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24 Best Spanish Movies with Subtitles for Learning

The Spanish-speaking world has brought us some amazing movies.

And with streaming platforms providing subtitles in English, Spanish and other languages, they’re more accessible than ever.

In this post, you’ll get 24 of the best Spanish movies with subtitles that you can watch today. Plus, I’ll give you some tips for learners of all levels. 

With these recommendations, you can learn Spanish with movies while being entertained! 

Contents


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

Year: 2006
Genre: Drama/Fantasy
Subtitles: English

In war-torn Spain, young Ofelia escapes her harsh reality by venturing into a magical labyrinth, where a faun promises her escape if she completes three dangerous tasks.

Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, this is a great option if you’re looking to get lost in another world while picking up some Spanish with the help of English subtitles. 

Watch it on Prime Video

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2. “Relatos salvajes” (“Wild Tales”)

Year: 2014
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Thriller
Subtitles: English
 
In this film from Argentina, six darkly comedic stories unfold, each showcasing the consequences of pushing ordinary people to their breaking points.
 
From a road rage incident escalating to chaos to a flight attendant seeking revenge on passengers, the film satirizes social tensions and explores the thin line between civilization and barbarity.
 
Watch it on Prime Video
 

3. “Mar adentro” (“The Sea Inside”)

Year: 2004
Genre: Biographic Drama
Subtitles: English

“Mar adentro” portrays the true story of Ramón Sampedro, a quadriplegic yearning for a dignified death. Trapped in his body, he fights a 28-year legal battle for euthanasia, challenging Spain’s conservative laws.

Filled with emotional depth and ethical ponderings, the film navigates his relationships with a lawyer advocating for his right to die and a woman who tries to convince him life is worth living.

Watch it on Prime Video

4. “Roma”

Year: 2018
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese

In this film, Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón provides an intimate portrait of Cleo, a young domestic worker in 1970s Mexico City.

Cleo navigates the turbulent personal lives of her employers while facing her own challenges, offering a poignant glimpse into social inequalities and the complexities of human connection.

Watch it on Netflix

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

Year: 2004
Genre: Biographic Drama
Subtitles: English
 
Based on a true story, this movie follows a young Che Guevara as he embarks on a transformative journey across South America with his friend Alberto Granado.
 
Witnessing poverty and injustice firsthand, the film explores the awakening of Che’s revolutionary spirit and his quest for social change.
 
Watch it on Prime Video

6. “Volver” (“Coming Back”)

Year: 2006
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Subtitles: English

This vibrant and emotionally resonant film centers on Raimunda, a working-class woman who must confront the ghosts of her past when her mother, who she believed to be dead, mysteriously reappears.

As secrets are unearthed and long-buried truths come to light, Raimunda navigates the complexities of familial relationships and the bonds that tie us together. 

Watch it on Prime Video

7. “Argentina, 1985”

Year: 2022
Genre: Biographical Crime Drama
Subtitles: English
 
Inspired by true events, this historical drama follows two young lawyers who take on the daunting task of prosecuting the leaders of Argentina’s brutal military junta.
 
Amidst threats and intimidation, their fight for justice becomes a symbol of hope and resilience for a nation seeking healing.
 
Watch it on Prime Video 

8. “Arrugas” (“Wrinkles”)

Year: 2011
Genre: Animated
Subtitles: English

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This animated film is great for lower-level Spanish learners. The story is set at an elderly care facility, and the dialogue is often slow and clearly enunciated.

Two old men begin an entertaining friendship and often discuss their living situation, food, family and hobbies. “Arrugas” is a great reminder that getting old is just another adventure.

Watch it on Prime Video

9. “No se aceptan devoluciones” (“Instructions Not Included”)

Year: 2013
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Subtitles: English

When a man’s unexpected baby is left at his front door, he takes off to find the mother. Instead, he finds himself raising his daughter and trying to provide a good life for her.

Until six years later, that is, when the girl’s mother reappears. I recommend this movie if you want a good laugh and a good cry. 

Watch it on Prime Video

10. “El agente topo” (“The Mole Agent”)

Year: 2020
Genre: Documentary
Subtitles: English
 
An 83-year-old man goes undercover in a nursing home to investigate the quality of care.
 
This heartwarming documentary explores themes of aging, isolation and the power of human connection, offering a unique perspective on life in senior care facilities.
 
Watch it on Prime Video

11. “Ya no estoy aquí” (“I’m No Longer Here”)

Year: 2019
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese
 
Ulises, a young man from Monterrey, flees to the United States after his gang involvement turns dangerous.
 
This film explores themes of displacement, cultural identity and the struggles of immigrant youth, utilizing stunning visuals and a unique soundtrack to depict Ulises’ journey in a foreign land.
 
Watch it on Netflix 

12. “Dolor y gloria” (“Pain and Glory”)

Year: 2019
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English 
 
An aging film director, Salvador Mallo, grapples with physical ailments, creative block and past regrets.
 
Interweaving memories with present reality, the film explores themes of artistic legacy, self-reflection and the search for meaning in life’s twilight years.
 
Watch it on Prime Video

13. “Sin señas particulares” (“Identifying Features”)

Year: 2020
Genre: Drama

Subtitles: English
 
Magdalena embarks on a desperate search for her son who disappeared while trying to cross the US-Mexico border.
 
This suspenseful drama explores the plight of missing migrants and the agonizing uncertainty faced by families left behind. It delves into the complexities of migration, societal indifference and the enduring power of hope.
 
Watch it on Prime Video or Max 

14. “Madres paralelas” (“Parallel Mothers”)

Year: 2021
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English

Two women, Janis and Ana, give birth on the same day in a maternity ward. Their lives become intertwined as they navigate motherhood and confront unexpected connections.

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This thought-provoking film explores themes of family, female solidarity and the choices women make in a patriarchal society.

Watch it on Prime Video

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

Year: 1992
Genre: Drama/Romance
Subtitles: English

Tita, forbidden from love by her family tradition, expresses her forbidden emotions through magical culinary creations.

This magical realist film explores themes of passion, repression and the transformative power of food. It’s also a great book to read for some Spanish reading practice! 

Watch it on Prime Video or Paramount+

16. “La camarista” (“The Chambermaid”)

Year: 2018
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English
 
Eve, a young chambermaid in a luxury hotel, witnesses the opulent lives of the guests while struggling to make ends meet.
 
This social commentary exposes the stark class divisions in Mexican society and explores themes of exploitation, resilience and the invisible labor that maintains societal structures.
 

17. “Quién te cantará” (“Who Will Sing to You”)

Year: 2018
Genre: Drama/Music/Mystery
Subtitles: English

Ana, a former opera singer forced to retire due to illness, grapples with her fading voice and forgotten past.

As she prepares for a comeback concert, she confronts her regrets and reconnects with her estranged daughter.

Watch it on Prime Video

18. “7 años” (“7 Years”)

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Year: 2016
Genre: Drama
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese

In this Netflix original, four friends must decide who will do the time for the crime they committed together, while the other three remain free.

Watch their debates as they prepare to vote on who’s going to jail, all while learning some legal and financial Spanish vocabulary and getting exposed to Castilian Spanish.

Watch it on Netflix

19. “Durante la tormenta” (“Mirage”)

Year: 2018
Genre: Drama/Mystery/Thriller 
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese

This Spanish thriller keeps you guessing with its mind-bending twists, following the familiar plotline of what happens when someone meddles with the past. 

When Vera tries to save a boy’s life 25 years earlier, she changes the course of events and ends up losing her daughter. She fights to get her back, navigating alternate realities and struggling to unravel the truth to set things right. 

20. “Abre los ojos” (“Open Your Eyes”)

Year: 1997
Genre: Drama/Sci-Fi
Subtitles: English
 
A wealthy playboy, César, wakes up disfigured after a car accident, forced to navigate a reality blurred by his past and present. He faces a haunting choice: cling to a dream world created by his obsessed lover or accept the harsh truth and rebuild his life.
 
This psychological thriller, later remade as “Vanilla Sky,” will leave you questioning what’s real and what’s just a figment of a distorted mind. 
 
Watch it on Prime Video

21. “Ocho apellidos vascos” (“Spanish Affair”)

Year: 2014
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Rafa, a charming Andalusian man, pretends to be Basque to win over Amaia, a woman from a traditional Basque family.

As Rafa navigates the Basque customs and Amaia’s family, he discovers more about himself and challenges his own biases.

