The 30 Best LGBTQ Movies Ever Made – Top 10

Welcome to the final of our Best LGBTQ movies EVER made. Ladies and Gentlemen the top ten LGBTQ movies EVER MADE are:

10. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

The first mainstream queer film of the new millennium, Brokeback Mountain ushered its themes into the mainstream. Heath Ledger’s shy Ennis del Mar falls in what he cannot articulate as love with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist over a long, lonely winter. Their lives bounce off each other’s for years afterward. Ang Lee and screenwriter Larry McMurtry expand Annie Proulx’s short story into a gay film without one false moment.


9. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Lee Israel, a caustic celebrity biographer who turns to literary forgery when her career stalls. Richard E. Grant is wonderful as her co-conspirator, but it’s McCarthy’s attempt at romance with Dolly Wells’ shy bookstore owner that gives the movie its heart.


8. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

The greatest, most achingly beautiful gay male romance movie. Timothée Chalamet plays the precocious Elio, a teenager living in Italy who becomes infatuated with an older American student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who is staying with his family for the summer. What begins as a contentious friendship turns into a full-blown gay love affair as the two young men spend their idle summer days in the lush Mediterranean locale, bracing themselves for an inevitable heartbreak.


7. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

If any film can be credited with kicking off our cultural conversation on gender, this is it. Hilary Swank’s breakthrough performance anchors Kimberly Peirce’s film about the murder of Nesbraskan trans man Brandon Teena. Boys Don’t Cry was originally given an NC-17 for even addressing trans issues, but was later downgraded to an R.


6. The Birdcage (1996)

Mike Nichols’s American remake of La Cage aux Folles features Robin Williams as a gay nightclub owner whose son announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician. In typical farce style, his partner (Nathan Lane)—the star of his club’s drag show—poses as his dowdy wife in order to convince his son’s future in-laws that they’re a wholesome American family.


5. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017)

Set in the early ’90s, this energetic and emotional drama follows a group of activists in Paris fighting the government and its slow-moving efforts to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While highlighting the dramatic and powerful work from ACT UP, the film also depicts the personal stories of those fighting for their lives. Delivering a human and urgent remembrance of the plague that afflicted millions across the globe—and continues on today.


4. Carol (2015)

Todd Haynes brings Patricia Highsmith’s cult novel to the big screen in this lush and seductive film following a young shopgirl named Therese (Rooney Mara) who finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett). The two set out on a road trip on which they consummate an unspoken passion for each other. One that ultimately brings ruin to Carol’s marriage and awakens dark desires within Therese.


3. Philadelphia

Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for his performance as Andrew Beckett. A successful lawyer who is fired from his firm once the senior partners discover he has AIDS. Jonathan Demme’s searing drama was the first mainstream film to tackle the AIDS crisis. It gave a familiar face and voice to a marginalized community.


2. The Boys in the Band (1970)

Based on the play by Mart Crawley, and released less than a year after the Stonewall riots, The Boys in the Band perfectly depicts the complex experience of being a gay man at the time. At times joyful, often times confusing, painful, and informed by self-loathing. This comedy still manages to balance the bite and the tenderness for its collection of characters. With its group of young gay men in New York City falling in and out of love (and friendship), and unknowingly on the brink of a cultural revolution.

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1. Moonlight (2016)

The only film on this list to earn an Oscar for Best Picture—and deservedly so. Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and repression in his study of Chiron. A young man coming of age in Miami (and played by three different actors at various stages of his life) who grapples with his sexual identity amid his troubled relationship with his crack-addicted mother. Chiron longs to break free of the predetermined path set out for himself by his environment. A journey set into motion by encounter with one of his male peers


Approaching Queerness in Media

When discussing media representation of various groups, especially those we consider marginalized, stereotypes are often a primary concern. But sometimes, breaking a stereotype doesn’t go quite far enough, and the issue can be a little more complicated than merely determining whether or not a character is represented in a positive or negative way. 

One of the most difficult things about approaching film and television’s use of queerness is that there will rarely be a single verdict on any given cultural product. With the exception of the most simplistically supportive or bigoted representations, there is room for much discussion and debate in determining a positive or negative LGBTQ presence. Because of this shift, seriously engaging with and thinking about the images we consume has become more important than ever.

Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin, in their book Queer Cinema: the film reader, elaborate three general criteria for identifying cultural products as queer: Auteurs, Forms, and Reception.

There’s a reason why “representation matters” has long been a rallying cry for the LGBTQ community. From books to movies to television, the stories we consume have the power to shape how we see other peopl. We as a community hold on tight to our favorites. Here are 30 of the most beloved LGBTQ movies of all time. Ranging from subtle and quiet to political and groundbreaking.

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