70 Best LGBTQ+ Movies You Should Watch

Do you think movies play an important role in normalizing social stigmas and educating the audience? Well, the people from the LGBTQ+ community were rarely shown as lead characters in mainstream movies in the past. However, filmmakers now realize the need to spread awareness and accept people from the LGBT community. We now see more characters open about their sexual orientation in movies and TV series, especially those on online streaming platforms like Netflix. Meanwhile, numerous films directly talk about the issue at hand. If you are struggling to find good films with gay characters or a plot centered around the LGBTQ+ community, you are at the right place. We have created a detailed list of movies across various genres and languages about LGBTQ+ people and their struggles, along with some fun and lighthearted movies with gay characters at the helm. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Best LGBTQ+ Movies in 2022

Below is a list of the top gay movies categorized by their genres and languages. I bet you will find at least a few movies that will spark your interest, so use the table below to move to the section you find appealing.

Best Romance/ Drama LGBTQ+ Movies

1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%/ 82%
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Writer: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
  • Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 14 minutes

Brokeback Mountain is a neo-Western romantic drama film adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx. The movie stars an ensemble cast of several award-winning actors. The plot focuses on two cowboys (Ledger and Gyllenhaal) who fall in love. But, the relationship becomes complicated when the boys marry their respective girlfriends (Williams and Hathaway). The film won numerous accolades at the Academy Awards, BAFA, and Golden Globe events. You can find more such gems in our detailed list of the best award-winning movies.

Watch trailer here

2. The Boys in the Band (2020)

The Boys in the Band
  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%/ 74%
  • Director: Joe Mantello
  • Writer: Mart Crowley, Ned Martel
  • Cast: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes

The Boys in the Band is a gay movie based on Mart Crowley’s eponymous drama from 1968. The movie stars well-known openly gay actors like Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, and more. The story revolves around a gathering of a few gay friends. However, the party is interrupted by a surprise guest, bringing chaos to the group. The Boys in the Band is a reboot of a 1970 movie by the same name (Watch trailer). It is cited as one of the first movies to talk about gay relationships and is considered a milestone in cinema history.

 Watch trailer here

3. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Call Me by Your Name
  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/86%
  • Director: Luca Guadagnino
  • Writer: James Ivory
  • Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age romantic drama based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel. It is the final installment in director Guadagnino’s “Desire” trilogy, after “I Am Love” (2009) and “A Bigger Splash” (2015). It centers on Elio (Chalamet), a 17-year-old boy who falls in love with Oliver (Hammer), his father’s assistant in the archaeology department at school. Although the relationship runs for a brief time, it helps Elio realize his preferences and make terms with them.

Watch trailer here

4. Carol (2015)

  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/74%
  • Director: Todd Haynes
  • Writer: Phyllis Nagy
  • Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, Kyle Chandler
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Carol is a romantic drama period film based on the 1952 romance novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. The movie is set in early 1950s New York where a young aspiring photographer, Therese (Mara), who works at a department store, encounters Carol (Blanchett). Carol is a beautiful woman going through a troubled divorce. Things take an unexpected turn when Therese develops strong feelings for Carol.

The movie won several accolades and was nominated in every renowned film award celebration. Carol is also cited as the best LGBT movie of all time by the British Film Institute.

Watch trailer here

5. God’s Own Country (2017)

God's Own Country
  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/87%
  • Director: Francis Lee
  • Writer: Francis Lee
  • Cast: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secăreanu, Gemma Jones, Ian Hart
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

God’s Own Country is a romantic drama film and Francis Lee’s feature directorial debut. The plot here follows a young sheep farmer from Yorkshire played by O’Connor. His life changes when he meets a migrant worker from Romania (Secăreanu). They find love in each other’s company and learn to look at the world from a different perspective. 

Watch trailer here

6. Love Is Strange (2014)

Love Is Strange
  • IMDb: 6.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/66%
  • Director: Ira Sachs
  • Writer: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
  • Cast: Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Love Is Strange is a romantic drama film screened at Berlin International Film Festival. The movie follows Ben Hull (Lithgow) and George Garea (Molina), lovers of many years. When they both finally get married, George loses his job. Now, they are compelled to live separately until they find a cheaper house. The movie touches upon themes like following a commitment to adversity and holding onto those you love. 

