Skip to main content

5 LGBTQ movies and TV shows you need to watch in August

Two men look at each other in Red, White & Royal Blue.
Amazon Studios / Amazon Studios

August is typically the month that the summer season starts to wind down. Kids prepare to go back to school, while adults figure out how to spend the last few days of vacation they have left for the season. On the movies and streaming front, however, the schedule remains as busy as ever, and that holds true for content about the LGBTQ+ experience.

In theaters, the comedy Bottoms and the drama Passages showcase the highs and lows of love, while the hit Netflix streaming show Heartstopper returns for a second season. In addition, there’s an incisive documentary about a famously closeted gay Hollywood star on Max while Prime Video debuts a charming rom-com about the First Son and the Prince of England having a secret romance. There’s something for everyone, and these five LGBTQ movies and shows are sure to keep you entertained well into the fall.

Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed (out now)

Rock Hudson stands with a shirtless male on a cliff in Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed.
Max / Max

You may think you know all there is to know about Rock Hudson, but as All That Heaven Allowed proves, there’s more underneath the pretty surface than you may think. For those who don’t know who Rock Hudson is, here’s a brief overview: Hudson was a matinee idol of the 1950s and 1960s who lived as a closeted gay man for most of his life. He was only outed in the mid-1980s as it was revealed he was quickly dying of AIDS.

Unlike most documentaries that focus on closeted life, All That Heaven Allowed emphasizes just how happy Hudson was as a major movie star who also explored his sexuality, albeit discreetly and carefully. This emphasis on queer joy, and reinstating Hudson’s importance in the gay community and role in the public acceptance of the AIDS epidemic, is what sets the documentary apart. It’s also surprisingly funny and raunchy, with surviving members of Hudson’s inner circle telling entertaining stories about Hudson’s sexual escapades and Tinseltown anecdotes.

All That Heaven Allowed is now streaming on Max.

Heartstopper season 2 (August 3)

Nick looks at Charlie in Heartstopper.

Netflix’s twee tween hit Heartstopper returns for another season on August 3, and there’s sure to be more longing looks, animated swoons, and a dozen perfectly timed needle drops in its next batch of 10 episodes. The season more or less adapts volumes 2 and 3 of Alice Roseman’s charming graphic novel series of the same name, which see leads Charlie and Nick grapple with being in a romantic relationship for the first time, the gradual coming out process to friends and family, and a class trip to Paris which opens them both up to a wider world of acceptance and temptation.

When the first season debuted on Netflix in April 2022, Heartstopper was rightly praised for its low-key charm and deeply sympathetic approach to its teenage characters. Season 2 promises more of the same, with more attention given to its talented supporting cast, particularly Yasmin Finney’s Elle and William Gao’s Tao, who both begin to wonder whether their friendship is morphing into something more with each episode. Heartstopper‘s lo-fi cuteness may irk some, but for most people, the show is a rare depiction of teens as sensitive, intelligent creatures. It’s the anti-Euphoria, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

Season 2 of Heartstopper will stream on Netflix on August 3.

Passages (August 4)

A woman looks at two men in Passages.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Are you like me in thinking 2023 has been severely lacking in adult dramas that deal honestly with love and sex? Ira Sachs’ NC-17-rated drama Passages promises to fill that need with a provocative tale of a love triangle gone terribly wrong. The film stars rising German actor Franz Rogowski as Tomas, a filmmaker in a happy and stable marriage to Martin (No Time to Die‘s Ben Whishaw). One night in a crowded dance club, he meets Agathe (Blue is the Warmest Color‘s Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young schoolteacher who ignites a lust in Tomas that surprises even him. Soon, Tomas and Agathe begin an affair, which jeopardizes Tomas’ marriage to Martin, who begins his own affair.

Erotic dramas used to be a staple of summertime moviegoing; remember Unfaithful, the Adrian Lyne movie that came out in May 2002 and nabbed star Diane Lane an Oscar nomination for Best Actress? Passages may not have as much of a mainstream appeal as that movie, but early reviews indicate it’s as cerebral and sensual as its intriguing trailer suggests. If Heartstopper is about the beginning of young love, Passages showcases the endpoint of a relationship that’s been exhausted by too much freedom.

Passages will be released in theaters on August 4.

