The end of the decade may have seen a resurgence of romantic comedies, but don’t you worry—meet cutes have not come to replace the visceral motivator that is lust. Filmmakers know that when putting a movie together, some of the best elements that can heighten a drama, ground a comedy, or just make you sit up a little straighter is a bit of chemistry and a peek of sexuality. With that, a new crop of films combining story and sexuality come to light.
With the sexiest movies of 2019, there’s no through line that connects them all outside the fact that each of them have the capability to raise an eyebrow (or two). Be it Brad Pitt showing up at 55 with a shirtless scene that most 20 year olds can’t pull off, or Jennifer Lopez swinging around on a pole, the sexiest films of 2019 aren’t about getting raunchy. It’s above that—it’s about alluding to the sexiness off screen.
If you’ve heard about the film based off a book of One Direction fan fiction, this is it. Yes, that sounds like a horrible premise for a film, but it did nab Selma Blair in a supporting role, make $69 million dollars, and feature one of the year’s best love scenes, so joke’s on us for not doing it first.
A24’s surreal horror film is part terrifying and slightly arousing. Climax follows a French dance troupe who realize at an afterparty that their sangria might have been drugged. The aftermath is… complicated.
Gloria Bell is the perfect example of how a little bit of suggestion goes a long way. Ultimately, Gloria Bell is the story of a woman discovering the next chapter of her life, but Julianne Moore proves that sexy is not synonymous with being a 20-something. No one is more ravishing in a film this year.
Credit where it’s due, Long Shot somehow manages to make a romance between Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen seem surprisingly realistic—or at least funny. Long Shot is built upon the sexual tension between Rogen’s dogged journalist and Theron’s Secretary of State. And damn if there isn’t something sexy about a smart guy and powerful, intelligent woman.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I mean, just look at this dude. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was one of the most anticipated movies of 2019, yet it’s Brad Pitt’s shirtless 55-year-old body that completely steals the show. No one can deny the sex appeal of Pitt.
Amid some of the year’s more overtly sexual films, Rocketman actually scores a pretty high spot on that list. Paramount took a swing with the Elton John musical-biopic, and it features one of the sexiest (and most realistic) gay sex scenes in film history.
Serenity wasn’t the best received film of the year, but you’d be remiss to not note the palpable chemistry between Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey in the early-in-the-year noir thriller.
The British period drama that is The Aftermath is fine enough on its plot alone, but what makes it truly captivating is the love triangle set up among Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård, and Jason Clarke.
Once every few years, Jake Gyllenhaal gets the itch to get butt naked in a movie. This year, it’s Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw, which features Gyllenhaal as a pansexual art critic in this supernatural thriller/horror movie.
Is Jennifer Lopez sexy when she perpendicularly spins on a stripper pole to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal?” Sure. Is she even sexier when she leads a team of strippers to dupe Wall Street douchebags out of thousands of dollars? You bet your bedazzled hot pants she is.