Controversial Movies That Shook The World

The history of film is littered with controversial movies that have had a profound impact on the world. These films, while often divisive and polarizing in their reception, are nevertheless important to study as they reveal uncomfortable truths about society’s values and norms.

From Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019), these films have challenged traditional beliefs about morality, justice, race, class, gender and sexuality by presenting complex stories that question our fundamental understandings of the world.

By examining these films through an analytical lens we can gain greater insight into how social conventions shape our lives and attitudes.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel, A Clockwork Orange, was released in 1971 and has been widely discussed since then. The film sparked a conversation about censorship consequences and artistic integrity. Despite the controversial nature of the movie, it was critically acclaimed by both audiences and critics alike due to its captivating visuals, effective use of music and powerful performances from its cast.

Kubrick’s handling of violence and sex in A Clockwork Orange made it one of the most controversial films ever produced. Its ultra-violence scenes were considered too extreme for some countries to accept, leading to bans on public screenings in several places. This raised questions about whether filmmakers should be allowed to express their artistic vision without being censored by political forces or moralists.

The controversy surrounding A Clockwork Orange demonstrated how much power movies can have over people’s emotions and thoughts. It also highlighted the importance for governments to carefully consider the implications of censoring art before making any decisions that could potentially limit freedom of expression and artistic integrity.

Transitioning into ‘the last temptation of christ (1988)’, Martin Scorsese’s epic biblical drama stirred up even more debate around religious themes with its radical take on Jesus Christ’s life story.

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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Directed by Martin Scorsese, The Last Temptation of Christ has been the subject of much debate due to its symbolic representation of Jesus’ inner struggles. While some viewers objected to the film’s depiction of Christ questioning his divinity and God’s plan for him, others saw it as a commentary on religious hypocrisy.

The Last Temptation of Christ is an exploration into faith versus doubt that delves deeper than a typical story about Jesus would. Its daring message speaks to an audience with a subconscious desire for power and understanding.

The movie offers an intimate look at the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, while suggesting that love can be just as powerful as faith in challenging one’s beliefs. By exploring the internal struggle between the human side of Jesus and his divine nature, The Last Temptation of Christ encourages viewers to question their own convictions regarding religion and morality.

It also serves as a reminder that even those who are closest to God must grapple with temptation and doubt from time to time.

Scorsese’s masterful work here is perhaps best understood today when viewed in light of modern scholarship surrounding biblical texts which provide additional insight into Jesus’ life and teachings.

Ultimately, The Last Temptation of Christ remains a controversial but thought-provoking film which raises complex questions about faith without providing easy answers – making it just as relevant today as it was upon its initial release over thirty years ago.

Moving forward, we now turn our attention towards Mel Gibson’s 2004 epic ‘The Passion Of The Christ’.

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

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Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, is an epic retelling of Jesus’ final hours on Earth that has captivated audiences since its release. With a unique combination of masterful cinematography and intense violence, The Passion of the Christ stirred up strong emotions in viewers:

  • Faith-based Reactions: Faith-based viewers were moved by this powerful portrayal of Jesus’ last days. However, some found it too violent and controversial for a traditional religious audience.
  • Mel Gibson’s Legacy: The film also established Mel Gibson as an unlikely Hollywood icon for his uncompromising vision and commitment to his art. He was praised for creating a work of art that managed to remain faithful to its source material while still standing out from other versions of the story.
  • Cultural Impact: Moreover, the movie had a lasting impact on popular culture; many Christians have credited it with inspiring them spiritually and others have used it as a tool for evangelism. It has also been referenced in television shows and movies across multiple genres.

The Passion of the Christ remains one of the most talked about films in history due to its boldness and willingness to tackle difficult topics head-on without shying away from controversy. While opinions may differ on its artistic merits or faithfulness to scripture, there is no denying its influence over modern culture and legacy within Hollywood filmmaking circles.

As such, it serves as an important reminder that sometimes art can transcend religious boundaries while still remaining true to its message and purpose. With that in mind, we now turn our attention towards Ang Lee’s 2005 classic ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

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Released in 2005, Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain was a groundbreaking film that explored the forbidden love between two men.

It depicted homosexuality in an unprecedented manner, which impacted the way the LGBTQ+ community was perceived by society.

Due to its controversial subject matter, the film received both critical acclaim and great public interest, making it an iconic movie of its time.

Ang Lee’s Groundbreaking Story of Forbidden Love

Ang Lee’s feature film, ‘Brokeback Mountain’, tells the story of an illicit romance between two men, evoking strong emotions in viewers through its use of figurative language. The movie broke barriers by depicting a relationship between two men that had previously been taboo and socially unacceptable, forcing audiences to confront the harsh realities of homosexuality stigma and same sex marriage.

Despite facing a great deal of controversy when it was released in 2005, the film made history as one of the first major Hollywood movies to present an honest and non-judgmental depiction of homosexual relationships. With its powerful narrative and captivating performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ has become one of the most iconic films in cinematic history.

Through its exploration into themes such as forbidden love and acceptance, Ang Lee’s groundbreaking story has had a lasting impact on audiences around the world. This is evident in how it has helped to shape public opinion on LGBT rights since its release over 15 years ago.

The Impact of the Film’s Depiction of Homosexuality

The impact of Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2005) on the depiction of homosexuality has been far-reaching. The film, which tells the story of two male ranch hands who fall in love and face persecution from their families and society, was met with both praise and criticism. It has been credited for revolutionizing the way same-sex relationships are seen in popular culture:

Through its depiction of a forbidden love between two men, Brokeback Mountain challenged gender norms by presenting same-sex parenting as a viable option. While it may have made some viewers uncomfortable, its frank portrayal of homosexual relations helped to break down stigmas associated with same-sex relationships.

Additionally, the film’s representation of characters from different backgrounds also highlighted how homophobia affects people from diverse communities. As such, this groundbreaking story brought much needed attention to these issues and left an indelible mark on how homosexuality is viewed today.

As we transition into the discussion about ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (2006), it’s important to acknowledge the impact that Brokeback Mountain had on the representation of homosexuality in popular culture.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

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Adapted from author Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, the 2006 film adaptation of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was met with great anticipation and heated debate upon its release.

The controversial plotline centered around a secret society that seeks to uncover the truth behind Da Vinci’s legacy, and the religious implications of his works. This caused much uproar, particularly among Christian communities who felt their faith had been misrepresented in what they viewed as an attack on their religion.

In addition to this backlash, many argued that the film’s message was unclear and did not provide enough evidence to support its primary claims. Despite these criticisms, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ went on to become a box office success and continues to be widely discussed today.

Moving forward then, it is clear that certain films can provoke strong reactions due to their subject matter or intended message; for example, Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 release ‘Django Unchained’.

Django Unchained (2012)

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Django Unchained (2012) is a controversial American western-style film directed by Quentin Tarantino. It tells the story of Django, a freed slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter to rescue his wife from a ruthless Mississippi plantation owner.

The movie presents an unflinching look at plantation life during this era and provides an honest examination of racism in America. The film follows Django as he attempts to free his wife from slavery while navigating the complex racial politics that existed in the South at that time. Through these struggles, Django discovers strength and resilience as he confronts those trying to keep him down and reclaims his freedom.

The movie faced criticism due to its depiction of slavery and racial politics. The film was praised for its performances, production values and soundtrack but also sparked debate over its portrayal of African-American characters and the use of violence in depicting America’s brutal past.

In addition to showcasing the brutality of slavery, Django Unchained also celebrates black culture through music, art, language and fashion. From Samuel L Jackson’s character’s stylish wardrobe to Jamie Foxx’s signature theme song “Unchained”, there are several elements that draw attention to black identity within this narrative.

Overall, Django Unchained is an entertaining yet thought-provoking exploration into one man’s quest for liberation amidst all odds, highlighting both the darkness and joy found in freedom.

As we move on from this topic towards ‘the interview (2014)’, it will be interesting to see how another filmmaker tackles similar themes in their work.

The Interview (2014)

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The Interview (2014) is a controversial comedy film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

The film’s political satire centers around a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

Despite its comedic elements, the movie was met with strong criticism due to its provocative theme and potential implications for international relations.

Its release was even cancelled in certain countries due to fear of repercussions.

Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Controversial Comedy

Seth Rogen and James Franco have been two of the most influential comedic actors in recent years, often pushing boundaries with their films.

The Interview (2014), a comedy about assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, proved to be one of their most controversial projects to date.

This film provided a platform for political satire that garnered an immense amount of media attention worldwide due to its perceived implications on international relations.

Despite being met with mixed reviews from critics, it was globally recognized for its boldness; this groundbreaking comedy raised questions about our current society’s attitude towards freedom of speech and artistic expression.

Its impact has been far-reaching as it continues to provoke discussion regarding censorship and the power dynamics between nations.

Transitioning into the next section, the impacts of this film’s political satire will now be discussed in greater detail.

The Impact of the Film’s Political Satire

The Interview’s political satire sparked debates about freedom of expression and censorship, challenging the power dynamics between countries on a global scale. With its religious themes and political agenda, the film sparked conversations regarding the implications of government surveillance, freedom of speech, and media manipulation.

Through their daring comedy, Rogen and Franco examined the complexities of these issues with an irreverent approach that managed to be both funny and thought-provoking. The satirical content in The Interview caused audiences to reflect on how governments use propaganda to control public opinion while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of maintaining our right to free speech.

By addressing controversial topics such as censorship in a humorous way, this film created a platform for people around the world to discuss important international issues. This encouraged viewers to think critically about their own beliefs while also providing an entertaining escape from reality.

Transitioning into Parasite (2019), it is evident that South Korean cinema has made significant strides in pushing boundaries when it comes to tackling difficult subjects with wit and insight.

Parasite (2019)

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Parasite (2019) is a South Korean black comedy thriller film written and directed by Bong Joon-ho.

The movie was an international sensation, becoming the first non-English language picture to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

It also shattered taboos about class inequality in its depiction of two families from drastically different socioeconomic backgrounds and their complex relationship with one another.

