The Avocado’s Favorite LGBT+ Films: The Results

Welcome back to the first ever (as far as I know!) poll of The Avocado’s favorite LGBT+ films! In the end, 57 lists were submitted, comprising a whopping 237 movies representing LGBT+ experiences of all stripes and from every corner of the globe. Everyone who participated was passionate about their picks, and while there were some clear favo(u)rites, there were even more underseen gems – over 50 of the lists submitted contained at least one title unique to that list, totaling 150 of the submitted films. I think all of our watchlists just got much, much bigger!

The compiled list is below, and if you want to review the full results you can see them here. Don’t forget to come back in two weeks on Monday, May 9, when voting will open for The Avocado’s Favorite LGBT+ TV and Webseries! A huge thank you to everyone who participated – I can’t wait to read about your underseen favorites in the comments!

First up, the number of films per decade:

1930s – 3 films
1940s – 2 films
1950s – 3 films
1960s – 10 films
1970s – 16 films
1980s – 21 films
1990s – 49 films
2000s – 50 films
2010s – 62 films
2020s – 21 films

The most-represented years, with ten films each, are 2000, 2003, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Next, a shoutout to the directors with the greatest number of films appearing on the list:

4 films: Todd Haynes

3 films: Pedro Almodóvar, Gregg Araki, Alfred Hitchcock, Derek Jarman, Neil Jordan, Céline Sciamma, The Wachowskis (including with Tom Tykwer)

2 films: Desiree Akhavan, Greg Berlanti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Lisa Cholodenko, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, Rob Epstein (including with Jeffrey Friedman), Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kaushik Ganguly, Nicholas Hytner, Ang Lee, Mike Nichols, Angela Robinson, Ken Russell, John Schlesinger, Tsai Ming-liang, Gus Van Sant, Paul Verhoeven, John Waters

Finally, without further ado, I am proud to present our complete Favorite LGBT+ Films:

22 lists: 

Moonlight, dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016

Moonlight. Photo credit: A24.

17 lists:

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, dir. Céline Sciamma, 2019

Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Photo credit: NEON.

15 lists:

The Favourite, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018

The Favourite. Photo credit: Searchlight Pictures.

13 lists:

The Birdcage, dir. Mike Nichols, 1995

The Birdcage. Photo credit: MGM/United Artists.

Carol, dir. Todd Haynes, 2015

Carol. Photo credit: Lionsgate.

12 lists:

Brokeback Mountain, dir. Ang Lee, 2005

Brokeback Mountain. Photo credit: Focus Features.

But I’m a Cheerleader, dir. Jamie Babbit, 2000

But I’m a Cheerleader. Photo credit: Lionsgate.

11 lists:

Call Me By Your Name, dir. Luca Guadagnino, 2016

Call Me By Your Name. Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

Paris Is Burning, dir. Jennie Livingston, 1990

Paris Is Burning. Photo credit: Miramax.

10 lists:

Mulholland Drive, dir. David Lynch, 2001

Mulholland Drive. Photo credit: Universal Pictures.

9 lists:

Bound, dir. The Wachowskis, 1996

8 lists:

Tangerine, dir. Sean Baker, 2015
Booksmart, dir. Olivia Wilde, 2019

7 lists:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, dir. John Cameron Mitchell, 2001
Pride, dir. Matthew Warchus, 2014
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dir. Jim Sharman, 1975

6 lists:

Desert Hearts, dir. Donna Deitch, 1985
Weekend, dir. Andrew Haigh, 2011

5 lists:

Beautiful Thing, dir. Hettie Macdonald, 1996
Billy Elliot, dir. Stephen Daldry, 2000
The Handmaiden, dir. Park Chan-wook, 2016
Some Like It Hot, dir. Billy Wilder, 1959

4 lists:

