The Best NC-17 Romance Movies

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Add your favorite movie to the list if it's missing, but only if it's the correct rating.

This list of NC-17 romance movies, ranked from best to worst with movie trailers when available. Top NC-17 movies are sexually explicit and erotic, but all of these films also have great plots that make them stand out from the rest. This list takes the best NC-17 romance movies and pits them against each other to see once and for all what the greatest NC-17 romance movie of all time is. If you want to watch these flicks right away, you can find which of your favorite romance movies are streaming online on this Amazon Prime list and your favorite dramas on this Netflix Instant list. 

This list of popular NC-17 romance movies includes information like who directed the film, when it was released and which actors starred in the movie. If you think your personal favorite NC-17 romance movie isn't as high as it should be then be sure to vote it up so it can take its rightful place among the other great NC-17 romance films on this list.

If you're trying to find a specific NC-17 romance film, you can search this list and filter to find what you're looking for. This list is made up of all the good NC-17 movies you'd want to see, including Blue Is the Warmest ColorLast Tango in Paris, and Lust, Caution. If you're trying to find out "What are the best NC-17 romance movies?" and "What are the most famous NC-17 romance movies?" then this free list is the perfect resource for you.

Use this list if you're looking for some new romance movies that are rated NC-17. Between Netflix, Hulu and other services there are thousands of great romance movies NC-17, so get out there and start watching.

Ang Lee and Pedro Almodóvar are among the directors that have worked on a Romance Film NC-17 film.

Ranked by
  • Lust, Caution
    Anupam Kher, Joan Chen, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
    120 votes
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Ang Lee

    Set in World War II-era Shanghai, Lust, Caution is a gripping and emotionally charged NC-17 romance film that follows the dangerous love affair between a young Chinese woman and a Japanese collaborator. Directed by Ang Lee, this cinematic masterpiece is full of passion, intrigue, and espionage, as the two star-crossed lovers navigate tumultuous circumstances, risking their lives for love. Not only does the film showcase the incredible chemistry between its leads, but it also explores themes of power, loyalty, and the thin line that separates love and hate.

  • Blue Is the Warmest Colour
    Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky
    59 votes
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche

    This Cannes Palme d'Or-winning French drama takes an intimate look at the life-changing love affair between two young women — one shy and uncertain, the other free-spirited and confident. Director Abdellatif Kechiche pulls no punches in illustrating the raw passion and emotional depth shared by the two protagonists, played brilliantly by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a visceral and profoundly touching exploration of self-discovery, the complexities of human relationships, and the boundaries of first love.

  • Last Tango in Paris

    Last Tango in Paris

    Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Jean-Pierre Léaud
    86 votes
    • Released: 1972
    • Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

    A classic in the realm of NC-17 romance films, Last Tango in Paris stars Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider as two lonely strangers who engage in a raw, unadulterated affair in a vacant apartment in Paris. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, the film pushes the boundaries of romantic and sexual representation, blending Brando's powerful performance with a haunting score by Gato Barbieri. The movie offers an evocative exploration of grief, solitude, and the desire for connection beyond societal conventions.

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  • Blue Valentine
    Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka
    54 votes
    • Released: 2010
    • Directed by: Derek Cianfrance

    Expertly directed by Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine is a heart-wrenching tale of a doomed relationship between charming dreamer Dean (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring nurse Cindy (Michelle Williams). Presented through a non-linear narrative that weaves between the past and present, the film highlights moments of genuine passion and tenderness along with scenes of destructive conflict. Moody cinematography sets the stage for this exploration of true love and independence, making Blue Valentine a haunting, mature look at the intimacies of a turbulent marriage.

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  • Henry & June
    Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros
    41 votes
    • Released: 1990
    • Directed by: Philip Kaufman

    Based on the autobiographical novel by Anaïs Nin, this bold love triangle chronicles the passionate relationships between writer Henry Miller, his wife June, and Anaïs herself. Set in 1930s Paris, director Philip Kaufman captures the artistic and erotic energy of the era, brought to life by evocative performances from Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, and Maria de Medeiros as the unconventional lovers. A cinematic journey through sensuality and self-discovery, Henry & June is a sophisticated addition to the realm of NC-17 romance films.

  • In the Realm of the Senses
    Taiji Tonoyama, Tatsuya Fuji, Meika Seri
    32 votes
    • Released: 1976
    • Directed by: Nagisa Oshima

    Blurring the lines between art and erotica, Nagisa Ôshima's controversial Japanese classic tells the story of a possessive, desperate love affair between former prostitute Sada and her employer Kichizo. Inspired by actual events, this daring and graphic examination of extreme passion delves into the depths of obsession, jealousy, and unbridled sexuality. Both visually stunning and emotionally intense, In the Realm of the Senses remains an unmatched exploration of desire's dark corridors.