The 26 Best NC-17 Movies to Stream Tonight
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, NC-17 movies are basically porn with a plot — and come with very, very explicit sex scenes. In other words, they're much raunchier than any sort of sexy movie you'll watch on Netflix, but they also have a little bit more acting involved than porn itself.
If this piques your interest, fortunately, there's an entire genre of NC-17 movies out there you can watch and enjoy either while masturbating or by using as foreplay with a partner. If you're not sure where to start, though, don't worry; we've curated a list of the horniest NC-17 movies with plotlines that involve forbidden love, hot flashbacks to former lovers, will-they-won't-they relationships, and more.
Some of the NC-17 movies included in this list feature fetishes, taboo kinks, BDSM, and even un-simulated sex — aka actual sex, not the pretend version viewers usually see on screen with the help of intimacy coordinators. From foreign films and dark love stories to straight-up comedies, these movies are sure to fulfill your NC-17 fantasies — and maybe spark some new ones, too. Keep reading to see the steamiest, sexiest, and downright dirtiest NC-17 movies available now.
—Additional reporting by Lauren Harano and Taylor Andrews
"Passages" is the newest movie to earn an NC-17 rating, but the rating hasn't come without controversy. In fact, one media outlet reported that the movie may have received an NC-17 rating because of the "queer-averse" Motion Picture Association, while the director of "Passages" called MPA's decision "a form of cultural censorship," according to an article in the LA Times. Watch this love triangle unfold, and decide for yourself what you think.
Watch "Passages" in a theater near you.
"Swimming Pool" is an erotic thriller about a crime novelist who goes to a house in Southern France to write her next novel, where tragedy, mystery, and lots and lots of sex occur.
Watch "Swimming Pool" (R-rated version) on Amazon Prime.
"Eyes Wide Shut"
The dark plot of Stanley Kubrick's erotic thriller follows a wealthy doctor who discovers that his wife had an affair. He later finds himself in the midst of a masked orgy organized by a secret society — and believe us, anything goes here. While an unrated version of the movie is now available, the particularly graphic orgy scenes were originally digitally altered by Warner Bros. so that the film would be rated R rather than NC-17.
Watch "Eyes Wide Shut" on YouTube.
"Blue Is the Warmest Color"
This coming-of-age movie tells the story of a young woman exploring and embracing her sexuality as she falls in love with an older woman. The film caused controversy due to explicit sex scenes between the two women and had a limited release with an NC-17 rating in the US.
"Elles" takes place during just one day — a day in which a French journalist delves into the world of female student prostitution. What she finds is something completely unexpected, which leads her to reevaluate her own life and sexuality. The movie is rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content.
Watch "Elles" on Amazon Prime.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams stunned in the critically acclaimed drama "Blue Valentine" about the dissolution of a couple's marriage. The film originally received an NC-17 rating because of the scene where Gosling's character performs oral sex on Williams's character, but Gosling called out the MPAA for sexism and misogyny, saying that if the roles were switched, and the female were performing oral sex on the male, the film would have received an R rating. The rating was appealed and changed to R.
Watch "Blue Valentine" on Amazon Prime.
This erotic thriller, released in 2000, follows a young lawyer who hopes to spice up his marriage by inviting another woman over for a threesome. However, breaking it off with the other woman proves more difficult than anticipated. Originally rated NC-17, some sexually explicit scenes were cut from "Trois" in order to achieve its R rating. An uncut version was reportedly released but is not readily available online.
Watch "Trois" (R-rated version) on Amazon Prime.
"Wide Sargasso Sea"
Based on the Jean Rhys novel of the same name, "Wide Sargasso Sea" is a good choice for all the sexy-literature lovers out there. The film, like the book, is set in the 1840s, with a woman marrying a man to avoid losing her property. What first appears to be a happy marriage begins to disintegrate under the weight of secrets and mutual distrust. There are two versions of this film, and the 1993 adaptation, starring Karina Lombard, is rated NC-17 (although only the R-rated version is available online).
Watch "Wide Sargasso Sea" (R-rated cut) on Amazon Prime.
"Law of Desire"
Antonio Banderas stars in this 1987 comedy-thriller about a gay filmmaker, his trans actress sister, and a dangerously obsessive fan. "Law of Desire," originally released in Spain as "La Ley del Deseo," was rated NC-17 for "a scene of explicit sexual content."
"Tokyo Decadence" is an erotic film that explores the life of an escort who plays out sexual fantasies for her clients. A large portion of the film graphically depicts these (often BDSM) fantasies, but the movie also follows her unrequited love story and lonely existence.
Watch "Tokyo Decadence" (unrated version) on Amazon Prime.
"Tropic of Cancer"
"Tropic of Cancer" holds an NC-17 rating for its (often funny) portrayal of various sexual fantasies and stories.
Watch "Tropic of Cancer" on Amazon Prime.
"Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!"
In "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," a young psychiatric patient kidnaps an actress in order to make her fall in love with him, leading to some pretty problematic Stockholm syndrome and an unexpected twist. The film was originally classified as porn and rated X, but Miramax filed a lawsuit against the MPAA. Though it lost, eventually the film's rating was lowered to NC-17.
"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"
When three impressionable young women move to Los Angeles and quickly fall prey to all the vices it has to offer them, things spiral out of control. "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is a film about their decline into excessive drug use and various affairs. The film originally earned an X rating for full-frontal nudity, graphic sex, and lesbian relations. It has since been re-rated NC-17.
Watch "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" on Apple TV.
"Lust, Caution" is an erotic thriller that takes places in 1940s Shanghai, which was occupied by Japan at the time. Directed by "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee, the action-packed espionage drama follows a woman assigned to lure a special agent into a trap in order to murder him. The movie is rated NC-17 for graphic sex and full-frontal nudity, among other things.
An adaptation of "The Book of One Thousand and One Night," "Arabian Nights" is an Italian film about a man who falls in love with his slave and his very erotic adventures as he searches for her after she is abducted.
Watch "Arabian Nights" on Tubi.
"Delta of Venus"
An ex-patriate in pre-World World II Paris who writes erotic stories about her sexual fantasies meets another ex-pat and finds someone to explore her fantasies with. "Delta of Venus" was rated NC-17 (though an R-rated version is also available) because of explicit sex scenes.
Two men who grew up together at a religious Catholic school reunite as adults in "Bad Education," a Spanish drama starring Gael García Bernal. Due to themes of sexual abuse within the Catholic church, explicit sex, and drug use, the film was given a rating of NC-17 by the MPAA.
Watch "Bad Education" on Amazon Prime.
"Basic Instinct" has one of the most famous scenes in film history. You know, the one where a panty-less Sharon Stone slowly uncrosses her legs while wearing a dress. The neo-noir murder mystery is full of intrigue, drama, and yes, a lot of sex. It was initially given an NC-17 rating but, after a few selective edits, was given an R rating. The uncut format is still available.
"The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover"
In this romantic comedy, the wife of a crime boss begins a secret romance with a patron of her husband's restaurant.
Watch "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" on Sling.
"The Doom Generation"
"The Doom Generation" is all doom, gloom, thrill, and, of course, sex. The movie involves a sexual relationship between three people who go on a crime spiral that inevitably leads to their downfall.
Watch "The Doom Generation" on Vudu.
"Wild at Heart"
One of three NC-17 movies to ever be nominated for an Oscar, David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" revolves around a woman and her lover on the run from her mom, who employees a gangster to track them down. The film was originally rated X due to graphic violence in addition to sex scenes, but was edited down to an R rating in North America.
Watch "Wild at Heart" on Vudu.