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The 100 Essential Spanish-Language Movies

As we head into Hispanic Heritage month, Monica Castillo and Rotten Tomatoes bring together the best Spanish-language movies, from recent instant classics like Roma and The Heiresses to Tristana and Sin Nombre.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, and the recent boom in streaming services has made it easier than ever for audiences looking for Spanish-language movies to find them. Earlier this year, Alfonso Cuarón’s landmark film Roma earned an impressive 10 Oscar nominations, and the director took home three statuettess for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film. He followed the wins of his fellow Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro (Best Director and Best Picture for The Shape of Water) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Best Picture for Birdman, Best Director for Birdman and The Revenant). Their accomplishments have brought the resurgence of Mexican cinema to Hollywood’s doorstep.

However, the picture is not so rosy for other Latin American movies and filmmakers trying to break into an industry that has been ignoring smaller independent films in favor of franchises, and the U.S. Latinx filmmakers still fighting for their one shot at working in the movie business. In the United States, Latinx moviegoers are almost a silent and invisible majority when it comes to representation. They buy about one out of every four movie tickets, yet make up only single-digit slivers of the entertainment industry.  

As the conversation about representation and systemic obstacles continues, and the Oscars have renamed their Foreign Language Film category to Best International Feature Film, let’s take a look back at the rich history of Spanish-language movies for Hispanic Heritage Month. Back in the 1960s, when the discussion of identities in the U.S. was in full swing, “Hispanic” became the catchall term for Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America and Spain. Although today, many prefer the terms Latino or Latinx – which specifically refers to those of us from Latin American countries no matter what language we speak – the U.S. has observed Hispanic Heritage Month since 1989.  

To be considered for this list of essential Spanish-language films, one of the most prominent spoken languages in the movie must be Spanish. This is why you may notice a handful of U.S. Latino favorites like Selena or Real Women Have Curves missing, since the main language in those movies is English. While this rule may also leave Brazil’s vast cinematic legacy for a future list, we tried to include as many different countries across Latin America as possible. To rank the movies, we used Tomatometer scores, rankings from other prominent publications and organizations, and then applied editorial considerations such as the lasting impact a film has had as well as the number and types of awards it has won.

So, from the grassy steppes of Argentina to Cuba’s famed stone boardwalk and on to Mexico’s bustling capital, join us as we celebrate Spanish-language cinema near and far, not just this month, but throughout the year and the many more still to come.

#100
#100
Adjusted Score: 16.582%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Documentary filmmaking combines with narrative fiction to offer a leisurely-paced look into the lives of ten average Cubans in director... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Pérez

#99

Los Muertos (2004)
86%

#99
Adjusted Score: 19.421%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Released from prison after having served an extended sentence for the murder of his two siblings, ex-convict Vargas (Argentino Vargas)... [More]
Directed By: Lisandro Alonso

#98

Cows (Vacas) (1994)
60%

#98
Adjusted Score: 23.106%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In Basque country, feuds, governments, and wars come and go, while cows placidly observe the strange behaviors of the humans... [More]
Directed By: Julio Medem

#97
Adjusted Score: 19.356%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The film explores the tragic impossibility of a war veteran to re-integrate into civilian life. Twenty-three-year-old Santiago returns home to... [More]
Directed By: Josue Mendez

#96

Virus Tropical (2017)
75%

#96
Adjusted Score: 27.489%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Directed By: Santiago Caicedo

#95

Pellet (El Bola) (2000)
91%

#95
Adjusted Score: 41.972%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Los cambios que se producen en la vida de un niño de 12 años, que vive en un ambiente violento... [More]
Directed By: Achero Mañas

#94

Bolivia (2001)
100%

#94
Adjusted Score: 46.008%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man leaves the life he's known behind to support his family as an undocumented worker in this realistic drama.... [More]

#93

Magical Girl (2014)
100%

#93
Adjusted Score: 34.309%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An unemployed father seeking a gift for his dying daughter, a disturbed woman with a dark secret, and a retired... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Vermut

