The cinema is a window into the culture and reality of society. It reflects on the personalities and the way of understanding the world in a very creative way. Watching movies can help us better understand the culture and idiosyncrasy of another country, and therefore, can help us to better understand the language. Spanish cinema is very particular and different from American movies or the aesthetics of other European cinema. To get you started we have selected 10 best Spanish movies.

Here Spanish movies we highly recommend watching

We have selected movies, that in our opinion, reflect the personality of the Spaniards the best. So get comfortable and enjoy watching and improving your Spanish!

¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall!, Luis García Berlanga (1953)

Number one on our list – classic of Spanish cinema.

“Bienvenido, Mister. Marshall” is a funny satire of the international isolation that Spain was put under because of the Franco dictatorship. It is a sardonic look at the program of economic aid of the American government to Europe after World War II, known as Plan Marshall, contrasting it with the Castilian rural environment and with the international topic of Spain of bulls and flamenco.

Despite being a 50’s film, in many ways it is very current.

Tesis, Alejandro Amenábar (1996)

The second out of 10 best Spanish movies on our list is a psychological thriller that presents a subtle critic to the morbidity that every human being has over the forbidden, evil and the pain of others exemplified in the virulence of snuff movies.

Not suitable for apprehensive people.

El milagro de P.Tinto, Javier Fesser (1998)

Number three is a surrealistic film. A story told in retrospect, is an example of the absurd and intelligent humor characteristic of the Spaniards. It is an endearing love story, with very well defined characters in absurd situations, which makes a nostalgic reference to the Spain of the 50s and 60s.

It’s a movie that everyone should see.

La lengua de las mariposas, José Luis Cuerda (1999)

Here comes the fourth movie we recommend watching – a joint adaptation of three stories by Manuel Rivas in ‘¿Qué me quieres, amor?’ The rural Galicia of 1936 serves as a framework to tell the story of Moncho, one of the many children facing the horrors of civil war. This movie transmits an important pedagogical message on freedom of expression and teaching, particularly in the dark first years of the Franco dictatorship.

Todo sobre mi madre, Pedro Almodóvar (1999)

We could not make a list of best Spanish movies without including one from Almodóvar, welcome our number five on the list.

This bittersweet homage that Almodóvar makes to women, and especially to mothers, is a clear example of his cinema, a tragic vertiginous descent to the marginal, to prostitution, to the sordid side of transvestism and transsexuality. To the taboos that still exist, and those that we are gradually overcoming.

La Comunidad, Álex de la Iglesia (2000)

We have passed half of our list, and here comes a comedy, but this time, a black comedy where we laugh at things we should not laugh at.

The film raises the moral dilemma about what we would do in certain situations that at first sight we would judge as unfair. A community, several neighbors, an objective: story of a community in which most of us see a reflection of our own reality, however taken to the limit of the ridiculous.

Los lunes al sol, Fernando León de Aranoa (2002)

We hope by now you are intrigued and ready to watch one more Spanish movie that we believe gives you better insight into Spanish character. It is a great social movie, which splendidly recounts the terrible problem of unemployment so that what is actually a drama, becomes at times a fantasy thanks to an absurd humor, and at times incoherent, but always sharp and intelligent.

Te doy mis ojos, Icíar Bollaín (2003)

Do not get us wrong, next movie is not an insight into Spaniards character, but worldwide problem, retold in one of the best movies in Spanish. A great movie that brings a different angle on the horror of gender violence. It tells the story without creating monsters or victims, showing a reality very close and so that we can all identify and relate.

El laberinto del fauno, Guillermo del Toro (2006)

There are only two movies left for us to recommend, that is if we stop at 10. This story, which overflows with imagination and creativity, tells with cruel beauty the adventures of a girl trying to survive the horrors of the war.

It is a poetic and subjective approach to the open wounds of the Spanish Civil War.

Celda 211, Daniel Monzón (2009)

To close our list we have a movie unique in its kind, and, definitely spendid, though far from the typical Spanish movies. It is a thriller loaded with violence and intelligence, that puts down the prison stereotypes and keeps the viewer in the dark until the end.

Undoubtedly recommended.

We will gladly recommend many more Spanish movies, however we think these are 10 best Spanish movies to start with. And best of all, you can enjoy all of them in our cineforum (held regularly for our students).

So what are you waiting for to be our student? Contact us! 🙂
Your SMS Spanish Experience Team