Watch trailer here

7. Weekend (2011)

  • IMDb: 7.6 
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/86% 
  • Director: Andrew Haigh
  • Writer: Andrew Haigh
  • Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Weekend is a romantic drama movie starring Tom Cullen and Chris New as Russell and Glen, respectively. The story begins with Russell, a gay man who enjoys his night with Glen, another boy he met in a pub. What starts as a brief encounter turns into a beautiful relationship for the duo. Despite a limited release, the movie is highly praised and loved by audiences. It is among the best LGBTQ+ film with a smart, sensitive, and perceptive story.

Watch trailer here

8. Moonlight (2016)

  • IMDb: 7.4 
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/79%
  • Director: Barry Jenkins
  • Writer: Barry Jenkins
  • Cast: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama film based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue“. The movie follows Chiron throughout his life as he grows up in Miami. Chiron faces emotional and physical abuse and finds it difficult to identify his orientation.

Chiron finds guidance from Juan, a drug dealer, who helps him find his own path. Juan’s advice leaves a lasting impression on him while growing up. The movie won the Oscar for Best Picture and became the first LGBTQ+ movie with an all-black cast to win the title.

Watch trailer here

9. Pariah (2011)

  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/82%
  • Director: Dee Rees
  • Writer: Dee Rees
  • Cast: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Pariah is a coming-of-age drama film about finding one’s true orientation. The plot follows Alike (Oduye), a 17-year-old Black teenager in a desperate search for sexual expression. The Brooklyn-based girl assumes paradoxical identities before identifying as a lesbian. However, it results in her family and friends distancing themselves from her and heartbreak. The movie shows the difficulties people from the LGBTQ+ community face while finding their identity and expressing it freely to loved ones.

Watch trailer here

10. The Normal Heart (2014)

The Normal Heart
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/88%
  • Director: Ryan Murphy
  • Writer: Larry Kramer
  • Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

The Normal Heart is a television drama film based on Larry Kramer’s 1985 play. The movie shows the onset of HIV-AIDS in New York in the early 1980s through the eyes of writer/ activist Ned Weeks (Ruffalo). The crisis led to increased homosexual activities and generated misconceptions about the disease. So, Ned forms an advocacy group to raise awareness but a difference in opinions among his colleagues and lover threatens their shared goals. 

Watch trailer here

11. Beach Rats (2017)

Beach Rats
  • IMDb: 6.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 85%/57%
  • Director: Eliza Hittman
  • Writer: Eliza Hittman
  • Cast: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Beach Rats is a drama film screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The movie follows Frankie (Dickinson), an aimless teenager from Brooklyn living with his father, who’s on his deathbed, and mother poking him to find a girlfriend. He starts chatting with older men online for drugs and coitus to escape the monotonous life. However, he does not reveal any of these things to his friends.

Frankie’s life takes a turn when he starts meeting his online friends on a nearby cruising beach while beginning a romantic relationship with a young woman. Beach Rats shows the discomfort about admitting one’s true orientation and the heights people can go to find acceptance.

Watch trailer here

12. A Single Man (2009)

A Single Man
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/81%
  • Director: Tom Ford
  • Writer: Tom Ford, David Scearce
  • Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

A Single Man is a period romantic drama film based on Christopher Isherwood’s eponymous novel. The movie centers on George (Firth), a depressed British university professor who wants to kill himself after his partner of sixteen years dies in a car accident. On the day he wants to commit the act, he meets his students, colleagues, and best friend Charley by chance. These meetings help him make a final decision.

Although the movie talks about the repeated concept of love and loss, it still feels fresh with Firth’s impactful take on the character.

Watch trailer here

13. Disobedience (2017)

  • IMDb: 6.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/75%
  • Director: Sebastián Lelio
  • Writer: Sebastián Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz
  • Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Disobedience is a romantic drama film based on Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel of the same name. The story follows Ronit (Weisz), a young woman who returns to her strict Orthodox Jewish community after her father’s demise. As the story slowly unfolds, we realize why she was cast out of the community as a child.

