Soul Man (1986)
The general plot of this movie is pretty bad. It’s about a white guy who wants to go to law school but can’t afford it. So, his solution? To wear blackface. He further perpetuates stereotypes, making the movie so much worse. All of this went down in the '80s when society was supposedly “enlightened” about these issues.
Despite the controversy surrounding the subject matter, from a financial point of view, Soul Man was a big hit. It ended up bringing in $35 million dollars with just a $4.5 million dollar budget. Whether they loved it or hated it, people were clearly shelling out the money to see it.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Funny or not, Tropic Thunder uses blackface for comedy. The character Kirk Lazarus, played by Robert Downey Jr, is supposed to be ridiculous, and other characters call him out for his racist interpretations. Brandon T. Jackson plays a character that confronts Lazarus’s impersonation of African Americans in the film. Still, it didn’t sit well with some audiences.
That being said, many audiences responded particularly well to Downey's role, as well as those played by Ben Stiller, Tom Cruise, and Jack Black. In fact, producers were pushing for Downey Jr. to get an Oscar nomination for the film, which he eventually got. He didn't win the award, however.
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
What could be so bad about this light-hearted comedy? A lot, actually. The nerds aren’t supposed to be the bullies, but they turn out to be pretty horrible when they spy and photogram a bunch of sorority girls nude. Then, they pass around the pictures later. Nowadays, it’s incredibly offensive and cringy.
However, that doesn't seem to matter too much to the general audience (or they don't pay attention to that part. The film was modestly successful at the box office, and it still holds a respectable 70% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Guess that's another thing that could be critiqued about the movie and those who love it...
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
No one is saying that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a bad movie. On the contrary, it's probably one of the best movies of all time. What wasn’t good was Mickey Rooney’s interpretation of I. Y. Yunioshi. He wore fake teeth and pretended to be a Japanese man in the most offensive way possible.
As if that wasn't bad enough, he consistently harasses Holly Golightly. The film wouldn't change if they removed him, so why even add the character at all? Asian Americans have had plenty to say on the matter, but it's all fallen on deaf ears. Maybe his scenes will be cut in the future, but only time will tell.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Gone with the Wind is a classic, but many people see it as unacceptable. There are claims that the film creates a fond nostalgic image of slavery. At the very opening, the plantation is seen as a pleasant place where Mammy and Prissy exemplify the “Happy Slave” stereotype.
However, even if the film was controversial, it still made a splash. All in all, the film received 10 Academy Awards at the Oscars. And one of those included a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Hattie McDaniel in her portrayal of Mammy--making her the first African American to win any Oscar.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Me, Myself & Irene may not seem that bad at first, but really looking at it will reveal something else. The film is about a guy that has schizophrenia, but the way it’s portrayed is pretty offensive. It’s a misconception that those who have schizophrenia have multiple personalities, and this film perpetuates that issue. Furthermore, it had taglines like, “from mental to gentle.” Yikes.
These days, no one bats an eye when people throw a tantrum about a movie offending them, but that wasn't as common in the year 2000. Despite this, the National Alliance on Mental Illness sent a very angry letter to Fox demanding that they and Jim Carrey do a PSA about schizophrenia. It doesn't appear that the studio ever capitulated. Good for them.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves wasn’t a stellar movie for several reasons, but if it were made today, it wouldn’t be tolerated. There’s a scene near the end of the film where Robin has to save Maid Marian from the Sheriff. That scene was supposed to be “funny" as he attempted to rape Marian right at the altar. In the '90s, you'd think society would understand that rape isn't comedic.
Even if you want to watch the film to stick it to the woke, I can't in good conscience recommend it. Without even considering the possible "offensive" content in the film, it's a real stinker of a movie. Kevin Costner should be ashamed, but not for the reasons critics of this movie think.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2000)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is about two straight guys who decide to marry each other so one of their children can receive healthcare. Not only is it insurance fraud, but it’s also incredibly offensive to same-sex couples that have waited for the opportunity to get married. This movie also featured Rob Schneider as an Asian minister that’s extremely stereotypical.
This movie isn't worth the watch, but not because of any alleged homophobic content. The reason you shouldn't watch it is because it's a mid-2000s buddy comedy starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Paul Blart and Happy Gilmore are annoying enough when taken individually, but when their powers combine, it's unbearable.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Sixteen Candles was an '80s classic, but this is the kind of thing that wouldn’t fly today. In the film, a character’s pants are stolen by another, and he trades his super drunk girlfriend in exchange for his pants. Later, the girl is shown as having her dress bunched up around her thighs with her underwear exposed.
Despite all the outrage, Sixteen Candles is still considered an iconic example of 1980s teenage movies. The movie has an 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is frequently cited as one of director John Hughes' best creations. Seems like all those criticisms ended up being hot air and not the damning critiques their writers thought they were.
White Chicks (2004)
White Chicks is about two black detectives who decide to go undercover as two white chicks, hence the title. The film makes fun of white stereotypes, and those that watch it today know that it couldn’t be remade in the same fashion even if it was funny. Which it isn't.
This is another instance where it's not worth watching the film just to stick it to its ridiculous critics. The movie may be panned for absurd reasons, but it's also panned for perfectly good reasons too. If we're being honest, there's probably not a comedy from the 2000s that is worth watching for any reason.
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Even classic, beloved Disney films aren't safe from the outrage mobs these days. Lady and the Tramp is an animated children's movie about a high-class cocker spaniel falling in love with a stray dog on the streets. While it's ridiculous that people are offended by the movie, it's hilarious that the villains at the center of the controversy in this dog-centric movie are cats.
At one point in the film, Lady runs into a couple of troublemaking Siamese cats who do a little song and dance about what scamps they are called "We Are Siamese if You Please." This is apparently offensive to Asians in some way, but people who argue this seem to be blissfully unaware that it's kind of offensive to Asians to presume that they can't tell the difference between a human being and an animated cat.
Knocked Up (2007)
Knocked Up pokes fun at the extremely sensitive topic of accidental pregnancy. Seth Rogan’s character, Ben Stone, gets a total wake-up call and loses his party-animal lifestyle as he tries to be a father. As much as we want to hate this Rogan/Apatow movie, it did very well commercially and with the critics.
Looking back now, we can see that it definitely has some stuff wrong about it. Katherine Heigl came out and called the film "a little bit sexist," and that absolutely smeared her career. It's true, though. It paints women as shrews, humorless, and uptight. Men are allowed to be children while the woman must be the adult in the situation. Yeah, that's fair.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
The Birth of a Nation is a movie that's infuriating and beautiful, scandalous and cutting edge. It's a silent film, that, at the time of its release in 1915, was truly ahead of its time. Director D.W. Griffith pioneered movie techniques that revolutionized the entire field. It's also a movie that's undeniably racist.
Split into two parts, The Birth of a Nation begins with the buildup to the Civil War and includes a truly massive and impressive scene on the battlefield. Part two, which explores Reconstruction, is where the movie really goes off the rails. Many of the black characters are portrayed by actors in blackface, and all are portrayed as uncivilized and sexually aggressive.
The Last Samurai (2003)
In this film, Tom Cruise played a washed up, drunk, ex-military who had no purpose in life until he’s taken in by a clan. He then lays himself on the line to preserve the Samurai way of life. Mhm. Sure. An American is cast in the central role as a savior, and it’s historically inaccurate. It isn’t as bad as some of the others on the list, but it’s still pretty bad.
Despite everything that's wrong with the film, The Last Samurai managed to rack up an impressive four Academy Award nominations, as well as three from the Golden Globes. We're not sure how the academy didn't see what we see, but they didn't. Plenty of people weren't happy that it was in the spotlight for so long, but it's bad enough that we can finally forget it.
Basic Instinct (1992)
Everyone remembers the famous Sharon Stone flash, but there are more reasons this film is incredibly offensive. The portrayal of women and lesbians upset the LGBTQ community when it released. Even now, Sharon Stone states that she regrets taking the role and states that the scene wasn’t even supposed to be in the film.
Apparently, Sharon Stone regrets the film altogether. The scene that made her most famous wasn't supposed to be shown. The director lied to her and said that it wouldn't make the final cut. Guess that's another thing that can be added to the film, making it one of the worse ones on the list. Poor Sharon...
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blazing Saddles is a little iffy. Something like this would have a hard time releasing in our society today, but it needs to be said that Brooks used the questionable scenes as a social commentary of issues plaguing society at the time. If you've seen it, you know what we're talking about.
In his defense, Mel Brooks did collaborate with Richard Pryor, who knew it was going to be a hit. Still, we reiterate, this type of film won’t be gracing our silver screens anytime soon. That being said, many people are still diehard fans of the film, controversial moments and all.
