As we haven’t seen the vast majority of these films, we’re squarely judging these ‘books’ by their covers – on a scale of one to five Ellens – based only on the information provided by Netflix.

We chose the first 21, as provided to us by Netflix’s algorithm. It’s as scientifically significant as any other arbitrary measurement system, to be fair.

1. Cherry Pop!

cherry pop

Netflix summary:

The queen of queens has major drama, and catty co-workers won’t get along backstage. Can he out-drag it all?

Outcast’s take:

Drag queens and catty co-workers. Also is that Detox to the right or someone who looks exceptionally like her? We’re die-hard Drag Race fans around these parts so presuming it’s respectful of drag culture, we’d absolutely watch this.

Potential to be good:

2. Handsome Devil

handsome devil

Netflix summary:

Nothing.

Outcast’s take:

We’ve seen this movie. It’s the story of a burgeoning friendship between two Irish kids – one on the fringes of his school and the out at the apex of the rugby elite. Strong performances and a solid script elevate the film past its stereotypical fare.

Actual rating:

3. Below Her Mouth

below her mouth

Netflix summary:

De rien.

Outcast’s take:

Looks hella gay. Also looks like they’re on a dance floor and that that dance floor has seen things. We’re in.

But – and it’s a big but – we have a feeling this film falls into the Blue Is the Warmest Colour school of queer – think too much angst and porny film-making. (We are prepared to be wrong.)

Potential to be good:

4. Boys

boys REVIEW

Netflix summary:

Falling in love for the first time is amazing — and terrifying. Especially when that love is forbidden.

Outcast’s take:

A story from your editor:

I hardcore relate to that summary. Dear, readers, as a baby gay, nothing scared me more than the potential of my own queerness. I was raised in a broadly anti-gay household in small-town Ireland and I’ll never forget the time my mother mentioned how a lesbian kiss on Coronation Street was disgusting.

For the longest time, I swore I couldn’t possible be gay – dismissed crushes on friends as being a thing that everyone feels. And anyway, teenage friendships are so intense they often blur the line. Don’t they?

It took me years to take my first tentative steps out of the closet because my potential for love felt too potent – but forbidden too. Moral of the story: I want to watch this film.

Potential to be good:

5. The Pass

the pass review

Netflix summary:

The lives and careers of two professional soccer players are profoundly impacted by a single moment of intimacy that took place between them.

Outcast’s take:

Russell Tovey! And Tyler from the criminally underrated Crazyhead! Solid cast aside, this looks and sounds crap.

Potential to be good:

6. Hurricane Biance

Hurricane Bianca review

Netflix summary:

Fired for being gay, schoolteacher Richard returns in drag as force-of-nature Bianca, gets hired for the same job and plots sweet, scornful revenge.

Outcast’s take:

Again: we love Drag Race. Bianca is our favourite queen – and our queen, full stop. We’ve been to see both her comedy tours in Ireland and each time she killed it. Her comic sensibility is exquisite and she can go toe-to-toe with any global comedian.

This film, however, is not something we’ve watched for fear of staining Bianca’s legacy. Katya is playing Bianca’s other half in the sequel and even that’s not enough to draw us in.

Potential to be good:

7. The Mudge Boy

The Mudge Boy review

Netflix summary:

Without his mother, he’s stranded in a cold and cryptic world of men. And his secrets may not be safe for long.

Outcast’s take:

Without his mother, he’s stranded in a cold and cryptic world of men.

And this is the point at which we nope the fuck out. Everything about this sounds wrong.

Potential to be good:

8. Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Netflix summary:

Blank as director Abdellatif Kechiche’s soul.

Outcast’s take:

We’ve watched this film, all 17 hours of it. Hyperbole aside, we found it boring, reductive, and offensive – especially given what Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux had to say about the filming experience. One star, on principle.

Actual rating:

9. Soft Lad

Soft Lad

Netflix summary:

Two men call off their secret affair. One moves on, the other wants him back. Was it a fling, or is it still true love?

Outcast’s take:

Looks like The Pass, but possibly worse.

Potential to be good:

10. King Cobra

King Cobra

Netflix summary:

In the world of gay porn, anything goes. And these guys will do anything to get ahead. Even murder.

Outcast’s take:

Has the potential to be delightful, ridiculous fun. Also, Christian Slater is in it – which is a major plus. As long as it’s as tongue-in-cheek (weh weh weh) as the summary suggests, it could be a good drunk movie to watch with friends.

And lots of vodka.

Potential to be good:

11. The 10 Year Plan

The 10 Year Plan

Netflix summary:

Afraid of being alone forever, two friends agree to become a couple if they’re still single in 10 years. A decade later, they’re not so sure.

Outcast’s take:

If you’re really afraid of being alone, get a cat. That’s what your humble editor did.

But seriously: it looks reductive; we’d wager neither lead can act. We’ve seen a dozen films like this. So have you. Hard pass.

