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Added by Jimmy Tancredi on 7 Jul 2012 05:49
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Total Film's 50 Best Gay Movies

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People who added this item 272 Average listal rating (122 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
What begins as a simple ‘coming out’ story quickly develops into an examination of modern day families in this nuanced drama. Zach (Trevor Wright) skips college to look after his nephew while falling for old friend Shaun. Though shying away from melodrama, Shelter isn’t afraid to tackle the trickier issues.
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So steamy that it was slapped with a deadly NC-17 certificate in the US, Patricia Rozema’s drama follows university professor Camille (Pascale Bussières), who begins a relationship with carnival worker Petra (Rachael Crawford). Though it divided critics, it’s generally celebrated as a sensitive and unique portrayal of unexpected love.
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People who added this item 173 Average listal rating (116 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Loose Cannons (2010)
Brothers Tommaso (Riccardo Scamarcio) and Antonio (Alessandro Preziosi) both struggle with their sexual identities in this appealing Italian chuckler. The former is scared to come out to his family, while the latter already has and has been banished as a consequence. Gorgeously shot and charmingly chic.
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Teens Emma and Cassandra navigate the tricky matters of the heart, while the latter starts to have strong feelings about her new friend. A quiet, slow-moving drama, She-Monkeys is an impress debut for Swedish director Lisa Aschan.
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People who added this item 489 Average listal rating (285 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Canada in the ‘70s, and Zac Beaulieu (Marc-André Grondin) is struggling with his sexuality, growing up in a family of five brothers and a strict, conservative father. Currently 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, C.R.A.Z.Y. is a warm, energetic coming-of-ager that's both visually rich and thoroughly entertaining.
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People who added this item 924 Average listal rating (589 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Nathan Lane does drag. Robin Williams wears a porn star moustache. In Mike Nichols' colourful adaptation of Jean Poiret’s play, the laughs come thick and fast and the set-pieces stick in the memory like toffee. Vibrant, funny and surprisingly nostalgic in places.
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People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 0
Opposites attract as pretty young Max (Guinevere Turner) goes on a blind date with the frumpy Ely (V.S. Brodie). Modelling its lesbian lovers after real people, this indie feels real, which is exactly why we like it – look elsewhere for pretentious drama.
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People who added this item 239 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
LIE
Grubbing drama meets touching love story here, as Howie (Dano), who may as well be an orphan for all the good his father does, falls in with a gang and robs the house of ex-Marine Big John (Cox). The melodramatic climax is overwrought, but debut writer-director Michael Cuesta has fashioned a fascinating character study nonetheless.
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People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Not the best-acted film you’ll ever see, but still a sensual little drama that features some serious beefcake. Mormon missionary Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss) questions his faith when gay party animal Christian Markelli (Wes Ramsey) enters his life. Though it’s not particularly interested in the religious issues, this is sexy and fun.
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People who added this item 296 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 0
A parody of and love letter to Charlie’s Angels, Angela Robinson’s action comedy sees young girls recruited by the Government to fight as secret agents known as D.E.B.S. But then agent Amy (Sara Foster) falls for the villainous Lucy (Jordana Brewster). Whatever is a girl to do? Silly but fun, D.E.B.S. has an ace card in Brewster’s sexy villainess.
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People who added this item 1929 Average listal rating (1085 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Meryl Streep champions a gay lifestyle in this Oscar-bothering drama. She plays New Yorker Clarissa Vaughan, who’s in a relationship with Sally Lester (Allison Janney), though she was once with Richard (Ed Harris). No easy answers here, and with Philip Glass on score duties, you’re guaranteed to be blubbing by the end credits.
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People who added this item 145 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
The world’s been turned upside down in John Waters’ raucous, razor-sharp satire. Being gay is normal, and being straight is considered “sick”. Of course, then there’s Divine playing both a woman and a man who inevitably get together and do the nasty. Utter madness.
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Bad boy Sonny (Al Pacino) plans a bank heist that will help him pay for his male lover’s sex change operation. Based on a real-life story, Sidney Lumet’s film retains its power almost 40 years on, combining meaty drama with a breakneck pace.
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People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 0
A lesbian drama based around the riot grrrl music scene, All Over Me follows party animals Claude and Ellen, whose lives are turned upside down in the wake of a violent death. Alison Folland dominates the film with a masterful performance, and All Over Me feels authentic and honest.
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People who added this item 136 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Based on Leroy F. Aarons’ novel, Prayers For Bobby is inspired by the true story of Bobby Griffith, who kills himself when his mother and the rest of the community ostracise him for being gay. Sigourney Weaver leads the way as Mary Griffith, and Prayers For Bobby is an unrepentant weepy with important things to say.
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A riveting examination of the treatment of gay and lesbian characters in film, this entertaining documentary analyses numerous movies while interviewing the likes of Quentin Crisp, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon and Tony Curtis. Essential viewing.