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, dir. Stephen Elliott, 1994
Angels in America, dir. Mike Nichols, 2003
Bad Education, dir. Cory Finley, 2019
Blue is the Warmest Color, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013
Funeral Parade of Roses, dir. Toshio Matsumoto, 1969
Happy Together, dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1997
My Own Private Idaho, dir. Gus Van Sant, 1991
Orlando, dir. Sally Potter, 1992
The Power of the Dog, dir. Jane Campion, 2021
Rope, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1948
Velvet Goldmine, dir. Todd Haynes, 1998
The Watermelon Woman, dir. Cheryl Dunye, 1996
Y tu mamá también, dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 2002

3 lists:

Adolescence of Utena, dir. Kunihiko Ikuhara, 1999
Dog Day Afternoon, dir. Sidney Lumet, 1975
Get Real, dir. Simon Shore, 1999
God’s Own Country, dir. Francis Lee, 2017
In & Out, dir. Frank Oz, 1997
Mädchen in Uniform, dir. Leontine Sagan, 1931
Maurice, dir. James Ivory, 1987
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, dir. Jack Shoulder, 1985
Pariah, dir. Dee Rees, 2011
Persona, dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1966
Philadelphia, dir. Jonathan Femme, 1993
Saving Face, dir. Alice Wu, 2004
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, dir. Been Kidron, 1995
Tokyo Godfathers, dir. Satoshi Von, 2003
Torch Song Trilogy, dir. Paul Bogart, 1988
Victim, dir. Basil Dearden, 1961

2 lists:

And the Band Played On, dir. Roger Spottiswoode, 1993
Basic Instinct, dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1992
Beau Travail, dir. Claire Denis, 1999
Blue, dir. Derek Jarman, 1993
Boy Erased, dir. Joel Edgerton, 2018
Boys (Jongens), dir. Mischa Kamp, 2014
Cabaret, dir. Bob Fosse, 1972
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, dir. Marielle Heller, 2018
Caravaggio, dir. Derek Jarman, 1986
Chasing Amy, dir. Kevin Smith, 1997
D.E.B.S., dir. Angela Robinson, 2004
The Duke of Burgundy, dir. Peter Strickland, 2014
Ed Wood, dir. Tim Burton, 1994
A Fantastic Woman, dir. Sebastián Lelio, 2017
Fellini Satyricon, dir. Federico Fellini, 1969
Flee, dir. Jonas Power Rasmussen, 2021
The History Boys, dir. Nicholas Hytner, 2006
I Am Not Your Negro, dir. Raoul Peck, 2016
Imagine Me and You, dir. Ol Parker, 2005
The Imitation Game, dir. Morten Tyldum, 2014
In a Heartbeat, dir. Esteban Bravo and Beth David, 2017
Jeffrey, dir. Christopher Ashley, 1995
The Kids Are All Right, dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 2010
Longtime Companion, dir. Norman Rene, 1989
Love, Simon, dir. Greg Berlanti, 2018
Luca, dir. Enrico Casaroas, 2021
Milk, dir. Gus Van Sant, 2008
The Mitchells vs. the Machines, dir. Mike Rianda, 2021
Monster, dir. Patty Jenkins, 2003
My Beautiful Laundrette, dir. Stephen Frears, 1985
Mysterious Skin, dir. Gregg Araki, 2004
Portrait of Jason, dir. Shirley Clarke, 1967
Rocketman, dir. Dexter Fletcher, 2019
Steven Universe: The Movie, dir. Rebecca Sugar, 2019
Strangers on a Train, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1951
The Times of Harvey Milk, dir. Rob Epstein, 1984

1 list (Spoiler tagged for length, but make sure to browse – your next favorite film could be hidden down here!):

