Hollywood movies about cheating in a relationship fiddle around with the same recurrent themes. Grizzly sex scenes? Check. Nudity? Check. A murder, or two? Double-check. But sifting through them with care reveals many gems that move beyond clichés. Here we have curated Top 11 Hollywood movies about cheating in a relationship.
We have thrillers like The Loft and Chloe about unfaithfulness. We have Le Grand Amour from the ‘60s – the cliched comic tale of having an affair with an attractive secretary. In drama, we have movies like Closer with a star-packed cast and an erotic mesh of four lives entangled together. The Wolf of Wall Street glides through the unfaithfulness part with a lot of bickering with the wife, SO MANY drugs, and a truckload of money that’s unaccounted for.
If you look at the list of top Hollywood movies on infidelity, these classics are just the tip of the iceberg.
Top 11 Hollywood Movies About Cheating In A Relationship
Hollywood explores the aftermath of infidelity, deals with the psyche of the infidel, and even launches a reverse trajectory to show us that infidelity does not always have to be the same. No two films in this collection are the same. They cater to a wide variety of audiences, and you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.
Here is our pick of the top 11 Hollywood movies about cheating in a relationship that delve into the complex dynamics of romance and fidelity from a fresh lens.
1. In the Mood for Love
Director: Wong Kar-Wai.
Wai is generous. Wai is forgiving. In the Mood for Love is a standing testament to it. Two neighbors find out that their respective partners are cheating on them with each other’s partners. Instead of acting out and having an affair of their own, a slow seduction builds up that does not result in anything sexual.
The film teems with a slow pace, warm tones, and rain-drenched streets of Hong Kong. The affair of the partners is not the focus in the movie; the repressed love of Mrs Chan and Mr Chow is. Their love does not reach fruition, and they do not leave their spouses. Despite their parting, the journey they undertake is breathtaking to watch.
The deep effects of infidelity on the one who has been cheated are riveting. Moreover, the intimate moments between the two characters are subtle and graceful. The use of body language and silences takes the cake in the treatment of the film. No wonder it’s been a winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA Awards, and the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Certainly one of the best movies on cheating, In the Mood for Love gets a 4 out of 5.
2. Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Amy Dunne is every cheating husband’s nightmare now. Sweet, sociable and amazing Amy disappears on the morning of her and Nick Dunne’s anniversary. All fingers point to the husband, the crime scene has been set to make the police believe it is an abduction. Life insurances bumped up, and a shed full of expensive gifts? Who else besides Nick could be to blame?
Did he think he could drag Amy down to the bottomless pit of a country and leave her for a younger girl? No way, baby. You don’t get to win. Nick’s mistake of cheating on Amy with his student Andie results in nationwide defamation. He struggles to prove his innocence, while Amy orchestrates the elaborate plan to teach him a lesson.
The thrilling story was a winner as a novel, and it’s a champion as a film. Ben Affleck is the perfect fit as the husband living in a horror story, while Rosamund Pike wins our hearts (and makes them race) as the vengeful Amy who knows how to deal with a cheating husband. A stellar supporting cast and a wonderful background score contribute to making Gone Girl one of the best movies about cheating in relationships.
This film gets a score of 4 out of 5!
Director: Adrian Lyne
Who would want to cheat if their husband is Richard Gere? Apparently, Diane Lane as Connie Summer would. The Summer family has their happy little monotonous routine until Connie runs into the gorgeously French Paul Martel. Their mutual attraction leads to some raunchy sex (in inappropriate places).
Very soon Connie’s husband, Edward, catches on and confronts Paul at his apartment. Things get out of hand and Edward kills (yes, you read that right) Paul with a snow globe. After covering up the murder, Edward goes home with the snow globe. When the police show up, the couple corroborates each other’s lies (to their mutual surprise). In the end, they decide to find a way to move on.
This is one of those Hollywood movies about cheating in a relationship that address the irony of women straying from a doting husband (who is also good at sex) for sex. Diane Lane received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the Hollywood cheating wife, and the film was a box office hit.
We give Unfaithful a 3.5 out of 5!
Related Reading: He Cheated On Me But Wants Me To Take Him Back
4. Blue Is the Warmest Colour
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Adele falls in love with Emma, an art student who brings forth the former’s love for women. The film revolves around their relationship where Adele copes with her girlfriend’s artistic world and friends until she cheats on Emma with one of her male colleagues. Emma throws Adele out after a huge fight, and they end things between them.
If you are looking for a happy ending or reconciliation between these two, you are barking up the wrong tree. Adele and Emma don’t end up together despite being in love. The movie examines sexual identity, compatibility, and the hardships of moving on from a relationship. The presence of the color blue is a fine detail that enriches the movie.
This is one of the movies about cheating in a relationship that you should watch for its bittersweet ending. It’ll be sure to move you to tears.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour gets a rating of 4 from us!
5. Anna Karenina
Director: Joe Wright
Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel tells the story of Anna Karenina’s affair with Count Vronsky. The romance is a royal and aristocratic affair where Vronsky impregnates Anna. A lot of drama ensues between Anna, Vronsky, and Anna’s husband, Karenin. Ultimately, Anna flees to Italy with Vronsky and their daughter, but can’t find happiness because she thinks Vronsky is being unfaithful to her.
The infidelity ends in tragedy for Anna because she jumps under a train. Though the plots sound a bit generic, watch it for the excellent cinematography and costume design. The Russian aesthetic is not something you’ll regret investing your time in. Keira Knightley as Anna is an interesting choice of casting, but it is Jude Law who catches our eye as the indignant husband Karenin.
