We’re gonna level with you here — we don’t care what anyone says, sometimes we want to watch Jamie Dornan slip into (or out of) the suit of billionaire Christian Grey and become the dom of our dirty dreams. Yes, yes, we know the book and movies are, in some ways, problematic. But that doesn’t change the fact that we occasionally want to cue up an erotic romance and lean into our erotic desires. Ain’t no shame in our game. And that’s precisely how we came to compile the ultimate list of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey.
Some of these films aren’t quite as erotic as the escapades of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Some are even more so (prepare to blush). The general appeal is the same, though: As humans with sexual agency, we crave stories that serve as sexual provocateurs. The tension in some of the following movies like Fifty Shades of Grey practically feels like foreplay. So, slip on something slinky, slide into bed, and cue up an evening of sultry cinematic tête-à-tête.
Films Like Fifty Shades of Grey to Watch Next
1. Secretary (2002)
First of all, we’ll watch any and everything with Maggie Gyllenhaal because she’s a frickin’ goddess. And in this film, she’s a true tour de force as Lee Holloway, a young woman with a history of deep-seated emotional issues. While recovering at home with her overbearing parents, she begins to work as a — you guessed it — secretary for a demanding attorney. His name? E. Edward Grey, played by James Spader. That’s right! Another kinky Mr. Grey. The two fall into a sadomasochistic relationship and, well, just watch.
2. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989)
Let us set the scene for you: A tempestuous mobster named Albert Spica (played by Michael Gambon) acquires an upscale French restaurant in London. And while that sounds magnifique, his brash nature keeps scaring off the patrons. Even his wife Georgina (played by the always incredible Helen Mirren) can’t stand to be around him. Not surprisingly, her attention ventures elsewhere — to a restaurant guest named Michael (Alan Howard). In full disclosure, this movie has a dark undercurrent. But it’s beautiful and sexy and moody and, you know, all of the things we like about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
3. A Dangerous Method (2011)
Critics seemed to appreciate this film more than audiences, but we can give you three compelling reasons to watch it at least once: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley. Hell, we can give you two more: Sarah Gadon and Vincent Cassel. Basically, the entire cast is stellar in this racy drama about the early days of psychoanalysis. Fassbender plays Carl Jung, who treats a woman named Sabina Spielrein (Knightley) for hysteria. And you know how they treated hysteria back in the day, right? So, if you’re a history buff and wouldn’t mind seeing a few people in the buff, add it to your queue.
4. Lust, Caution (2007)
If you like your erotic romance with a side of espionage, Ang Lee’s stunning Lust, Caution is your pick. Set during World War II, the film follows a secret agent (Tang Wei) tasked with seducing and then assassinating an official in Shanghai’s Japanese puppet government. But when she finds herself falling for the official (played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai), things get… complicated.
5. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Obviously, right? This is a Stanley Kubrick film, so you know it’s going to mess with your mind. And it certainly challenges you to consider the inner workings of the human psyche as you watch Dr. Bill Hartford (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) explore sexuality in their marriage through an underground sexual group. There’s an orgy and lots of tense erotic scenes, yes, but the exploration of the couple’s dynamic is equally riveting.
More Movies Like Fifty Shades of Grey
La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
Nina Forever (2016)
The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)
Call Me By Your Name (2018)
Body Heat (1981)
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
The Duke of Burgundy (2015)
Endings, Beginnings (2019)
9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
Stranger By the Lake (2014)
Belle De Jour (1968)
Basic Instinct (1992)
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Baby Doll (1956)
The Last Seduction (1994)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
Boogie Nights (1997)
The Handmaiden (2016)
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 (2013)
Room in Rome (2010)
The Piano (1993)