Alfonso Cuarón is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer and editor.

Cuarón’s film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards in 2017. Cuarón has been nominated for three Golden Globes, winning twice.

Who Is Alfonso Cuarón?

Cuarón was born on October 23, 1961 in Mexico City to Alfonso Guzmán Martínez and María Cuarón García-Gutiérrez.

His father worked for a petroleum company, while his mother studied English literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and later became an educator.

Cuaron studied at UNAM’s School of Arts and Sciences from 1981 to 1985 where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. He continued his studies at UCLA Film School where he received an MFA in film direction in 1993.

Upon graduating from UCLA, Cuaron began teaching there as well until 1998 when he returned to Mexico to begin work on his first feature film Y Tu Mamá También (2001).

Best Alfonso Cuarón Movies

Here are the best movies directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

1. Children of Men (2006)            

 Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men is a dark vision of the future, where women are infertile and men have been rendered sterile by an epidemic that has killed off all their sperm. In a world without children, the only thing keeping humanity alive is the British government’s annual lottery.

Disaster strikes when the winning ticket is stolen and it takes months to find out who has it. In the meantime, chaos reigns as Britain is left with no one to breed with.

The film’s central theme of infertility is explored through its three main characters: Theo Faron (Clive Owen), who was accused of being a terrorist but later exonerated; Alfie (Michael Caine), who has just been told he has only weeks to live; and Julianne Moore,

who we first meet as she is preparing a swimsuit for her husband in preparation for their honeymoon. As the story unfolds, we learn about each character’s past and how their lives intersect with one another as they try to find a way to save themselves from extinction.

Children of Men
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director) - Alfonso Cuaron (Writer) - Hilary Shor (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Y tu mamá también (2001)

As a film, Y Tu Mamá También is a gorgeous, affecting coming-of-age story about two teenage boys in love. But as a vehicle for the director’s unique brand of humor, it’s also an absolute delight.

The film is set in Mexico City in the early 1990s and follows two teenagers named Carlos (Rafa Gatica) and Marco (Eduardo Verastegui). Both are gay, but neither has told their parents about their sexuality.

Instead they hide their secret lives by pretending to be straight. But when Marco meets Carlos’ mother Carmen (Maribel Verdú), she suspects something is up and starts asking questions.

Carmen is just one of many fascinating characters in this unusual film that plays like a tribute to all the mothers we’ve ever wanted to hate because they were too good at being mothers.

3. Roma (2018) 

 Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is a stunning, intimate and intensely human portrait of a family struggling through the social and political turmoil of Mexico City during the 1970s.

With this film, Cuarón (Children of Men) has made his most personal work to date, capturing the heartbreak, humor and resilience of his family as they endure tragedy and tragedy again in their home city.

Cuarón weaves together four stories that intertwine with each other — three generations of a Mexican family living in Roma, their neighbors, and the characters that surround them.

The first story follows Cleo (Cleo Pires), who is married to a man who lives in an apartment next door to hers. Although she has known him since childhood and has always been fond of him,

there is something about him that makes her feel uncomfortable — she can’t quite put her finger on it until one day when she finds out what it is: he’s an addict.

In the second story we meet Gustavo (Rodrigo Gaviria), a young boy who lives across from Cleo’s house with his mother Rosa (Marina de Tavira). He loves playing soccer but doesn’t have any friends because he doesn’t speak English well enough; when Rosa takes

Roma (2018) [Criterion Collection] UK Only [DVD] [2019]
  • Yalitza Aparicio (Actor)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. Gravity (2013)

Gravity is a science fiction film about astronauts who are stranded in low Earth orbit after an accident. The film is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The film stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer, who must use her wits and ingenuity to survive in space. George Clooney plays Matt Kowalsky, an engineer from NASA’s Mission Control Centre who must work with Stone to get them back to Earth safely.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It also won three Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress – Drama (Sandra Bullock), and Best Screenplay (Cuaron).

Gravity has been highly praised by critics since its release on 7 October 2013.[6]

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Paris, je t’aime (2006)

Paris, je t’aime is a 2006 film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. It is the sequel to his 2001 film Children of Men.

In the year 2027, in London and Madrid, a world-weary UK Prime Minister David Budd (Clive Owen) and Spanish Prime Minister Albert Rivera (Javier Bardem) are holding emergency meetings with other heads of government regarding an impending pandemic that has killed off most of humanity.

They are joined by American President Morgan McCarthy (Michael Caine), who is there at their request to give his country’s perspective on how to deal with the crisis.

The United Nations General Assembly has also been called upon to discuss the crisis and make recommendations for action. After several days of debate, it appears that the nations will agree on a plan to quarantine themselves from each other until they can come up with a solution to stop this pandemic from spreading further.

Meanwhile, in Paris, former activist turned tour guide Evelyn Grey (Julianne Moore) is leading groups around Paris by bike; she says she wants them to see “how beautiful” Paris truly

Paris Je Taime
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Florence Muller, Hervé Pierre, Bruno Podalydès (Actors)
  • Olivier Assayas (Director)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

6. A Little Princess (1995)            

 A Little Princess (1995) is a film adaptation of the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and stars Emma Thompson as Sara Crewe, the titular little princess who lives in Britain during World War I.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design and was nominated for three other Oscars: Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.

