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Since the seventies, moviegoers have been used to lining up for big blockbusters. While some see them as primarily about male protagonists (in everything from Jaws to Avatar) it is easy to forget there have been some excellent female big hitters as well and today we will be focusing on two in particular - Wonder Woman and Lara Croft.
Wonder Woman is a relative newcomer to the world of video games, with her most recent appearance coming in the shape of an online game: the Wonderwoman online casino slot game at Guts, a five-reel, 40-payline experience that features the likeness of Lynda Carter. The game is one of a number of comic book heroes on the books at Guts, a site that also features a modern Batman slot.
Injustice (and its recent sequel) was, on the surface, a one-on-one beat 'em up featuring DC superheroes such as Superman, »
- Harry Hughes
It’s no secret that sex sells, and movies are no exception. But while plenty of films like to show gratuitous sex, they’re not always very good. That’s a problem, since movies have the power to shape not only the cultural norms, but personal ones. And what could be more personal than sex? Sexuality is an integral part of the human experience, not some sensational or shameful ploy to sell tickets (though it doesn’t hurt).
That’s why we think it’s important to single out the very best films that also happen to be incredibly sexy, titillating, and provocative. These are not only some of our favorite films in general, but they’re films that celebrate the broad spectrum of human sexuality while telling stories as cinematic as they are personal. Some don’t have any sex scenes at all, while some are notoriously near-pornographic. When these movies do show sex it is always in service of the story, and always in order to challenge, subvert, or celebrate contemporary beliefs about sexuality.
Turn on (and get turned on) by our list of the 25 best sexy movies of the 21st century (well, so far). You know you want to.
25. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)
Undeniably sexy and amusing at once, Woody Allen’s 2008 Spain-set dramedy delights in pushing its various players into all sorts of romantic permutations and configurations. Anchored by Scarlett Johansson in a sneaky performance as the eponymous Cristina (pre-breakout Rebecca Hall is her best pal Vicky), the film follows a pair of friends as they meet and make lots of love with the beguiling Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who isn’t at all thrown off by the possibility of having two lovely ladies in his bed. In fact, he’s got another one to think about too, his free-spirited ex-wife (Penelope Cruz), who he just can’t get out of his head (or heart). On the surface, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is a dead sexy romp about free-wheeling love-makers (complete with plenty of naughty bits), but it’s also a film that boldly explores issues of fluidity and fidelity with an uncharacteristically easy touch. -Ke
24. “Shortbus” (2006)
With its three-person blowjob circle, non-simulated sex scenes including ejaculation, and close-up of a pee stream unleashing into a bathtub, “Shortbus” is not for everyone. It’s an ambitious film, one that attempts to have fun, be sexy, and tell a good story. If anyone could pull it off, it would be the man behind “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” John Cameron Mitchell. “Shortbus” feels as much like an ensemble comedy as a playful experiment, though the two main characters are a sex therapist who’s never had an orgasm and a retired gay sex worker experimenting with opening up his relationship. With their partners, they both begin attending a weekly artist and sex salon, each hoping inspiration will strike. Mitchell wanted to use sex in new cinematic ways, “because it’s too interesting to be left to porn.” If it’s interesting sex you want, “Shortbus” has got it. -Jd
23. “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
The end of this film is so movingly profound that your memory of it might not be that it was all that sexy. The love between these two men, buried under their rugged cowboy exteriors, ends with what can only be described as a sense of life-defining tragedy. Yet it is those brief moments where they let themselves go and unleash their animalistic passion, which “Crouching Tiger” director Ang Lee captures in his normal visceral fashion, that add a level of eroticism and physically affection that nearly makes all the pain worth it. Ennis and Jack rotate from almost fighting, as they pull at each others’ denim-clad exterior, to moments of being naked and incredibly tender. It’s virtually every cowboy fantasy rolled up into one. That they can only be themselves in the privacy of the great outdoors makes everything that much more liberating. Watching this film in 2005 felt taboo and rebellious, which resulted in a charged atmosphere in packed mainstream cineplexes around the country. -Co
22. “In the Cut” (2003)
Jane Campion’s handle on female desire has always been one of her best attributes as a director (and she’s got a lot of them), but nothing in her filmography is as overtly sexy and emotionally challenging as her 2003 Meg Ryan-starrer “In the Cut” (and that includes “The Piano,” which has a sexiness and eroticism all its own). Our first introduction to Ryan’s character is rooted in her coming to heady terms with her own sexuality, a theme that carries over throughout the often grisly drama. Increasingly drawn to Mark Ruffalo as a moody detective looking to solve a local murder that Frannie is tangentially involved in, Ryan’s character pushes the boundaries of “acceptable” desire. It’s a theme that Campion giddily plays into with some of modern cinema’s most satisfying and profound sex scenes, many of which center on — gasp — Frannie’s own pleasure over that of Ruffalo’s character. -Ke