The Jerk (1979)
The Jerk is a comedy with Steve Martin, playing a man that believes he was born a poor black child in Mississippi. As you can imagine, the character was…less than racially sensitive. Steve Martin recently did an interview saying that everyone in the film was “treated with such respect.” Regardless, the movie wouldn’t be remade in the same fashion today.
This is another film that may have been controversial but still managed to be a success as the box office. The movie brought in $73 million dollars in the United States and over $100 million dollars worldwide. But even if you ignore the race stuff, the film wasn't a hit with critics.
Song of the South (1946)
We all knew that Song of the South was going to be on this list. It’s easily one of Disney’s most racially insensitive pieces. There are many issues with this film, but the worst is the cheerful attitudes about the characters’ social status. This film is certainly a product of its time, and we’re guessing Disney won’t release the DVD from “The Vault.”
About the only good thing you can say about this movie is that it seamlessly blended together real-life and animation. Something like this wouldn't come along until much, much later. Today, Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit are credited for this achievement. That doesn't mean we can excuse the whole Uncle Remus aspect, though.
Dumbo is a classic Disney movie that has some questionable content according to the easily offended. Remember the crows? When the movie was made, racism was still running rampant, but this film couldn't be remade in the same racist way today. The crows represent this as they talk in “jive.”
Even the main crow is named Jim Crow! Disney is planning a remake, but we're guessing the crows won't show up. The crows represent this in several ways other than the way he speaks. It's easy to say that this film def is a no-go the way it is. Sorry, Disney.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
On top of that, You Only Live Twice was also incredibly violent. Approximately 200 people perished in the film (obviously not in real life). It's another reason many people choose not to watch this one, but we're going to assume a lot of people decide Sean Connery goes a bit too far.
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
The '70s were a time of sexual expression, and that was pretty clear in their movies. The original I Spit On Your Grave from 1978 had plenty of gore, but that isn’t what lands it on this list. It’s the horrific rape scene that lasts for a ridiculous amount of time, and the second half of the film is filled with sex scenes for revenge.
No one can say it's one of the most well-made horror films in history. It was created for shock value, but there's a clear line between that and going too far. It wasn't like we went into the movie thinking this wasn't going to be that bad, but there's no reason to continuously do this kind of crap.
The Toy (1982)
The Toy wasn’t really a hit in its time despite starring Richard Pryor. Today, we’re guessing that there would be riots due to the premise alone. It’s about a spoiled white boy who picks out a goofy black guy as his new toy. That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.
The film is actually based on another movie. Le Jouet was a 1976 French film that followed basically the same premise as the Richard Pryor version. That being said, neither the French original nor the American remake was terribly successful. Guess the French audiences didn't like that idea much either.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Everyone can admit that the second Ace Ventura is leagues ahead of the first. Part of that could have been due to the story. It’s built around a homophobic and transphobic plotline where the big reveal has Ace scrubbing his mouth after he realized he kissed a transgender woman.
Even if you can look past the stuff that makes this movie un-remake-able, there's plenty more that makes it a movie not worth watching. We'll just leave it at this: Roger Ebert had this to say--"I found the movie a long, unfunny slog through an impenetrable plot." Yeah, that's pretty bad.
Shallow Hal (2001)
Shallow Hal follows the titular character (played by Jack Black) as he is hypnotized into falling in love with a morbidly obese woman, who he can only see as drop dead gorgeous. If you weren't offended yet, just wait until you hear this--Gwenyth Paltrow was cast to play the fat woman.
Easily offended people obviously took great umbrage at the basically nonstop barrage of fat jokes in the film, but I think their outrage is misplaced. The fat jokes aren't the offensive part--the offensive part is that they ruined a perfectly good Jack Black appearance by pairing him up with someone as dreadful as Paltrow.
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Silence of the Lambs is pretty terrifying, but Buffalo Bill made a lot of people furious (and not because he was such a scary villain that would haunt your dreams). Many people consider the film to be transphobic as Buffalo Bill portrays a transgender woman. The plot focuses very heavily on this fact, too.
For many, Buffalo Bill was actually the first image of a transgender person to reach popular media, and it reinforced a lot of things that are considered false by the trans community including the fact that being transgender is a choice. Hannibal Lector also makes some bad comments that misconstrue transgendered people.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is the sequel-in-name-only cult classic to the equally cult classic Valley of the Dolls. This satirical, meta dramedy has it all--a wild '70s vibe, a disorienting plot, and probably the best movie soundtrack of all time. The movie has such a legacy that there are numerous word-for-word quotations from the script in the Austin Powers series.
