18 Best Lesbian Films on Netflix – Harper's BAZAAR

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We’ve rounded up the best sapphic flicks on the platform.
We’re living in a golden age of entertainment—and, with it, a peak era for LGBTQ+ media representation. Take Netflix as a case study, for example. In just over 25 years, the company has grown from an online rental service slinging DVDs to a streaming platform so massive that its name is now a verb (and/or shorthand for a particularly lazy date idea: “Netflix and chill,” anyone?). And for just about as long as they’ve been making original movies and shows, their slate has included queer-inclusive content like Orange is the New Black and Grace and Frankie.
Fast-forward to today, and the platform is home to a robust array of Netflix Original series with sapphic storylines: Feel Good, First Kill, She-Ra, Atypical, Heartstopper… need I go on? When it comes to movies, the offerings are a little slimmer, but rest assured—we’ve rounded up the best sapphic flicks on the platform for your viewing convenience.
For nearly 70 years, former women’s baseball player Terry Donahue and her business partner Pat Henschel hid their romantic relationship from their families. Directed by Terry and Pat’s great-nephew, Chris Bolan, A Secret Love documents their love story for public posterity.
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If you’re in the mood to watch a Whitney Houston biopic that features no singing and is, for legal purposes, totally not actually about Whitney Houston, this is the film for you! All jokes aside, Beauty is a flawed but visually impressive drama that closely tracks events from the real Whitney’s Houston’s early career. At the center of the film is the Whitney-esque title character’s (Gracie Marie Bradley) struggle to choose between her nascent singing career and her love for Jasmine (Aleyse Shannon).
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Halle Berry’s directorial debut stars Berry as Jackie “Pretty Bull” Justice, a former UFC competitor who has left her fighting days behind her—only to get drawn back into the ring several years later. Come for the MMA; stay for Sheila Atim as Buddhakan, Jackie’s trainer and love interest.
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Most queer women need no introduction to this film, but in case you’re unfamiliar, Sebastian Lelio’s romantic drama follows Rachel Weisz as Ronit, a rabbi’s daughter who returns to the Orthodox Jewish community that once exiled her when her estranged father falls ill. The already-tense situation gets more complicated when Ronit discovers that Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), the childhood friend she’s staying with, is now married to Esti (Rachel McAdams)—Ronit’s first love.
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Just as Simone (Sarah Stern) is gearing up to tell her conservative Jewish parents she’s a lesbian, she finds herself suddenly attracted to a male chef (Jean-Christophe Folly). The result is a zany, frothy romantic comedy with the vibe of a French Kissing Jessica Stein.
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When Rei (Kiki Mizuhara) discovers that Nanae (Honami Sato)—the woman Rei is in love with—is trapped in an abusive marriage, Rei realizes there’s only one thing she can do: kill Nanae’s husband. After going on the run together, Rei and Nanae are forced to confront their feelings for one another.
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Nosepho (Mandisa Vilakazi) is the perfect Zulu daughter, a role model to all the young girls in her conservative village, so when her family decides it is time to wed, she dutifully prepares to marry the husband her father has chosen for her. But as her feelings for Thenjiwe (Sibongokuhle Nkosi) deepen, Nosepho must choose between fulfilling her duty and following her heart.
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Same-sex marriage wasn’t legalized in Spain until 2005, but that didn’t stop Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas from posing as a heterosexual couple in order to wed in 1901—making theirs the first same-sex marriage ever recorded in the country. Shot in black and white, this lyrical biopic brings Elisa and Marcela’s love story to life.
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In addition to being a massive love letter to the entire horror movie genre, this three-part movie event also includes several prominent (and parallel) sapphic storylines spanning from 1666 to 1994.
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When Nima (Shawkat) meets Sergio (Laia Costa) at a gay bar, all she’s expecting is a one-night stand. Then Sergio proposes an experiment: the two spend 24 hours together, complete with sex once per hour, in order to “fast forward” their connection and jump-start a possible relationship. Co-written by Shawkat and director Miguel Arteta—and, in an echo of the film’s premise, largely filmed over 24 hours—the movie offers a low-fi exploration of what it’s like to build intimacy with a new person.
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They say that equal representation can only be achieved when marginalized characters are allowed to be just as reprehensible as your standard-issue straight white male role. In that case, I Care a Lot is groundbreaking. With her girlfriend and business partner Fran’s (Eiza Gonzalez) help, con artist Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) makes her living convincing the courts to grant her guardianship over elders whom she then swindles for all they’re worth—that is, until she runs afoul of her latest mark’s son: crime lord Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage).
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This charming holiday movie is exactly what you would get if you took Love Actually, aged it down, took out the problematic parts, and made it just a little bit gay. The film follows several teens in a small Midwestern town on Christmas Eve as they navigate interlocking love stories—including one between Waffle Town waitress Dorrie (Liv Hewson) and her closeted cheerleader crush (Anna Akana).
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Alice Wu’s 2004 rom-com Saving Face instantly elevated the director to queer film royalty, but it wasn’t until 2020 that she released her sophomore effort, a teen coming-of-age movie loosely based on Cyrano de Bergerac. When a sweet yet stupid football player (Daniel Diemer) hires shy, booksmart Ellie (Leah Lewis) to write a love letter to his crush Aster (Alexxis Lemire), the last thing Ellie expects is to fall in love with Aster herself.
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Ever since starring in Get Out, Allison Williams has leaned hard into her newfound scream-queen status—and thank god, because we got this deliciously twisted revenge flick out of it. Starring Williams and Logan Browning as rival cellists, The Perfection is, indeed, perfection if you want a dose of enemies-to-lovers-to… well, let’s not give it away, shall we?
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Based on the hit musical, Ryan Murphy’s first feature film since 2014’s The Normal Heart follows a group of down-on-their-luck Broadway actors (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, and James Corden) who decide to revive their career with a little self-serving activism. When a high school in small-town Indiana decides to cancel their prom rather than let senior Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) bring a female date, the big-city thespians jet to Indiana to raise awareness for Emma’s fight—whether she wants their help or not.
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In 2012, fresh off a breast cancer diagnosis, Tig Notaro performed a set of new material at the L.A. club Largo that went viral and catapulted her to mainstream success. This documentary chronicles the year that followed. An unmissable slice-of-life film, Tig documents Notaro’s cancer treatments, her grief over her mother’s death, and the early days of her relationship with now-wife Stephanie Allyne.
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Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki star as Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, respectively, in this romantic biopic about the real-life love affair between Woolf and Sackville-West. Bonus: the film also features Isabella Rossellini as Vita’s mother.
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Amy Poehler’s directorial debut stars Poehler as Abby, a woman who strongarms her closest friends (Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey) into spending a weekend in Napa for their friend Rebecca’s (Rachel Dratch) 50th birthday. As befits a cast packed solid with comedy legends, hilarity ensues—complete with a pit stop at a queer artist love interest’s The Nanny-inspired gallery show.
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