Gael García Bernal is a Mexican actor, producer, and director who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in the film industry.

Bernal has been involved in a wide range of projects, including independent films, Hollywood blockbusters, and international productions, showcasing his versatility and talent as an actor.

In this series of articles, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best Gael García Bernal movies, exploring what made them stand out and examining Bernal’s performances and contributions to these films.

From his breakout role in “Amores Perros” to his critically acclaimed work in “Y Tu Mamá También” and “The Motorcycle Diaries,” Bernal has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of cinema.

We’ll also explore Bernal’s work as a producer and director, examining his collaborations with some of the most innovative and exciting filmmakers of his generation.

Best Gael García Bernal Movies

We’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Bernal’s contributions to film and the impact he has had on the industry, both in front of and behind the camera.

1. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is a biographical drama film directed by Walter Salles and released in 2004. The movie is based on the memoirs of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the iconic Marxist revolutionary who helped lead the Cuban Revolution.

The film stars Gael García Bernal as a young Che Guevara and Rodrigo De la Serna as his friend Alberto Granado. The movie follows the two friends as they travel across South America on a motorcycle, encountering different cultures and social injustices that inspire their political awakening.

The film is known for its breathtaking scenery, powerful performances, and political commentary. The screenplay was written by José Rivera and was adapted from Guevara’s memoirs “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Back on the Road”.

The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Al Otro Lado del Río” by Jorge Drexler.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is considered a must-watch film for those interested in Latin American history, politics, and culture. It offers a unique perspective on Che Guevara’s early life and the experiences that led him to become a revolutionary icon.

The film also highlights the beauty and diversity of South America and the social injustices that continue to plague the region.

The Motorcycle Diaries (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mía Maestro (Actors)
  • Walter Salles (Director) - José Rivera (Writer) - Michael Nozik (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Babel (I) (2006)

“Babel” is a drama film released in 2006, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring an ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, and Rinko Kikuchi.


The movie tells four interconnected stories that take place in Morocco, Japan, the United States, and Mexico, exploring themes of communication, cultural differences, and the ripple effects of a single event.

The film begins with the accidental shooting of an American tourist (played by Blanchett) in Morocco, which sets off a chain of events that affect people in different parts of the world.

In Japan, a deaf teenage girl (played by Kikuchi) struggles with isolation and her own sexuality, while in the United States, a Mexican nanny (played by Adriana Barraza) takes two children across the border to attend her son’s wedding.

In Mexico, a poor farmer (played by Bernal) tries to help his injured wife (played by Kiké Garcia) and struggles to find medical assistance.

“Babel” was a critical and commercial success, receiving seven Academy Award nominations and winning for Best Original Score. The film is known for its complex narrative structure, powerful performances, and exploration of universal themes.

It has been praised for its sensitivity and nuance in portraying different cultures and perspectives, and for its unflinching depiction of human pain and suffering.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal (Actors)
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (Director) - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Writer) - Anne Ruark...
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

3. Amores Perros (2000)

“Amores Perros” is a 2000 Mexican drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, in his feature film directorial debut. The film is known for its innovative narrative structure, intertwining multiple storylines, and its raw and gritty depiction of life in Mexico City.

“Amores Perros” tells the stories of three different characters whose lives intersect through a car crash. Octavio, played by Gael García Bernal, is a young man who enters his dog, Cofi, into illegal dog fights to earn money to escape his difficult circumstances.

Valeria, played by Goya Toledo, is a fashion model whose life is shattered after the car crash leaves her severely injured. El Chivo, played by Emilio Echevarría, is an ex-guerrilla and now a homeless hitman who becomes involved in the aftermath of the car crash.

The film explores their lives, their relationships, and the consequences of their actions.

“Amores Perros” is known for its nonlinear structure, with the stories of the characters presented in a fragmented and non-chronological manner, linked by the car crash that serves as a pivotal event.

The film delves into themes such as love, family, class struggle, and the harsh realities of life in Mexico City. It also explores the complex relationships between humans and animals, as the lives of the characters become entwined with the fate of the dogs involved in illegal dog fighting.

The film received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, compelling performances, and its gritty and realistic depiction of life in Mexico City.

It won numerous awards, including the Ariel Award for Best Picture, the Mexican Academy Award equivalent to Best Picture, and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

“Amores Perros” launched Alejandro González Iñárritu’s career as a renowned filmmaker, and it is considered a landmark film in Mexican cinema and international cinema as well.

