The 50 Most Controversial Movies Ever Made

Hateful, stubborn, scandalous, dirty, nasty – these films have been called all of these things, and even worse. Many of these sparked death threats and physical attacks, while others spawned bitter wars of words that lasted for decades.

For some of these films, the controversy has proven to be useful – they say that any advertising is good advertising, after all. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes cunning directors and distributors can unleash a scandal, but hype is just as likely to bury a film. That’s why while many of the most controversial films have become familiar classics, others you may never have heard of. It’s easy to look at some of them and think, “OK, this deserves to be buried.” but the fact of the matter is that in the controversy: if we all agreed, there would be nothing to talk about. In today’s cinematic market built around global blockbusters designed to please everyone equally, it’s good to remember that we’re still capable of being shocked and appalled, even if we’re not shocked or horrified by the same things. Even deeply problematic films can help us refine and redefine our own morality and challenge us when we love a work of art but hate the artist. Time has dulled the outrage that surrounded many of these films, while in some cases, contemporary sensibilities have raised an alarm that has sounded for decades if only more listened. In short, and in almost every case: it’s hard.


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