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16 Great LGBTQ+ Movies to Watch During Pride Month

Tune in to expand your vision and celebrate the diverse world around us

spinner image Jodie Foster and Annette Bening in Nyad, Sean Penn in Milk, Gael García Bernal in Cassandro and Colman Domingo in Rustin
(Clockwise from bottom left) Jodie Foster and Annette Bening in "Nyad"; Sean Penn in "Milk"; Gael García Bernal in "Cassandro"; Colman Domingo in "Rustin."
Photo Collage: AARP; (Source: Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection; Kimberley French / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection; Amazon Prime Video / courtesy Everett Collection; David Lee / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection; Getty Images)

Is there a better way to launch Pride Month than with a parade of impressive movies, many of them recent? Here’s a list rife with Oscar winners and nominees, celebrated LGBTQ+ directors and out-and-proud actors who give rending, revealing or raunchy performances in unexpected and unapologetic stories.

All of Us Strangers (2023)

Count this acclaimed drama from director Andrew Haigh, 51, among the most aching ghost stories ever made. Adam (Andrew Scott) and Harry (Paul Mescal) appear to be the only tenants of an apartment complex on the outskirts of London. Hindered in writing about his parents, Adam takes trips to his childhood home. Claire Foy and Jamie Bell are heart swelling (and breaking) as Adam’s mom and dad. Back at the apartment tower, Scott and Mescal gently turn the dial toward carnal, wholly believable tenderness as they begin a tentative dance of deep connection.

Watch it: on Hulu

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Passages (2023)

He’s a jerk, a cad and a stunning narcissist, yet we can’t look away from Tomas (Franz Rogowski) or the emotional train wrecks he engineers again and again in Ira Sach’s fascinating marital drama set in Paris. Rogowski is flawless as the flawed film director who embarks on an affair with Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a schoolteacher he meets at a wrap party. With his typical hushed intensity, actor Ben Whishaw portrays Tomas’ husband, Martin, who’s had just about enough.

Watch it: on Vudu

Nyad (2023)

Not unlike the open-water swimmer of the title, Annette Bening, 66, gave it her all playing record breaker Diana Nyad, 74, who attempted to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida five times. She was 64 when she tried that fifth time. But it is Jodie Foster, 61, as Nyad’s coach Bonnie Stoll, 71, who adds the ballast of an enduring friendship. Foster has been doing some of her finest work recently (True Detective), landing in the sweet and elusive spot of being utterly focused and remarkably relaxed.

Watch it: on Netflix

The Blue Caftan (2022)

With three beautifully woven performances, this love-triangle drama from Morocco is as finely crafted as the caftans that tailor Halim (Saleh Bakri) and his wife and business partner, Mina (Lubna Azabal, 50), sell in their intimate shop in the town of Salé. The arrival of Halim’s new apprentice, Youssef (Ayoub Missioui), infuses the air with longing and apprehension but also engenders love at its most credible and incredible.

Watch it: on Prime Video

Monica (2022)

Trace Lysette moves with confident grace from supporting player in the groundbreaking show Transgender to her star turn in the family drama Monica. After years of estrangement, Monica returns home to help her brother with their dying mother. The always exquisite Patricia Clarkson, 64, plays a mother who adored, then shunned and now doesn’t quite recognize Monica. Seeing what these waning days bring to this mother-and-child reunion from Monica’s life-toughened but vulnerable vantage is a welcome gift.

Watch it: on Hulu

Cassandro (2023)

It’s hard to believe but even Gael García Bernal’s spectacular leotard-wearing, mascara-lashed, larger-than-life performance as luchador Saúl Armendáriz in this exuberant and aching movie is not as bravura as the real deal, who took the name Cassandro for his exótico persona in the wrestling ring. This tale of a diminutive son who tussles with his demons once he finds his alter ego is helped by compelling performances from Roberta Colindrez as Cassandro’s trainer and Raúl Castillo as a closeted love interest.

Watch it: on Prime Video

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Rustin (2023)

Colman Domingo’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of the Civil Rights maverick Bayard Rustin is a revelation, and not only because Domingo, at 54, just keeps getting better. He won an Emmy for Euphoria, reimagined Mister in The Color Purple, and starred in the drama Sing Sing. He offers a full portrait of the dynamic activist and architect of 1963’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a gay Black maverick who faced discrimination from within the movement but remained a friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Watch it: on Netflix

Beyond the Aggressives: 25 Years Later (2023)

Sometimes a documentary forges a fresh reckoning. In the spirit of Michael Apted’s Up series, which checked in with its young subjects every seven years, director Daniel Peddle, 54, revisits most of the players in his LGBTQ+ classic The Aggressives, about male-seeming Black lesbians. Since that initial film, the language around gender fluidity as well as nonbinary and trans identities has gotten richer, and the young people of the first film so much wiser. Which makes it illuminating, even humbling, to catch up with them here. Looking forward to The Aggressives: 50 Years Later.

