En español | Movies at their best can do two things: show us our own world with a new point of view, and expand our vision to see a richer world around us. Movies can entertain and teach. They can celebrate and challenge.
Films about the queer experience play both those roles, and in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, our critics have collected 12 great films by and about queer people. From the female love triangle in The Favourite to the best-picture-winning coming-of-age drama Moonlight to the liberating trans Oscar winner A Fantastic Woman, these movies are all widely available on streaming platforms. And worth watching, in this and every month.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Passions run high in the lush 18th-century romance pairing wedding portrait painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) and her reluctant fresh-from-the-convent subject Héloise (Adèle Haenel). It features beauty, sizzle and stunning direction from France's Céline Sciamma, who won best screenplay and the Queer Palm at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Barry Jenkins’ poetic, compassionate 2017 best picture Oscar winner follows the awakening of Chiron (Ashton Sanders), a young black gay man growing up in Miami. Mahershala Ali also won a best supporting actor Oscar for his eloquent father figure.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Teens Laser and Joni (Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska) have two lovely moms (Julianne Moore, 59, Annette Bening, 62) — but they're curious about their sperm-donor dad in this dramedy cowritten and directed by Lisa Cholodenko, 55. When their freewheeling biological father arrives, the charmer played by Mark Ruffalo, 52, stirs up the comfy quartet in unexpected ways.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
In this vibrant, transgressive comedy from the mid-1980s, Stephen Frears, 78, captures a young Daniel Day-Lewis, 63, as a Londoner who joins with an enterprising Pakistani Briton (Gordon Warnecke, 57) to open a laundromat — and finds some steamy same-sex love along the way.
The Favourite (2018)
Yorgos Lanthimos’ outrageous reimagining of English royal history tells the riotous story of the 18th-century court of sickly Queen Anne (Oscar winner Olivia Colman) and the two female rivals for her affection, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz, 50) and scheming up-and-comer Abigail (Emma Stone).
Wash Westmoreland's delicious, under-seen literary biopic captures the bold sexual explorations of the French novelist (Keira Knightley) who found her voice in print and dared to celebrate her carnal love for both women and men.
A Fantastic Woman (2017)
A vibrant Danielle Vega plays a transgender performer whose devoted lover dies suddenly. The widow-apparent must fight the biases of his family and the law in order to mourn her partner properly in Chilean Sebastián Lelio's 2018 best foreign language Oscar winner.
In the 2016 Oscar-nominated, period-perfect drama from Todd Haynes, 59, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, a beautiful, wealthy married woman (Cate Blanchett, 51) seduces a young photographer (Rooney Mara) in 1950s New York.
Pain & Glory (2019)
The deeply moving semiautobiographical drama by Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar, 70, casts Antonio Banderas, 59, as a pain-stricken film director contemplating his life's work while reconnecting with the man he once loved and reminiscing about the mother (Penelope Cruz) he idolized and disappointed.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Summer love ripens in Luca Guadagnino's deeply romantic, visually stunning story of a young, precocious son of a professor (Timothée Chalamet) finding first love with his father's intern (Armie Hammer) on the Italian Riviera in 1983.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
Based on celebrity biographer Lee Israel's memoir, writer-director Marielle Heller's shrewd, compassionate, well-acted comedy follows a down-and-out Manhattan literary lesbian (Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy). She discovers her true talent faking literary documents for profit — and ends up in handcuffs. Fellow Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant, 63, is her best mate and partner in crime.
Beach Rats (2017)
Rising star Eliza Hittman's intimate sophomore feature and Sundance hit focuses on the coming of age of blue-collar teen Frankie (discovery Harris Dickinson). The beautiful Brooklynite hangs with his bros at the beach by day and cruises older men by night, struggling to reconcile his social circle's homophobia with the tidal desires he can't, and won't, contain.