Lesbian Movies on Netflix: Everything Streaming and What’s Worth Watching

Note: This post was originally published in March 2016, and updated in March 2020 to reflect that almost all the movies that used to be on Netflix aren’t anymore and now there are some new ones. 

What are the best lesbian movies are on Netflix? What lesbian Netflix movies are good? This is probably a question you have typed into a search box before. Perhaps you typed that into a search box really recently, like ten seconds ago, and that’s why you’re here, now, with all of us, wondering about the best streaming lesbian movies online, or the best lesbian bisexual queer movies on Netflix. One of our Autostraddle Plus members requested a post about all the streaming lesbian-related films on Netflix and so here I am, delivering my deliverable to one of our many VIPs. In this case we are using “lesbian” as an adjective referring to romance and other activities between two women.


The Best Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer & Trans Movies On Netflix

Daddy Issues

“A love story between a 19-year-old artist, her Instagram crush, and her Instagram crush’s sugar daddy, Cash’s debut feature is equally sweet and taboo… The first IMDb user review for Daddy Issues is titled “Heterophobic movie.” I cannot argue. I also cannot complain. May we blessed with an entire career of heterophobic movies from this properly queer filmmaker.” – Drew Gregory

Tig (Documentary)

tig-documentary-lesbian

Tender and droll and delightful all over, this documentary follows lesbian comedian Tig Notaro from her profile-exploding “I Have Cancer” comedy routine through you know, having cancer, meeting a nice lady, and managing her rapidly increasing fame.

Paris Is Burning (Documentary)

“…remains one of our greatest treasures.”Cherno Biko

o-paris-is-burning-facebook

This classic 1990 documentary captures the Golden Age of New York City drag balls and their accordant houses, which served as chosen families for many transgender and/or gay folks of color in the city. Features the scene’s brightest stars, like Angie Xtravaganza and Willi Ninja.

Blue is the Warmest Color (French)

blue-is-the-warmest-color

Lots of spaghetti-chewing and one famously long lesbian sex scene. Kate Severence didn’t like it.


Good Lesbian, Bisexual & Queer Movies On Netflix

The Feels

“It’s authentic and it’s tender and while the climax is a little bit rushed — eh hem — it’s a gay happy ending. And that, itself, is still revolutionary.” – Heather Hogan

Concussion

concussion

“Despite being very, very, very (VERY) much “about” lesbian sex in particular, Concussion is also about human things in general. Some of the human things are interesting and some of them are irritating, but they all feel real, despite the occasional plot contrivance.”
scribegrrrl

Loving Annabelle

loving-annabelle-lesbian-movie

“All you need to know is the movie is worth watching because it features not one but TWO types of taboo romance, and it has cute girls in plaid skirts!”

Sarah Palmer

Yes or No

“With a cheesy score and endless adolescent feelings, this popular Thai film about a “normal” girl and her “tomboy” college roommate will make you feel 18 again. This movie may send a terrible message to baby butches in love with their lowkey homophobic seemingly straight girl roommates, but it’s simply too adorable to resist.” -Drew Gregory

The Perfection

“This recent Netflix horror movie would be offensive for a multitude of reasons if it wasn’t so incoherent. Instead it’s just an absolutely wild, incredibly shallow thrill ride with a queer woman romance(??) at its center.” – Drew Gregory


Okay Lesbian Movies Streaming on Netflix

Someone Great

“At it’s core, Someone Great is a comedy about getting high and drunk with your girls and listening to some great pop music and growing up a little in the process.” – Carmen Phillips

Let It Snow

“The inclusion of a queer romance in a film like this is exciting enough on its own. But what makes it all the more exciting is both Hewson and Akana are queer in real life! Hewson is non-binary and gay and Akana is bisexual. They’re both so good in their roles, bringing their charm and authenticity. ” – Drew Gregory

Duck Butter

“Duck Butter was a lot like a Naima and Sergio’s failed experiment: the sex was good but the delirious lesbian mumblecore didn’t leave a lasting impression.” – Heather Hogan

Chloe

Chloe’s an erotic thriller involving a love triangle between Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried. It’s not good, but it is a fun and sexy watch.

