15 Most Controversial Films Ever

Infamous, notorious, controversial, especially in their own time.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture. (116 mins.)
 
2.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. (127 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
3.
In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end. (109 mins.)
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
 
4.
Irreversible (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. (97 mins.)
Director: Gaspar Noé
 
5.
Man Bites Dog (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand. (95 mins.)
 
6.
The Exorcist (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a preteen girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. (122 mins.)
 
7.
Showgirls (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Nomi, a young drifter, arrives in Las Vegas to become a dancer and soon sets about clawing and pushing her way to become the top of the Vegas showgirls. (128 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
 
8.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew. (95 mins.)
Director: Ruggero Deodato
 
9.
Men Behind the Sun (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Japanese troops round up Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to a place called Squadron 731, where they are grotesquely tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons. (105 mins.)
Director: T.F. Mous
 
10.
Come and See (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II. (136 mins.)
Director: E. Klimov
 
11.
Sweet Movie (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness... (98 mins.)
Director: Dusan Makavejev
 
12.
Funny Games (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
 
13.
The Idiots (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves. (117 mins.)
 
14.
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husbands restaurant. (124 mins.)
Director: Peter Greenaway
 
15.
Lolita (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet. (152 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick