Movie Lists

The 10 Biggest Movies Ever Made in Mexico

With a bunch of directing skill from Alejandro Jodorowsky to Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico has actually transferred a variety of remarkable movies into the pantheon.

Mexico has actually long been a hotbed of innovative fermentation in movie-making– blending movies that are at turns communistic, anarchic, or class-based in their conception. Mexico’s large divides between rich and poor often bleed into movies produced within the nations borders– which themselves frequently are included plainly in Mexican movies about border crossings and migration. There is likewise an intrinsic hallucinogenic quality in a number of the nation’s standout movies, which began at a time throughout McCarthyism in the U.S., when blacklisted directors and authors discovered haven in Mexico, where they might be more speculative. Also, a number of the most prominent Mexican movies have actually informed stories from the viewpoint of the under-classes.



In the ’90s and early 2000s, a brand-new generation of Mexican directors, consisting of the similarity Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzales Ińárittu, and Alfonso Cuarón altered the tenor of films coming out of Latin America, embracing filmmaking concepts from the suddenly-burgeoning indie movie scene in America.

Unlike in previous years, Mexican filmmakers were now crossing over into substantial professions in Hollywood, never ever more evident than when Cuarón discovered himself at the helm of Gravity in 2013. Still, a few of the very best work by Mexican filmmakers has actually stemmed back home, where Cuarón himself has actually done a few of his finest work behind the cam.

The following are the 10 biggest Mexican movies ever made.

10 Y Tu Mamá También (2001 )

Y tu mamá también was a landmark movie for Mexico, director Alfonso Cuarón, and stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal (who both shot to popularity in America after the career-elevating functions). In spite of the movie’s hypersexual plot, swarming with sex scenes (even a steamy menáge à trois), it handled to have among Mexico’s most significant domestic box-office openings, getting a minimal release in the U.S. that resulted in an Oscar election for Finest Initial Movie Script (Cuarón and his sibling penned the script).

For Cuarón, it resulted in substantial tasks directing Harry Potter movies, along with large-budget sci-fi films like Kids of Guy and Gravity The director continues to operate in both Mexico and America.

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9 Cronos (1993 )

Federico Luppi as Jesús Gris in Cronos
Fondo de Fomento Cinematográfico

Guillermo Del Toro has actually turned into one of the primary purveyors of the macabre in movie, cutting his teeth in Mexico with an early movie that developed a brand-new method to the vampire movie. Cronos was among the very first vampire films to do away with traditional tropes of the category, choosing a more clinical method to describing immortality that presaged movies like Let the Right One In and From Sunset Till Dawn

Cronos ended up being the Mexican entry for Finest Foreign Language Movie however didn’t get an election. Still, it amassed notification for Del Toro, who has actually continued to mine initial techniques to old scary categories in whatever from The Forming of Water to Pan’s Maze. Del Toro has actually affected a number of the brand-new crop of scary purveyors who take a more creative method to the category, consisting of Ryan Murphy of American Scary Story popularity.

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Related: Guillermo del Toro Reminisces on His Cancelled Star Wars Jabba the Hutt Project

8 Miss Bala (2019 )

Miss Bala was a hyperbolic action movie that incorporated Mexico’s cartel strife into the story of a lady’s efforts to increase from obscurity by means of a charm pageant in Baja, California. The movie brightens contrasts in way of life in between Mexicans and Americans, as something as innocent as a pageant can spill into a horrible criminal activity legendary.

How the Movie Became So Resonant

The movie was the Mexican candidate for Finest Foreign Movie, however was just totally valued years later on with an American remake of the very same name. That didn’t rather measure up to the hectic story-telling of the initial, which unlike American movies about the cartels, took a ground-level method to the truths of the Mexican side of the drug wars.

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7 Like Water for Chocolate (1992 )

At a time when really couple of Mexican movies were making an impression worldwide, a discovery dropped on arthouse theater the world over in the kind of Like Water for Chocolate, which at the time ended up being the highest-grossing foreign-language movie launched in the United States. The movie, adjusted from a Mexican book by Laura Esquivel, informs the story of Tita (Lumi Cavazos), a lady beleaguered by feelings after she’s required to take care of her mom while her older sis are enabled to wed.

Tita discovers a method to amazingly instill her feelings into her cooking, consisting of by sobbing into her sis’s wedding event cake as she bakes it. In turn, the whole wedding event celebration are conquered by unhappiness upon consuming it. While the movie utilizes wonderful realism, it is likewise linked with Mexican history, as it occurs throughout the Mexican Transformation– which ends up being a significant plot gadget.