Potential to be good:

12. Almost Adults

Almost Adults review

Netflix summary:

Two best friends start to grow apart as they reach maturity and must come to terms with changes in their relationship and their individual sexuality.

Outcast’s take:

This film had so much potential. Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman are charming leads. Directed and written by Sarah Rotella and Adrianna Dilonardo from the Gay Women Channel, respectively.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. Almost Adults is mildly entertaining but also mildly terrible. Highlights include a dry script, weak performances, and a couple of very offensive jokes. One of our biggest disappointments in queer cinema.

Actual rating:

13. The Way He Looks

The Way He Looks

Netflix summary:

A blind teen aching for adventure finds his world upended, along with his friendships, when a new boy arrives at school.

Outcast’s take:

The summary piqued my attention (yay inclusivity!) so I looked the film up on IMdB – where it’s scored an eight. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s at 92 percent.

A Brazilian coming-of-age flick, The Way He Looks promises to be a tender coming-of-age story. Will watch!

Potential to be good:

14. Lazy Eye

Lazy Eye

Netflix summary:

After a conflicted graphic designer invites an old flame to his home in the California desert, the two share a passionate and soul-searching weekend.

Outcast’s take:

This film is named after an eye condition related to slowness. It’s probably titled after a cute event in the film. Reader, it sounds perfectly adequate but it’s not for me.

Potential to be good:

15. Get Real

Get Real

Netflix summary:

When a closeted boy falls for his school’s top jock, there’s fireworks. More when the jock starts liking him back.

Outcast’s take:

Of note: this film was released in 1998, when the editor was seven. Given the lack of queer cinema at the time, Get Real was probably a seminal coming out film for many teenagers in the 90s.

The fact it’s still on Netflix almost 20 years later speaks highly of its potential quality.

Potential to be good:

16. Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

henry gamble's birthday party

Netflix summary:

It’s supposed to be a normal teenager’s birthday pool party. But secrets and tensions lurk below the surface.

Outcast’s take:

One: define ‘normal’? Two: everything about this film looks and sounds awful.

Potential to be good:

17. Those People

Netflix summary:

Everything’s easy in Manhattan for a young, good-looking guy. Unless life and love aren’t always as easy as they seem.

Outcast’s take:

Oh hey, it’s everyone’s favourite moody magician, Quentin from The Magicians! Short hair looks so good on you, bae.

Apart from that, we have no strong feelings about this film. It’s probably fine – which is the endearing reproach about Netflix’s LGBTQ content.

Potential to be good:

18. 4th Man Out

4th Man Out

Netflix summary:

Coming out to his bros was a little awkward. But he needs all the help he can get meeting Mr. Right.

Outcast’s take:

Hey, Chord Overstreet! ?

Look, here’s the thing: we have carefully cultivated a selective misandry in Outcast HQ and when we see a movie about ‘bros’, we eject on-sight.

Soz, 4th Man Out. It’s not you; it’s us.

Potential to be good:

19. I Am Happiness on Earth

I Am Happiness on Earth

Netflix summary:

A gay movie director finds himself on both sides of the camera, blurring the line between his real sex life and erotic film-making.

Outcast’s take:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Potential to be good:

20. I Am Michael

I Am Michael

Netflix summary:

Gay activist Michael Glatze begins a painful journey when he decides to renounce his sexuality for religion in this drama based on a true story.

Outcast’s take:

We’ve read about this film – and the premise is an intriguing one: James Franco plays Michael Glatze, a gay activitist, who quits on his boyfriend Spock (Zachary Quinto) for religion – and to date Emma Roberts.

If it weren’t based on a true story, we’d dismiss it as pointless fluff, but the true-life elements add a layer of interest to an-already peculiar plot. Colour us curious.

Potential to be good:

21. Freeheld

Freeheld

Netflix summary:

When detective, Laurel, is diagnosed with cancer, she faces a historic legal battle to transfer her pension benefits to her domestic partner, Stacie.

Outcast’s take:

Ellen Page! ?

Julianne Moore! ?

Domestic partners! ?

Destroying oppressive systems. ?

Potential to be good:

The Takeaway

At the time of writing, Netflix Ireland is streaming 66 films in the LGBTQ category. We ‘reviewed’ the first 21, as dictated by the algorithm. Further down the list were gems Other People, Appropriate Behaviour, and Paris is Burning, the documentary that put us squarely on our quest to queer.

So many of the 66 films are a) abundantly white, b) coming out stories or c) romances. Where are all the queer genre films? The queer superheroes? Queer villains and action heroes? Many of them, too, sound reductive, boring, or plain bad.

Further, we’re media junkies in Outcast HQ and we hadn’t heard of many of these films. Netflix needs to up its queer content, for sure, but queer films also needs the chance to reach a wider audience.

Watch queer movies. Talk about them. Rate them out of Ellens, or fives, or whatever system you want. Whatever you choose, engage.

Our stories deserve to be told – so let’s make sure we tell them.

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