13 Best Sex Scenes of the 21st Century (2000-2017)

Sex scenes are always tricky to shoot. More often than not they look perfect on screen. And everyone knows that sex, especially between relative strangers, are never perfect in real life. I have always been fascinated by filmmakers who capture lovemaking scenes at its emotional core, in a way that justifies the dynamics of the relationship between the characters. So with all that said now, here is a list of the top 13 best movie sex scenes of this century.


13. Monster’s Ball (2001) – Hank and Leticia

This might not work well if you aren’t aware of the context of the film which leads to the scene. Featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry, this is quite simply one of the most moving and believable sex scenes ever filmed. Hank and Leticia share open themselves up and share each other’s sorrows and grief in a deeply personal moment as they break into each other’s souls, stripping themselves off on an emotional level. It works as consolation, as solace for broken souls and to mend each other’s pain, showing us the real beauty and power of human intimacy. Easily, one of the best movie sex scenes of all time.


12. The Notebook (2004) – Allie and Noah

Noah and Allie are reunited. They kiss in the rain as he takes her to the house and they make mad love in a beautifully chaotic mess of a scene that lets the characters vent their emotions. It’s a fantastic build up as Noah and Allie, being childhood lovers, have fallen apart from each other for a long, long time and fate has this toyed with their emotions in the most cruel way possible. Allie is engaged to another young man who seemingly makes things a lot more complicated, making this scene a lot more intense, emotional and powerful than you could probably think.


11. Black Swan (2010) – Nina and Lily

Darren Aronofsky’s disturbing psychological thriller features one of the most dashingly erotic lovemaking scenes you’ll ever see. The sheer randomness from which it comes out brings on a special level of tension and excitement on to the scene. Aronofsky creates a wildly erotic atmosphere, rightly keeping us on the edge and adding a sense of anticipation to the heated moment.  Mila Kunis dominates the scene, subduing Portman, with her ravishingly seductive eyes and dashing charisma that further pumps up the scene. It’s rough, tense, wild and incredibly arousing.


10. Shame (2011) – The Threesome

‘Shame’ is a painful film to watch and experience. An unflinching and honest depiction of addiction and how it consumes our existence, ‘Shame’ is one of the most harrowing cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. In one of the film’s most famous scenes, Brandon Sullivan, played brilliantly by an in-form Michael Fassbender, has sex with two women in a wild display of unbridled fantasies that is both undeniably erotic and passionate yet so profoundly harrowing and disturbing to look at. Masterfully directed and acted with breathtaking intensity, this scene is one of the most powerful and honest portrayals of raw sexuality on-screen.


9. Antichrist (2009) – Prologue

An immensely disturbing portrait of parenthood and sexuality, ‘Antichrist’ is one of Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier’s most exciting works that attracted and repulsed viewers in equal measure. The prologue sequence begins with a couple making intense, passionate love as their kid watches them, climbs up to the window and jumps out of the apartment. In a classic Von Trier-ish opening sequence with extreme use of slow mos intended to devastate viewers, the scene quite brilliantly achieves what it sets out to; a viscerally erotic and profoundly disturbing image of human nature at its most frighteningly vulnerable edges.


8. Atonement (2007) – Cecilia and Robbie

The lovemaking scene in ‘Atonement’ is so gelled in its context that it might not strike a chord for those of you who haven’t watched the film. Cecilia confronts Robbie about a sexually charged letter he had written to her as the two make out in a library in a spontaneous, uninhibited moment of heated romance. The scene manages to capture the plethora of emotions the characters go through as their throbbing desires and emotions become almost palpable and is vital to forming the emotional core of the relationship between its characters.


7. Irreversible (2002) – Alex and Marcus

Few films have the power to devastate you on an emotional level so much that by the time the film ends, you realise you’re no longer the same person. Gaspar Noe’s ‘Irreversible’ is exactly that kind of a film. While the film is infamous for its disturbing rape scene that goes on for a bit longer than 5 minutes, it also features one of the warmest and most beautiful lovemaking scenes ever captured on screen. Hours before Alex and Marcus leave for the party, they lie in bed, engaging in a playful lovemaking sequence so full of charm and warmth that becomes almost painful to watch as we are already revealed of their tragic destiny. It’s a sad, sad scene that depicts the warmth and brutality of life at once because in the end we know that “time destroys everything….”

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