21. “Hustle & Flow” (2005)
Craig Brewer’s crowdpleaser about a pimp dreaming of music fame is anchored by strong performances from Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, and Taryn Manning. Howard plays Djay, while Henson and Manning are Shug and Nola, two of his girls. Hot-tempered and passionate, Djay begins making tracks with his friend Key (Anthony Anderson), and discovers he has a gift for lyrics. The catchy original soundtrack helps sell the story, as Djay’s songs seem to actually have a chance at getting radio play. While the strip club setting provides ample shots of semi-nude women, Djay and Shug’s sweet romance gives the film its emotional core and shows a softer side to Djay (and his temper). Their undeniable chemistry leads the previously timid Shug to throw down a sexy hook, her raspy croon on “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” making Henson’s star power glaringly obvious. -Jd
20. “Beyond the Lights” (2014)
Chemistry is the name of the game in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s freight-train fast music industry romance, which pairs up rising starlet Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pure charm) alongside pre-“Birth of a Nation” Nate Parker. The pair exhibit major fireworks from the start, imagining Mbatha-Raw as hot new pop star Noni Jean, a big talent who is dangerously close to burning out and fading away, before she falls into the protective arms Parker’s do-gooder cop, Kaz Nicol. Prince-Bythewood’s film cannily sneaks in big questions about fame and the entertainment industry, along with issues regarding what’s actually sexy (Noni Jean is frequently kitted out in teensy costumes that make record execs happy, while diminishing her own humanity with every stitch), deep issues that are lovingly cradled by full-scale love story. When the pair finally give into their obvious attraction, “Beyond the Lights” pulls out the big guns, all gauzy love scenes and one particularly hot trip to Mexico, but the film maintains its sensuality by remembering that nothing is so sexy as mutual respect and admiration. -Ke
19. “In the Mood for Love” (2000)
Every Wong Kar-wai movie contains a kind of visual sensuality in every frame, but “In the Mood for Love” goes one step further — its slow-burning romance between a pair of would-be lovers who live across the hall from each other in sixties-era Hong Kong is rich with unobtainable desire. Much is left unsaid and unachieved about the fantasy of an extramarital affair shared by Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), but the hints of attraction between them, unfolding in small gestures and passing glances, imbues each scene with the intensity of emotions specific to a period of repression. It’s a grand tragedy of issed opportunities framed by erotic implications. —Eric Kohn
18. “Ex Machina” (2014)
If you like high-tech voyeurism and intellectual sparring, you might find Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi thriller unearthing some hidden desires. An affable young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), is invited to the secluded jungle home of the CEO of his company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac) to participate in a top-secret experiment. Nathan wants to know if the cyborg he has been developing, Ava (Alicia Vikander) can convince Caleb that she has real consciousness. The tension is ripe between Nathan and Caleb as each attempts to alternately impress and control the other, but it is Caleb’s obsession with saving Ava that raises questions about the hero myth. Ava is the embodiment of male fantasy, trapped within a body invented to please and serve. As the two men fight over who best understands her mind, it turns out Ava was pulling the strings all along. There’s nothing sexier than a woman in charge. -Jd
17. “Quills” (2000)
It’s easy enough to get sucked into “Quills” based on the promise of Joaquin Phoenix playing an earnest (and incredibly sexy) young priest tempted by his attraction to a chambermaid. But somehow, much like Kate Winslet’s Madeline, we fall under the spell of the charismatic Geoffrey Rush, who plays his role as the Marquis de Sade with a deliciously dirty panache befitting the notorious French writer. The Marquis’ libertine ways run counter to the no-nonsense Royer-Collard (Michael Caine), who takes over the asylum with the intention of stifling the writer’s creative output. But even his own wife is no match for the words of the Marquis, which ooze both sensuality and liberty. Before long, any initial apprehension to the Marquis de Sade (he is a dirty old man, after all) is fully given over to the hope that his debauchery will win out, and that his desire, as well as that of Madeline and Coulmier (Phoenix) will be fully fulfilled — even though we know this is impossible. -Jr
16. “A Bigger Splash” (2015)
Watching “A Bigger Splash” feels like observing a sizzling chess game of attraction. Luca Guadagnino sticks Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson on the world’s most gorgeous island and lets the sparks fly. Swinton plays a world-famous rock singer vacationing with her lover, a chiseled Schoenaerts who is practically a walking and talking sculpture of male beauty. Their time together is disrupted by the arrival of the rocker’s former lover and his daughter, a promiscuous young 22-year-old. Each character is so ready to succumb to sexual desire and so pent up with sexual attraction that Guadagnino creates the ultimate emotional orgy. The fun is in seeing how each person uses their sexuality to outsmart the next. You’ll be seduced from the first frame to the last. It feels like you’re watching each actor for the very first time. -Zs
On the next page: wild adventures in Florida, some of the century’s most jaw-dropping pairings, and at least one murder.
