12 Best Antonio Banderas Movies You Must See

December 31, 2017
8 min read

El Mariachi has come a long way. Antonio Banderas was one of the biggest stars of the nineties. With a suave demeanour and a slick attitude, combined with the Spanish gorgeousness, the actor has certainly won the hearts of many.

Beginning his career with future successful collaborating director Pedro Almodóvar, the actor gradually climbed the ladder to success and became one of the leading men in Hollywood.

Although the actor is often cited to be a commercial performer, critics would strongly disagree, with the 57-year-old donning a variety of roles, continuously reinventing his career. Antonio Banderas is not the just a pretty boy, he is the actor who can mould effortlessly into any role.

For this list, I have taken into account movies which showcase the Spanish actor and scrutinize his acting capabilities. Combining critical success with commercial ventures, the actor deserves a round of applause.  So, here’s the list of top 12  Antonio Banderas movies.


12. Evita (1996)

A musical drama based on the hit album musical, stars Antonio Banderas as Ché, an everyman who narrates the love story of Eva (Madonna) and President Juan Perón (Jonathan Pryce). While the film principally focuses on the character developments of the primary leads, Banderas act as an emotional blanket which foils the story of the two characters. With Banderas slowly penetrating through the ranks of Hollywood, this film established him as the “new star in town”.


11. Shrek 2 (2004)

Essaying the endearing Spanish sword swinger, Banderas stars as “Puss in Boots” in DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Shrek 2’. What makes Banderas’ role so memorable is the cat’s glib nature among the barrel of awkward and quirky characters, a persona which sets him apart. The actor seems to be perfect for the role, with his accent and personality, Puss in Boot is one of the actor’s most comical yet cool performances.


10. Spy Kids (2001)

A surprise hit, this 2001 movie elevated Antonio Banderas’ Hollywood position which had cooled down in the mid-nineties due to some critical and commercial bombs. Another collaboration between Robert Rodriguez and Banderas, this spy adventure film is about the children of super-secret-agent parents who are on the mission to save them from danger. Banderas along with Carla Gugino play the once rival spy couple, the Cortezes. While the film boasts impressive comedic performances by child stars Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, Banderas alongside Gugino form a memorable comic partnership, blurting out laughter in their comic interludes with maturity.


9. Matador (1986)

Basing the themes of sex, death, and religion, ‘Matador’ is the story of a student matador, Ángel Jiménez, essayed by Antonio Banderas, who confesses to murder convictions he did not commit. With sadism, masochism, bullfighting, perverted sexuality and sexual violence being the central thematic metaphors; director Pedro Almodóvar fashioned Jiménez with a psychological tale which provided a romantic essence to it. Although cited as one of his poorest works by the director himself, it certainly is an innovative piece of work by the director. The film is an adroit amalgamation of haunting chambers of human psyche and the romantic façade of Banderas.


8. Desperado (1995)

A part of the slick ‘El Mariachi’ trilogy, the film isn’t a masterpiece in any sense, but is a great watch for Banderas lovers. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, this 1995 film chronicles the life of a mariachi’s quest to kill a local drug runner who murdered his lover. Grossing over $25 million, the film contains stylish gun swings, slick combat and the sizzling pair Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. The western action film is a pure entertainer which is spearheaded by the commercially hit duo Banderas and Rodriquez.


7. Puss in Boots (2011)

A spin-off of the successful ‘Shrek’ franchise, the film explores the character “Puss in Boots” and his adventures before he first appeared in ‘Shrek 2’ (2004). Antonio Banderas plays the titular character, a fugitive but a hero of San Ricardo. The film is a clever application of Banderas’ masterful grasp of the smooth talking cat. With the character’s endearing popularity in the ‘Shrek’ franchise, the actor draws up a perfect movie for kids. The Spanish accent and the cool appearance helped Puss in Boots cement itself as one of the most memorable animated characters. The film’s success helped it win a nomination in the “Best Animated Feature” category at the Academy Awards and a spawn of sequels and an extended franchise.

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