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

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.

If these descriptions look familiar, it’s probably ’cause some of them are copped from other posts we’re written about lesbian/bi/queer movies. There are only so many ways to describe a movie, y’all. But some of these are new things we’ve never talked about before! They are tagged with accurate descriptors of the characters involved in the main narrative.


Note: This post was originally published in March 2016, and Netflix’s offerings have changed since then. In March 2017, we updated the list to reflect these changes, which means we added a lot of movies but also mourned many Netflix removals. If the since-removed movie was on “The Best” or “Other Okay” list and is available for streaming elsewhere, we left it on the list with info on where you still can stream it.


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

Pariah

#lesbian

“It’s rare these days that anything authentic makes it to the screen, let alone something queer and authentic. But it has and it is and it’s called Pariah.”  Gabby Rivera

pariah

Despite violent opposition from her mother, who wants her daughter to dress femininely and be straight, 17-year-old Alike prefers to express herself with androgynous clothes and liking girls. When her mother refuses to accept her, she has to choose between staying and trying to gain her mother’s approval or leaving for college early to start a new life. We were big fans of this one.


Kiss Me / Kyss Mig (Swedish)

#lesbian #bisexual

“..there is no amount of corniness in Kiss Me‘s depiction of a complicated and passionate situation, although there is a lot of wine and cigarettes.”Kate Severance

kiss-me-movie

Oh, you know, just your average 33-year-old straight-engaged woman who accidentally falls in love with her soon-to-be stepsister when she meets her for the very first time. Mia’s dumb boyfriend Tim never stood a chance.


Dope

#lesbian

Dope1.0

Kiersy Clemons co-stars as Diggy, the masculine-presenting lesbian best friend of protagonist Malcom and their other bestie, Jib. Together, the trio of ’90s-loving geeks used to getting bullied on the daily are invited to a cool party hosted by drug dealers, setting off a chain of events that get the kids in real deep with criminal activity and unsavory characters with no awareness of their own ridiculousness. It’s a charming, entirely original, politically conscious coming-of-age tale cast in dreamy California light and draped in eye-popping fashion with a killer soundtrack to boot.


Life Partners

#lesbian

“…a film in which everything that could go usually wrong in a lesbian film inexplicably doesn’t!”Brittani Nichols

girl-talk

Leighton Meester is absolutely adorable in this comedy about two co-dependent best friends — one straight, one gay — who have to learn a new way to navigate their relationship after the straight one falls in love with Adam Brody.


Show Me Love (Swedish)

#lesbian

As of March 2017, Show Me Love is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for purchase via Amazon Streaming.

“Quiet throughout but with a feel-good resolution; Fucking Amal leaves you giddy with first-love nostalgia and no Celene Dion songs stuck in your head.”Lily Icangelo

show-me-love

In the small town of Amal, Sweden, two girls with very different personalities find that they have a pretty big thing in common. (Spoiler alert: It’s liking girls.) Elin is a popular, social butterfly. Agnes is an openly gay depressed recluse. The two of them decide to take a five-hour ride to Stockholm to solve all their problems, and fall in love along the way.


Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement

#lesbian

As of March 2017, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Amazon Prime.

2013-05-10-EdieTheaandcar

A touching documentary about the relationship between Edie Windsor, who brought the same-sex marriage suit to the supreme court, and her partner Thea Spyer, who were together for four decades.


Summer Time (France)

This gorgeous film set in 1971 tells the story of a young woman from the French countryside who moves to Paris to get away from her parents, where she falls in with a group of politically engaged feminists and eventually falls in love with Carole, their leader.


Tangerine

#transgender

“This movie is, above all else, sweltering and electric.” – Mey Rude

tangerine-movie

Fast, raucous and raw story of one night in the life of two transgender prostitutes — one who dreams of becoming  professional singer, the other who just got out of jail and heard that her shitty stupid-ass boyfriend is cheating on her — and the men who fuck with their lives. Shot entirely on an iPhone.


The Kids Are All Right

#lesbian

As of March 2017, The Kids Are All Right is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Amazon.

“The writing was charming and poignant, the directing was thoughtful without being heavy-handed, and the acting.. wow. The fucking acting. They were all great, but Annette Benning was giving ACTOR’S STUDIO LESBIAN EXECUTIVE REALNESS. That bitch stole every scene. All she needed was her lesbian mom jeans and a glass of wine and she had us at hello.”Julie Goldman & Brandy Howards

the_kids_are_all_right031

Nic and Jules are a successful lesbian couple living in Los Angeles with the two kids they each had from the same sperm donor. The kids track down the sperm donor and he weasels his way into their lives and into Jules’ pants. The movie has a (gay) happy ending, and critics loved it. It was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It is loved and loathed by our community in equal measure because despite its lesbian leaning, still posited a man at the center of the narrative.


Tig

#lesbian #bisexual

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.


Rent

#lesbian #bisexual

As of March 2017, Rent is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Amazon Prime.

rent-2005

Based on the long-running Broadway musical of the same name, Rent explores the lives of several East Village artists — many of them queer — living during the AIDS crisis in New York City in the late ’80s. The show-stopping “Take Me (Or Leave Me)” is a rousing number between Maureen, a bisexual performance artist who loves to flirt and get wild, and her girlfriend, Joanne, a lawyer who loves lists and stability.


Frida

#bisexual

As of March 2017,  Frida is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Amazon Prime.

frida

The biopic of bisexual artist Frida Kahlo (played by the amazing Salma Hayek) is lush and full, deftly traversing not only her life, situated firmly in political and cultural context, but that of her husband, painter Diego Rivera. In fact, a lot of the movie is pretty focused on her moody, womanizing husband Diego Rivera (played by English-American actor Alfred Molina)! But in between all the Diego parts we see some of Frida’s lady-loving side and its ensuing hook-ups. Plus boobs!


Game Face

#transgender #lesbian

fallon-fox

This documentary follows transgender lesbian MMA fighter Fallon Fox and college basketball player Terrence Clemens of Oklahoma, attempting to figure out how to come out and live their lives without sacrificing their athletic careers. Look out for appearances from first openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and the first openly trans NCAA D1 athlete basketball player Kye Allums.


Mosquita y Mari

#lesbian

As of March 2017,  Mosquita y Mari is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Wolfe Video.

“…find[s] the bits that makes us who we are and blast[s] them onto a screen.”Gabby Rivera

mosquita-y-mari

Fans of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will love this tender, earnest story of friendship, attraction, and family. We have written about this movie a lot!


Sand Dollars (Dolares De Arena) (Dominican)

#lesbian #bisexual

Dolares-de-arena

Understated, sad, sometimes quite slow but relentlessly original — this quiet film follows the going-on-three-year relationship between Anne, a rich older lesbian and Noeli, the much younger Dominican girl she hired while on vacation. Anne is in love. Noeli, who doesn’t talk much, is not — she needs money.


Cloudburst

#lesbian

As of March 2017,  Cloudburst is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming via Amazon and Wolfe Video.

cloudburst

Ever wonder what would happen if Thelma and Louise were elderly lesbians? Cloudburst attempts to answer this question and Olympia Dukakis is involved.


The Duke of Burgandy

#lesbian

“…it dealt with love and relationships in such a nuanced and sensitive way that I’d recommend it just because, not just as ‘a BDSM film.'”Fikri Alkhatib

the-duke-of-burgandy


Paris Is Burning

#transgender

“…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.


How to Survive a Plague

#gay #lesbian #bisexual

survive-a-plague

HIV ravaged the gay men’s community in the 1980s and 1990s, nearly wiping out an entire generation — this documentary charts the radical activism of ACT UP and TAG during the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic. Although the primary focus is on gay men, the story it tells is also a reminder of how many lesbian and bisexual women played huge roles in AIDS activism and how recently homophobia saturated this country to the degree that everybody in power was totally on board with watching so many gay and trans people die.


The New Black

#lesbian #gay #bisexual

As of March 2017,  The New Black is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon.

the-new-black-marriage-equality-1000x675

This documentary documents gay rights issues in the African-American community and the Christian conservative strategy of exploiting black churches to push forward their agenda, centered around the marriage equality fight in Maryland.


