Why are Spanish movies on Netflix so useful for learning the language? And how does learning Spanish through watching movies even work? Well in a moment, I’ll try and answer these questions in general terms. But first, add our top 10 best movies on Netflix in Spanish to your queue and plan a movie night with other friends who are learning Spanish!

top 10 Spanish movies on Netflix

The Best Spanish Movies on Netflix (for Language Learners and General Viewers Alike)

  1. Outlaws (Las leyes de la frontera)


This recent release is a re-visitation of Spain’s classic 1970s quinqui film genre. Cine quinqui (“delinquency cinema”) typically focused on stories of young, marginalized adolescents and the small-scale crimes they committed. Las leyes de la frontera tells the gritty and epic story of one bullied teenager’s wild summer. When Nacho meets Zarco, Tere, and their crew, he finds love and adventure during a spree of burglaries and heists in 1978 Girona.

You can look for other award-winning Spanish movies on Netflix with their search engine.

  1. Lorena, Light-Footed Woman (Lorena, la de pies ligeros)


Even if you’re short on time, you can still use Netflix to work on your Spanish! Lorena, Light-Footed Woman is an inspiring 30-minute docu-short that profiles Lorena Ramirez. She’s a young member of Mexico’s indigenous Rarámuri community from Chihuahua. She lives a quiet, rural life – when she’s not competing as an ultra-marathon runner.

She gained international attention when she competed in the 50-kilometer Cerro Rojo UltraTrail race in 2017. She ran the race in traditional clothing, including huaraches instead of running shoes. She has been inspiring people in her community and around the world ever since.

  1. Love at First Kiss (Eres tú)


This is a quirky story about complicated relationships. Javier has the gift of romantic clairvoyance – with a kiss, he can see the future of a relationship. It’s made dating difficult. But then he finds the woman that he knows is destined to be the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s already his best friend’s girlfriend.

This Netflix original movie debuted in March 2023.

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  1. On the Fringe (En los márgenes)


This recent Spanish-Belgian social drama features a few icons of Spanish-language cinema. Penélope Cruz and Luis Tosar star in an intricately crafted storyline that follows the actions of three people struggling with the realities of financial hardship and eviction. Tosar plays a lawyer-activist who works to help those facing eviction. Within a dramatic 24-hour period, he crosses paths with two women who are desperate to keep their homes.

Though the plot is fictional, its concept is a homage to the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, an active Spanish grassroots organization that campaigns for housing rights.

  1. The Substitute (El suplente)


A university professor takes over a course at a school near Buenos Aires, where he grew up. When he arrives, he’s forced to face his own past while trying to protect his students from the dangers present in their community.

This movie was produced by a truly international team, representing Argentina, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and more. It was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival and the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

  1. ¡Ay, Mi Madre!

A man and a woman sit at a picnic table, and a woman holding a chicken talks to them.

When a woman’s estranged mother dies suddenly, she must return to her hometown to arrange the funeral and settle the estate. When the will is read, she learns that she must follow a set of quirky instructions in order to collect a large inheritance.

  1. The Platform (El hoyo)


If you enjoy psychological horror with a touch of social commentary, then this movie might be your cup of tea! This 2019 film is a great Spanish science fiction horror movie.

El hoyo is set in a large tower called a “Vertical Self-Management Center.” Residents are switched every month between its many floors, and fed via a moving platform. It’s filled with food on the top floor, then gradually descends through the tower’s levels, stopping for a fixed amount of time on each. The system inevitably leads to conflict, as the residents at the top get to eat their fill, and each level below only gets what’s left.

  1. Veronica

Spanish movie poster for the film Veronica. An old nun is facing forward in a darkened room with a younger woman standing behind her in the background.

Some reviews of this excellent Spanish horror movie claim that it is one of the scariest Spanish movies on Netflix. If you like movies that raise your heart rate while you improve your Spanish, this may be the film for you.

I am not convinced that this movie is really that scary, but it is hugely entertaining as it also wrestles with themes of death, sexuality, and fear. This, combined with the scary visuals, bumped it into our Top Ten Best Spanish movies on Netflix.

For an article that studies the varying and conflicting views of this film, read this piece from the Express.

  1. 100 Meters (100 Metros)

Spanish movie poster for 100 meters. Birdseye view of a man curled up on a grey bed in the fetal position.

