The Ultimate List Of Best Mexican Movies To Stream

Strangely beautiful things happen when a country is at a crossroads of class, history, and violence. As it happens, history itself is a sequence that repeats. Sometimes, it is easier to recognize a sequence. When one considers class disparity, it leads to socioeconomic upheavals.

History is altered when those economic and class disparities reach a tipping point. Revolutions happen. Interestingly, very few revolutions change the fate of any country. So, whatever the outcome of revolutions, history is also a lifecycle that repeats itself—for better or worse. It all depends on which lifecycle of history you are born into.

Today’s country of interest is Mexico, which is full of such elements and more extraordinary elements, like beautiful beaches, food, and cultural history.

Not to forget magical realism and Mexican artists’ fascination with this genre, which is abundant in Mexican movies and books.

Speaking of the best Mexican movies, we will include some magical realist movies. However, the list will be diverse to complement Mexico’s diverse historical and cultural nature. Are you excited already? Let’s discuss the list!

1. Amores Perros - IMDb 8.1 / 10

Amores Perros is one of the best Mexican movies by the great Mexican novelist, screenwriter, and director Guillermo Arriaga. Guillermo is known for writing screenplays and novels in which multiple narratives intertwine and converge to a grand event. In that regard, one can mention the novel Ths Savage and the movie 21 Grams.

Amores Perros, however, is one of his most recognized works. It intertwines three distinct stories, all linked by a car accident in Mexico City.

The first story follows Octavio, who joins dog fighting to raise money to elope with Susana, his brother’s wife, whom he secretly loves. As I mentioned class in the introduction, we see a portrayal of lower-class life and a cruel world of dog fighting.

The second story follows Daniel, a magazine publisher who leaves his family for a supermodel, Valeria. Their happiness shatters completely when Valeria gets injured in a car accident.

In the third story, a hitman living in poverty gets a contract to kill a businessman. While planning the hit, he adopts a wounded dog that makes him reflect on his past life and rethink his future decisions.

Ultimately, these characters and stories converge, where interests, class, and greed clash. If you haven’t seen this one of the best Mexican movies, you are in for a surprising unfolding.

2. And Your Mother Too - IMDb 7.7 / 10

There are coming-of-age movies and road trip movies. Your Mother Too is one of the best Mexican comedy movies, combining the best of both. Interestingly, the movie also subtlely comments on Mexico’s socio-political disparities.

It revolves around the road trip of two teenage boys from different social classes and an older Spanish woman, Luisa. The boys convince her to accompany them to a mythical beach, “Heaven’s Mouth.” When they go on a road trip, their journey becomes filled with sexual tension, jealousy, and harsh truths.

Although Luisa is a carefree woman initially, her heartbreaking secret brings new tension to the plot. Overall, her presence unsettles the boys’ friendship, unearths their insecurities, and leaves them with life-changing lessons.

The film’s sensual and unfiltered depiction of life makes it one of the best Mexican comedy movies that truly comes to age. If you want to watch a somewhat similar movie, you can also watch one of the best French movies, The Dreamers.

3. Roma - IMDb 7.7 / 10

Roma is a semi-autobiographical film by the world-renowned and critically acclaimed Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón. Interestingly and unintentionally, it is the second movie by the same director on our list after And Your Mother Too. 

The movie takes place in the 1970s in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma neighborhood. It follows Cleo, a live-in housekeeper for a middle-class family. She eventually forms strong bonds with the children, whereas Sofi struggles with marital life.

Against a backdrop of social unrest of the 1970s, Cleo grapples with her own challenges, including an unexpected pregnancy by Fermin, who abandons her. Despite hardship, she finds solace in Sofía’s support as Sofia’s husband’s departure leaves the family reeling.

One of the best Mexico movies on Netflix that is praised for its immersive storytelling. As for the awards and accolades, the film received 10 nominations at the Academy Awards, winning three Academy Awards. Those wins also include Best Foreign Language Film, the first Mexican film to win this honor. It is one of the best Mexico movies on Netflix that you should definitely stream.

4.Pan’s Labyrinth - IMDb 8.2 / 10

As I mentioned in the introduction, Mexican art has a soft spot for magical realism/fantasy work. It is evident primarily in Mexican fiction books and Mexican movies are not behind either. Pan’s Labyrinth is one such fantasy movie that needs no introduction.

The movie is set in post-Civil War Spain in 1944 and combines historical narrative with fantastical elements. The film starts with Ofelia moving to the countryside with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, Captain Vidal. Her stepfather is a ruthless Falangist officer tasked with routing out rebels.

Although she has already escaped from the war leads, her new destination leads her to a mysterious labyrinth, where she meets a faun. The Faun sets her on a quest of three dangerous tasks. She sets on to complete these tasks because, as per the Faun, she is a lost princess from a magical kingdom and must prove her royalty.

The movie remains one of the best Mexican movies, winning three Academy and three BAFTA awards. Hollywood Reporter included Pan’s Labyrinth among the 50 Best Films of the 21st Century.

If you are excited to explore Guillermo del Toro’s work, you can also stream Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, one of the best Mexico movies on Netflix.

