18 Best Mexican Movies of All Time (Update 2021)

Mexico is a beautiful and culturally rich country, from cuisine to music to film. We’ve compiled this list of the Best Mexican Movies of All Time as a starting point for your exploration of Mexico’s unique culture and the seductive Spanish language. We’ll talk about the 5 Best Mexican Movies of All Time, as well as Gangster, Romantic, Comedy, Horror, and more genres! Enjoy your viewing!

The 5 Greatest Mexican Films of All Time

1. Pan’s Labyrinth

Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, and Sergi López feature in the tragic fantasy war film Pan’s Labyrinth. A young girl, Ofelia, and her pregnant mother are taken to live with the girl’s stepfather, a corrupt Spanish army captain, against the backdrop of Falangist Spain in 1944. Ofelia is led to a secret labyrinth, where she discovers a frightening and magical new world and is confronted with duties that will forever change her life.

2. The Exterminating Angel

Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, and Enrique Rambal feature in The Exterminating Angel, a tragic fantasy film. Set at a mansion for a fancy dinner party, the guests find themselves unable to leave. The guests’ elegant facades begin to disintegrate as the days pass, and they enter survival mode. Without the cultural pretenses, the visitors begin to disclose their actual nature, which is ferocious and animalistic.

3. Amores Perros

Amores Perros is a dramatic thriller starring Emilio Echevarra, Gael Garca Bernal, and Goya Toledo that follows the lives of three characters whose stories interweave in the aftermath of a terrible vehicle accident in Mexico City. The video weaves together the stories of the protagonists and their pet canines to convey an affecting story of love and grief.

4. Canoa: A Shameful Memory

The adventure crime drama Canoa: A Shameful Memory, based on true events, is set in a small village outside of Mexico City and stars Enrique Lucero, Salvador Sánchez, and Ernesto Gómez Cruz. The film tells the story of a group of students who visit a rural town and are accused by the priest of being communist agitators fleeing the Mexican army. The priest tries to persuade the citizens to lynch the students.

5. The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain is set in Mexico and stars Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, and Zamira Saunders. This dramatic adventure fantasy follows a mystical guide as he guides a Christ figure and seven materialistic disciples to a sacred mountain where they expect to meet a group of celestial wise men and achieve enlightenment. Their purpose is to take the place of the men atop the mountain in order to obtain immortality.

3 Best Mexican Drug Cartel (Gangster) Movies

1. Sicario

Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro feature in the popular thriller Sicario. This spectacular action crime film is set on the US/Mexico border and tells the narrative of Kate Macer, an optimistic FBI agent who is assigned to the border to take out a drug cartel that has bombed and killed members of her team. Kate’s team attempts to leverage one cartel lord to chase a larger one as drug violence along the border grows.

2. Traffic

Traffic is a gripping criminal thriller that chronicles America’s drug war in Mexican and American cities. The film, which stars Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, presents multiple interconnected stories. A Supreme Court justice becomes the leader of the drug war, oblivious to the fact that his own daughter is a heroin addict. A cartel boss’s jailed wife attempts to run his firm. Two DEA officers attempt to shield their source.

3. Miss Bala (2011)

Miss Bala is a dramatic action criminal film starring Stephanie Sigman, Noé Hernández, and Irene Azuela. The plot is set in Tijuana, Mexico, and follows Laura Guerro as she competes in a beauty competition with her companion Suzu. When Suzu becomes trapped in a cartel gunfight at a nightclub, Laura’s efforts to find her are spotted by the drug lords, and she eventually becomes entangled in their game.

3 Best Mexican Romantic Movies

1. Biutiful

Biutiful is a romance drama starring Javier Bardem, Maricel lvarez, and Hanaa Bouchaib that is set in Barcelona. The story follows Uxbal, a guy whose ability to see his own death effects how he conducts his life. Uxbal, a single father of two small children and a career criminal, must try to put his affairs in order before his tragic death.

