Best Spanish Movies on Netflix Las mejores películas en español en Netflix (February 2023)
The past few years have seen a boom of Spanish-language films, finding success at both the box office and during awards season. Many of the Oscars for Best Director since 2012 have gone to Spanish-speaking directors.
That being said, “Spanish movies” is a broad term, with every Spanish-speaking country having its own unique and different cinematic history and traditions. This makes for a wide and exciting variety of movies, from prestige dramas to some of the best horror and thriller movies of the past decade to hilarious comedies and outrageous musicals.
As with the culture of the many Spanish-speaking countries, movies in Spanish present a variety of genres and opportunities to offer something for everyone. That’s why this list has a little for everyone, from horror fans to those wanting something more serious to thrilling documentaries. It’s time to share the best Spanish-language movies streaming on Netflix now!
For more recommendations, check out our list of the best movies and shows on Netflix.
Editor’s note: This article was updated February 2023 to include Through My Window.
The Platform (2019)
Run Time: 1 hr 34 min | Genre: Thriller/Horror | Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Cast: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan
The movie stars Ivan Massagué as Goreng, a man who voluntarily agrees to serve six months in The Hole in exchange for an accredited diploma. The facility is a prison of sorts that’s structured vertically. Two inmates call each floor home for exactly 30 days. At the end of that period of time, gas fills the structure, knocks them all out and when they wake up, they’re on a new floor. Why does the floor they’re on matter? Because they’re only fed once a day for a matter of minutes via the platform. It begins on floor 0 where it’s loaded up with a dream-like assortment of drinks, salad, chicken, cakes and more and then, the platform descends floor by floor. Floor 1 gets the food of their choice, then their leftovers move to floor 2, floor 3, and so on. While that might not sound all that bad for the folks higher up, imagine calling floor 100 home – or even floor 48 for that matter. When the floors above you are stuffing their faces and even stepping on the table to get what they want, there’s a good chance you’ll be left with their unappetizing remnants – if you’re left with any food at all…
I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that this is Gaztelu-Urrutia’s feature directorial debut. I suspect this would be an immensely challenging concept to bring to screen for even the most seasoned filmmaker. What Gaztelu-Urrutia accomplishes here exhibits such confidence, understanding and control of his craft, and it’s a sure sign that Gaztelu-Urrutia knows how to lead a team, bringing the most out of every creator he’s collaborating with and then bringing their work together with great expertise. The Platform does fall short of total perfection due to one particular plot point that’s introduced and expanded later on in the movie that isn’t quite as refined as the earlier beats, but it’s still a must-see that will likely wind up being one of the best horror movies of 2020. – Perri Nemiroff
Through My Window (2022)
Run Time: 1 hr 56 min | Genre: Teen Romance | Director: Marçal Forès
Cast: Clara Galle, Julio Peña, Guillermo Lasheras, Natalia Azahara, Hugo Arbues
Through My Window is a beautifully romantic star-crossed teen drama from director Marçal Forès and starring Clara Galle as Raquel, an average teen girl hiding a life-long crush on her hot neighbor Ares (Julio Peña). As the two get closer, Ares finds himself developing feelings for the girl, with their budding romance growing over his parents’ objections to the relationship. Based on the novel by Ariana Godoy, Through My Window positions itself to be a progressive and empowering tale of female sexuality with an entertaining soapy romance. – Yael Tygiel
Eye for an Eye (2019)
Run Time: 1 hr 47 min | Genre: Crime Drama Thriller | Director: Paco Plaza
Cast: Xan Cejudo, Luis Tosar, Ismael Martínez
Eye for an Eye follows a cartel kingpin upon his release from prison. Due to his recent diagnosis of a terminal condition, he’s put in the care of a medical professional, who – unbeknownst to him – begins plotting revenge, as their life has been greatly and tragically affected by his crimes. Directed by Paco Plaza, Eye for an Eye has a tremendous cast seeped in intense situations, with Xan Cejudo playing the drug lord Antonio and Luis Tosar co-starring as Mario, the nurse torn between saving a life and taking one. Explored through tense scenes, Eye for an Eye is a gripping tale of morality, crime, and vengeance. – Yael Tygiel
Sunday’s Illness (2018)
