35 Tasteful Nude Movies That Feel Like Art

Steamy and sensual, but in an elevated way.

nicole kidman and tom cruise in eyes wide shut, a movie with many nude scenes
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What’s better than seeing A-list, top-tier talent in a movie? Seeing them naked, probably. But there are also more subtle reasons why people—especially women—might prefer a Hollywood film with realistic nudity and simulated sex scenes to...what you might find elsewhere on the internet. For example, where much explicit content considers male pleasure the goal of sex, Hollywood movies with nudity tend to contain more nuance, creating emotional connections between characters and using romantic sex scenes to advance the story. Plus, with the rise in intimacy coordinators on-set to make sure the actors feel comfortable and safe, viewers might feel more secure and ethical watching Hollywood sex scenes.

It is with this nuance in mind that Marie Claire has compiled a list of the best movies with nudity, categorized by genre. Below, you’ll find classic nude movies, like 9 ½ Weeks and Eyes Wide Shut, as well as movies that approach nude scenes in ways that are fascinating and funny, like Canterbury Tales and Boogie Nights. Some of these movies have all the glamor of Hollywood with full-frontal nudity thrown in, like Room in Rome and The Dreamers. Plus, you’ll even find some titles where depictions of nudity get elevated to award-worthy heights, like Nymphomaniac and Lust, Caution.

This list includes something for everybody, genre-wise—with the important caveat that all of these entries contain some pretty explicit depictions of the naked human form.

Romantic Nude Movies

'Lady Chatterley's Lover' (2022) 

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Based on the classic, controversial book, this romantic drama follows the aristocratic Connie (Emma Corrin) who finds herself married to a man she no longer loves. So what does she do? Start an incredibly steamy affair with her estate's gamekeeper, of course. If you're a fan of period pieces and charged-up chemistry, this is the movie for you.

'9 1/2 Weeks' (1986)

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This erotic saga follows a city couple whose relationship starts innocently enough—until they start exploring their kinks, and feel the freedom of not having to hide their desires behind niceties. Think of it like a 50 Shades precursor.

'Shame' (2011)

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Michael Fassbender stars as a sex addict forced to take a hard look at his life in this movie, which also brought audiences a full-frontal look at Fassbender.

'Blue Valentine' (2010) 

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The fact that Blue Valentine was originally rated NC-17 should give you an idea of just how far the movie goes when it comes to pushing the envelope (and, yes, that includes plenty of nudity).

'Caligula' (1979)

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This 1979 "erotic historical drama" (per its official Wikipedia description) is all about the fall of the Roman Emperor Caligula and it's the kind of movie that is technically a mainstream movie, but also has plenty of naked scenes.

'Henry and June' (1990)

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Henry & June, starring Uma Thurman, was the first movie to receive an NC-17 rating and it definitely earned it. Based on Anais Nin's memoir of the same name, it takes viewers through Nin's affair with Henry Miller and her sexual awakening via his wife, June, in early '30s France.

'50 Shades of Grey' (2015) 

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This may be the most obvious title on this list, but hear me out. It really doesn't get much more mainstream or nude than 50 Shades of Grey. What started out as an erotica series became a cultural phenomenon when the first film of the three-part series premiered in 2015. Nudity-wise, this is pretty tame compared to the rest of the movies on this list, but don't get me wrong. This movie, as well as the rest of the installments, are plenty steamy.

'Blonde' (2022) 

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Don't get it wrong: This is a fictionalized recount of Marilyn Monroe's life, but it's still just as glamorous (and certainly unglamorous) as you would expect from the Old Hollywood bombshell. Ana de Armas takes a turn as Marilyn in a role that would earn her an Oscar nomination. It's for sure a divisive movie, but it's one you can't look away from.

'Passages' (2023) 

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This recently released French film will have you questioning all of your morals, guaranteed. It follows a gay couple who have a seemingly perfect marriage until one of them impulsively starts an affair with a woman. The three actors who make up the love triangle (Adèle Exarchopoulos, Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw) are unbelievably good and if you couldn't tell by the trailer, so hot.

Thriller Nude Movies

'Neon Demon' (2016)

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Elle Fanning is an aspiring young model who venutes to Los Angeles to find her fame and fortune. What she finds is a sexy, pulsating, pretty psychedelically creepy world of competitive other models who will do anything to stay young and beautiful.

'Deadly Illusions' (2021)

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Though not a fully erotic movie, there’s a particular scene in Do the Right Thing that is so sexy it remains memorable several decades later. Who knew that something as cold as an ice cube could be so hot?

'Crash' (1996)

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No, we're definitely not talking about the Oscar-winning ensemble film. 1996's Crash stars James Spader as a film producer who becomes involved with a group of symphorophiliacs—aka people who are sexually aroused by car crashes.

'The Concubine' (2012)  

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This South Korean drama is so hot it'll practically scorch you. The story takes place during the Joseon Dynasty, and focuses on a woman named Hwa-yeon, who is forced to become a royal concubine against her will and the triangle around her that involves the Prince Sung-won, who only has eyes for Hwa-yeon and Kwon-yoo, with a drive for revenge.

'Killing Me Softly' (2002) 

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Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes costar as a troubled married couple in this sexy, sexy erotic thriller about a woman who becomes increasingly suspicious of her controlling husband as she learns about a woman from his past.

Original Sin (2001)

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In 2001, Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas gifted the world with this sensual historical drama that totally lives up to its tease-y title.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

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If you haven't seen Eyes Wide Shut, the 1999 "erotic daydream" movie starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, now's the time.

Comedy Nude Movies

'Do The Right Thing' (1989)

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Though not a fully erotic movie, there’s a particular scene in Do the Right Thing that is so sexy it remains memorable several decades later. Who knew that an ice cube could be so hot?

'Magic Mike' (2012) 

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Today in Things That Are Not Surprising, Magic Mike, a movie about male strippers, includes a fair amount of nudity. Also not surprising: Said nudity is 🔥🔥🔥.

'Spun' (2003) 

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Jason Schwartzman and the late, great Brittany Murphy star in this black comedy about about hard drugs and harder to believe scenarios.

'The Canterbury Tales' (1972)

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In 2001, Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas gifted the world with this sensual historical drama that totally lives up to its tease-y title.

'Showgirls' (1995)

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This movie is famous for being just bad enough to gain a cult following, and for heavily sexualizing Saved By the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley, who spends a lot of the movie pole dancing in the nude.

'Boogie Nights' (1997)

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Set in LA's San Fernando Valley, this film stars Mark Wahlberg as a nightclub dishwasher who becomes a big adult film star in the '70s. It's Paul Thomas Anderson so you know it's awkwardly funny but also think-y. And, yes, with tons of nudity and sex.

'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2013) 

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Not all movies with nudity have an element of romance tied in. This expletive-ridden dramedy is chock-full of nudity, following the rise and fall of real-life Wall Street stockbroker, Jordan Belfort. The things Leonardo DiCaprio does in this movie as Belfort are truly unforgettable. The scene where he attempts to drive his Lamborghini while high off "lemons" was Oscar-worthy alone.

Artsy Nude Movies

'Love' (2015)

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This French arthouse film premiered at Cannes in 2015 and made headlines for featuring unsimulated sex scenes in—of all things—3D. It's like you can reach out and touch the copious amounts of nudity.

'Q' (2011) 

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This 2011 French film includes plenty of nudity and even some unsimulated sexual situations. The plot follows Cecile, a young woman who has recently lost her father and is on a quest to distract herself from her grief with a series of sexual encounters.

'Room in Rome' (2010) 

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If you're looking for a mainstream movie that gets as close to the "actually explicit" line as possible without crossing it, Room in Rome fits the bill. The 2010 Spanish erotic drama is about the emotional and sexual relationship between two women who spend a single night together in a hotel room in Rome.

'Cashback' (2006) 

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An artist suffering from insomnia decides to get a job working the night shift at a local supermarket, where he develops a crush on a coworker and lets his imagination run wild. Is it any surprise that a movie about an insomniac artist's rich inner imaginary world would be heavy on nudity?

'Elles' (2011) 

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This French film is famous for its explicit content. The movie stars Juliette Binoche as a journalist who takes on an assignment that requires her to enter a prostitution ring run by college students. It's like an overtly sexual Never Been Kissed.

'Tokyo Decadence' (1992) 

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This Japanese pink film is a tells the story of Ai, a submissive prostitute who is struggling with her romantic relationship with a married man. Warning though: The scenes depicting Ai's sex work explore some of the darker aspects of BDSM relationships.

'The Dreamers' (2003)

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This 2003 movie based on the novel The Holy Innocents follows a love triangle between an American student in Paris in 1968 and the brother and sister—who have a, shall we say, unusal relationship—he meets there. The sister is played by a young Eva Green, who did a ton of full-frontal nudity for the film.

'9 Songs' (2004)

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This art drama, screened at the Cannes Film Festival, featured unsimulated sex acts performed by its leads, Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley, who play lovers that attend a lot of rock concerts and have a lot of intercourse.

'Lust, Caution' (2007)

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Directed by Ang Lee, this erotic thriller follows a group of young Chinese women who use seduction to trap an ally of the Imperial Japanese Army so they can try to assassinate him. The movie actually received some criticism for its excessive nudity and graphic sex scenes, but Lee (and many critics) found both integral to the plot. Lust, Caution earned an NC-17 rating in the United States.

'Nymphomaniac' (2013)

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Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, the third film in his "depression trilogy," features way more nudity than Antichrist and a lot of mainstream stars, including Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, and Uma Thurman.

'Blue Is The Warmest Color' (2013)

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This movie won the hearts of critics and audiences alike, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Blue Is The Warmest Color follows the romance between two women and features several realistic love scenes in which the stars are fully nude.

'Y Tu Mamá También' (2001) 

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This critically received movie follows two teenage boys on a carefree cross-country roundtrip with a gorgeous older woman. I'm sure you can imagine what raging teenage hormones and plenty of alcohol leads to.

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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