22. “La gran familia española” (“Family United”)

Year: 2013
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Subtitles: English

This film follows a chaotic Spanish family gathering where love, rivalry and secrets collide during the World Cup final in 2010.
 
As tensions rise and emotions run high, the family must confront their differences and unite in the face of unexpected challenges.
 

Watch it on Prime Video

23. “El bar” (“The Bar”)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Year: 2017
Subtitles: English, Spanish

After witnessing two people drop dead in downtown Madrid, several strangers find themselves trapped in a bar with no apparent escape. As tensions rise and paranoia sets in, they must uncover the truth and find a way out.

I recommend this one if you want a bit of horror and suspense with your Spanish-language practice. 

Watch it on Prime Video

24. “La Llorona”

Year: 2019
Genre: Horror/Drama
Subtitles: English

Retired General Enrique Monteverde, accused of orchestrating massacres during the Guatemalan Civil War, faces trial but walks free on a technicality.

Haunted by ghostly cries and unsettling visions, he retreats to his opulent mansion, only to find his life further tormented. This film masterfully blends political drama, psychological thriller and supernatural horror.

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Watch it on Prime Video

How to Learn Spanish With Movies

You may be planning to just choose a movie, queue it up and start watching. But there are a few things you can do that will make your movie-watching time more effective if you’re learning the language.  

Choose the right movie.

Watching Spanish-language originals will help you learn regional variations of Spanish. If you have a target country, you can select movies from there to improve your understanding of how Spanish is spoken in that part of the world.

Just make sure it’s a movie you’ll actually enjoy, maybe from your favorite genre or about a story that interests you. If you aren’t enjoying it, just turn it off and find a better option for you so you don’t lose motivation. 

If you’re looking for more options, here are eight additional movies that are great for learning Spanish:

Watch the movie multiple times. 

I suggest watching the movie in Spanish with subtitles in English first. This will improve your spoken Spanish comprehension and make learning new Spanish words easier.

Then, watch it again with the subtitles in Spanish. When you already know the plot and a bit of the dialogue in English, you can see how the grammar changes when translating to Spanish.

Once you’re ready, turn off the subtitles. I suggest doing this in segments, particularly the first time you try it. Watching a whole movie in Spanish might be overwhelming, so split it up. 

Focus on short segments with only one or two voices.

Not only are there many variations of Spanish, but every person also has their own way of speaking. Jumping into a conversation with many speakers may be frustrating, particularly if you expect to understand every word.

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So when you’re ready to turn off those subtitles, look for a part of the movie where only one or two people are talking to help you follow along. 

For example, there are many scenes in the classic film “Titanic” with one-on-one dialogue that are great for picking up some new words and phrases:

Take your time, and rewatch scenes.

Language students often get overwhelmed by entire movies, especially long ones. After all, watching a film in a foreign language can involve a lot of thinking.

Don’t hesitate to break a movie into segments to make it less daunting. Try watching just 15 minutes at a time. Better yet, take time to re-watch your favorite parts! Not only is this fun, but it will also help you remember the lines.

Check out this video for another in-depth breakdown of how you can learn Spanish with subtitled movies, this time using “The Avengers” as an example:

Practice the movie’s dialogue.

Once you’ve watched a scene enough times, try repeating the dialogue out loud, matching the original pronunciation and intonation. You can pause the movie to speak at your own pace.

Once you’ve done this a few times, try “talking” to the movie. For example, choose a role in the dialogue. After you learn it, pause the movie and say each line before the actor does, then listen to the line and check how close you got.

Finished with one character? Change roles. You can also try recording your part and then comparing it to the movie. Or practice with a friend!

Look up new words (and review them!).

The most effective way to learn from movies is to watch them actively. Be prepared to pause the movie to look up unfamiliar words.

You don’t have to understand every word of the film, but if a particular word is used often, it will be easier to just look it up. Write these words down and review them on a regular basis.

This can feel time-consuming, so you may want to start with an immersive language program like FluentU, which combines native Spanish media with convenient interactive subtitles.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Here’s another taste of how FluentU’s dual subtitles can help you learn Spanish with movies:

 

Again, don’t worry if you don’t get absolutely everything. With time and practice, you’ll understand more and more. 

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy learning Spanish with these Spanish-language 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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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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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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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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