movies about more than being gay

Gay cinema has grown exponentially over the last couple of decades. Early on we got coming out movies and movies about the anguish of a closeted life. We're still getting movies with those themes, few of which cover any new territory.

We also got good quality movies early on. Not a lot, but enough to keep us slogging through all the mediocre stuff. The truth is most of us gay guys will watch almost anything with gay content just because it's there. Especially those of us who grew up when there was virtually nothing available showing same sex love.

If you're gay and interested in good film, there may be some titles on my list you haven't heard of. Or that you might not have thought of as gay because gay is just a part of the movie, and the movie wasn't marketed to gay audiences exclusively.

If you're straight and interested in film, consider watching some of these movies. They're good movies. Some are very gay (about gay culture) and some just happen to have gay content.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Gohatto (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The new member of a samurai militia unit causes disruption as several of his colleagues fall in love with him, threatening to disturb the rigid code of their squad. (100 mins.)
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
“ Beautiful, complex, compelling, and a little disturbing. ” - ekeby
 
2.
La virgen de los sicarios (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The tempestuous love story between Fernando, an older man who has recently returned to his crime-ridden drug capitol hometown of Medellin... (101 mins.)
“ This is a movie that people either love or hate. The violence is shocking, but the story is original and profound. ” - ekeby
 
3.
Female Trouble (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes. (89 mins.)
Director: John Waters
“ Probably the best of John Waters' movies. And also the funniest and the most outrageous. ” - ekeby
 
4.
Something for Everyone (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Konrad, a handsome country boy in post-war Austria, charms his way into a butler position at the castle of a widowed countess that lost her fortune... (112 mins.)
Director: Harold Prince
“ A hard-to-find comic masterpiece directed by Harold Prince. ” - ekeby
 
5.
Maurice (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality. (140 mins.)
Director: James Ivory
“ A Merchant & Ivory production of an E. M. Forster novel. Extremely well done and gorgeous to look at. Hugh Grant does creamy English beauty and Rupert Graves does sex-on-wheels. ” - ekeby
 
6.
Madagascar Skin (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
This is the story of Harry and Flint, an unlikely couple. Harry is a shy young gay man who can't seem to fit into his local bar scene... (96 mins.)
Director: Chris Newby
“ Feels very much like an art film, a good one. John Hannah plays a young gay social misfit who takes up with an eccentric older "straight" man. ” - ekeby
 
7.
Chun gwong cha sit (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A couple take a trip to Argentina but both men find their lives drifting apart in opposite directions. (96 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
“ This is a strong and unsentimental film about contemporary life. ” - ekeby
 
8.
Crash (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife. (100 mins.)
“ Not the trite 2004 film that stole the Oscar from Brokeback Mountain. This is a David Cronenberg weird-fest. Again, not for everyone. It's sick and depraved and done with a completely straight face to ensure a worldview that's laughably absurd. ” - ekeby
 
9.
Threesome (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Eddy and Stuart share two-thirds of a dormitory suite. Due to bureaucratic error, a woman named Alex is added to their room... (89 mins.)
Director: Andrew Fleming
“ A seriously underrated film about a college menage a trois. Funny and sexy and great performances from Lara Flynn Boyle, Josh Charles (Good Wife's Will), and Stephen Baldwin (!). ” - ekeby
 
10.
Praia do Futuro (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Shortly after failing to rescue a drowning man, Donato meets Konrad, a friend of the victim. They soon begin a relationship which seems doomed from the start, while Donato's past catches up with him. (106 mins.)
Director: Karim Aïnouz
“ The plot description will sound trite. But just wait. This doesn't go where you expect it to go. It's a completely unsentimental and a good take on the reality of "grown up" gay relationships. ” - ekeby
 
11.
Plein soleil (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tom Ripley is a talented mimic, moocher, forger and all-around criminal improviser; but there's more to Tom Ripley than even he can guess. (118 mins.)
Director: René Clément
“ Based on The Talented Mr Ripley novel. More freeform than the 1994 film with Matt Damon. But Alain Delon's beauty is an incredible foil for the amoral character he portrays. ” - ekeby
 