Run Time: 1 hr 53 min | Genre: Drama | Director: Ramón Salazar
Cast: Bárbara Lennie, Susi Sánchez, Greta Fernández
Written and directed by Ramón Salazar, Sunday’s Illness is a heart-wrenching drama about the tensions that arise from the reunification of an estranged family. When Chiara (Bárbara Lennie) unexpectedly walks back into her mother’s life 30 years after she was abandoned, the reconciliation leads to revelations neither expected. Supporting Lennie in Sunday’s Illness is Susi Sánchez as Anabel, her wealthy and guilt-ridden mother. As their 10-day reunion unfolds, both women learn more about each other and themselves. In Sunday’s Illness, Salazar’s script weaves an unforgettable and relatable tale for any mother or daughter, regardless of circumstance. – Yael Tygiel
Run Time: 1 hr 43 min | Genre: Thriller Drama | Director: Alejandro Montiel
Cast: Luisana Lopilato, Amaia Salamanca, Rafael Spregelburd
Perdida is a well-crafted mysterious drama about a detective whose years-long search for her missing childhood friend begins to uncover dangerous secrets. Perdida provides a twisted look at determination, with the main characters finding themselves consumed with grief that drives them towards answers. Director Alejandro Montiel builds a bleak backdrop for Perdida, based on the novel Cornelia by Florencia Etcheves, emphasizing the hazardous place one can find themselves when consumed by obsession. – Yael Tygiel
Ay Mi Madre (2019)
Run Time: 1 hr 24 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Frank Ariza, Rafa Montesinos
Cast: Estefanía de los Santos, Secun de la Rosa, Terele Pávez
An uproarious comedy, Ay Mi Madre, confronts family, expectations, and grief with humor and heart. Frank Ariza (El Continental) and Rafa Montesinos direct this hilarious film about estranged daughter Maria, earnestly played by Estefanía de los Santos, who makes her way home for her mother’s funeral. In order to inherit her mother’s estate, Maria learns there are quite a few unorthodox conditions she must meet. With a playful and precocious supporting cast, Ay Mi Madre is an absolutely delightful movie to enjoy with family. – Yael Tygiel
Elisa & Marcela (2019)
Run Time: 1 hr 58 min | Genre: Romance/Drama | Director: Isabel Coixet
Cast: Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández
If you’re a fan of period sapphic stories like Carol, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, or Ammonite, Elisa & Marcela is sure to be right up your alley. The film is based on the true story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas – two lesbians who posed as a heterosexual couple in order to marry in the Church of Saint George in A Coruña. They succeeded and became the first same-sex couple to marry in Spain back in 1901. Overflowing with chemistry and beautiful cinematography, if you’re in the mood for a romance, check this one out. – Taylor Gates
Ready to Mingle (2019)
Run Time: 1 hr 36 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Luis Javier Henaine
Cast: Cassandra Ciangherotti, Gabriela de la Garza, Irán Castillo
After breaking up with her boyfriend of a decade due to his lack of interest in marriage, Ana (Cassandra Ciangherotti) decides to attend a class with a love coach and figure out how to land the perfect husband. Ready to Mingle is a rom-com that doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but it’s still highly enjoyable for what it is. There are makeover sequences galore, hilarious terrible date montages, and – of course – a swoony love interest in the form of Diego (Juan Pablo Medina). If you’re looking for a silly, Bridesmaids-esque watch, give this one a go. – Taylor Gates
The Crimes That Bind (2020)
Run Time: 1 hr 39 min | Genre: Thriller/Drama | Director: Sebastián Schindel
Cast: Cecilia Roth, Miguel Ángel Solá, Sofía Gala Castiglione
The Crimes That Bind is an intense, timely film about a mother grappling with her son being accused of unspeakable crimes. Cecelia Roth stars as the wealthy Alicia, the mother of 35-year-old Daniel, who is accused of stalking and violence against women. Though she is initially in denial that her child could be capable of such things, she is eventually forced to face the truth, deal with the consequences, and choose whether to stand by her son or do the right thing. – Taylor Gates
Holy Camp! (2017)
Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Genre: Musical/Comedy | Director: Javier Ambrossi, Javier Calvo
Cast: Macarena García, Anna Castillo, Belén Cuesta, Gracia Olayo
Spanish cinema has a long tradition of making comedy out of the religious devotion of many Spaniards. After all, many of Pedro Almodóvar’s early works touched upon religion for comedic purposes. Take that and combine it with the established popularity of musicals starring singing nuns, and you get the Spanish sensation, Holy Camp!
