Best of 2023: 17 of the Best Movies featuring Latinx Talent

From "Barbie" to "Radical", these are some of the best films of 2023 featuring Latinx talent

Latinx movies best 2023

Photos: Warner Bros & Disney Studio

2023 has been an amazing for Latinx talent in film. Of course, there is always more work to be done in their approach to diversity and inclusion within Latinx representation in media. That said, we got to see history being made on the big screen like Blue Beetle being the first live-action Latinx film. We saw ourselves leading animated films as well like Disney’s Wish and Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and our true stories being told in productions like Flamin’ Hot and A Million Miles Away. We even saw queer Latinx representation being uplifted and celebrated in Red, White, and Royal Blue, Aristotle and Dante, and Cassandro. Across genres, it’s never been more true that we’re finally seeing ourselves taking center stage. Before the year ends and 2024 begins, we wanted to spotlight the films that made an impact on the community. Read on for 17 of the best films featuring Latinx talent that released this year in theaters and on streaming.

Blue Beetle on Max

Blue Beetle follows 22-year-old Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) and his Mexican American family including his father Alberto, his mom Rocio, and his sister Milagro along with his abuela and his uncle Rudy, played by George Lopez.  When Jamie accidentally takes on the mantle of the alien scarab known as Blue Beetle, which gives him out-of-this-world superpowers, he tries to protect his family caught in the crossfires of his new powers and along the way,  he tries to win the heart of Jenny Kord who originally gave the scarab for him to protect. She’s the niece of the villainous Victoria Kord whose thinly-veiled racism is most evident in her relationship with Carapax. Together, the characters created a historic film about the first live-action Latinx superhero with a majority-Latinx cast and directed by Puerto Rican filmmaker Ángel Manuel Soto.

Wish in theaters and on Disney+ in 2024

Wish follows a teenage girl named Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, living in the Kingdom of Rosas on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. On the day of her grandmother’s 100th birthday, she interviews for the job of being King Magnifico’s apprentice in the hopes that he’ll use his sorcery to grant her grandfather’s wish of inspiring people. But Magnifico refuses, fearful of the wish’s threat to his power and authority. When Asha realizes that the king is deceiving her, her family, and all the people of the kingdom, she makes a wish on a star, which transforms into a living ball of magic light that grants all the forest animals to talk, and inspires her to get back her family’s wishes. The film also stars other Latinx talent including Harvey Guillén, who plays Gabo. To have an Afro-Latina actress voice a Disney princess-like character was a major moment for representation especially in Disney films.

Barbie on Max

Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and America Ferrera, Barbie follows Stereotypical Barbie living in the magical and matriarchal Barbieland with Ken where everything is perfect and womanhood is valued above all else. But everything changes one night when Barbie begins to have thoughts about mortality and take on human traits like flat feet, bad breath, and cellulite. To cure herself and bring balance back to Barbieland, she embarks on a journey to the real world with Ken in tow in order to find the little girl who’s been playing with her and cure her, only to discover new things about herself along the way. Ferrera’s performance as Gloria, a Mattel employee, was critically acclaimed, and her speech about the complexities of being a woman was one of the most memorable moments from the film.

Flamin’ Hot on Hulu and Disney+

Directed by Eva Longoria and featuring a majority Latinx cast including Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, and Emilio Rivera, Flamin’ Hot tells the real-life story of Richard Montañez, the son of Mexican immigrants who is constantly trying to make a living for herself and help his family survive. After the birth of his first child, he makes an extra effort to turn his life around, getting hired as a janitor at Frito-Lay. Throughout the film, we see how Richard tries, fails, and rises the ranks of the company by helping to develop the now-beloved Flamin’ Hot Cheetos snack.

Huesera: The Bone Woman on Prime Video

Starring Mexican actress Natalia Solián, Huesera follows Valeria, a woman who becomes pregnant with her and her husband’s first child and begins seeing supernatural entities, visions, and dreams. From a woman who falls to her death to a spirit who stalks her in the night and breaks her bones in bed, Valeria quickly becomes undone by the horrors she sees, turning her entire family against her except her single, childless aunt—who may also be the only person who can save her. The film has won numerous awards including the best new narrative director Tribeca Festival award and has been critically acclaimed for its body horror and terrifying but fresh take on motherhood.

A Million Miles Away on Prime Video

A Million Miles Away tells the true story of José M. Hernández (Michael Peña) the son of Mexican farmworkers from Michoacán who became one of the first Latinos in space. His studies are constantly interrupted by the fruit picking seasons until his teacher stands up for him, convincing his parents to stay in California until he finishes school, forever changing the trajectory of his life. Throughout the film, we see him fall in love, battle racism and xenophobia in the science industry, and apply many times to become an astronaut, breaking barriers along the way.

