Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With These TV Shows and Films

Kick back, relax and watch these beloved movies and shows as Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off this September.

By Cydney Contreras Sep 17, 2022 3:00 AMTags
Watch: "Desperado" & Hispanic Heritage Month: E! News Rewind

Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us, meaning it's time to give additional recognition to the creatives and change-makers from the Latino community.

For many, that means taking some time to watch their favorite shows and movies from Latin actors like Edward James Olmos and Rita Moreno, whose presence on the small and big screen has paved the way for generations to come. Not to forget the contributions of modern-day stars like Salma HayekPedro Pascal and Oscar Isaac.

However, there are further improvements to be made in representing these communities. As UCLA's 2022 Hollywood Diversity Report outlined, only 7 percent of lead movie roles go to Latin actors and only 5 percent of writing jobs going to Latinos. 

The good news is there's a new push for the inclusion of Afro-Latino stars, who have been largely missing from the big screen for decades.

John Leguizamo shared in August that he wants to see more representation in Hollywood, saying in an Instagram video that he wants to see more roles go to Latin actors, regardless of the shade of their skin.  "It should all be an equal playing field," he said. "We should all be able to play whatever role."

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So while we wait on more representation on-screen, let's celebrate the achievements of those forging a new path for Latinos across the industry...

In the Heights

Lin Manuel Miranda's musical about the majority Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City was adapted into a movie, directed by Jon M. Chu

Watch now on HBO Max.

Los Espookys

This kooky comedy centers on the business Los Espookys, which, according to HBO, specializes in "conjuring thrills and chills for a variety of clients." Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres, Cassandra Ciangherotti and Bernardo Velasco star as Los Espookys, alongside recurring guest star Fred Armisen.


Gordita Chronicles

The HBO Max series centers on reporter Cucu Castelli, who looks back on what it was like to be an immigrant in Miami during the '80s. 

Watch now on HBO Max.


Karrie Martin, Joseph Julian Soria, Carlos Santos and Joaquín Cosío star in this Netflix dramedy, which chronicles a family's struggle to keep their restaurant open as their neighborhood is gentrified. 

Watch now on Netflix.

This Fool

South Central L.A. is the backdrop for this Chicano comedy series, which centers on Julio (Chris Estrada) and his primo Luis (Frankie Quinones), who recently got out of prison. Julio tries to help Luis adjust to life on the outside through his work with the organization Hugs Not Thugs, while working through feelings of existential dread.

Watch now on Hulu. 

Father of the Bride

In this HBO Max remake of the hit Steve Martin film, Andy Garcia plays the family patriarch who is struggling with the upcoming wedding of his baby girl, played by Adria Arjona.

Watch now on HBO Max.


Jennifer Lopez cemented her title as a triple threat in 1997 biographical film Selena, based on the life and career of Tejano superstar Selena Quintaniilla-Pérez who was murdered at age 23 in 1995. With Edwards James Olmos and Constance Marie co-starring, Selena still remains an acclaimed film more than 20 years later.

Watch Selena on HBO Max.

Selena: The Series

The real-life Quintanilla family is involved in Netflix's Selena: The Series starring Christian SerratosSelena's sister, Suzette is an executive producer. 

Watch Selena: The Series on Netflix.

Jane the Virgin

Beloved Netflix series Jane the Virgin had plenty of tears, twists and turns (and weddings and babies) over its five seasons. Gina Rodriguez won an Emmy for playing Jane, a woman who becomes pregnant seemingly due to immaculate conception. Cue up a steamy love triangle and an adorable matriarchy in this adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela. 

Spy Kids

Before you laugh at its inclusion, Spy Kids is not just a classic 2000s childhood nostalgia trip, it's also a benchmark for Latinx representation in high-concept films. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino star as international spies, whose two kids follow in their espionage-loving footsteps. Looking back exactly 20 years after its release, the on-screen multicultural family is a boundary breaker. Good thing a reboot is reportedly in the works with director Robert Rodriguez returning.

Watch Spy Kids on Hulu.

Real Women Have Curves

America Ferrera's debut in this 2002 coming-of-age dramedy is about a young woman who learns to embrace her body and her heritage while balancing her ambitions of going to college and pressure from her mother to have children and oversee the family's textile factory in East Los Angeles. 

Watch Real Women Have Curves on HBO Max.

De Lo Mio

Independent film De Lo Mio wowed during the festival circuit in 2019 before finding a home at HBO. Telling the story of three Dominican siblings after their father dies, the day-in-the-life film challenges what it means to be a multicultural American and captures the beauty of returning home. Héctor AníbalSasha Merci and Darlene Demorizi star in this moving masterpiece.

Watch De Lo Mio on HBO Max.

Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas plays a film director who reflects on his life choices in the somber 2019 Oscar-nominated film, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The 2019 film was also critically acclaimed for Penélope Cruz's performance as the failed director's muse.

Watch Pain and Glory on Amazon Prime Video.

