Although LGBT cinema used to be a really tough thing to create due to social stigmas, times have changed. Now, LGBT films win prestigious awards, get major theatrical distribution, and attract A-list stars. With that in mind, you might be wondering what the best LGBT movies on Netflix are, and we’ve got you covered!
Below, you’ll find our roundup of the ten best LGBT movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now. We tried to keep things varied — there are comedies, documentaries, dramas, thrillers, and more included in our list. Essentially, there’s something here for everyone!
As usual, you can click the link under the summary of any one of these ten best LGBT movies on Netflix and get straight to watching it. However, if you don’t yet have a Netflix subscription, you’ll need one to check out any of these films. Just click the button below to sign up for your free 30-day trial!
Try Netflix free for 30 days The ten best LGBT movies on Netflix: Blue Is The Warmest Color The Danish Girl Duck Butter Elisa & Marcela I Am Jonas Moonlight Paris Is Burning The Perfection Philadelphia A Single Man
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best LGBT movies on Netflix regularly as the service rotates its movie library.
1. Blue Is The Warmest Color
This 2013 French film holds the very prestigious honor of being only one of two movies in history to unanimously win the Grand Jury Prize at the Palme d’Or Film Festival (the other one is 2019’s Parasite). Blue Is The Warmest Color also earned a bevy of awards from many other festivals for its direction and the film’s two stars, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. It is also one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix at the moment
The movie centers on two young women who meet and fall in love. One of the women is comfortable with her sexuality while the other is still figuring out her own sexual identity. Their connection blossoms into a passionate relationship that lasts for several years. However, deeply passionate relationships seldom last and the two face hardships they didn’t expect.
Although Blue Is The Warmest Color is one of the most highly-regarded films of 2013, it’s not without its controversies. Common complaints are how graphic the sex scenes are in the film, which some critics said bordered on pornographic. The film’s slow pace and long runtime (it’s nearly three hours long) also received criticism. However, it is easily one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix and absolutely worth watching.
Watch it on Netflix 2. The Danish Girl
This 2015 period drama also swept some major awards after its release, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Alicia Vikander. The Danish Girl did also receive some negative press for its very loose interpretation of historical events, but it’s still one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix right now.
In the film, Eddie Redmayne portrays Einar Wegener, a Danish painter married to another painter, Gerda Wegener (Vikander). One day, Gerda asks her husband to stand in for a female model she was planning on painting. Einar dresses in women’s clothing for the pose and finds that it awakens in him his suppressed gender identity as a woman. However, it being the 1920s hinders Einar — now going by Lili — to live the way she wants.
As stated earlier, the film is based on a true story but plays very loose with history. Still, the film is well-directed and beautifully acted by its leads and worth checking out.
Watch it on Netflix 3. Duck Butter
The 2018 comedy-drama film Duck Butter asks an interesting question: is it possible to cram months of relationship building into one 24-hour period? That’s exactly what the two women in Duck Butter try to find out.
After meeting at a club, Naima and Sergio quickly hook up. They decide to spend the next 24 hours having sex on the hour every hour and then discuss their lives, traumas, baggage, and other intimate details in between each bout in the bedroom. The theory is that, at the end of the day, they will have grown closer in 24 hours than most people do in months.
You’ll need to watch the film to find out how it all unfolds, but there’s plenty of funny situations — as well as some painful ones — that happen along the way. It may not be for everyone, but this is one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix right now.
Watch it on Netflix 4. Elisa & Marcela
This 2019 Spanish biographical drama film tells the story of the first recorded same-sex marriage in Spain. Real-life women Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas posed as a heterosexual couple in order to marry at a church in 1901.
Shot in black-and-white, Elisa & Marcela is a beautiful and lush film that fully centers on its two lead actresses. Directed by a woman, the film doesn’t get trapped in too many of the “male gaze” clichés you often find in lesbian relationships depicted on screen.
Unfortunately, the film does exhibit some filmmaking clichés, becoming a bit cringeworthy at a few points. However, it is still one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix and worth a watch!
Watch it on Netflix 5. I Am Jonas
On Netflix, this 2018 film is titled I Am Jonas. However, its original title was Boys which was then changed to just Jonas. Whatever you want to call it, I Am Jonas is a terrific film, and one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix right now.
The film jumps between two different time periods in lead character Jonas’ life: in 1997 when he is 15 years old and first experiencing love with a bad boy at school, and 18 years later when he is in his thirties and unable to escape the mistakes of his past.
