12 sexy movies you should watch instead of ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

The reviews are in, and Fifty Shades Darker is as south of mediocre as expected (sometimes no amount of Beyoncé covers can save you). 

So instead of spending your hard-earned dollars at the movie theater this weekend, check out these sexy alternatives and settle in.


Carrots are healthy I guess.

Carrots are healthy I guess.

If you want to stay Grey-adjacent, try this 2002 film starring James Spader as E. Edward Grey and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the precocious secretary with whom he ends up in a BDSM relationship. They fall in love, and they wrap things up in one reasonably compelling movie instead of three horrendous ones.

Where to watch: YouTube/iTunes rental or purchase


This movie was the sexual awakening of a generation, from "draw me like one of your French girls" to that literally steamy car scene. If you want to skip all that depressing sinking, this is one time you’re allowed to.

Where to watch: YouTube/iTunes rental or purchase

Y Tu Mamá También

Director Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 film couldn’t be further from the Harry Potter film he’d direct next. Starring Maribel Verdú, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, Y Tu Mamá También is all kinds of sexy and worth watching and rewatching this Valentine’s Day.

Where to watch: Netflix

Magic Mike XXL

You’ve got to love when a sequel learns from what didn’t work in the original. Magic Mike XXL trims the extra muscle from its predecessor — which is to say, the plot. Where Magic Mike took dark turns regarding drug abuse and power, its sequel is a road movie that amps up the spectacle and plays to its characters’ sexy strengths.

Where to watch: YouTube/iTunes rental or purchase

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This movie has everything: Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, wine, Spain! Two women’s jaunt through Europe takes a titillating twist after they meet a magnetic artist (Javiér Bardem) and his tumultuous ex-wife (Cruz).

Where to watch: YouTube/iTunes rental or purchase

Love & Basketball

This movie is mostly romantic, but look how sexy Quincy (Omar Epps) and Monica (Sanaa Lathan) are as they find love on and off the court! The young neighbors fall for each other while training to become professional basketball players. 

Where to watch: YouTube/iTunes rental or purchase


Is there anything sexier than stolen glances and a graze of the skin? Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara’s chemistry pours out of the screen, fueled especially by Carter Burwell’s dusky score.

Where to watch: With Showtime Anytime or a Showtime addition to Hulu or Amazon subscription.

The Graduate

Image:  AVCO Embassy Pictures

If you like your sexy with a dash of existential depression, then look to this Dustin Hoffman classic based on Charles Webb’s novel of the same name. Benjamin Braddock embarks on an affair with his older neighbor Mrs. Robinson, only to subsequently fall in love with her age-appropriate daughter Elaine. Afterwards, share a glass of wine with your partner while listening to Simon & Garfunkel’s "Sound of Silence." If that doesn’t get you in the mood, what will?

Where to watch: Netflix

Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bollywood incarnation of Romeo and Juliet is oversaturated with drama and violence, but at the center are the painfully attractive Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh (now a real-life couple). They look ready to rip each other’s extravagant clothes off in every single scene, and you’ll be rooting for them to go through with it.

Where to watch: Einthusan (with HD and subtitles)

Betty Blue

Everything changes when Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) meets Betty (Béatrice Dalle), a fiery woman whose passion verges on madness when they run away together. Betty experiences flashes of violence and depression, and as the film progresses Zorg must decide what’s best for his wife’s happiness — and his own. Also, the original French title — 37° 2 le matin — refers to the temperature of a pregnant woman’s belly in the morning, so there’s that.


This 2000 movie has France, magic chocolate, Johnny Depp and the equally magical Judi Dench. Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) travels Europe as a chocolatier whose fares win people over even in the traditional French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. Watch with a box of chocolates, as long as you won’t be too disappointed that they aren’t of Vianne’s making.

Where to watch: Hulu

Just start watching Outlander

No this isn’t a movie, but this show is perfect. Yes, it has a lot of sex, but it’s never voyeuristic; the leads have palpable chemistry, and their sex scenes are infused with a sense of intimacy and comfort.

Where to watch: With a Starz subscription, or Starz addition to Amazon Prime subscription

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