Entertainment

Watch These Latino Movies And Try To Say You Aren’t Proud To Be A Latino

Columbia Pictures

OK, it sucks that Latinos are underrepresented on the big screen, but when we do get a chance, we PUT IN WORK. Inspirational storylines, hot actors and Oscar-winning productions — we’ve done it all. These 11 movies will fill you up with more than enough orgullo and ganas to go out there and kick ass.

La Bamba

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Ritchieeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Ritchie Valens was a Chicano rocker from humble beginnings who turned the Mexican folk song “La Bamba” into a mainstream hit. Just as his star was rising, he died in a plane crash at age 17. The movie version of La Bamba made us fall in love with Esai Morales (who played Ritchie’s badass brother, Bob), turned Lou Diamond Phillips into an honorary Latino and showed us that we can find inspiration in tragedy.

West Side Story

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Credit: United Artists / michaelsvtray.com

The film adaptation of West Side Story made history. Rita Moreno, who played Anita, became the first Latina to win an Oscar as supporting actress. Bow down to Rita, she is the only Latina and one of only 12 performers with an EGOT: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Stand and Deliver

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Jaime Escalante, a Bolivian teacher in Los Angeles, finds himself with a class of bright, but underperforming students. With students closer to dropping out than getting A’s, Escalante, played by Edward James Olmos, takes a chance and teaches his students calculus. SPOILER ALERT: Encouragement and perseverance can help anyone rise above their disadvantages. Oh yeah, and we learn how to do finger math.

Raising Victor Vargas

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Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films / offoffoff.com

A coming-of-age film about a teenage boy in the Lower East Side of New York, Raising Victor Vargas proved there were plenty of talented Latino actors who were ready for a chance to shine. The film became a springboard for Victor Rasuk (Godzilla, Lords of Dogtown and Fifty Shades of Grey) and Melonie Diaz (Be Kind, Rewind and Fruitvale Station).

McFarland USA

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Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / comingsoon.net

True story (check!). Feel-good narrative (check!). Scrappy, cross-country team from a predominantly Mexican-American high school (check!). Encouraging coach determined to succeed against all odds (check!). This is the epitome of “Sí Se Puede.”

A Better Life

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Credit: Summit Entertainment / filmcheckph.blogspot.com

Mexican actor Demian Bichir was nominated for an Oscar for his outstanding performance as Carlos, an immigrant father who fights to give his son a better life. This movie helps humanize the immigrant experience by showing the courage and strength it takes to overcome hurdles immigrants face on a daily basis.

Real Women Have Curves

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Credit: NewMarket Films / themaxfacts.com

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera shows there is nothing ugly about her. In Real Women Have Curves, Ferrera plays Ana, a beautiful, curvy Mexican-American student struggling to discover a path for herself. Her journey sums up the tension that exists within U.S.-born Latinos trying to balance two cultures.

READ: Michelle Rodriguez Before FF7

Y Tu Mamá También

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Credit: 20th Century Fox / chifladazine.com

This coming-of-age film about two teenage boys who take a life-changing road trip with an older woman received spectacular reviews and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe Award. After the success of Amores Perros, Y Tu Mamá También proved that Latino directors were ready to make it in Hollywood. And of course, it brought two hotties into our lives: Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.

Cesar Chavez

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Credit: Canana Films / blogs.indiewire.com

Diego Luna stepped behind the camera to produce and direct Cesar Chavez, a biopic about the American civil rights activist who fought for the rights of farmworkers. The film brought education outside of the classroom and taught us about struggles and victories of the civil rights activist who popularized the slogan “Sí, se puede.”

READ: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Hollywood’s Newest It Guy

Pan’s Labyrinth

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Directed and written by Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth is a magical adventure about a young girl who has to confront monsters in both the fantasy and real world. In 2007, Pan’s Labyrinth took home three Oscars and redefined what a “Latino” movie can be.

Under the Same Moon

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Credit: Fox Searchlight / kinoptico.wordpress.com

At nine-years old, most kids are worrying about science projects or getting book reports in on time. For Carlitos, it’s getting across the U.S.-Mexico border to reunite with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in years. Under the Same Moon provokes tears and provides laughs as it follows a child’s search for what is valued most in Latino culture: family.