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- Kate Erbland, Jude Dry, Eric Kohn, Zack Sharf and Jamie Righetti
Tom Jolliffe on modern sci-fi, the technology around the corner and how it may destroy us…
As far as Science Fiction goes, the film and TV shows that audiences have watched over the years have often featured some sense of foreboding. What happens if… This could be James Cameron’s Terminator which shows a world in which human beings keep on pushing the limits of technology to achieve military dominance, only for those machines to become self-aware and enslave humanity. It’s our ever-growing greed and quest for perfection that ultimately pushes us further away from our own humanity. As technology develops, everything becomes easier, but at what price?
Like Cameron’s vision, plenty of science fiction films and TV shows warn us of the dangers of crossing human ambition with technology. As far as human technological development is concerned though, there have been huge strides forward since the turn of the century. »
- Amie Cranswick
There are no shortage of films that explore the complex world of artificial intelligence. I can think of none in recent memory that captivates and lingers on the brain more than Alex Garland's directorial debut, Ex Machina. It's a must-own film for anyone who favors substance over style, though there's plenty of the latter that mildly benefits from a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Ex Machina is a slow and deliberate tale through the human psyche that takes its time unfolding. My wife couldn't handle the pace and bailed within the first 10 minutes. That's her loss as she would have enjoyed how where the narrative went next.
The story is straightforward enough with a employee, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) being whisked away to his reclusive CEO's (Oscar Isaac) home in the woods. Once there, completely cut off from the outside world and required to sign an Nda, Caleb and the audience »
Exclusive: Wim Wenders has just signed with UTA. The move comes after the three-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s latest documentary, Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word, landed a worldwide rights deal from Focus Features at Cannes. Next up for Wenders: Submergence, a romantic thriller starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy based on J.M. Ledgard’s 2013 bestseller. The pic is aiming for a fall film festival run. In Pope Francis, only the second co-production the Vatican has… »
Danny Elfman will create the score for the Justice League soundtrack, so reports The Hollywood Reporter. The fact that Elfman is the Justice League composer is big news as he is obviously the man behind the superb DC movie soundtracks Batman (1988), its follow-up Batman Returns, and more recently The Flash TV series.
Justice League is now going through some additional shooting in London with Joss Whedon taking over directing duties from Zack Snyder, who recently stepped down. Whedon himself has worked with Elfman before of course – he provided the soundtrack for Whedon’s second Avengers movie, Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
- Paul Heath
Welcome back to our weekly roundup of what’s going on in theatre, film, and TV. FILMBreakthrough British actor Hannah John-Kamen has just been added to the cast of the upcoming sequel to “Ant Man”. The first film, developed by cult British writer and director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”) defied expectation to become one of Marvel’s most critically successful films. Tipped to be the second in a much longer franchise, the sequel is called “Ant Man and The Wasp”. Director Peyton Reed (whose debut feature was “Bring It On”) is building a supporting cast around stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas. John-Kamen is also to be seen in Steven Spielberg’s eagerly awaited dystopian blockbuster “Ready Player One” alongside Ben Mendlesohn, comedian T.J. Miller, and fellow Brits Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance. She’ll also play a supporting role in the remake of “Tomb Raider, »
Director Road Uthaug (The Wave) has taken to Instagram to announce that filming has wrapped on Tomb Raider, the big screen reboot of the classic video game franchise, which sees Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander taking on the role of Lara Croft. Uthaug marked the occasion by sharing a video of the cast and crew celebrating the end of filming; take a look here…
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone.