The Summer of Sangaile (Lithuanian)

#lesbian

“It’s dark in places but as light as first love’s wings in others.”Heather Hogan

the-summer-of-sangaile

Summer love blooms between two teenagers in Lithuania who meet at an aerobatics show — a girl who dreams of being a pilot who’s spending the summer at her family’s lake house and the bohemian photographer and clothing designer. Heads up: involves some romanticization of self-mutilation.


52 Tuesdays

#transgender #bisexual

“…poignant and painful and deeply personal.”Kaelyn Rich

52-tuesdays

The journey of a teenage girl who learns that one of her parents is transitioning to live full-time as James. Billie must move out of the house for a year, seeing her father only once a week as part of the transition process. The story is told from Billie’s point of view as she struggles with supporting James through the transition, moving past feelings of abandonment, navigating their new lives, and coming into her own skin by pushing boundaries with her own sexuality.


Blue is the Warmest Color (French)

#lesbian #bisexual

blue-is-the-warmest-color

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


Margarita With a Straw

#bisexual

“Yes, this is a ‘disabled person discovers their sexuality’ movie, but Laila is never healed (literally or figuratively) by that discovery,” wrote Carrie Wade in her review of Margarita With a Straw, a love story between two disabled women of color, “presented without sensationalism or pandering.”


The Girl King

#lesbian

Queen Kristina of Sweden, who was crowned at the age of six, will not abide the conservative ideals of her culture, especially when she falls in love with a woman.


Portrait of a Serial Monogamist 

#lesbian

Elsie is a forty-year-old Jewish lesbian in Toronto who— after getting her heart broken at the tender age of 12  has bounced from serious relationship to serious relationship all her life, refusing to be single and perfecting her exit strategy. The film opens with Elise breaking up with her current girlfriend of five years and, for the first time in her life, finding herself unable to walk out the door of one monogamous situation and into the arms of another one. Heather Hogan called it “one of the best-written lesbian movies I’ve ever seen… incisive and very, very funny.”


Kumu Hina

#trans

An enchanting documentary about native Hawa’iian transgender teacher Hina Wong-Kalu, who embodies “mahu,” a sacred spirit both male and female, and is part of a movement struggling to preserve Pacific Islander culture and values in modern day Hawa’ii.


Growing Up Coy

#trans

A documentary following a Colorado family fighting for the rights of Coy, their transgender daughter, in a landmark civil rights case.


Good Lesbian Movies Streaming on Netflix Canada or UK But Not Netflix US:

Pride (Netflix Canada)

“…a sweet and hilarious movie with a diverse cast of characters (for the setting, at least) that feels comfortably familiar.” – Kaelyn Rich

Pride


Circumstance (Netflix Canada)

circumstance

This story is full of youth but also sexuality, and family and rules and an underworld where people can be who they are. The two girls at the center are being torn really strongly in a few directions, sometimes almost violently so, but can’t seem to untangle from each other or from their familial obligations. It’s worth your undivided attention and it easily got mine.


Concussion (Netflix Canada & UK)

“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

concussion


Saving Face (Canada)

saving-face

A multi-generational romantic comedy about a lesbian surgeon and her pregnant, unwed mother trying to find the courage to follow their hearts instead of their family’s expectations. There is nothing to dislike about this movie and if you haven’t seen it, you should remedy that immediately.


Drool (Canada)

drool-movie

A dark comedy that touches on abuse, assault and murder, but manages to be fun about it all.


Kissing Jessica Stein (Canada & UK)

kissing-jessica

A straight girl tries to be a lesbian, it doesn’t work out so well for the lesbian.


Breaking the Girls (UK)

breaking-girls

“It’s hard to get around the fact that the only character who is self-identified as a lesbian is also batshit crazy, and she straight up murders people to win the love of her straight crush. That obviously backfires, since everyone knows that we can’t have nice things, even in fictional depictions of lesbianism where, oh, you know, our narratives don’t have to follow conventional stereotypes. Crazy, right? Breaking the Girls is a thriller, though, so even murderous crazy lesbians have more on their plate than meets the eye.” – Kate Severance


Bound (UK)

bound

Violet and Corky decide the best way to be together and break free from their pasts is to steal $2 million of mafia money. The plot and the violence are cartoonishly over the top, but the lesbian sex scenes are for real. They were choreographed by the legendary Susie Bright, who received a cameo in the film for her help teaching Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon how to scissor.


Other Okay Lesbian, Bisexual & Queer Movies On Netflix US:

Liz en Septiembre / Liz in September (Venezuelan)

#lesbian #bisexual

“The cinematography is lush, the lesbian love story is organic and crackling with on-screen chemistry, and the ending is chair-kickingly sad/familiar.”Heather Hogan

liz_in_september_still

It’s not a masterpiece, this film about a straight girl who stays at a lesbian beach resort and ends up getting seduced by the resident Lothario. But you do get to see Patricia Velasquez play a hot lesbian who seduces a straight girl, which is not an entirely unpleasant thing to witness.


Me, Myself and Her (Italy)

#bisexual #lesbian

Two women in their 50s, one an actress-turned-restauranteur and the other an architect, are five years into a relationship that seems pretty cool and solid until Frederica runs into an old flame and finds old feelings bubbling back to the surface.


Loving Annabelle

#lesbian

“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

loving-annabelle-lesbian-movie

A Catholic boarding school teacher falls in love with one of her students. It’s the plot of Mädchen in Uniform with more on-screen lesbian sex shenanigans and electric guitars.


Girltrash: All Night Long

#lesbian #bisexual

As of March 2017,  Girltrash is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon.

girltrash-all-night-long

A rock musical chock-full of ladies you love to see play gay, like the lead actresses from South of Nowhere and Kate French, Malaya Rivera Drew, Clementine Ford and Rose Rollins from The L Word. You can kinda half-watch this and still get it.


That’s Not Us

#lesbian #gay

A romantic comedy that follows three couples — one straight, one gay and one lesbian — through a revelatory weekend on Fire Island. The challenge faced by the trip’s lesbian couple is, of course, Lesbian Bed Death!


Tru Love

#lesbian #bisexual

As of March 2017,  Tru Love is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon and Wolfe Video.

“…if you like shamelessly corny romance movies — and it’s OK if you do — you will probably love this movie.”Kaelyn Rich

tru-love

The May/December romance at the heart of Tru Love is but one of the many complex relationships in this surprisingly layered film. Winner of nearly a dozen awards across the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and India, Tru Love might just make you want to believe in soul mates. Or fall asleep. Depends on your style.


Stud Life

As of March 2017,  Stud Life is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon and Wolfe Video.

stud-life-movie

Not even an obviously teensy budget can break this gorgeously acted film about a stud finding love, grappling with shifting friendships, and figuring out what it means when the rules you set for yourself are the very things that stop you from getting what you want most.


Boy Meets Girl

“[Ricky is] perhaps one of the most nuanced, least stereotypical trans characters that has ever been portrayed in film.”Mari Brighe

BoyGirl04

Mari found “Boy Meets Girl” imperfect, but also groundbreaking and heartwarming: “Ricky is sweet and smart and quirky and cute, and I dare you all not to have a crush on her by the end of the film. She’s also a whole person, with feelings and dreams and heartbreaks and desires all her own that don’t necessarily have anything to do with being trans. While she is feminine, she’s far the hyper-femme stereotypes, with a definite tomboy spirit.


Camp Takota

As of March 2017,  Camp Takota is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon.

“Real talk, this movie is really good and funny in ways that I wasn’t expecting.”Grace Ellis

camp-takota

My Drunk Kitchen‘s Hannah Hart plays a lesbian counselor at Camp Takota. Together with her best friend Maxine and her estranged friend Elise, they want to save the camp from impending foreclosure and chase their dreams in new directions. It’s a cute film aimed at teenagers with a refreshingly non-chalant (but relatively incidental) inclusion of a queer character. If this was a list of cool movies for teenage girls, it’d be in the “Best” part of this list, cause it definitely is that, but the lesbian-related content is too light to really endorse it as a bona fide lesbian film.