For years, people were largely content to love this campy classic for the hot mess it is. However, in recent years people have started to take umbrage at the fact that the movie's villain (and most quotable character) is actually a woman in drag. His/her over-the-top murder spree at the end of the film is therefore sexist, or homophobic, or transphobic, or whatever social cause du jour people are screaming about on any given day.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Planet of the Apes is a classic, but it brings up some pretty stark scenes. Throughout the film, we see light-skinned apes commanding dark-skinned apes that seem, which is pretty reminiscent of another time in history. Granted, many people see the movie as an allegory about race and politics.
Many people who adore the film state that it's still worth a watch if you can get past the whole bad aspect of it. That's a pretty big ask, to be honest. Sure, it's a campy sci-fi film that has stood the test of time in many ways, but the race part of it makes it a little hard to watch for those struggling with these issues today.
Cuties is a French movie that hit Netflix, and people weren't happy with the content. It features children in a twerking dance show and sexualizes them. It's so bad that Capitol Hill has begun an investigation into the movie. We're guessing it won't last much longer on Netflix (and for a good reason).
What all these howling online critics failed to realize is that the film is actually critiquing all the thing that people accuse it of promoting. Subtlety is not a quality common among the righteously indignant, and they just can't quite grasp the distinction between portraying something and endorsing something. Bless their hearts.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
The Transformers films aren’t good, but none are worse than Revenge of the Fallen. This is mostly thanks to the two little racist robots Mudflap and Skids. The characters are incredibly racist and fit every stereotype the creators could fit into two characters, including being illiterate and having gold capped bucked teeth.
We're not exactly gonna encourage you to watch the Transformers franchise because of this huge, glaring reason. Even if you could look past this, they're still incredibly annoying since they never actually shut up. These movies are just plain bad. The first couple? Maybe, but this one? Nah, there's no way anyone could sit through it.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
The Passion of the Christ was made by Mel Gibson, a man who isn’t shy about controversy. What made this film such a problem was the amount of suffering, death, violence, and gore. There are ridiculously gruesome torture scenes that make audiences turn away. It's almost as if a man being crucified isn't all sunshine and roses.
It was later accused of anti-Semitism by film critics because Jewish characters are depicted in an “extremely unflattering light,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. The movie has now been locked away in its own little special category of "bad." Hopefully, it'll never see the light again. Mel Gibson already had a bad rep, and this didn't really help.
Sacha Baron Cohen has earned an infamous reputation for his offensive and bizarre films. Bruno took this to a whole new level. The film received an NC-17 rating due to its obscene sexual scenes and raunchy jokes. Ukraine banned the film completely, and an Austrian ambassador warned the general public to stay away, far away.
This one really helped to unite the Christians and the gays. The former hated the alleged obscenity, and the latter hated the alleged homophobia of the titular character. Who knew that Bruno would bring together such strange bedfellows? Regardless, this isn't Cohen's best work by any stretch of the imagination.
Kevin Smith was known for his vast usage of inappropriate fart jokes and raunchy innuendos, but Dogma was so offensive it made heads spin and your grandma roll over in her grave. The film offended the entire Catholic community for its religious satire. But honestly, what doesn't offend the Catholics?
The film revolves around a couple of fallen angels who are trying to sneak their way back into heaven after being cast out by God--who happens to be a woman. That's some truly disturbing stuff. This movie is largely forgotten today, but at the time, it was clearly a heated subject.
The Producers (1967)
"We're marching to a faster pace / Look out, here comes the master race." Mel Brooks released his first directed movie, The Producers, just two decades after WWII. The entire movie is centered around a fictional play called Springtime For Hitler, and it's completely cringeworthy.
The movie was actually remade in 2005 and starred Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Sure, it wasn't Gene Wilder, but it still had a lot of the essence of the first. They used the same music, but that was 2005. We have movies newer than that on the list so this was also a "product of its time."
Peter Pan (1953)
Peter Pan existed long before the Disney movie of the same name, but these days, that's what everyone thinks of when you mention his name. The movie is about a whimsical world where Peter and his clan of young boys do their best to avoid growing up and avoid the ire of comic villain Captain Hook.
The problem that's exploded in recent years has to do with the Native Americans depicted in the film. They probably could have done without the number "What Made the Red Man Red?" Considering everything Native Americans have gone through in film, it's surprising that the movie was basically remade (Pan, anyone?) and was just as bad as the one in '53.
