Although some holidays might be for gifts, like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, some other special occasions are just moments where we can reflect and celebrate. On Thanksgiving, for example, we take a moment to look back and be grateful for everything in the past year. On Cinco de Mayo, on the other hand, we take a moment to reflect on the beauty and richness of Mexican culture.
And, as we celebrate the special day dedicated to the Battle of Puebla, why not have a Mexican-inspired TV show or movie night at home? Some must-watches include the Oscar-winning movies Coco and Roma, the incredible performance by Salma Hayek in Frida and the action-packed Robert Rodriguez trilogy including El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Check out some other recommendations below as you sit down and relax for a night of Mexican cinema and TV at its finest.
The Oscar-winning animated movie Coco is everything you need for a family-friendly Cinco de Mayo viewing. The film, which is based on the Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos, follows a 12-year-old boy Miguel as he reconnects with his late great-great-grandfather in the Land of the Dead. Get your tissues ready for this one!
Starring the beautiful Salma Hayek in one of her best performances to date, Frida tells the story of the legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. From her rocky relationships to her debilitating pain, this movie will have you seeing Kahlo’s artwork in a brand new light.
In the 2018 comedy Nacho Libre, Jack Black plays Ignacio, a disrespected cook at a Mexican monastery who decides to moonlight as the not-so-famous Luchador ‘Nacho Libre’ to earn some extra money. A true celebration of Lucha libre!
An icon playing an icon! 1997’s Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez, tells the tragic and inspiring story of iconic Texas-born Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla.
‘Selena: The Series’
If you’re a fan of Selena, why not a double feature? Check out Netflix’s 2020 series on the actress that’s just as incredible as Lopez’s record-making film.
‘The Book of Life’
If you’re looking for a double-feature of Dia de Los Muertos movie alongside Coco, look no further than The Book of Life. The movie tells the story of two men competing for the love of a young woman, Maria. Love and romance for all the family to enjoy!
Academy-Award-nominated movie Roma is incredible in just about every aspect. The movie tells the story of an indigenous housekeeper in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City during the turmoil of 1970s Mexico. A real tear-jerker!
Making this one of the most timely recommendations to date, Gentefied tells the story of the Morales family as they try to save their family’s beloved taco shop. A story of love, family and gentrification.
‘East Side Sushi’
The 2014 movie East Side Sushi is a tale of not letting anyone put you in a box. The movie tells the story of a single Latina mom, Juana, who aspires to become a sushi chef against everyone else’s opinions and recommendations.
Feel-good movie Tortilla Soup tells the story of three sisters and their father, a chef who is slowly losing his sense of taste. Above it all, the family has one major rule: be home for Sunday dinner.
In this Robert Rodriguez-directed movie, El Mariachi follows a traveling mariachi who gets mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.
Also from Rodriguez is Desperado, a story of a vengeful mariachi player (Antonio Banderas) who’s not afraid to do anything to avenge the criminal who murdered his girlfriend and shot him through the hand, leaving him unable to play.
‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’
In the final installment of the Mariachi/Desperado trilogy, the saga wraps up in Once Upon a Time in Mexico as Banderas’ character continues his bloody trail to go after Barrillo (Willem Dafoe), a cartel kingpin who’s planning a coup d’etat against the president of Mexico.
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