Divisive/Polarizing filmsby the_urban_prince | created - 05 Aug 2011 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
If you're someone who's unfamiliar with a certain film you come to IMDB (or any other site) to find info on it. But instead of getting a clear idea of whether or not the movie is mostly considered good or bad you get mixed confusing/conflicting opinions about it. some going into Flame war territory. Note: i know that no one thing is ever universally liked/hated, so this isn't about that. this list is about films that tend to divide audiences down the middle. i'll give my personal opinion but i'm gonna remain neutral as i don't fault anyone for liking something i don't nor hate something i like....be prepared to see A LOT of genre films, films with political subtext, and TONS of heavily contested prequels/sequels/remakes listed.....list will be ongoing,
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1. Hulk (2003)
PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Bruce Banner, a genetics researcher with a tragic past, suffers an accident that causes him to transform into a raging green monster when he gets angry.
Votes: 229,595 | Gross: $132.18M
Hulk (and probably watchmen) is a text book example of divided opinion. Great underrated gem, or a complete mess with a director who don't understand the character?? my personal opinion?: i thought it was well made, BUT i understand why it's polarizing.
2. Crash (I) (2004)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.
Votes: 387,518 | Gross: $54.58M
terrible film that teaches us "racism is bad", or a genuinely good film? the flame wars over this film tend to veer into unfortunate implications territory, which is kinda ironic to me. my personal opinion?...well i liked it. but considering the subject matter i'm not surprise it's flame bait.
3. Watchmen (2009)
R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
Votes: 429,900 | Gross: $107.51M
A boring bleak, sadistic, slow film with a misleading trailer, and a film that does a disservice by being TOO faithful? or a imperfect masterpiece that will be vindicated by history years from now? my personal OP?: i rather enjoyed it..and was enthralled by it. roger ebert agrees. lol
note: however most tend to universally agree that the opening montage was epic and moving.
Also be prepared to see alot of Zach Snyder entries...
4. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.
Votes: 238,887 | Gross: $73.34M
a great film with a interesting take on revenge?, or a movie where nobody is likeable? what i have noticed is that the contention comes from arguments on whether the 2 leads are "good" or "bad" , or whether or not Clyde "won" and proved his point or "lost". basically people are projecting their own ideology and political beliefs into the film (much like crash) my personal opinion?: i, don't know really, i'm a HUGE fan of F. Gary Gray but i had mixed feelings about this film.
5. Predators (2010)
R | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A group of elite warriors parachute into an unfamiliar jungle and are hunted by members of a merciless alien race.
Votes: 187,161 | Gross: $52.00M
A great step in the right direction?, or more stagnation? this is mostly between core audiences though. my personal opinion?: i don't hate it but i felt that the tension was forced and didn't flow as natural as the original. Plus i thought that it was no worse or better than the AVP films. but i still think it was a solid film.
6. Predator 2 (1990)
R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Amidst a territorial gang war in 1997, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran L.A.P.D. officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.
Votes: 121,360 | Gross: $30.67M
same as predators, some thinks it underrated others think it was a terrible sequel. my personal opinion?: i liked it and thought danny glover was a awesome lead.
7. AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win.
Votes: 162,064 | Gross: $80.28M
A great popcorn flick?, or a terrible watered down kiddie adaptation of the beloved darkhorse comic series? (that's if they realize it's based on the comics and not the films), alternatively a terrible dilution of both franchises conceptually?. there's 3 sets of arguments about this film. one group loves the film for what it is, others hate that FOX made a cheesy safe PG-13 film with no space marines, and not set in the future, another group is the fans of both franchises who are mutually exclusive who hates the idea regardless. MY OP?: i'm in the second group.
8. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
R | 94 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Warring Alien and Predator races descend on a rural Colorado town, where unsuspecting residents must band together for any chance of survival.
Votes: 102,620 | Gross: $41.80M
same issue as the first film, except that the people who like the first film HATE this one and vice versa. to some this is what the first should have been, others seems to hate the very dark sadistic tone of the film, plus people seem to think wolf was incompetent..my opinion?: i still hate that it was still set on present day earth but enjoyed it more than the first.
9. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
An all-out war looms when the discovery of a cure for mutations draws a line between the followers of Charles Xavier and those of Magneto.
Votes: 426,852 | Gross: $234.36M
great film, where x-men goes all out? or wolverine and his friends part 3? alternatively a short film that was crammed with too many characters with little characterizations. my op?: well...lets just say i almost gave up on the x-men after this lol
10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A look at Wolverine's early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years.