4. Coco (I) (2017)

Coco is a 2017 American computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures.

The film tells the story of a young Mexican boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a musician, despite his family’s long-standing ban on music.

On the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday honoring the dead, Miguel finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return to the living world and pursue his passion for music.

Coco is notable for its representation of Mexican culture and traditions, as well as its heartwarming themes of family, legacy, and the power of music.


The film features an all-Latino voice cast, including Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, Gael García Bernal as Héctor, and Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz.

Coco was a critical and commercial success, winning two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”

The film was praised for its emotional depth, stunning animation, and respectful portrayal of Mexican culture, making it a beloved addition to Pixar’s catalogue of films.

Coco (Theatrical Version)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt (Actors)
  • Adrian Molina (Director) - Adrian Molina (Writer) - Darla K. Anderson (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. And Your Mother Too (2001)

“And Your Mother Too” (original title: “Y tu mamá también”) is a Mexican coming-of-age drama film released in 2001. The film was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and stars Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Maribel Verdú.

The story follows two teenage boys, Julio and Tenoch, who are best friends living in Mexico City. They embark on a road trip with an older woman, Luisa, who is the wife of Tenoch’s cousin. As they journey to a secluded beach called “Heaven’s Mouth,” they explore their sexuality, grapple with their identity, and confront the reality of their privileged upbringing.

The film received critical acclaim for its frank portrayal of sexuality, its social commentary on class and politics in Mexico, and its innovative use of handheld cameras and voiceovers.

“And Your Mother Too” was also a commercial success and helped launch the careers of Cuarón, Bernal, and Luna to international acclaim.

The film’s themes of friendship, betrayal, and self-discovery continue to resonate with audiences around the world and have cemented its place as a modern classic of Mexican cinema.

6. Blindness (2008)

“Blindness” is a psychological thriller film directed by Fernando Meirelles, released in 2008. The film is based on the novel of the same name by José Saramago and depicts a mysterious epidemic of blindness that spreads throughout a city, leading to societal breakdown and chaos.

“Blindness” is known for its thought-provoking exploration of human nature, morality, and the fragility of society in the face of a catastrophic event.

The film follows an unnamed doctor, played by Mark Ruffalo, and his wife, played by Julianne Moore, who find themselves caught in the midst of an outbreak of blindness.

As more and more people in the city succumb to the epidemic and lose their sight, society quickly deteriorates, and the government responds by quarantining the affected individuals in a hospital.

Inside the hospital, the characters face desperate situations, including violence, abuse, and exploitation, as they struggle to survive and maintain their humanity in the midst of darkness and chaos.

“Blindness” is known for its gripping storytelling and its exploration of the human condition under extreme circumstances.

Meirelles masterfully conveys the sense of disorientation and helplessness that comes with sudden blindness, and the film raises thought-provoking questions about morality, human nature, and the breakdown of societal norms in the face of a crisis.

The performances of the cast, including Ruffalo, Moore, and supporting actors such as Gael García Bernal and Danny Glover, are widely praised for their raw and emotive portrayals of characters grappling with fear, desperation, and survival.

While “Blindness” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, it has gained a cult following for its unique premise, striking visuals, and provocative themes.

The film serves as a metaphorical exploration of the human condition and our capacity for compassion, cruelty, and resilience when faced with extraordinary circumstances.

It offers a thought-provoking and harrowing portrayal of the fragility of society and the depths of human nature in the face of a catastrophic event.

  • Maury Chaykin, Danny Glover, Julianne Moore (Actors)
  • Fernando Meirelles (Director)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

7. Bad Education (2004)

 “Bad Education” is not a Gael García Bernal movie. The film was directed by Pedro Almodóvar and stars Bernal, but it is not considered one of Bernal’s best movies.

However, Bernal’s performance in “Bad Education” is widely praised. The film is a dark and complex exploration of identity, power, and corruption, and Bernal delivers a nuanced and compelling portrayal of a troubled character caught up in a web of deceit and betrayal.

In the film, Bernal plays Juan, a young man who returns to his Catholic school to confront his former abuser, Father Manolo. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Juan’s past and the secrets he has been keeping from those around him.

Bernal’s performance in “Bad Education” is marked by its intensity and emotional depth, showcasing his ability to inhabit complex and conflicted characters.