#92

Thesis (1996)
83%

#92
Adjusted Score: 67.519%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this suspenseful Spanish thriller, a film student's curiosity over an accidentally discovered "snuff film" places her in mortal danger.... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#91

Lucia (1968)
83%

#91
Adjusted Score: 60.468%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The electrifying debut from Cuban virtuoso Solás is a triptych of stories, each devoted to a woman named Lucía, and... [More]
Directed By: Humberto Solas

#90

Cocote (2018)
75%

#90
Adjusted Score: 75.127%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Alberto, an Evangelical Christian and gardener working in the city, returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his... [More]

#89
Adjusted Score: 66.639%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Marcel Camus directs this realistic examination of class consciousness in Franco's Spain, starring Alfredo Landa as Paco, the head of... [More]
Directed By: Mario Camus

#88

Juan of the Dead (2012)
81%

#88
Adjusted Score: 68.861%
Critics Consensus: Filled with wild splatter slapstick, Juan of the Dead also deftly uses its zombie premise as an undead Trojan horse for insightful political commentary.
Synopsis: Juan is 40 years old, most of which he spent in Cuba doing absolutely nothing. Juan's only emotional tie is... [More]

#87

Japon (2003)
81%

#87
Adjusted Score: 70.265%
Critics Consensus: A slow-moving, visually impressive debut.
Synopsis: A man on the brink of suicide regains the will to live under decidedly unusual circumstances in this drama from... [More]

#86

Crónicas (2005)
71%

#86
Adjusted Score: 72.754%
Critics Consensus: An unsettling and absorbing cautionary tale with John Leguizamo playing an unscrupulous TV reporter who uses the medium to further his own goals.
Synopsis: A man with a secret forms an uneasy alliance with an opportunistic reporter in this drama from Mexico. Manolo Bonilla... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Cordero

#85

Plácido (1961)
100%

#85
Adjusted Score: 74.8%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This is an effective satire directed by Luis Berlanga that pans charity from the head -- the cold, calculated or... [More]
Directed By: Luis García Berlanga

#84

El Sur (The South) (1988)
100%

#84
Adjusted Score: 71.311%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: El Sur (The South) is the story of Estrella (Iciar Bollain), a little girl from Southern Spain who has been... [More]
Directed By: Victor Erice, Carlos Saura

#83
Adjusted Score: 76.169%
Critics Consensus: Careful and slight, Lucretia Martel's Headless Woman doesn't fit neatly into a clear storyline, but supports itself with ethereal visuals.
Synopsis: Acclaimed Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel steps back behind the camera for her third feature film with this tense thriller concerning... [More]
Directed By: Lucrecia Martel

#82

Burnt Money (2001)
77%

#82
Adjusted Score: 77.15%
Critics Consensus: Burnt Money tells a stylish and steamy story about criminals on the lam.
Synopsis: Love and betrayal complicate a robbery gone wrong in this offbeat crime thriller shot in Argentina. Angel (Eduardo Noriega) and... [More]
Directed By: Marcelo Piñeyro

#81
Adjusted Score: 79.149%
Critics Consensus: Silent Light demands patience -- and rewards willing viewers with a compassionate and beautifully filmed look at the human condition.
Synopsis: A man of faith succumbs to a temptation he cannot resist in this drama written and directed by Carlos Reygadas.... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Reygadas

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 50.671%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Love can spring up in the most unlikely places, and the new film Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) tells one such tale of... [More]
Directed By: José María Cabral

#79
Adjusted Score: 80.621%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Julio Medem directed this romantic Spanish drama with location scenes in Finland. School children Ana (Sara Valiente) and Otto (Peru... [More]
Directed By: Julio Medem

#78
Adjusted Score: 81.302%
Critics Consensus: Javier Bardem gives an outstanding performance in this hought-provoking (though occasionally plodding) movie about the effects of unemployment on a group of former shipyard workers.
Synopsis: In a northern coastal city of Spain, which turned its back on the countryside long ago and surrounded itself with... [More]

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 79.976%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Accused of assault, Raul is forced to flee Havana. He relies on his best friend Elio to help him escape... [More]
Directed By: Lucy Mulloy

