30 of the most controversial films of all time

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

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 15

An oscar-winning psychological horror film, The Silence of the Lambs follows young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who seeks the advice of the imprisoned psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to hunt another serial killer, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), who skins his female victims.

Though the Jonathan Demme-directed ended up winning five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Directing, The Silence of the Lambs was criticized by members of the LGBTQ community for its problematic portrayal of Bill as a transsexual villain, even though the character’s orientation is not actually stated in the movie. In response to the criticisms, Demme told The New York Times in 1993 that Bill was actually not a gay character. According to the filmmaker, Bill “was tormented man who hated himself and wished he was a woman because that would have made him as far away from himself as he possibly could be.”