ByMariza, writer at
Travel, sushi, and superhero enthusiast. Future professional cat owner.

It's no secret that in order to discover some of the world's greatest movies, you might have to explore the cinematic worlds beyond your mother tongue. Recently, I've been brushing up on my Spanish by watching some great movies in the Spanish language. No matter what my mood, I was lucky enough to find a great movie to match. So, with that in mind, I want to share 12 Spanish-language movies to suit your every mood!

Feeling Nostalgic? Watch Palm Trees In The Snow (Palmeras En La Nieve)

Palm Trees In The Snow (2015) is a brilliant Spanish colonial drama based on the homonymous best-selling novel by Luz Gabas. It currently ranks fifth on IMDb's 'Most Popular Spanish-Language Feature Films.' The story takes place primarily in the island of Fernando Poo (now Bioko)— which makes for some phenomenal golden toned scenes— but also in the snowy Spanish Huesca mountains.

The combination between the storylines of the past and the present make you feel nostalgic for a world that you never knew. It's a story that combines history, family, and love in a beautiful manner and delivers it in an aesthetically pleasing way. The cinematography is simply stunning; it truly takes you on a journey back in time.

Country of origin: Spain

Feeling Lost? I Want You (Tengo Ganas De Ti) Is For You

Based on a novel by Italian writer, Federico Moccia, I Want You tells the story of emotionally troubled Hache (Mario Casas). Hache returns home to Barcelona after two years in London, where he tried to overcome his first love and the death of his best friend. But coming home isn't easy, as he fights with ghosts of the past while learning to live in the present.

The success of the movie in 2012 made director Fernando González Molina (who also directed Palm Trees In The Snow), the highest grossing Spanish director. Note that this is the sequel to Three Steps Above Heaven (Tres Metros Sobre El Cielo), so you might want to watch this one first but it's not necessary.

Country of origin: Spain

If You're Feeling Quirky, Try Family United (La Gran Familia Española)

Family United (2013) is crazy. If you're thinking the story is going somewhere you know, think again.

The entire movie takes place during a wedding on the same night Spain plays in the World Cup final. I always knew large family gatherings could be intense, but Family United shows us just how intense they can be. The many cameos make for some hilarious moments.

Country of origin: Spain

Feeling Romantic? Watch Spanish Affair (Ochos Apellidos Vascos)

Spanish Affair is a romantic comedy that builds on the historic conflict between Basques and Catalans. Rafa (Dani Rovira), a Catalan, falls for Amaia (Clara Lago), a Basque and travels all the way from Sevilla to Basque Country to pursue her. Spanish Affair may celebrate those differences at the end, but until it gets there it uses stereotypes to make for some great laughs.

When Spanish Affair opened in theaters in 2014, it was immensely successful, making it the most watched Spanish movie of the year. Its popularity led to a sequel, Spanish Affair 2 (Ocho Apellidos Catalanes), to hit the theaters a year later.

Country of Origin: Spain, Basque

In The mood For Fantasy? Try: Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto Del Fauno)

Pan's Labyrinth is arguably one of the best fantasy films ever made. It's hauntingand magical at the same time. It takes place in 1944, in a turbulent Fascist Spain, as young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) moves to live with her mother's new husband, a sadistic army officer. We do not know if the mythical world is real or merely a girl's invention to deal with the turmoil directly influencing her family, and that's part of the charm. Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece lies second on IMDb's 'Most Popular Spanish-Language Feature Films.'

Country of Origin: Spain, Mexico, USA

If You're Feeling Restless: The Orphanage (El Orfanato) Is The Thriller For You

The Orphanage balances its dark and thrilling story with some great scary moments. Laura (Belén Rueda), returns to her childhood orphanage with her husband and son in the hope to turn it into a home for disabled children. Then, Simón (Roger Príncep), her son, goes missing. The search for the lost boy makes for some iconic horror scenes. Earning 32 Awards, The Orphanage should be on your 'to watch' list.

Country of origin: Spain

In the Mood for Adventure? Try The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios De Motocicleta)

Based on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's journal, The Motorcycle Diaries follows young Che (Gael García Bernal) and his friend, Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna), on a four month-long motorcycle road trip across Latin America (about 8,000 km) in the early 1950s. We get to experience the ups and downs of their trip, while seeing Che grow into a revolutionary figure. This movie is an immersive cultural journey as we're invited to explore the vast landscapes and see snapshots of the lives of people across Latin America.

It's worth noting that The Motorcycle Diaries won 36 awards, including an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song.

Country of origin: Argentina, USA, Chile, Peru, Brazil, UK, Germany, France

Feeling Vindictive? The Secret In Their Eyes (El Secreto De Sus Ojos) Is All That

The Secret In Their Eyes is one of those movies that keeps you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. It tells the story of retired federal agent, Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín), who is writing a novel about an unresolved murder case from 25 years ago that still haunts him. The case is reopened after he visits Irene (Soledad Villamil), who was his department chief at the time of the investigation.

Thanks to some amazing performances, you you become invested in the lives of the characters and it's almost like you're part of the investigation. The meddling of past and future builds up the thrill and when the story ends, you'll be shocked and unsure about your feelings.

Rightfully, it earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 2010.

Country of origin: Argentina, Spain

Losing Hope In Love? Check Out Three Many Weddings (Tres Bodas De Más)

This romantic comedy is super funny and quirky. Ruth (Inma Cuesta), a researcher, is invited to three of her ex's weddings. She decides to attend, and things don't go smoothly. While Ruth is trying to find true love, she gets herself in some awkwardly hilarious situations.

Three Many Weddings makes a parody out of the dating scene by showing just how difficult it is in a light and humorous way. Bonus points for the setting; Barcelona makes for a beautiful background.

Country of origin: Spain

Feel Like Laughing? I'm So Excited (Los Amantes Pasajeros) And Its Hallucinogens Are Here To Complete You

One of the latest creations by phenomenal Pedro Almodovar is this little feel good gem. A parody of many things, I'm So Excited delivers a unique story. The plane has technical problems and they might all die, but no one seems to take things seriously. Banderas and Cruz's cameos are a nice little addition, but the spotlight belongs to the three business class crew members played by Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces.

Country of origin: Spain

In the Moos for Something Shocking? Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) Was Made For You

Writer and director Damián Szifron, has created a breathtaking movie in quite literal terms. More empathetic than you might initially think, Oscar nominated Wild Tales, tells the stories of testing human limits "like an experiment in human psychology," notes Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.

It's broken down in six segments full of violence and revenge. Each one of the segments is shocking in its own way, but they're all sure to make you think about life and your own limits as a human being. One particular segment shocked me more than anything I've ever watched.

Country of origin: Argentina, Spain

If You're Feeling Hyperactive, Check Out Instructions Not Included (No Se Aceptan Devoluciones)

Valentín's (Eugenio Derbez) life changes for ever when an ex shows up at his door with his one-year old daughter, Maggie (Loreto Peralta). The two grow to become best friends (dressing in matching outfits, which makes for the cutest moments) before Maggie's mom shows up and stirs things up. The on-screen chemistry between Eugenio and Loreto is impeccable, giving the story more credibility. Loreto's performance is simply stunning; she earned three awards playing Maggie.

Instructions Not Included is incredible! It's a story that combines elements of comedy, fantasy and drama in the most unexpected way, which explains why it's second on IMDb's 'Top-US-Grossing Spanish-Language Feature Films.'

Country of origin: Mexico

As you can see, there really is a perfect Spanish language movie for any mood. But this is just my opinion, and I'm sure I've missed some great examples. With that in mind, why don't you share your own suggestions in the comments section?


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