Netflix is home to plenty of great movies from around the world, and that includes Latino movies. These films have something special to offer and a unique perspective that deserves to be shared. Since Netflix has several Latino movies, we’ve narrowed it down to the ones that you should watch above all else. As a disclaimer, not all films on this list are in Spanish, but they do feature many Latino characters and themes.
This documentary is a must-watch for hip-hop fans and aspiring artists alike. LA Originals tells the story of photographer Estevan Oriol and tattoo artist Mister Cartoon, whose works have become major staples in hip-hop and pop culture. Featuring interviews with many well-known celebrities, including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Michelle Rodriguez, LA Originals illustrates how two talented individuals from the hard, gritty streets of Los Angeles created something from their Chicano culture and made it a worldwide phenomenon. You may have seen either Oriol or Cartoon’s work without even realizing it. This documentary is inspiring to anyone who thinks they have something to offer, no matter who they are or where they’re from.
If you’re a fan of Moonlight, then you’ll likely enjoy We the Animals. Based on the autobiography by Justin Torres, this film tells the story of three young Puerto Rican boys in upstate New York. We the Animals is a powerful and thought-provoking look at growing up, the loss of innocence, and self-discovery. Even though writer/director Jeremiah Zagar made documentaries before making this movie, he still gets great performances out of each actor, including the kids, and gives the film an up-close and personal feel that makes the movie more intimate.
Roma is arguably one of the best movies of 2018. Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also serves as its cinematographer and co-editor, this movie is set in the early ’70s and centers on a cleaning lady working for an upper-class family in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma neighborhood. Roma is a deeply personal story that still feels larger than life, thanks to Cuarón’s directing and cinematography. The wealth gap plays a major role throughout the film and makes it more relatable as a result. Plus, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira both deliver excellent performances as the cleaning lady, Cleo, and her wealthy employer, Sofia.
Duck Season is a very laidback Mexican comedy. This film centers on two best friends, Flama and Moko, who are alone in the former’s apartment when the power goes out. Now, they must find a way to keep themselves occupied for the rest of the day. Duck Season is a slow, easygoing film where characters simply hang out for the runtime of just under 90 minutes. The film is shot in black and white, so that adds to its casual feel.
I’m No Longer Here is a movie about immigration and dancing. That may sound like an odd combo, but it actually works. The story centers on Ulises, the 17-year-old leader of a Mexican dance group who is forced to immigrate to the U.S. after accidentally getting caught up in criminal activity. With this film, writer/director Fernando Frias illustrates how lonely and disenfranchised Ulises is in what is supposedly the land of opportunity. Plus, most of the characters are played by non-actors, so their interactions look more natural and engaging. Not everyone may be a fan of the film’s slow pacing and nonlinear storytelling, but at least it has great dance scenes.
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