30 of the most controversial films of all time

These movies have taboo storylines, graphic sex scenes, and gruesome violence

most controversial films of all time

There are a lot of factors that can make or break a movie. While critics and audiences mainly look at directing, writing, and acting, when judging the greatness of a film, there are instances when controversies surrounding a movie dictate its critical and commercial success, as well as its overall legacy. Flicks that are dubbed controversial usually feature sensitive and taboo storylines, but there are also some that become a hot topic because of their overly graphic sex scenes, grossly gruesome violence, and extremely vulgar language, among many others. To give you some examples, below are 30 of the most controversial films of all time.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 1

Set in a dystopian near-future Britain, A Clockwork Orange centers on antisocial delinquent Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his small group of thugs as they go on crime sprees that include theft, rape, murder, and other forms of “ultra-violence”. When Alex is jailed, he submits to a conduct-aversion experiment that conditions him to abhor violence. Though he eventually earns his freedom, he returns to the world defenseless, becoming the victim of his prior victims.

Because of its graphic depictions of violence, the Stanley Kubrick-directed film became very controversial at the time of its release and was ultimately withdrawn from British cinemas at Kubrick’s behest. Despite its portrayal of excessively graphic violence, A Clockwork Orange still scored Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Director, and Best Film Edition nominations at the 44th Academy Awards.

Interesting facts about BTS
  • The group name, “BTS” stands for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan which translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Band member J-Hope said that they chose this name because it represents BTS’s desire “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.” But that isn’t the only meaning behind the name. In 2017, BTS said, as part of their new brand identity, that their name would also stand for Beyond the Scene” which extended their name to mean “growing youth BTS who is going beyond the realities they are facing, and going forward.”
  • BTS was originally intended to be a hip-hop group, similar to YG Entertainment’s 1TYM. This was because Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk met with RM and was very impressed by his rapping talents. However, Bang Si-hyuk changed his mind and decided that today’s youth needed “a hero who can lend them a shoulder to lean on, even without speaking a single word.”
  • BTS has said that all of the following musicians have inspired their music; Post Malone, Eminem, Seo Taiji and Boys, Nas, Kanye West, Drake, Charlie Puth, Danger, and Queen.
  • The band’s first English-language single, “Dynamite”, was released on August 21st. Its video broke the YouTube record for the most viewed music video premiere, grabbing the attention of three million viewers, and it set a new record for the most viewed video on the first day of release. “Dynamite” is also the first music video on YouTube to surpass 100 million views in less than one day.
  • BTS has been often labeled as “easily the biggest and most successful name in K-pop in the world” that can “do things no other name in their genre can.” Time magazine has gone as far as calling them the “Princes of Pop.”