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16 Latino Films to See in 2016

First Posted: Jan 05, 2016 04:36 PM EST
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Embrace of the Serpent/Tale of Tales

Photo : Oscilloscope Laboratories/IFC Films

2015 turned out to be a terrific year for Latinos, with some of the hottest stars in the business appearing in major productions and top end Latin American filmmakers putting themselves into the awards conversation.

The New Year promises to bring a slew of new movies that will undoubtedly push the envelope even further in terms of content. Here are some of the films by Latinos or starring Latinos that should be on everyone's watch list in 2016.

1. Ma ma

Spanish filmmaker Julio Medem and Penelope Cruz team up in a film about a woman overcoming a tragedy. The film also stars Silvia Abascal, Alex Brendemuhl and Elena Carranza among others.

Why you should see it: This is Cruz's first movie since 2013 when she worked on "The Counselor." Medem previously directed "Sex and Lucia."

Release - The U.S. release has not yet been verified but the film is expected to bow in 2016.  

2. El Clan

 The latest film by Pablo Trapero, "El Clan" tells the true story of the Puccio Clan that murdered people in the 1980's.

Why you should see it: This film was Argentina's submission for the Best Foreign language Film Oscar and is directed by one of the country's best filmmakers.

Release - January 2016

3. The Club

The latest film by rising Chilean auteur Pablo Larrain tells the story of a crisis counselor sent to a Chilean town to fix up corrupt behavior by Catholic priests and nuns.

Why you should see it: It was Chile's Oscar-submission and is nominated in the Foreign Film category at the Golden Globes. Larrain is also the director of "No," which earned an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2012.

Release - March 2016

4. Regression

The latest film by Alejandro Amenabar follows the story of a father who is accused of a crime that he does not remember committing. The movie stars Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke.

Why you should see it: The film represents the first feature for Amenabar since he made "Agora" in 2009. The Spaniard is best known for "The Sea Inside."

Release - Feb. 5, 2016

 5. Julieta

The latest film by Pedro Almodovar follows the life of the eponymous protagonist before her life started to implode near 2015. Almodovar turns away from his usual troupe of actors to try out working with relative unknowns.

 Why you should see it - Almodovar's last film "I'm So Excited" was not particularly beloved by audiences or critics so it will be interesting to see if the filmmakers gets back to the form that made him the most revered filmmaker in Spain over the last 40 years.

Release - Q4 2016

6. Desierto

Jonas Cuaron shows off his directing chops in a new thriller that has garnered strong early reviews. The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a chase across the U.S. Mexican border.

Why you should see it: Cuaron showed promise in his experimental feature debut "Year of the Nail" and also co-wrote "Gravity" with his father. If he shares his father's talent for filmmaking, then this film might be the debut of yet another Latino to keep an eye out for.

Release - March 4, 2016

7. A Monster calls

The fantasy film tells the story a boy who seeks the help of a tree monster. The film will be released by Focus Features.

Why you should see it: Juan Antonio Bayona is back after directing "The Impossible" and "The Orphanage" and this movie has an all-star cast.

Release - The film has been scheduled for Oct.14 and looks to be an Oscar contender.

8. Man in the Dark

The new film by Fede Alvarez tells the story of a group of teens who break into a blind man's home but realize that their perfect crime is not what they thought it was.

Why you should see it: Fede Alvarez has made some of the boldest horror movies in recent times and this one is likely to be another original idea.

Release - Sony Pictures will release it on August. 25.

9. Desde Alla

The award winning film tells the story of an older man who cruises and eventually seeks out a young man that is the leader of a criminal gang. The film will be released by Strand Releasing.

Why you should see it: The film was the first film to win the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion award and is sure to be Venezuela's Oscar selection next year.

Release - Strand has not announced a release date.

10. Embrace of the Serpent

The most acclaimed Colombian film of the year tells the story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together. The film will be released by Oscilloscope Laboratories.

Why you should see it: The movie is among the nine shortlisted films at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and has been acclaimed ever since its world premiere at Cannes.

Release - Oscilloscope will release it on Feb. 17.

11. Ixcanul

Guatemala's acclaimed film tells the story of a young girl, who arranged marriage goes awry when she discovers she is pregnant. Kino Lorber will release the film.

Why you should See it: The debut film by Jayro Bustamante was Guatemala's first Oscar submission and also won numerous awards at film festivals including Berlin.

Release date: Kino Lorber has yet to announce a release date.

12. Viva

The Irish drama is set in Cuba and features an all-Spanish cast. The film is being released by Magnolia.

Why you should see it: It is one of the films shortlisted for Best Foreign Language film at this year's Academy Awards.

Release - This remains unknown thus far, though Magnolia has stated that it plans to release the film in 2016.

13. Deepwater Horizon

The new Peter Berg film follows the worst oil spill in U.S. history and stars Gina Rodriguez. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and John Malkovich among others.

Why you should see it:  It is an opportunity to see Rodriguez in a role that is not "Jane the Virgin." Moreover, the film chronicles and event that most people have experienced in recent years.

Release - Sept. 30, 2016

14. A Perfect Day

Directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa and starring Benicio del Toro, the film tells the story of a group of aid workers that must resolve a conflict in an armed conflict zone.

Why you should see it: Benicio del Toro is a guaranteed scene stealer in virtually anything he takes on.

Release - Jan. 15, 2016

15. Tale of Tales

While not directed by a Latin American, the Matteo Garrone-directed film features Mexican actress Salma Hayek rather prominently. The film is a subversion of a fairy tale and will create mixed feelings of wonder and horror for viewers.

Why you should see it: Salma Hayek eats a heart. Plus it features a stellar supporting cast that also includes John C. Reilly and Vincent Cassel among others.

Release - April 22, 2016

16. No Manches Frida

Pantelion's latest comedy is directed by Nacho Velilla and stars Omar Chaparro, Martha Higareda, Fernando Castillo and Adal Ramones among others.

Why you should see it: A lot of films on this list are intense and absorbing watches, so it might be fun to just kick back and relax once in a while with lighter fare and this movie certainly offers that.

Release - September 2016

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