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15 Great Movies Not To Be Watched On a First Date

10 June 2015 | Features, Film Lists | by Ryan Anderson

Gone Girl (2014)

It’s the night of your first date with someone fresh and new. You are excited/nervous about your movie night that you planned. If you picked any of the movie below, you might not get a kiss at the end of the night, second date, or they might even run out of your place.

A bad first date film is usually overly violent, quite sexual in nature, or has tumultuous relationships that do not promise a bright, happy future for you too as a couple. To show that these were some of the worst choices for a first date, or any date for that matter, some spoiling had to be involved. So SPOILER ALERT and don’t choose any of these movies if you want to see that special someone again.


15. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

eyes wide shut mask

The last film directed by Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic thriller starring then couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. The story, set in and around New York City, is about Dr. Bill Harford, who is shocked when his wife tells him she thought about having an affair.

Harford embarks on a sexually charged night-long adventure, in which he infiltrates a massive, masked orgy of an unnamed secret society. It is an erotic thriller, but it also is a complex story of love and marriage. The film also features plenty of Venetian masks, which have a long history of being used in promiscuous activities.

The film was praised and misunderstood at the time, just like most of Stanley Kubrick’s filmography. Especially if you watch the censored United States version of the film, then you will probably be very confused. Due to the film’s overt sexual nature, masked people orgies and overall esoteric feel, Eyes Wide Shut should not be on a date movie playlist, especially for a first date.


14. Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Last Tango in Paris

This erotic drama caused quite the firestorm when it was released, for more positive reasons in France, and for more negative reasons in other countries, like the United States.

Directed by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, the film follows a recently widowed American who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young betrothed Parisian woman. The film’s raw portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to government censorship around the world and a powerful, rave review from Pauline Kael.

Detractors of the film called it misogynistic, filth disguised as art, and male domination. The scandal caused by the film focused on the anal rape scene where Brando’s character uses a stick of butter as a lubricant.

Kael said it altered the face of an art form and called it the most powerfully erotic movie ever made. So, a film that has caused this much of an uproar that features anal rape using butter, probably not the best choice for a relaxing date with a bowl of popcorn.


13. Blue Velvet (1986)


Complicated, sexual, and mysterious, Blue Velvet is a psychological mystery film from one of the kings of surreal, David Lynch. Some advice: avoid all films made by David Lynch on a first date, unless you too have seen them before and understand the surreal nature of most of his film, then go right ahead because he is brilliant.

However, if you are like most of the population and haven’t seen all of Lynch’s filmography, this is not one to start a relationship with. This type of neo-noir thriller gets into your head and stay there, regardless of whether you want it to. Violence, abuse, molestation, a severed ear, in short, this first date would not be forgotten soon, but for the wrong reasons.

Although the film first received mixed review, it has gained a huge cult following and the film is now considered one of the greatest of the 1980s and of all time, this is not a film to start a relationship with. If you bust out Blue Velvet on a first date, then you will are unlikely to receive the benefit of the doubt retrospectively like the film did.


12. Shame (2011)

Shame opening

It’s in the title everyone. A film called Shame, even though it stars the incredibly talented Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan and is directed by the man who helmed 12 Years a Slave, another poor choice for a first date, Shame fits its title.

Rated NC-17 in the United States due to the explicit nature in which the film dives into the sex addiction of Brandon (Fassbender) and for the nudity of several characters. Within the first 30 seconds you see Fassbender’s member so probably not the best choice for a first date. Shame is also all about sex and porn addiction, shown through Brandon.

Brandon is either having sex or masturbating for a decent amount of the this movie. Carey Mulligan who plays Brandon’s sister Sissy, is also battling her own demons and succumbs to the pain of her troubles and tribulations.

The film is incredibly courageous and powerful, it’s open, it’s a walk on the wild side of sex addiction, which is all-encompassing like a craving for drugs. Because you suggested you watch this, your date might think you are a sex addict or will cheat on them with prostitutes, which is probably not the best first impression.


11. Closer (2004)


A film directed by Mike Nichols, Closer, tells the story of Dan (Jude Law) who meets an American stripper in London (Natalie Portman) who gets hit by a car. They start dating, he writes a novel about her, he gets bored, so he hits on Anna (Julia Roberts).

Pretending to be Anna in a chat room, he lures Larry (Clive Owen) to a chance encounter with Anna, both relationships disintegrate. The film is kinda depressing and none of the relationships work out, it’s not romantic in the slightest.

Based on the Mozart opera Cosi van tutte, only a modern and tragic version, Closer is an example of attractive actors doing less than attractive things.

Although the film did receive praise, the acting, especially that of Owen was highlighted, Closer is not happy or jovial, nor romantic. Basically, you should not watch this as a first date movie, no matter how good it is, because the premise is everybody cheats. Sounds like a great way to start off a relationship, said no one ever.


10. Revolutionary Road (2006)

Revolutionary Road

Based on Richard Yates’ classic novel from 1961, this is another example of a film not to watch on a first date because watching tumultuous relationships before ever being in one with the person who is next to you is not a good way to start to hang out with that person.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a couple in 1950s suburban America, Revolutionary Road drives deep into the troubles of suburban life, gender roles at the time, and marital problems. Three topics that should probably not be brought up on a first date.

The film is also directed by Sam Mendes, who recycles some of the “suburbs are killing America” vibes from another one of his films, a best one, American Beauty, which should also not be watched one a first date. The film is well done, beautiful, and a handsome adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel of the same name, but with topics of adultery and spousal abuse and plenty of arguments between the couple, this is no way to start a relationship.


9. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)

Whos Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (1966)

Based on Edward Albee’s play of the same name, this is the not a good film to start off a relationship with. Each relationship made through the four characters of the film is highly dysfunctional, especially that of couple Martha and George, who entice each other into madness.

George, a college professor, invites young couple Nick and Honey to have late night drinks with them, Martha, who did not know they would have company is not so happy about it and fights with George for the remainder of the evening, affecting the relationship of Nick and Honey.

One of director Mike Nichols’ crowning achievements, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was nominated for 13 Oscars and was inducted in the National Film Registry in 2013. It was also seen as the best performance from Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, who won her second Oscar for the role of Martha.

Although this film has a lasting legacy and explores human nature quite well, a film about dysfunctional relationships that features many insults is probably not the best way to start a relationship.



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  • Kate O’Hara

    Can I add One Hour Photo (which i did go on a first date movie too) and Under the Skin!!

  • Bunty Lee

    Now you see, I love the films amongst them I have seen, and wat to see the others! I would be more than happy to see Salo on a first date – but anyone who thought I might like’ Mama Mia’ would not get me passed the cinema doors….

  • Jimbo

    Irreversible?? C’mon!

    • chris707

      Back in ’04 I worked at a Blockbuster for a few months. Anyways, there was this girl I had sorta’ developed a rapport with, a regular, who would often ask for some obscure (for Blockbuster) recommendations. One evening a fellow employee gave me a burnt DVD, he told me little about the film (obviously as not spoil anything), however, he did say it was a must watch on so many levels. So anyways this girl ends up coming in and we get into the regular conversation about what each of us has recently watched.
      I was working late that night and knew I wouldn’t be watching anything when I got off, so I tell her, hey I’ve got this movie that’s supposed to be incredible, shot in a completely unconventional manner…you wanna borrow it? Of course she does, and she excitedly takes it and leaves the store.
      What happens next?
      Well, before the store closes for the night she comes back (with her boyfriend…(who knew she even had a boyfriend) and totally pissed, but not just pissed, more like lost, or shocked, it’s hard to completely recall. I guess Irreversible was a little too “obscure” for her viewing pallet, because she (nearly in tears) is confronting me as to whether or not I had given her some sort of snuff film. Now, recall that I hadn’t even seen the movie yet, so I had no idea what on earth she was talking about, or just how bad it was. Long story short, I very uncomfortably try to explain the situation, she leaves and I never really recomend anything else to her or any other would be film enthusiasts again.
      I did, however, go home that night determined to see what the big deal was…I mean how bad could it be.
      Oh. That bad. So
      I guess I could understand her being a little upset.

      • Jimbo


      • Klaus Dannick

        Excellent film, but, yeah, damaging.

