No, this is not a list of “adult films,” though admittedly, the words have been used to describe a number of the entries listed below. Instead, these are legitimate movies that just so happen to contain a lot of nudity, and we mean a lot. In fact, only a few movies listed here were able to achieve an R-rating, while the rest either went unrated or were slapped with an ill-fated NC-17.
There are plenty of reasons to put nudity in your movies, whether it be to make the audience feel more vulnerable, to turn up the heat of a love scene, or to ensure that teenage boys everywhere will be flocking to see the latest coming-of-age comedy. After all, everyone knows that “skin sells,” though the movies listed here really push the boundaries of that expression to the limit.
So if you think that more nudity means a more enjoyable movie than you are sadly mistaken. In fact, a number of movies featured here are near impossible to sit through, let alone enjoy. And instead of being aroused by the on-screen skin, you're much more likely to feel bad for what many of these actors put themselves through.
Here are the Top 15 Movies That Bare The Most 'Skin'.
15 The Wolf of Wall Street
Easily the most recognizable movie on this list, this 2013 Martin Scorsese film found Leonardo DiCaprio and newcomer Margot Robbie letting it all hang out to help tell the real life story of Wall Street stock broker Jordan Belfort.
Though Scorsese is known for packing his movies with graphic scenes of all sorts, The Wolf of Wall Street contains an obscene amount of nude scenes throughout its lengthy three-hour runtime, which is exactly the point.
While it may seem at times like Scorsese is glorifying drug use and promiscuity, what he really aims to do is relentlessly overload the viewer’s sense by explicitly capturing the greedy lifestyle’s of the characters on screen. The debauchery may be titillating at the start of the film, but after watching multiple orgy scenes and a number of drug trips gone wrong, you can’t help but leave the movie theater feeling like you need to take a shower.
14 Boogie Nights
While you could understandably be taken by surprise by all the nudity in The Wolf of Wall Street (the movie is technically a biography after all) you pretty much get what you ask for when you watch Boogie Nights, a movie which chronicles the adult entertainment industry in California throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s.
A young Mark Wahlberg stars as Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler, a nightclub dishwasher who becomes one of the most successful adult film stars of all time thanks to his unusually large member.
While the film is far from an adult film itself, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson kept the sex scenes as graphic as he could, cutting a total of forty seconds of nudity to attain an R-rating.
Though there’s plenty of female nudity throughout the film — including a few scenes where Heather Graham and Julianne Moore bare it all — what the audience is really curious to see is if Dirk Diggler is actually as well-endowed as we’re lead to believe. And in the film's final scene, we get a lengthy close up that leaves little left to the imagination.
13 Eyes Wide Shut
Though Stanley Kubrick had tackled the topics of sex, lust, and jealousy in a number of his films before, he decided to make it the focal point of his 1999 final film, Eyes Wide Shut.
Then-married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star as on-screen couple William and Alice Hardford, whose marriage goes through a rough patch after Alice admits that she once fantasized about having an affair. The majority of the film is spent with Cruise’s character, who wanders from one sexually-charged encounter to the next until he ends up at a cult-like orgy that he clearly wasn’t prepared for.
Though there’s plenty of nudity throughout the film, the lengthy masked ball sequence easily exposes the most skin. In fact, to secure an R-rating in the United States, a number of CGI characters even had to be added to certain shots to obscure the sex scenes that were considered too graphic, though they can still be seen unobstructed in the unrated cut of the film.
12 Sleeping Beauty
If Eyes Wide Shut was already too creepy for you to get through than you’ll want to avoid Sleeping Beauty at all costs. While the film takes its name from the 1959 Disney classic, this story is far from a fairy tale, as it follows a young university girl named Lucy who takes a high-paying job pleasing rich men. But instead of simply being a prostitute, Lucy is voluntarily put to sleep so the men can use her body as they wish, barring everything except actual sex.
Though this film was marketed as an erotic drama, there’s hardly anything erotic about watching older men strip down and get in bed with the much younger girl, who spends a large chunk of the movie naked and unconscious. As you can imagine, Sleeping Beauty was met with its fair share of backlash from audiences, though the controversial film has not seemed to hinder actress Emily Browning’s career, who starred in Sucker Punch that same year and has since appeared in The Host, Legend, and American Gods.
11 Lust, Caution
Directed by Ang Lee, this 2007 erotic thriller centers around a group of young Chinese women who attempt to assassinate an ally of the Imperial Japanese Army by seducing him into a trap. Though the film received its fair share of criticism due to a number of graphic sex scenes — just as Lee has previously experienced with his 2005 film Brokeback Mountain — Lust, Caution was largely well received by critics, who found the excessive nudity integral to the plot.
Despite this, the film was still heavily edited in other parts of the world - particularly China, the very country where the movie takes place. Though Lee opted to take the NC-17 rating in the States, the director reluctantly cut seven out of the ten minutes of graphic sex scenes for the Chinese release. While seven minutes may not seem like a whole lot out of a 160-minute movie, Lee claimed that the sex scenes actually took 100 hours to shoot.
To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of showing up to your 9 to 5 job completely naked for almost two and a half weeks!
Falling into the category of so-bad-it’s-good, Showgirls follows a young woman’s climb to the top of the Las Vegas stripper pole in this 1995 Paul Verhoeven film. Given that the director also made the camp-classics Starship Troopers and Total Recall, it’s hard to know if this self-proclaimed erotic drama should be viewed with the same sense of irony. Then again, if you watch this film from a serious disposition, not even the excessive nudity will help you make it through the two-hour runtime.
Showgirls is notorious for taking Elizabeth Berkley, who was then best known for playing Jessi Spano on Saved by the Bell, and putting her in a gratuitously sexualized role where she spends a large chunk of the movie dancing around totally nude.
Maybe the biggest crime Showgirls commits is how it miraculously makes its attractive stars seem utterly unsexy, particularly during one of the most awkward on screen sex scenes of all time between Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, and an in-ground swimming pool.
9 Flesh Gordon
Though it may sound like a straight-up adult film parody, Flesh Gordon puts so much effort into accurately spoofing the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s that this 1974 film actually becomes a cinematic marvel in its own right.
Flesh Gordon was purposely made with a campy tone and is chalk full of cheesy innuendos, like changing the villain from Ming the Merciless to Wang the Perverted and featuring a ridiculous number of phallic-shaped objects. But instead of starting off with a cheap setup and quickly devolving into one sex scene after the next — like your typical adult parody — Flesh Gordon actually sees it ridiculous plotline to the end while sprinkling in a fair share of skin throughout.
Most of the film’s nudity comes from a number of orgy scenes, which take place in the background and a good distance away from the camera. Flesh Gordon even managed to obtain an R-rating by cutting a few minutes of nudity, which could later be seen in the film’s unrated cut.
Definitely not to be confused with the 2004 Best Picture winner of the same name, this 1996 film revolves around a disturbing sub-culture that uses car accidents to receive sexual gratification. The film was directed by body-horror master David Cronenberg, the same man behind The Fly and A History of Violence, though Crash proves to be a far more explicit and harder film to stomach than any of the director’s other works.
Any number of scenes in Crash easily earn the film its NC-17 rating, which often finds actresses Deborah Kara Unger and Holly Hunter baring it all for the camera. While there’s plenty of frontal female nudity throughout the film, actor James Spader managed to make it into a number of the movies disturbing sex scenes without showing anything but his naked backside.
Though there is an R-rated cut of this film out there, if you’re already game to sit through such a disturbing premise you might as well push your chips all in and watch the few extra minutes of Crash’s nude scenes.
Though Antichrist was released without a rating, the MPAA suggested that the film would easily be rated NC-17 for “extreme sexual violence, disturbing graphic sexual content, and for brief explicit sexual images.” But reading a one-sentence description of the events that take place in this film is one thing, and sitting through them is something else entirely.
Like many Lars von Trier films, Antichrist is not for the faint of heart and will test the viewing limits for even the most brazen cinephile. In fact, the opening sequence of the film shows a married couple having graphic, unsimulated sex in the shower while their infant son accidentally falls to his death out of the second story window. And that’s one of the easier scenes to get through!
There’s nothing alluring about the nudity in Antichrist, where every explicit sex scene is punctuated with such repulsive violence that it often overshadows any point the story is trying to make.
6 Blue Is the Warmest Color
While many films that display explicit nudity and extremely realistic sex often divide audiences, 2013’s Blue Is the Warmest Color was widely well-received at the time of its release, earning it a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and unanimously winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Based on the French graphic novel of the same name, the film tracks a lesbian relationship between the introverted Adele and the free-spirited, blue-haired Emma, all the way from high school to young adulthood. Therefore, both actresses and had to perform multiple sex scene together, often fully nude.