Votes: 409,763 | Gross: $179.88M
more wolverine,for better or for worse? the less we talk about what happened to dead pool the better. my OP?:i didn't hate it i just thought it was average, and safe. although some scenes i did find excellent. i just don't trust fox to really make a good film. and the rumors about the behind the scenes meddling was already a bad sign.
11. Speed Racer (2008)
PG | 135 min | Action, Family, Sci-Fi
A young driver, Speed Racer, aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile.
Votes: 62,527 | Gross: $43.95M
great fun film that captures the spirit of the cartoon?, or a seizure inducing Technicolor mess?
my OP?: i liked it.
12. Superman Returns (2006)
PG-13 | 154 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Superman reappears after a long absence, but is challenged by an old foe who uses Kryptonian technology for world domination.
Votes: 253,598 | Gross: $200.08M
a slow long boring film that apes the Donner film too much and doesn't have it's own identity?, or a outstanding homage to the Donner film? my OP?: it wasn't for me, i appreciate what singer was aiming for though.
Note: interestingly enough X3 came out around the same time. people were saying X-Men needed Sup's length for character development, while Sup's needed X3's length and action.
13. Training Day (2001)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the LAPD with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
Votes: 338,043 | Gross: $76.63M
great gritty crime/police drama?, or a overrated film where Washington's Oscar win was undeserved? My OP?: i thought it was just ok.
Notes: people who hate this film hates it for different reasons, one group hates this film cause they thought Washington's Oscar win was politically motivated, Others hate it because they thought the industry was being racist cynics for giving him a Oscar for playing a corrupt evil character. especially after he was over looked when he was in arguably better roles.
14. Sucker Punch (2011)
PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Fantasy
A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather, retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, envisioning a plan to help her escape.
Votes: 211,763 | Gross: $36.39M
Great genre-busting action film?, or a incoherent mess that looks like it stole every trope imaginable from every anime/comicbook/video game/film imaginable? my OP?: i LOVED it...that is all.
Notes: to be honest i saw the polarization coming a mile away.
15. Monster's Ball (2001)
R | 111 min | Drama, Romance
After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.
Votes: 76,126 | Gross: $31.25M
The EXACT same issues as Training Day. My OP?: not for me, although halle is hot.
16. Dark Blue (2002)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.
Votes: 18,600 | Gross: $9.06M
Great crime drama? or more liberal Hollywood propaganda? again i think this is about people projecting their own socio-political ideology onto the film instead of liking it/hating it for what it is. my OP?: i liked it, and kurt was awesome in it.
17. Prince of Darkness (1987)
R | 102 min | Horror
A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.
Votes: 29,302 | Gross: $14.18M
an underrated masterpiece, with a interesting concept?, or a terrible incoherent film that marks carpenter's decline? my OP: this is one of my favorite carpenter films!!
18. The Mist (2007)
R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
Votes: 247,649 | Gross: $25.59M
a dark bleak down beat movie that's considered either good or bad for those very reasons. My OP: I loved and thought the polarizing ending was deliciously dark. hell even Stephen king loved it!!
Notes: i find it ironic that horror films with dark serious tones are the ones most polarizing among people who claim to be "horror fans"..why is that??...serious question.
19. Quarantine (2008)
R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller
A television reporter and her cameraman are trapped inside a building quarantined by the CDC, after the outbreak of a mysterious virus which turns humans into bloodthirsty killers.
Votes: 62,498 | Gross: $31.69M
a terrible rehash of a great Spanish flick? or a great film that's just as good as the Spanish version? my OP: i saw both and loved both
20. Shuttle (2008)
R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A late night airport shuttle ride home descends into darkness.
Votes: 4,997 | Gross: $0.01M
a misogynistic sleazy film?, or a great dark film that covers a real world issue? my OP?: i thought it was slow, and one twist that happened in the middle of the film i saw coming a mile away. the ending was dark but not terribly shocking considering you can figure out whats happening before the ending.
21. Undead (2003)
R | 97 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
A quaint Australian fishing village is overcome by meteorites that turn its residents into the ravenous undead, leaving a small group of those unharmed to find a way out.
Votes: 11,960 | Gross: $0.04M
a great zombie satire on par with Shaun of the dead, or flat out terrible? my op?: i thought it was OK, didn't love it but i didn't hate it either.
22. Death Proof (2007)
Not Rated | 113 min | Action, Thriller
Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.
a slow boring film with too much mundane dialog?, or another Tarantino classic? my OP?: none...i haven't seen it yet lol
23. Day of the Dead (1985)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller
A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.
