The Kiss (1896)
Rank Title Points Votes Your Vote
1
The second (and last) X-rated Best-Picture nominee, Stanley Kubrick's dystopian future appalled some viewers with its ultra-violence.
Current Score:
1242
Total Votes:
3806
2
This gore-soaked movie’s use of “found footage” to reveal the fate of a missing documentary crew made it seem too real.
Current Score:
963
Total Votes:
2529
3
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s politically provocative and sexually explicit movie equates fascism and sexual torture.
Current Score:
798
Total Votes:
1988
4
The sight of 13-year-old Linda Blair vomiting, swearing, and abusing herself with a crucifix horrified moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
667
Total Votes:
2935
5
This rape-revenge movie so incensed critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel that they tried to have it pulled from theaters.
Current Score:
437
Total Votes:
1625
6
Variety dubbed this historical epic -- written by Gore Vidal, produced by Bob Guccione, and directed by Tinto Brass -- a “moral holocaust.”
Current Score:
357
Total Votes:
1517
7
Darren Aronofsky’s hallucinatory chronicle of addiction had to be released unrated when he refused to cut a degrading orgy.
Current Score:
339
Total Votes:
1923
8
Directed by Oliver Stone from a Quentin Tarantino script, this look at sexual obsession was blamed for inspiring real-life murders.
Current Score:
328
Total Votes:
1904
9
A realistic look at drugging, hook ups, and frank sex talk among teens, photographer Larry Clark’s movie was labeled salacious and pedophilic.
Current Score:
320
Total Votes:
1546
10
Viewers used to Hitchcock's Technicolor thrillers were stunned by this black-and-white shocker that dared to kill Janet Leigh before the halfway mark.
Current Score:
302
Total Votes:
2102
11
Rural cannibals slaughter soft city folks in the first “meat movie,” a horror tale rooted in realistic violence and social malaise.
Current Score:
300
Total Votes:
1842
12
Wes Craven changed Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring into a crude, taboo-breaking shocker.
Current Score:
298
Total Votes:
1340
13
The movie that ushered in “porno chic,” Deep Throat sparked precedent-setting court cases that challenged assumptions about obscenity.
Current Score:
287
Total Votes:
1663
14
In this grotesque movie, a mad doctor turns three young victims into a twelve-limbed abomination.
Current Score:
270
Total Votes:
1704
15
Stanley Kubrick played up the dark humor in Nabokov’s novel about a middle-aged man infatuated with a pubescent girl.
Current Score:
263
Total Votes:
1369
16
Walkouts were common during this French thriller, which depicts a vicious and lengthy rape and its aftermath in reverse chronological order.
Current Score:
220
Total Votes:
1102
17
Though its sympathies were with the sideshow performers, this circus drama was criticized for casting real-life “human oddities.”
Current Score:
218
Total Votes:
1228
18
The fact that it was “banned in 40 countries” was a selling point for this morbid collection of death scenes, some real and some fake.
Current Score:
212
Total Votes:
1222
19
Even in 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Civil War epic caused a stir for its stereotypical depiction of African-Americans.
Current Score:
197
Total Votes:
1153
20
A couple engages in violent sex and sexual violence after their son’s death, but art-house audiences took its provocations in stride.
Current Score:
197
Total Votes:
1113
21
Cult provocateur John Waters used bizarre, crude, tasteless and sexually grotesque images to challenge cultural mores in his first feature.
Current Score:
187
Total Votes:
1019
22
David Lynch's look at the violence beneath the facade of small-town eighties America was denounced for images of sexual degradation.
Current Score:
186
Total Votes:
1158
23
Mel Gibson's film was called anti-Semitic and became the highest-grossing independent film ever.
Current Score:
181
Total Votes:
1727
24
Sam Raimi’s debut was virtually guaranteed an "X" rating for blood and gore, but the rape scene was the capper, and it was released unrated.
Current Score:
171
Total Votes:
1349
25
Michael Rooker’s intense performance made this take on Henry Lee Lucas’ crimes feel unbearably real.
Current Score:
160
Total Votes:
930
26
The National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures reviled Polanski's dark horror classic for making "perverted use” of Christian beliefs.