This is perhaps the most heartwarming of our best Spanish movies on Netflix. This true story will introduce viewers to some interesting Spanish vocabulary.

Ramon comes to terms with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the realization that he will not be able to walk 100 meters in just a few months’ time. However, he doesn’t allow this news to be a prophetic truth. He decides to complete an Ironman race and defy the odds. Ramon soon becomes an accomplished athlete with MS.

This is a great Netflix film that shows one man’s grit and determination. Probably the most accessible of our Top Ten Best Spanish Movies on Netflix, this movie also has Spanish audio description, which I explain how to use in the next section of the article.

  1. Toro

Spanish movies on Netflix: poster for Toro. Side profile of a man looking out to sea while smoking a cigarette.

Here we have a wonderfully vicious and brilliant Spanish movie on Netflix. The plot moves so quickly that it will thrill even the most hard-to-please viewer. Toro, who was trying to leave his criminal past behind him, is forced back into his old way of life in order to rescue his brother and niece from a brutal gang leader known as Romano.

This genre is quickly becoming a classic for Spanish language films, if it isn’t already. For its genre, it has to be one of the best on Netflix. While certain aspects aren’t very believable, the hard-hitting violent content and phenomenally fast pace more than make up for it.

A fantastical thriller, this film is full of action and shows a relationship between brothers that defies logic but provides great entertainment.

Note: Regional restrictions on Spanish movies

It is also worth noting that Netflix is regional. Some movies are not available in every country. I have made this list with the USA in mind but, whilst we do not condone it, there are always options like using a VPN (or going on vacation!), to get around regional content issues. This may be a good option if you’re looking for Spanish movies on Netflix from Canada or elsewhere in the world.

Netflix is also constantly adding and removing content. So, if you see something on this list that isn’t available in your region, check back another time.


Features on Netflix for Language Learners

In one of his videos, Luca spoke about how he improved his English by watching hours of episodes of Friends. It’s the same idea for watching movies on Netflix in Spanish. The great thing about learning a language by watching movies and TV is that you can be immersed in the language while familiarizing yourself with Hispanic and Latino culture and customs.

And Netflix has some fantastic features that will assist you with your learning. I am going to reveal what these great features are, as well as my Top Ten Spanish Movies on Netflix. Language learning should always be fun, as enjoyment plays a big role in keeping you motivated. So, watch the best Spanish movies and make learning entertaining!

How to use subtitles

There are different options available to language learners on Netflix depending on your level. You can watch Spanish movies with English subtitles first, and then watch them with Spanish subtitles. When you’re more confident, you can watch movies without subtitles altogether. Find out more about how to use subtitles to optimize your learning here.

Why audio description is your best friend for improving listening skills

My personal favorite feature for learning Spanish is the audio description feature, which exists for some but not all Spanish shows on Netflix. The reason I like this is that you can see the picture and know that the audio is describing exactly what you see. Therefore, the context will help your understanding and the Spanish audio description will assist your listening skills. This feature allows you to hear what you see, which improves comprehension and also boosts your vocabulary. It is an intense but fruitful way to immerse yourself in a language.


Concluding Thoughts and Some Important Tips

Watching a film in Spanish should be enjoyable but it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. When we watch, we can easily develop some really bad habits that may hinder our progress. That’s why I strongly suggest you employ this advice on how to watch a film or series really effectively and avoid bad habits. It’s a short article so it won’t take you long and will save you time in the long run.

I tried to get a range of genres in my Top Ten Best Spanish Movies on Netflix list. If you’re hungry for more great quality Spanish content, a solution is on the way. Soon we’ll be releasing what we think is the greatest Spanish course to help you watch TV and movies. We are confident that this course will optimize your language learning progress and ensure that you have great fun. Keep an eye out for it, and in the meantime, check back in with the blog often for other great resources.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself while you watch these Spanish movies on Netflix. When you watch movies in English for pleasure, you might tend to be picky about what you watch. The same can be true when watching Spanish movies on Netflix. Don’t simply watch stuff because it’s in Spanish – try and find a topic or genre that you know you love.


More Resources for Spanish Movie Buffs

Below is a list of useful resources if you want to use movies and series to improve your skills:

Until next time, happy viewing!