It’s no big secret that sex sells, and Hollywood knows it. The problem is, pulling off a good Hollywood sex scene is a true piece of art because, obviously, it’s simulated (usually). A lot of the time they look and feel awkward because there’s no real chemistry happening, just lines in a script. But sometimes, on the rare occasion where actors and actresses have a natural chemistry that clicks together, it spells magic for the film. We decided to go through some of the most popular sex scenes over the last few years to compile a list of our favorites.
If a scene made our list, it’s not just because it’s hot and we get to see celeboobs; it’s because it’s sexy, natural, and real. Here are our 8 favorite movie sex scenes:
Angelina Jolie in ‘Original Sin’
On its own as a movie, Original Sin was pretty terrible (critics have called it “laughably melodramatic”). The film stars Angelina Jolie and Thomas Jane as two lovers who attempt to swindle Luis Vargas (Antonio Banderas), a late 19th Century coffee merchant, out of his extreme wealth. Anyway, none of that matters. What matters is in one of the only believable scenes in the entire movie, a sex scene between Banderas and Jolie. The scene, though simulated, is about as realistic as it gets. It’s a tough movie to sit through, but that scene alone may be enough to make it worthwhile.
Reese Witherspoon in ‘Cruel Intentions’
Cruel Intentions is one of those late ‘90s movies we love watching not because it’s a superb film or anything like that, but because it’s one of those small frames of reference that bring us back to pre-9/11 New York City, and all the fun of MTV’s Golden Era. The sex scene with Reese Witherspoon and co-star Ryan Phillippe is incredibly intimate and realistic, down to the sweat, anxious glances, and quivering lips—it gets us every time. And it’s extra authentic because Counting Crows plays in the background, just like the sex everyone was having in the late ‘90s!
Diane Lane in ‘Unfaithful’
Diane Lane is one of those classically beautiful women that has that unexplainable sex appeal we can’t get enough of. Her scene in the 2002 film Unfaithful, where she plays a wife whose marriage is shattered when she has an affair with an attractive younger man she randomly meets is one of the sexiest scenes we’ve ever sat through—in fact, it was the first one we thought of when we decided to compile this list. The whole movie is filled with tantalizing sex scenes (there’s just something so sexy about people doing things they shouldn’t), but our favorite is the few seconds they have in the stairwell of the strange man’s apartment building. Raunchy sex aside, Lane’s acting is excellent, and the role won her several awards.
Rebecca De Mornay in ‘Risky Business’
Riskey Business is considered one of Tom Cruise’s best roles ever. The now-legendary scene, between Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay, is still considered one of the best simulated sex scenes in history over 30 years after the film’s original release because it’s so sensual and intimate that it feels and looks as real as it gets. The strangest thing about it is that it features no nudity or any real explicit subject matter (except Cruise sliding De Mornay’s panties down to her ankles, maybe), yet still remains realistic and convincing. It just goes to show that sexy doesn’t always automatically mean T and A.
Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman ‘Black Swan’
Oh, come on… You knew this one was coming. The premise to the movie aside, Mila Kunis is still one of the most drop-dead gorgeous actresses in the business. Watching her go down on Natalie Portman who’s basically typecast as the polite, naive, innocent girl next door in everything she plays, is just a remarkable experience that everyone should get to witness at least once. It’s just… It’s a work of art. The movie is pretty okay, too.
Nicole Kidman in ‘Hemingway and Gellhorn’
Hemingway is one of those mythical American writers to whom every good man should aspire. The way he wrote was good, but the way he lived was truly something else. Hemingway and Gellhorn is a made-for-TV movie from HBO that stars Nicole Kidman as war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and Clive Owen as Papa himself. The scene involves Kidman and Owen having intimate, passionate sex inside an apartment while a war is going on all around them. The scene receives high marks because it’s full of authentic passion and tenderness, even while the building is falling apart (literally—at one point a window smashes and part of the ceiling collapses directly on top of them). It’s just an excellent, excellent scene in a film with a surprisingly good cast and support crew.
Morena Baccarin in ‘Deadpool’
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about love, it’s that it comes in all different shapes and sizes. And when you’re as fucked up as Ryan Reynolds’s character in Deadpool, you seek out love from someone who’s just as fucked up as you. In a nutshell, that’s what made the holiday sex sequence between Deadpool (Reynolds) and his girlfriend Vanessa (Silva de Vas Setta Baccarin) so great. Not only was it sexy because Silva de Vas Setta Baccarin is a complete uber-babe who seemed just kinky enough, but it was also oddly heartwarming to see the way she and Deadpool loved each other.
Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo in ‘Knock Knock’
If his training videos for his prep in the John Wick films didn’t convince you that Keanu Reaves is one of the gnarliest men on two feet, his sex scene with Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo in Knock Knock will reduce you to tear-inducing applause. Reeves plays Evan, a faithful father and husband who allows two stranded strangers inside his home to dry off, and gets a little more than he bargained for. De Armas and Izzo are absolutely jaw dropping, and the sex fest they have is worth sitting through the rest of this awful movie for.