2. Midaq Alley (1995)

Midaq Alley, based on the Egyptian novel of the same name, stars Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Mara Rojo, and Salma Hayek. This love story is set in a Mexico City neighborhood and follows the lives of the residents. A young man fantasizes about emigrating to America, a penniless barber falls for a high-class prostitute, and a bachelorette pursues love affairs in search of a husband.

3. Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate, a romance drama starring Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, and Regina Torné, is set in Mexico during the Mexican Revolutionary War. Tita, the youngest daughter in a traditional Mexican household, is the protagonist of the film. Tita is destined to care for her mother, and as a result, she is prohibited to marry her true love, Pedro, who instead marries her older sister. Tita’s emotions are beautifully expressed through her food.

3 Best Mexican Horror Movies

1. The Devil’s Backbone

The Devil’s Backbone, a dramatic horror film starring Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, and Federico Luppi, is set in Spain following the Spanish Civil War. When Carlos’s lone dad is killed during the war, he is transferred to a mysterious institution for boys, where he discovers dark and unsettling truths.

2. Tigers Are Not Afraid

A gang of orphaned children living on the streets must endure the horrors of the drug cartels in the fantasy/horror/mystery film Tigers Are Not Afraid, starring Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, and Nery Arredondo. Young Estrella is pursued by her mother’s terrible ghost as she and the other children attempt to flee a world of brutality and violence.

3. Cronos

Cronos is a horror film set in Veracruz, Mexico, starring Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, and Claudio Brook. In 1536, a Mexican alchemist produces Cronos, a gadget that provides the user endless life. In the modern day, an antiques dealer uncovers Cronos disguised in an ancient statue and discovers its ancient powers. When Cronos is stolen, the antiques merchant must recover it at whatever cost.

2 Best Mexican American Movies

1. Coco

The animated family adventure film Coco, starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garca Bernal, and Benjamin Bratt, is set in the fictitious town of Santa Cecilia, Mexico. The plot revolves around Miguel, a young man who aspires to be a singer against his family’s generations-old ban on music. When Miguel enters the enigmatic Land of the Dead, he starts on a mission to learn about his ancestors.

2. La Bamba

La Bamba is a biographical musical drama starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, and Rosanna DeSoto. The film is set in Los Angeles and tells the story of Ritchie Valens, a teenage rock and roll sensation who died at the age of 17 in a plane crash alongside Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. This real narrative follows Valens’ ascent to stardom as well as his relationships with the people he cared about.

Best Mexican Comedy Movie

El Infierno

El Infierno, starring Damián Alcázar, Joaqun Cosio, and Ernesto Gómez Cruz, follows the story of Benny Garcia, who is deported from the United States back to Mexico. Benny becomes entangled in Mexico’s drug gangs and soon rises through the ranks in this comedy/action/crime picture. Though he first enjoys a life of money, ladies, and excitement, he quickly finds that it is not all that it appears to be.

Best Mexican Western Movie

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The dramatic adventure western The Treasure of the Sierra Madre stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt and is set in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The plot revolves around two Americans looking for jobs in Mexico. They form a partnership with a local prospector and persuade him to assist them in mining for gold in the mountains. Though they eventually succeed in locating gold, they are met with challenges that jeopardize their fortune.

Best Mexican Action Movie


Desperado is an action thriller film starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Joaquim de Almeida that takes place in a small Mexican border town. El Mariachi, a former musician who returns to the little village after years away, is the protagonist of the film. He is swiftly drawn back into the life he left behind and becomes connected with Bucho, the local cartel lord.


The various aspects of Mexican movies will attract you, from current life in Mexico City to the deep mystical foundations of traditional Mexican culture. We hope you found this list of the Best Mexican Movies of All Time to be helpful! With so many wonderful genres to explore, from the Best Mexican Romantic Movies to the Best Mexican Action Movies, you should start watching right away! Enjoy!

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