6 Pan’s Maze (2006 )

pan's labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

Release Date
August 25, 2006

Guillermo del Toro

Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Álex Angulo



An early look into the now-ubiquitous skill of visionary Guillermo Del Toro, Pan’s Maze was the very first movie that he shot in Mexico that really equated to global audiences. The dark dream used folkloric themes, theorizing them into a grandly haunting visual banquet, brimming with acclaimed outfits and unique impacts.

Though the movie was a joint Mexican/American production and takes plain in Spain, it was composed, co-produced and directed by the Mexican filmmaker and author Del Toro. The movie’s fantastical story occurs around a surprise maze, where a faun lives and befriends a girl. Del Toro’s ideal mix of useful impacts and CGI develop a transcendent story within the historic background of the Spanish Civil War.

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5 Roma (2018 )



Release Date
August 25, 2018

Alfonso Cuarón

Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa



The plain appeal of Roma, in delicious black and white, was an action up for director Alfonso Cuarón, to that point generally a director of action movies from numerous categories.

How Cuaron Rose to Prominence

His earliest Mexican movies meant his remarkable artistry, however Roma seemed the movie closest to his heart, a love letter to the native Mixteco population in Mexico, a number of whom lived lives of indentured yoke in D.F., personified by the credibility of starlet Yalitza Aparicio. Plainly Cuarón’s own childhood bled into this movie, and for his efforts he signed up with compatriots Iñárritu and Del Toro as Finest Director Oscar winners that all hailed from the generation of Mexican filmakers. Bravo!

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Related: These Are the Best Alfonso Cuarón Movies, Ranked

4 El Topo (1970 )

El topo

El topo

Release Date
December 18, 1970

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau, José Luis Fernández, Alf Junco



You might argue this list might consist of just the movies of Alejandro Jodorowsky, offered how prevalent his impact on Mexican movie theater (and the movie world at big) has actually ended up being throughout the years. Jodorowsky affected everybody from other Mexican directors like Alfonso Cuarón, to movie theater giants like David Lynch.

Perhaps his essential and prominent movie, El Topo, dithered in between themes of plain scary and indisputable appeal, making a psychedelic Western that integrated diverse categories twenty years before Quentin Tarantino made that his calling card. Jodorowsky’s frequently violent design of approach acting and instructions has actually made him a questionable figure more just recently, as the director would stop at absolutely nothing to accomplish his vision.

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3 Amores Perros (2000 )

Amores Perros

Amores Perros

Release Date
June 16, 2000

Alejandro González Iñárritu

Emilio Echevarría, Gael Garcia Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas



While Alejandro Iñárritu has actually turned into one of America’s many popular directors because transferring to the States twenty years back, a few of his biggest work came early in his profession, many memorably with his function directorial launching, Amores Perros

Iñárittu’s non-linear storytelling, Criterion-worthy cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto, and a visceral efficiency already up-and-comer Gael Garcia Bernal assisted develop a substantial buzz for the Mexican movie throughout celebration season– causing an Oscar election that regrettably came throughout the year the extraordinary Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was likewise launched.

Still, Iñárritu had actually left his mark, and just 3 years later on was directing a star-studded cast in 21 Grams Iñárritu has actually definitely been selective and purposeful in selecting his subsequent movies, making a motion picture just 3 or 4 years with extended periods of advancement and pre-production.

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2 Los Olvidados (1950 )

Los Olvidados stays among the most traditionally essential and prominent Mexican movies to this day, directed by Luis Buñuel– a surrealist filmmaker who started his profession dealing with the similarity painter Salvador Dalí.

Though Buñuel was born in Spain, his communist leanings ultimately led him to Mexico (after being summarily blacklisted in the United States), where he might live and work amongst similar artists like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Buñuel was commisioned to make a movie by Mexican manufacturer Óscar Dancigers about the lives of impoverished youth in Mexico City, which Buñuel required by composing and directing a social realist movie that won him Finest Director at the 1951 Cannes Movie Celebration. Los Olvidados has actually been called the Latin-American 400 Blows, ranking with the best movies to analyze youth culture– a typical style in mid-century filmmaking.

1 Macario (1960 )

Azteca Films Inc.

Macario was the very first Mexican movie to be chosen for the Academy Award for Finest Foreign Language Movie. The supernatural story occurs in Colonial Mexico, on the eve of Día de los Muertos, when the primary character, Macario (Ignacio López Tarso), tries to obtain an entire turkey to consume by himself, before being lured by the Devil, God, and after that Death.

The 1960 movie was a sort of New World handle The Seventh Seal, however integrates numerous staple elements of Mexican culture and an astounding efficiency by Pina Pellicer as Macario’s other half. A lot of remarkable about the movie are it’s extravagant and haunting sets and cinematography, that obtained more from European filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman and Francois Truffaut than its American next-door neighbors. Director Roberto Gavaldón, unlike a number of his compatriots, remained and operated in Mexico for the rest of his respected profession.

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