Based on the award-winning Spanish stage musical, Holy Camp! follows a Catholic summer camp for girls and the camp’s two most rebellious teens, Susana and María, who sneak out of their bunks every night to party with boys and dream about launching a career as electro-latino singers. Their summer changes when María has a late-night encounter with God, who looks like a beardless, middle-age showman who belts out “I Will Always Love You” because, of course, God is a huge fan of Whitney Houston. This leads to the young woman and the conservative nuns that run the camp being forced to confront hidden emotions and desires, resulting in a campy and hilarious LGBTQ musical about the divide between conservatives and progressives and the happy coexistence that can exist between the two.
Toc Toc (2017)
Run Time: 1 hr 30 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Vicente Villanueva
Cast: Paco León, Alexandra Jiménez, Rossy de Palma, Oscar Martínez
Another film based on a hit stage play, Toc Toc is a hilariously dark comedy full of quirky characters on the worst day of their life. Six patients find themselves in a waiting room, ready for their appointment with a prestigious therapist. They have quite a lot in common: They were all given the exact same time for the appointment and they all have some kind of OCD. The therapist’s secretary has no idea why they all have the same appointment, and the therapist is on a flight that is delayed.
The comedy comes from the zany characters all becoming increasingly frustrated with each other due to their own oddball quirks that range from obsession with numbers, phrase-repeating, germophobia, the one that can’t stop cursing, and more. Though it mostly takes place in one location, Toc Toc manages to keep the plot fresh and continuously funny.
Time Share (2018)
Run Time: 1 hr 36 min | Genre: Drama/Thriller | Director: Sebastián Hofmann
Cast: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Miguel Rodarte, RJ Mitte
Horror movies come in all shapes and forms, usually taking the darkest corners of our imagination and turning them into horrific stories. But the best horror movies take what are ordinary events or ideas and exploit them for all they’re worth. One such film is Sebastián Hofmann’s Time Share.
Pedro wants nothing more than to take his family on vacation, and buys into a time share company’s promises of an affordable yet unforgettable vacation. The problem is that when they check into their villa, they find another family already booked for the same house; Pedro and his family will be forced to contend with the invaders and keep his sanity. Time Share is a comedic but at times horrifying exploration of paranoia, claustrophobia, and capitalism, all set inside an all-exclusive resort that is shot like a Kubrickian vacation video.
Quién te Cantará (2018)
Run Time: 2 hr 5 min | Genre: Drama | Director: Carlos Vermut
Cast: Najwa Nimri, Eva Llorach, Carme Elias, Natalia de Molina
There are plenty of movies about stardom and the rise and fall of stars, but movies about the fans who make them famous are few and far in between. Carlos Vermut attempts to rectify this situation with a stylish psychological thriller about erased identities and generational frustrations that’s at a midpoint between Perfect Blue and Persona.
Quién te cantará tells the story of Lila, a famous retired singer who loses her memory after being involved in a tragic accident. Because she was due for a career comeback in just over a month, Lila’s manager finds a super fan to teach Lila how to become her old self again. It is a beautifully told movie that portrays a positive side of fandom as a place where the lost can find and enrich themselves through impersonation and admiration – plus it has a killer soundtrack.
