Top 100 Latin American Films

by minalex | created - 19 Sep 2011 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

The best films from South and Central America. Films from Brazil (27), Mexico (27), Argentina (16), Chile (13), Cuba (9), Colombia (5), Martinique, Peru and Uruguay.

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1. Limite (1931)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

Three people sail aimlessly while remembering their past.

Director: Mario Peixoto | Stars: Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor, Brutus Pedreira

Votes: 1,429

2. María Candelaria (Xochimilco) (1944)

Approved | 76 min | Romance, Drama

In Xochimilco 1909, María Candelaria and Lorenzo Rafael long for getting married but the odds are against them. Maria Candelaria is segregated for being a prostitute's child and the couple ... See full summary »

Director: Emilio Fernández | Stars: Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz, Alberto Galán, Margarita Cortés

Votes: 803

3. The Fugitive (1947)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, History

Anti-Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz, J. Carrol Naish

Votes: 1,777

4. The Young and the Damned (1950)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama

A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo, Estela Inda, Miguel Inclán

Votes: 15,472

5. El (1953)

Approved | 82 min | Drama, Romance

A husband's suave exterior unravels after his marriage, and he unleashes his paranoid and volatile temper on his wife, which escalates to more dangerous and unpredictable tantrums.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Delia Garcés, Aurora Walker, Carlos Martínez Baena

Votes: 4,562

6. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

The delirious journey of a mental disordered man, who is obsessed in making the perfect crime.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Ernesto Alonso, Miroslava, Rita Macedo, Ariadne Welter

Votes: 4,025

7. Nazarin (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

A priest in a poor community lives a charitable life in accordance with his religious principles, but many others do not return the favor.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Ignacio López Tarso

Votes: 4,333

8. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 8,393

9. The Exterminating Angel (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy

The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal, José Baviera

Votes: 23,846

10. The Given Word (1962)

98 min | Drama

A simple yet devout Christian makes a vow to Saint Barbara after she saves his donkey, but everyone he meets seems determined to misunderstand his intentions. Will he be able to keep his promise in the end?

Director: Anselmo Duarte | Stars: Leonardo Villar, Glória Menezes, Dionísio Azevedo, Geraldo Del Rey

Votes: 2,164

11. Barren Lives (1963)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama

A poor family in the Northeast of Brazil (Fabiano, the father; Sinhá Vitória, the mother; their 2 children and a dog called Baleia) wander about the barren land searching for a better place... See full summary »

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos | Stars: Átila Iório, Maria Ribeiro, Orlando Macedo, Joffre Soares

Votes: 1,844

12. Soy Cuba (1964)

108 min | Drama, History, War

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov | Stars: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo, Raúl García

Votes: 6,949 | Gross: $0.16M

13. Black God, White Devil (1964)

120 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Geraldo Del Rey, Yoná Magalhães, Othon Bastos, Maurício do Valle

Votes: 3,307

14. Os Fuzis (1964)

80 min | Drama

In an extremely poor region in the Northeast of Brazil, a group of soldiers try to stop the population from sacking a food deposit.

Director: Ruy Guerra | Stars: Átila Iório, Nelson Xavier, Maria Gladys, Leonidas Bayer

Votes: 328

15. Simon of the Desert (1965)

Not Rated | 43 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Claudio Brook, Silvia Pinal, Enrique Álvarez Félix, Hortensia Santoveña

Votes: 8,105

16. La muerte de un burócrata (1966)

Unrated | 85 min | Comedy

A young man attempts to fight the system in an entertaining account of bureaucracy amok and the tyranny of red tape.

Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea | Stars: Salvador Wood, Silvia Planas, Manuel Estanillo, Omar Alfonso

Votes: 879

17. Entranced Earth (1967)

111 min | Drama

Eldorado, a fictitious country in Latin America, is sparkling with the internal struggle for political power. In the eye of this social convulsion, the jaded journalist Paulo Martins ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Jardel Filho, Paulo Autran, José Lewgoy, Glauce Rocha

Votes: 2,093

18. Memories of Underdevelopment (1968)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama

A Cuban man cycles through his repressed opinions and memories as the threat of foreign invasion intensifies and the rest of his family retreats to Miami.

Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea | Stars: Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados, Eslinda Núñez, Omar Valdés

Votes: 2,961 | Gross: $0.03M

19. Lucía (1968)

160 min | Drama

Traces episodes in the lives of three Cuban women, each named Lucía, from three different historical periods: the Cuban war of independence (with Spain), the 1930's, and the 1960's.

Director: Humberto Solás | Stars: Raquel Revuelta, Eslinda Núñez, Adela Legrá, Eduardo Moure

Votes: 609

20. The Hour of the Furnaces (1968)

Unrated | 260 min | Documentary

Divided into three segments, namely 1 Neocolonialism, 2 Act for liberation, 3 Violence and liberation, the documentary lasts more than 4 hours this deals with the defense of the revolution ... See full summary »

Directors: Octavio Getino, Fernando E. Solanas | Stars: María de la Paz, Fernando E. Solanas, Edgardo Suárez, Fidel Castro

Votes: 775

21. O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (1968)

92 min | Crime, Thriller

The story of a famous Brazilian criminal, called The Red Light Bandit because he always used a red flashlight to break in the houses during the night. Working alone, he also used to rape his female victims.

Director: Rogério Sganzerla | Stars: Helena Ignez, Paulo Villaça, Pagano Sobrinho, Luiz Linhares

Votes: 933

22. For the First Time (1969)

9 min | Documentary, Short

A traveling film projectionist brings the film Modern Times (1936) to a secluded village that has never seen a motion picture before.

Director: Octavio Cortázar

Votes: 209

23. Antonio das Mortes (1969)

100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Period piece about a Brazil that is no more. This movie is the sequel to "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun" (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol), and takes place 29 years after Antonio ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Maurício do Valle, Odete Lara, Othon Bastos, Hugo Carvana

Votes: 1,374

24. 79 primaveras (1969)

Not Rated | 25 min | Short, Documentary

An agit-prop documentary marking the death of Vietnamese nationalist leader Ho Chí Minh, using found footage to link his work to worldwide political movements including the Cuban revolution and resistance within the USA to the Vietnam war.

Director: Santiago Álvarez

Votes: 369

25. El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Western

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau

Votes: 22,053

26. The Holy Mountain (1973)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, Juan Ferrara

Votes: 29,822 | Gross: $0.06M

27. The Battle of Chile: Part I (1975)

Not Rated | 191 min | Documentary

The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Director: Patricio Guzmán | Stars: Salvador Allende, Abilio Fernández

Votes: 995

28. Il pleut sur Santiago (1975)

112 min | Drama, Thriller

A semi-fictional account on the fatidic September 11, 1973, when the military commanded by General Pinochet took over the power from socialist president Salvador Allende, initiating a ... See full summary »

Director: Helvio Soto | Stars: John Abbey, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Bibi Andersson, Annie Girardot

Votes: 227

29. The Last Supper (1976)

120 min | Drama

A pious plantation owner attempts to teach Christianity to 12 of his slaves by inviting them to participate in a reenactment of the Last Supper.

Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea | Stars: Nelson Villagra, Silvano Rey, Luis Alberto García, José Antonio Rodríguez

Votes: 475

30. Bye Bye Brasil (1980)

R | 110 min | Drama

The Caravana Rolidei rolls into town with the Gypsy Lord at the mike: he does magic tricks, the erotic Salomé dances, and the mute Swallow performs feats of strength. A young accordion ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Diegues | Stars: José Wilker, Betty Faria, Fábio Jr., Zaira Zambelli

Votes: 1,282

31. The Age of the Earth (1980)

140 min | Drama, Fantasy, History

Four Third-World Christs try to stop the American industrialist John Brahms in Glauber Rocha's experimental film inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini's murder.