All About My Mother, dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 1999
All Over Me, dir. Alex Sichel, 1997
And Then We Danced, dir. Levin Akin, 2019
Another Country, dir. Marek Kanievska, 1984
Appropriate Behavior, dir. Desiree Akhavan, 2014
Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story), dir. Kaushik Ganguly, 2010
Beanpole, dir. Kantemir Balagov, 2019
Before Night Falls, dir. Julien Schnabel, 2000
Behind the Candelabra, dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2013
Benedetta, dir. Paul Verhoeven, 2021
Better Than Chocolate, dir. Anne Wheeler, 1999
Big Eden, dir. Thomas Bezucha, 2000
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972
Black Swan, dir. Darren Aronofsky, 2010
Bohemian Rhapsody, dir. B***n S***er, 2018
Boys Don’t Cry, dir. Kimberly Pierce, 1999
The Boys in the Band, dir. William Friedkin, 1970
BPM (Beats Per Minute), dir. Robin Campillo, 2017
Breakfast on Pluto, dir. Neil Jordan, 2005
Bride of Frankenstein, dir. James Whale, 1935
The Broken Hearts Club, dir. Greg Berlanti, 2000
Bungee Jumping of Their Own, dir. Kim Das-sung, 2001
C.O.G., dir. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 2013
La Cage aux Folles, dir. Edouard Molinaro, 1978
Camp, dir. Todd Graff, 2003
Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, dir. Morio Asaka, 2000
The Celluloid Closet, dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1995
The Children’s Hour, dir. William Wyler, 1961
Chitraganda: The Crowning Wish, dir. Rituparno Ghosh, 2012
Chuck & Buck, dir. Miguel Arteta, 2000
Closet Monster, dir. Stephen Dunn, 2015
Cloud Atlas, dir. The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, 2012
Cloudburst, dir. Thom Fitzgerald, 2011
Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker, dir. Ryan White, 2021
Coming Out, dir. Heiner Carow, 1989
The Conformist, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970
Cowboys, dir. Anna Kerrigan, 2020
The Craft: Legacy, dir. Zoe Lister-Jones, 2020
The Crying Game, dir. Neil Jordan, 1992
Deadpool 2, dir. David Leitch, 2018
Doukyuusei (Classmates), dir. Shouko Nakamura, 2016
Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture, dir. Michael Engler, 2019
Dracula’s Daughter, dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1936
The Dreamers, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003
Drôle de Félix, dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, 2000
An Early Frost, dir. John Erman, 1985
Edward II, dir. Derek Jarman, 1991
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, dir. Hideaki Anno, 2012
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, dir. Jonathan Butterell, 2021
Far from Heaven, dir. Todd Haynes, 2002
Farewell, My Concubine, dir. Chen Kaige, 1993
Fear Street Trilogy, dir. Leigh Janiak, 2021
Female Trouble, dir. John Waters, 1974
Flawless, dir. Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, 2018
Fox and His Friends, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, dir. David Fincher, 2011
Go, dir. Doug Liman, 1999
Gods and Monsters, dir. Bill Condon, 1998
Goodbye, Dragon Inn, dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 2003
Hausu (House), dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977
High Art, dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 1998
If These Walls Could Talk 2, dir. Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge, and Anne Heche, 2000
The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, dir. Maria Magenta, 1995
Interview with the Vampire, dir. Neil Jordan, 1994
Jackass (franchise), dir. Jeff Tremaine, 2002-present
Jennifer’s Body, dir. Karyn Kusama, 2009
Kajillionaire, dir. Miranda July, 2020
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, dir. Kelly Makin, 1996
The King & the Clown, dir. Lee Joon-ik, 2005
Kissing Jessica Stein, dir. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, 2001
Lan Yu, dir. Stanley Kwan, 2001
Law of Desire, dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 1987