The Perfect Dictatorship (2014)
Run Time: 2 hr 23 min | Genre: Comedy Political Satire | Director: Luis Estrada
Cast: Damián Alcázar, Alfonso Herrera, Joaquín Cosio, Silvia Nararro
The most powerful Mexican TV corporation discloses a scandalous story involving a governor and his illicit business, so the governor decides to clean his image by doing highly expensive secret deals with the TV corporation. The governor wants the TV channel to the change the public’s perspective of himself and turn him into a superstar and likeable presidential candidate.
Luís Estrada crafted a bleak political satire with The Perfect Dictatorship, which is like Wag the Dog meets Network. It’s a biting look at corruption in both politics and the media, and the collusion that comes from it and the impact it has on regular people. It’s sharp and lightning-fast dialogue makes this already cynical movie hit all the closer to home, with a story that was already painfully real in Mexico in 2014 and is now applicable in many other countries.
Run Time: 2 hr 9 min | Genre: Thriller/Drama | Director: Oriol Paulo
Cast: Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darón, Javier Gutiérrez Álvarez, Nora Navas
A happily married mother learns that she may be able to save the life of a boy who lived in her home 25 years earlier, but by altering the timeline, she causes irreparable damage to her own reality – mainly the fact that her own daughter has never been born and her husband doesn’t know who she it. Can she fix everything and get her family back? Welcome to Mirage.
After making a splash with the thrillers Julia’s Eyes and The Invisible Guest, Oriol Paulo returns with a time-travel, mind-twister of a movie with a stunning performance by Adriana Ugarte and a tight script that keeps you on the edge of your seat while you also guess as to what will happen next. More than a twisty sci-fi story, however, this is a poignant exploration of motherhood and the lengths a mother goes to protect and bring back her daughter.
Run Time: 1 hr 45 min | Genre: Horror/Drama | Director: Paco Plaza
Cast: Sandra Escacena, Bruna González, Ana Torrent, Consuelo Trujillo
Horror movies are meant to scare us in one way or another, but there are plenty of horror movies that can also make us cry in addition to scream. One of the saddest horror movies in recent years is Paco Plaza’s Verónica. Based on a terrifying true story, we follow the titular Verónica, a young girl who uses a Ouija board at school during a solar eclipse to try and summon the spirit of her late father. Something goes wrong and Verónica becomes the accidental vessel of a malevolent spirit that will kill her in three days unless she can get rid of it.
The mastermind behind REC, Plaza crafted a horror movie that was talked about as the scariest thing on Netflix, a hauntingly sad story of a girl being played with by forces she doesn’t understand and desperately trying to survive while everyone around her dismisses her cries as the ramblings of a teenage girl. The acting is superb, the camerawork accentuates the scares, resulting in one of the best horror movies of 2018. You will scream, but by the end you will also cry. To make matters scarier, this movie is based on a true case that is still unresolved.
Run Time: 2 hr 15 min | Genre: Drama | Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira
After his hilarious and honest Y Tu Mamá También, the acclaimed director Alfonso Cuarón bares his soul open and invites us into his childhood with the deeply personal, black-and-white Roma.
A story about a housemaid and the family matriarch that employs her, Roma is a beautifully told and immaculately presented movie that’s not only a deeply personal movie and love letter to the women in the director’s life, but also about the political and social change of Mexico in the ‘70s. Cuarón keeps the story focused on Cleo, the housemaid who finds her life turned upside-down due to an unexpected pregnancy, but also presents a larger story of social change in the background that eventually crosses over with the main story in a devastating and heart-breaking way. This movie is like visiting an art gallery with Alfonso Cuarón as its curator, carefully selecting chapters from his life and arranging them to maximize the empathy emanating from the exhibition. As Netflix keeps giving money to auteur directors, Roma will remain a ground-breaking moment that showed that the best films could also be found in streaming services.