Sausage Party (2016)
Sausage Party literally had audiences rolling when it premiered in 2016. The film was highly controversial due to its extreme sexual nature and indiscriminate roasting of every type of person in existence. If you’re easily offended, this is probably one movie that you're going to want to avoid like the plague.
It's no surprise that this film is a Seth Rogen movie. It perfectly encapsulates everything that he finds hilarious. Apparently, critics also enjoyed it (and audiences). It's definitely funny, but it does have a myriad of potty humor. Basically, if you've seen any Seth Rogen film (and enjoyed it), you'll probably like this one too.
Grease is a 1970s musical where John Travolta sings and dances his heart out all while pretending not to be gay. The movie is offensive in the sense that all musicals are an offense to sensibilities, but some people took umbrage at the hot and heavy relationship between the two main characters.
There were accusations of sexism in the way Danny Zuko treats his love interest, Sandy. Apparently these critics had no personal experience with young love and all the awkwardness and intensity that goes along with it, which sounds about right for someone complaining about a decades old movie. Leading lady Olivia Newton-John had this to say about the criticisms: "It was a stage play, it’s a musical, it’s fun. It’s a fun movie musical not to be taken so seriously."
Love Guru (2008)
As you can imagine, a movie about a white Canadian portraying an Indian guru of love wasn’t culturally sensitive. For some people, it was so chock-full of Indian caricatures that it was “downright unfunny.” Along with that, some other issues include the cringy accents, elephant copulation, and Sir Ben Kingsley who plays a guru by the name of “Tugginmypudha.”
On top of that, the movie is a great example of Mike Myers trying way too hard to be funny. Honestly, he should personally apologize to anyone that was involved in the film, especially Sir Ben Kingsley. He's been in some questionable stuff, but that doesn't mean he's a bad actor.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to hate Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The 1999 prequel to the original series was panned at the time of its release, and in the ensuing years, people have only begun to hate it more. Die hard Star Wars fans found it to be a poor heir to the legacy of the original films.
However, some people in particular took offense at one particular character--Jar Jar Binks. Some of the most unhinged critics went as far as to compare him to a blackface minstrel, which is a completely level-headed assessment of a fictional alien character. Poor Jar Jar just can't seem to get any love from anyone.
The media is currently having a blast hating on Woody Allen, but even if Allen bashing hadn't become a national pastime and people still loved the filmmaker, Manhattan is still a movie that would raise some eyebrows. The movie is full of classic Woody Allen's self-deprecation and love for New York. The only problem? The 17-year-old love interest.
Mariel Hemingway plays Allen's teenage love interest, and, at the time of its release, no one really batted an eye at this storyline. However, decades later, very loud, very online voices decided this was unacceptable. Apparently, they all developed collective amnesia as to the fact that older men dating younger women is something that has happened throughout literally all of history.
Cruising is a tense, erotic thriller starring Al Pacino, who plays an undercover cop pretending to be a gay man in order to capture a serial killer targeting other gay men. The movie wasn't wildly successful, but it's by far one of the best gay films of that particular era.
At the time of its release, it angered gay activists because of the fact that (spoiler alert) the killer is a gay man who can't come to terms with his sexuality. They were upset that the killer was gay, seemingly without realizing that pretty much every main character in the film is gay. They also claimed that the film made it seem like the murder victims deserved to be killed, which sounds more like projection on their part.
Kids is a coming-of-age story filled to the brim with tragedy, pain, and sexuality. One reviewer aptly described it as "Lord of the Flies with skateboards, nitrous oxide and hip-hop." Its fans said that the film was art to the highest degree, while its critics deemed it to be pornography.
The main complaint about the film seems to be that it doesn't have some sort of grand message or moral about all the depressing and terrible things that take place in the plot. Apparently these viewers needed someone to tell them what to think about the film instead of trying to make sense of it for themselves.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
These days, many of the most vocal, outraged citizens are of the secular, woke variety, but they're basically still just infants in the culture wars. Christians have been going apoplectic about "offensive" films for decades at this point. And The Last Temptation of Christ really got their panties in a wad.
The film, starring Willem Dafoe as Jesus Christ, is only loosely based on the accounts found in the Christian Bible. Imagine a lot less parables and a lot more sexual tension between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Some people found the film so offensive that they actually set fire to a Paris movie theater screening the film.