15: A Quinceañera Story

Four short films follow five girls from different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds as they all prepare to celebrate their quinceañeras, or 15th birthdays.

Watch 15: A Quinceañera Story on HBO Max.



Salma Hayek stars as Frida Kahlo in the 2022 biopic, Frida and Alfred Molina co-starred as her husband, Diego Rivera. The film landed Hayek a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the famous painter. 

Watch Frida on HBO Max.

On My Block

Netflix series On My Block centers on four friends navigating high school in South Central Los Angeles. From gang encounters to love triangles, the coming-of-age show spotlights rising talent. 

Watch On My Block on Netflix.



Alfonso Cuarón's autobiographical Oscar-winning 2018 film captures his upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City through the eyes of his nanny, played by Yalitza Aparicio

Watch Roma on Netflix.

The Motorcycle Diaries

The 2004 film dramatizes a motorcycle road trip taken by Che Guevara, played by Gael García Bernal. Based on Guevara's memoir, The Motorcycle Diaries follows the life-changing experience that led to the Argentine revolutionary's vision. 

Watch The Motorcycle Diaries on Peacock.


Gael García Bernal, Benjamin BrattEdward James OlmosAnthony Gonzalez and Alanna Ubach lend their voices to the heart-wrenching Disney/Pixar film Coco, about a young boy in a fictional Mexican village who dreams of becoming a famous musician like his idol. An accidental trip to the Land of the Dead during Día de los Muertos makes for a moving coming-of-age tale about learning from our elders. 

Watch Coco on Disney+.

The Baby-Sitters Club

Netflix's reboot of The Baby-Sitters Club, based on author Ann M. Martin's books, stars Sophie GraceMalia BakerMomona TamadaShay Rudolph and Kyndra Sanchez, with new cast members Vivian Watson and Anais Lee joining the diverse tween gang.

Watch The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix.

Diary of a Future President

Gina Rodriguez and Tess Romero star in Disney+'s Diary of a Future President about a young Cuban-American girl who is determined to govern America.

Watch Diary of a Future President on Disney+.

Mucho Mucho Amor

The 2019 documentary Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado follows the gender non-conforming astrologer who captivated millions of Latinx viewers over the years. In the doc, Lin-Manuel MirandaRaul de Molina and Willy Acosta share their memories of the upbeat TV personality.

Watch Mucho Mucho Amor on Netflix.

One Day at a Time

Rita Moreno wows in Pop TV's One Day at a Timea Latinx reimagining of the Norman Lear sitcom. The series tackled racism, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration during its four seasons. Star Isabella Gomez told E! News in 2018 that the series is "very satisfying" for representation. "To be able to live with a family, especially a family like this family that's underrepresented right now—a good, Latino, hard-working immigrant family that's making good in America—we feel it's more important than ever given this current climate to show what that looks like in a real way," Gomez said. "These are good, hard-working people that are good Americans."

Watch One Day at a Time on Netflix.

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup follows a Mexican-American master chef who loses his taste for food but relishes in life as a father to three daughters.

Watch Tortilla Soup on Youtube.

Roswell, New Mexico

Michael Vlamis and So You Think You Can Dance champion Jeanine Mason lead this rebooted supernatural Netflix series about a small town in New Mexico where aliens live in secret. 

Watch Roswell, New Mexico on Netflix.

Ugly Betty

Want to know our dream cast? Look no further than Ugly Betty, based on Fernando Gaitán's Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. With America Ferrera playing fish-out-of-water Betty in the cutthroat New York City fashion magazine industry, and Judith Light and Vanessa Williams playing her sophisticated counterparts, it's clear why the ABC drama was a fan favorite for four seasons.

Watch Ugly Betty on Hulu. 

La Mission

Bay Area native Benjamin Bratt teamed up with his writer-director brother Peter Bratt for 2012 film La Mission, set in the Mission District of San Francisco. A single-parent ex-con (Benjamin Bratt) confronts cultural norms when his son comes out as gay.

Watch La Mission on Prime Video.


Starz's Vida is a breakout hit about two estranged sisters who are forced to move back home to Los Angeles after the death of their mother. Turns out their mom may not have been who she seemed. 

Watch Vida on Hulu.


Cesar's Last Faast

This 2014 documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, spotlighting never-before-seen footage of Cesar Chavez's last protest in 1988. The civil rights activist kicked off his "Fast for Life" with a 36-day water-only hunger strike to draw attention to the effects of pesticides on farmworkers and their communities. 

Watch Cesar's Last Fast on Apple TV+.

Devious Maids

Actress-producer Eva Longoria has been an advocate for bringing Latinx stories to the forefront, with series like Grand Hotel and Devious Maids adapted for ABC. The soap opera Devious Maids reunited Longoria with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry to tell the deliciously salacious story of four Latina maids who get entangled in the scandalous lives of their employers in Beverly Hills. 

Watch Devious Maids on Hulu.

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