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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With These 15 Festive Films

From animation to drama, this movie lineup makes any day a holiday

Published on: May 03, 2021

Photo credit: The Book of Life

These films represent a wide spectrum of Mexican-American movies, from the empowering drama of “Real Women Have Curves” to the mouthwatering (literally) romance of “Like Water for Chocolate.” Teens and parents will find much to appreciate in these films that bring important cultural experiences to life.

1. The Book of Life” (2014)

Ages: 7 and older

Beautifully animated film but has some scary imagery

2. Coco” (2017)

Ages: 7 and older

Stunningly animated, poignant tribute to family and culture

3. “McFarland, USA” (2015)

Ages: 10 and older

A poignant story about Latino runners; a winner for families 

4. “Nacho Libre” (2006)

Ages: 10 and older

A sweet, offbeat movie about caring for others

Photo credit: Nacho Libre

5. Selena” (1997)

Ages: 10 and older

The touching and ultimately tragic tale of a young Tejano star

6. Underwater Dreams” (2014)

Ages: 10 and older

An inspiring story about an underdog high school robotics team

7. “Cantinflas” (2014)

Ages: 12 and older

Mostly tame showbiz tale about a legendary Mexican actor

8. “Instructions Not Included” (2013)

Ages: 13 and older

A mix of comedy and tragedy in Mexican dad-daughter tale

9. “Zurdo” (2003)

Ages: 13 and older

Excellent Mexican fantasy with some disturbing violence

Photo credit: La Bamba

10. “La Bamba” (1987)

Ages: 14 and older

A sweet, sad rock-idol story for mature teens

11. “Real Women Have Curves” (2002)

Ages: 14 and older

Smart coming-of-age drama addresses body image

12. Tortilla Soup” (2001)

Ages: 14 and older

A harmless comedy that will make your mouth water

13. “Like Water for Chocolate” (1992)

Ages: 16 and older

Passionate tale of lost and regained love

Photo credit: Quinceañera

14. “Quinceañera” (2006)

Ages: 16 and older

Smart coming-of-age drama for older teens

15. “My Family (Mi Familia)” (1997)

Ages:17 and older

Epic, dramatic tale of a Mexican-American family

Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Common Sense Media and republished with permission; it has been updated for May 2021.

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