#76

El Topo (1970)
78%

#76
Adjusted Score: 83.003%
Critics Consensus: By turns intoxicating and confounding, El Topo contains the creative multitudes that made writer-director Alejandro Jodorowsky such a singular talent.
Synopsis: A bizarre, ultra-violent, allegorical Western, "El Topo" is set in two halves that have widely been compared to the Old... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 83.867%
Critics Consensus: The Flower of My Secret finds Almodóvar revisiting old themes in a new, more subdued key, yielding a slight but vivacious work that delivers the pleasure of a punchy novella.
Synopsis: For years, Leo has been writing bestselling romantic novels (under the pseudonym Amanda Gris), but with her personal life in... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#74

Nazarin (1958)
85%

#74
Adjusted Score: 86.173%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One of cinema's true innovators, Luis Buñuel takes a Spanish novel about a Don Quixote-like priest who is ridiculed for... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#73

Broken Embraces (2009)
81%

#73
Adjusted Score: 85.544%
Critics Consensus: Pedro Almodovar's fourth film with Penélope Cruz isn't his finest work, but he brings his signature visual brilliance to this noirish tale, and the cast turns in some first-class performances.
Synopsis: A follow-up to Spanish enfant terrible Pedro Almodóvar's 2006 arthouse sensation Volver, Los Abrazos Rotos finds the filmmaker re-teaming with... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#72
Adjusted Score: 79.312%
Critics Consensus: Claudia Llosa's deliberate pace and abstract storytelling may frustrate some viewers, but there's no denying the visual pleasures soaking in The Milk of Sorrow.
Synopsis: Director Claudia Llosa follows her award-winning feature directorial debut, Madeinusa, with this stark meditation on a grim period of South... [More]
Directed By: Claudia Llosa

#71

The Hunt (La caza) (1966)
100%

#71
Adjusted Score: 86.348%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Four men decide to take in a day of rabbit-hunting, but as the day progresses, their relations grow hostile and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saura

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 83.641%
Critics Consensus: A visual treat rich in symbolism, The Holy Mountain adds another defiantly idiosyncratic chapter to Jodorowsky's thoroughly unique filmography.
Synopsis: The most powerful individuals in the solar system are out to become gods and rule the universe.... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#69

Tony Manero (2009)
86%

#69
Adjusted Score: 86.332%
Critics Consensus: Deliberately provocative, Tony Manero is as challenging and compelling as it is difficult to describe.
Synopsis: As Augusto Pinochet holds Chile in the grip of dictatorship, a 50-year-old man obsessed with John Travolta's character from Saturday... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Larraín

#68
Adjusted Score: 86.365%
Critics Consensus: Director Alejandro Amenábar tackles some heady issues with finesse and clarity in Open Your Eyes, a gripping exploration of existentialism and the human spirit.
Synopsis: In this Spanish-French-Italian co-production, a man deserts women after sleeping with them just once, a lifestyle that becomes his ultimate... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 72.624%
Critics Consensus: We Are What We Are is elevated horror that combines family drama and social politics, with plenty of gore on top.
Synopsis: A middle-aged man dies in the street, leaving his widow and three children destitute. The devastated family is confronted not... [More]

#66

The Holy Girl (2005)
77%

#66
Adjusted Score: 78.301%
Critics Consensus: This provocative, lyrical drama mixes themes of forbidden sexuality and redemptive faith with a touch of humanism in a memorable, if disorienting, visual style.
Synopsis: A chance encounter between Amalia and Dr Jano, who is attending a medical conference at the hotel, allows the young... [More]
Directed By: Lucrecia Martel

#65
Adjusted Score: 86.316%
Critics Consensus: This modest road movie features naturalistic performances and a heartwarming tone of gentle humanism.
Synopsis: Three people travel from their small home town into the outside world in search of answers and adventure in this... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Sorín