After the film was released, it came out that director Abdellatif Kechiche allegedly ran a borderline abusive production throughout filming by stretching the shooting schedule from two to nearly six months, requiring the actors to do hundreds of takes, and taking ten days to film a single sex scene, causing the two women to vow they would never work with Kechiche again.
5 Room in Rome
Now that we’re dipping into the top five, we’re definitely coming to the films that many critics consider borderline pornographic, as these movies don’t just contain a few prolonged sex scenes, but instead find the actors and actresses naked for almost the majority of the film!
This 2010 Spanish film, originally named Habitacion en Roma, follows two women’s sexual encounter with each other over the course of one night in a hotel room. How the two women came to meet is left intentionally vague, and whether or not they end up together after they check out of the hotel is also left up in the air, leaving the viewer to wonder what exactly the night’s events meant to each woman.
Though the nudity in Room in Rome is far less explicit than a number of the films listed above, the sheer amount of time that actresses Elena Anaya and Natasha Yarovenko are displayed in the nude is what has earned its place so high on this list.
This 2006 dramedy follows a group of young New Yorkers who explore their thoughts on art, politics, and sexuality at a weekly gathering in an underground salon in Brooklyn. Though a few films on this list have already featured unsimulated sex, many of them relied on special effects or body doubles (i.e. porn stars) to carry out the physical act. However, everything that happens in Shortbus is 100% carried out by the actors, leading many to dismiss the film as pure smut.
However, the filmmaker and many critics have defended the explicit nudity in the film, saying that the sexual acts depicted are less about invoking arousal in the audience, and are more intended to help explore the emotional journey of the characters on screen. Additionally, the fact that this film has a far lighter tone than many of the other movies listed here makes it slightly easier to get through for your average movie goer, so long as you know what you’re getting yourself into.
3 Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & 2
Though Antichrist may be much harder to sit through, in terms of sheer amount of nudity on screen Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac series easily takes the cake. The film follows Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a woman who recounts her extensive sexual history to the man who saved her life following a brutal beating.
With the uncut version of both films clocking in at a whopping 325 minutes, it’s no wonder that Nymphomaniac contains a massive amount of nudity and legitimate on-screen sex. But what’s most impressive about the film is how many mainstream stars pop up throughout the story, including Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, and Uma Thurman.
So you’re probably wondering if these actors actually have sex with each other on screen? Though it may certainly look like it, many of the explicit scenes were filmed using adult film stars and super imposing the actors' likeness into the scene. This meant that many of the nude scenes had to be choreographed to the T, which, according to the actors, made filming the scenes the exact opposite of erotic.
This 3D erotic French film made headlines a few years back for the sheer amount of sex scenes that the actors actually participated in for the film. The story follows a young couple that engages in a threesome with another woman, which leads to a rift in their relationship and an unexpected pregnancy that changes their lives forever.
Love features a number of lengthy nude scenes that many felt were gratuitous and largely unnecessary for the story, with some critics saying that you might as well watch an adult film than sit through this 135-minute movie which can really start to drag.
The three leads, Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin and Aomi Muyock certainly weren’t shy about baring all for the camera, and many of their intimate scenes together weren’t even choreographed, giving the actors freedom to do what they wanted. However, the plot and the characters of Love are ultimately too weak to support the explicit scenes that the audience is asked to sit through over and over again.
1 Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Easily one of the most controversial films of all time, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom is a 1975 Italian-French film that follows four extremely corrupt Italian fascists who kidnapped and relentlessly torture a group of teenagers for 120 days.
Though the film was meant to be a metaphor for political corruption, Salo was highly controversial at the time of its release and remains banned in several countries today. In fact, the only reason that Peir Paolo Pasolini may not have been investigated for the making of the movie, was because the director was actually brutally murdered shortly before the film’s release.
Even forty years after its debut, the violence in Salo remains just as hard for viewers to sit through today, and it will almost make you forget that the captives spend almost the entire film forced to walk around naked. What’s even more shocking is how young many of the actors are, making it hard to believe how this film ever got made in the first place.
So did we forget any films that contain an obscene amount of nudity? Let us know in the comments.
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