30 of the most controversial films of all time

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

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 15
The Last Temptation of Christ

Directed by Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Paul Schrader, The Last Temptation of Christ depicts the life of Jesus Christ (Willem Defoe) and his struggle with various forms of temptation including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust. Though the film includes a disclaimer stating that the movie “is not based on the Gospels but upon the fictional exploration of the eternal spiritual conflict,” it still generated controversy from Christian religious groups who took issue with its portrayal of Christ imagining himself engaging in sexual activities.

Despite being a box office bomb, The Last Temptation of Christ received positive reviews from critics, with Scorsese even scoring a Best Director Oscar nomination and Barbara Hershey earning a Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance as Mary Magdalene.