The Top 10 Queer Films of the Decade by Rotten Tomatoes

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This Pride Month, the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating the queer community by curating a list of top 10 LGBTQ films since 2010 by their Tomatometer score. The diverse lists celebrate some of the best storytelling about the queer community, from Academy Award winners to less well-known foreign language projects too.

Rotten Tomatoes has sway in the entertainment industry. In fact, movie studios have begun to fear Rotten Tomatoes. The website assigns a “fresh” or “rotten” score based on published critic reviews and audience ratings. A fresh score can encourage more people to see a new film, but a rotten score can effectively kill its opening weekend at the box office.

Top Queer Films of the Decade

1. God’s Own Country (2017)

A British version of BrokebackGod’s Own Country tells the story of two farmhands — one a migrant worker, the other an angry introvert — who fall in love.

2. Moonlight (2016)

The 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Moonlight profiles a boy coming to terms with his own sexual identity in the black community of drug-torn Miami in the ’80s.

3. BPM (2017)

BPM poignantly follows a group of AIDS activists in the early 90s as they overcome obstacles to create the Paris chapter of ACT UP.

4. Tangerine (2015)

Filmed entirely on an iPhone with only a budget of $100,000, Tangerine follows a trans sex worker and her best friend as they embark on a rampage to find her ex-boyfriend and his new lover.

5. Tomboy (2011)

A French film from 2011, Tomboy is about 10-year-old Laure who moves during the summer holiday to a new neighbourhood and begins to experiment with her gender identity.

6. Call Me By Your Name (2016)

Not quite the Award-winner it was promised to be, Call Me By Your Name showcases young, queer love in front of the beautiful and scenic Italian countryside.

7. Behind The Candelabra (2013)

Liberace takes much-younger Scott Thorson as a lover, but the relationship deteriorates in this HBO biopic of the world-famous pianist.

8. Carol (2015)

Set in early 1950s New York City, Carol tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aspiring female photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce.

9. Pariah (2011)

Written and directed by Dee Rees, Pariah follows an African-American teenager as they juggle conflicting identities, desperately searching for their own sexual expression.

10. A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018)

This Chilean drama about a trans women won big at the Academy Awards last year, sweeping the top prize for Best Foreign Language Film.

A Kid Like Jake

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Loving parents Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg (Jim Parsons) are faced with the daunting task of applying to private kindergartens in New York City for their 4-year-old, Jake.

Competing in this cutthroat environment means focusing on what is most unique about a child, forcing Alex and Greg to consider Jake’s love of dresses, fairy tales, and princesses. These qualities never seemed unusual before, but when Jake begins to act out in preschool, Alex and Greg—suddenly at odds—must find a way to support Jake’s identity without losing each other in the process.

Alex Strangelove

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Next month, Netflix is premiering Alex Strangelove, a new teen sex comedy with a gay lead character directed by Craig Johnson, the writer/director behind True Adolescents starring Mark Duplass and Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.

Alex Strangelove is about Alex Truelove, a straight-laced and driven high school senior with a wonderful girlfriend and a bright future ahead of him. After his buddies discover that he and his girlfriend, Claire, haven’t had sex yet,

Alex becomes obsessed with losing his virginity. But things get complicated when he meets Elliot, a handsome and charming gay kid from the other side town, who unwittingly sends Alex into a sexual identity panic. What results is a hilarious and moving exploration of love, sex and friendship in modern high school.

Pihalla

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Miku is 17, making his first tentative forays into sex and sexuality. His older brother, black sheep of the family Sebu, talks him into throwing a big party while their parents are away. Of course, the house gets trashed, so Miku is exiled to spend the summer with his parents (and without his phone!) at their summer cottage in the country.

He meets the (literal) boy next door, Elias, and, only partly for lack of other options, they quickly bond, exploring the lake and each other, comparing notes on whose parents and siblings are more fucked up.

Pihalla (Screwed) is another entry in the welcome trend of coming-of-age films in which being queer is only one of the adolescent issues, rather than the defining characteristic around which the bulk of the characters and of the plot are drawn.

It is refreshing to have sexuality be only one aspect of the story. That said, Pihalla has earned a place in the pantheon of all-time greatest coming out moments in cinema history. It’s fairly late in the film, so I won’t give away the details, but there is a surprising twist, giving a fresh take on, “Mom, I’m gay,” and casting light on some mysteries from earlier in the story.

The filmmakers, writer/director Nils-Erik Ekblom and writer/producer Tom Norrgrann, said that the script evolved during production, as they found the lead actors capable of much more than the light comedy originally written.

To be sure, this is a comedy with its share of laugh-out-loud moments, but we also get real insight into the two young men individually and together, and into their family dynamics. The touching moments of genuine connection are interwoven into the comedy, giving a more solid foundation for us to laugh along with characters we care about. The wit and humour of the dialogue shine through clearly, even through the filter of subtitles.

Mario

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There aren’t too many gay-themed sports movies with the exception of 2016’s queer-themed soccer movie The Pass and the 2000’s sweet romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Club.

Now, Mario, a new movie from Switzerland about footballers falling for each other beyond the locker room had its premiere at BFI Flare London LGBTQ Film Festival this week and will premiere in North America at Miami’s Outshine Film Festival on April 21.

A love affair between two players on a pro soccer team ignites when the team’s new striker Leon shares a rivalry and a flat with the the titular Mario, who’s in denial about how his passion for the new guy.  Despite Mario’s inability to admit his queerness, the pair engages in a relationship that threatens to crush their careers and throw the entire team off balance if exposed. Will Mario choose love over his career?

Personally I’m pretty excited about the fact that parts of the film where shot in the stadium of my beloved FC St. Pauli, a firmly queer-friendly club <3

Eyewitness

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It’s one thing to have a romantic moment interrupted, but it’s quite another to have it interrupted by a triple murder.

That’s exactly what happens in the first episode of the new series Eyewitness. The show follows teen boys Lukas and Philip (played by James Paxton and Tyler Young) as they deal with not only having witnessed a murder and survived, but also being unable to go to the police because one of them doesn’t want to come out as gay.

“[Lukas] doesn’t even acknowledge that being gay is a possibility. It’s his first time kissing and being intimate with a boy at all. It scares him a lot,” Paxton says. “He doesn’t realize that secrets of this magnitude can have some dangerous repercussions that affect everybody else in town.”