Lawrence of Arabia, dir. David Lean, 1962
Léon Morin, Priest, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961
Let the Right One In, dir. Tomas Alfredson, 2008
Liquid Sky, dir. Salza Tsukerman, 1982
The Living End, dir. Gregg Araki, 1992
Love of Siam, dir. Chookiat Sakveerakul, 2007
La mala educación (Bad Education), dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 2004
The Matrix, dir. The Wachowskis, 1999
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, dir. Nagisa Ōshima, 1983
Midnight Cowboy, dir. John Schlesinger, 1969
A Mighty Wind, dir. Christopher Guest, 2003
Miller’s Crossing, dir. Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, 1990
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, dir. Desiree Akhavan, 2018
Mulan, dir. Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, 1998
The Music Lovers, dir. Ken Russell, 1971
Nagarkirtan, dir. Kaushik Ganguly, 2017
The Object of My Affection, dir. Nicholas Hytner, 1998
Ocean Waves, dir. Tomomi Mochizuki, 1993
The Old Guard, dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2020
Paranorman, dir. Sam Fell and Chris Butler, 2012
Paris 05:59: Théo et Hugo, dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, 2016
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, dir. Stephen Chbosky, 2012
Pink Flamingos, dir. John Waters, 1972
Plan B, dir. Natalie Morales, 2021
Poison, dir. Todd Haynes, 1991
Princess Mononoke, dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1997
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, dir. Angela Robinson, 2017
Ran, dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1984
Rebecca, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1940
Rebel Without a Cause, dir. Nicholas Ray, 1955
Rent, dir. Christopher Columbus, 2005
The River, dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 1997
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, dir. Joe Murray and Cosmo Serguson, 2019
Rurangi, dir. Max Currie, 2020
Salome’s Last Dance, dir. Ken Russell, 1988
Scorpio Rising, dir. Kenneth Anger, 1963
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, dir. Edgar Wright, 2010
A Secret Love, dir. Chris Bolan, 2020
Shame, dir. Steve McQueen, 2011
The Shiny Shrimps, dir. Maxime Govare and Cédric Le Gallo, 2019
Shiva Baby, dir. Emma Seligman, 2020
A Single Man, dir. Tom Ford, 2009
Sócrates, dir. Alexandre Moratto, 2018
Southern Comfort, dir. Kate Davis, 2001
A Special Day, dir. Ettore Scola, 1977
Speed Walking, dir. Niels Arden Oplev, 2014
Spring Fever, dir. Lou Ye, 2009
Stranger By the Lake, dir. Alain Guiraudie, 2013
Sublime, dir. Mariano Biasin, 2022
Summer of 85, dir. François Ozon, 2020
Sunday Bloody Sunday, dir. John Schlesinger, 1971
Super Hot, dir. Taylor King, 2021
Tarnation, dir. Jonathan Caouette, 2003
They., dir. Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, 2017
Tomboy, dir. Céline Sciamma, 2011
Tongues Untied, dir. Marlon Riggs, 1989
Totally F***ed Up, dir. Gregg Araki, 1993
Trick, dir. Jim Fall, 1999
Tropical Malady, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004
Umibe no Étranger, dir. Akiko Fujita, 2020
Vampire Lovers, dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1970
Vampyros Lesbos, dir. Jesús Franco, 1971
Venus of Mars, dir. Emily Goldberg, 2003
Victor/Victoria, dir. Blake Edwards, 1982
Viola di mare, dir. Donatella Maiorca, 2009
Water Lilies, dir. Céline Sciamma, 2007
The Way He Looks, dir. Daniel Ribeiro, 2014
We Were Here, dir. David Weissman, 2011
The Wedding Banquet, dir. Ang Lee, 1993
Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, dir. Jim Abrahams, 1990
Wet Hot American Summer, dir. David Wain, 2001
Wild Tigers I Have Known, dir. Cam Archer, 2006
Withnail and I, dir. Bruce Robinson, 1987
Wonder Boys, dir. Curtis Hanson, 2000
The World to Come, dir. Mona Fastvold, 2020
Yentl, dir. Barbra Streisand, 1983
Zatōichi, dir. Takeshi Kitano, 2003
Zorro the Gay Blade, dir. Peter Medal, 1981