Carlos Aguilar

Film Critic

Voted for

Enamorada1946Emilio Fernández
Los olvidados1950Luis Buñuel
Macario1960Roberto Gavaldón
CANOA1976Felipe Cazals
El LUGAR SIN LIMITES1978Arturo Ripstein
Spirited Away2001Hayao Miyazaki
A Separation2011Asghar Farhadi
The Tree of Life2010Terrence Malick
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya2013Isao Takahata
Portrait of a Lady on Fire2019Céline Sciamma


Half of my list comprises landmark Mexican films from the 20th century, and the other half features five masterpieces from the 21st century, including a pair of animated works by two of the greatest artists ever to work in the medium.

As we assess what the greatest films of all time are, I can't help but think that for so long the critical discourse in English-speaking countries and the West in general has long ignored the cinematic legacy of Latin America, and specifically Mexico. And thus, I’ve chosen to utilise this platform to address this.

Most critics are likely well versed in the films of Fellini, Bergman and Truffaut, but might lack knowledge of and/or interest in Mexican masters such as Arturo Ripstein and Felipe Cazals, to name two examples. The same can be said about the way animation is often dismissed and excluded from meaningful critical discourse and appreciation.

Given that over the decades the same group of voices has designated whose cinema is worthy of being included in the publications or spaces that construct our collective canon, such as the Sight and Sound lists, this seems like an invaluable opportunity to highlight and celebrate titles that, while deserving, haven't received wide acknowledgement in the past.

With the influx of critical voices, one would hope that there’s a shift in the mostly static canon, not to devalue the impact of beloved works of art, but to expand the types of stories and visions that are admired and examined with the same level of respect.

As for the large number of films I've included made after the year 2000, a notion frowned upon by purists, the best defence I can give for my picks is that I'm certain these films will stand the test of the time and continue to grow in appreciation in the years to come.