We’re gonna level with you here — we don’t care what anyone says, sometimes we want to watch Jamie Dornan slip into (or out of) the suit of billionaire Christian Grey and become the dom of our dirty dreams. Yes, yes, we know the book and movies are, in some ways, problematic. But that doesn’t change the fact that we occasionally want to cue up an erotic romance and lean into our erotic desires. Ain’t no shame in our game. And that’s precisely how we came to compile the ultimate list of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey.
Some of these films aren’t quite as erotic as the escapades of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Some are even more so (prepare to blush). The general appeal is the same, though: As humans with sexual agency, we crave stories that serve as sexual provocateurs. The tension in some of the following movies like Fifty Shades of Grey practically feels like foreplay. So, slip on something slinky, slide into bed, and cue up an evening of sultry cinematic tête-à-tête.
Films Like Fifty Shades of Grey to Watch Next
1. Secretary (2002)
First of all, we’ll watch any and everything with Maggie Gyllenhaal because she’s a frickin’ goddess. And in this film, she’s a true tour de force as Lee Holloway, a young woman with a history of deep-seated emotional issues. While recovering at home with her overbearing parents, she begins to work as a — you guessed it — secretary for a demanding attorney. His name? E. Edward Grey, played by James Spader. That’s right! Another kinky Mr. Grey. The two fall into a sadomasochistic relationship and, well, just watch.
2. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989)
Let us set the scene for you: A tempestuous mobster named Albert Spica (played by Michael Gambon) acquires an upscale French restaurant in London. And while that sounds magnifique, his brash nature keeps scaring off the patrons. Even his wife Georgina (played by the always incredible Helen Mirren) can’t stand to be around him. Not surprisingly, her attention ventures elsewhere — to a restaurant guest named Michael (Alan Howard). In full disclosure, this movie has a dark undercurrent. But it’s beautiful and sexy and moody and, you know, all of the things we like about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
3. A Dangerous Method (2011)
Critics seemed to appreciate this film more than audiences, but we can give you three compelling reasons to watch it at least once: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley. Hell, we can give you two more: Sarah Gadon and Vincent Cassel. Basically, the entire cast is stellar in this racy drama about the early days of psychoanalysis. Fassbender plays Carl Jung, who treats a woman named Sabina Spielrein (Knightley) for hysteria. And you know how they treated hysteria back in the day, right? So, if you’re a history buff and wouldn’t mind seeing a few people in the buff, add it to your queue.
4. Lust, Caution (2007)
If you like your erotic romance with a side of espionage, Ang Lee’s stunning Lust, Caution is your pick. Set during World War II, the film follows a secret agent (Tang Wei) tasked with seducing and then assassinating an official in Shanghai’s Japanese puppet government. But when she finds herself falling for the official (played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai), things get… complicated.
5. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Obviously, right? This is a Stanley Kubrick film, so you know it’s going to mess with your mind. And it certainly challenges you to consider the inner workings of the human psyche as you watch Dr. Bill Hartford (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) explore sexuality in their marriage through an underground sexual group. There’s an orgy and lots of tense erotic scenes, yes, but the exploration of the couple’s dynamic is equally riveting.
6. Belle de Jour (1967)
This movie may be in French but its steamy plot is easy to follow. A gorgeous housewife grows bored with her husband and longs for a sex life filled with bondage and sadochism. While her husband’s away, she takes breaks from her lavish life and has her fun at brothels. Eventually, she meets a sexy gangster and their sex scenes are… magnifique.
7. Friends with Benefits (2011)
This film is basically No Strings Attached but with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. It’s a tale as old as time: Two best friends of the opposite sex try to remain friends while having “meaningless” sex. Kunis and Timberlake attempt to navigate their friends with benefits relationship, but things get complicated, to say the least. Feelings are hurt, grand gestures are made, and love is ultimately discovered. Oh, and the movie is filled with a bunch of quirky sex scenes.
8. 365 Days (202o)
ICYMI, 365 Days caused quite the commotion when it hit Netflix in 2020. Is it steamy? Yes. Is the acting overly dramatic and so terrible it’s entertaining? You bet. Is it based on the utterly offensive premise that a woman who has been kidnapped by a man and held captive for a year could/would/should fall in love with him? Also yes. If none of that scares you off, you may be into the movie’s core mechanism of sexual domination. Just know going into this one that it’s problematic in more ways than one. In other words, it’ll get you hot and bothered — whether that’s in a good or bad way depends on your threshold for this type of material.
9. La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
Are you ready to have your mind blown? This erotic French drama is nearly four hours long. Even more impressive? Despite its staggering run time, it still manages to maintain audience attention — it has a rare 100 percent Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, with an 83 percent audience score. Now that you’re thoroughly intrigued, let’s get to the premise. In the film, famous painter Edouard (Michel Piccoli) has long since stopped painting and now lives in the country with his wife, Liz (Jane Birkin). When his friend Nicolas (David Bursztein) visits, Edouard finds a new muse in Nicolas’ stunning girlfriend Marianne (Emmanuelle Beart). With Nicolas’ encouragement, Marianne agrees to be Edouard’s model for a complex nude portrait.
More Steamy Movies Like Fifty Shades of Grey
- Nina Forever (2016)
- The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)
- Call Me By Your Name (2018)
- Body Heat (1981)
- Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
- The Duke of Burgundy (2015)
- Endings, Beginnings (2019)
- 9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
- Stranger By the Lake (2014)
- Belle De Jour (1968)
- Basic Instinct (1992)
- Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
- Shame (2011)
- After (2019)
- Baby Doll (1956)
- The Last Seduction (1994)
- Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
- Boogie Nights (1997)
- The Handmaiden (2016)
- Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 (2013)
- Unfaithful (2002)
- Room in Rome (2010)
- The Piano (1993)
- Bare (2015)
- Adore (2013)
- 28 Hotel Rooms (2012)
- In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
- Bound (2015)
- Lie With Me (2005)
- Original Sin (2001)
- The Dreamers (2003)
- The Night Porter (1974)
- Venus in Fur (2013)
- Endless Love (1981)
- Amar (2017)
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