#64

Son of the Bride (2002)
86%

#64
Adjusted Score: 86.89%
Critics Consensus: A film about one man's mid-life crisis, The Son of the Bride is both touching and funny.
Synopsis: A family wedding brings out the best and the worst in the various parties involved in this warm but pointed... [More]

#63
Adjusted Score: 87.291%
Critics Consensus: Held aloft by a transfixing performance from Javier Bardem as a terminally ill man who chooses to die, The Sea Inside transcends its melodramatic story with tenderness and grace.
Synopsis: Two of the most talented figures in contemporary Spanish cinema -- actor Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar -- collaborate... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 87.795%
Critics Consensus: The Aura is a highly original and cerebral thriller that maintains its suspense from start to finish.
Synopsis: A lonely taxidermist with a photographic memory dreams of committing the "perfect crime" in Nine Queens director Fabián Bielinsky's deliberately... [More]
Directed By: Fabián Bielinsky

#61
Adjusted Score: 81.617%
Critics Consensus: Strawberry and Chocolate movingly depicts the budding relationship between two men against the backdrop of a pivotal moment in Cuban history.
Synopsis: A macho but naive and inexperienced youth who believes passionately in Communism and the Cuban Revolution, finds his values undergoing... [More]

#60

[Rec] (2007)
89%

#60
Adjusted Score: 89.312%
Critics Consensus: Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror.
Synopsis: After teaming up in 2002 for the dramatic music documentary OT: The Movie, Spanish horror specialists Jaume Balagueró (Darkness) and... [More]

#59

Sin Nombre (2009)
88%

#59
Adjusted Score: 91.284%
Critics Consensus: Part harrowing immigration tale, part gangster story, this debut by writer/director Cary Fukunaga is sensitive, insightful and deeply authentic.
Synopsis: Sayra, a teenager living in Honduras, hungers for a brighter future. A reunion with her long-estranged father gives Sayra her... [More]
Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

#58

Tristana (1970)
97%

#58
Adjusted Score: 100.246%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After the death of her mother, Tristana goes to live with her guardian Don Lope, who seduces her. She runs... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 88.219%
Critics Consensus: As shockingly compelling as it is dispiriting, The Clan delivers hard-hitting lessons even for viewers unfamiliar with the real-life history behind its story.
Synopsis: Old habits die hard: The "disappearances" that marked the Videla regime in Argentina continued after the dictator's fall in 1981,... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Trapero

#56

Chico & Rita (2012)
87%

#56
Adjusted Score: 88.834%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice.... [More]

#55

Machuca (2004)
89%

#55
Adjusted Score: 89.194%
Critics Consensus: Machuca is a touchingly bittersweet story of childhood friendship and a demonstration of how the political affects the personal.
Synopsis: Santiago, Chile, 1973: Pedro Machuca is a poor boy of tribal descent, brought into an upper class private school during... [More]
Directed By: Andrés Wood

#54

Narco Cultura (2013)
89%

#54
Adjusted Score: 89.843%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing, thought-provoking, and timely, Narco Cultura sheds some crucial light on an important -- and underserved -- subject.
Synopsis: To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws, glorified by musicians who... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Shaul Schwarz

#53

Santa Sangre (1989)
85%

#53
Adjusted Score: 87.714%
Critics Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.
Synopsis: Santa Sangre is the surreal horror story about a young man, Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky) who has grown up in a... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#52

Undertow (2010)
88%

#52
Adjusted Score: 88.077%
Critics Consensus: A drama as beautifully filmed as it is finely detailed, Undertow is a wonderfully unique love story with a touch of magic.
Synopsis: A man struggles to come to terms with the unexpected consequences of a secret love in this drama from director... [More]
Directed By: Javier Fuentes-León

#51

Sleep Tight (2012)
91%

#51
Adjusted Score: 91.376%
Critics Consensus: The strong lead performance, clever plot turns, and the unsettling ending makes Sleep Tight worth stalking.
Synopsis: Toiling silently amongst the residents of an everyday Barcelona apartment building, doorman Cesar (Luis Tosar) harbors a dark secret: his... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró

#50
Adjusted Score: 91.241%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This is an emotionally gripping, fictional look at a couple torn apart by the infamous Argentine campaign of killings and... [More]
Directed By: Luis Puenzo

#49

Miss Bala (2012)
87%

#49
Adjusted Score: 88.793%
Critics Consensus: Miss Bala's subject is loaded enough, but the frantic and muscular filmmaking puts this movie in a whole new league.
Synopsis: Miss Bala tells the story of Laura, a young woman whose aspirations of becoming a beauty queen turn against her,... [More]
Directed By: Gerardo Naranjo

#48

Viridiana (1961)
95%

#48
Adjusted Score: 96.743%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A woman visits her rich uncle before taking her vows as a nun. When he dies, he leaves his estate... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 91.582%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young boy and his father learn about living in harmony with nature in this languid drama from filmmaker Pedro... [More]
Directed By: Pedro González-Rubio

#46

Bad Education (2004)
88%

#46
Adjusted Score: 91.645%
Critics Consensus: A layered, wonderfully-acted, and passionate drama.
Synopsis: Two children, Ignacio and Enrique, know love, the movies and fear in a religious school at the beginning of the... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#45

The Orphanage (2007)
87%

#45
Adjusted Score: 92.633%
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
Synopsis: Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro produces director Juan Antonio Bayona's gothic frightener about a long-abandoned orphanage with a particularly... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#44
Adjusted Score: 91.788%
Critics Consensus: This modest cinematic slice-of-life manages to subtly capture many small but resonant and truthful moments of adolescence.
Synopsis: A typical lazy Sunday gives way to an introspective look at what it means to grow up for two 14-year-old... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Eimbcke

#43

Cronos (1994)
90%

#43
Adjusted Score: 93.005%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro's unique feature debut is not only gory and stylish, but also charming and intelligent.
Synopsis: This surreal variant on the classic vampire tale is the directorial debut of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who garnered... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#42
Adjusted Score: 90.496%
Critics Consensus: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown finds writer-director Pedro Almodóvar working in a distinctly feminist vein, with richly rewarding results.
Synopsis: Though the kinky characters and aberrant social behavior common to the works of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar are very evident... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#41

No (2013)
94%

#41
Adjusted Score: 98.488%
Critics Consensus: No uses its history-driven storyline to offer a bit of smart, darkly funny perspective on modern democracy and human nature.
Synopsis: In 1988, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency.... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Larraín

#40

Blancanieves (2013)
95%

#40
Adjusted Score: 98.608%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written and beautiful to behold, Blancanieves uses its classic source material to offer a dark tale, delightfully told.
Synopsis: Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She learned the art of... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Berger

#39

Mala Mala (2015)
94%

#39
Adjusted Score: 66.756%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A documentary that tells the story of nine non-binary individuals living in Puerto Rico.... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 94.15%
Critics Consensus: Deliciously twist-filled, Nine Queens is a clever and satisfying crime caper.
Synopsis: Early one morning Juan is pulling a bill-switching scheme in an all-night deli when Marcos, an apparently innocent bystander, pretends... [More]
Directed By: Fabián Bielinsky

#37

Talk to Her (2002)
92%

#37
Adjusted Score: 95.343%
Critics Consensus: Another masterful, compassionate work from Pedro Almodovar.
Synopsis: Pedro Almodóvar follows his international success All About My Mother with an offbeat drama that explores the friendship of two... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#36
Adjusted Score: 99.897%
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: Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently... [More]
Directed By: Marcelo Martinessi

#35
Adjusted Score: 95.927%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After striking responsive chord at the Berlin Film Festival, Fernando Trueba's Belle Epoque (aka Age of Beauty) went on to... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Trueba

#34

Neruda (2016)
93%

#34
Adjusted Score: 98.312%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, intelligent, and beautifully filmed, Neruda transcends the traditional biopic structure to look at the meaning beyond the details of its subject's life.
Synopsis: An investigator launches a search for Pablo Neruda, a Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, who became a fugitive in his own... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Larraín

