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This Ranking Of The Top 50 LGBTQ+ Films Has Movie Buffs Sharply Divided

GLAAD, the famous media advocacy organization for queer representation, has found that the number of movies featuring LGBTQ+ characters is steadily on the rise. For instance, in 2023 we've already seen major movies with queer characters such as Knock at the Cabin and Scream VI — not to mention how much LGBTQ+ audiences loved M3GAN. Things are not perfect, of course, and there are still strides to be made, but it us at least looking up. And all of this has got us thinking... What are the very best queer movies anyway?

To qualify for our ranking, a movie — we're not including documentaries, sorry — had to be released theatrically and had to feature an LGBTQ+ character or theme. Simple! Then we found each movie's IMDB score, Metacritic score, Rotten Tomatoes Score, and Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score and determined the average. The movie with the highest average score tops our rankings; any ties were split by the movie's IMDb score.

50. In the Family (2011)

IMDb Score: 7.1

Metacritic Score: 82

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 76

Our Score: 81.5

Patrick Wang wrote, directed, and starred in the engrossing drama In the Family. Critics couldn't get enough of it: Roger Ebert summed it up nicely when he said in his review, "I was completely absorbed from beginning to end." The movie — about a gay man fighting for custody of his stepchild after his husband passes away — doesn't give its audiences easy answers, but as the prejudices build up against the hero, you can't help but hope for a happy ending.

49. Signature Move (2017)

IMDb Score: 5.8

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 87

Our Score: 81.7

There aren't many movies that have a hero who's a lesbian Pakistani Muslim living in Chicago, working as a lawyer by day and an amateur wrestler in her spare time. But then there probably aren't many movies like Signature Move. Director Jennifer Reeder brought all these themes together and more in a film that Sight & Sound magazine called a return "to the celebratory multicultural, intergenerational, complex lesbian films" of the 1990s. Signature Move didn't get a wide release in the U.S., so seek it out on streaming platforms now.

48. Passing (2021)

IMDb Score: 6.6

Metacritic Score: 85

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86

Our Score: 81.8

Director Rebecca Hall had a personal connection with Passing: her black grandfather had "made the decision to pass for white" before she was born. "But the thing that I’m sort of left with, as a descendant of that, really, is what the psychological toll of a life hiding [your identity has] on the people that you birth and the people that they birth," Hall told Variety magazine in 2022. The theme of "passing" similarly applies to the forbidden attraction between the movie's two female lead characters.

47. The Power of the Dog (2021)

IMDb Score: 6.8

Metacritic Score: 89

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 76

Our Score: 81.8

Critics seemed to be more enraptured with The Power of the Dog than audiences if these scores are anything to go by. But everybody agreed that the movie was a trip worth taking. This vision of "rural queerness" — as magazine The New Yorker described it — is not a romantic paean set in the Wild West in the vein of Brokeback Mountain, though. Instead, director Jane Campion has crafted a shocking tale of revenge and repression nestled in a world of toxic masculinity. She won an Academy Award for her efforts, too.