Elisa & Marcela

“Not the art film its showy Black & White cinematography and more creative flourishes seem to be aspiring for, but nevertheless an enjoyable period romance. Based on the true story of Spain’s first same-sex marriage, Isabel Coixet replaces an average looking queer woman and her androgynous love with two beautiful high femmes. It’s a bit silly and a bit long, but hey the sex scenes are great.” – Drew Gregory

Lovesong

After being neglected by her husband, Sarah takes off on a road trip with her daughter and her lifelong best friend, Mindy. Eventually things get…intense.

The Danish Girl

It’s a very critically acclaimed movie, but casting a cisgender man to play the transgender woman at the center of the story makes it difficult to fully enjoy.

Chasing Amy

Once again here we are with a movie that has artistic merit — but is SO shitty message-wise as it gave a whole generation of men the idea that lesbians just might want to have sex with them! NOT GREAT FOR US.

Lez Bomb

“How many other queer feature films can you point to that are maddening comedies and sweet rom-coms, wrapped up like the warm holiday films we grew up watching about straight people? Queering heteronormative tropes is certainly my favorite way to spend Thanksgiving.” – Heather Hogan

To Each Her Own (French)

We originally had this under the “very mediocre” category because it got very bad reivews, but then Sally informed us that she in fact has seen it and furthermore; liked it. I trust Sally so here we are. The plot is described as “Just as Simone works up the courage to tell her conservative Jewish family she’s a lesbian, she finds herself attracted to a man.”


Very Mediocre Lesbian Movies, Bisexual Movies and Queer Movies on Netflix

Below Her Mouth

“The recycled story isn’t the problem. Engaged straight girl becomes intrigued by mysterious lesbian is a fine enough story and one I assume will be the foundation of many movies to come – that is if heterosexuality is still an agreed upon phenomenon in the future. It’s the recycled dialogue and characters in this movie that haven’t been updated to reflect a change in the tides that have absolutely no business being in a movie in the great year of our lord, 2017.” – Erin Sullivan

A Perfect Ending

perfect-ending

“This movie has everything: ambiguously-ethnic call girl, bored WASP-y housewife straight out of a Lifetime movie, a madame with a Barbie fixation, and every possible film transition known to cinema. But lesbihonest, folks: you’re not here for the narrative. It’s a cheeseball fest that you and your girl can quote for years to come.”Kate Severance

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2822 articles for us.

83 Comments

  1. Marine Story gets a lot of, not hate exactly, but dislike on this site. I do understand and recognize that it’s objectively kind of a mess, but I’m bizarrely and ridiculously fond of it. Maybe I was just so conditioned to believe that lesbian stories didn’t get happy endings that I’ve gotten ridiculously over-attached to the first movie I saw which did?

    • I actually really enjoyed A Marine Story. It’s a slow burn and at times, predictable, but did provide insight into being gay and being military (sure, it happened on the L Word). The central relationship of this film is frustrating and the ending is …
      BUT I felt like the acting was believable and the feelings throughout were real!!

    • Thanks for the list, it’s much appreciated especially now that we are all stuck at home here in Italy.
      I just don’t understand the enthusiasm for Daddy Issues; I watched it with high expectations when it was first reviewed here by Drew and it’s SO BAD, literally one of the worst movies I’ve ever watched

  2. I second Dope! I watched it on a whim not realizing there’d be a lesbian character in it and loved it. I wish we’d seen more of Diggy and Big, but I feel like wanting a movie to be longer is never really a bad thing.

    Life Partners is my guilty pleasure movie, I’m kind of embarrassed by how much I love it. Although I kind of wish the queer character hadn’t been played by Leighton Meester, I liked the character story arc much more than the acting. Gillian Jacobs is amazing though.

    Next time I want to have a lot of feelings I’m going to watch the Edie documentary.

  3. fwiw, I am sort of partial to I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, because I was pretty cheeseball for Patricia Rozema in college (When Night is Falling!) and I learned about it from that book Cunt about Movies In Which Women Don’t Get Raped, and for sure, it’s not very good for reasons of gayness, but I do love a weird, daydreamy character just like, exploring her sense of self as an artist. It also has Ann Marie McDonald when she’s like 19, and it just slays me.

    I think it just reminds me of your weird earnest friend who shows you a long, long slideshow of her trip to Prague but all her pictures are close-ups of rocks and the weird reflective surfaces of buildings. I think I’ve projected my desire for the emotional fullfilment of every weirdo onto her story though- like she wants so much to be impressive and worldly, and she just can’t manage! she tries to lick the warm handtowel in a Japanese restaurant! it just kills me!

