As ad people say, ‘sex sells’, and the same thing can be said about the film by film producers. No wonder, Hollywood has no shortage of films featuring sexual content. This is where erotic movies come in. So without further ado, here are 10 of the best erotic movies of all time.
Top 10 Best Erotic Movies of All Time
Poison Ivy (1992)
People who first saw Drew Barrymore as a cute kid in the sci-fi children’s movie, E.T the Extraterrestrial, also get to see her in her first mature role in one of the best erotic film Poison Ivy (1992).
Unfolding like a modern version of Lolita, the film tells the story of how a troubled teenager plans to have her best friend’s family and wealth to herself in an insidious plot to get rid of the family matriarch and replace her by seducing the father.
The film proved to be popular among audiences and spawned two more sequels: Poison Ivy 2: Lily in 1996 and Poison Ivy: The New Seduction (1997).
Unfaithful (2002) features Diane Lane as a cheating suburban wife in Adrian Lyne’s erotic film.
As expected the film showed a lot of sex scenes but fell short of delivering a compelling plot as is the problem of most erotic movies. The story is based on the French film La Femme Infidele and features elements of mystery and suspense.
Wild Things (1998)
This erotic thriller film directed by John Mcnaughton was notorious by its numerous sex scenes which were unheard of at the time especially considering that it’s a big budget mainstream movie.
The film stars Neve Campbell and Denise Richards as a pair of high school students who scheme with their teacher played by Matt Dillon to scam millions of dollars from a false accusation rape case.
Proving to be popular among audiences, the film started a franchise which includes three more sequels which more or less work on the same plane as the original. Wild Things is one of the best erotic films of all time.
Basic Instinct (1992)
Best remembered for one of the most sensual scenes in movie history, Basic Instinct (1992) is an erotic thriller film which follows a detective investigating the murder of a rich rock star and eventually getting involved in an intense relationship with the crime’s number one suspect.
The film received backlash and controversy even before its release because of its portrayal of sexuality and graphic violence. Nonetheless, it performed extremely well in the box office becoming one of the biggest hits of the 1990s. Basic Instinct is considered to be one of the best erotic movies ever made.
9 ½ Weeks (1986)
9 ½ Weeks (1986) tells the torrid love affair between an art gallery owner played by Kim Basinger and a Wall Street broker played by Mickey Rourke. The title refers to the length of their relationship.
The film suffers from the same ailments that most erotic films tend to have but it still holds up as a camp classic and one of Rourke’s most iconic roles. You can watch the film’s unrated and R-rated versions if you’re up for a ‘deliciously awful’ story with attractive characters.
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
Before Alfonso Cuaron became a household name in Hollywood, he directed the erotic coming-of-age film Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) starring Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Maribel Verdu as a menage a trois of road travelers.
While initially attracting audiences with its highly sexual content, the film also has substance with its imparting of lessons about love and life as shown in the adventures of the two teenage boys on the cusp of manhood portrayed by Luna and Bernal. Further proof of the film’s excellence is its nomination for best original screenplay at the Oscar awards. Y Tu Mama Tambien is one of the year’s best erotic films.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Not to be confused with The Handmaid’s Tale, The Handmaiden Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of the British novel Fingersmith.
Set in 1930’s Korea and Japan, the film follows the story of an isolated young Japanese woman who hires a Korean woman to act as her handmaiden. Unknown to the Japanese woman, her new hire is part of a plot to steal her fortune.
The film is filled with sexual tension between the two women further made intriguing by the many layers of deception presented in the film.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Based on Milan Kundera’s novel of the same name, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) follows the lives of three characters during the historic Soviet invasion of Prague in the late 1960s.
The trio is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, and Lena Olin. The film perfectly weaves erotic elements with the political reality of the time period which gives the film substance beyond its sexual appeal. It delves into the topic of relationships and features amazing performances from its lead stars. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is one of the 80’s best erotic movies.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) is the last film Stanley Kubrick directed before he died. Its story follows Dr. Bill Harford, a man who infiltrates a masked orgy of members of a mysterious secret society after learning that his wife contemplated on cheating on him.
The film was shot for a whopping 400 days, which garnered it the Guinness World Record for the longest time of production for a single film. Unfortunately, Kubrick died before the film was released which gave the studio liberty to digitally-alter some of the film’s explicit sexual scenes. It is one of the best erotic movies ever.
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Marlon Brando plays an American widower in Paris after the suicide of his wife in this classic arthouse erotica by director Bernardo Bertolucci. The film centers on the sadomasochistic relationship he enters with a Frenchwoman he meets.
While the film is not all about sex, it is best remembered for one explicit scene nicknamed the butter scene which proved to be even more controversial when Brando’s co-star Maria Schneider revealed that she wasn’t informed of the depraved nature of the scene before it was shot.
What film would you have added to our top 10 list of the 10 best erotic movies of all time? Tell us your picks and why you chose them in the comments below.