Current Score:
142
Total Votes:
1452
27
Religious fundamentalists picketed and boycotted Martin Scorsese’s film on the life of Christ.
Current Score:
131
Total Votes:
1133
28
Michael Cimino’s depiction of friendships tested by the Vietnam War won an Oscar, despite accusations of inaccuracy and racism.
Current Score:
123
Total Votes:
1435
29
A double rape and its aftermath made Sam Peckinpah’s movie about a mild-mannered mathematician driven to violence a hot-button topic.
Current Score:
123
Total Votes:
927
30
The only X-rated Best-Picture winner, this gritty movie discomfited some viewers with its frank, non-judgmental depiction of homosexuality.
Current Score:
121
Total Votes:
1103
31
This satire lampooned religious zealotry and thus was labeled blasphemous and sacrilegious.
Current Score:
110
Total Votes:
1372
32
This animated satire included such provocations as depicting Satan and Saddam Hussein as lovers.
Current Score:
99
Total Votes:
1417
33
One of the most influential movies of the seventies was accused of glamorizing Depression-era robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Current Score:
93
Total Votes:
1219
34
Subtle performances helped make this thriller about a teen sparring with a suspected pedophile seem thought-provoking rather than sleazy.
Current Score:
85
Total Votes:
951
35
Bernardo Bertolucci's striking juxtaposition of lust and despair starred Hollywood icon Marlon Brando.
Current Score:
79
Total Votes:
927
36
Deplored by political and religious conservatives, this was the first mainstream gay/bi-sexual romance; it garnered both critical and popular acclaim.
Current Score:
67
Total Votes:
1481
37
Howard Hawks’ classic was banned in several states despite pre-release changes designed to counter claims that it glorified gangsters.
Current Score:
64
Total Votes:
1290
38
David Cronenberg’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s outre novel about people who get off on car crashes was too fetishistic for many.
Current Score:
63
Total Votes:
959
39
Lolita could still shock 35 years after Kubrick’s adaptation; even after extensive cuts, Adrian Lyne’s franker version was too hot for theaters.
Current Score:
49
Total Votes:
945
40
Necrophilia may be the last taboo, and this German gross-out pulled no punches, which is why it was loathed and banned in many markets.
Current Score:
48
Total Votes:
720
41
Is Harry Callahan’s contempt for modern criminal-justice protocols a liberal critique of vigilantism or reactionary propaganda?
Current Score:
39
Total Votes:
1247
42
Louis Malle’s decision to cast 12-year-old Brooke Shields as a New Orleans prostitute struck many as child exploitation.
Current Score:
35
Total Votes:
743
43
Sharon Stone’s turn as a seductive bisexual murderess made her a star, but the movie raised hackles for its depiction of lethal lesbians.
Current Score:
15
Total Votes:
1139
44
Bernardo Bertolucci's NC-17-rated chronicle of sexual discovery hints at incest and other taboos while deliberately evoking erotic art movies of the ‘60s.
Current Score:
14
Total Votes:
686
45
Ken Russell’s drama about womanizing priests, sex-crazed nuns, and hysteria in seventeenth-century France was banned in deeply Catholic Italy.
Current Score:
13
Total Votes:
667
46
Worried that Walter Hill’s depiction of gangs might incite real violence, Paramount Pictures temporarily pulled it from several theaters.
Current Score:
10
Total Votes:
950
47
Inspired both by art-house sensation The Night Porter (1974) and real-life "Bitch of Buchenwald" Ilse Koch, this sex/torture movie spawned a wave of “nasty Nazi” movies.
Current Score:
9
Total Votes:
679
48
Sam Peckinpah's movie was both praised for its vision of the dying West and lambasted for its savagely explicit violence.
Current Score:
5
Total Votes:
843
49
Oliver Stone's complex, provocative conspiracy thriller was attacked for legitimizing a crackpot theory about JFK’s assassination.
Current Score:
-4
Total Votes:
1048
50
Kevin Smith’s inquiry into the nature of good and evil is surprisingly sincere, but its vulgar snarkiness still rankled religious leaders.