20 Movies That Came Before ‘Coco’ That Every Latino Kid Needs To Watch

Entertainment

20 Movies That Came Before ‘Coco’ That Every Latino Kid Needs To Watch

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When it comes to Latino representation on screen, the opportunity our kids get to see characters, stories and actors that are like them are few and far between. Here’s a look at twenty great movies that were made for kids in mind and are starring, produced by, and about Latinos. 

1. The Book of Life

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

The 2014 movie is an American  3D computer-animated musical fantasy film starring Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana and Kate del Castillo. It won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film that same year.

2. Ferdinand the Bull

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

The 1938 American short was produced by Walt Disney Productions. The movie is based on The Story of Ferdinand which was published in 1936. 

3. Zootopia

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

Shakira starred as Gazelle in this 2016 film about a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist. In the film, Shakira plays a famous pop star.

4. Thumbelina

CREDIT: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment

The 1994 American animated musical fantasy film starred Charo as Mrs. Toad. The movie was based on a  book of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

5. Shrek

CREDIT: DreamWorks Pictures

This American animated fantasy was loosely based on a William Steig fairy tale book and put out in 2001. Cameron Diaz starred as Princess Fiona.

6. Puss in Boots

CREDIT: DreamWorks Pictures

Antonio Banderas starred in this Shrek spinoff as Puss in Boots. The actors played a talking cat running from the law. 

7. The Prophet

CREDIT: GKIDS

In 2014, Salma Hayek produced this animated adaption of Kahlil Gibran’s book and took on the role of Kamila. The film did some gender swapping and was previewed at Cannes.

8. Spy Kids

CREDIT: Dimension Films

The 2001 American spy adventure comedy was produced by Robert Rodriguez and starred Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. The actors starred as a family that fights an evil mastermind together.

9. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

CREDIT: Dimension Films

Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara joined forces again to star in this film in 2003. The movie was another spy adventure comedy that followed the Cortez family on an adventure.

10. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

CREDIT: Columbia Pictures

Benjamin Bratt starred as Manny, Sam’s Guatemalan cameraman who was also a former doctor, co-pilot, and comedian.

11. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

CREDIT: Warner Bros. Pictures

This 2005 adaptation of the book by Ann Brashares starred America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel. The movie was released in May 2004 and topped the Box office at 42.01 million.

12. Book of Dragons

CREDIT: Paramount Pictures

America Ferrera stars in this 2011 movie about a legend that pertains to new dragons.

13. Ice Age

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

John Leguizamo stars in this 2002 movie about animals migrating south to escape the winter. For his part, Leguizamo plays Sid a giant ground sloth. 

14. Home

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

Jennifer Lopez stars along side Rihana in this 2015 hit about a girl who manages to avoid capture of a space invasion. The movie includes Lopez’s ballad song “Feel The Light.”

15. Foodfight!

CREDIT: Universal Pictures

Eva Longoria stars in this 2012 animated adventure comedy alongside Charlie Sheen and Hillary Duff. Longoria plays Laxy X the character’s antagonist against a dog who is a private investigator.

16. The Cheetah Girls

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

The Cheetah Girls debuted on Disney in 2005 and starred Adrienne Bailon who was a member of the girl group, 3LW.  The movie followed four teen girls living in NYC trying to score their own music label. 

17. Gotta Kick It Up

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

America Ferrera starred in this film about a group of Latina girls who compete as a dance group despite the odds that are stacked up against them. 

18. La Bamba

CREDIT: Columbia Pictures

This biographical movie about the short life of singer Ritchie Valens. Esai Morales stars as Bob Morales (Ritchie’s brother).

19. Around the World in 80 Days

CREDIT: United Artists

This 1956 American epic adventure-comedy film starred Cantinflas and David Niven.

20. The Maldonado Miracle

Salma Hayek stars in this Daytime Emmy Award special. Hayek received the award for her outstanding directing in the 2004 movie about a town whose faith is tested when a statue of Jesus appears to be crying real tears of blood.