5. The Eternal Feminine - IMDb 7 / 10

The Eternal Feminine is the first Mexican movie on our list by a female Mexican director, Natalia Beristáin. The film is about the later life of Rosario Castellanos, one of Mexico’s influential feminist writers and intellectuals of the 20th century.

Through a poignant narrative, it explores themes related to gender, power, and societal roles, offering deep insights into her personal and professional struggles.

The film stars Karina Gidi as Rosario Castellanos, who perfectly captures the complexity of Rosario’s identity both as a writer and a woman fighting against patriarchal norms. The plot also revolves around her turbulent relationship with her husband, Ricardo Guerra.

Also, how this relationship and domestic life mirror the challenges she faces in her career, where her voice often confronts resistance from male-dominated literary circles. You can stream The Eternal Feminine on Amazon Prime or for Free on Vimeo.

6. Hell - IMDb 7.6 / 10

Mexico has a fair share of gang wars, drug production, drug consumption, and cartels. One could talk about it in a sadistic or satirical way. I prefer the satirical side accompanied by bits of drama and crime. The film deals with drug violence and corruption pervading contemporary Mexico, making it one of the best Mexican gangster movies.

When Benjamín García, known as “El Benny,” is deported from the United States, he returns to his hometown in Mexico, only to find it dominated by violent drug cartels. With limited employment options, he joins the local drug cartel. Soon, he ascents to the criminal underworld, marked by bloodshed and corruption.

If you want to know more about contemporary Mexican cartels, Hell is one of the best movies about Mexican gangs. This Mexican mafia movie is unique because it uses black comedy to criticize the socio-political reasons for drugs and cartels.

El Infierno is not the first movie by Mexican director Luis Estrada to satirically touch on sensitive issues. One of his equally funny Mexican movies, La ley de Herodes, set in the 1940s, also explores corruption and criminals. This pretty much validates the dictum that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

7. Like Water for Chocolate - IMDb 7.1 / 10

Like Water for Chocolate is based on Laura Esquivel’s magical realism novel of the same name. The novel is equally great, which I have already covered in Mexico books. It is one of the best Mexican movies that celebrates Mexican culture, particularly its culinary traditions.

The story revolves around Tita, the youngest daughter of the all-controlling Mama Elena. By family tradition, Tita has to stay unmarried and care for her mother until her death. Tita’s world changes, however, when she falls in love with Pedro. Meanwhile, Tita’s mama arranges for Pedro to marry her older sister to keep Tita at home.

Tita’s extraordinary cooking makes this movie exciting, which affects all who eat her meals. This magical realist element is a metaphor for Tita’s rebellion against oppressive traditions.

Each dish she prepares transfers her longing, passion, or despair into meals. The movie remains one of the best Mexican movies for transforming the culinary arts into emotional expression and communication.

8. I’m No Longer Here - IMDb 7.1 / 10

I’m No Longer Here is a unique movie about what happens when you cross paths with local cartels and how that could change your life, even forcing you to migrate. It’s the story of a young Mexican teenager forced to relocate from Monterrey, Mexico, to New York City.

The film centers on Ulises, the leader of a small street gang called “Los Terkos,” famous for their love for cumbia music. Ulises and his friends find joy in their dance and music amidst the harsh realities of their violent and impoverished neighborhood.

However, Ulises’s life changes completely when gang conflicts force him to leave Mexico. In New York, he encounters extreme isolation and culture shock. But his longing for home and love for cumbia shows that all despite cultural displacement, one still can find a way and meaning.

Interestingly, the characters in the movie are non-actors, making it one of the best Mexico movies on Netflix. Fernando Frías was more interested in cumbia music dancers, so it’s a dancer-first and actors-second movie.

9. Prayers for the Stolen - IMDb 7.3 / 10

Prayers for the Stolen is one of the best Mexico movies on Netflix. The movie is based on the same name novel by Jennifer Clement. The film focuses on the harsh realities faced by young girls in rural Mexico, where violence and gender-based disrimination are normal.

In a small mountain village in Guerrero, it follows three young girls: Ana, Paula, and Maria. These children have to learn from a very young age to evade the dangers of local drug cartels.

The community’s fears are not only from the drug-related violence but also from the abductions of young girls. The layers of their everyday realities are depicted through their eyes, making it one of the essential Mexican movies about gangs.

One of the strange efforts that village women do is disguise their daughters to look less feminine. All this happens against the backdrop of beautiful untouched landscapes which is in contrast what girls have to go through.

It is one of the best Mexican gangster movies that develves deep into how cartels and gangsters seep fear in communities. I recently published Turkish movies post, where I covered a movie Mustang. The movie is also somewhat similar where 5 sisters in a beautiful village fight for their freedom and joy in a conservative and bounding environment.

best mexican movies

Recap of the Best Mexican Movies

Mexican cinema especially Mexican directors are not novel for the world cinema. Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and many other need no introduction. These best Mexican directors have produced blockbusters in Mexico and Hollywood.

It’s the Mexican movies, however, that remains unique by these Mexican directors. You will find common themes like class disparities, finding a meaning in a lost world, survival amid drug abuse and gang wars, immigiration, etc.

Not everything is that sobre or serious, however. As, I have covered some Mexican comedy movies and you can watch many of these Mexico movies on Netflix. If you have any particulr favourite Mexican movies, do share!

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