10 best R-rated movies streaming right now

David Dastmalchian and Laura Gordon speak to a possessed Ingrid Torelli on the set of a talk show in Late Night with the Devil
IFC Films

R-rated movies are typically expected by audiences to push the boundaries of what can be depicted on the big screen. Whether it’s gory horror movies or steamy erotic thrillers, these movies were designed specifically to get an “R” rating and be shown primarily to adults.

From modern masterpieces like Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer to classics like Alien, some of the best R-rated movies ever made are available to stream on different platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Max. With bold narratives and unfiltered realism, these are great picks for an enjoyable movie night among adult friends.

Need more recommendations? We also have guides to the best new movies to stream this week, the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on HBO.

Anyone But You (2023)

Two people are stranded on a boat in Anyone But You.
Netflix

Rom-coms aren’t usually racy enough to warrant an R rating, and maybe that’s why Anyone But You was a surprise hit in late 2024. The Will Gluck-directed movie, which is a very loose adaption adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, stars Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) and Sydney Sweeney (Madame Web) as Ben and Bea, who loathe each other because of a past botched one-night stand, and now must attend the same lavish wedding with their exes. They then decide to strike a deal to pose as a couple to try to win back their former lovers. Guess what happens in the process? Yes, they start to develop feelings for each other.

While Anyone But You isn’t all that original or surprising (especially if you know your Shakespeare), it’s still fun and genuinely funny. The film makes great use of its primary assets: the beautiful Australian setting, and the magnetic charisma of both its leading stars. When they share the screen together, Powell and Sweeney showcase palpable chemistry, and elevate a standard rom-com into a near-great one.

Anyone But You is streaming on Netflix.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

A man and a woman lie next to each other in L.A. Confidential.
Warner Bros.

Everyone loves a good mystery, right? Well, if you’re a fan of the genre, then L.A. Confidential isn’t one you should miss. And if you’ve seen it already, you should watch it again — repeat viewings only showcase just how rich and layered this 1997 film, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards, is, and it remains a captivating watch.

A neophyte detective, Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), must team up with a brutish, morally ambiguous LAPD cop, Bud White (Russell Crowe), to investigate two separate crimes: a bloody shoot-out at a diner, and the murder of a struggling young actor. Their investigation unveils every shady layer of 1950s Hollywood: sleazy pimps, prostitutes who get plastic surgery to look like movie stars, and a tabloid journalist desperate to find some redemption. There’s a lot more going on in L.A. Confidential, but to reveal more would be almost as criminal as taking bribes or murder, both of which occur throughout the movie.

L.A. Confidential is streaming on Hulu.

Late Night with the Devil (2023)

Four people sit on a stage in Late Night with the Devil.
Shudder

Spring isn’t usually the time for scary movies, but when a movie is good, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. And make no mistake, Late Night with the Devil is a good, creepy movie, even if its ending is a bit of a letdown. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey, as they say, and to watch Late Night is to travel to a dark place filled with escalating tension and paranoia.

Character actor David Dastmalchian stars as Jack Delroy, a desperate late-night show host who is facing cancellation if he can’t come up with an eye-catching act to boast ratings. On October 31, 1977, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot by having a parapsychologist and her subject of study, teenaged Lilly D’Abo, on his show. Lilly claims she’s been possessed by the Devil, and Jack wants to conjure up ol’ Beelzebub so that millions of eyeballs will tune in and save his crumbling career. Is he successful? Well, you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.

Late Night with the Devil is streaming on AMC+.

Anatomy of a Fall (2023)

A woman bows her head in court in Anatomy of a Fall.
Neon

Did Sandra Voyter kill her husband? That’s the central question behind Anatomy of a Fall , a thriller that was nominated for Best Picture and won Best International Film and Best Original Screenplay at the 2024 Oscars. Directed by Justine Triet, the French film depicts the seemingly idyllic life of German expat Sandra (Sandra Hüller), her husband, Samuel (Samuel Theis), and their legally blind 11-year-old son, Daniel (Milo Machado-Graner), in their remote French Alps town.

Their perfect existence is shattered when Samuel is found dead below their chalet and the police suspect Sandra. As her tumultuous relationship with her husband is dissected in the courtroom, the audience is invited to be both judge and jury and determine if Sandra is truly guilty or as innocent as she claims.

Anatomy of a Fall is streaming on Hulu.

Oppenheimer (2023)

Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy as Lewis Strauss and Robert J. Oppenheimer shaking hands in black-and-white in Oppenheimer.
Image via Universal Pictures

Already being called director Christopher Nolan’s best movie, Oppenheimer is an epic biographical thriller that dramatizes the life of the “father of the atomic bomb,” J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oscar winner Cillian Murphy stars as the theoretical physicist in the film, which chronicles his experiences in universities before being recruited to lead the Manhattan Project. It also depicts his downfall after World War II, with a 1954 security hearing condemning his part in the creation of nuclear weapons.