Although the film itself is good, it’s elevated by a brilliant performance from Tommy-Lee Baïk, who portrays the bad boy with whom Jonas is immediately smitten. As charming as he is scary, it’s impossible to take your eyes off him as the plot unfolds.
Watch it on Netflix 6. Moonlight
Since the 2016 film Moonlight took home the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017, it’s probably the most well-known film on this list. You might be concerned that it won’t live up to the hype, but we assure you: it does.
This coming-of-age drama unfolds over three time periods in the main character Chiron’s life. We see him as a young boy growing up with a drug-addicted mother; then as a young man dealing with the torment of his peers as well as his troubled home life; finally, as an adult drug dealer meeting up again with a man he shared a tender moment with in his youth.
Moonlight really has it all: a gripping story, incredibly deep characters, terrific acting, and beautiful cinematography that is basically a masterclass in direction. If you only watch one movie on this list of the best LGBT movies on Netflix, it should be this one.
Watch it on Netflix 7. Paris Is Burning
The 1990 documentary film Paris Is Burning is not only one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix but one of the best documentaries you can watch anywhere. Don’t take our word for it, though, take the National Film Registry’s word on it, since the film was selected for preservation in the Library Of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Paris Is Burning depicts the late 80s drag culture in New York City. Long before RuPaul’s Drag Race was something you could watch on TV, drag balls were a strictly underground affair. The balls were a place where minorities of all kinds — racial, gender, and sexual — could get together and have fun being themselves.
Taking a fly-on-the-wall approach, Paris Is Burning preserves the sights and sounds of what this culture was like. While it’s a fun and sometimes thrilling documentary, it’s also an interesting historical documentation of an aspect of America that would have probably been lost and forgotten if not for this film.
Watch it on Netflix 8. The Perfection
Heads up: the movie The Perfection is one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix right now, but it’s also the craziest. The movie defies categorization — is it a horror film? A thriller? A romance? A revenge film? It’s probably all of that mixed together into one absolutely insane movie.
The less you know about The Perfection going in, the better, but we’ll give you a quick synopsis. Charlotte is a young cellist who is forced to leave a prestigious music school to care for her sick mother. After her mother’s death, she returns to the school to help the teachers select a new student. While there, she meets the woman who replaced her when she left, another cellist named Lizzie.
That’s where we’re going to stop because what happens after that is just…nuts. This movie has more unexpected plot twists than you might be able to handle, so head in without any expectations and just try to enjoy the ride.
Watch it on Netflix 9. Philadelphia
The 1993 film Philadelphia is, on the surface, a run-of-the-mill legal drama where a guy is fired from his job and hires a lawyer to fight the company that laid him off. However, it was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as one of the most prominent — and realistic — depictions of a gay man up until that point.
Tom Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a lawyer at a prestigious Philadelphia law firm. Beckett hides his homosexuality and his status as being HIV-positive from his peers, but as his AIDS-related symptoms worsen, he can no longer hide his problem. Out of the blue, he is fired from the firm. Although his colleagues point to a small error as the reason, Beckett is sure he was fired because of his being HIV-positive.
The rest of the film deals with Beckett’s determination to fight the firm with the help of personal injury lawyer Joe Miller (played by Denzel Washington), himself a homophobe. Despite this, Miller sees the parallels between the homophobia Beckett experiences with the racism he’s experienced himself, and the two become friends and fight together.
Hanks won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia, which was a landmark moment for gay rights. Without a doubt, Philadelphia is one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix, but it’s also one of the best movies in general, too.
Watch it on Netflix 10. A Single Man
The 2009 drama film A Single Man has a very interesting backstory. Directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, the film was financed completely out of his own pocket, making it a true passion project. However, the eventual marketing materials for the film strongly de-emphasized the fact that it was about a gay man, which led to considerable controversy.
All that aside, A Single Man is a terrific film, and one of the best LGBT movies on Netflix. The plot centers on a suicidal English professor who decides that he will end his own life at the end of the day. As he goes through what he knows will be his last day on Earth, he discovers things about his new and long-time friends that make him question his decision.
Lead actor Colin Firth would be nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film, although he would lose out to Jeff Bridges for his role in Crazy Heart.
Watch it on Netflix
That’s all we’ve got for the best LGBT movies on Netflix! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as we will update it with new titles as they become available.
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