Current Score:
-4
Total Votes:
1034
51
British critics called Michael Powell’s thriller about a tormented murderer perverted, necrophilic, and trashy; his career never recovered.
Current Score:
-7
Total Votes:
677
52
Unsimulated sex scenes sparked accusations that filmmaker Larry Clark exploited his teenaged cast, and it was barely distributed in the US.
Current Score:
-9
Total Votes:
679
53
This Oscar-winning antiwar movie drew fire for portraying young German soldiers with sympathy.
Current Score:
-12
Total Votes:
828
54
Inspired by grotesque medical experiments carried out by Japan’s notorious Unit 731 during WWII.
Current Score:
-12
Total Votes:
598
55
This drama of young bohemians in post 9/11 New York was the most sexually-graphic American movie ever released in non-porn theaters.
Current Score:
-13
Total Votes:
671
56
Nagisa Oshima's graphic examination of sexual obsession was seized and edited by US Customs.
Current Score:
-21
Total Votes:
613
57
Leni Rienfenstahl’s gorgeous documentary glorified the Nazis' ideals and iconography.
Current Score:
-22
Total Votes:
674
58
Peter Greenaway put a high-style gloss on base depravity in this cruel allegory about capitalism.
Current Score:
-34
Total Votes:
642
59
Never available on video or DVD in the US, Disney’s charming animated take on Southern folklore is tainted by its live-action sequences depicting happy slaves.
Current Score:
-47
Total Votes:
733
60
A hardcore hybrid of Natural Born Killers and Thelma and Louise, this drama about two abused women who turn vigilante was banned in its native France.
Current Score:
-47
Total Votes:
621
61
Michael Moore’s scathing documentary about George W. Bush’s war on terror was a hit despite conservative claims that it was propaganda.
Current Score:
-55
Total Votes:
1077
62
Critics worried that Spike Lee’s evocation of poverty, police brutality, and racial tensions in Brooklyn would incite violence.
Current Score:
-57
Total Votes:
795
63
Peter Bogdanovich’s melancholy look at adultery, alcoholism, and promiscuity in fifties Texas divided moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
-61
Total Votes:
729
64
William Friedkin's sexually frank thriller offended gay-rights activists by implying that homosexuality inevitably leads to murder.
Current Score:
-65
Total Votes:
599
65
Critics loved it, but media mogul W.R. Hearst -- the inspiration for Kane – used his influence to discredit Orson Welles’ groundbreaking movie.
Current Score:
-69
Total Votes:
1139
66
The deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children while filming prompted new safety regulations.
Current Score:
-70
Total Votes:
906
67
Women Against Pornography unwittingly raised this ugly horror movie’s profile by denouncing its relentless, misogynistic violence.
Current Score:
-73
Total Votes:
547
68
The Catholic Legion of Decency condemned Tennessee Williams’ lurid tale of a thumb-sucking child bride and the men who lust for her.
Current Score:
-74
Total Votes:
586
69
Luis Bunuel’s surreal masterpiece was widely condemned for its suggestions of incest, rape and necrophilia.
Current Score:
-81
Total Votes:
543
70
Tacking a cynical “real” murder sequence onto a ho-hum exploitation movie generated enough media outrage to make Snuff a lucrative hit.
Current Score:
-82
Total Votes:
564
71
Moviegoers expecting to be titillated were taken aback by this drama’s raw, taboo-breaking examination of misogyny.
Current Score:
-88
Total Votes:
588
72
Outcry over a rape scene involving an Elvis-loving pre-teen (played by 12-year-old Dakota Fanning) helped sink this drama set in 1950s Alabama.
Current Score:
-88
Total Votes:
582
73
A US distributor added hardcore inserts to Bo Vibenius’ grim rape-revenge movie.
Current Score:
-91
Total Votes:
525
74
This UK movie received limited US distribution but revived the “porn or art” debate by charting a couple’s relationship through nine unsimulated sex scenes.
Current Score:
-95
Total Votes:
591
75
Frederick Wiseman's disturbing documentary exposed abuse in mental institutions, but its unflinching footage of patients was called insensitive.
