30 of the most controversial films of all time

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

Antichrist (2009)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 14

Written and directed by Lars von Trier, Antichrist tells the story of a grieving couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who retreats to a cabin in the woods after the death of their child. There, the man experiences strange visions and the woman starts perpetrating sexual violence on her husband and herself.

Antichrist made our list of most controversial films of all time because it immediately caused noise after its premiere at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, with critics praising its artistic execution but strongly divided over its substantive merit.

Two versions were available for buyers at the Cannes film market: the “Catholic” and “Protestant” versions. The former had some of the most explicit scenes removed while the latter was uncut. Antichrist was not submitted to the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) because the filmmakers expected an NC-17 rating for its graphic violence and sex.