Netflix has expanded its international offerings greatly in recent years. On top of great Netflix original movies and series, there are tons of great Spanish-language movies on Netflix from Spain, Peru, Argentina, and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world.
Whether you’re looking to improve your Spanish or simply get a taste of other cultures, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best Spanish movies on Netflix. All of them have subtitles, so don’t worry about missing any important details.
Best Spanish movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as movies leave and other Spanish movies make their debut on Netflix.
Roma is one of the most critically acclaimed Spanish movies on Netflix, having won three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and three BAFTA awards. It takes place in the 1970s in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. It follows the life of an indigenous housekeeper in a middle-class family, who takes care of their four young children. Events in the film bring them closer together even as the family falls apart.
The film is a semi-autobiographical take on writer and director Alfonso Cuarón’s upbringing. It’s made even more authentic by the performance of lead actress Yalitza Aparicio, who was raised by a single mother working as a maid. Her first film netted her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, despite having no formal acting training.
7 Años was the first Spanish movie made by Netflix back in 2016. In it, four business partners try to come up with a plan for who will take the blame for their financial crimes — and the seven years in prison that come with it.
The entire movie takes place in a single room, with only five characters featured in its 80-minute duration. Even so, the strength of the script and performances make this one of the best Spanish movies on Netflix.
The Distinguished Citizen
This comedy drama, which is known as “El cuidano ilustre” in Spanish, is about a fictional Nobel Prize-winning author from Argentina. After living in Europe for decades, he decides to return to his small, backwoods hometown to receive an award.
Problems arise when he comes face to face with the colorful characters and places he’s included in his novels. Often his fictional accounts of life in his hometown don’t match up with reality, and its citizens take issue with how they’ve been represented.
A Twelve-Year Night
If you’re looking for more non-European Spanish movies on Netflix, look no further than A Twelve-Year Night (La noche de 12 años). It tells the true story of political prisoners in 1970s Uruguay. When military dictators can’t outright kill their political prisoners, they decide to drive them insane with 12 years in solitary confinement.
Among those prisoners is José Mujica, who would go on to become president of Uruguay in 2010. The terrible events depicted in the film have an even greater impact considering what the men would survive to do in the future.
The Fury of a Patient Man
This Spanish thriller took home four of Spain’s prestigious Goya awards in 2017. The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la ira) tells the story of a mild-mannered laborer in Madrid who falls for a single mother working in a cafe. When her boyfriend is released from prison after an eight-year sentence, things escalate quickly.
The result is a tense revenge flick that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last moment. It also gives a glimpse of some of the more humble parts of Spain’s capital and countryside.
Based on a true story, 100 Meters (100 metros) tells the story of a man in Spain’s Basque country who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He’s told that within a year he won’t be able to walk 100 meters, hence the title.
To prove that he can overcome this terrible illness, he decides to train for a triathlon with the help of his father-in-law, who has recently attempted suicide. It’s a great story of pushing yourself forward in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
If you’re looking for more lighthearted entertainment, look no further than Off Course. The 2015 Spanish comedy is about a number of overeducated young people who are unable to find a suitable job in Spain’s poor economy. Attracted by news of abundant employment opportunities in Germany, they move to Berlin to try their luck.
Read also: The 10 best funny movies on Netflix
Of course, things are never that easy. Finding a job proves more difficult than they can imagine, and they end up once again underemployed and lying to their families. Off Course is light and entertaining, but it’s also one of the few Spanish movies on Netflix that explores the hardships that many young Spaniards face today.
The Last Hour
This Peruvian thriller is about two detectives who go undercover in 1992 to find the leader of the Shining Path, a Communist revolutionary political party in Peru. After years of brutal guerrilla warfare, it was time to take action against the group, but the two detectives will have to set aside their political differences to get the job done.
It’s a good Spanish movie on Netflix, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. The brutality of the era is shown in full, so keep that in mind before jumping in.
This indie sci-fi Spanish movie didn’t make much of a splash when it was first released on Netflix in late 2019, but it became a cult hit during the worldwide COVID-19 quarantine. Don’t let its low-budget appearance fool you though, it’s a fantastically-written and acted thriller that will leave you pondering its meaning for days after watching.
Virtually the entire film takes place in a vertical prison, with two prisoners paired together in each room. A lavish meal is sent down an open vertical shaft, with those at the top eating first, and those at the bottom often not eating at all. Desperation leads the prisoners to take drastic actions as they fight for survival, but if those at the top could only be convinced to cooperate there would be enough food for everyone.
Southern Spain is known for its beautiful beaches and great weather, but this action thriller focuses on the dirty underbelly of the region. When a former con man is forced back into a life of crime to save his family from the local mafia, he comes face to face with his former boss and mentor.
What follows is a series of action-packed sequences with chase scenes, car races, and shootouts. With the beautiful scenery of Andalusia in the background, you can sit back and enjoy the show.
Y Tu Mamá También
Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón was making excellent films far before Roma, and Y Tu Mamá También is just one example. It’s certainly one of the best Spanish-language movies on Netflix, but by no means should you watch it with youngsters. The steamy road trip story is filled with explicit sex and drug use, which made it far too controversial for a widespread release in the US and abroad.
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Starring a young Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, it tells the story of two young boys who go on a trip with an older woman. Beneath the surface level story of raging teenage angst and hormones lies a deadly serious message that I won’t spoil here.
The final entry on our list comes from renowned director Guillermo del Toro, and once again it’s one you won’t want to watch with the kids. The dark fairy tale features the truly spectacular visuals that del Toro would become known for, plus a chilling screenplay and excellent acting.
The film takes place in the years after the Spanish Civil War, where a young girl named Ofelia escapes the harsh realities of war by exploring a mystical labyrinth located on her family’s property. It received widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences alike, and is easily among the list of must-watch Spanish movies on Netflix.
That’s it for our list of the best Spanish movies on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they hit the streaming network. But until then, check out some of our other watchlists for the platform below!