Current Score:
-95
Total Votes:
555
76
Gossip about cult actor Vincent Gallo’s directing debut centered on a graphic oral-sex scene and his feud with critic Roger Ebert.
Current Score:
-102
Total Votes:
656
77
This Italian shockumentary was castigated for exploiting footage of lurid cultural practices from around the world.
Current Score:
-119
Total Votes:
535
78
Madonna and Kim Basinger bailed on Jennifer Lynch’s story of a sexually troubled surgeon who tames his dream girl by amputation.
Current Score:
-120
Total Votes:
646
79
Melvin Van Peebles’ indie movie reflected the simmering rage of disillusioned African-Americans.
Current Score:
-120
Total Votes:
556
80
French filmmaker Catherine Breillat's film on explicit evocation of disturbing desires.
Current Score:
-122
Total Votes:
536
81
Americans were shocked by the nudity and sexual frankness of this Czech drama about an unhappy wife searching for fulfillment.
Current Score:
-123
Total Votes:
535
82
Mockumentary about ‘60s youth was condemned as pornographic.
Current Score:
-126
Total Votes:
560
83
The first major studio release rated NC-17, this arty biopic featured a guilt-free menage a trois, nudity and Uma Thurman in a lesbian kiss.
Current Score:
-129
Total Votes:
549
84
Indian censors deplored the nudity and violence in this biopic about Phoolan Devi, who overcame rape, child marriage and false imprisonment to become a politician.
Current Score:
-133
Total Votes:
557
85
Homosexuality was still a criminal offense in England when this thriller dared to take the side of gay men victimized by ruthless blackmailers.
Current Score:
-136
Total Votes:
520
86
Catherine Breillat challenged the status quo by casting an Italian porn star in her drama about the disconnect between love and sex: Outrage ensued.
Current Score:
-139
Total Votes:
533
87
Rattling the Catholic church’s wasn’t as shocking in the late nineties as when The Exorcist opened but still exposed this movie to censure.
Current Score:
-146
Total Votes:
796
88
Though this epic biopic deferred to Islamic law by never showing Mohammed, it was still condemned as sacrilegious and banned in many Arab countries.
Current Score:
-147
Total Votes:
543
89
Now all-but forgotten, Michael Cimino's follow up to Heaven's Gate was censured for sexist and racist stereotypes of Chinese-Americans.
Current Score:
-150
Total Votes:
564
90
Jean-Luc Godard's contemporary take on the Immaculate Conception featured copious nudity and was denounced by Pope John Paul II.
Current Score:
-150
Total Votes:
512
91
The trailer that positioned this chillingly realistic 9/11 docu-drama as a formulaic thriller occasioned more dismay than the movie itself.
Current Score:
-152
Total Votes:
746
92
Busty starlet Jane Russell’s breasts cast a long shadow over this erotically charged Western, outraging guardians of public decency.
Current Score:
-152
Total Votes:
558
93
Many groups claimed this honest portrait of the pioneering sex researcher advocated perversion and glorified Kinsey's work.
Current Score:
-154
Total Votes:
662
94
Bad pre-release buzz, including explosive accusations of animal abuse, helped turn Michael Cimono’s epic western into a legendary flop.
Current Score:
-157
Total Votes:
603
95
Conservative Christian groups fumed and urged boycotts, but the popularity of Dan Brown’s thriller about arcane secrets and occult mysteries won out.
Current Score:
-169
Total Votes:
1187
96
When Broadway sensations May Irwin and John Rice’s notorious lip-lock was immortalized on film, people were shocked!
Current Score:
-178
Total Votes:
570
97
Condemnation by the Catholic Church helped make this drama about unchaste priests a hit in Mexico.
Current Score:
-188
Total Votes:
542
98
Well-bred people didn’t use words like “virgin,” “seduce” and “mistress” in public, but this mild sex farce did and became a cause celebre.
Current Score:
-191
Total Votes:
535
99
LDS spokesmen denounced this little-seen account of the 1857 Mormon massacre of California-bound settlers as a “distortion of history.”
Current Score:
-203
Total Votes:
595
100
Disney’s animated musical included lyrics that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee claimed perpetuated racist stereotypes.
Current Score:
-438
Total Votes:
1476