A Clockwork Orange (1972)
A Clockwork Orange is a movie where the super fans are just as obnoxious as the super haters. Both sides of this debate think the movie is controversial beyond belief--they're just in disagreement about whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I think it's best to just leave them alone to fight it out so that they're not bothering normal people with their Clockwork Orange hot takes.
Most of the controversy surrounding this film stems from a disturbing rape scene near the beginning. It was considered violent and scandalous enough that the movie was actually withdrawn from screening in Great Britain, and it had to be edited down in order to not receive an X rating in the United States.
Darren Aronofsky's Mother has a twist metaphor that's so heavy handed it's nearly impossible to not see it coming from a mile away. Jennifer Lawrence, playing the titular mother, is meant to represent Mother Earth and how we constantly mistreat her. It's some seriously deep and controversial stuff...if you're living in a college dorm room.
However, once again, all the outraged critics of this movie just couldn't quite grasp this gigantic and blatant metaphor being shoved in their faces. All they saw was Lawrence's character being mistreated, and it wasn't long before they were crying sexism. Subtlety and moral outrage rarely ever go hand in hand.
Freaks is a 1932 film about a circus performer who plans to murder one of her fellow performers in order to get her hands on his inheritance money. Even at the time of its release, Freaks was a controversial film, and it seems like the response to it has only grown more polarized as the years have passed.
Most of the outrage centers around the fact that the film cast several people who were real performers in circus freak shows. These included a bearded lady, an "armless wonder", and Siamese twins. Critics of the film claim that the presence of these performers is exploitative, while fans of the film point out that within the movie, the performers are treated just like everyone else.
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS has plenty to offend a wide range of people. For the Jews, you've got the blatant Nazi imagery and storyline. For the ladies, the hypersexual main character shows plenty of skin. And for the squeamish, there is more than enough gratuitous violence to go around.
This is one movie that didn't fall victim to "not aging well" because people were outraged about it right out of the gate. In his review after the release, Gene Siskel said it was "the most degenerate picture I have seen to play downtown." However, despite the controversy, the movie spawned three sequels, and all four have developed a cult following over the years.
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Based on the Gore Vidal novel of the same name, Myra Breckinridge is a 1970s comedy about a gay man who gets a sex change in order to swindle his uncle out of a large sum of money. That description alone should make it crystal clear why this movie courted controversy.
At the time of its release, it scandalized good, old fashioned folks who found thinks like transsexualism, S&M, and cheeky, gay humor to be just downright tasteless. These days, it's more likely to spark the ire of transgender activists who have decided (without evidence) that Myra is a transgender woman and makes them look bad.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
1994's Heavenly Creatures marked the movie debut of then-budding actress Kate Winslet. In it, she and Melanie Lynskey play a pair of teenage girls with one of the most disturbing, psychosexual relationships ever shown on screen. When their parents do everything in their power to keep them apart, the girls fight back and end up murdering one of their mothers.
So why do people have objections to this one? Probably because it was based on a real-life murder case in New Zealand, where two teenage girls did actually kill one of their mothers. Any time a true crime is portrayed in a fictional setting, there's always someone there to claim its sensationalizing or glorifying violence.
Dressed to Kill (1980)
The 1980s and 1990s were a great time for thrilling neo-noir movies, and Dressed to Kill is probably one of the best. The movie, starring Michael Caine, is about a woman who is brutally murdered after an intense one night stand. Caine plays the woman's therapist who is seemingly trying to help find the killer, but, surprise, surprise, he's the one the cops should be investigating.
So what transgressions did this film commit? Well, it turns out that Caine's killer isn't just a one-time murderer. He's a a serial killing cross dresser who murders women that sexually arouse him. The film was protested at its release and continues to be protested because of the (ludicrous) claim that it implies all transgender people are psychotic killers.
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
The Mask of Fu Manchu was released all the way back in 1932, and it's been outraging audiences ever since. Based on the novel of the same name, the movie follows Fu Manchu as he embarks on an adventure to find the golden sword and mask that once belonged to Genghis Khan.
After its release, it was criticized by the Chinese government claiming that it made Chinese people look bad. In particular, they took offense at the line where Fu Manchu says, "Kill the white man and take his women!" Over the years numerous groups have basically had the same complaint, although, these days, you're likely to see people also outraged at the fact that Boris Karloff (an Englishman) is playing the Chinese (and fictional) Fu Manchu.