  • Serendipia

    Definitely not to be watched on a First Date

  • Marian David

    the skin i live in

  • Goran Mars

    #2 is NOT a great movie. It sucks even more then a book.

  • Lucy Beth

    The first film I took my ex girlfriend to see at a cinema was Freaks. The first thing we watched at home together (2nd date) was Martyrs.
    This was followed by The Skin I Live In and Antichrist.

    The person I saw that our first date was watching Ma Mere.

    And I wonder why I have problems with relationships, or at least sustaining mutual interests within them… :/

  • Abdeldjalil E.

    Misery ?

  • Takashi Miike’s Visitor Q.

  • marcel

    Depends on what woman youre trying to get

    • Indeed. Robert Smith of the Cure took the woman who would become his wife to see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on their first date. They’re still together.

  • asalways

    This is why it’s a good thing to just go to a restaurant on a first date. By the way, Divortzio all’Italiana is not to be watched before marriage or after.

  • zer0sig

    Would also add Kissed and Dee Snyder’s Strangeland

  • John Davidsson

    Need some Takashi Miike please

    • MM

      I think he saved these ones the “to be watched on a first date” list.

  • Brasil Varonil

    The Antichrist was the first movie me and my wife watched together

  • Matt_Terry

    What? No “Clockwork Orange?” When I was dating my future wife we went and saw Paul Verhoven’s “The Fourth Man” – not really a date movie but 28 years later we’re still married….so go figure.

  • ghoast

    I guess Pink Flamingos is alright then 😉

  • Demna Dalakishvili

    Rosemary’s Child by Polanski ?

  • Kotryna Layla

    definitely do not watch “Clockwork Orange”, I had never seen it and suggested to watch it together with one guy, after three years I still feel awkward

  • Veronica Clarke

    Author must hang around with some boring women. Guaranteed you take me on a first date to some happy sappy crap movie and it will be the last date.

  • Podovski

    My partner (of 13 years) received copies of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Requiem For A Dream & Happiness a month after we started seeing each other. I’m still amazed she never dumped me. So is she, in fact.
    Clearly she was a keeper.

  • Matt Doy

    If it was my list I would have Tyrannosaur on there. However this isn’t my list.

  • mákos

    Scenes from a marriage. Alrtight, that should never be watched with your partner, simply just never.

  • Happiness by Todd Solondz is about bad relationships in the sickest, low-violent way. A a bad first date is just one of the uncomfortable scenes.

  • Sherri Purves

    The Human Centipede should be on the list.

  • Bluegrasslass

    Takeshi Miike’s films Audution and Ichi the Killer should be here too.

  • Stan Moyer

    I was sixteen and my girlfriend was 15–as was her friend who double-dated with my 16 yo cousin. The movie theater was packed so the four of us had to sit all the way in the first row. Just the way “Deliverance” should be seen. My gf didn’t dump me. Later in college on a first date with a girl I met at on campus a male friend insisted that the three of us go see a really wild film called “Pink Flamingos”. Never saw that girl again. Oh well. I highly recommend “Dogtooth” for any first date. 🙂

  • Joe Montoto

    Boxing Helena?

  • Ted Wolf

    First date with my wife of 30+ years was Night of the Living Dead. Still, these movies might have put a damper on things.

  • Brian Ski

    He has a SON in a ‘Serbian Film’. Terrible things happen. That movie is vile.

  • Allister Cooper

    A well known film director, who shall remain anonymous here, stated that he lost two girlfriends to two movies – Natural Born Killers, and U Turn.

  • Pato Pagliari

    I saw Shame on a first date. It gave a good payoff.

  • jkang

    Bad timing

  • Steve Dodds

    I took a girl to see Jingle All The Way on a first date. Never saw her again.

    I took a girl to see The Thin Red Line on a first date. Still together 18 years later.

    I see a pattern developing.

  • Danielle Saver

    Inside and Old boy are great movies. I’m a woman and I’d love a man to take me to see either of those. Or both!

  • Dawn Valley

    The first film I saw with my late DH was “People Under the Stairs.”

  • Carl Edgar Consiglio

    From my experience The Last Tango In Paris should be as far away from this list as Mars 😉

  • Raphael Bruckner

    Disclosure and Basic Instinct are two that i would hold of as well untill the 11 or 12th date