Top five movies to watch to celebrate Hispanic heritage

As we approach the end of Hispanic heritage month, take advantage of these entertaining and endearing flicks


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Jennifer Lopez as Selena in “Selena”

Glynnis Bastas, Arts & Culture Writer

Hispanic Heritage Month is almost over, and millions of people around the world are celebrating through parades, music, pop culture and film. Here are the top five Hispanic films to watch to celebrate Hispanic heritage.


  1. “Encanto”

Disney’s “Encanto” follows the story of Mirabel Madrigal, who tries to discover her magic powers while trying to navigate her family, her sister Isabella’s wedding, and dark family secrets. It was released in November 2021 and has since gained more popularity because of social media. Tik Tok posted the songs and created memes and gifs to show love for the movie, and it is definitely worth watching. Disney was able to use music, dance and powerful themes of family, self-love and kindness. 

  1. “La Bamba”

“La Bamba” is a classic and is based on the life and story of Ritchie Valens, who was one of the first Latino rock-and-roll artists in Hollywood. He wrote a song for his girlfriend in 1958, “Donna,” and became a sensation because of it. However, tensions start to arise because of arguments with his brother Bob, who is jealous of Ritchie’s success. This movie will leave you happy, in tears and in awe of what you can achieve if only you believe.

  1. “In the Heights”

Many people know of “In the Heights” as a Broadway musical, but it was turned into a movie in 2021 by playwright sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton. The movie follows the main protagonists of Washington Heights, who dream big and take the world by storm. It also highlights the Spanish community in New York and how rising rent and prejudice spread throughout Manhattan. Miranda captured our hearts with the songs and plot, and we recommend you take a trip to the heights and see this movie.

  1. “Pan’s Labyrinth”

This particular movie both scared me and gave me a history lesson. “Pan’s Labyrinth” is about Ofelia, who watches her stepfather savagely murder rebels and soldiers while traveling in Spain in 1944. Ofelia ends up finding the Labyrinth, which is full of magical and mythical creatures. This movie captures children’s fear with the classic horror character Pale Man, who has his eyes on the palms of his hands and eats children. Ultimately, this movie spreads the message of the dangers of war and evil and how worlds collide when the two mix.

  1. “Selena”

To finish off this list, I had to save the best for last. “Selena” is a must-watch and talks about the life of Selena Quintanilla, a Tejano singer who was murdered in 1995. Her music touched people across America, and she even won the best Female Tejano Artist in 1986 at the age of 14. Her story, success, and legacy are all impactful in the music industry, and this movie was able to give her the recognition and respect that she deserves.


All of these movies are must-watches for Hispanic Heritage Month, and there are so many other incredible Spanish movies to watch. The Spanish community has faced setbacks and discrimination, and these films show how they have risen up and overcome tragedy and heartbreak.