spanish movies netflix

22 Unmissable Spanish-language Movies on Netflix in 2022

Movie night just got Netflixed—Spanish style!

Movies are a great way to delve into the lives of people from all over the world, as well as to develop your Spanish skills without textbooks or homework.

Conveniently, Netflix already has a massive library of Spanish movies across a wide range of genres. As someone who has learned Spanish to fluency (and watched a lot of shows along the way!), I’ve selected 22 entertaining movies that you can have a great time with on your next movie night. 

Immerse yourself in a sci-fi thriller from Spain, unwind with a Mexican animated film or enjoy a romantic comedy from Peru—this list has it all. 

With Spanish movies on Netflix, immersing yourself in Spanish conversation is simple: just press play.

Contents

Best Spanish-language Movies on Netflix in 2022

1. “Bajocero” (Below Zero)

Country: Spain

Year: 2022

Genre: Thriller

What starts as a standard prison transfer of some hardened inmates quickly goes haywire. It’s then up to police officer Martín (Javier Gutiérrez) to defend the armored truck and all those inside from an invading outside force.

But who’s the mysterious man outside the truck? Which prisoner is he pursuing and why?

This film is packed full of action and rather brutal scenes of violence, so it’s not for the faint-hearted!

2. “El hoyo” (The Platform)

Country: Spain

Year: 2019

Genre: Thriller 

“El Hoyo” is a dystopian film that’s set in a vertical prison, where food is lowered down to the prisoners through a platform. 

The problem? The food is communal and the “prisoners'” unlucky enough to be at the lower levels have only scraps (or nothing) to choose from, due to the selfishness of those above.

It’s a fairly striking metaphor for society in general and the concept of the “haves” and “have nots.”

3. “La noche de 12 años” (A Twelve Year Night)

Country: Uruguay

Year: 2018

Genre: Historical drama 

“La noche de 12 años” is an Uruguayan masterpiece that depicts the real story of Jose Mujica (who was President of Uruguay), along with two other members of the National Liberation Movement. They were fighting against the dictatorship in the country between 1973 and 1985.

These three men end up in prison, but then they’re kidnapped and forced to stay underground for 12 long years, when they couldn’t see the light of day at all.

4. “Durante la tormenta” (Mirage)

Country: Spain

Year: 2018

Genre: Thriller  

This drama/thriller is sure to keep viewers engaged. It’s about a woman who experiences an odd event during a storm and saves a child… or does she?

The plot is layered, and there’s a twist at the end. I’m not going to give the ending away—you’ll have to watch for yourself if you want to know what happens!

All this is presented with some seriously gripping, frightening music that’s the perfect backdrop to the heart-stopping action. 

5. “Hogar” (The Occupant)

Country: Spain

Year: 2020

Genre: Thriller

What would you do if you hated your life? What about if you lost your job and had to move out of your fancy apartment?

Well, former advertising executive Javier Muñoz becomes a stalker. Not just any stalker, a stalker with an obsession to completely transform his life—even at the expense of all of those around him.

This alarming thriller takes you inside the mind of a psychopath masquerading as a loving family man.

6. “Roma” 

Country: Mexico

Year: 2018

Genre: Drama 

“Roma” is a story of class differences in Mexican society.

The movie follows Cleo, a house worker who, although hardworking and kind, is often subjugated to moments that remind her of her lowly stature in society and the high status of the family that she works for.

She later becomes pregnant and the story explores how this event ripples through the family contrasted against a background of rising political tensions and ideological movements in Mexico.

7. “A pesar de todo” (Despite Everything)

Country: Spain

Year: 2019

Genre: Comedy

Following their mother’s death and the shocking discovery that their father isn’t their biological dad, four sisters go on an adventure to find their real fathers.

Expect the unexpected with this one! The search is on, and with it are chats about expectations, DNA testing, inheritances and family secrets.

As the sisters make their way to their final destination, they find peace with each other and themselves… and maybe even a little love.

8. “El camino de Xico” (Xico’s Journey)

Country: Mexico

Year: 2022

Genre: Animation 

This children’s animation film follows the classic archetype of “David and Goliath.”

Copi and her loyal dog Xico take on a multinational corporation planning to exploit the local mountain for its gold supply.

This children’s movie carries a strong core message of environmentalism and mixes in components of mysticism and mythologies. The young girl, her dog and their friend Gus must go deep into the mystical mountain to protect all those that they love.

9. “El bar” (The Bar)

Country: Spain

Year: 2017

Genre: Thriller 

“The Bar” has a normal opening scene: a woman named Elena drops by a bar before her date.

But then a man outside the bar is shot, and another man who tries to go outside gets shot too. The message is clear: none of the people inside the bar can get out.

With a diverse cast of personalities, including a former cop, a socialite and a homeless man, they start to turn against each other as the situation gets more desperate.

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

Country: Mexico

Year: 2019

Genre: Drama 

This artistic drama centers around the character Ulises who, after some troubles with a rival gang in his area, is forced to flee Mexico and take refuge in Queens, New York.