Cassandro on Prime Video

Based on a true story, Cassandro stars Gael García Bernal as the titular character, a gay wrestler formally known as Saúl Armendáriz who regularly crosses the U.S.-Mexico border to fight in wrestling matches in the ’80s. Though at first he wrestles under the name of El Topo, everything changes when he hires a new trainer who encourages him to embrace his sexuality and his true identity as Cassandro, ultimately leading to his success as a famous wrestler. Other big names who star in the movie include Bad Bunny and real-life luchador El Hijo del Santo.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 on Disney+

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 is the third installment of the GOTG series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) following the remaining Guardians after the events of Avengers: Endgame, sans Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). When their home base is attacked and Rocket the Raccoon is seriously injured, the crew meet up with an alternate version of Gamora to learn more about Rocket’s past in an effort to save his life and reunite the group back together again.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on Netflix 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the much-anticipated sequel to the highly believed 2018 animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Again following Afro-Puerto Rican teenager Miles Morales, the superhero faces his most challenging enemy yet: the Spot, a scientist whose body fused with portals during an explosion in the first film. In his effort to take him down, Miles teams up with fellow Spider-Man Gwen Stacy and the Multiverse’s protectors the Spider-Force, only to discover startling news about his life, his family, and his identity as Spider-Man, and threaten his reality as he knows it. While Miles isn’t played by an Afro-Latino actor, there is other Latinx talent in this one including Lauren Vélez, who plays his mom, and Oscar Isaac. It won numerous awards and another sequel is currently in development. Miles is considered the first Black and Latino Spiderman.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on AppleTV 

Based on the 2012 young adult novel of the same name, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a groundbreaking film when it came to queer Latinx representation. Starring Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales as the titular characters, the story takes place in 1987 El Paso and follows Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza, who meets fellow Mexican American Dante Quintana (Reese Gonzales). The two boys instantly become fast friends, learning how to swim, going on camping trips, star-gazing, and spending an unforgettable summer together. The rest of the film follows them in the following year as they struggle with their feelings for each other and to stay friends while apart. The film also stars Verónica Falcón, Kevin Alejandro, Eva Longoria, and Eugenio Derbez.

Red, White, & Royal Blue on Prime Video

One of the biggest rom-coms of the year, Red, White, & Royal Blue tells the love story of Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the son of the first female U.S. president, and Prince Henry, one of the grandsons of the British king. From the get-go, the boys don’t like each other, going to far as to avoid each other at public events and causing chaos wherever they go. They reunite at Prince Henry’s older brother’s wedding, inciting a mess at the reception when they start a fight and knock over a multi-tier wedding cake, splashing them onto the front pages of the next morning’s newspapers. Over the course of the film, we see the pair get to know each other better, form a bond, and fall in love, even when everything in their separate lives is telling them not to.

Miguel Wants to Fight on Hulu

Miguel Wants to Fight stars Tyler Dean Flores as Miguel, a high school junior who has never been in a fight despite them being the very foundation of social life at his school. But with the encouragement of his three best friends David, Cass, and Srini, a combination of fateful events leads to hilarious circumstances where Miguel tries to get into his first-ever fight. The film also stars Latinx actors Raúl Castillo and Andrea Navedo with a script by Shea Serrano, who created the successful sitcom Primo.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance on Hulu

Magic Mike’s Last Dance is the third and final installment in the Magic Mike series, originally based on Channing Tatum’s experiences as a young male stripper, who has starred in the lead role throughout the franchise. Co-starring alongside him in Last Dance is Salma Hayek as Maxandra Mendoza, who he meets at a fundraising event after the loss of his furniture business in the COVID-19 pandemic and the gain of his new job as a bartender for a catering company. At the event, Mike is recognized by Max’s lawyer Kim and Max ends up offering him $6,000 for a lap dance and sleeping together. Together, they decide to choreograph a special dance production in London, leading to them growing closer together and falling in love.

The Mother on Netflix

The Mother is Jennifer Lopez’s latest headlining film where she stars as an ex-assassin and former US army operative who, after a threat on her life, comes out of hiding to protect her estranged daughter Zoe who she was forced to abandon years prior in the aftermath of an arms smuggling deal. When her daughter is kidnapped by criminals, she’s forced to partner with an FBI agent to rescue her. Along the way, her and her daughter grow close, learning survival skills and forming a bond and understanding between them. The film also stars Gael García Bernal as Hector Alvarez and Jesse Garcia as an agent known as  Tarantula.

Haunted Mansion on Disney+

Inspired by the iconic Disneyland ride, Haunted Mansion is a horror comedy film starring Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican actress Rosario Dawson the main role as Gabbie, a mother who moves with her nine-year-old son to a mansion in New Orleans to start a new chapter of their lives. But when it becomes clear that the house is haunted with evil forces, she enlists the help of a priest, paranormal expert, psychic, and historian to exorcise the mansion for good.

Scream VI on Paramount+

Scream VI is a direct sequel to Scream (2022) and features the return of Latina scream queens Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega who play sisters in the film. In this sixth installment, they decide to leave Woodsboro for good after they survived the latest Ghostface killings and head to New York City to start a new chapter of their lives. But nothing goes as planned when everything they ran away from catches up to them in the form of new Ghostface killers. The film received critical acclaim and became the first in the franchise after Scream 2 to earn more than $100 million at the box office.

Radical on Max

Sergio Juarez Correa (Eugenio Derbez) is a teacher that transfers to a school in Matamoros, Mexico and inspires a group of sixth graders to take control of their education. His unorthodox approach eventually proves to be successful but is still contested by certain administrators and yet in the end his impact is seen in the success of the students. It premiered on January 19 at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Festival Favorite Award.

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2023 Barbie best of 2023 blue beetle entertainment Flamin' Hot Huesera latinas in film latinx in film representation scream
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