In addition to arousal and box-office interest, nudity can also be used for humor, shock, vulnerability and dramatic effect. But don't worry, we're not going to go "totally IFC" on you; yank factor is still on the checklist. While the infamous MrSkin.com already published their Best Celebrity Nude Scenes of 2009, we feel it's our duty as cinema experts to choose a list of our own. First of all, our picks are only from film, not Showtime or HBO. Second, we're higher brow, or at least pretend to be, so we consider the artistic merit of the scene, not just "yank factor" (which is exactly what it sounds like).
In addition to arousal and box-office interest, nudity can also be used for humor, shock, vulnerability and dramatic effect. But don't worry, we're not going to go "totally IFC" on you; yank factor is still on the checklist.
10. (tie) Malin Akerman and Dr. Manhattan, 'Watchmen'
When Zack Snyder promised comic-book fanatics that he would stay unflinchingly accurate to the source material, he didn't lie. During the love scene between Night Owl (Patrick Wilson) and Silk Spectre II (Akerman), the Silky one peels off her unitard to display the first pair of blockbuster superhero breasts. And to give female fans a little thrill, Snyder had CGI artists make the first digitally created blue wang, proudly and frequently sported for Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup). There is a blue balls joke in here, but again, we're higher brow than that.
9. Ann Heche, 'Spread'
Boasting one of the worst titles of the year, 'Spread' is a hopelessly obvious attempt to make Ashton Kutcher cinematically relevant. While the film proved Kutcher should stick to hawking Nikons and tweeting Diddy, it helped Heche on her climb back from crazy town. She looks incredibly sexy throughout, and her love scene montage with Ashton is the best example of verisimilitude in film this year: Kutcher whoring himself to a cougar for money.
8. Naturi Naughton, 'Notorious'
Lil' Kim defined "hot mess" a decade before the term even existed. To portray her on film, naked and begging Biggie Smalls to climb on top of her, is a feat unto itself. Surprisingly, Naughton, the same actress who played the do-gooder Denise Dupree in the wholesome remake of 'Fame,' pulled it off -- also nailing Kim's rhyming skills and panty-clad crotch thrusts on stage.
7. Jena Malone, 'The Messenger'
'Donnie Darko' fans have been waiting for this moment since Malone turned legal in 2005 ... and it doesn't disappoint. 'The Messenger' opens with an intensely realistic sex scene between her and Ben Foster after his character has returned from war. It sets an emotional tone for the whole movie and helps cement her place as the new princess of indie cinema.
6. Alice Eve, 'Crossing Over'
If a woman has ever broken your heart while she's naked, it is not something easily forgotten. Having to stare at her body as she's destroying your hopes is that much more crushing. That is exactly what Eve does to Ray Liotta in a fleabag hotel room in this ensemble drama. She plays an Australian model using his character to get a green card. When he falls in love, she reminds him just how shallow her feelings are for him.
5. Persistent Strippers, 'Mystery Team'
YouTube heroes Derrick Comedy self-produced a full-length feature and defied the odds by making it hilarious. One of the best scenes occurs when the innocent high-school detectives mistake a Gentlemen's Club as a place where actual gentlemen go. Wearing top hats and monocles, the boys are hounded by strippers and fruitlessly attempt to deter their advances with dollar bills. "Ahhh, they're like pigeons!" says one of them.
4. Amber Heard, 'The Informers'
Though the film sounds like a Matt Damon sequel or Snow song, it's actually a stark portrayal of indulgent young life of Los Angeles. Based on a novel by Brett Easton Ellis ('American Psycho'), the film follows beautiful people drugging and banging around Tinsel Town. Christie (Heard) destroys her boyfriend when he walks in on her foursome. The scene is hot, but darkly haunting.
3. Fleeing Fat Flasher (Randy Gimball), 'Observe and Report'
In this year's darkest, and most underrated, comedy, Seth Rogen's character attempts to stop a dedicated flasher from terrorizing women in the mall parking lot. However, things get really ugly when the pervert gets cocky (pun intended) and decides to wave his goods inside the mall. The most awkwardly hilarious chase scene ever ensues, officially raising the bar for male nudity being used for humor.
2. Betsy Rue, 'My Bloody Valentine 3-D'
Gratuitous nudity and horror films happily go hand and hand. However, this is easily the most-over-the-top nudism in a slasher flick this year. That, in itself, is genius. Rue is buck naked for around three minutes as she sleeps with a creepy bald dude, argues with him, chases him into the parking lot, watches him get murdered, runs from the pick-axe-welding murderer and, naturally, is gutted herself.
1. Jessica Biel, 'Powder Blue'
The most eagerly anticipated nude scene of the year, it is nearly impossible to compete with Biel's topless debut. She arguably has the nicest body in show business and pours hot candle wax across her bare chest. There hasn't be a great candle wax scene since 'Body of Evidence.' Sure, we try to be highbrow, but we're still human.