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The 15 Most Controversial Films Ever Made
If you’re looking for feel-good movies, turn back while you still can! We’ve got some of the most disturbing scenes, explicit dialogue, and tons of nudity. Sounds like your cup of tea? Let’s jump right into our top recommendations of controversial movies!
15. A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
Director: Lasse Hallström
Main Cast: Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz
Box Office: $USD205 million
Synopsis: A dog named Bailey dies by euthanasia, reincarnates, and finds his way back to his original owner Ethan.
Controversy: A behind-the-scenes video revealed the abuse and mistreatment of a German Shepherd while filming.
Best Scene: The Boss Dog reunites with Ethan.
14. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1972)
Director: Terry Jones
Main Cast: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Pailin, Eric Idle
Box Office: $USD20.2 million
Synopsis: People mistake a man named Brian for Jesus Christ. He spends the rest of his life trying to escape but suffers the same fate as the beloved messiah.
Controversy: This biblical comedy was blasphemous for making a parody of religion. It even sparked a debate between the cast and religious leaders on BBC2’s Friday Night Saturday Morning!
Best Scene: ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’.
13. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
Director: Mira Nair
Main Cast: Indira Varma, Naveen Andrews, Sarita Choudhury, Ramon Tikaram, Rekha
Box Office: $USD8.6 million
Synopsis: Tara is a princess and Maya is a slave. As they grow older, jealousy, betrayal, and seduction get in the way of their friendship.
Controversy: Bollywood is very strict with censorship, so when the movie came out, India was quick to ban the film for its nudity and steamy sex scenes!
Best Scene: The seduction after the royal wedding.
12. American Psycho (2000)
Director: Mary Harron
Main Cast: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto
Box Office: $USD34.3 million
Synopsis: A wealthy and successful businessman becomes a serial killer and performs psychotic murders under the guise of sex.
Controversy: Critics praised Bale’s performance, but the novel’s author Bret Easton Ellis wasn’t so happy with its lack of subtlety.
Best Scene: The chainsaw.
11. The Predator (2018)
Director: Shane Black
Main Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn
Box Office: $USD160.5 million
Synopsis: A murderous race of aliens invade earth to hunt for sport, but the humans know how to fight back hard.
Controversy: The director hired his friend, a registered sex offender named Steve Wilder. The cast demanded that his small scenes be removed from the final cut.
Best Scene: Mega predator vs predator.
10. The Exorcist (1973)
Director: William Friedkin
Main Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Box Office: $AUD441.3 million
Synopsis: A teen girl is possessed by an evil spirit, and her mum is desperate to get her daughter back. Restrained on the bed, Catholic priests and doctors attempt to rid her of the demon with no luck.
Controversy: Based on an exorcism in William Peter Blatty’s horror novel, its demonic themes and inappropriate dialogue triggered hate mail and complaints for glorifying Satan.
Best Scene: The bloody crucifix.
9. K.I.D.S (1995)
Director: Larry Clark
Main Cast: Leo Fitzpatrick, Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, Justin Pierce
Box Office: USD$20.4 million
Synopsis: A young boy named Telly has sex with Jennie and brags about it to his friend Casper. She turns out to be HIV positive after having sex with him and tries to reach out before it’s too late.
Controversy: This coming of age movie is full of drugs, underage sex, and rape – film critics even compared it to child pornography.
Best Scene: Smoking weed on the couch.
8. Love (2015)
Director: Gaspar Noé
Main Cast: Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin, Aomi Muyock
Box Office: $USD860,896
Synopsis: Murphy moves to Paris and starts a whirlwind romance with an openly sexual woman named Electra. They have sex with their young neighbour, but the one night stand impacts their lives for the worst.
Controversy: Gaspar’s Love is filled with real sex scenes and full-on nudity, getting it banned in Russia for its pornographic content.
Best Scene: The threesome.
7. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Main Cast: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen
Box Office: $USD2 million
Synopsis: A film crew discovers a tribe of cannibals in the Amazon rainforest. What happens next makes you question who the real barbarians are.
Controversy: The director was arrested for violence and sexual obscenity, getting the film banned in Italy and Australia, among other countries.
Best Scene: The invitation to dinner.
6. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Main Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Miriam Karlin, Adrienne Corri
Box Office: $USD26.6 million
Synopsis: A gang of British teenagers blindly follow their leader as they perform progressively worse crimes all over the city.
Controversy: Its explicit nature had it condemned by the church, and it was pulled out of theatres by Stanley himself after reports of copycat murders in England.
Best Scene: ‘Singing In The Rain’.
5. Trainspotting (1996)
Director: Danny Boyle
Main Cast: Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd
Box Office: $USD72 million
Synopsis: Mark Renton is a homeless heroin addict in the slums Scotland, joined by his group of friends. One by one, they all succumb to the pitfalls of depravity, drugs, and death.
Controversy: The cult classic was controversial for its true-to-life drug use and portrayal of what it was like to live life as a heroin junkie.
Best Scene: Choose life.
4. Human Centipede 2 (2011)
Director: Tom Six
Main Cast: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie
Box Office: $USD142,000
Synopsis: A psychotic man named Martin becomes obsessed with centipedes and decides to make his own with brutal experiments on 12 unsuspecting victims.
Controversy: Australian and English movie boards refused to rate and classify the film for its disgusting scenes and violence.
Best Scene: The dance of torture.
3. Faces of Death (1978)
Director: John Alan Schwartz
Main Cast: Michael Carr
Box Office: $USD25 million
Synopsis: A doctor explores and experiments with the concept of death in different forms filmed in ‘found footage’ style.
Controversy: The documentary features graphic operations, slaughter, and gore porn. It was banned in over 46 countries – and they were proud of it.
Best Scene: The electric chair.
2. Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Main Cast: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Aldo Valletti, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle
Box Office: $USD 22,017
Synopsis: Four wealthy government officials have a dark secret: kidnapping, torturing, and sexually abusing children.
Controversy: The Italian film criticised the abuse of power by foreign leaders. It’s one of the most controversial films of all time, and Pasolini was mysteriously murdered after its release.
Best Scene: The laws of the land.
1. A Serbian Film (2010)
Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Main Cast: Srdjan ‘Zika’ Todorovic
Box Office: $USD1,541
Synopsis: An ex male porn star is hired by a director to shoot an art film, but what starts out as a movie becomes real life torture porn.
Controversy: This snuff film remains one of the most controversial movies in the world for romanticising sexual violence. It was banned in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, and Korea.
Best Scene: None of them!
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