- Gary Collinson
That's a wrap for the Tomb Raider reboot! The upcoming film from director Roar Uthaug (The Wave) stars Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander as the iconic video game character and brings an updated spin on the material with a gritty, life-or-death adventure tale in the spirit of the 2013 video game reboot and its 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider. Uthaug posted a video to Instagram celebrating the wrap of production on the film, which comes from screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Uthaug previously described their take on the film as "a story that not only highlights her … »
- Haleigh Foutch
Nearly six months after production began in South Africa, MGM Studios' long-awaited Tomb Raider reboot has now wrapped. The production had finished the South Africa portion of the shoot in early May, according to director Roar Uthaug's Twitter account, with shooting then shifting to Leavesden Studios in the U.K. for the final leg of principle photography. While we don't get to see any of the cast members in a final set video shared by Uthaug, the filmmaker tries to showcase as many of the crew members as possible as the shoot comes to a close.
Roar Uthaug debuted this video on his Instagram page earlier today, where he announces the picture wrap and thanks his cast and crew for all of their hard work. Now the arduous process of post-production begins, with the director getting roughly nine months to put his movie together. The director did share a »
The cast for Ant-Man 2 has started to grow as the upcoming Marvel production adds its first new major cast member. Black Mirror star Hannah John-Kamen has officially joined the cast of Ant-Man and the Wasp, in an unspecified role. Though, it has been noted that she is playing a "key role," which means she won't just have a bit part in the story.
The news comes courtesy of Variety, which is pretty much the next best thing to Marvel Studios making the announcement themselves. That said, the studio has not yet commented on the casting of Hannah John-Kamen, so no further details on her role in Ant-Man and the Wasp are available at the present time. But with production set to ramp up on the sequel next month, we should be hearing more about her part in the near future and, in all likelihood, more additions to the cast. »
Newly minted blockbuster superstar Gal Gadot was hardly a household name when she was picked to play Wonder Woman in DC’s Extended Universe, including turns in “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League” and a starring role in the studio’s newest smash hit, “Wonder Woman.” Best known to action-loving audiences for her supporting roles in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, the former Israeli soldier is now a bonafide breakout, thanks to her work in the long-awaited and instantly beloved superhero film. Fortunately, she’s not the only actress who made the jump from rising star to tentpole leading lady.
Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is toplining the newly re-launched “Tomb Raider” franchise, while “Kingsman” and “Star Trek Beyond” standout Sofia Boutella will star in the upcoming “The Mummy” reboot and presumably continue on in the planned “Dark Universe” franchise. Daisy Ridley has handily taken over chief badass status on the »
- Kate Erbland
Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway: Scandinavia has always made a good show of films in all festivals, but this is the first time in 17 years a Swedish film has been in Competition.
“The Square” is the first Swedish film in Competition in 17 years! Winner of the Palme D’or and the Vulcain Prize for an artist technician awarded by the C.S.T. Director Ruben Östlund attracted producers from Sweden, Germany, France and Denmark to tell this tale of the successful curator of a modern art museum who lives in the epicenter of the art community and takes his work very seriously. A few days before the opening of the prestigious exhibition The Square he is mugged, which he can neither shake off or let pass unnoticed. He embarks on a hunt for the perpetrator and ends up in situations that turn steadily more amusing, and make him question his own moral compass. »
- Sydney Levine
Releasing arthouse films is as challenging as ever, but there are grounds for optimism.
“For foreign-language films, you really have to have something quite exceptional to break the £1m ($1.3m) mark,” says Louisa Dent, managing director and acquisitions chief at UK arthouse distributor Curzon Artificial Eye.
Given the UK’s shared language with the dominant provider of film and its overall cultural pivot towards North America rather than continental Europe, the territory has always been seen as a challenge for sellers of foreign-language fare.
The advent of digital distribution has created a more crowded marketplace than ever. But Dent suggests the problem is not so much that audiences are dwindling as the changing nature of the product.