12.
A Home at the End of the World (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A boy who has experienced many losses in his life grows to manhood and enters into a love triangle with a woman and his boyhood friend. (97 mins.)
Director: Michael Mayer
“ Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, and Robin Wright. A good yarn, a good cast, and easy on the eyes. ” - ekeby
 
13.
The Crying Game (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier's world. (112 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ A fantastic film, way more than the "gimmick." A must see. ” - ekeby
 
14.
Weekend (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. (97 mins.)
Director: Andrew Haigh
“ Probably the best English-language gay film of the last decade. A true-to-life depiction of life for young gay men. Intense, dialog-driven, explicit. Ultimately, a love story. ” - ekeby
 
15.
Parting Glances (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa... (90 mins.)
Director: Bill Sherwood
“ A very good and realistic look at life in NY in the 1980s. ” - ekeby
 
16.
Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela. (101 mins.)
“ A masterpiece by Pedro Almodovar. Won the oscar for best foreign language film. Required viewing IMO. ” - ekeby
 
17.
Les roseaux sauvages (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In a village in the Southwest of France, 1962. Maite and Francois are 18 years old. They are friends... (110 mins.)
“ A coming of age film--a good one--set in France in 1962. Politics complicates things that are already complicated. Beautiful kids, beautiful scenery, powerful, well-told story. ” - ekeby
 
18.
Hamam (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Francesco and Marta are husband and wife running a small design company in Rome. When Francesco's long forgotten Aunt Anita dies in Istanbul... (94 mins.)
Director: Ferzan Ozpetek
“ An Italian architect inherits a hamam (steam bath) in Istanbul. When he sets out to restore it, the rhythm and substance of his life changes. You might not like the ending, but everything leading up to it is fascinating. And Alessandro Gassman is exceedingly easy on the eyes. ” - ekeby
 
19.
Go (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Go! tells the story of the events after a drug deal, told from three different points of view. (102 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
“ A drug deal from different points of view, each revealing a previously unknown part of the story. The gay section is heavy on tension and all the funnier for it. Highly original and entertaining. Underrated IMO. ” - ekeby
 
20.
Grief (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
We spend a week in the L.A. offices where the daytime TV show "The Love Judge" is written and produced... (87 mins.)
Director: Richard Glatzer
“ Fun and much better than average for a gay comedy. ” - ekeby
 
21.
Gypsy 83 (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two young misfits head for New York City to celebrate their idol and muse, Stevie Nicks, at The Night of 1,000 Stevies... (94 mins.)
Director: Todd Stephens
“ By the director of the much better known Edge of Seventeen (1998). A cute anime-style boy and his best (girl) friend take a road trip. A flawed movie, but one with attitude. Very watchable. ” - ekeby
 
22.
Latter Days (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe. (107 mins.)
Director: C. Jay Cox
“ A nearly perfect gay rom-com. Essentially it's a makeover movie. But we're not seeing updated wardrobes and new haircuts, we're seeing attitude makeovers. Very satisfying. ” - ekeby
 
23.
Otets i syn (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world... (97 mins.)
“ It's not a gay-theme movie, but when you see the superb physical specimens who play the touchy-feelie father and son, you'll kind of wish it were. But it is about male/male relationships. It's a very dreamlike story about two men who love each other in a nonsexual way. One of my favorite movies. ” - ekeby
 
24.
Shock to the System (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A gay detective tries to solve the murder of a college student. (91 mins.)
Director: Ron Oliver
“ A good gay genre film, a detective story that handily incorporates gay culture. Entertaining, and I'm not much on detective stories. ” - ekeby
 
25.
Ya lyublyu tebya (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
On their first anniversary, Vera comes home to discover her boyfriend Tim in bed with another man. (86 mins.)
“ Unconventional fare and fun. There's a bit of unnecessary melodrama toward the end, but this is still worth a watch. ” - ekeby