Despite heartbreaking judgments from the community, she reignites her passion for her childhood friend. The movie has received critical praise for its acting performances and screenplay. It is worth noting that the film is strictly made for a grown-up audience. 

Watch trailer here

14. Supernova (2020)

  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/69%
  • Director: Harry Macqueen
  • Writer: Harry Macqueen
  • Cast: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Supernova is a romantic drama film talking about hard choices. The movie follows a gay couple, Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci). Sam is a musician preparing for his last piano concert, and Tusker is a novelist diagnosed with dementia. As the couple goes on a road trip to meet friends and family, tension arises between them when Sam discovers a huge decision made by Tusker. The movie is highly praised for its heartbreaking and moving plot and outstanding acting performance. 

Watch trailer here

Best LGBTQ+ Comedy Drama Movies

15. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/89%
  • Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Writer: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr.
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absurdist comedy-drama film with a tint of entertaining genres like black comedy, fantasy, science fiction, martial arts film, and animation. The story follows Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a dissatisfied Chinese-American woman and her daughter (Stephanie) in an emotional journey of queer acceptance and identity.

The movie is praised for its imagination, direction, and exploration of themes like existentialism, nihilism, and Asian-American identity. It is also important in today’s time, talking about the tensions and dilemmas of a queer child coming out to their parents.

Watch trailer here

16. The Half of It (2020)

The Half of It
  • IMDb: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/81%
  • Director: Alice Wu
  • Writer: Alice Wu
  • Cast: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire, Enrique Murciano
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

The Half of It is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film loosely adapted from the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac. The movie follows Ellie Chu (Lewis), a shy and intelligent Chinese-American student. When the school jock asks her to help approach a girl, she agrees despite feeling the same way for the girl. When the situation gets out of control, they discover love’s nature. 

Watch trailer here

17. Love, Simon (2018)

Love, Simon
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/88%
  • Director: Greg Berlanti
  • Writer: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger
  • Cast: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Love, Simon is a romantic comedy-drama film based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The movie follows Simon Spier (Robinson), who keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his friends and family. However, when a blackmailer threatens to reveal his truth, he finds himself on a rollercoaster of emotions trying to make terms with his identity.

Meanwhile, he develops feelings for an anonymous classmate he meets online. If you are looking for a charming crowd-pleaser, Love, Simon is the best LGBTQ+ movie for you. 

Watch trailer here

18. Three Months (2022)

Three Months
  • IMDb: 6.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 79%/88%
  • Director: Jared Frieder
  • Writer: Jared Frieder
  • Cast: Troye Sivan, Viveik Kalra, Brianne Tju, Javier Muñoz, Judy Greer
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Three Months is a comedy-drama film weaved around the complications of HIV tests. The story follows Caleb (Sivan), a South Florida teen who discovers he is exposed to HIV on the eve of his high school graduation. He has to wait three months to get a definitive test on his status. We follow Caleb through these months of stress and struggle as he finds love from unexpected places. The movie humorously shows the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community and the problematic side of HIV tests.

Watch trailer here

19. Booksmart (2019)

  • IMDb: 7.1 
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/77% 
  • Director: Olivia Wilde
  • Writer: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman
  • Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Booksmart is a coming-of-age buddy comedy film and Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut. The movie follows Amy (Dever) and Molly (Feldstein) in their last days before graduation. When they realize their peers cast them aside for being bookworms, they plan to let loose and party to make up for the lost time. Amy tries to ask out her crush, a girl named Ryan, but the party does not go as planned.

Booksmart is a fast-paced movie that feels fresh and adds an intelligent spin to coming-of-age comedy. If you’re looking for a good LGBTQ+ buddy comedy, watch Booksmart.

Watch trailer here

20. The Favourite (2018)

The Favourite
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/70%
  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Writer: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
  • Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone
  • Runtime: 2 hours

The Favourite is a period black comedy film set in 18th century Great Britain. The plot follows two cousins, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Weisz), and Abigail Masham (Stone). When Queen Anne of England falls sick, Sarah oversees all the crucial matters in the country. However, things take a dramatic turn when Abigail starts serving the queen. She discovers the queen physically pleasures herself with Sarah and utilizes this information to win the queen’s trust.

The movie is highly praised for its historical setting and excellent acting performances. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, out of which Colman won for Best Actress. 

Watch trailer here

21. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/88%
  • Director: Stephan Elliott
  • Writer: Stephan Elliott
  • Cast: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is an Australian road comedy film. The movie follows two drag queens, played by Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, along with a transgender woman, played by Terence Stamp, on their road trip through Australia. The gang enjoys several adventures and unravels deep secrets on their journey while entertaining enthusiasts and homophobes alike.

The movie was a global hit and helped introduce the LGBTQ+ community to the world through cinema.

Watch trailer here

22. Tangerine (2015)

  • IMDb: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/76%
  • Director: Sean Baker
  • Writer: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
  • Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, Alla Tumanian
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Tangerine is a comedy-drama film entirely shot on iPhone 5S. The movie follows a transgender woman who comes out of jail after a month. She discovers that her boyfriend, a pimp, is cheating on her with a cisgender woman. So she plans to teach the new lover a lesson with one of her best friends. The movie is highly acclaimed for its screenplay, performance, and portrayal of transgender individuals.  

Watch trailer here

23. Dear Ex (2018)

Dear Ex
  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90%/85%
  • Director: Mag Hsu, Hsu Chih-yen
  • Writer: Lu Shih-yuan, Mag Hsu
  • Cast: Roy Chiu, Hsieh Ying-xuan, Spark Chen, Joseph Huang
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Dear Ex is a Taiwanese comedy-drama film about being in a dilemma. The story follows a teenager, Song Cheng-xi (Huang), who finds himself trapped in a stressful conflict between his mother (Hsieh) and a free-spirited man (Chiu). The man happens to be the lover and insurance beneficiary of Song’s recently deceased father (Chen). The movie is praised by critics for its story and acting performances. 

Watch trailer here

24. Handsome Devil (2016)

Handsome Devil
  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/76%
  • Director: John Butler
  • Writer: John Butler
  • Cast: Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Handsome Devil is an Irish comedy-drama film screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The story revolves around Ned (O’Shea), an overlooked teenager at an elite all-boys boarding school in Ireland. His life changes when Conor (Galitzine), the school’s new rugby star player, becomes his roommate. Their unlikely yet strong friendship goes through some tests when their peers start questioning the nature of their relationship. The film features themes of homosexuality while examining the hypocrisy and self-centered nature of the Irish private school system.

Watch trailer here

25. Fire Island (2022)

Fire Island
  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/78%
  • Director: Andrew Ahn
  • Writer: Joel Kim Booster
  • Cast: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Fire Island is a romantic comedy film inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The plot follows a group of queer friends on their vacation on the Fire Island Pines. However, their annual week of laughter and love faces trouble with a sudden change of events. Watching how gay friends tackle the problems that push their bonds with the chosen family is charming and humorous. The movie brilliantly shows the need for acceptance in society and the limits we push for love. 

Watch trailer here

26. Beginners (2010)

  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 85%/77%
  • Director: Mike Mills
  • Writer: Mike Mills
  • Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Višnjić
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Beginners is a romantic comedy-drama showing it’s never too late. The movie revolves around Oliver (McGregor), a graphic designer who reflects on his father’s life and death. He meets Anna, a free-spirited girl with father issues. Oliver finds his father’s memoir inspiring when it mentions that his father came out of the closet at seventy-five. It encourages him to open up to the possibility of a true and long-lasting relationship. Audiences love the movie for its heartfelt and charming theme. Meanwhile, the critics appreciated the breathtaking acting performances. 

Watch trailer here

27. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right
  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/74%
  • Director: Lisa Cholodenko
  • Writer: Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
  • Cast: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

The Kids Are All Right is a comedy-drama film and one of the first mainstream movies to portray a same-gender couple in the lead. The story follows Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) with their relatively perfect family. However, things get interesting when these children, conceived from the same donor (Ruffalo), want to find their biological father.

The movie won several accolades for the stunning acting performance by the cast and a charming story. 

Watch trailer here

28. Boy Meets Girl (2014)

Boy Meets Girl
  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/80%
  • Director: Eric Schaeffer
  • Writer: Eric Schaeffer
  • Cast: Michael Welch, Michelle Hendley, Alexandra Turshen, Michael Galante, Randall Newsome
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Boy Meets Girl is a romantic comedy-drama film starring Michelle Hendley as a trans woman. The movie follows Ricky, a 21-year-old transgender young woman living in a small town in Kentucky. She dreams of attending the school of fashion and becoming a designer in New York. The story also explores her love affair with another woman from a town named Francesca. Audiences love the movie for its heartfelt story, full of emotions. 

Watch trailer here

29. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

  • IMDb:6.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes:42%/74%
  • Director: Jamie Babbit
  • Writer: Brian Wayne Peterson
  • Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul Charles, Mink Stole
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes

But I’m a Cheerleader is a satirical romantic teen comedy movie sharing similarities with Boy Erased (discussed below). The story follows Megan Bloomfield (Lyonne), a high school cheerleader who finds it awkward to be with her boyfriend. When her parents realize that she’s queer, they send her to a residential conversion camp, hoping to cure her of lesbianism. However, the camp turns out to be a life-changing experience for Megan while she makes new friends and develops a love interest with another camp member.

The movie is popular for talking about the initial confusion and the pressure of social conformity that people from the community have to endure. But I’m a Cheerleader is one of the best LGBTQ+ movies that has garnered a cult following.

Watch trailer here 

The Best LGBTQ+ Biographical Films

30. Milk (2008)

  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/89%
  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Writer: Dustin Lance Black
  • Cast: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes

Milk is a biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk. The movie follows Milk (Penn) through his life as an adult. The story is about an activist who faces several struggles is fighting for gay rights in America and experiences several difficulties doing so. He then goes on to become California’s first openly gay official to be elected to public office.

The film is critically acclaimed for its screenplay and Penn’s acting, for which writer Black and Penn both won Academy Awards in respective categories. 

Watch trailer here

31. Holding the Man (2015)

Holding the Man
  • IMDb: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 81%/81%
  • Director: Neil Armfield
  • Writer: Tommy Murphy
  • Cast: Ryan Corr, Craig Stott
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes

Holding the Man is a romantic biographical drama film adapted from Timothy Conigrave’s memoir. The story follows Tim (Corr) and John (Stott), who fall in love while being in the all-boys high school. We see how the couple keeps their relationship intact for more than 15 years even after facing separations, temptations, discrimination, jealousy, and losses. Since the movie is based on Timothy’s life events, it peeks into the real-life situation of the LGBTQ+ community.

Watch trailer here

32. Boy Erased (2018)

Boy Erased
  • IMDb: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 80%/74%
  • Director: Joel Edgerton
  • Writer: Joel Edgerton
  • Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Joe Alwyn, Xavier Dolan
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Boy Erased is a biographical drama film based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir. The story follows Jared (Hedges), based on Conley when he discovers his homosexuality and tells his family. Instead of showing support, his baptist parents send him to a conversion therapy camp, where Jared discovers some unholy truths and is introduced to questionable philosophy and methods. The movie is highly praised for its acting performance and disturbing but true story.

Watch trailer here

33. Rocketman (2019)

  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/88%
  • Director: Dexter Fletcher
  • Writer: Lee Hall
  • Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 1 minute

Rocketman is a biographical musical drama film based on the legend Elton John’s life. The movie tells the story of Elton’s (previously Reginald) early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, England. After graduation, he plays at pubs for a while and later meets the lyricist, Taupin. They both join hands to create music.

The movie shows Elton’s rise as a musician and his drug descent. The musical journey of one of the most renowned openly gay artists is a pleasurable watch. Plus, if you like musical biographies, you can also check out Bohemian Rhapsody (watch trailer), which depicts the life story of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury, his sexuality, and more. 

Watch trailer here

34. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/ 91%
  • Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
  • Writer: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
  • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Dallas Buyers Club is a biographical drama film based on the life of Ron Woodroof. The story follows Ron (McConaughey), a rodeo cowboy who is diagnosed with AIDS. Ron smuggled experimental medicine to treat himself as there wasn’t any approved medicine for the disease. He later created the Dallas Buyers Club to get around the system and help those in need.

Audiences highly appreciate the movie for the acting performances. McConaughey and Leto end up receiving the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Watch trailer here

35. The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl
  • IMDb: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 66%/72%
  • Director: Tom Hooper
  • Writer: Lucinda Coxon
  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard
  • Runtime: 2 hours

The Danish Girl is a biographical romantic drama film based on David Ebershoff’s eponymous novel. The movie follows Elbe (Redmayne), one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery. The story begins when Artist Gerda Wegener asks her husband Einar to pose for her portrait as a female model. The act reignites his suppressed identity as a trans woman, and he chooses female life by changing her name to Lili Elbe. The movie was criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of historical events. Still, it won several accolades at Academy Awards and BAFTA. 

Watch trailer here

36. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Boys Don't Cry
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/87%
  • Director: Kimberly Peirce
  • Writer: Kimberly Peirce, Andy Bienen
  • Cast: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III, Alicia Goranson
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Boys Don’t Cry a biographical movie dramatizing Brandon Teena’s real story. The film centers on Teena (Swank), a young transgender person who adopts a male identity as he struggles to find his identity in society. He also experiences hate crime from two of his male acquaintances. The story further intensifies when he finds love but lies about his troubled past and gender identity. The movie talks about romance and platonic relationships while shedding light on violence against the LGBTQ+ community. 

Watch trailer here

37. The Celluloid Closet (1995)

The Celluloid Closet
  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/89%
  • Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • Writer: Vito Russo, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Sharon Wood, Armistead Maupin
  • Narrator: Lily Tomlin
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

The Celluloid Closet is a documentary based on Vito Russo’s 1981 book The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies. The beautifully drafted documentary includes lecture and film clip presentations Russo gave in 1972–1982. It explores the role of LGBT figures in the cinema industry, how the community found trouble in the initial years, and the industry’s contribution to shaping perceptions around them. The documentary addresses secrecy, the demonization of homosexuality, and the misconceptions around the advent of AIDS. Lastly, it shows the modern world’s acceptance and positivity around love.

Watch trailer here

The Best LGBTQ+ Movies in Foreign Language

38. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017)

BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  • IMDb: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 99%/84%
  • Director: Robin Campillo
  • Writer: Robin Campillo, Philippe Mangeot
  • Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel, Antoine Reinartz
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes

BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a French drama film about the AIDS activism of ACT UP Paris in 1990s France. The movie focuses on the ACT UP Paris group, who actively protests against the government due to their indifference toward the AIDS epidemic. Meanwhile, the film also explores a love story between Nathan (Valois), a gay HIV-negative man, and Sean (Biscayart), who is HIV-positive. The movie premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and won critical acclaim along with several awards.

Watch trailer here

39. The Way He Looks (2014)

The Way He Looks
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/89%
  • Director: Daniel Ribeiro
  • Writer: Daniel Ribeiro
  • Cast: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, Tess Amorim
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

The Way He Looks is a Brazilian coming-of-age romantic drama film based on director Ribeiro’s short film I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone. The movie revolves around Leonardo (Lobo), a blind teenager searching for freedom. His daily life, the way he sees the world, and his relationship with his best friend, Giovana (Amorim) change with the arrival of Gabriel (Audi). The story intensifies when Leonardo develops romantic feelings for Gabriel.

The movie is highly appreciated for the overall performance by the cast and its execution, including cinematography, direction, sounds, and more. If you are looking for a lightweight drama, The Way He Looks is one of the best LGBTQ+ movies you can watch.

Watch trailer here

40. Jongens (2014)

  • IMDb: 7.4 
  • Rotten Tomatoes: NA/80% 
  • Director: Mischa Kamp
  • Writer: Chris Westendorp, Jaap-Peter Enderle
  • Cast: Gijs Blom, Ko Zandvliet, Jonas Smulders, Ton Kas
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Jongens (Boys in English) is a Dutch coming-of-age romantic drama. The story follows Sieger(Blom), an introverted 15-year-old boy who is a member of the local athletic team. He lives with his widowed father and brother. One day while swimming in the lake, he shares a few kisses with his friend Marc ( Zandvliet) and gets confused about his feelings. Eventually, he learns to accept himself and his true identity. The movie brilliantly portrays the confusion the people from the LGBTQ+ community face while identifying themselves. 

Watch trailer here

41. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/92%
  • Director: Céline Sciamma
  • Writer: Céline Sciamma
  • Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel
  • Runtime: 2 hours

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French historical drama movie that takes place in the late 18th century. The film revolves around Marianne (Merlant), a painter commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a young woman who has left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride, so Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She watches her through the day and paints her secretly. However, the hide-and-seek game leads to a lesbian affair between the two. 

Watch trailer here

42. The Handmaiden (2016)

The Handmaiden
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/91%
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Writer: Park Chan-wook
  • Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 24 minutes

The Handmaiden is a South Korean psychological thriller film inspired by the 2002 novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. The movie takes place in Korea under Japanese colonial rule. The plot follows a Japanese woman who hires a handmaiden. However, the maid is working with a con man to cheat the rich lady out of her wealth. The story intensifies when the maid develops feelings for the rich lady.

Ever since Squid Game (Season 2 announced) broke records globally, the fan following and demand for Korean dramas and movies has increased enormously. Proving the fans correct, The Handmaiden is one of the best gay movies coming from the Korean film industry.

Watch trailer here

43. A Fantastic Woman (2017)

A Fantastic Woman
  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/78%
  • Director: Sebastián Lelio
  • Writer: Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
  • Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

A Fantastic Woman is a Spanish drama film that takes place in Santiago, Chile. The plot follows Marina (Vega), a transgender singer and waitress who gets involved romantically with Orlando (Reyes), an older man. However, she then faces trouble after Orlando’s unexpected demise raises questions about her.

A Fantastic Woman is a highly acclaimed movie praised for carefully handling the sensitive matter of LGB identity. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film along with several other accolades. 

Watch trailer here

44. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/85%
  • Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
  • Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
  • Cast: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 59 minutes

Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a French romance film based on the 2010 graphic novel by Jul Maroh. The story follows Adele (Adèle), a teenager who discovers freedom and desire as an aspiring painter. However, confused about her orientation, she breaks up with her boyfriend and admires a beautiful woman with a funky haircut. The movie spans from her early adulthood to her established career as a schoolteacher. 

Watch trailer here

45. End of the Century (2019)

End of the Century
  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/71%
  • Director: Lucio Castro
  • Writer: Lucio Castro
  • Cast: Juan Barberini, Ramón Pujol, Mía Maestro
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 24 minutes

End of the Century is an Argentine romantic drama. The plot follows Ocho (Barberini), a man from Argentina on vacation in Barcelona. He meets Javi (Pujol), a Spaniard from Berlin, and spends intimate time with him. Soon, they realize they met twenty years ago when both of them were in the closet and too afraid to pursue a homosexual relationship.

The movie won several awards in the Best Film category in film festivals. So, if you are looking for an underrated yet good LGBTQ+ movie, watch End of the Century.

Watch trailer here

And Then We Danced (2019)

And Then We Danced
  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/95%
  • Director: Levan Akin
  • Writer: Levan Akin
  • Cast: Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

And Then We Danced is a Georgian drama film that premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a fifteen-minute standing ovation. The movie follows Merab (Gelbakhiani), a male dancer, and his partner, who has been training to get into the National Georgian Ensemble. However, the arrival of another dancer distracts him, and an intense rivalry begins between them. Soon, it transforms into a romantic desire that may cause Merab to risk his future.

Overall, we would say that And Then We Danced is full of emotions and one of the best independent LGBTQ+ movies.

Watch trailer here

Best LGBTQ+ Movies in India

Badhaai Do (2022)

Badhaai Do
  • IMDb: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/82%
  • Director: Harshavardhan Kulkarni
  • Writer: Suman Adhikary, Akshat Ghildial, Harshavardhan Kulkarni
  • Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Sheeba Chaddha, Chum Darang
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 27 minutes

Badhaai Do is a Hindi comedy-drama film and a spiritual sequel to Badhai Ho, which depicts the life and struggles of Shardul (Rao), a gay police officer, and Suman (Pednekar), a lesbian physical education teacher. The duo ties a knot in a lavender marriage to appease their families. However, their lives become more complex when Suman’s girlfriend moves in with them. The movie is greatly praised for normalizing LGBT characters in Indian cinema. 

