Movies to Improve Your Spanish
Spanish is a rich language, full of tenses, complicated conjugations, language moods like the subjunctive, particular idioms, and of course, the accent/pronunciation. So, just learning grammar rules and vocabulary lists might make you miss the full experience of everyday Spanish. Listening to real, casual conversations, the variety of vocabulary, and the difference in accents between countries are important to truly dominate the Spanish language.
Watching movies to learn Spanish is great; it’ll help improve your listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, everyday expressions, and the culture of the different countries. Watching movies will ensure you comprehend the language contextually, and, therefore, you’ll learn when to use the words in the right situations. If you still feel insecure about your Spanish, you can always use the Spanish subtitles to help you along the ride!
Take a look at these movies in Spanish, so that next time you visit a Spanish-speaking country you’ll feel como pez en el agua (you’ll be in your element/like a duck to water).
No Se Aceptan Devoluciones
This Mexican movie is an emotional comedy, with both funny and heart-wrenching moments, starring Eugenio Derbez, one of the most famous comedy actors in Mexico. It is about a man that lives in Acapulco, and one day receives an unexpected visit from a woman he’d had a flight with a year and a half ago. But – she comes with a surprise: her daughter, which is his daughter too. The woman leaves the kid with him and so, from that moment on, he suddenly becomes a parent.
It even has some conversations in English, since the dad and his daughter have to move to the USA. But most of it is in Spanish since the dad isn’t that great in English. Apart from the Spanish language and Mexican slang, you’ll also learn about Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most popular beaches.
It was widely popular around the world. France, Brazil, and Turkey have all made adaptations of the movie!
It can be very complicated to create a movie that truly scares people, but this Spanish film has achieved that. It’s the story of a family that moves into the orphanage. But the mom of the family used to actually live there as a kid! Shortly after that, her son, Simón, starts to speak with invisible friends – there’s even one with a bag over his head. After Simon disappears, the mom has to find the path that leads to her child, all while playing a game with her son’s invisible friends.
There are no monsters that scare you with a “boo” moment, but the suspense is throughout the movie. It is a sad movie too – but you’ll have to check it out to learn why. Maybe it’s because of how well it is done, that “The Orphanage” was internationally popular. It has become a classic in Spanish horror cinema.
Elsa y Fred
This movie shows us that our third act can be a good one. In this movie, an elderly couple falls in love and has adventures. It is the story of an elderly man and woman that start a relationship. The man is shyer and the woman more outgoing. Because of her fearless personality, the man gets out of his comfort zone. Together, they both realize that life is still worth living and sharing with someone.
There’s no better way to learn everyday Spanish phrases than with a love story. There are situations about love, life, and family – and this is a great dialogue to learn. It is also great to compare accents since it’s a Spanish-Argentinian movie; the main characters have two different accents so it’s easy to compare.
“Elsa y Fred” was a wildly popular movie. It was nominated for many awards; there’s an American remake of the film, and it even got a theater adaptation in Mexico.
Como Agua Para Chocolate
This is a dramatic love story set during the Mexican Revolution. The film is based on Laura Esquivel’s book of the same title; the screenplay was also written by her. It’s about Tita and Pedro, two lovers that can’t be together. Tita is the youngest sister, which means she has to stay single to take care of her mother. She is also a great cook and shows her true feelings through the dishes she prepares.
“Como agua para chocolate” is a renowned Mexican movie and book. It was nominated for many awards, including the BAFTAS, the Golden Globes, and the Premios Goya. The movie uses the voice-over technique like a narrator, which is a great exercise to improve your Spanish and listening because it explains some feelings, things, and thoughts. It’s another way to make sure it’s clear what happens in the story and to the characters.
It’s also a good movie to learn about Mexican history and gastronomy, and even hear some songs in Spanish. If you want to focus your language knowledge on Spanish from Mexico, this film is perfect for you. You will immerse yourself in Mexican culture.
Nosotros Los Nobles
This is a Mexican comedy about three spoiled siblings. When the rich father gets tired of them, he tells them that they’ve lost their fortune. They’ll have to grow up, become adults, and work in order to survive a tougher life than the one they grew up in. It is based on “El gran calavera”, a Mexican movie by Spanish director Luis Buñuel. There is an Italian, a Colombian, and a French remake of this movie. You can compare the Colombian one with this one and hear the different accents. You can also watch the other adaptations if you’re interested in learning other languages.
El Olvido Que Seremos
This is a drama set in Colombia during the 70s and 80s, based on the book by Héctor Abad Faciolince. The book – and, therefore, the movie – is about a real person: Héctor Abad Gómez, the author’s father. The film won “best Iberoamerican movie” in the Premios Goya (Goya Awards).
It’s about a father-son relationship. The father is a doctor and activist that always fights for what he believes in – which puts him in danger during a time when Colombia is experiencing a lot of violence due to its social problems. Despite the dark moments, you can also feel the pure love between these two characters.
A movie that talks about life, love, death, family, and social issues is a great way to learn everyday Spanish. With this film you’ll learn Spanish from Colombia; hear the accents to improve your pronunciation, and learn about an important age in Colombia’s history.
Prepare the Popcorn for your Spanish Movie!
Accents and idioms are some of the things that differentiate the Spanish from country to country; but no matter which Spanish you learn first, you’ll still be able to understand others. Though if you still have doubts about certain words and phrases, learn them with a context behind them. Absorb different Spanish expressions through watching a movie and having fun.
Now you know the perfect movies to learn Spanish and immerse yourself in the cultures of the many Spanish-speaking countries. All you have to do now is prepare the popcorn, watch the films, and pick your favorite one. Other ways to improve your language skills can be by watching Netflix Spanish series, listening to some podcasts and songs, or taking a $35 trial class. You just have to pick your teacher and schedule an hour. Our Bellieu Method for teaching language will make you fluent in Spanish in no time!