Over the last 10 years, Mexico has produced some incredible cinema talent both behind the camera — Iñárritu, Cuarón, Lubezki — and in the acting department — Salma Hayek, Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, to name a few. These big names went on to Hollywood and have all left their mark in some way or another. In honor of this second golden age of Mexican cinema and Grito de Dolores (a.k.a. Mexican independence day) we've decided to compile a list of the best Mexican movies, in no particular order.
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1. Amores Perros
Long before The Revenant and Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu won attention and awards for the riveting Amores Perros. The lives of three strangers are dramatically tangled after a car crash in Mexico City fuses their destinies together.
2. El Mariachi
In Robert Rodriguez's incendiary debut, Carlos Gallardo plays a humble musician who is mistaken for a gangster and embroiled in a mob battle. He needs to shoot his way out of the mess, which he does with style and grace, in order to become El Mariachi!
3. Y Tu Mamá También
This provocative coming-of-age film, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, focused on two teenage boys who throw caution to the wind to travel the coast with a gorgeous older woman. This tale of reckless abandon introduced the world to two budding talents, Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, who capture perfectly the innocence and naiveté of adolescence.
Frida is easily one of the most poignant and faithfully honest biopics in recent memory. Salma Hayek lovingly retraces the steps of Mexico's most important artist, Frida Kahlo. The brave film exposes the artist's struggles, her tumultuous relationship with fellow legend Diego Rivera, and her complicated artistic process.
5. The Night Of The Iguana
One of Tennessee Williams's best plays is brought to the silver screen with all the feverish energy and twisted characters you'd expect from the mind that penned A Streetcar Named Desire. Richard Burton plays a disgraced minister who has sought refuge in a Mexican resort town where he works as a tour guide. His resolve is tested by a group of young baptist women who come for a visit but stay for much longer.
Taking inspiration from Amores Perros, Babel connects the stories of four groups of people in four different countries who are all forcefully connected by one accident.
7. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia
This gritty neo-noir plumbs the depths of violence and revenge to tell the story of Bennie (Warren Oates), a Gringo bartender in Mexico. Bennie has to fight off bounty hunters to bring a Mexican mob boss the head of his friend in order to save his own skin.
8. Eisenstein In Guanajuato
The legendary Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein dives head first into Mexico after being shunned by Hollywood. This imaginative and colorful biopic explores the director's sexual renaissance and his profound, permanent vacation in the Mexican countryside.
9. Casa De Mi Padre
Will Ferrel is joined by Mexican acting royalty Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna for this wildly hilarious spoof of Mexican melodramas. Armando (Ferrel) must fight to prove his love for the beautiful Sonia (Génesis Rodriguez) in this over-the-top Spanish language comedy complete with explosions, soap-opera acting and Will Ferrel's awful Mexican accent.
10. Man On Fire
Man on Fire was the breakthrough for young Dakota Fanning, who laid down an incredibly complex performance for a child actor. The story follows John Creasy (Washington) a former CIA agent who has been hired as a security guard to protect Lupita (Fanning) in the dangerous climate of Mexico City. Man on Fire would be replicated by countless copies (the Taken saga. for example), but this explosive thriller relied on intelligent story telling and powerful acting instead of just blowing stuff up.
What would you suggest as the best Mexican movie and why?