best movies to learn spanish

14 Best Movies to Learn Real Spanish

Did you know that watching Spanish movies is a great way to learn Spanish? It not only allows you to learn vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar but you’ll learn slang, dialects, emotion and humor as well. 

If you’re looking for more of the best movies to learn Spanish (with brief, written summaries explaining each movie and where you can watch them), read on.

You can also check out our video below, which features many of the recommendations included in this post:


1. “Tres metros sobre el cielo” (“Three Steps Above Heaven”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Romance/Drama

Year: 2010

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon

This film follows the story of Hugo “H” Olivera as he races through the streets of Spain, wreaking havoc and breaking hearts.

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Charged with assault right from the film’s onset, “H” leads the quintessential teenage rebel’s life of motorcycles, breaking the law and chasing girls—eventually finding himself caught up in a romance that will change his life forever.

“Three Steps Above Heaven” is fun, fast-paced and predictable. Spanish learners will be able to follow the plot with ease.

2. “Como agua para chocolate” (“Like Water for Chocolate”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Romance/Drama

Year: 1993

Region: Mexico

Where to watch: Amazon

The film “Como agua para chocolate,”  is a story about family, tradition, love, life and death.

The main character, Tita, finds herself unable to marry the man she loves because of a long-held family tradition and is forever resigned to a life of longing when her sister marries him in her place.

Spanning more than 20 years, the film follows the characters throughout their lives and you’d be hard-pressed not to find yourself touched by their stories.

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“Como agua para chocolate” is not only a popular film for its own sake, but contains tons of high-frequency natural Spanish that make it great for language learning as well.

3. “Diarios de motocicleta” (“The Motorcycle Diaries”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Drama

Year: 2004

Region: Latin America

Where to watch: Amazon

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is the story of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who worked in a leper colony while motorcycling around South America and eventually led a revolution that dramatically changed South America forever.

His experience on the road and the subsequent exposure to the incredible poverty of the local indigenous tribe inspires Guevara to think big and try to make a positive difference in the world.

While it can be slightly difficult at times, “The Motorcycle Diaries” is a fantastic watch for Spanish learners of all levels because it contains examples of slang and dialects from all around South America, which are essential for any well-rounded Spanish speaker.

4. “El laberinto del fauno” (“Pan’s Labyrinth”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Drama/Fantasy

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Year: 2007

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon

“Pan’s Labyrinth” is the fantastical story of a young princess who finds herself living the life of a young human girl named Ofelia in war-torn 1944 Spain.

Part war story, part fairy tale, this strange but touching film will certainly draw you in and is more than worth a watch.

With all its fantasy, “Pan’s Labyrinth” can be hard to follow from time to time, so turn those Spanish subtitles on! That being said, it’s also chock-full of great vocabulary about war, revolution and rebellion.

5. “Mar adentro” (“The Sea Inside”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Drama

Year: 2005

Region: Spain

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Where to watch: YouTube and Amazon

“The Sea Inside” is the true story of Ramón Sampedro, a man from Spain who fought to end his own life legally over a span of 28 years.

The film follows his life as he fights both lawyers and his illness, while all the while learning unexpected lessons about the meaning of life and love.

“Mar adentro” has fairly heavy vocabulary, but the sophisticated nature of the plot will keep you interested enough to ensure you soak it all up.

6. “El carro” (“The Car”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Comedy

Year: 2003

Region: Colombia

Where to watch: Amazon

“The Car” is the story of the Vélez family and the purchase of their very own bright red Chevy cruiser.

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Never having owned a car for themselves before, all five members of the family take turns adventuring out in the ancient car and enjoying the freedom that four wheels affords them. In the end though, the car means more to them than they ever thought it could.

“El carro” is fast and funny—perfect ingredients for a fun language learning experience. Even if you don’t understand every word, the ride is worth your time.

7. “El hijo de la novia” (“The Son of the Bride”)

best movies to learn spanish

Genre: Comedy

Year: 2002

Region: Argentina

Where to watch: Amazon

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

It’s a funny, yet moving story about love, family, dreams and growing old.

Not only is “El hijo de la novia” a fun, yet moving watch, but it’s also a great way to jump into the Argentinian dialect and add a bit of South American spice to your Spanish repertoire.

