Hable con Ella) – 2002 (R)

Javier Cámara, Daro Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rosario Flores star in Pedro Almodóvar’s 2002 Spanish comedy-drama Talk to Her. It was written and directed by Almodóvar.

The film follows two men caring for two women who are both in comas when they form an unlikely friendship.

It is about the difficulty of communicating between loneliness and intimacy. And as well as the persistence of love despite the loss. This is a great social drama that will hook till the very end.

Talk to Her is perfect for intermediate and advanced levels. Thus, you may need subtitles to help with some of the tricky dialogues and phrases.

16. Ahora o nunca (Now or never) – 2015

Maria Ripoli’s Now or Never is another romantic comedy about Alex and Eva. Both have been happily dating for years when they decide to marry in a small English town where they have been living for years.

As the wedding guests attempt to reach their destination, chaos unfolds when air traffic controllers strike in the region. Everything goes wrong during the preparations for a wedding in the story.

You can see this film to learn Spanish words and phrases about romantic relationships and marriage formalities. You will barely notice how many new Spanish words you are picking up.

17. Padre no hay más que uno (Father there is only one) – 2019

“Padre no hay más que uno” is a comedy film directed by Santiago Segura about Javier. He is a husband and father of five children who mostly ignore them.

When his wife leaves him alone with his five children over a week of holidays, he discovers how difficult it is to care for them. But he had no option but to spend time with his children. Thus, they encounter several messy situations but prevail in the end.

To learn many phrases commonly used in familiar situations, you must watch this film in Spanish. And don’t worry about understanding everything. Just turn on subtitles, and you will surely learn something.

18. Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) – 1992 (R)

Released in 1992, this flick “Como agua para chocolate” is based on the bestselling novel of the same name. It explores the fascinating stories of family, tradition, love, and death and is a pretty entertaining movie.

Tina’s mother prepares incredible chocolate dishes highly sought after in their town. As a result, it is a family tradition that no family member can ever marry.

Movies to learn Spanish for beginners

Because of Pedro’s love for Rosaura, Tita cannot resist thinking about him, a rule that does not sit well with her. So when her sister marries him instead of her, she is forever resigned to a life of longing.

With a story of over 20 years, you cannot resist feeling touched by the characters’ lives.

The film has natural conversations that exist in Spanish-speaking nations. Plus, you will learn many fascinating aspects of Mexican culture and how a language sounds when spoken by Mexicans.

19. The Lighthouse of the Orcas (El Faro de las Orcas) – 2016

This is a true story about a mother taking her autistic child to travel to Patagonia, Argentina. She went in hoping his child could meet a whale conservationist, Beto, whom he saw on TV.

The connection between Beto and the family developed. Finally, he could connect on an emotional level.

You’ll first notice the Argentinian accents and the yerba mate tea, the famous tea from Argentina. You will also see the difference in the voices of most of the characters to their mother, Lola.

This film can assist you with tests like DIE Spanish exam, DELE, and Telc.

20. El hijo de la novia (The Son of the Bride) – 2001 (R)

In “The Son of the Bride,” Rafael Belvedere is a down-and-out single father taking care of his young daughter. He did this while attempting to keep the family restaurant he inherited from his parents open.

Growing old, family, and dreams are woven into this funny yet moving story.

In addition to being a fun and moving watch, “El Hijo de la Novia” is also an excellent introduction to the Argentinian dialect. It also adds a bit of South American spice to your Spanish skill set.

21. El Crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Padre Amaro) – 2002 (R)

This is based on the novel by 19th-century Portuguese writer José Maria de Eça de Queiroz, O Crime do Padre Amaro (1875). This excellent movie received an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film.

In Los Reyes, Mexico, Father Amaro, a newly ordained priest, is sent to assist the aging Father Benito in his daily work. He then soon discovers that corruption and religion go hand in hand.

Because of the controversy surrounding Padre Amaro, Roman Catholic groups tried to halt its release in Mexico. Still, it became the country’s most successful film.

The movie discusses how a priest can keep his faith in the face of all the challenges he faces in Mexico. It is one of the most controversial Spanish films on Amazon Prime Video.

Wrapping Up on Learn Spanish with Movies

Learn Spanish with films

Learning a new language can be a struggling phase for many. So, the most important thing while studying is to indulge and surround oneself with language tools as much as possible.

And that is why non-native speakers can watch movies, series, and shows to learn and improve their Spanish.

Movies for learning Spanish can help you fall in love with the language. And it also provides invaluable learning opportunities even if you aren’t a movie buff.

If you wish to learn new words, improve your speaking and listening skills, and discover Spanish varieties, then start watching movies in Spanish. Other than language, you also increase your cultural awareness.

But you need more than just movies to achieve fluency. You need a suitable language learning method that gets you to speak Spanish. And that’s precisely what Instituto Hispania offers.

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  1. I am a substitute teacher for an ill Spanish teacher and was wondering if you had ideas on age-appropriate shows or short movies for children in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

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