1. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
In Bernardo Bertolucci’s art-house classic, one of the best sexy movies ever, Marlon Brando delivers one of his characteristically idiosyncratic performances as Paul, a middle-aged American in “emotional exile” who comes to Paris when his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Frenchwoman Jeanne (Maria Schneider), Paul enters into a sadomasochistic, carnal relationship with her, indirectly attacking the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous sexual behavior. Paul also hopes to purge himself of his own feelings of guilt, brilliantly (and profanely) articulated in a largely ad-libbed monologue at his wife’s coffin.
If the sexual content in Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit (once seen, the infamous “butter scene” is never forgotten), the combination of Brando’s acting, Bertolucci’s direction, Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography, and Gato Barbieri’s music is unbeatable, creating one of the classic European art movies of the 1970s, albeit one that is not for all viewers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Last Tango in Paris (1972) - trailer
2. 50 Shades of Grey (2015)
E.L. James’ kinky best-seller sexy movie gets the big screen treatment with this Universal Pictures/Focus Features co-production. The steamy tale details a masochistic relationship between a college student and a businessman, whose desires for extreme intimacy pen from secrets in his past. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
50 Shades of Grey (2015) - trailer
3. The Dreamers (2004)
The tumultuous political landscape of Paris in 1968 serves as the backdrop for a tale about three young cineastes in one sexy movie, who are drawn together through their passion for film. Matthew, an American exchange student, pursuing his education abroad in Paris, becomes friends with a French brother and sister duo, named Guillaume and Danielle, who share a common love of the cinema. While the May 1968 Paris student riots–which eventually shut down most of the French government–are happening around them, the three friends develop a relationship unlike anything Matthew has ever experienced, or will ever encounter again.
The Dreamers (2004) - trailer
4. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Alfonso Cuarón directed and co-wrote this sexy art-house hit from Mexico. The funny and moving coming-of-age story centers on two immature teens who get an education in love when they take a sexy movie road trip with a liberated, unhappily married woman (Maribel Verdu).
Y Tu Mamá También (2001) - trailer
5. Unfaithful (2002)
Unfaithful (2002) - trailer
6. Sex and Lucia (2001)
Sex and Lucia (2001) - trailer
7. Quills (2000)
The Marquis de Sade was a man who liked to stir up trouble, at a time when his native France was in a state of tremendous political turmoil, and this historical drama examines how much controversy he could cause even under repressive circumstances. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) manages to narrowly escape execution during the Reign of Terror, and instead is sentenced to the Charenton Asylum for the Insane.
Quills (2000) - trailer
8. Bitter Moon (1992)
Sexy movie of Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach, and John Brownjohn adapted Pascal Bruckner’s novel for this erotic, funny, and frequently twisted story of a shipboard romance that has a decidedly sadomasochistic edge. Cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli; score by Vangelis.
Bitter Moon (1992) - trailer
9. Body Heat (1981)
Lawrence Kasdan’s first directorial effort is a throwback to the early days of sexy movies noir. The scene is a beastly hot Florida coastal town, where naive attorney Ned (William Hurt) is entranced by the alluring Matty (Kathleen Turner in her film debut). Ned is manipulated into killing Matty’s much older husband (Richard Crenna), the plan being that Ned’s knowledge of legal matters will enable both conspirators to escape scott-free. This might have been the case, had not Matty been infinitely craftier than the cloddish Ned. Just when it seems as though the film has run out of plot twists, we’re handed yet another surprise.
Body Heat (1981) - trailer
10. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
In Philip Kaufman’s surprisingly successful sexy movie adaptation of Czech author Milan Kundera’s demanding 1984 best-seller, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, an overly amorous Prague surgeon, while Juliette Binoche plays Tereza, the waiflike beauty whom he marries. Even though he’s supposedly committed, Tomas continues his wanton womanizing, notably with his silken mistress Sabina (Lena Olin). Escaping the 1968 Russian invasion of Prague by heading for Geneva, Sabina takes up with another man and unexpectedly develops a friendship with Tereza.