Best-Reviewed Spanish-Language Movies 2019

Following the breakout success of Roma in 2018, it was another big year for Spanish-language cinema – across a number of genres. Rising-star horror director Issa Lopez gifted us with the horror fantasy Tigers Are Not Afraid, while the moving Mexican drama The Chambermaid was heralded by critics as a quiet masterpiece. But it was Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, which earned the director his best Tomatometer score in decades and star Antonio Banderas the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, that would be the best-reviewed Spanish-language film of the year.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2019. Scores might change over time.

#1

Pain and Glory (2019)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 115017%
Critics Consensus: Pain and Glory finds writer-director Pedro Almodóvar drawing on his own life to rewarding effect -- and honoring his craft as only a master filmmaker can.
Synopsis: An aging Spanish film director in the middle of a creative crisis revisits memorable events of his past.... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#2

Birds of Passage (2018)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106098%
Critics Consensus: Birds of Passage traces the familiar arc of the drug crime thriller from a different direction that's as visually absorbing as it is hard-hitting.
Synopsis: The origins of the Colombian drug trade, as seen through eyes of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in... [More]

#3

The Chambermaid (2018)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 101624%
Critics Consensus: The Chambermaid uses one woman's experiences to take audiences inside a life -- and a culture -- that's as bracingly unique as it is hauntingly relatable.
Synopsis: A young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City enrolls in the hotel's adult education... [More]
Directed By: Lila Avilés

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 103597%
Critics Consensus: Tigers Are Not Afraid draws on childhood trauma for a story that deftly blends magical fantasy and hard-hitting realism - and leaves a lingering impact.
Synopsis: When a girl's mother disappears leaving her on her own, she goings a gang of street children, leading to a... [More]
Directed By: Issa López

#5

The Heiresses (2018)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 101351%
Critics Consensus: Led by a standout performance from Ana Brun, The Heiresses takes a thoroughly compelling look at lives little explored by mainstream cinema.
Synopsis: A woman who lost her fortune befriends a younger woman.... [More]
Directed By: Marcelo Martinessi