Ulises experiences culture shock upon his arrival in the States. He meets heaps of unique characters, all searching for their place in between two contrasting societies.

It’s an uplifting film but in many ways, it’s also a heartbreaking and all too common story. 

11. “Yucatán”

Country: Spain

Year: 2018

Genre: Comedy 

Two thieves, a baker who’s just won the lottery, a couple of quirky wives and a mature dating scene… all converge on a cruise heading from Spain to Mexico. There’s no way this could go wrong, right?

The thieves bumble along, trying to outwit each other in their quest to get their hands on the baker’s lottery winnings.  

This comedy film is intended for mature audiences. It’s off-beat and funny, with gorgeous scenery and great dialogue.

12. “La tribu” (The Tribe)

Country: Spain

Year: 2018

Genre: Comedy

“The Tribe” is a ridiculously funny film involving a corporate bigwig, a dancing cleaning woman, her super-cool dancing tribe and a case of amnesia.

The bigwig, Fidel, attempts to commit suicide. The attempt falls short and he ends up in the hospital where his biological mother decides to take him home—to a life he’s never known, people he’s never met and a dance group that treats him as one of their own.

13. “Jefe” (Boss)

Country: Spain and Portugal

Year: 2018

Genre: Comedy

When corporate head César’s life goes awry, he has only a very short time to fix everything. His marriage ends, his business fails and life seems like it’s over.

César is pretty self-centered and obnoxious until he meets the cleaning woman who opens his eyes to life, love and laughter. She’s more casual, fun and laid-back—in other words, she’s the perfect person to teach him how to live his life to its fullest.

14. “Soltera codiciada” (How to Get Over a Breakup)

Country: Peru

Year: 2018

Genre: Romantic comedy

After María gets dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to write a blog to get over the breakup.

“Soltera codiciada” (lit. “coveted single woman”) is a Peruvian rom-com that’ll make you laugh, cry, shout at the TV and everything in between.

This film tells the story of how María figures life out and learns to live with herself. Thanks to her two best friends and a whole lot of self-work, she’ll come out of the tunnel eventually.

15. “Gente que viene y bah” (In Family I Trust)

Country: Spain

Year: 2018

Genre: Romantic comedy

When Bea’s boyfriend’s infidelity becomes public, she loses her job and her relationship all at once—so she leaves Barcelona and returns to her family in their coastal town.

Family life isn’t always peaceful, though. Affairs, secret liaisons that produce children, revealed illnesses and a friendship that has no expiration date all combine to make this coming-home story an intriguing tale.

Anyone who likes to see family dynamics, overcoming adversity and heartfelt drama will enjoy this film.

16. “Pickpockets: Maestrosdel robo” (Pickpockets)

Country: Colombia and England

Year: 2017

Genre: Drama

The movie tells the story of two class-B teenage pickpockets who aren’t really good criminals (they continuously get caught and try to run from the police).

Suddenly, a master pickpocket who’s hiding in the shadows decides to take care of them and teach them the art of stealing.

He has to pay some debts but needs to be “invisible” for a while, so he pins his hopes on the alleged potential the two teenagers might have.

17. “Thi Mai” 

Country: Spain

Year: 2017

Genre: Comedy

“Thi Mai” is a heartwarming story of a mother’s love—and the women who support her. When Carmen’s daughter dies, Carmen goes on a journey from Spain to Vietnam with her best friends in tow. Their goal? To look for the girl that her daughter was about to adopt.

The women must make their way through this new country, face cultural differences and make themselves understood in a place that speaks another language.

18. “Como caído del cielo” (As if Fallen from Heaven)

Country: Mexico

Year: 2019

Genre: Comedy

This story about the real-life star of Mexican cinema, Pedro Infante, offers up the premise that the great man is given a chance to redeem himself for his behavior on earth. It’s a romantic comedy with some drama—one of those something-for-everyone films!

The actor’s stage persona was captured brilliantly (you’ll especially appreciate it if you’ve seen the old Mexican films) so it feels as if we’re really seeing him on the stage again.

19. “7 años” (7 Years)

Country: Spain

Year: 2016

Genre: Drama

“7 años” is an interesting drama that centers around a decision that’ll affect the lives of a small group of business partners. They need to decide who’ll go to jail for a crime they’ve committed.

They might start out as friends but this decision could make them enemies. No one wants to go to prison, so they discuss who should be sacrificed.

Everyone feels they shouldn’t go. So the question is, how to choose?

20. “Nuestros amantes” (Our Lovers)

Country: Spain

Year: 2016

Genre: Romance

This film is a romantic slice-of-life story that tugs at viewers’ heartstrings. When a writer meets a book lover, there are bound to be some mutual interests. The lead characters have that dynamic—but what they don’t reveal about their situations and themselves could ruin this budding romance.

The dialogue is a treasure trove of cultural references. Books, authors, artwork—all these aspects of Spanish culture and art history are referenced time and again.