Despite the film’s controversial subject matter, Bernal’s portrayal of Juan is sympathetic and human, allowing audiences to connect with his character on a deeper level.

Overall, while “Bad Education” may not be considered one of Bernal’s best movies, it remains a powerful and thought-provoking film, and Bernal’s performance is certainly one of its highlights.

Bad Education (Original Uncut NC-17 Edition)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Gael García Bernal, Fele Martinez, Daniel Cacho (Actors)
  • Pedro Almodovar (Director) - Pedro Almodovar (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NC-17 (Adults Only)

8. No (I) (2012)

“No” is a political drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and released in 2012. The movie is based on the true story of the 1988 national referendum in Chile, which gave the citizens the opportunity to vote on whether or not they wanted to extend General Augusto Pinochet’s rule for another eight years.

The film stars Gael García Bernal as a young advertising executive who is hired to lead the opposition campaign against Pinochet.

The movie is known for its unique visual style, which blends archival footage with recreations of the period using vintage analog equipment.

The screenplay was written by Pedro Peirano and was adapted from the play “Referendum” by Antonio Skármeta. The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

“No” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that examines the role of advertising and media in politics. The movie highlights the importance of democracy and the bravery of those who fought against Pinochet’s oppressive regime.

It offers a unique perspective on the political history of Chile and the struggles of its people to achieve freedom and justice.

No [DVD] [2012]
  • English (Subtitle)

9. The Crime of Padre Amaro (2002)

“The Crime of Padre Amaro” is a Mexican drama film released in 2002, directed by Carlos Carrera and starring Gael García Bernal and Ana Claudia Talancón.

The movie is based on a novel by Portuguese author Eça de Queirós and explores themes of corruption, hypocrisy, and the clash between religion and modernity.

The film tells the story of a young Catholic priest, Father Amaro (played by García Bernal), who arrives in a small Mexican town to assist the elderly Father Benito (played by Sancho Gracia).

Amaro becomes romantically involved with a young woman named Amelia (played by Talancón), who works at a local clinic that provides birth control and other reproductive health services.

As their relationship deepens, Amaro is forced to confront the moral and ethical dilemmas of his position, as well as the corruption and hypocrisy of the Church and its hierarchy.

“The Crime of Padre Amaro” was a critical and commercial success, receiving numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The movie was controversial in Mexico due to its criticism of the Catholic Church and its portrayal of the clergy. However, it was also praised for its powerful performances and its unflinching exploration of difficult themes.

The Crime of Padre Amaro
  • Sancho Gracia, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ernesto Cruz (Actors)
  • Carlos Carrera (Director) - Daniel Birman Ripstein (Producer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

10. Desierto (2015)

“Desierto” is a 2015 Mexican thriller film directed by Jonás Cuarón, who also co-wrote the screenplay.

The film stars Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and it follows a group of Mexican immigrants who are trying to cross the border into the United States and are pursued by a vigilante.

In “Desierto,” a group of immigrants, including Moises, played by Gael García Bernal, and Adela, played by Alondra Hidalgo, attempt to cross the treacherous desert terrain between Mexico and the United States in search of a better life.

However, they are suddenly targeted by a deranged and violent vigilante named Sam, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is determined to stop them from reaching the U.S. border.

The film becomes a tense and gripping cat-and-mouse chase in the harsh desert environment, as the immigrants struggle to survive against the vigilante’s ruthless pursuit.

“Desierto” is known for its gripping and suspenseful storyline, depicting the perilous journey of immigrants seeking a better life and the brutal realities they face along the way. The film touches on themes such as immigration, border politics, xenophobia, and survival instincts.

It presents a harrowing and visceral portrayal of the dangers and challenges faced by immigrants attempting to cross the harsh and unforgiving desert landscape in pursuit of a better life.

The film received positive reviews for its intense and suspenseful storytelling, as well as the performances of Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

It was also praised for its cinematography, showcasing the harsh beauty and brutality of the desert landscape. “Desierto” serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the human cost of illegal immigration and the challenges faced by those who embark on such perilous journeys.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gael Garcia Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo (Actors)
  • Jonas Cuaron (Director) - Jonas Cuaron (Writer) - Jonas Cuaron (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

11. Neruda (2016)

Neruda is a biographical drama film released in 2016, directed by Pablo Larraín. The film explores the life of the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda during the late 1940s and early 1950s, focusing on his political views and his experiences during his exile. The film also features a fictional character, an investigator who is pursuing Neruda, who represents the Chilean government’s efforts to suppress political dissent during this time.