The movie begins with Sara’s father, Sir John Corbet, giving her a pony named Goldie as a gift while they are on an outing in their garden; Sara is excited to ride Goldie but is disappointed when it runs away after being startled by a rabbit.

After returning home, Sara asks her father if he can buy her a doll instead of a pony; he agrees to do so after seeing how upset she is over losing Goldie.

Sara then writes letters to her beloved dolly Anne Marie until one day Sir John tells Sara that Anne Marie has been lost at sea when she was shipped off to India by mistake.

As Sir John goes out to search for Anne Marie’s mother in India she discovers that Anne Marie has been sold into slavery by Pratap Singh and taken to Calcutta along with other young girls

A Little Princess
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Liesel Matthews (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director) - Richard LaGravenese (Writer) - Mark Johnson (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Great Expectations (1998)      

 Great Expectations is a 1998 American drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and written by Guillermo Arriaga. The film is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. It was nominated for three Academy Awards and won one, for Best Costume Design.

The film takes place in London, England during Victorian times, beginning with a young boy named Pip (Leonardo DiCaprio) who lives with his foster parents Mr. and Mrs. Joe Gargery (John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson),


as well as his little sister Estella (Imelda Staunton), whom he loves dearly but whose harshness toward him has left him frightened and unsure of himself. He grows up through adolescence as he learns about life from his friends/neighbors Miss Havisham (Julia Ormond) and Joe Gargery’s friend Herbert Pocket (Jude Law).

One day, Pip meets Estella again after ten years; she is now a beautiful young woman who is engaged to marry doctor Biddy Maguire (Dianne Wiest). She tells Pip that she was adopted by her aunt Miss Havisham because she had

Great Expectations
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (Director) - Charles Dickens (Writer) - Art Linson (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 film based on the first novel in the Harry Potter series. The film was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who had written the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001). It is the third and final instalment in the Harry Potter film series.

The story takes place in 1998, five years after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry has been removed from his relatives’ care to live with his aunt Petunia Dursley, who has married Vernon Dursley,

a mean-spirited man. When one of Vernon’s co-workers leaves him an old trunk, which turns out to contain a secret passageway from his bedroom to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry decides to use it in order to sneak into Hogsmeade village to visit Hagrid.

There he finds that he has been expelled from Hogwarts for attacking Draco Malfoy while under the influence of a magic potion made by Professor Snape (who had previously been killed by Voldemort). After returning home, he discovers that Ron Weasley had also been expelled, so they

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director) - Steve Kloves (Writer) - David Heyman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. Sólo con tu pareja (1991)

The film is an adaptation of the novel Sólo con tu pareja by Cuban writer Ana Maria Matute. It tells the story of a young couple who must deal with the consequences of their affair and how they overcome them.

In Mexico, where the movie was shot, it had its premiere on December 16, 1991. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.

The film won three awards in Mexico: Best Supporting Actor for Luis Ernesto Franco and Best Supporting Actress for Laura Ponce in 1991; and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón in 1992.

The film was shown at several major film festivals around the world, including Berlin (Germany), Cannes (France), Toronto (Canada), Moscow (Russia), Vancouver (Canada), Tokyo (Japan), San Sebastian (Spain), Locarno (Switzerland) and Valladolid (Spain).

Solo Con Tu Pareja (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Dobrina Liubomirova, Claudia Ramirez (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director) - Alfonso Cuarón| (Writer) - Alfonso Cuarón (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)

Characteristics of Alfonso Cuarón Movies

 The movies of Alfonso Cuarón have a certain characteristic. First, it is the way he presents his characters. The director usually makes his protagonists very human, with strong emotions and desires,

who try to reach their goals but are often confronted by obstacles. In this sense, the protagonist is always an ordinary person who does not have special qualities or abilities, but who tries to overcome these difficulties.

Second, the director gives life to his characters through revealing their innermost feelings and thoughts.

This is done through the use of dialogue in which they express themselves clearly and without fear of being misunderstood by their partners. In addition, there are moments when they reveal their emotions through music or even gestures.

Finally, there is one more important characteristic that deserves mention: each character has a clear goal in mind which will lead him or her to achieve something valuable at the end of the film;

thus we can say that Alfonso Cuarón’s films are characterized by helping people find their place in life by developing their personality along with achieving personal goals and objectives.

Best Alfonso Cuarón Movies – Wrapping Up

The best movies from Alfonso Cuarón are the ones that he wrote, directed and produced. The ones that he worked on with his partner, Carlos Cuarón. The ones that were based on his own life story. The ones where he got to explore new genres and try out new ideas.

It’s no surprise that the man who made Gravity and Children of Men has so many great films in his oeuvre. But how do you decide which is the best?

Alfonso Cuarón is one of those directors whose work seems to have a unique energy that makes it stand out from all others (if there is such a thing as an “other”).

The man has done it all: he started out as an actor and more recently became a successful screenwriter/director too (he wrote Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). He’s won awards in both fields and managed to make both blockbusters (Gravity) and arthouse fare (Children of Men).


Ready to learn about some other Film Movements or Film History?