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Spanish-language movies are as close as your computer or Netflix device - and there may be no better way without international travel to experience Spanish as it's spoken in real life.
Netflix's collection of Spanish-language films changes constantly, especially as the streaming service has put more of its emphasis on TV series. In fact, of the 10 films that were on this list when it was first published two years ago, only two are still are available.
All these movies can optionally be viewed with English subtitles, and most are also available with Spanish subtitles, better to use if your goal is to expand your Spanish vocabulary.
Where two titles are given below, the title used on Netflix is in parentheses following the title used in the country of origin.11of 11
This film currently isn't available on Netflix except on DVD, so I can't count it among the 10, but it very well may be the most fun Spanish-language film I've seen on the streaming service. The less you know about this ultralow-budget sci-fi film before you see it the better, so all I'm going to say is that it involves the complications of time travel to the very recent past.
Chapo: el escape del siglo
This low-budget (and generally panned) Mexican production tells the tale of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the notorious Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison. The second part of the title means "the escape of the century."09of 11
Instructions Not Included
This film is a rarity - a Spanish-language film made specifically for a U.S. Spanish-speaking audience and shown in regular theaters rather than going on the art-house circuit. It's a funny-in-places comedy about a clueless Acapulco, Mexico, man who suddenly finds himself taking care of the infant daughter he didn't know he had. Problems ensue, of course, when he travels to Los Angeles to return the baby to her mother.
Under the Same Moon (La misma luna)
This bilingual 2007 film that addresses the issue of illegal immigration co-stars Kate del Castillo as Mexican mother who works in Los Angeles to support her son, played by Adrián Alonso, who remains behind in Mexico and is living with his grandmother. But when the grandmother dies, the boy must find a way to get into the United States so he can be with his mother. The trip isn't an easy one.07of 11
Produced in 2007, making it one of the first Latin American films to tackle the issue of gender identity, XXY tells the story of an Argentine teen, played by Inés Nefron, who has both male and female genitals but lives as a girl and quits taking the medicine that suppresses masculine characteristics.06of 11
Chiamatemi Francesco (Call Me Francis)Argentine actor Rodrigo de la Serna plays the title role in "Call Me Francis.". Mediaset/Netflix
This Italian-produced biopic of Pope Francis was shown in Latin America as a four-part TV miniseries, Llámame Francisco, which is the way it is presented on Netflix. The life of the pope, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires in 1926, is chronicled from shortly before he began his studies to enter the priesthood.05of 11
Lucía y el sexo (Sex and Lucia)
Pretty much what the title suggests, this 2001 film details the active sex life of a Madrid waitress, played by Paz Vega.04of 11
This film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu was a 2000 nominee for the Academy Awards' best foreign-language film. The film tells three overlapping tales taking place in Mexico City and tied together by an automobile accident. Gael García Bernal is the best known of the starring characters.03of 11
Buen día, Ramón
Known in Germany as Guten Tag, Ramón (which, like the Spanish title, means "Good Day, Ramón"), this film is about a young Mexican man who gets stranded in Germany and develops an unlikely friendship with an older woman.02of 11
IxcanulMaría Mercedes Coroy plays the role of a young Mayan woman. La Casa de Producción
Filmed mostly in Kaqchikel, an indigenous language of Guatemala, this film was a foreign-language nominee for the 2016 Academy Awards. It co-stars María Mercedes Coroy as a young Mayan woman who wants to emigrate to the United States rather than enter into an arranged marriage. The title is the Kaqchikel word for "volcano."01of 11
Los últimos días (The Last Days)Barcelona descends to chaos as a devastating disease spreads in "Los últimos días.". Morena Films
Romance, bromance and post-apocalyptic sci-fi, this film makes no scientific sense (there's an epidemic that affects only people who go outside), but it is probably the now-available-for-streaming Spanish-language movie I've enjoyed the most. The story centers on two men in Barcelona who set out to find a missing girlfriend by traveling underground.