Red, White & Royal Blue (August 11)

Two men are covered in cake in Red, White & Royal Blue.
Amazon Studios / Amazon Studios

Silly rom-coms aren’t just for straight people anymore. The premise of Amazon Prime Video‘s movie Red, White & Royal Blue is deliberately absurd: the son of the U.S. President, Alex Claremont-Diaz, must befriend his hated rival, Prince Henry, to smooth over relations between America and England. Their forced partnership quickly becomes something more, and they embark on a secret romance that, if exposed, could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances of re-election and threaten the British Monarchy. How’s that for stakes?

Red, White & Royal Blue leans into the outrageous plot, and in the process, becomes the rare rom-com that’s actually kind of romantic and funny. As played by relative newcomers Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine, Alex and Henry have a classic love/hate relationship that carries on the rom-com tradition of the two leads grudgingly falling in love with each other as the movie progresses. The genre lives or dies based on the leading stars’ chemistry, and Perez and Galitzine have it. Red, White & Royal Blue won’t rock your world like Oppenheimer or even Barbie, but it’s a charming diversion from a real world that has far too few buttercream cake fights and romantic walks in the moonlight.

Red, White & Royal Blue will stream on Prime Video on August 11.

Bottoms (August 25)

BOTTOMS | Official Red Band Trailer

After No Hard Feelings in June and Joyride in July, Raunchy Girl Summer concludes with Emma Seligman’s Bottoms, a delightfully filthy comedy that won over audiences at South by Southwest earlier this year. The movie features rising stars Rachel Sennott (who also co-wrote the film) and The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri as PJ and Josie, two queer teenagers who are too dorky and socially awkward to get dates with the high school cheerleaders they lust after. They decide to form an all-girls fight club to gain the attention of their objects of affection. Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned, and hijinks ensue.

Described by Seligman as “a campy queer high school comedy in the vein of Wet Hot American Summer, but more for a Gen-Z queer audience,” Bottoms dials up the awkward humor and doesn’t flinch from portraying its central female protagonists as desperate, horny, and funny as hell. The movie’s rapturous reception at SXSW, combined with its hilarious trailers, promises to close out the summer of 2023 with a few well-earned laughs … and maybe a life lesson or two as well.

Bottoms will hit theaters nationwide on August 25.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
3 great British TV crime shows you need to watch in April 2024
A man talks on the phone in Case Histories.

April has seen record rainfall across the U.S. and a solar eclipse that captivated the world. Yet there are also the constants in life: love, death, taxes, and ... British crime shows?!? That's right, the genre that brings us posh accents and elegant corpses never seems to go out of style, and this month, there are a handful of good series to check out if you're interested in the macabre.

If you've already watched them or just need new recommendations to fill up your queue, then the following three selections are just the ticket for quality entertainment. One show premiered earlier this year on Netflix, another features stars from the MCU and Mad Men, and the other adapts a series of popular novels.

Read more
The best LGBTQ movies on Netflix right now
A family dances in The Persian Version.

After years of asking, LGBTQ+ content is more readily available than ever, largely thanks to streaming. No longer do audiences have to settle for "bury your gays" stories because the best LGBTQ+ movies on Netflix include a healthy mix of every possible genre. From dramas to comedies, rom-coms, and even the occasional genre movie, including horror and sci-fi, there actually is something for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. These films feature compelling queer stories and characters that will make their audience feel seen, perhaps for the first time.

New movies come to Netflix every week, meaning there's a consistent and varied collection of queer-themed pictures available. Some are acquired tastes, while others are critically acclaimed classics; a few are animated, and some others are decidedly not kid-friendly. With so much to choose from, it might be tedious to search for just one title. Luckily for you, we've pulled together a list of the best LGBTQ-themed movies on Netflix right now.

Read more
Netflix’s most addictive movie of 2024 is now streaming. Here’s why you need to watch it
A man aims his camera in Scoop.

Thrillers come in all shapes and sizes. There's the psychological or serial killer thriller, which was popularized in the '90s by The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en. There's the erotic thriller, which had its heyday in the late '80s and early '90s with such hits as Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. And then there's the action thriller, which is probably the most popular offshoot of the genre right now, with the Taken series and Salt as prime examples.

Recently, there's been a revival of a subgenre that's been dormant since the 1970s: the journalism thriller. From Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal to the Oscar-winning Spotlight to 2022's She Said, this type of thriller usually centers around journalists pursuing a controversial and sometimes dangerous story. One of the best journalism thrillers has just been released by Netflix: Scoop. In chronicling how the BBC managed to snag the scoop of the decade by interviewing Prince Andrew about his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the movie manages to be suspenseful, informative, and one of 2024's most purely entertaining films.
The story everyone is after

Read more