    • I am also a huge fan of I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, for some of the same reasons–I love Patricia Rozema and I like it’s quirky art-focused theme, and the fact that there are 3 queer women without a lot of identity angst meant a lot to me at a particular point in time.

      Also the image of showing the art as pure light just works like magic for me–it’s a great image of what art can be without imposing personal taste.

    • Therer are 7 films from this list (the recommended ones) that you can watch on Netflix Germany:

      Game Face
      Tig
      Blue is the warmest color
      Your sister’s sister
      Frida
      Breaking the girls

      Quite disappointing, I’d say.

      There is also:

      Lost and delirious
      Girl, interrupted

      And from the not recommended ones:

      Anatomy of a love seen
      Chasing Amy

  4. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, so I planned on Tuesday to drink a vat of Sleepytime Tea and go to bed early. Naturally my wife and I ended up awake until 12 am watching CONTRACTED instead. We’re fans of scary movies, and this one was frankly disgustingly scary – and a very good cautionary tale against sleeping with men ;) It definitely doesn’t deserve to be top tier on this list, but it wasn’t the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those kind of so-gross-and-bad-it’s-good movies. Like Zombeavers. (You’re welcome if you haven’t heard about that gem before.)

    • I agree that this is a gross movie (the very first scene, the rape scene and then the last scene with the guy X.X) and the dialogue is very “off”.

      But don’t judge me when I say that I find Samantha very intriguing (Her liking purple-purple phone, bedsheets and flowers are a plus!) and I think of her when I’m listening to Zombie Girl’s music <3 lol ;)

  5. I read this, got really excited, bookmarked it, and was already dreaming of many cosy evenings to come–but then was heartbroken to realise that a lot of these (a lot of the most interesting sounding ones!) are not available for Netflix UK. Instead, they just keep recommended I watch Perfect Ending and Bound.

  6. Um, EXCUSE ME, Jenny’s Wedding is an instant classic, easily one of my top 5 favorite lesbian movies of all time. I honestly love it to death.

    But also, this is a very very impressive article, good job and thank you.

  7. I so needed this!!!!!!!!!

    EEEk, so many favorite movies to re-watch (Dope, Pariah, Mosquita y Mari <— EVERYONE SEE THESE MOVIES, along with Frida, Rent, Paris is Burning)

    So many movies I've always wanted to catch up on (Tangerine, Sand Dollar, Stud Life)

    Let me just say, I'm sort of jealous that I don't live in Canada and therefore can't watch "Saving Face", "Pride", or "Circumstance" whenever I want :( If you live in Canada (or the UK) watch those movies, too!

    Love this list! Thanks for doing the research for us, Riese!

    • *Nods* I really wish there was a Goth girl lesbian movie but no cheesiness, please!

      Also, I have to add the only thing I liked about “The Guest House” was that white and black top and black glasses that guest was wearing! Oh! And that black skirt, underbust corset with a black muscle shirt and the purple stockings. But that’s honestly it x.x

  8. Omg… I feel wounded (wounded!) that The Fish Child isn’t included on this list!!? It’s this amazing completely gay Argentinian drama about 2 girls in love and one (the main character’s indigenous housekeeper) gets accused of murder. Racism and class have a huge role in this film but never in a heavy handed way. It’s beautifully shot, passionate, romantic, and very unique. I’d recommend it everyone.

  9. Fun fact about 52 Tuesdays: the film was only filmed on tuesdays over the course of a year! So the progression of the characters has an authenticity to it which is really interesting. Also, I sat behind the main character (James) in my first year of gender studies and they would always glare at me if I ate in class and I found them to be quite terrifying actually. But it’s a good movie if only because it always reminds me so much of home.

    • To clarify, I don’t think Miss G’s sexuality is ever established, but IMO they were definitely playing on the predatory LGB trope when they had her molest Fiamma.

      But once again… SAVING FACE! I saw a pic of the main cast at a 10 year reunion and I swear they didn’t age a day, those assholes. Not that I’m bitter or anything…

  10. What about Jack & Diane? True there is the very random and ridiculous werewolf thing, but it isn’t prominent and if you can get past it, the movie is really cute. Plus side, it actually features an androgynous/more tomboy type character which I don’t usually see in the typical lesbian and bisexual films. I’m pretty sure it’s streaming in the US and Canada.

  11. I saw Pariah (thanks to the AS recommendation a while back), 52 Tuesdays, and Tangerine in theaters and all were excellent. Also a big fan of Kyss Mig, RENT, The Kids are Alright and Blue is the Warmest Color. Looking forward to watching Dope and Life Partners soon! Thanks for the list.

  12. ‘ One of our Autostraddle Plus members requested a post about all the streaming lesbian-related films on Netflix and so here I am, delivering my deliverable to one of our many VIPs. ‘ !!!!! <333

    Is this the best thing ever to come home to after a long, stressful day of classes? Almost definitely. And just in time for spring break, too. AUTOSTRADDLE'S TOO GOOD TO ME.

  13. So here’s where I disagree:
    -Girltrash is great fun, not just ok! Boy Meets Girl is also pretty good.
    -Room in Rome I absolutely love
    -Tru Love and A Perfect Ending aren’t very good

    But agree on everything else. Unfortunately Netflix Australia has only the not very good films!

  14. I saw kiss me and thought it was good, but not great. I think the plot is a bit played out like a romantic comedy, though I don’t think it was suppose to be one? I’m not to familiar with Swedish humor.

    I very much will disagree with you on Room In Rome, I thought it was done well, and reasonably accurate at times. I suggested it to a friend(partially cause it’s a queer film in Spanish) and she said after watching it with her partner she had an even better night.

    I am not sure if it’s still streaming(only saw it on the dvd option in the US netflix), but Amiee and Jaguar was a powerful and really sad movie. It’s about a queer Jewish woman who falls in love with German woman who plans to be engaged to a German solder/SS during WWII. Not something to watch alone.

    Also, not sure if it’s on Netflix still, but there is My Summer of Love, staring Emily Blunt, and set in the UK. The movie has an air of creepiness(can’t fully explain it, but I had British queer agree). Saw it twice partially cause it’s Emily Blunt and another actress(forgot her name), being cute at time, and partially cause I couldn’t figure out why it’s creepy.

    Elena Undone(is still on Netflix), and found the movie for the most part to be typical, straight woman married with kids who’s husband is a homophobic priest. She falls in love with a lesbian, and leaves the husband. It had an air of cheesiness to it. Only good thing about that movie was the love making scene was better than average.

    • Wait… it’s the Gay and Lesbian genre and if you click on Subgenre, you can pick between like romance, documentaries, comedies, etc. I think it’s just movies, though, and not shows.

      My wife and I like to watch all the queer content, so we watch a lot of terrible stuff on Netflix. ;)

  15. The Kids Are Alright’s “happy ending” pissed me off to be honest. I didn’t think it was earned as I did not believe that those two should have stayed together or learned anything at all. Neither of them seemed happy in their relationship. And a good portion of that film is spent on Jules’ affair with a man, complete with graphic sex scenes. That alone is enough for me to not recommend to anyone who is specifically looking to watch a “Lesbian movie”.

    I’ve seen a good portion of the movies on this list. Though I wish Pride were on Netflix US. I still haven’t seen it yet.

    My highest recommendations go to Pariah, Tig, and Paris Is Burning.

  16. Absolutely, hands down, adored Tig and Edie & Thea. A+, 5 stars.

    For The Bible Tells Me So was critical to setting myself free from the hypocritical beliefs of my *christian* friends & myself. Instead of building a faith, I’d built a cell with long stints in solitary confinement, battling with my internalized homophobia. The silver lining? Instead of looking to a higher power, I started to identify my own power and ironically, have a stronger faith than ever.

  17. We accidentally stumbled across Girltrash one night and it took an entire bottle of wine to get through it. What a terrible, weird movie. But it inspired us to tell everyone about it, which led to a queer movie night watching one about space alien lesbians filmed in black and white that used to be on Netflix? And then we wanted to watch more SO THIS LIST IS PERFECT. Thank you!

    • Girltrash is a follow-up to a webseries from 2007 i think, the initial story involves bar fights, stolen money, mafiosi and lots of threats and running. It’s really funny (i mean, i like it a lot). When i first saw what they did with the feature, i thought what the hell?! That’s why Rose Rollins’ character is so mad all the time: it comes from the initial storyline. I’m not sure why they decided to make Coby come out and the whole story revolve around that since in the webseries, she has a girlfriend and they actually both get kidnapped by Rose Rollins… I never watched “codependent…” cause that one always seemed weird to me but maybe i should!