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20 Romance Comedy And Drama Movies Starring Latinos To Stream Over The Weekend

Entertainment

20 Romance Comedy And Drama Movies Starring Latinos To Stream Over The Weekend

It isn’t every day that Hollywood comes out with quality films starring Latinas. When they do, very few include the classic and beloved romantic comedy storyline. Whether you’re looking for something to watch while hosting a night in or just in need of some Saturday morning binge inspiration, here’s a look at the best rom-com movies starring Latinas available to stream online now.

1. “Hitch”

CREDIT: “Hitch” / Colombia Pictures

Eva Mendes co-stars alongside Will Smith in this 2005 romantic comedy about a “date doctor” who meets the one woman who throws off his game. Mendes plays Sara, a gossip columnist based in New York genuinely looking to focus on her career than meeting guys. Smith is Alex “Hitch” Hitchens a professional coach in the business of teaching awkward, but truly “nice” men how to the women of their dreams. When Alex meets Sara, a clever Latina with a penchant for whip-smart lines, he suddenly loses his smooth airs and has to learn how to woo Sara on her terms.

Stream it on: Amazon

2. “Maid In Manhattan”

CREDIT: “Maid In Manhattan” / Colombia Pictures

This 2002 film rom-com classic stars Jennifer Lopez as a single mother working as a maid at a ritzy hotel in the heart of Manhattan who falls for a politician way out of her sphere. Smells like a Cinderella story already? Well, yes it is. But the best part is watching JLo’s character win over the guy of every woman’s dreams, work hard for her big career goals, and completely stun in a gorgeous gown all while sporting baby hairs.

3. “Fools Rush In”

CREDIT: “Fools Rush In” / Colombia Pictures

For the Latina with a thing for 90s romantic comedies, this hit starring Salma Hayek will not disappoint. Salma Hayek plays free-spirited Mexicana Isabel, a photographer who deeply believes in fate and her culture. Matthew Perry plays Alex Whitman an architect from New York City visiting Las Vegas for work. When he runs into Isabel outside of a unisex bathroom, sparks fly and soon enough the pair ends up getting entangled in a one night stand that will change their lives forever.

Stream it on: Youtube, Amazon

4. “From Prada to Nada”

CREDIT: “Prada to Nada” / Lionsgate

When you’re a Latina obsessed with an author like Jane Austen, life can be a bit hard. After all, the English writer of the 1800s never did much traveling outside of her home in Bath, let alone to Central and South America. Still, this take on her beloved novel Sense and Sensibility might do. Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega play two spoiled rich sisters (Nora and Mary) completely out of touch with their Mexican roots. When their father passes away, and they discover that he left them penniless, the two are forced to pack up their things and live with an estranged aunt living in East L.A. It doesn’t take long for the two sisters to find love interests on the east side and family members ready to shape up their understanding of their culture.

Stream it on: Youtube, Amazon, Netflix

5. Our Family Wedding

CREDIT: Fox Searchlight Pictures

If you’re looking for a film to fulfill your wedding vibe desires, look no further than this gem starring “Ugly Betty’s” America Ferrera. The actress plays Lucia Ramirez, a Mexican-American who is both head over heels and shacked up with her African American boyfriend Marcus Boyd. For any Latina eagerly planning a wedding with the hopes of holding onto her own traditions as well as the ones of her spouse’s this is the perfect weekend watch.

BTW: “Jane The Virgin” actress Gina Rodrigues stars.

Stream it on: Youtube, Amazon, Netflix

6. Chasing Papi

CREDIT: “Chasing Papi” / 20th Century Fox

Roselyn Sánchez, Sofía Vergara, Jaci Velasquez star as three smart Latinas all cursed with the luck of falling for and being involved with the same two-timing (three-timing?) boyfriend. When the three women discover that their guy, Tomás, has been dating all three of them at the same time, they team up to exact the ultimate revenge.

Stream it on: HBO, Youtube, Amazon

7. After Sex

CREDIT: “After Sex” / Anchor Bay Entertainment

How very rare to find a mainstream romantic comedy film starring an Afro-Latina who embraces her queer identity. For those of us looking for something a little more relatable and diverse, this pic starring Zoe Saldana is essential.  The Dominican Puerto Rican stars in this ensemble rom-com as Kat, a college student having a casual sexual relationship with her roommate Nikki (Mila Kunis). Watch Saldana as she navigates one storyline (in a series of seven others) that speaks to the complexity of modern-day relationships.