“If you get a really good classical piece of French cinema, a Coco Before Chanel or an Amélie, they still work,” she says. “But that sort of film hasn’t cropped up as much. What we are »
Robert here. There has been a flurry of video game movie news this week. On Monday it was announced that new Spider-Man (or Spider-Boy, as it were) Tom Holland had been cast as a young Nathan Drake in the long gestating Uncharted movie.
We also got news that the Resident Evil film series which ended just this spring already on the reboot track. Not just a reboot but they're threatening an entire second hexalogy. (Does Resident Evil need 12 films?) Meanwhile, the latest Tomb Raider reboot staring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is trucking right along towards its March 2018 bow.
Movies based on video games have long been a profitable cash grab for studios, but they have a reputation for being bad to abysmal quality wise. Does this latest trio of features have any hope »
- Robert Balkovich
It seems like all anyone wants to talk about this week is Cannes, and the alleged hubbub Netflix has created by not releasing their films in French theatres. Their Bong Joon-ho–directed “Okja” was amongst the films that were booed during a screening and had to be stopped. Festival jury members—which this year include Will Smith—have been arguing about whether Netflix should be allowed nominations if it doesn’t release films in France. The rumour mill is also whirring about big upcoming projects and casting. Highlights include Daniel Radcliffe starring in the prison drama “Escape From Pretoria,” based on the life of Tim Jenkin and due to film in South Africa in early 2018. Tom Hardy is set to play a decorated U.S. Navy Seal in a new film from director Andrew Dominik (“Chopper”) and producer Ridley Scott. Sasha Lane (“American Honey”) joins Alicia Vikander and Armie Hammer »
It seems like all anyone wants to talk about this week is Cannes, and the alleged hubbub Netflix has created by not releasing their films in French theaters. Their Bong Joon-ho–directed “Okja” was amongst the films that were booed during a screening and had to be stopped. Festival jury members—which this year include Will Smith—have been arguing about whether Netflix should be allowed nominations if it doesn’t release films in France. The rumour mill is also whirring about big upcoming projects and casting. Highlights include Daniel Radcliffe starring in the prison drama “Escape From Pretoria,” based on the life of Tim Jenkin and due to film in South Africa in early 2018. Tom Hardy is set to play a decorated U.S. Navy Seal in a new film from director Andrew Dominik (“Chopper”) and producer Ridley Scott. Sasha Lane (“American Honey”) joins Alicia Vikander and Armie Hammer »
That Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s anticipated art-world satire “The Square” is in competition this year is just latest indication that the Scandinavian industry is upping its international game, venturing beyond “Scandi noirs” and becoming a hotbed of innovation at the forefront of the pack in Europe.
“The Square,” Ostlund’s English-language follow up to “Force Majeure,” which scooped Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury Prize in 2014, is the first Swedish film in the Cannes competition in 17 years. It stars Danish actor Claes Bang (“The Bridge”) and Elisabeth Moss, in a mighty mix of Nordic and U.S. talents that sees the already hot auteur “elevating himself into a new sphere,” according to Swedish Film Institute chief exec Anna Serner.
The same can be said for the entire film and TV industry in the Nordics, which comprises five countries: Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
There is a slew of buzzy »
- Nick Vivarelli
Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander is set to lead the voice cast of the upcoming stop motion feature animation Moomins and the Winter Wonderland, based upon the beloved characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. She will be joined in the cast by Stellan Skarsgard, who also executive produces.
“Growing up, Moomins was my favorite childhood book, and now I can be part of the Moomins family,” Vikander tells THR. “I’ll be playing both the roles of Little My and Sorry-oo. I am so excited to be part of the Moomins feature Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.”
“We are extremely excited that Alicia Vikander chose to be a part of building out the Moomins brand in the U.S. and further building it internationally and making it an even bigger global phenomenon,” added Rick Romano, president of Global Genesis Group. “Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is another addition to the fun, »
- Gary Collinson
20 May 2017 10:12 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The Moomins, the globally beloved Finnish storybook characters, are heading to Chinese movie screens for the first time.
Los Angeles-based Global Genesis Group has inked a deal with Hong Kong's Spring Era Films for a Chinese theatrical release of the next major Moomins motion picture, the forthcoming stop-motion animation Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.
Academy Award-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is set to star in the film, voicing two of the lead characters (Little My and Sorry-oo). Stellan Skarsgard, an executive producer on the project, has also joined the cast as the voice of Moominpoppa.
Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is »
- Patrick Brzeski
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