The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Beaver-bashers: Carrie-Ann Moss, Keanu Reeves
Carrie and Keanu enjoy a bout of board-stiff sex-cuddling as an underground cave/rave/orgy scene pounds on and on around them. They veeery slooowly writhe in the flickering candlelight, evoking the raw sexual heat of two dermatologists examining each other for potentially cancerous blemishes.
Angel Heart (1987)
Uglies-bumpers: Lisa Bonet, Mickey Rourke
Together at last: frantic shagging and a splattering torrent of vein-sauce. Pity poor Lisa (just 19 at the time): from Lenny Kravitz to this. And then not much else.
Body Of Evidence (1993)
Horizontal joggers: Madonna, Willem Dafoe
Shot in skin-whitening, passion-murdering overhead light. Weaselly Willem keeps his trousers on for an unconvincing full-body ravish of a bored-looking Madge. Then, she spills wax on him.
Knocked Up (2007)
Orificial athletes: Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogen
Beautiful blonde woman pumped up with cocktails graciously receives the stoner seed of pudgy, booze-bloated ginger geek. Drunk sex: just a notch above joyless masturbation – only with the added erotic charge of pregnancy risk.
Last Tango In Paris (1973)
Synchronised squirmers: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider
In which a self-loathing, grieving man wastes a perfectly good slop of butter to investigate the rear plumbing of a depressingly compliant woman in France. Banal anal.
Monsters Ball (2001)
Salami-hiders: Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton
Okay, so the second ‘tender’ scene is probably worse, but the first couple-up is still criminally over-celebrated. Berry: gorgeous. Billy: inexplicable Jolie ex with a distractingly simian ‘O’ face. Together: total chemistry bypass.
Two-backed beast-makers: Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan
A very, very stupid crotch-clinch, with emo-fringed Kyle tipping chip-oil over Liz’s perky puppies before stifling laughter as she, umm, splashes about LIKE A WILD THING. Well, like a stripper having a seizure…
The Tall Guy (1989)
Botched boffers: Emma Thompson, Jeff Goldblum
Oh, it’s so English! All elbows and apologies and stepping on the toast and knocking over the vase. But that’s okay because spontaneous sex is like that, right? Maybe - but at least it doesn’t involve Jeff Goldblum. Unless, of course, you’re Jeff Goldblum’s sex partner… Brr.
Young Adam (2003)
Muffin-butterers: Emily Mortimer, Ewan McGregor
What movie sex definitely isn’t missing: the spirit of early ‘80s German porn. Emily Mortimer is perfectly lovely without being doused in custard powder, ketchup and random condiments. Bet it smells like a canteen lunch.
Jollies-getters: Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Evil, helium-voiced dwarf comforts drunken drug-addict harpie-hooker. Then, the dwarf factors in a little pawing... Oh, Christ. They're not... They are! A needy frenzy of dwarf-drooling and whore-panting. Phwooar.
Pipe-cleaners: Lin Shaye, Woody Harrelson
After being rumbled in a rent-dodging scam, Woody’s ten-pin titan is forced to carnally commune with his haggy landlady. The action is off-screen, but the post-coital reveal tells all: him vomming in the en-suite, her basking in the icky afterglow (“What is it about good sex that makes me want to crap?”)
Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Mattress-jivers: Hayley Atwell, Matthew Goode
After the steamy trailers, we all hoped for a down and filthy British Dangerous Liaisons. What we got was an exhaustingly chaste period piece capped by this airless, underlit, above-the-waist fumble. As erotic as a trip to Ann Summers with your nan.
Swept Away (2002)
Secretion-swappers: Madonna, Adriano Giannini
Stranded on a desert isle with a beefy boatsman, Madge’s shrill socialite finally succumbs to a half-arsed pseudo-rape. The sniggerworthy sexlessness isn’t helped by the queen of pop looking like a strip of biltong.
Trench-stormers: Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, two hookers
Couple of dead-eyed contract kidnappers. One of them craves pancakes. The other wants to “get laid”. Cut to: a pair of prozzies synchro-bouncing on (probably) semi-tumescent contract-kidnapper cock, clearly contemplating their weekend shopping lists. Pancakes, please.
Bones-jumpers: Rosanna Arquette, James Spader
Cronenberg’s Ballard adap is fuelled by freaky sex – that’s the point. But using a weeping leg-wound as a proxy-vagina? Big bowl of wrong.
Jackie Brown (1997)
The Old In/Outers: Bridget Fonda, Robert De Niro
De Niro rarely does sex well (see the similarly inert insertion with Meryl Streep in Falling In Love) but this one’s barely sex at all. A huff and a puff and we're done – Bobby’s eager emission (and subsequent film career) squirting out over the small of Bridget's back.