10 horny movies to get you in the mood

These films are lustful, tender, and unequivocally steamy.

Lorenza Centi
ByNicholas Russell

Every so often, an old cinematic argument is rekindled: Are sex scenes in movies necessary? There have been many off-shoots from this conversation, particularly when considering nudity, queer representation, and that oh-so nebulous element of “good taste.” But it begs the more essential question of what viewers find erotic and how they respond to those things onscreen.

There was a time when you could count on larger studios for adult-focused entertainment engineered to titillate and provoke; erotic thrillers like Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, along with more experimental films like Don’t Look Now and Ganja & Hess come to mind. But we now live in the era of media conglomerates and streaming, where the goal is typically to appeal to the widest audiences — and sex in cinema is rare.

With that in mind, here’s a list of films that indulge in the lustful, tender, and outright horny.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Ex Machina (2014)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
  • Atonement (2007)
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
  • The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
  • Ghost (1990)
  • But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
  • Raw (2016)
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