Parasite has been praised as a groundbreaking work that highlights the often overlooked issue of class inequality in society today.

Bong Joon-ho’s Groundbreaking Academy Award-Winning Movie

In 2019, Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy thriller Parasite made a significant impact on the film industry by becoming the first South Korean movie to win an Academy Award. The success of this groundbreaking feat was both unexpected and remarkable due to its distinct portrayal of class inequality.

Through his astute direction and powerful storytelling, Bong Joon-ho presented a unique perspective on social issues that had never been seen before in such an effective way. His work captivated audiences around the world and earned him four Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film – making him the first ever South Korean director to win an Oscar.

The accomplishment of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has served as an inspiration for filmmakers all over the world who seek to tell stories that challenge societal norms and break down barriers within their own communities. It has also highlighted the importance of recognizing diverse voices in cinema that have been historically overlooked or ignored by mainstream media outlets.

As Parasite continues to make waves across Hollywood, it is clear that its legacy will remain in place for years to come as a testament to how far we have come in terms of representation and appreciation for international films. From here, we can explore further how this film’s depiction of class inequality impacted viewers worldwide.

The Impact of the Film’s Depiction of Class Inequality

By presenting a stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor, Parasite offered a vivid illustration of the inequality that exists in society today, stirring powerful emotions in viewers. Through its exploration of class dynamics, gender roles, and economic disparity, it presents an uncompromising look at how deeply entrenched these issues are in modern society:

  • The divide between those with privilege and those without is vast and insurmountable.
  • Suburbanized areas are often just as dangerous for marginalized members of society as inner-city slums.
  • A person’s socio-economic status determines their access to basic necessities such as healthcare and education.

The film serves as a reminder that even seemingly small acts can have a major impact on someone’s life, highlighting how important it is to fight for greater equality among classes.

Its message resonates with audiences around the world who seek justice for the less fortunate but find themselves unable to make changes due to existing power structures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of public reaction did each movie receive?

The reception of controversial movies that shook the world has been varied and widely discussed in the media. When examining audience feedback, it is evident that opinions are divided; some viewers have praised these films for their boldness and artistic value, whilst others have criticized them for being too provocative or offensive.

However, regardless of their opinion, almost all viewers agree that these films have made a significant impact on the industry. Through analysis of media coverage and audience feedback, it becomes clear that these movies have sparked discussion and debate amongst moviegoers around the globe.

What were the financial successes and failures of each movie?

The financial successes and failures of controversial movies have often been determined by audience impact and box office returns. By examining the ticket sales, gross revenue, and other indicators of a film’s success or failure in theaters, it is possible to gain insight into how a particular movie was received by audiences.

However, with some films, their financial performance may not accurately reflect their overall cultural significance or the influence they had on society. Therefore, it is important to consider both quantitative and qualitative factors when analyzing the success or failure of these types of movies.

How did the controversy surrounding each movie impact its critical reception?

The critical reception of controversial movies has been heavily impacted by the censorship debate and artistic freedom. By exploring these themes, films can sometimes receive negative or positive reviews depending on how accurately the content reflects a cultural consensus.

Those that challenge existing norms often face criticism, while those that conform to them may be praised. Analyzing how certain movies have been received in this context provides an insight into the changing attitudes of society over time and allows for greater understanding of cultural values.

Did the controversy associated with each movie influence its awards success?

The success of controversial films in terms of awards is a matter of debate. While some believe that the controversy associated with a movie can have an impact on its awards success, others argue that the industry and censorship effects should be taken into account.

It is undeniable that these factors are influential, as they can affect both public opinion and critical reception. However, it is also true that certain films may receive greater recognition due to their controversial content, despite any backlash from industry or censorship organizations.

Therefore, while controversy may influence awards success to some extent, ultimately it is up to the individual film’s quality to determine its ultimate accolades.

How has the legacy of each movie changed since its initial release?

Since its initial release, the legacy of each controversial movie that shook the world has been subject to change.

The advent of social media has given individuals unprecedented access to share their opinions and experiences, which has resulted in a wider-reaching censorship debate than ever before.

Through this debate, many of these films have been largely accepted as artistic triumphs despite their controversial nature; however, others remain divided in opinion and continue to be discussed widely amongst fans and critics alike.

In either case, it is clear that the impact these movies had upon their initial release was only the beginning of a much larger conversation.


Controversy surrounding films has been commonplace since the invention of cinema. While some movies have caused a stir due to their content and production, others have changed societal attitudes and become iconic symbols of progress.

A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Passion of the Christ (2004), Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Da Vinci Code (2006), Django Unchained (2012), The Interview (2014) and Parasite (2019) are all examples of movies that have stirred up controversy in one form or another.

Interestingly, 88% of people surveyed by Forbes believe that controversial films should be shown despite potential backlash, indicating that such works can still play an important role in changing attitudes in society today.

In conclusion, while controversial films may generate strong reactions from audiences, they can also offer unique perspectives on complex issues which can ultimately lead to greater understanding and acceptance.