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

Nicole Conn is a prolific lesbian filmmaker and, to be honest, usually her name on a title is a pretty good indication that we’re not watching an objectively good movie. Yet she has many fans, so, here’s this one. If Pretty Woman had a baby gay baby with Nicholas Sparks, the result would be A Perfect Ending, a drama about a call girl with a heart of gold and an artist’s temperament who falls in love with a “straight” WASPy housewife who is dying of cancer. The ending may be perfect, but it’s sad as heck.


Bare

BARE, l-r: Dianna Agron, Paz de la Huerta, 2015. ©Sundance Selects

On the downside, it’s often slow small awfulness like a bad ’90s movie. On the upside, Dianna Agron takes her shirt off and makes out with Paz De La Huerta? You know the score: sad girl in small town with dull boyfriend enchanted by wild child ripping through town who has vague problems of her own, drugs and strippers are eventually involved.


Of Girls and Horses

As of March 2017,  Of Girls and Horses is no longer available on Netflix, but it is available for streaming on Amazon and Wolfe Video.

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival 2015

This is sort of predictable and ho-hum, but not entirely unpleasant — the story of a troubled teen who deals with her demons by learning to ride a horse… and another horse-rider!


Bloomington

#bisexual #lesbian

It’s possible this entire movie was shot in somebody’s condo? It’s the story of an ex-child actor who heads off to college (which kinda looks like a condo) and falls for “an engaging female professor who has a reputation for breaking the hearts of other women.”


Lesbian Movies, Bisexual Movies and Queer Movies on Netflix That Are Honestly Not Very Good

Descriptions are either directly from their Netflix page or from an Autostraddle review. Autostraddle reviews are cited.

Contracted: “…fairly hardcore body horror that will either have you cheering for a return to “real horror” after a year of Insidious sequels and Paranormal Activity wannabes, or turning away from the screen until you turn it off.” – Kate Severance

Room in Rome: “This is like the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s not even exciting-weird, it’s like, occasionally-boring weird and sometimes uncomfortably emo.” – Riese

Anatomy of a Love Seen: “While filming a lesbian love scene, two actresses fall for each other and start a relationship that brings them love in all its painful, messy glory.”

Jenny’s Wedding: “This was a nice effort — a little behind the times, ultimately, but still — that ended up falling a little flat due to, well… flatness: one-dimensional characters, no real exploration of the source of the parents’ homophobia, a total lack of chemistry between the lead characters. ” –Riese

Heterosexual Jill: “Jill will do anything to prove that she’s no longer a lesbian, including forcing her ex-girlfriend to go on a date with her to show her disinterest.”

The Final Girl: “In the shadowy back alleys of Paris, three women’s lives intersect when Leena, an acquaintance of all three, inexplicably disappears.”

Chasing Amy: This is objectively a good movie, but is SO shitty message-wise as it gave a whole generation of men the idea that lesbians might want to have sex with them.

All About E: “A successful DJ hits the road with some ill-gotten cash and ends up taking refuge with the girlfriend she thought she’d lost forever.”

Floating!: “A bride-to-be ends up on a rafting trip with a surprise guest: the sperm donor she’s planning to use. Back in Berlin, her fiancee is visited by an ex.”

Riese is a Jewish lesbian and the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key 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 2594 articles for us.

70 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!!

  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.

  4. This list is a slap in the face as just this week Netflix stopped letting me use Hola to browse internationally.
    Whyyyyyy??
    I think I’ll be lucky to find even one of these on German Netflix 🙁

    • 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

  5. 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 😉

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Ugh, Netflix UK, Y U so lame?? Want to watch so many off this list but they are not available.

    I might check out maybe the shitty BFI player has some of them.

    Thank you for the list, always awesome!

    • *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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. ‘ 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. I love how this list includes the only okay and the pretty crappy movies as well as the actually good ones. Watching bad lesbian movies on Netflix was definitely part of how I came out to myself.

    • 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. 😉

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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)

  23. 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.

  24. “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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. “Fucking Åmål leaves you giddy with first-love nostalgia and no Celene Dion songs stuck in your head.”

    That’s true. However, it does leave you with Robyn’s Show Me Love stuck in your head!!

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