Romance Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs  

Ranker Film
2.7k votes 821 voters 70.5k views 28 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite movies about secret lusty romantic entanglements, especially those that involved infidelity and high stakes.

There is nothing quite as tantalizing as seeing a secret love affair dramatized on the big screen. The top love affair movies feature private trysts, broken hearts, and steamy romances. This is a list of the greatest movies about secret love affairs including everything from Brokeback Mountain to The English Patient to A Perfect Murder.

What films will you find on this list of the best secret love affair movies? In The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has a fling with an older, married woman, but soon finds himself falling in love with her daughter. Mike Nichols took home an Oscar for directing this critically beloved film. American Beauty is another acclaimed movie about secret love affairs, both real and imaginary. The twisty Closer - also directed by Mike Nichols - is a film about an affair within an affair. Other good movies featured on this list include Unfaithful, The Good Girl, and Notes on a Scandal.

It's up to you to decide which of these sexual affair movies deserves the top spot on this list. Vote your picks up to number one, and add any great films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
202 83
Unfaithful is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Michelle Monaghan
Unfaithful is a 2002 American thriller drama film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Chad Lowe, Dominic Chianese and Olivier Martinez. It was adapted by Alvin Sargent ...more
2
145 70
American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari
American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes ...more
3
133 72
Brokeback Mountain is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx; the screenplay was written ...more
4
107 59
Fatal Attraction is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Jane Krakowski
This film is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. The film centers on a married Manhattan man who has a ...more
5
78 39
Basic Instinct is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Basic Instinct is a 1992 French-American neo-noir erotic thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas, and starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. The film is about a ...more
6
92 55
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Leonardo DiCaprio, Isla Fisher, Carey Mulligan
The Great Gatsby is a 2013 Australian-American 3D drama film based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. The film was co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, and stars Leonardo ...more
7
82 56
The Graduate is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Richard Dreyfuss
The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams ...more
8
66 46
A Perfect Murder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Douglas
This film is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Andrew Davis and starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen. Loosely based on the play by Frederick Knott, the ...more
9
70 52
The Boy Next Door is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Hill Harper
The Boy Next Door is a 2015 American erotic thriller film directed by Rob Cohen and written by Barbara Curry. The film stars Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett, Ian Nelson, and Kristin ...more
10
43 36
Derailed is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Jennifer Aniston, Clive Owen, Melissa George
Derailed is a 2005 British-American thriller film based on the novel of the same name by James Siegel. The film is directed by Mikael Håfström and stars Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, ...more
11
56 50
The Good Girl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Jennifer Aniston, Zooey Deschanel, Jake Gyllenhaal
The Good Girl is a 2002 comedy-drama film directed by Miguel Arteta from a script by Mike White, and stars Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal and John C. Reilly.
12
50 49
Closer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law
Closer is a 2004 romantic drama film written by Patrick Marber, based on his award-winning 1997 play of the same name. The movie was produced and directed by Mike Nichols and stars Julia ...more
13
39 38
Poison Ivy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore, Cheryl Ladd
This film is a 1992 American drama-thriller film and directed by Katt Shea. Andy Ruben transformed Melissa Goddard's story into the screenplay. It stars Drew Barrymore, Sara Gilbert, Tom ...more
14
49 51
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth
The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film was ...more
15
41 42
Brothers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan
Brothers is a 2009 American psychological drama war film directed by Jim Sheridan, and a remake of Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish film Brødre. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) returns from being ...more
16
39 40
The Reader is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Lena Olin
The Reader is a 2008 German-American romantic drama film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. The film was written by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry. ...more
17
37 41
A Walk on the Moon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Anna Paquin, Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen
A Walk on the Moon is a 1999 drama film starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber and Anna Paquin. The movie, which was set against the backdrop of the Woodstock festival of 1969 and ...more
18
4 1
Juliet, Naked is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O'Dowd
Juliet, Naked is a 2018 British-American comedy-drama film directed by Jesse Peretz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Things get messy when Annie (Rose Byrne) starts an unlikely romance with ...more
19
28 33
Match Point is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer
Match Point is a 2005 drama film written and directed by Woody Allen which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, and Penelope Wilton. Rhys ...more
20
9 10
Secret Things is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
DennisPot added Sabrina Seyvecou, Roger Miremont, Coralie Revel
Secret Things is a 2002 French film directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau, starring Coralie Revel and Sabrina Seyvecou. The film is sometimes associated with the New French Extremity. Cahiers du ...more
21
6 7
Brown Sugar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Treasure Wilson added Queen Latifah, Mos Def, Method Man
Brown Sugar is a 2002 American romantic comedy film written by Michael Elliott and Rick Famuyiwa, directed by Famuyiwa, and starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan. The film is a story of a ...more
22
25 38
Notes on a Scandal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy
Notes on a Scandal is a 2006 British psychological thriller-drama film, adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name by Zoë Heller. The screenplay was written by Patrick Marber and the film ...more
23
19 34
Little Children is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Jennifer Connelly, Kate Winslet, Jackie Earle Haley
Little Children is a 2006 American drama film directed by Todd Field. It is based on the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, who along with Field wrote the screenplay. It stars Kate Winslet, ...more
24
19 37
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a 2008 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The plot centers on two American women, Vicky and Cristina, who spend a summer in Barcelona ...more
25
19 37
The Piano Teacher is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs
Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel
The Piano Teacher is a 2001 French-Austrian erotic thriller film written and directed by Michael Haneke, starring Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel. The film is based on 2004 Nobel Prize ...more