The film features an ensemble cast, including Luis Gnecco as Pablo Neruda and Gael García Bernal as the investigator. Neruda received critical acclaim for its unique blend of fact and fiction, as well as its exploration of the intersection between politics and art.

The film was selected as the Chilean entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, although it did not receive a nomination.

Despite this, Neruda is considered a powerful and thought-provoking film that offers a fresh perspective on the life and work of one of Chile’s most beloved cultural icons.

Neruda (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Morán (Actors)
  • Pablo Larraín (Director) - Guillermo Calderón (Writer) - Juan De Dios Larraín (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

12. The Loneliest Planet (2011)

“The Loneliest Planet” is an independent drama film released in 2011, directed by Julia Loktev and based on the short story “Expensive Trips Nowhere” by Tom Bissell.

The film stars Gael García Bernal and Hani Furstenberg as a young couple, Alex and Nica, who embark on a backpacking trip in the remote Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.

The film follows the couple as they journey through the wilderness with their local guide, Dato. As they traverse the rugged terrain, their relationship is put to the test when a split-second decision threatens to change the course of their lives forever.

“The Loneliest Planet” received critical acclaim for its stunning cinematography, sparse dialogue, and complex examination of the dynamics of relationships. The film’s exploration of themes such as trust, intimacy, and human vulnerability resonated with audiences and critics alike.

While the film did not achieve widespread commercial success, it was praised for its bold and unconventional approach to storytelling, and its ability to capture the beauty and harshness of the natural world.

“The Loneliest Planet” remains a thought-provoking and visually striking work of cinema.

The Loneliest Planet
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Gael Garc a Bernal, Gael García Bernal, Hani Furstenberg (Actors)
  • Julia Loktev (Director) - Helge Albers (Producer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

3 Reasons To Watch Gael García Bernal Movies

Outstanding Acting Talent: Gael García Bernal is a highly talented and versatile actor known for his exceptional performances in a wide range of roles.

From comedic to dramatic, he has a remarkable ability to immerse himself in his characters and bring them to life on the screen. His performances are often praised for their authenticity, emotional depth, and ability to convey complex emotions.

Diverse Filmography: Gael García Bernal has appeared in a diverse range of films from different genres, languages, and countries. He has worked in both English-language and Spanish-language films, showcasing his versatility and global appeal.

Whether it’s a thought-provoking drama, an edgy indie film, or a lighthearted comedy, Bernal’s filmography offers a diverse and compelling selection of movies to choose from.

Social and Political Relevance: Many of Gael García Bernal’s films address important social and political issues, such as immigration, human rights, political corruption, and social justice.

Bernal has been known for his involvement in socially relevant projects and for using his platform to raise awareness about important issues.

Watching his movies can be a way to engage with thought-provoking stories that shed light on important societal matters and provoke meaningful discussions.

In summary, Gael García Bernal’s movies are worth watching for his outstanding acting talent, diverse filmography, and social and political relevance.

Whether you’re a fan of his work or new to his films, Bernal’s performances are sure to captivate and entertain audiences with their depth, authenticity, and thought-provoking themes.

Best Gael García Bernal Movies – Wrap Up

In conclusion, Gael García Bernal is a versatile and talented actor whose work in film has earned him critical acclaim and a devoted following.

From his breakthrough role in “Amores Perros” to his more recent performances in “Museo” and “Wasp Network,” Bernal has demonstrated his ability to inhabit a wide range of characters and genres, showcasing his range and depth as an actor.

In addition to his work as an actor, Bernal has also made a name for himself as a producer and director, collaborating with some of the most innovative and exciting filmmakers of his generation.

His work behind the camera has been marked by a commitment to telling diverse and challenging stories, and his contributions to the world of cinema have been significant and inspiring.

Through this series, we have explored some of the best Gael García Bernal movies, examining what made them stand out and how Bernal’s performances contributed to their success.

Whether he’s playing a troubled youth in “Y Tu Mamá También,” a revolutionary in “The Motorcycle Diaries,” or a transgender woman in “A Fantastic Woman,” Bernal’s work in film continues to captivate and inspire audiences around the world.