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Maurício do Valle, Jece Valadão, Antonio Pitanga, Tarcísio Meira

Votes: 368

32. Pixote (1981)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama

The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with crimes, prostitution and drugs.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura, Edilson Lino

Votes: 5,540

33. Eles Não Usam Black-Tie (1981)

120 min | Drama

Union leader's son doesn't want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father's tradition of political activism.

Director: Leon Hirszman | Stars: Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Fernanda Montenegro, Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Bete Mendes

Votes: 848

34. Rue cases nègres (1983)

PG | 103 min | Drama, History

Martinique, in the early 1930s. Young José and his grandmother live in a small village. Nearly everyone works cutting cane and barely earning a living. The overseer can fine a worker for ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy | Stars: Garry Cadenat, Darling Légitimus, Douta Seck, Joby Bernabé

Votes: 745

35. Cóndores no entierran todos los días (1984)

90 min | Drama

In Colombia, from the second half of the nineteenth century, two political parties; The traditional liberal and conservative ¸ fought a series of civil wars for almost one hundred years of ... See full summary »

Director: Francisco Norden | Stars: Frank Ramírez, Isabela Corona, Victor Hugo Morant, Santiago García

Votes: 262

36. Cabra Marcado Para Morrer (1984)

119 min | Documentary

Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981,... See full summary »

Director: Eduardo Coutinho | Stars: Eduardo Coutinho, Tite de Lemos, Ferreira Gullar

Votes: 761

37. Memórias do Cárcere (1984)

185 min | Drama

Graciliano Ramos' period he spent in prison after being considered a subversive element by the government.

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos | Stars: Carlos Vereza, Glória Pires, Nildo Parente, José Dumont

Votes: 320

38. Tangos, the Exile of Gardel (1985)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama, Musical

Some Argentinians, exiled in Paris, decide to put on a tango-ballet, dedicated to Carlos Gardel, a legendary Argentinian tango star.

Director: Fernando E. Solanas | Stars: Marie Laforêt, Philippe Léotard, Miguel Ángel Solá, Marina Vlady

Votes: 498

39. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R | 120 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga, José Lewgoy

Votes: 12,539 | Gross: $17.04M

40. The Official Story (1985)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, History, War

After the end of the Dirty War, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.

Director: Luis Puenzo | Stars: Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, Chunchuna Villafañe, Hugo Arana

Votes: 6,293 | Gross: $0.03M

41. Hour of the Star (1985)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens... See full summary »

Director: Suzana Amaral | Stars: Marcelia Cartaxo, José Dumont, Tamara Taxman, Fernanda Montenegro

Votes: 866

42. The South (1988)

R | 127 min | Drama

The movie starts while Floreal, the main protagonist, was being released from the prison when the military coup ended in 1983. He is estranged to his former life because of his last few ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando E. Solanas | Stars: Susú Pecoraro, Miguel Ángel Solá, Philippe Léotard, Lito Cruz

Votes: 703

43. Cien niños esperando un tren (1988)

55 min | Documentary

"Tells the story of a group of Chilean children who discover a larger reality and a different world through the cinema. Each Saturday, Alicia Vega transforms the chapel of Lo Hermida into a... See full summary »

Director: Ignacio Agüero | Star: Alicia Vega

Votes: 156

44. Santa Sangre (1989)

NC-17 | 123 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou

Votes: 16,327

45. At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, Romance

Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Tom Berenger, John Lithgow, Daryl Hannah, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 2,858 | Gross: $1.34M

46. Como agua para chocolate (1992)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

When tradition prevents her from marrying the man she loves, a young woman discovers she has a unique talent for cooking.

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez

Votes: 15,364 | Gross: $21.67M

47. A Walk in the Clouds (1995)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

A married soldier returning from World War II poses as a pregnant woman's husband to save her from her father's anger and honor.

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Anthony Quinn, Giancarlo Giannini

Votes: 28,113 | Gross: $50.01M

48. Central Station (1998)

R | 113 min | Drama

80 Metascore

An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra, Soia Lira

Votes: 31,766 | Gross: $5.60M

49. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa

Votes: 14,977 | Gross: $7.00M

50. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller