Movies shape our history and tell our stories. They help us to make sense of the world around us and present it to an audience in a cohesive, but interesting way.

From time to time some movies push the envelope just a bit too far and we find ourselves faced with two choices- accept them for what they’re trying to accomplish or ask for them not to be made at all. Drawing the line in the sand is where things get sticky and most times controversy wins out. Here’s a list of ten controversial films in history.

I Spit on Your Grave (2010 Remake)

The 2010 remake of the 1978 film “I Spit on Your Grave” was heavily criticized for its graphic and brutal depictions of rape, revenge, and torture. The film was banned in many countries around the world, including New Zealand and Australia. There were also numerous protests before it opened in theaters against its release. Despite the controversy, however, the re-release still did very well commercially and received mostly positive reviews from critics. It’s estimated that over $4 million was made worldwide following its opening weekend at cinemas!

The Passion of the Christ

One of the most controversial movies of the decade was undoubtedly The Passion of the Christ. This film, directed by Mel Gibson, was criticized for its graphic and brutal depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion. Many people felt that it was overly violent and unnecessarily gory. However, others argued that it was a powerful and important film that captured the true horrors of Christ’s death.

Brokeback Mountain

Released in 2005, Brokeback Mountain was one of the first major Hollywood films to deal with homosexuality in a serious way. It tells the story of two cowboys who develop a romantic relationship and struggle to come to terms with their feelings for each other. The film was praised by critics and the gay community but was a huge source of controversy among religious groups. It received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, but failed to win any of them.

The Da Vinci Code

In 2006, The Da Vinci Code was released as a major motion picture adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel by the same name. The story follows Robert Langdon as he investigates a murder that leads him on a journey filled with conspiracy theories and ancient secrets about Jesus Christ. This movie sparked quite a bit of controversy for its supposed satanic connections and negative portrayal of the Catholic Church. Some people lauded it as an intelligent thriller while others branded it as blasphemous trash.

Eyes Wide Shut

A film directed by Stanley Kubrick with a screenplay by Arthur Schnitzler, Eyes Wide Shut was released in 1999 and caused a lot of controversy for its sexual content. The story follows a married couple as they explore their fantasies and desires, which eventually leads to marital problems. This film was particularly controversial because it featured unsimulated sex scenes between the two lead actors, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. The story follows a corporate raider who meets a sugar baby from a sugar daddy website to accompany him on a business trip, and the two eventually fall in love. Pretty Woman was highly controversial when it was first released because it presented a very unrealistic and distorted view of women. It was also criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of both men and women. Despite these criticisms, the film was successful at the box office and is now considered a classic romantic comedy.

The Blair Witch Project

Released in 1999, The Blair Witch Project is a found footage horror movie that was met with mixed reactions from audiences. Some people thought it was genuinely terrifying, while others felt that it was nothing more than a cheap gimmick. Regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying that it was one of the most talked-about movies of the 1990s, and the fact that it cost only $60,000 to make is absolutely insane!


Precious is a 2009 drama that tells the tale of an obese pregnant woman named Claireece “Precious” Jones, who is living in Harlem. The film was met with acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its powerful performances and heartbreaking story, but it caused a lot of controversies as well. Some people thought that the film glorified anorexia, violence against homosexuals, and child molestation; others felt that the story had been exaggerated to be made more difficult to watch than it actually was.


Released in 2005, Revolver is a crime thriller-comedy starring Jason Statham about a London criminal named Jake Green who wants to leave his life of crime after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many different types of people loved Revolver upon first viewing, but some viewers found it too confusing and challenging to follow. Since its release, it has developed a cult following and is now considered one of the most controversial movies of the 2000s.

A Clockwork Orange

Released in 1971, A Clockwork Orange is a British crime drama based on Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Malcolm McDowell as the main character, Alex DeLarge. A Clockwork Orange is about a young man who is caught up in a criminal lifestyle and then sent to prison, where he undergoes a treatment called the Ludovico Technique which makes him incapable of violence. The film was highly controversial when it was first released because of its graphic violence and sexual content. It was banned in the United Kingdom for over two decades before being re-released in 1999.