Stream it on:

8. ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño? /Don’t Blame The Kid

CREDIT: “Don’t Blame The Kid” /Adicta Films

Looking to fulfill your Spanish-language rom-com fix? This film starring Mexicana Karla Souza is everything you need. Watch the “How To Get Away With Murder Star as she plays Maru, a young woman who makes the crazy decision to have a child with a man she’s only ever had a one-night stand with.

Stream it on: Netflix

9. The Sweetest Thing

CREDIT: “The Sweetest Thing” / Columbia Pictures

Part Cuban actress, Cameron Diaz plays Christina, a successful interior designer and trou-chaser. Despite her player ways, Christina falls in love with a man she meets at a club and decides to take a road trip with her friend to see him again. Lovers of unapologetically raunchy films like “Bridesmaids” and “Girls Trip,” will fall in love with Blockbsuter hit that did it first.

BTW: If you’re looking for a film that has an actress whose character truly embraces la cultura, you won’t find it here. Still, you’ll get plenty of laughs.

Stream it on: Netflix, Youtube, Amazon

10. “Mosquita Y Mari” 

CREDIT: San Joaquin Kit Fox

This 2012 Official Sundance Selection and the Official Selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival tells us about two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.

11. “Por La Libre”

CREDIT: Juan Carlos de Llaca

Ahhh, a film about growing pains. It follows Rodrigo and Rocco as they take a journey from Mexico City to Acapulco to accomplish their grandfather’s last wish. It hits home for anyone dealing with family issues, sexuality, and fighting with someone you’re really close to; like your cousins, brothers or sisters.

12. “The Best Things In The World”

CREDIT: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oh goodness, the feels in this movie! It tells the story of one family’s experience as the parent’s divorce, and the father comes out as gay. It’s a beautiful, funny, sad Brazilian film that hits on real issues that Latino families face. Get ready to laugh and cry.

13. “Confissões de Adolescente”

CREDIT: Confissões de Adolescente / Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lovers of “Tortilla Soup” will love this tale about a band of sisters while helping their father. The film is based on the diary entries of Maria Mariana, who also stars.

14. “The Way He Looks”

CREDIT: Vitrine Films

Based on the 2010 short film, “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone, is about a blind teenager, his best friend Giovana, and their changing relationship when Gabriel is introduced. It’s sweet, poignant, and touches on the relationship between two teenagers that constantly blurs the line between friendship and something more.

15. “The Year My Parents Went On Vacation”

CREDIT: Buena Vista International

This film is the perfect mix of drama and comedy exploring themes of politics and familial discord, all centered around a young boy’s obsession with the World Cup. It’s part coming of age, part political commentary, part nostalgic tale and will leave your heart aching. For anyone who has had to live the repercussions of their parents’ lives, this is for you.

16. “Lake Tahoe”

This film isn’t just visually unique and interesting. The story is fascinating and focuses on Juan, who crashes his family car into a pole and attempts to fix it. Of course, you can bet that he meets some interesting characters his way to fix his car that ultimately change his life.

17. My Best Friend’s Wedding

CREDIT: TriStar Pictures

Cameron Diaz stars in, once again, another fantastic rom-com of the 90s. In this film starring Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz takes on the role of Kimmy, a sweet-faced heiress who is engaged to Michaela writer. Unfortunately is zany friend has other plans for their engagement. 

18. “Raising Victor Vargas”

CREDIT: Raising Victor Vargas/ Samuel Goldwyn FilmsFireworks

This depiction of life in the early 2000’s in New York City’s Lower East Side explains what it’s like to grow up in a large Latino family. The film stars Victor Rasuk and Judy Marte.

19. “I Like It Like That”

CREDIT: I Like It Like That / Columbia Pictures

The Bronx-based comedy follows the highs and lows faced by a young, poor Puerto Rican couple. Starring Lauren Vélez and Jon Seda.

20. “Tortilla Soup”

CREDIT: Tortilla Soup / Samuel Goldwyn Films

It was hard not to get sucked into this TV favorite about sisters trying to grow under the watchful eye of their father. Starring Héctor Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors and Elizabeth Peña.


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