Oppenheimer quickly gained critical acclaim for its unique portrayal of the complicated historical figure’s story, with Murphy infusing his character with both brilliance and imperfections. Aside from the protagonist’s gory visions of his creation’s victims, Oppenheimer earned its R-rating for its straightforward portrayals of sex and nudity. A scene with Florence Pugh’s Jean Tatlock has even been censored using a CGI black dress in the Middle East and India, with the latter also censoring any scenes that show characters smoking.

Oppenheimer is streaming on Peacock.

All of Us Strangers (2023)

A man stands in a field in All of Us Strangers.
Image via Searchlight Pictures

Loneliness is something not often depicted on-screen, and when it is, it’s often in a depressing context. That’s not necessarily true with All of Us Strangers, a 2023 drama that is both very sad and also incredibly uplifting. Andrew Haigh’s acclaimed film stars Andrew Scott (Ripley) as Adam, a single screenwriter living in a near-empty apartment building just outside of London. One night, he has a chance encounter with his mysterious neighbor, Harry (Aftersun‘s Paul Mescal), and starts a relationship that causes Adam to think about his long-dead parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), who appear to him as if they are alive.

No, this isn’t a ghost story — not exactly. All of Us Strangers is a lot of things: a sensual love story, a moody rumination of childhood trauma, and a generational portrait that examines the inherent chasm between parents and their children. Ultimately, though, the movie is a stellar drama that contains a quartet of fine performances from Scott, Mescal, Foy, and Bell. It’s movie you won’t soon forget, and you won’t want to after watching that devastating climax.

All of Us Strangers is streaming on Hulu.

Whiplash (2014)

Miles Teller sits at a drum kit in Whiplash.
Sony Pictures Classics

Whiplash is centered on Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young drummer attending a prestigious music conservatory. While there, he becomes the protégé of the infamous and abusive jazz instructor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), who has a problematic way of teaching his talented students. As Andrew works harder to meet his teacher’s impossible standards, Fletcher’s relentless and cruel methods push him to the brink of his physical and mental limits.

Directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash is one of the best movies of the 2010s. It received acclaim for its unflinching portrayal of the pursuit of excellence and perfection in the cutthroat world of music education. Simmons’ portrayal of Fletcher, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, was particularly well-received by fans and critics alike. It’s also Simmons’ character that contributed to Whiplash‘s R-rating due to Fletcher’s intense and profane language, as well as the psychological and physical abuse he metes out to his students.

Whiplash is streaming on Netflix.

Parasite (2019)

A man whispers into a woman's ear in Parasite.
Neon

Parasite immediately became an international sensation when it first premiered, putting the spotlight on director Bong Joon-ho’s underappreciated talent. The film follows the impoverished Kim family – Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), his wife, Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), and their children, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and Ki-jeong (Park So-dam) – as they infiltrate the affluent Park family’s home by posing as skilled workers. However, their scheme takes a dark turn when a hidden secret surfaces, turning the situation tragic.

Parasite made history as the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, solidifying its status as a culturally significant and groundbreaking movie. It’s impossible to fully talk about what makes the 2019 film incredible without spoiling its clever midpoint twist. It’s mostly the events after that shocking revelation that also explain the movie’s R rating, especially its dramatic ending.

Parasite is streaming on Max.

Alien (1979)

20th Century Studios / 20th Century Studios

Director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien takes place in deep space aboard the commercial towing spaceship Nostromo. The ship’s crew, including warrant officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), encounters a deadly extraterrestrial organism on an alien vessel. Little do they know that after they retreat back to the Nostromo, the alien has already infiltrated their ship. As the creature begins hunting the crew, they must fight for survival against an unknown and terrifying enemy.

The 1979 classic would go on to spawn the beloved Alien franchise, with the first movie best remembered for its clever use of silence and its claustrophobic setting. Scott focuses on the build-up, with the film containing very few shots of the actual alien killing its victims. It’s those moments, of course, that gave Alien its R rating, as well as intense and frightening ones like the iconic chest-burster moment.

Alien is streaming on Hulu.

The Godfather (1972)

Paramount Pictures

Director Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is a legendary mob drama that’s often called the best crime movie ever made. Based on Mario Puzo’s eponymous 1969 novel, the sweeping epic chronicles the Corleone crime family’s rise to power in post-World War II America. The story specifically follows Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his reluctant son, Michael (Al Pacino), who is drawn into the world of organized crime after his father is nearly assassinated.

The first in the award-winning trilogy sees Michael experience brutality and betrayal as he learns more about the family business. Its R rating was unavoidable, as the glimpse into the inner workings of the mafia comes with shootings, murders, physical fights, and more kinds of gore and violence. Despite premiering over half a century ago, The Godfather has lost none of its impact and is still celebrated for the way it set a new standard for the gangster genre and cinema as a whole.

The Godfather is streaming on Paramount+.

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This post was originally published on Digital Trends

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