Votes: 54,947 | Gross: $5.80M
a boring dialog heavy mediocre zombie film and the starting decline of Romero?, or a underrated gem, with alot of great character nuances? my OP: it had to grow on me, as i got older i loved it more.
Notes: i think after a few years there are more people that love this film. i think that's why it went from being a weak entry into the living dead series and upgraded to a polarizing film. if you call that a step up. there's also the debate on whether or not the scientists are idiots, or the soldiers. i think people missed the point that they ALL were short sighted idiots.
24. Quantum of Solace (2008)
PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource.
Votes: 361,676 | Gross: $168.37M
a badly edited film that wants to be the bourne films so badly?, or a tightly filmed underrated bond film? my OP?: i haven't seen it yet lol
25. Night of the Living Dead (1990)
R | 92 min | Horror
The unburied dead return to life and seek human victims.
Votes: 34,109 | Gross: $5.84M
While some say that it's incredibly underrated and complements the original, some even saying it's far more entertaining. others however say it's a terrible remake that tarnishes the original. Sub-arguments of this film are;
Patricia Tallman's interpretation of barbera vs the original actress (O'dea) interpretation. Plus there's the level of bad ass that Tallman's character took.
Tony Todd vs Duane Jones' version of Ben.
Whether or not the revamped ending is better than the original.
my OP?: i LOVED this film i think tom savini did a great job.
26. War of the Worlds (2005)
PG-13 | 116 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.
Votes: 367,941 | Gross: $234.28M
a nice epic modern interpretation of H.G. Wells classic? or a terrible film with a ridiculous set up for the aliens, with the most obnoxious family ever? my OP?: i liked it, but yeah the family was kinda grating.
27. The Road (I) (2009)
R | 111 min | Adventure, Drama
In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.
Votes: 196,984 | Gross: $0.06M
awesome moving film about a loving father and his son's struggle for survival? or a depressing, bleak, darker than black, brutal film that's totally un-enjoyable? my OP?: i loved it and was sad that it was snubbed.
Notes: to be fair the book it's based upon is rather polarizing too.
28. Martyrs (2008)
R | 99 min | Horror
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
further proof that foreign horror is surpassing American horror cinema? or pretentious gory trash? my OP: i liked it although i felt that the ending made the film moot.
29. High Tension (2003)
R | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.
Votes: 60,002 | Gross: $3.68M
a film that collapses under it's own faulty logic? or a unique foreign horror film? my OP?: I wanted to like it, i really did, but the reveal towards the end breaks the movie because of the contradictions
30. Punisher: War Zone (2008)
R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
Frank Castle, the ex-military man whose family was killed by criminals, who became a vigilante known as the Punisher, goes after a whole mob family and gets everyone except enforcer Billy ... See full summary »
Votes: 54,197 | Gross: $7.95M
A film that finally does the character justice? or yet another terrible adaptation of the character? my OP?: i liked it the tone was inconsistent though.
31. Open Water (2003)
R | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.
Votes: 46,129 | Gross: $30.61M
Open Water is either a indie masterpiece drawing maximum tension and drama from two actors and a whole lot of water or it's two irritating yuppies sniping at each other for an hour while the audience cheers for the sharks. My OP?: haven't seen it in awhile but i remember liking it.
32. Pootie Tang (2001)
PG-13 | 81 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Pootie Tang, the musician/actor/folk hero of the ghetto, is chronicled from his early childhood to his battles against the evil Corporate America, who try to steal his magic belt and make ... See full summary »
Votes: 12,334 | Gross: $3.29M
A plain terrible film? or a modern day cult classic? My OP?: i don't remember what i thought of it lol, it's been awhile.
33. The Fountain (2006)
PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.
Votes: 208,655 | Gross: $10.14M
The Fountain Life-alteringly profound Tear Jerker, or melodramatic, impenetrably muddled Author Tract? Seeing as how it's Aronofsky's tribute to Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey, this comes as no surprise. my OP?: i haven't seen it yet lol
34. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
Votes: 376,109 | Gross: $179.87M
A dark disgusting sequel? or a awesome follow up? My OP?: I LOVED this movie growing up!!.
35. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 661,058 | Gross: $0.19M
A awesome modern day cult classic?, or a overrated over hyped incoherent film? my OP?: i liked it well enough.
36. Secretary (2002)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.
Votes: 73,970 | Gross: $4.06M
Some see it as a sweet unconventional love story, while others find it....just disturbing MY OP?: i remember liking it..
37. The Strangers (2008)
R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.
