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The 15 most romantic movies on Netflix

Cuddling up on the couch with your honey or going solo, these movies are sure to get you in the mood come Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is this weekend and even if you've scored your dinner reservations at one of our favorite romantic restaurants, there's still the option of staying in and getting close with the help of some proper Netflix stimulation. Those in need of more explicit cues can check out our 100 best sex scenes of all time, but here's a countdown of 15 streamable titles that get high marks for passion.

15
Mauvais Sang (1986)
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Mauvais Sang (1986)

It’s easy to see Leos Carax’s second feature as a warm-up for his third, The Lovers on the Bridge, as it features the same grandiose visuals, the same glamorously doomed characters and the same ludicrous narrative twists. But the chemistry here is off the charts, and nobody dances to David Bowie quite like Denis Lavant.

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14
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Unfairly dismissed as “the movie that took Saving Private Ryan’s Oscar”, this endlessly charming and wickedly clever re-imagination of how Romeo and Juliet came to pass is the absolute pinnacle of the Victorian bodice-rippers that the Weinsteins were foisting on us throughout the ’90s.

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13
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Adam Sandler is uncharacteristically great as a short-tempered toilet-plunger manufacturer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s deranged and wonderfully musical fantasia about the violence of falling in love. You’ll never hear Altman’s Popeye the same way again.

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12
Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2013)
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Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2013)

Lars von Trier’s wild, sprawling latest is an orgy of the sublime and the ridiculous. It’s the story of the self-destructive sex life of a woman named Joe, seen in her teens and twenties (as played by dazzling newcomer Stacy Martin) and also as a middle-aged survivor (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Chaotic, lusty and not especially pretty, the film has the punkish, radical spirit of Von Trier’s The Idiots.

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11
Days of Heaven (1978)
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Days of Heaven (1978)

Richard Gere and Brooke Adams play lovers pretending to be siblings who are hired as migrant workers by wealthy farmer Sam Shepard. Narrated by young Linda Manz, and featuring one breathtaking image after another, it's a luminous and completely absorbing ode to turn-of-the-century America.

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10
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

There may always be some doubt as to who really wrote the plays of William Shakespeare, but there’s no question about who directed this frenzied adaptation of the Bard’s most famous romance. Only Baz Luhrmann could have turned this tale of star-crossed lovers into a neon-colored blitzkrieg of ’90s pop iconography, complete with a shirtless Leo DiCaprio and a soundtrack featuring Radiohead and the Cardigans.

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9
Sabrina (1954)
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Sabrina (1954)

By director Billy Wilder’s standards, this is strictly second-rate, but that still makes it roughly 30 times more enjoyable than the Harrison Ford remake. Humphrey Bogart and William Holden star as brothers vying for Audrey Hepburn’s hand, and the action on screen is almost as fun as the action behind it (Hepburn had a much-publicized affair with the married Holden).

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8
Y Tu Mamá También
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Y Tu Mamá También

Alfonso Cuarón’s three-way drama broke box-office records in Mexico and was a huge crossover hit here; it’s also one of the best Jean-Luc Godard films Godard never made. Two 17-year-old horndogs (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) embark on a road trip to the Boca del Cielo beach. When they’re joined by an older woman (Maribel Verdú), innocence, friendship and sexuality collide. Genius.

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7
Dirty Dancing (1987)
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Dirty Dancing (1987)

A doctor’s teenage daughter (Jennifer Grey) gets slinky with the dance teacher (Patrick Swayze) at a Catskills resort in the summer of 1963. A generational touchstone and unbearably romantic for folks of a certain age, this movie is a can't-lose proposition for sensitive boyfriends who won't put Baby in a corner.

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6
Pretty in Pink (1986)
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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Molly Ringwald must choose between handsome and wealthy (but boring) Andrew McCarthy and geeky and impoverished (but devoted) Jon Cryer. Even though she picks the wrong guy, we defy you to not well up during any scene with supportive dad Harry Dean Stanton.

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5
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Bradley Cooper plays a former teacher who moves back in with his parents after a stint in a mental institution. (Since Pop is Robert De Niro, we can understand the craziness.) Neighborhood girl Jennifer Lawrence offers him a way forward, in what's still her warmest performance.

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4
His Girl Friday (1940)
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His Girl Friday (1940)

Never before or since has so much hilarious romantic banter been crammed into so little screen time; if you've never seen this before, think seriously about holding on to that remote control, so you can actually catch all of the jokes. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell star.

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3
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
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Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Okay, so it’s a bit maudlin and manipulative. Anybody who loves movies enough to regularly visit revival houses will get choked up by the parade of forbidden kisses that constitutes this film’s climax, in spite of themselves. Composer Ennio Morricone's soaring love theme is the heart and soul of the picture.

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2
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
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Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Lots of handy sex tips here. This undeniably erotic but also deeply sensitive French film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for its free and frank portrayal of two young women, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a schoolgirl, and Emma (Léa Seydoux), an artist. They fall in love and face the challenge of sharing something in the long term other than sex.

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1
Annie Hall
15/15

Annie Hall

One of very few comedies to win the Oscar for Best Picture, this is still Woody Allen’s best film: a thoroughly winning examination of the relationship between the ditzy, iconic title character (Diane Keaton) and Allen’s standard neurotic loon. A seminal ’70s movie that holds up beautifully, this will have you chasing lobsters in your kitchen soon enough.

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