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8. “¿Qué culpa tiene el niño?” (“Don’t Blame the Kid” )

Genre: Comedy/Romance

Year: 2016

Region: Mexico

Where to watch: Amazon, Apple TV and Google Play

After getting pregnant from a one-night stand, Mara (played by Karla Souza) is determined to “do the right thing” and establish some kind of relationship with the unemployed, immature father of her baby.

Her friends and relatives are open about their feelings regarding the situation, and they so realistically portray those feelings—sometimes very explicitly—that they really solidify this story.

An added bonus—aside from the colorful vocabulary—is the look at the cultural dynamics that shape this situation. Certainly worth watching—if only to see just what Mara ends up doing.

9. “Caníbal” (“Cannibal”)

Genre: Drama/Romance/Thriller

Year: 2013

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon

If you’re a fan of suspense, psychological thrillers or Hannibal Lecter, this is the story for you.

Carlos is an upstanding tailor by day. He’s handsome, detail-oriented and looks totally harmless. By night, he’s a monster who kills and eats women.

Now, that’s a study in contrasts, isn’t it? While it’s true that what the seemingly mild-mannered tailor does is horrible, it’s the “why” of this man that’s so spellbinding. And when he meets a woman he has actual feelings (and not just an “appetite”) for, the paradox emerges.

10. “Chico & Rita”

Genre: Animation/Crime/Drama

Year: 2010

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon, Apple TV and Google Play

This is a story of love and heartbreak that’s so well done, it’s easy to forget the characters are drawings.

Chico is a musician and beautiful Rita is a singer who meet in Havana in 1948. Of course, they become lovers but their careers take them in different directions.

Rita goes to New York and finds fame—without Chico. He eventually follows and does well for himself, but the two don’t seem destined for love.

11. “Julieta”

Genre: Drama/Mystery/Romance

Year: 2016

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon

“Julieta” is a multi-dimensional movie. It’s drama, romance and mystery—all at once—and that makes it one of those stories that’s so easy to fall into.

When a middle-aged woman is about to embark on a new chapter by leaving Madrid and moving to Portugal with her boyfriend, part of her past surfaces and brings her plans to a halt.

Although the woman is estranged from her daughter, a chance meeting pushes her to a decision to move to a location where, hopefully, her daughter will contact her.

12. “El libertador” (“The Liberator”)

Genre: Biography/Drama/History

Year: 2013

Region: Venezuela

Where to watch: Amazon

“El libertador” is a powerful, historically-rich film that portrays the action behind Simón Bolívar’s military campaigns. This political and military hero led over a hundred military operations in an effort to claim freedom from Spain for several countries, including his homeland Venezuela.

Bolívar is credited with leading an army that didn’t conquer, but rather liberated the people from oppression. To this day, he is still considered an iconic figure in much of South America.

13. “Los peloteros” (“The Ballplayers”)

Genre: Drama/Sport

Year: 1951

Region: Puerto Rico

Where to watch: YouTube

Some have said that “Los peloteros” (“The Ballplayers”) is the best film to emerge from Puerto Rico. And since most of the roles are played by locals, the phrases and speech patterns are wonderfully authentic.

This is the story of a poor village and a group of boys who want baseball uniforms for their team. The boys on the team aren’t actors but kids from the village, and their plight isn’t manufactured. Times were hard, the village was poor and life wasn’t easy.

Prepare to be educated, entertained and exposed to authentic Spanish with this one.

14. “El olivo” (“The Olive Tree”)

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Year: 2016

Region: Spain

Where to watch: Amazon

This is a dramatic story—the journey to reclaim a family’s 1,000-year-old olive tree.

While the olive tree is important, it’s symbolic in that it’s merely a vehicle to put across the themes of family solidarity, interpersonal relationships and the effect of “progress” on actual people.

This multi-generational cast could be anyone’s family, and that makes this film very endearing. The love between the two focal characters—a woman and her grandfather—is precious and this is an all-around sweet, compelling, heartwarming story.


And, there you have it! Our pick of the 14 best movies to learn Spanish! Before you start tuning in, make sure to have paper and pencil next to you to jot down words you can look up later.

Learning Spanish through movies is not only fun but educational as well! Check out this post next for the best Spanish movies with subtitles:

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:


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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.


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