Watch trailer here

Aligarh (2015)

  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 100%/85%
  • Director: Hansal Mehta
  • Writer: Apurva Asrani
  • Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Ashish Vidyarthi
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Aligarh is a 2015 biographical drama based on the true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras. The movie follows Siras (Bajpayee), a professor at Aligarh Muslim University, who was a victim of a sting operation carried out to determine his sexual orientation. When the university suspends him, he forms a special bond with a journalist (Rao) who covers his story and takes the matter to court. The audience loves the movie for its acting performances and bringing the tear-jerking and true story out to the world.

Watch trailer here

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (2021)

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 82%/100%
  • Director: Abhishek Kapoor
  • Writer: Supratik Sen, Tushar Paranjpe
  • Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Vaani Kapoor
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is a Hindi-language romantic comedy-drama film breaking the stereotype around trans women in India. The movie follows Manu (Khurrana), a gym owner, and Maanvi (Vaani), a Zumba instructor. They fall in love, and Manu decides to propose to her. However, he finds it hard to cope when Maanvi reveals her true identity as a trans woman.

The movie handles the hard-hitting subject with sensitivity and maturity. The film is available to stream on Netflix. If you love Bollywood movies, I suggest you read our detailed guide on the best Bollywood movies on Netflix.

Watch trailer here

50. Shubh Mangal Jyada Savdhan (2020)

Shubh Mangal Jyada Savdhan
  • IMDb: 5.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/73%
  • Director: Hitesh Kewalya
  • Writer: Hitesh Kewalya
  • Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a Hindi-language romantic comedy film and a spiritual successor to Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017). The movie follows two young gay men, Kartik (Khurrana) and Aman (Kumar). The story follow Kartik and Aman about the latter’s struggles to convince his family about his orientation. While the family takes it too hard on both of them, the supreme court rules in favor of the LGBT community and discards any criminal offense related to homosexuality. 

Watch trailer here

Bonus: 20 More LGBTQ+ Movies Worth Watching

Here are some of the greatest movies portraying the LGBTQ+ community. A few of these movies are made strictly for adults, while some show the situation in old times. Meanwhile, there are also some excellent movies in various genres that deserve a special mention. Please click the trailer link to see if the movie interests you. 

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) – Watch trailer
  • How to Survive a Plague (2012) – Watch trailer
  • Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) – Watch trailer
  • Big Eden (2000) – Watch trailer
  • Bound (1996) – Watch trailer
  • Show me love (1998) – Watch trailer
  • Mysterious Skin (2004) – Watch trailer
  • Pain and Glory (2019) – Watch trailer
  • Paris Is Burning (1990) – Watch trailer
  • The Fallout (2021) – Watch trailer
  • Parting Glances (1986) – Watch trailer
  • High Art (1998) Watch trailer
  • Happy Together (1997) – Watch trailer
  • My Own Private Idaho (1991) – Watch trailer
  • Philadelphia (1993) – Watch trailer
  • Desert Hearts (1985) – Watch trailer
  • The Birdcage (1996) – Comedy – Watch trailer
  • But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) – Watch trailer
  • Watermelon Woman (1996) – Watch trailer
  • Evening Shadows (2018) – Watch trailer

Add These Best Gay Movies to Your Watchlist

LGBTQ+ films are now making their way to the mainstream, telling untold stories and creating a new place in the industry for themselves. If you like watching off-beat content and supporting the community, these movies are a great way to break the stereotype, understand the sentiment, and bring awareness to the issue. Most movies in the list belong to the romantic dramas and comedy films genre. Meanwhile, I have also included some biographical and international movies to show how the entire world accepts the LGBTQ+ community with open arms. I hope you find at least a few films that spark your interest and are worth adding to your watchlist. Which one’s your favorite among the movies listed above? Let me know in the comments below.

comment Comments 2
  • Anonymous says:

    Some more highly highly recommended
    1. The Way He Looks
    2. Hidden Kiss
    3. Love, Victor
    4. Heartstopper (It’s my personal best)
    5. Young Royals
    6. North Sea Texas
    7. The Immitation Game (Starring Benedict Cumberbatch)
    8. Centre of My World
    9.Subh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan

  • Hari Prasad says:

    Awesome article!

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