So you don't have to spend all week digging through Rotten Tomatoes to find acclaimed films about people who "go both ways," we've done the work for you. Though, overall, there are few bisexual characters on the silver screen, the ones who make it to theaters are often worth the price of admission. Several of these roles garnered Academy Award nominations, with a few even scoring Hollywood's highest prize.
This list, ranked by highest percentage on Rotten Tomatoes, details which movies with bi leads are worth watching and why.
The movie that made Salma Hayek and bisexual artist Frida Kahlo household names, this biopic was not just about history but also made it.
A look into 30 years of Kahlo's experiences with trauma, romance, and politics, the movie refuses to erase the artist’s queer identity like tellings before it.
"Actress Salma Hayek portrays the famed Mexican surrealist painter in a biopic that neither mythologizes nor decries the artist's accomplishments on or beyond the canvas," Todd Gilchrist wrote on IGN Movies.
Frida offers stunning visuals of Mexico as well as the graphic realities of living with a disability. There is something undeniably fiery about this iconic movie.
A stylish, feminist action flick, Atomic Blonde doesn’t have the most engaging plot, but it does deliver an enthralling protagonist.
Charlize Theron plays a bisexual MI6 spy who takes no prisoners on a mission through the streets of Berlin. She’s sexy, smart, and secure in her interest in both men and women.
“Who do we thank for this refreshing take on the smash-'em-up genre and this thoroughly modern woman in a Bechdel-beating blockbuster?” Glamour’s Jane Crowther asked.
Can a woman step into James Bond's shoes? Duh, says Charlize Theron as she performs the cold-as-ice secret agent shtick backwards, and in red patent-leather stilettos, in the engaging spy-vs-spy thriller Atomic Blonde," agreed Thelma Adams in the Observer.
Natalie Portman’s harrowing and disturbing portrayal of a ballerina having a mental breakdown is fraught with sex but also sexuality.
Engaging in out-of-control affairs with her choreographer and another ballerina, the bisexual dancer delivers an intense, highly visual film.
“Practice makes perfectly insane in Black Swan, a tale of one ballerina's psychosexual freakout,” Rafer Guzman wrote in Newsday in 2011. The Academy agreed, giving the film five Oscar nominations and Portman her first golden guy.
This intersectional, intimate look at a bisexual ex-Orthodox Jew who returns to her secluded community is moving, to say the least.
Filled with themes of power, pleasure, and the freedom to stray from your own beliefs, Disobedience does not take aim at the oppressive culture that imprisons its queer protagonists but rather approaches it with hope.
The film "cuts deeper than your standard forbidden-love story, largely because the actors are so attuned to their characters' anguish," Stephanie Zacharek wrote in her Time review.
A delicate film about grief, Disobedience impressively delivers nuanced female characters who fall in love and don’t die in the process.
As Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody’s most lauded film since Juno, Tully takes a candid look at motherhood through a twisted magical realist tale.
Charlize Theron plays a bisexual mom whose sexuality exists in the background of her search for the energetic and ambitious person she was before having three kids.
"The emotions Tully surfaces aren't comforting, and they have less to do with the actual realities of motherhood than with the idea of motherhood as something that leaves you forever changed and cut off from your younger self," Allison Willmore explained at Buzzfeed News.
As its plot turns on a mother’s experience, this film would likely be higher on this list if critics weren’t overwhelmingly male.
Featuring one of the most beloved bi characters of all time, this thriller (whether you prefer the Swedish or the American version, they ranked the same on Rotten Tomatoes) has left its mark.
Statistically, bisexual women face higher rates of sexual violence than their straight or lesbian peers, so there’s something deeply touching about watching rape survivor Lisbeth Salander take down predators in style.
Unapologetically cyberpunk, this tale is brutal in all the right ways.
This Kevin Smith classic is arguably the best film he’s ever made, and for good reason.
Taking on gender roles, machismo, and slut-shaming, Smith introduces us to Alyssa, a self-declared lesbian who falls for a man.
"This is a politically incorrect comedy with casual profanity, but more profoundly so. Smith doesn't play the Hollywood stereotype of lesbians as women who have not met yet the right guy," critic Emanuel Levy wrote on his website. In The New York Times, Janet Maslin agreed, saying, "As Chasing Amy redefines the boy-meets-girl formula for a culture where anything goes, including perhaps another boy or girl, it thrives on Smith's dry, deadpan direction."
Alyssa is not afraid to live openly queer, but she struggles with her bisexual identity, lying about her experimentation-filled youth. The film addresses the complicated reality that for many bi people, it’s easier to identify as gay than in the middle of the Kinsey scale.
A list about bisexual-led films would be incomplete without this portrayal of Alfred Kinsey, the sexual researcher who shed light on the concept of loving both sexes.
In this biopic, Liam Neeson portrays the social scientist in 1948 as he addresses controversial realities around sex. Critics praised the film's witty, subversive, and frank take on the historical figure.
"For a movie so frank and explicit, Kinsey has a soft spirit," David Ansen wrote in his Newsweek review. "Kinsey is a celebration of diversity; it's about the solace knowledge can bring."
This Oscar-nominated family drama was written and directed by lesbian filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko, with Julianne Moore starring as a complicated bisexual housewife who cheats on her spouse with their sperm donor.
“A witty portrait of postmodern family life in which script, casting, direction and location all just float together without any apparent effort at all,” Peter Bradshaw raved in The Guardian in 2010.
The Kids Are All Right features amazing performances from Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo as well as Moore. The film takes a brave look at how desperately people need to feel wanted, even if that means betraying those they love most.
As it's a deeply personal exploration of being a closeted bisexual in a traditional Persian family, it’s no wonder that the best film about a bisexual was made by one.
Written and directed by Desiree Akhavan, whose The Miseducation of Cameron Post won the Grand Jury Prize at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival, Appropriate Behavior is intersectional and profound.
"Akhavan's confidently off-kilter approach to basic human interaction makes for an authentically ironic, adorably wistful, smartly observed ride," wrote Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times. Slant Magazine's Diego Semerene noted, "Desiree Akhavan's tale of queer post-breakup funk shows more nuance, and racial dimension, than its cinematic cousins."
With an authentic look at being queer, Iranian, and lost, this film is warm and moving.