Votes: 103,250 | Gross: $52.60M
People either found the masks and lack of motive creepy or silly. My OP?: i thought it had some great tense scenes but nothing groundbreaking. liked it overall though.
Notes: Also depends on how scared you are of home invasion.
38. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
R | 101 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.
Votes: 211,315 | Gross: $59.02M
evil violation of the original?, or fun straight-ahead popcorn flick? My OP?: i loved it.
Note: the general consensus among mainstream audiences is that the film is good, the polarization is among the core fans.
39. Funny Games (2007)
R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.
Votes: 78,778 | Gross: $1.29M
Funny Games. 47% of metacritic reviews are 0 or 1. 30% are 9 or 10. Only 5% are in the middle range of 4-6. Virtually everyone seems to agree that it is unpleasant to watch—the division is between those who feel it is a brilliant piece of art and social commentary, and yet further proof that foreign horror is cutting edge vs. those who feel it is nothing but pretentious Gorn. MY OP?: haven't seem it yet.
40. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
PG-13 | 87 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
After Homer accidentally pollutes the town's water supply, Springfield is encased in a gigantic dome by the EPA and the Simpson family are declared fugitives.
Votes: 279,145 | Gross: $183.14M
The Simpsons Movie had this effect on its fans, with some considering it to be one of the funniest, and most fun and epic films of all time on par with the show's greatest episodes from the mid-nineties, and others claiming it's three post-Shark Jump episodes stitched together awkwardly with the flaws of the newer episodes turned Up To Eleven. My OP? i thought it was just ok, i thought it started off funny as hell but turned into another homer/marge melodrama.
41. Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
R | 160 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.
Votes: 16,546 | Gross: $7.92M
Miracle at St. Anna is either a masterpiece, a imperfect masterpiece, completely terrible and everything in between. MY OP: i loved it!, it won me over especially at the end.
Note: some say the back lash against this movie was mostly towards Spike Lee than anything else. which is unfortunate because outside of lee nobody else is willing to tell the story of black WW2 vets. the entertainment industry don't even acknowledge that they exist!
42. The Book of Eli (2010)
R | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
Votes: 254,166 | Gross: $94.84M
Either it's an interesting, rather cerebral, and highly enjoyable post-apocalyptic movie, or it's too preachy and implausible. my OP?: i thought it kinda dragged at parts but liked it over all.
43. Splice (2009)
R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use.
Votes: 84,759 | Gross: $17.00M
Audiences either find it a refreshing twist to the monster movie genre or a cliched, Squeamish film with characters running with the Idiot Ball. my OP?: i found it fascinating and was anticipating it as far back as 07 when the nude live action concept picks of Dren was released.
44. The Last Exorcism (2010)
PG-13 | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.
Votes: 44,316 | Gross: $41.03M
Absolutely terrible, and or the first 9/10 of the film is good while that last 1/10 ruined the whole movie, vs this film is awesome. My OP?: i loved it, it was slow but it kept me engage.
Note: interesting to note that the critics was generally kind in their reviews giving it high ratings, while becoming polarizing among general the public.
45. The Zombie Diaries (2006)
R | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
In the early part of the 21st century, an unknown deadly virus is spreading among the population. The planet becomes infested with a new threat unlike any other The Undead. Three compelling... See full summary »
a completely terrible no budget film that's in a long list of follow the leader mediocre copycat found footage/POV horror movies, or is this what diary of the dead SHOULD have been? my OP?: i LOVED this. i thought the low budget added to the gritty creepy feel and realism of the film, where as diary failed in this area.
46. Megan Is Missing (2011)
Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Two teenage girls encounter an Internet child predator.
polarizing for the EXACT same reason as shuttle, although the ending to this one is arguably much darker. my OP?: i liked it but felt uncomfortable with liking it. lol
47. Changing Lanes (2002)
R | 98 min | Drama, Thriller
The story of what happens one day in New York City, when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive, and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.
Votes: 61,530 | Gross: $66.82M
same issues as law abiding citizen, and like that film i think people are once again projecting their own personal beliefs unto the film. my OP?: i thought it was a great thriller but suffered from too many contrived coincidences
48. Diary of the Dead (2007)
R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
A group of young film students run into real-life zombies while filming a horror movie of their own.
Votes: 43,025 | Gross: $0.96M
a improvement over land of the dead?, or further proof of Romero's decline? my OP? i loved it, i did think it was a little too polished to be a found footage type film, but this was explained away towards the end so fair enough i guess
49. For Colored Girls (2010)
R | 133 min | Drama