#33

Güeros (2015)
92%

#33
Adjusted Score: 93.131%
Critics Consensus: A striking effort that synthesizes disparate influences with inventive flair, Güeros marks a bold step forward for modern Mexican cinema.
Synopsis: Ever since the National University strike broke out, Sombra and Santos have been living in angst-ridden limbo. Education-less, motionless, purposeless,... [More]
Directed By: Alonso Ruizpalacios

#32
Adjusted Score: 94.61%
Critics Consensus: Unpredictable and rich with symbolism, this Argentinian murder mystery lives up to its Oscar with an engrossing plot, Juan Jose Campanella's assured direction, and mesmerizing performances from its cast.
Synopsis: Benjamin Esposito has spent his entire working life as a criminal court employee. Recently retired, and with time on his... [More]
Directed By: Juan José Campanella

#31
Adjusted Score: 29.242%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Directed By: Betzabé García

#30

Bad Hair (2014)
95%

#30
Adjusted Score: 95.63%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In PELO MALO, Junior is a nine-year-old boy who has stubbornly curly hair, or "bad hair." He wants to have... [More]
Directed By: Mariana Rondón

#29
Adjusted Score: 93.066%
Critics Consensus: Like Water for Chocolate plays to the senses with a richly rewarding romance that indulges in magical realism to intoxicating effect.
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquival, this internationally popular romantic fable from Mexico centers on a young woman... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Arau

#28

Amores Perros (2001)
92%

#28
Adjusted Score: 95.447%
Critics Consensus: The brutality of Amores Perros may be difficult to watch at times, but this intense, gritty film packs a hard wallop.
Synopsis: Three stories of life along the margins in Mexico City converge in this inventive thriller. Octavio is sharing an apartment... [More]

#27
Adjusted Score: 94.319%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this jet black and surreal comedy, a formal dinner party starts out normally enough. After the sophisticated guests retire... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#26
Adjusted Score: 96.048%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Veteran director Jose Luis Cuerda delivered this sensitive portrait of a child coming of age during a tense political situation... [More]
Directed By: José Luis Cuerda

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 87.065%
Critics Consensus: The Motorcycle Diaries is heartfelt and profound in its rendering of the formative experiences that turn Ernesto "Che" Guerva into a famous revolutionary.
Synopsis: In 1952, two young Argentines, Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado, set out on a road trip to discover the real... [More]
Directed By: Walter Salles

#24
Adjusted Score: 68.539%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dissatised with a complicated relationship, an actor in Buenos Aires moves to New York City for a promised lm role... [More]
Directed By: Julia Solomonoff

#23
Adjusted Score: 95.562%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
Synopsis: The mournful fable of the Santa Lucia School during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. An imposing stone... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#22

Volver (2006)
91%

#22
Adjusted Score: 96.454%
Critics Consensus: Volver catches director Pedro Almodovar and star Penelope Cruz at the peak of their respective powers, in service of a layered, thought-provoking film.
Synopsis: Set in Spain, this is a generational story of three women: a good mother who is desperately in love with... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#21

Los Olvidados (1952)
89%

#21
Adjusted Score: 95.367%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The winner of two Cannes Film Festival awards, Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados (aka The Forgotten Ones and The Young and... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#20
Adjusted Score: 92.761%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The first Cuban film made after Fidel Castro's revolution to receive widespread distribution (and acclaim) in the United States, Memories... [More]

#19

Zama (2018)
96%

#19
Adjusted Score: 99.977%
Critics Consensus: Zama offers a series of scathingly insightful observations about colonialism and class dynamics -- and satisfyingly ends a long wait between projects from writer-director Lucrecia Martel.
Synopsis: Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him... [More]
Directed By: Lucrecia Martel

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 100.624%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: For his new film master director Patricio Guzmán, famed for his political documentaries (THE BATTLE OF CHILE, THE PINOCHET CASE),... [More]
Directed By: Patricio Guzmán

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 100.645%
Critics Consensus: In a striking debut, Moreno carries the movie and puts a human face on the drug trade.
Synopsis: A bright, spirited 17-year old, Maria Alvarez, lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Marston

#16
Adjusted Score: 100.546%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This Mexican-filmed black comedy (distributed in the U.S. seven years after its initial 1955 release date) is one of the... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 96.253%
Critics Consensus: A road movie that's not only sexy, but intelligent as well.
Synopsis: Alfonso Cuarón directed and co-wrote this sexy art-house hit from Mexico. The funny and moving coming-of-age story centers on two... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#14

Wild Tales (2015)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 99.392%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly hilarious and delightfully deranged, Wild Tales is a subversive satire that doubles as a uniformly entertaining anthology film.
Synopsis: Inequality, injustice and the demands of the world we live in cause stress and depression for many people. Some of... [More]
Directed By: Damián Szifron

#13

Live-In Maid (2007)
100%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100.237%
Critics Consensus: Live-In Maid is an insightful character piece with standout performances and a poignant slice of Argentina life.
Synopsis: Dora is the maid of Mrs. Beba and has worked and lived with her for 35 years. Beba used to... [More]
Directed By: Jorge Gaggero

#12
Adjusted Score: 87.99%
Critics Consensus: El Espíritu de la Colmena uses a classic horror story's legacy as the thread for a singularly absorbing childhood fable woven with uncommon grace.
Synopsis: Eight-year-old Ana lives in a close-knit Castillian village with her daydreamer mother Teresa, older sister Isabel and father Fernando, who... [More]
Directed By: Victor Erice, Victor Erice

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 101.015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A haunting study of a girl's traumatic childhood.... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saura

#10

El Norte (1984)
86%

#10
Adjusted Score: 86.999%
Critics Consensus: Sensitively written, skillfully directed, and powerfully portrayed, El Norte wrings deeply affecting drama from intractable real-life issues.
Synopsis: "When will we find a home?" Rosa asks her brother Enrique at the end of their long journey. Alone in... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Nava

#9
Adjusted Score: 100.838%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An adulterous couple is forced to take responsibility for their actions in this tense drama from Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio... [More]
Directed By: Juan Antonio Bardem

#8
Adjusted Score: 101.1%
Critics Consensus: As rich visually as it is thematically, Embrace of the Serpent offers a feast of the senses for film fans seeking a dose of bracing originality.
Synopsis: Embrace of the Serpent features the encounter, apparent betrayal and finally life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor... [More]
Directed By: Ciro Guerra

#7

Gloria (2014)
99%

#7
Adjusted Score: 103.489%
Critics Consensus: Marvelously directed by Sebastian Lelio and beautifully led by a powerful performance from Paulina Garcia, Gloria takes an honest, sweetly poignant look at a type of character that's all too often neglected in Hollywood.
Synopsis: Gloria is a "woman of a certain age" but still feels young. Though lonely, she makes the best of her... [More]

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 101.644%
Critics Consensus: Visually absorbing and formally audacious, I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) opens a long-buried time capsule that has lost none of its captivating power.
Synopsis: Hidden away in the Soviet archives for three decades, "I Am Cuba" is a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch,... [More]
Directed By: Mikhail Kalatozov

#5
Adjusted Score: 101.296%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Forty minutes is more than enough screen time for Spanish director Luis Buñuel to state his case in Simon of... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#4

La Cienaga (2001)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 88.572%
Critics Consensus: Dense yet impressively focused, La Cienaga is a disquieting look at domestic dissatisfaction - and a powerful calling card for debuting writer-director Lucrecia Martel.
Synopsis: Two families try to make the best of a bad situation as they suffer through a crippling heat wave in... [More]
Directed By: Lucrecia Martel

#3
Adjusted Score: 101.422%
Critics Consensus: Almodovar weaves together a magnificent tapestry of femininity with an affectionate wink to classics of theater and cinema in this poignant story of love, loss and compassion.
Synopsis: Pedro Almodóvar directed this story of a woman and her circle of friends who find themselves suffering a variety of... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#2

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102.898%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#1

Roma (2018)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 112.513%
Critics Consensus: Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career.
Synopsis: The most personal project to date from Academy Award (R)-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

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