21. “El club de los insomnes” (The Club of the Sleepless)

Country: Mexico

Year: 2016

Genre: Drama

“El club de los insomnes” is a quirky, thoughtful film where an insomniac regularly hangs out with the cashier at a 24-hour minimart. Eventually, a pregnant veterinarian joins them.

The three of them see their minimart evenings together as a temporary escape from their everyday lives. They spend their time lightheartedly playing games, getting to know each other and talking about their dreams and worries—all too relatable for young adults trying to find their way in the world. 

22. “100 metros” (100 Meters)

Country: Spain and Portugal

Year: 2016

Genre: Drama 

When a businessman is diagnosed with a degenerative muscular disease, his whole life changes.

The patient learns about an Iron Man competition and he decides to enter—and win—the race. Training begins but it soon becomes apparent that what any athlete needs is a will to keep going, even in the face of obstacles.

This is a heartwarming film that shows just how much one is willing to do to achieve a goal.

 

With all of these Spanish-language movies available on Netflix, there’s a lot for you to potentially watch! If you’re a Spanish learner (and looking to geek out on all of that movie vocabulary), here are some more films that you can check out: 

Strategies for Learning Spanish with Netflix Movies

Now before you start hopping onto Netflix and searching for these films, there are a few strategies you should know to utilize while watching. You aren’t just an average movie-viewer—you’re a dedicated language learner too!

Watch with Spanish subtitles

Add Spanish subtitles to the movie you’re watching so you can read along and improve your Spanish reading skills

While learning with video content can be great (and super fun), this can often be a passive Spanish learning method. We convince ourselves that we’re learning when really we’re just watching a movie (I’m guilty of this).

Spanish subtitles can ensure that you’re following along with the speech, even if it may be muddled somehow and hard to discern with your ears. If there are any words in the captions that capture your interest, you can jot them down and study up on them later.

Practice with shorter videos

Watching an entire movie can be pretty exhausting if you’re learning Spanish, so it’s a good idea to practice first with shorter videos—even better if they’re in authentic Spanish. 

For example, YouTube has plenty of Spanish videos online that are five to fifteen minutes long. 

Another resource would be FluentU, which has a library of authentic clips from Spanish movies, TV shows and other native media. They come with interactive subtitles that explain in context the words used. Here’s a video from FluentU that’s about the movie “La tribu“:  

FluentU Spanish Movie Clip

You can also review vocabulary with the program’s personalized flashcards and quizzes, which include speaking exercises based on new words.

Aside from web, FluentU has a mobile app (for both iOS and Android) too. 

Schedule Spanish movie nights

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a random movie date or late-night film binge. In addition to those spur-of-the-moment jaunts, strive to watch a minimum of one or two movies a week. This will give you a solid block of listening time.

Watch a movie you love that’s dubbed in Spanish

If you’ve watched a movie many times, you already know the storyline, you know where it’ll lead and you probably know many of the lines in English. So listen to the Spanish dubbed version for a new experience!

This allows you to quickly learn new vocabulary and grammar in Spanish simply because you’re already familiar with the film’s content in English.

Close your eyes and listen

Take a moment to turn away from the television screen so you can focus on the dialogue taking place. By losing the aid of visuals, are you able to understand what’s being said?

At the end of the scene, jot down what you think the characters were talking about, then rewind and compare your answer to the visual, subtitled movie scene.

Repeat what you hear

During a part of a movie that particularly catches your attention—practice repeating what you’ve heard. You might want to pause the film when you do this. Otherwise, wait until after the movie’s over and repeat key lines while you’re washing the popcorn bowl and tidying the sofa cushions.

Don’t just watch and forget. Watch, gain meaning and get a feel for the language!

Take notes 

This is a great opportunity to learn some new vocabulary—as well as see and hear it in context spoken by native speakers.

Jot down interesting phrases and idioms but choose only the most exceptional examples or ones that are repeated often. You don’t want to be so busy taking notes that you lose track of the plot.

Hear some slang phrases? Write them down!

How Can Watching Movies on Netflix Improve Your Spanish?

  • Improve your pronunciation: Movie dialogue will allow you to hear the natural sounds of Spanish words and phrases.
  • Hear and understand the structure of Spanish sentences: The more you expose yourself to fluent dialogue, the more familiar you’ll become with how natural sentence structure should sound.
  • Learn new expressions and local slang: Spanish is the official language of 21 countries and each of these countries has its own dialect and vocabulary. By watching movies from these countries, you can hear their accents and local slang.
  • Immerse yourself in the language: When you don’t live in a Spanish-speaking country, it can be difficult to familiarize yourself with the language and achieve the immersion you need to become fluent. Movies can be a way to bridge that gap.

 

We listen to understand, we listen to engage and we listen to take part. By using Spanish movies on Netflix, you can further develop your language skills in an entertaining way.

Remember to enjoy the movies for what they are: a way to get away from the textbooks, relax and learn some authentic Spanish!

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