30 of the most controversial films of all time

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

Cruising (1980)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 15

Loosely based on the novel of the same name by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, Cruising stars Al Pacino as a police detective who goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

The William Friedkin-directed movie was plagued with controversy long before it was released. Believing that the film stigmatized gay men, gay rights activists disrupted shooting. And when Cruising finally came out, protests only intensified, as members of the gay community felt that the film had a homophobic political message and that it portrayed gay men as being attracted to violence, which they feared could justify homophobic hate crimes.