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People who added this item 3072 Average listal rating (1825 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
A neo-noir thriller from David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. is a surreal masterpiece in which a woman who survives a car crash attempts to regain her memories. Naomi Watts and Laura Harring share celluloid-shrivelling chemistry that is genuinely romantic without being lurid.
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Ang Lee’s first film about gay characters, The Wedding Banquet is a comedy of errors that follows a gay Taiwanese immigrant who marries a Chinese woman in order to appease his parents. But things go wrong when his parents turn up for the wedding. Side-splittingly funny and poignant.
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People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (181 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Bill Condon explores the final days of Frankenstein director James Whale (Ian McKellen), who develops a friendship with his ex-Marine gardener. A technical masterpiece, Condon’s film is a celebration of Whale’s life that ebbs with real passion.
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People who added this item 423 Average listal rating (232 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Emily Blunt plays pampered beauty Tasmin, who becomes the object of tomboy Mona’s (Natalie Press) affections. As an uneasy relationship develops, this romantic thriller from director Pawel Pawlikowski never plays it straight, always keeping its audience on its toes.
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“A woman searching for the perfect man instead discovers the perfect woman” goes the plotline of this comedy drama written by and starring Jennifer Westfeldt. The results are funny, sharply-written and offer a glitz-free look at love in modern day New York.
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The Swedes serve up a thoroughly modern romcom in Patrik 1.5, as gay couple Goran and Sven decide to adopt a baby. But when the kid turns up, he’s actually a moody 15 year old who makes their lives a misery. Funny, well-observed and pleasantly Scando-glossy.
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Cheerleader Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is sent off to ‘sexual redirection’ school by her parents, who suspect that she’s a lesbian – all because she gets on better with her female friends than her boyfriend. Campy hijinks ensue, and Cheerleader is the kind of film that John Waters would approve of – which is good enough for us.
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You’d never know it from the film’s marketing, but there’s a lesbian in Your Sister’s Sister. She’s played by Rosemarie DeWitt, who has a drunken fling with her sister’s (Emily Blunt) friend (Mark Duplass) in a desperate bid to get pregnant. Sexuality isn’t an issue in Lynn Shelton’s indie comedy, but sleeping with your sister’s friend certainly is.
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People who added this item 345 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Director Céline Sciamma explores what it means to be a girl being a boy, as 10-year-old Laure (Zoé Héran) moves to a new town and tells everybody her name is Michaël. It’s tender, tentative and wonderfully underplayed, with some great performances from its young cast.
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People who added this item 1443 Average listal rating (748 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Though Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s book plays down the gay aspects of the story, it’s retained in part as Celie Harris (Whoopi Goldberg) has a relationship with Shug Avery (Margaret Avery). The film remains a bit of a weepie, but one that earns our tears.
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People who added this item 253 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Set in the early 20th century, James Ivory’s drama is based on E.M. Forster’s sweeping novel, which charts the love affair between Maurice (James Wilby) and Clive (Hugh Grant). Boasting fantastic performances, Maurice offers eye-opening insight into a time when being gay was a crime.
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People who added this item 840 Average listal rating (471 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Thought Felicity Huffman was good on Desperate Housewives? You haven’t seen anything yet. Strapping on a prosthetic penis, she plays a man who’s living as a woman, and utterly convinces (that's a compliment). It’s a tour-de-force performance that somehow evades being showy, and Duncan Tucker’s drama is an unconventional delight.
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People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Patricia Clarkson steals the show as the heavy-lidded, perpetually drugged Greta, the heroin-loving girlfriend of retired photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy). Things really kick off when Lucy has an affair with her young downstairs neightbour Syd (Radha Mitchell).
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People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (339 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
The ‘90s are well and truly alive in this Swedish drama – not least in the terrible sports fashion, which gives us flashbacks to Byker Grove. Still, the love story is intelligently handled, and Show Me Love features some believably messed up and moody teens.
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People who added this item 178 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Based on Martin Sherman’s 1979 play, Bent takes a harrowing look at the treatment of gay men in Nazi Germany. Max (Clive Owen) is made a prisoner, forced to toil away with other prisoners, only finding salvation in the assurances of Horst (Lothaire Bluteau). A tough watch, but an important one.
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People who added this item 681 Average listal rating (405 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Best known for that stinger of a twist, The Crying Game stars Stephen Rea as Fergus, a member of the IRA who falls in love with Dil (Jaye Davidson), a dead soldier’s girlfriend. Davidson gives a remarkable performance, which makes it even more of a shame that he’s barely acted since.
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A milestone in cinematic evolution, William Friedkin’s Off Broadway adaptation was one of the first films to revolve solely around gay characters. They are all residents of New York City, and things really get interesting when a straight person is accidentally invited to a gay party.