  18. I had been waiting for another list like this, and then it hit me . . . that moment when you realize you’ve already seen (or half-watched/attempted) most of these and you must wait patiently for more lesbian movies to actually be made.

  19. I am absolutely thrilled with this list………..I’ve seen just a few SO FAR
    I have Netflix and Hulu…I’m old enough to remember when our DOB group
    didn’t get all our mail because it homosexuality was considered pornographic.
    Now to have all these films at our fingertips….glad I lived to see the day
    (daylight)

  20. Summer of Sangaile (which I saw in the theatre) was TERRIBLE, and I say this as someone who =actually is a fan of international art movies with minimal plot; it’s just a bad example of the genre.

  21. “All Cheerleaders Die” is a horror/comedy (kind of in the vein of “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” but a little darker) that has two lesbians – the main character and her ex-girlfriend who is a witch. There are sapphic hookups, and the monster of the movie is a football player who is the paragon of toxic masculinity and misogyny. It’s awesome and I can’t recommend it enough – especially because no one seems to have ever heard of it.

  22. Kissing Jessica Stein!

    My wife and I love that movie. I know it catches a lot of flack, but I honestly love how all of the characters grow and evolve; sexuality is part of that but not all of it. The scene with Jessica and her mom (played flawlessly by Tovah Feldshuh) brings tears to my eyes every time!

    • Kissing Jessica Stein was so important to me and is one of my favourite movies. It was such a great portrayal of Jewishness and so natural about both Judaism and exploring your sexual identity that I wound up watching it four times in a row when I first found it.

      That scene with Jessica and her mom helped me come out to my mom, since I was so nervous of how she’d deal with it based on earlier conversations I’d had with her about some of my gay friends. Then watching Judy be so supportive and accepting of Jessica’s relationship with Helen because it made her daughter happy…it really made things easier to talk to my mom.

  23. Yesssss this is so necessary!!

    Also, I’m not being even a little bit hyperbolic when I say that Anatomy of a Love Seen is the worst movie I’ve seen in years, and maybe ever. Like, I’m generally not a super harsh critic, and I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be a masterpiece, but YIKES that was some garbage. Don’t waste your time, friends.

  24. The reality of lesbian movies is changing rapidly. The drama, story line, character. If you watch portrait of marriage you will understand. The natural reality is very interesting to watch. There are many more other lesbian movies like women’s lake, never ending and etc. that is interesting and fun to watch.

  25. the foxy merkins. it’s so totally unique and amazing. saw it at outfest la and now it’s streaming on Netflix! not everyone will like it, but if you like quirky weird comedy I think you will. lisa haas is brilliant. highly recommend.

  26. Warning about Blue is the Warmest Color- there’s a lot of controversy about how the director handled the sex scenes, and left the two actresses deeply uncomfortable and never wanting to work with him again. (https://www.vulture.com/2013/10/timeline-blue-is-the-warmest-color-controversy.html) Also found a 2018 article that said he assaulted a 28-yo woman (https://www.thecut.com/2018/11/blue-is-the-warmest-color-director-accused-of-sexual-assault-abdellatif-kechiche.html).

  27. Reposting this because originally I’ve accidentally posted it in an unrelated thread.

    Thanks for the list, it’s much appreciated especially now that we are all stuck at home here in Italy.
    I just don’t understand the enthusiasm for Daddy Issues; I watched it with high expectations when it was first reviewed here by Drew and it’s SO BAD, literally one of the worst movies I’ve ever watched.

    Has anyone else watched it and not liked it or is it just me?

    • Omg me neither, I just watched it last night with some friends via Netflix Party and it was just… there were a few scenes that were kind of fun, but on the whole the whole thing was really uncomfortable and bizarre. I was really disappointed; based on this list I expected it to be at least kind of good!

  28. Reposting this because originally I’ve accidentally posted it in an unrelated thread.

    Thanks for the list, it’s much appreciated especially now that we are all stuck at home here in Italy.

    I just don’t understand the enthusiasm for Daddy Issues; I watched it with high expectations when it was first reviewed here by Drew and it’s SO BAD, literally one of the worst movies I’ve ever watched.

    Has anyone else watched it and not liked it or is it just me?

  29. That review for below her mouth was really funny… And daddy issues is the only one I haven’t watched or attempted to watch before turning it off… Never heard of it, but unfortunately it is not longer on Netflix.

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