Did You Love or Hate These 17 Controversial Movies?

Film can be a polarizing art form. Some movies strike a chord in a way that creates die-hard fans, while others drive viewers to passionate disdain. Here’s a list of 17 films that have evoked strong, often divisive reactions from audiences.

Mother!

Mother Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Jennifer Lawrence takes on a role in a tale that swings between unsettling horror and deep biblical references. It’s a movie some can’t stop talking about due to its intricate plot, while others would prefer to forget it, finding it overly complicated and intense.

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Set in a bleak future, this story delves into the life of a young man with violent tendencies and his encounters with a system trying to “cure” him. Celebrated by many for its daring approach, it’s also criticized by others who find its themes and visuals too jarring.

The Tree of Life

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Switching between personal family dynamics and broad existential musings, this film is a visual spectacle. For many, it’s a cinematic masterpiece, rich in imagery and philosophy. However, some viewers find it long-winded and a tad self-important.

Showgirls

Showgirls United Artist
Photo Credit: United Artist.

Dipping into the glitzy and often gritty world of Las Vegas dancers, this movie is packed with drama. It’s become a cult classic for those who appreciate its boldness, but others dismiss it as lacking substance and depth.

Only God Forgives

Photo Credit: Wild Bunch.

This film, set against the backdrop of Bangkok’s underbelly, is known for its striking visuals and dark themes. While it has a group of staunch defenders who laud its artistry, others feel it’s style over substance, making it a topic of debate in many film circles.

Eraserhead

Photo Credit: AFI Center for Advanced Studies.

David Lynch’s surreal debut is a trip through dreamlike sequences and haunting imagery. A cult favorite for many, its enigmatic narrative leaves some viewers in awe, while others are simply left scratching their heads, searching for meaning amid its abstract scenes.

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

Another Lynch masterpiece, this film is a maze of interconnected stories in the heart of Hollywood. Its non-linear structure and mysterious characters are a hit with some cinephiles who appreciate the challenge, but for others, it’s an intricate puzzle that’s frustratingly hard to solve.

The Lobster

Photo Credit: Element Pictures.

A unique take on dystopia, where single people risk being turned into animals. The dark humor and bizarre premise captivate many, finding it refreshingly original. However, some audiences can’t get past the film’s oddities, labeling it as just plain weird.

Birdman

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

A washed-up actor’s quest for Broadway redemption is the focus of this cinematic marvel. Its continuous shot style and sharp dialogue impressed many, earning it numerous accolades. Yet, there are those who feel it’s overhyped and a bit pretentious.

Under the Skin

Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

Starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress, this film blends sci-fi with deep existential themes. For many, it’s a mesmerizing visual treat and thought-provoking to boot. Conversely, some viewers find it slow and lacking in narrative depth.

The Neon Demon

Photo Credit: Amazon Studios.

The cutthroat world of fashion modeling gets a horror twist in this film. Vivid imagery and stylistic choices have garnered a dedicated fanbase, but its disturbing content and pacing have turned just as many away.

Spring Breakers

Photo Credit: A24.

This film isn’t just about college girls on a holiday spree. It’s a deeper exploration of youth gone astray in a society saturated with media influence. While some viewers see it as a brilliant commentary on the disillusionment of the modern generation, clad in neon lights and set to hypnotic music, others view it as mere sensationalism — a film trying too hard to be edgy without substantial content.

Blue Velvet

Photo Credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

Lurking beneath a quaint town’s facade lies a world of intrigue and darkness, as discovered by a curious college student. David Lynch’s iconic style resonates with those who love his blend of the mundane and the macabre. But some viewers find the film’s disturbing themes hard to stomach.

Cloud Atlas

Photo Credit: Warner Bros Pictures.

Spanning centuries and lifetimes, this film presents interconnected stories about humanity, fate, and love. Its ambitious storytelling and visual grandeur have won over many audiences. However, the multi-layered narrative becomes confusing for some, leading to polarized opinions.

Antichrist

Photo Credit: Zentropa Entertainments.

Lars von Trier’s descent into the depths of grief and despair is both visually arresting and deeply disturbing. Chronicling a couple’s retreat into the woods after the loss of their child, it’s a journey into the human psyche’s darkest corners. While its symbolism and cinematography are praised by some as genius, its graphic scenes and unsettling themes make others question its artistic merit.

Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man (2016) - A24
Photo Credit: A24.

A man stranded on a desert island befriends a corpse, and what follows is an unusual tale of survival and friendship. The film’s unique premise and heartwarming message of human connection resonate deeply with some. However, its bizarre comedic tone and macabre themes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, leading many to label it as simply odd.

Synecdoche, New York

Photo Credit: Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a theater director whose ambition blurs the lines between reality and fiction in this layered drama. The film’s exploration of mortality, love, and artistic drive makes it a favorite among some film enthusiasts who appreciate its depth.

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Cast Away DreamWorks Pictures & 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

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19 MOVIES WHERE THE SUPPORTING ACTOR STOLE THE ENTIRE SHOW

Robin Williams - Good Will Hunting Miramax
Photo Credit: Miramax.

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23 MOVIE/TV CHARACTERS WHO SEEMED NICE BUT WERE ACTUALLY COMPLETE JERKS

Alan Harper (Two And A Half Men) Warner Bros. Television
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Movies and TV shows can be biased and will sometimes make you root for a character that isn’t actually nice. A recent internet survey asked, “What movie/TV show character was made out to be nice but was actually a jerk?” Here are the top 23 answers:

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20 MOVIES THAT PREDICTED THE FUTURE AND ACTUALLY GOT IT RIGHT

Photo Credit: Miramax Films.

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20 MOVIES WE WISH WE COULD ERASE FROM OUR MINDS AND WATCH AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Avengers_ Endgame
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios.

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20 MOVIES WE WISH WE COULD ERASE FROM OUR MINDS AND WATCH AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME