Beyond the lack of chemistry in the Fifty Shades movies and the forced romances in just about every major release year-on-year, cinema can really produce when it comes to relatable tales of falling in love, and even love falling apart. Every now and then however, a filmmaker comes along with an ability to produce an aura of sexuality unlike the rest, designing a sex appeal to rival the greatest of erotic novels and even the steamiest of real-life relationships. These are the movies that will always be a little too awkward to watch with your parents and they’re almost certain to get your heart racing in all the right ways.
In this Movie List, we’ve dedicated ourselves to celebrating five of these films for our own selection of the top 5 sexiest movies of all time. We have selected these films based on the overall sexual tone or underlying sexual tension of the movies as a whole, with particular attention paid towards the different ways through which films can be seen as “sexy”.
Our honourable mentions include the obviously sexy fare of Magic Mike and its sequel Magic Mike XXL, the more distressing and dangerous love of The Dreamers and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, as well as Cruel Intentions, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Mulholland Drive, 9 1/2 Weeks and the abundantly obvious Secretary.
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1. The Handmaiden (2016/17)
Park Chan-Wook’s marrying of Korean socio-political history with an English novel for what is essentially a Korean/Japanese period drama doesn’t seem like the kind of movie that would blow your socks off, but there are few films released this century that can come close to the red-hot chemistry on offer in the absurdly sexy The Handmaiden.
Told from three perspectives, each one being an individual act, the eroticism of the piece is given an opportunity to grow into the movie, with Park’s beautifully constructed long takes earning every bead of sweat that is bound to drop down your brow.
The Handmaiden explores romance and love, sexual awakening, sexual exploits and sexual perversion in an adult and sophisticated manner that simply oozes sex appeal while remaining entirely engaging on an intellectual level. If you’re looking for a truly adult way to build sexual tension over a glass of wine or two, this is the perfect film for you.
2. Basic Instinct (1992)
Is there any film from the annals of history that is more typically associated with dangerous sex than Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct?
Perhaps the most famous and celebrated erotic thriller of the brief late-80s early-90s trend, Basic Instinct is every bit as much about sexual tension and true eroticism as it’s about that moment when at-the-time rising star Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs.
You know the one.
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