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People who added this item 1303 Average listal rating (684 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Deeply depressing it may be, but Mysterious Skin is a rewarding drama that deals with some really difficult issues. Directed by Gregg Araki, we follow Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Brian (Brady Corbet) as their traumatic past sends them off in wildly different directions.
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Sparkly, shiny and hilarious, Priscilla makes for addictive viewing – and not just because it features Terence Stamp in drag. The stage show upped the camp, but Priscilla is a hybrid beast of intimate drama, all-out comedy and flashy dance routines.
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River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves work the streets of Portland as hustlers, all the while growing closer. It’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV and V, was made on a budget, and is now a celebrated cult classic. Critic Roger Ebert notes that it successfully evokes “that state of drifting need”.
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People who added this item 571 Average listal rating (315 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Hedwig And The Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell pushes boundaries with his second film, a sexually explicit but surprisingly touching exploration of human intimacy. Fun fact: to make his actors more comfortable during some of the more explicit scenes, Mitchell and his crew stripped naked.
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People who added this item 241 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Before she made Tomboy, director Céline Sciamma directed Water Lilies, an equally sensitive, melancholy examination of burgeoning sexuality. The story follows fifteen-year-olds Marie, Anne and Floriane, whose love lives collide during a summer spent at the local swimming pool. Understated and gorgeous.
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People who added this item 240 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Growing pains reverberate through this sweet-nature Brit flick, set in a London suburb where geeky Jamie (Glen Berry) falls for neighbour Ste (Scott Neal). Ah, bless. The soundtrack’s great, too, featuring the trippy-hippy likes of The Mamas & The Papas.
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Who knew lesbians liked watching gay porn? Out and proud director Lisa Cholodenko lifts the lid on real-life lesbian relationships, expertly navigating the tricky logistics of building a family outside of the ‘norm’. Annette Bening is stunning.
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People who added this item 2145 Average listal rating (1313 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Jonathan Demme shines a light on prejudice and homophobia as Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) fights back when he’s fired from his job when it’s discovered he has AIDS. Hanks’ sparring with Denzel Washington makes for one of the finest dramas ever made.
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People who added this item 1754 Average listal rating (1034 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
As upsetting as it is, there’s no denying Patty Jenkins’ film is a beast all its own. A lot of that is thanks to Charlize Theron in the role of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos – a performance that marked her out as an actress willing to do anything for a role. Yes, even undergo uglification-by-prosthetics.
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People who added this item 1720 Average listal rating (960 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Talk about dedication. Hilary Swank lived as a man for a month in preparation for her role as Brandon, a young girl who wants to be a boy. She scooped an Oscar for her efforts, and the film itself is an eloquent, moving account of real bravery in the face of adversity.
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People who added this item 1995 Average listal rating (1141 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Sean Penn nabbed his second Oscar in Gus Van Sant’s affecting biographical drama. Playing the titular Milk, Penn dons a prosthetic nose, but is the most likeable he’s been in years, actively fighting for gay rights in California – no matter what the odds.
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People who added this item 575 Average listal rating (344 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon get saucy in the Wachowskis’ cinematic debut – a suspenseful lesbian caper that plays with gangster conventions as the two ladies fall for one another and plot a $2m raid. It’s a stylish neo-noir that oozes sexiness, and has one of the coolest movie plots pre-Matrix.
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People who added this item 1251 Average listal rating (700 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Fashionista Tom Ford brings a trained eye to his directorial debut, ensuring that every shot is one of breath-snatching beauty. A particularly nice touch is the way the colour of a scene brightens whenever our lead’s interest is sparked. Meanwhile, Ford dresses Colin Firth up in suits from his own line, which is always a good thing.
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People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Shot like a documentary and brimming with striking raw images, this is the gay movie of our generation. Its portrayal of the brief encounter between Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) shudders with perceptive nuance. Pretty racy in places, too.
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People who added this item 1110 Average listal rating (600 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Delightfully barmy and with a viper-like sting in its tale, Peter Jackson proved he could spin a damn good yarn after the gore-drenched likes of Bad Taste and Braindead. Creatures is anything but, boasting jolly performances from Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey that turn pitch black as we gallop toward the heart-in-throat finale.
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Stephen Frears captures a perfect snapshot of ‘80s London, where racial tensions are rife and gangs stalk the streets. Better still, he observes the gradual breaking down of cultural stereotypes, as bruiser Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) falls head over heels for pretty Asian Omar (Gordon Warnecke). Timely and, yes, beautiful.
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People who added this item 4291 Average listal rating (2629 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
You’ll never smell a shirt the same way again. Ang Lee’s exquisite heartbreaker was snubbed at the Oscars, but that probably saved it from an unwarranted backlash. Rough, ready and stuffed with stellar performances (not least Heath Ledger and a surprisingly catty Anne Hathaway), they don’t get any better than this.
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