Joe Wright’s historical drama gets a rating of 3 out of 5 from us!
Related Reading: The Anatomy Of An Affair
6. Fatal Attraction
Director: Adrian Lyne
Adrian Lyne brings another erotic thriller after Unfaithful. A man, after a two-day affair with a woman, doesn’t understand the consequences of what he’s done. Dan thinks that sleeping with Alexandra was a one-time thing, but she clearly has other ideas in mind. She clings to him and her obsession becomes fatal.
Alex says, “I won’t be ignored, Dan!” and boy does she mean it. She calls him, stalks him, meets his family in disguise, damages his property, kills his pet, and even kidnaps his daughter. After almost having killed each other several times in the film, the climax centers on Dan’s wife, Beth, killing Alexandra once and for all.
The plot is gripping, and the dynamic of Dan and Beth is what piques our curiosity. Equal parts saucy, and equal parts nail-bitingly suspenseful, Fatal Attraction is a winner.
We give it a rating of 4 out of 5!
7. The Descendants
Director: Alexander Payne
This movie on an extramarital affair focuses on the consequences of cheating. It is a heart-warming story about the King family: Elizabeth and Matt King, and their two daughters. Elizabeth is comatose when Matt learns of her affair with a man named Brian. The King family sets out on a road trip to see Brian and deliver the news of Elizabeth’s impending death.
The movie ends with Brian’s wife forgiving Elizabeth, and the King family bidding her a loving goodbye. Overall, the film moves the audience with its funny yet painful moments. It captures the effects of an affair on the children of the family as well.
George Clooney and Shailene Woodley shine on screen and don’t disappoint us for a second. The incessant swearing makes us laugh, and the father-daughter relationship is the cherry on top of the cake.
This movie is certainly worth a watch, and we give it a rating of 3.5 out of 5!
8. The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Let’s not go into the controversy of whether Leo Di Caprio makes a great Gatsby. The movie, based on Fitzgerald’s book, deals with the lavish lifestyle of Jay Gatsby. But he has an ulterior motive for throwing such elaborate parties – to lure Daisy, the love of his life from many moons ago.
It’s easy to be swept off your feet when your ex-lover comes back into your life, having a bazillion dollars in their account. This Hollywood movie on cheating ends with beloved Gatsby’s death, and Daisy and Tom’s escape. Watch it for the extravagant affair that Daisy indulges in with Jay, the green light at the end of the dock, and Leo’s great performance.
It is visually stunning, makes our jaws drop occasionally, and makes us want to hit Daisy. I for one, love the sets it was filmed on. The Great Gatsby won two Academy Awards as well!
We give this movie a rating of 3 out of 5!
Related Reading: 15 Warning Traits Of A Serial Cheater – Don’t Be His Next Victim
9. The Loft
Director: Eric Van Looy
So, you and your friends share-rent a loft where you carry on your extramarital affairs? Sounds very modern, doesn’t it? But what happens when the girl you brought over gets murdered in the loft? Now, one of you is a cheater AND a murderer.
The most ironic line of this movie is, “We’re gonna find out what happened here and we will figure a way out. We’re in this together, we’ll get out of it together. Okay? ‘Cause were friends. Agreed? Agreed?” It really ages well.
The Loft is also an erotic thriller, and it deals with five cheating men, and the hot soup they’re in. The victim is Sarah Deakins, and everyone could have killed her because everyone was associated with her. For once, we won’t give a spoiler. But we will say that cheating goes horribly wrong with this movie. Believe me, horribly.
Watch it for the suspicions among friends, being friends with a murderer, and how guilt, fear and suspicion can wreak havoc on your life.
The rating for this movie is a 3.5 out of 5!
10. Below Her Mouth
Director: April Mullen
We really don’t have enough movies on same-sex infidelity. Thank God for this one. Jasmine gets seduced by Dallas while the former’s live-in fiancée is on a business trip. Thus, begins a very sexual and emotional affair which offers quite the twist at the end.
Erotic and dramatic is a combination we love. The sizzling chemistry between Erika Linder and Natalie Krill is SO good to watch. We don’t understand why the reviews by critics were below average, because we quite liked the way the trajectory went. Please add this to the list of top Hollywood movies on infidelity you must watch.
All things taken into consideration, Below Her Mouth gets a rating of 3 out of 5.
11. Marriage Story
Director: Noah Baumbach
Charlie Barber and Nicole’s marriage is on the rocks after Charlie slept with the stage manager of his theatre company. They eventually decide to split amicably, and Nicole moves to Los Angeles. She involves a lawyer in their separation and before they know it, their divorce has become an ugly fight.
Charlie is angry at Nicole for having moved so far away with their son, while Nicole rages at the extramarital affair he had. The case goes to court and they fling the dirtiest allegations against each other. Things get resolved after Nicole and Charlie have a one-on-one discussion that escalates, and ends with Nicole comforting him. They finalize their divorce, and a year later are settled into a comfortable routine.
Marriage Story is definitely a relationship drama to watch, as it explores the aftermath of infidelity. It explores perspectives of both parties; the cheater and the cheated. The dialogues are beautifully intense, and the performances: chef’s kiss! Honestly, if Scarlett Johansson is in a film, just watch it.
Marriage Story certainly gets a 4.5 out of 5!
Have you seen these Hollywood movies about cheating in a relationship? Or have more to add to the list? Write to us or leave a comment below.