Watch it: on Hulu

Ma Belle, My Beauty (2021)

Can’t get away this summer? Stream this sun-drenched romance about a polyamorous trio trying to figure out where they stand with one another after two years apart, set against the beckoning backdrop of France’s Cévennes mountain range. One of the more enjoyable observations about the travails of marrieds Bertie and Fred and their former third, Lane, comes from a character who may square the love triangle.“I can’t imagine having two partners,” she observes. “It sounds like a lot of work.” Agreed but watching turns out to be a breeze.

Watch it: on Prime Video

Good Grief (2023)

The vivacious Oliver (Luke Evans) exits a Christmas party and his husband’s life unexpectedly. He leaves a letter, one that grief-stricken Marc (Daniel Levy, who also wrote and directed) doesn’t open for a year. When he does, uh-oh! The upending news leads him to Paris — besties Thomas and Sophie (a wonderful Ruth Negga) in tow. Celia Imrie, 71, is all business and muted empathy as Marc’s attorney, and David Bradley, 82, could have you reaching for a tissue as Oliver’s dad.

Watch it: on Netflix

A Single Man (2009)

In a beautifully tailored drama about a widower contemplating suicide (directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, 62), Colin Firth, 63, stars as a college professor who loses his partner of 16 years (Matthew Goode) in a car accident. Julianne Moore, 63, is fine as his tippling best friend.

Watch it: on Netflix

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Red, White & Royal Blue (2023)

This frothy rom-com’s young leads resemble daytime soap opera stars (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But the U.S. president’s son (Alex Claremont-Diaz) and Britain’s Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) forge a love story that keeps tugging until you’re as smitten as they are. As for the grown-ups, it’s seldom that we get to see Clifton Collins Jr., 53, take on a more relaxed role. Here, he’s first gentleman to the president (Uma Thurman, 54). Alex’s mom and dad prove to be paragons of politics and parenting. With centuries of rules for royals, it doesn’t seem likely that Henry’s grandfather, King James III (Stephen Fry, 66), will be as open.

Watch it: on Prime Video

The Inspection (2022)

Jeremy Pope gives a muscular and tender turn as Ellis French, a young gay man whose Marine drill instructor promises to break French and his fellow recruits. The question becomes: Has Ellis’ mother already done the deed? Gabrielle Union, 51, does an expert job as his intractably unkind mother. As the drill instructor, Bokeem Woodbine, 51, is fierce, while Raúl Castillo is sympathetic as another instructor. The ensemble makes writer-director Elegance Bratton’s deeply personal feature a moving affair and one impressive debut.

Watch it: on Paramount+

Note: Paramount+ provides a discount to AARP members and pays AARP a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.

Milk (2008)

Milk, from Gus Van Sant, 71, provides a timely reminder of the intimate relationship between gay rights and the Civil Rights Movement. Sean Penn, 63, won an Academy Award as the assassinated San Francisco activist and city supervisor. Milk was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the nation. Josh Brolin, 56, is dismayingly excellent as former city supervisor Dan White, who killed Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.

Watch it: on Prime Video

Tár (2022)

LGBTQ+ folks no longer have to flinch at less-than-upstanding characters. In this sublime drama, Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett, 55) is a genius and a lesbian — and a jerk. As a driven symphony conductor, she isn’t a role model, but boy is she mesmerizing. So is German actor Nina Hoss, who portrays Lydia’s wise, talented and increasingly vexed wife.

Watch it: on Peacock

Fire Island (2022)

SNL’s Bowen Yang plays Howie, the gay best friend of — yes! — a gay lead character in this seriously raunch-positive (if it were in theaters, it would get a hard R) twist on Pride and Prejudice, set during a week at New York’s storied Fire Island. Writer Joel Kim Booster stars as Noah, whose narrative arc finds him making sure his bestie has a sexual encounter and coming to terms with his own hubris and hang-ups. What is it about Will, a standoffish lawyer and best friend of the guy Howie actually likes, that has burrowed beneath his skin?

Watch it: on Hulu

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