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Boogie Nights Heather Graham

Skin Flicks

The 10 Best Movies About Porn

Catch Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: New Line/Everett Collection

If you’ve come looking for some suggestions on what skin flicks to work into the rotation, this probably isn’t the article for you. These are the best movies ABOUT porn, which is an important distinction. And while many movies that tackle pornography do it as an excuse to slip in some T&A, there are a few movies (like Boogie Nights, airing this month on IFC) that use the adult film industry to make us laugh or cry. Of course, the movies below are NSFW, unless you have an awesome mustache and work at a porn studio in the ’70s.


10. Orgazmo

Critics hated this movie, about a Mormon missionary who makes a porno to pay for his wedding, when it was released in 1997, calling it crass, juvenile and just plain dumb. The thing is, the movie is from the creators of South Park, one of the smartest satires on television to be called crass, juvenile and just plain dumb. This might be the only movie that stars a Mormon porn star/superhero who battles evil with an orgasm-inducing ray gun. Who doesn’t want to watch that movie?


9. Inserts

United Artists

United Artists

Unlike Jaws, another Richard Dreyfuss film released in 1975, this movie was originally rated X, before being knocked down to a hard R. In it, Dreyfuss stars as a down-on-his-luck silent film director, unable to make the transition to “talkies,” who turns his Hollywood mansion into a pornography studio. The film, which was shot on one set and filmed in real time, left many critics scratching their heads. Still, writer/director John Byrum’s film is unique for its exploration of the early days of pornography. If you’re curious what got your great-grandparents all hot and bothered, this is the movie for you.


8. Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Movies about porn tend to go one of two ways. They’re dark, coke-fueled nightmares about the corrupting influence of sex and fame, or they’re silly bits of wish fulfillment, full of flummoxed boys and hookers with hearts of gold. This is, by far, the latter. One of Kevin Smith’s few movies to take place outside his View Askew universe, this Seth Rogen vehicle is based on his experience making Clerks, only with a lot more sex. While not the most trenchant look at the realities of the adult film industry, it’s a cute movie, filled with a surprising number of comedians who were on the cusp of becoming huge stars.


7. Don Jon

Writer, director and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt made it clear to the world that he wasn’t a child star anymore with this sex comedy, which broke big out of the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. It tells the story of a Lothario trying to navigate new love, while dealing with a porn addiction. By choosing to look at adult movies from the consumers’ point of view, Gordon-Levitt was able to make a relatable film that asked what exactly pornography is doing to us.


6. Lovelace

There was a brief moment, in the late 1970s, when Linda Lovelace was as famous as any movie star, thanks to the box office of her iconic porn Deep Throat. In Lovelace, we get to see what was really going on behind-the-scenes, as a small town girl became the face of a sexual revolution, only to reject it in the name of Christianity. Fun fact: Lindsay Lohan was originally supposed to play the lead, but was fired after she proved impossible to insure. Unable to play a porn star, Lohan would star opposite one in the softcore indie The Canyons the same year.


5. The Pornographers

Imamura Productions

Imamura Productions

When Shôhei Imamura adapted Akiyuki Nosaka’s dark satirical novel about sex in postwar Japan back in 1966, it caused a lot of controversy. The movie tells the story of Subuyan Ogata, a mild-mannered man who decides to become a pornographer, only to find himself pitted against mobsters and the government. Heck, even his girlfriend turns on him when he lusts after her teenage daughter. The mix of sex and comedy proved popular, and the film became Imamura’s only hit outside of Japan.


4. The Girl Next Door

Wish fulfillment at its finest, this teen comedy wonders what would happen if your favorite porn star moved in next door. While the filmmakers weren’t shy about lifting wholesale from Risky Business, the movie has a likeable cast, and a decent mix of heart and humor. This isn’t exactly an award winner, but for anyone who’s ever watched porn for the romance, this might be the flick for you.


3. Humpday

This low budget look at two friends who decide to make a gay porno as an “art project,” uses sex as a way to examine male relationships and the macho fronting behind them. The film, which was largely improvised, went on to win the “Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence” at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and the “John Cassavetes Award” at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards.


2. Hardcore

From Taxi Driver to Auto Focus, writer/director Paul Schrader has made a career exploring how quickly sex can turn into obsession. In this dark drama we follow George C. Scott as a Midwestern father chasing his missing daughter into the dark underbelly of Los Angeles after seeing her in a porno. Schrader, who grew up a strict Calvinist Protestant Christian, paints urban America as a sexual hellscape, filled with temptation and revulsion in equal measure.


1. Boogie Nights

The gold standard of highbrow porn cinema, this ’90s classic announced the arrival of a bold new name in American cinema. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson took the heady days of ’70s pornography and made them into a coke-fueled family psychodrama. Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore and PT Anderson were nominated for Oscars, while Mark Wahlberg convinced everyone he could act. For that alone, we’ll be feel, feel, feeling this movie’s heat for years to come.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…