Brace for impact: The most controversial movies of all time don’t go down easy. Stubbornly, they persist in our cultural memory—these are the films that feel like gauntlets to run. (Don’t expect any Marvel movies.) They contain the most lurid sex scenes, the most gruesome violence, the foulest language. Or at least it was at the time, when popes and cultural watchdogs raised alarms. Even so, some of these films have won Academy Awards and count among the best ever made, despite (or perhaps because of) their inflammatory nature. Ultimately, our list represents cinema at its cutting edge, often literally. It’s not safe for work. Close the door, turn out the lights and fire up the 50 most controversial movies of all time.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the 100 best movies of all time