Top 10 Adult Movies That Were Rated R

When we hear the term adult movies, we might immediately think of a Carnival of debauchery. Fortunately, movies for adults can be quite mainstream.

Crude language and risque innuendos aside, the R rating has been of great help for filmmakers who wanted to add a little spice to their films.

However, some of these R-rated movies were initially rated NC 17 by the MPAA, making the line between dirty and decent somewhat blurred.

In today’s list, we’ll be looking at the top ten adult movies that were rated R.

#10. Damage (1992)

Damage (1992)

Having an affair is sorted enough for most of us, But having said affair with your son’s fiance is borderline unthinkable.


That’s the dilemma of Damage, a 1992 drama starring Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Irons plays Dr. Stephen Fleming, a physician who entered politics and becomes a member of Parliament.


He meets his son’s fiance, Anna, and soon begins a passionate romance with her. Fleming seems to stop caring about the dangers that such an affair could mean not only for his career but also for his family.

As the plot would suggest, Damage features a heavy dose of intimate scenes between Irons and Binoche as their characters get intimate in increasingly explicit scenes.


This, coupled with the film’s delicate subjects, created a lot of controversy for the ratings board. Part of this controversy would personally impact actress Juliette Binoche, who would famously speak ill of her costar, Jeremy Irons.


Binoche said that the English actor would act some of his intimate scenes with her a bit too realistically, being somewhat uncomfortable during the filming. That said, the actress has said in later interviews that she forgives Irons and that she had a good time working with all of the members of the cast of Damage.

#9. The Cooler (2003)

The Cooler (2003)

Ever feel like nothing is going your way? That’s how every day feels like for Bernie Lootz, the main character of The Cooler, a drama about the unluckiest man in Vegas and how getting a bit lucky almost costs him his life.


Bernie Lootz is a man with a luck so bad that it is contagious. He works in the Shangrila Hotel and Casino, where the boss uses his talent to jinx the winning gambler’s luck.


Things change for Bernie once he meets Natalie, a cocktail waitress, and begins a relationship with her. Now, instead of bad luck, he seems to be a lucky charm, which heavily displeases the director of the casino. 

The Cooler has some gratuitous use of off color language, but it faced some problems due to its many suggestive scenes. In fact, two versions exist of this film, a tamer R-rated version and a fully Uncut NC 17 one.


Even more impressive is the movie’s use of expletives. We’re talking about a total of 101 F-bombs in a movie that’s 101 minutes long.

#8. Basic Instinct (1992)

Basic Instinct (1992)

This sleazy 1992 noir thriller was directed by Paul Verhoeven, who is unquestionably no stranger to spicy scenes and gratuitously violent movies.


Basic Instinct is a classic of the neo-noir genre, featuring what’s been called the most paused moment in the history of movies.


Michael Douglas plays Detective Nick Curran, a violent cop who was investigating the murder of Rockstar Johnny Boz. 

His investigation quickly focuses on Boz’s girlfriend, a crime novelist called Catherine Tramell. The novelist makes clever use of her womanly charms to manipulate the investigation. Seducing current in what seems like an attempt to evade the police.


Catherine Tramell is played by Sharon Stone, who plays the part of the niphomaniac novelist perfectly. One of the film’s most infamous scenes features Stone and crossing her legs in front of the camera.


This single frame is what’s been called the most paused moment of every movie, at least according to a poll by Love Film but now defunct movie subscription service.

#7. American Pie (1999)

American Pie (1999)

A true comedy classic, American Pie, defined a generation of comedies with its raunchy humor and its representation of American high school life.


The story follows the misadventures of four friends who make a solemn pact. They promise they’ll lose their virginity before their prom night.


The movie’s infamous for its body humor, especially considering that some of its characters are supposed to be underaged. It reportedly took the film four tries before it received an R rating, being given the harsher NC 17 rating on multiple occasions.


American Pie  has become a staple of adult comedy since its release. That said, not every country has the same standards on their ratings boards. In Denmark, the movie was rated A, which means that it could be seen by everybody regardless of their age.

#6. Team America: World Police (2004)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Created by the same guys responsible for South Park. Team America is an irreverent comedy that pokes fun at American foreign politics and action movies in general.


A true product of its time, this puppet film ridicules the concept of America being the de facto world police after the events of 9/11.

Most of the characters in the film are voiced by their creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The plot follows Gary Johnston, a popular Broadway actor who’s recruited into Team America, an elite counterterrorist organization. Thanks to his acting skills.


Just like South Park, Team America looks deceptively cartoonish as its crude jokes and explicit scenes betray it’s R rating. Just like with American Pie, team America was rated differently in America and Europe.


The film almost received an NC 17 rating in America, but in several European countries the movie was considered to be for kids and families. Seems like America and Europe have different standards when it comes to pottymouth puppets.

#5. Blue Valentine (2010)

Blue Valentine (2010)

This experimental film centers on the relationship of Dean and Cindy in a nonlinear way, jumping between time periods. The movie presents many key moments of their relationship, with the audience being the ones that have to piece the memories together to understand their relationship.


Blue Valentine offers a somewhat nihilistic analysis of how modern relationships begin and end. The movie also features a healthy dose of profanity and explicit scenes between its protagonists, and that’s exactly the reason why it was given an R rating.


Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play the Dean and Cindy believe characters of the story. To better understand the relationship of their characters, the actors lived together for a month, learning how to pick fights with each other.

#4. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Boys Dont Cry (1999)

Based on the real-life tragedy of Brandon Teena, Boys Don’t Cry is a harrowing movie about the stigma of the early days of transgenderism in rural America.


Starring Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena, a young woman who adopts a male identity and begins a romantic relationship with Lana Tisdel, a single mom.

Released in 1999, the subject matter of the film was considered a bit too controversial at the time. The depictions of the brutal abuse that Brandon suffered towards the end of his life are also painfully disturbing, earning this movie its well-deserved R rating.


To prepare for her role, Hilary Swank spent a month living as a man. This included asking girls out an experience that the director, Kimberly Peirce, insisted that she had to go through to fully understand her character.

#3. American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho (2000)

A surrealist and violent look into the mindset of a New York City investment banker, American Psycho has become one of the most popular cult films of the early 2000s.


The movie stars of very young Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, the film’s titular psycho. Bateman is a man with an obsession with perfection but also crippled by hedonistic fantasies and episodes of violence. As the film progresses, we begin questioning what is real and what has been created by Bateman’s disturbed psyche.


Christian Bale did a wonderful job playing the terrific Patrick Bateman, but the role almost went to Leonardo DiCaprio, who chose to leave the project in favor of the film The Beach.

#2. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) 

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

The cartoon that changed the face of satirical comedy in the 90s, had its big screen debut in 1999. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, is a hysterical musical that throws logic out the window to poke fun at everything and everyone.


Featuring a singing Saddam Hussein the part of the South Park film follows a conflict between the US and Canada, after the Canadians are blamed for corrupting young people’s minds with their crude humor.


This irreverent comedy also has a musical elements thrown in it and was even nominated for an Oscar for the song played Canada one of the only song to the soundtrack that didn’t contain any swear words. Well at least it’s the one with the least amount of swears.

#1. Clerks (1994)

Clerks (1994)

 Our number one pick is clerks, a true cult classic. Clerks offers a cheeky look at the life of two convenience store clerks who just try their best to make it through their daily grinds.


The film chronicles a day in the life of Dante Hicks the clerk who relies on his friend Randall to keep them entertained while the covers for another employee on his day off.


Originally rated NC 17 just because of its graphic dialogue. A Harvard law professor actually convince the MPA a to give an R rating instead.


Clerks was filled out a minuscule budget and on a tight filming schedule. The convenience store featured in the movie is the same one where Kevin Smith was working at the time.


Smith had to work there during the day and fell during the night which meant that he rarely slept during the 21 days of filming. 

This was our top ten Adult Movies of all-time list. We have been able to compile a great list of the best Adult Movies that were rated R. Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below. 

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