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:
1345
Total Votes:
4217
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:
1039
Total Votes:
2757
3
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s politically provocative and sexually explicit movie equates fascism and sexual torture.
Current Score:
896
Total Votes:
2206
4
The sight of 13-year-old Linda Blair vomiting, swearing, and abusing herself with a crucifix horrified moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
724
Total Votes:
3154
5
This rape-revenge movie so incensed critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel that they tried to have it pulled from theaters.
Current Score:
488
Total Votes:
1770
6
Variety dubbed this historical epic -- written by Gore Vidal, produced by Bob Guccione, and directed by Tinto Brass -- a “moral holocaust.”
Current Score:
399
Total Votes:
1633
7
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:
382
Total Votes:
1702
8
Darren Aronofsky’s hallucinatory chronicle of addiction had to be released unrated when he refused to cut a degrading orgy.
Current Score:
346
Total Votes:
2056
9
Directed by Oliver Stone from a Quentin Tarantino script, this look at sexual obsession was blamed for inspiring real-life murders.
Current Score:
344
Total Votes:
2032
10
The movie that ushered in “porno chic,” Deep Throat sparked precedent-setting court cases that challenged assumptions about obscenity.
Current Score:
333
Total Votes:
1759
11
Wes Craven changed Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring into a crude, taboo-breaking shocker.
Current Score:
331
Total Votes:
1421
12
Rural cannibals slaughter soft city folks in the first “meat movie,” a horror tale rooted in realistic violence and social malaise.
Current Score:
309
Total Votes:
1941
13
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:
306
Total Votes:
2200
14
Stanley Kubrick played up the dark humor in Nabokov’s novel about a middle-aged man infatuated with a pubescent girl.
Current Score:
292
Total Votes:
1472
15
In this grotesque movie, a mad doctor turns three young victims into a twelve-limbed abomination.
Current Score:
279
Total Votes:
1807
16
Walkouts were common during this French thriller, which depicts a vicious and lengthy rape and its aftermath in reverse chronological order.
Current Score:
254
Total Votes:
1162
17
Even in 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Civil War epic caused a stir for its stereotypical depiction of African-Americans.
Current Score:
232
Total Votes:
1222
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:
227
Total Votes:
1285
19
Though its sympathies were with the sideshow performers, this circus drama was criticized for casting real-life “human oddities.”
Current Score:
225
Total Votes:
1285
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:
212
Total Votes:
1170
21
Cult provocateur John Waters used bizarre, crude, tasteless and sexually grotesque images to challenge cultural mores in his first feature.
Current Score:
205
Total Votes:
1069
22
Mel Gibson's film was called anti-Semitic and became the highest-grossing independent film ever.
Current Score:
192
Total Votes:
1806
23
David Lynch's look at the violence beneath the facade of small-town eighties America was denounced for images of sexual degradation.
Current Score:
192
Total Votes:
1218
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:
187
Total Votes:
1409
25
Michael Rooker’s intense performance made this take on Henry Lee Lucas’ crimes feel unbearably real.
Current Score:
167
Total Votes:
965
26
The National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures reviled Polanski's dark horror classic for making "perverted use” of Christian beliefs.
Current Score:
156
Total Votes:
1506
27
Religious fundamentalists picketed and boycotted Martin Scorsese’s film on the life of Christ.
Current Score:
151
Total Votes:
1181
28
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:
133
Total Votes:
959
29
The only X-rated Best-Picture winner, this gritty movie discomfited some viewers with its frank, non-judgmental depiction of homosexuality.
Current Score:
129
Total Votes:
1139
30
Michael Cimino’s depiction of friendships tested by the Vietnam War won an Oscar, despite accusations of inaccuracy and racism.
Current Score:
119
Total Votes:
1473
31
This satire lampooned religious zealotry and thus was labeled blasphemous and sacrilegious.
Current Score:
115
Total Votes:
1433
32
Subtle performances helped make this thriller about a teen sparring with a suspected pedophile seem thought-provoking rather than sleazy.
Current Score:
102
Total Votes:
1006
33
This animated satire included such provocations as depicting Satan and Saddam Hussein as lovers.
Current Score:
98
Total Votes:
1478
34
One of the most influential movies of the seventies was accused of glamorizing Depression-era robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Current Score:
96
Total Votes:
1264
35
Bernardo Bertolucci's striking juxtaposition of lust and despair starred Hollywood icon Marlon Brando.
Current Score:
94
Total Votes:
964
36
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:
70
Total Votes:
758
37
Louis Malle’s decision to cast 12-year-old Brooke Shields as a New Orleans prostitute struck many as child exploitation.
Current Score:
64
Total Votes:
786
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:
999
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:
63
Total Votes:
991
40
Howard Hawks’ classic was banned in several states despite pre-release changes designed to counter claims that it glorified gangsters.
Current Score:
60
Total Votes:
1348
41
Deplored by political and religious conservatives, this was the first mainstream gay/bi-sexual romance; it garnered both critical and popular acclaim.
Current Score:
57
Total Votes:
1557
42
Is Harry Callahan’s contempt for modern criminal-justice protocols a liberal critique of vigilantism or reactionary propaganda?
Current Score:
32
Total Votes:
1290
43
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:
26
Total Votes:
710
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:
24
Total Votes:
716
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:
23
Total Votes:
695
46
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:
13
Total Votes:
1187
47
Worried that Walter Hill’s depiction of gangs might incite real violence, Paramount Pictures temporarily pulled it from several theaters.
Current Score:
11
Total Votes:
985
48
Sam Peckinpah's movie was both praised for its vision of the dying West and lambasted for its savagely explicit violence.
Current Score:
4
Total Votes:
870
49
Unsimulated sex scenes sparked accusations that filmmaker Larry Clark exploited his teenaged cast, and it was barely distributed in the US.
Current Score:
0
Total Votes:
712
50
British critics called Michael Powell’s thriller about a tormented murderer perverted, necrophilic, and trashy; his career never recovered.
Current Score:
0
Total Votes:
702
51
Inspired by grotesque medical experiments carried out by Japan’s notorious Unit 731 during WWII.
Current Score:
-5
Total Votes:
625
52
Nagisa Oshima's graphic examination of sexual obsession was seized and edited by US Customs.
Current Score:
-6
Total Votes:
636
53
This Oscar-winning antiwar movie drew fire for portraying young German soldiers with sympathy.
Current Score:
-8
Total Votes:
858
54
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:
-8
Total Votes:
706
55
Kevin Smith’s inquiry into the nature of good and evil is surprisingly sincere, but its vulgar snarkiness still rankled religious leaders.
Current Score:
-11
Total Votes:
1079
56
Leni Rienfenstahl’s gorgeous documentary glorified the Nazis' ideals and iconography.
Current Score:
-11
Total Votes:
701
57
Oliver Stone's complex, provocative conspiracy thriller was attacked for legitimizing a crackpot theory about JFK’s assassination.
Current Score:
-14
Total Votes:
1084
58
Peter Greenaway put a high-style gloss on base depravity in this cruel allegory about capitalism.
Current Score:
-31
Total Votes:
661
59
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:
-32
Total Votes:
646
60
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:
-39
Total Votes:
757
61
Peter Bogdanovich’s melancholy look at adultery, alcoholism, and promiscuity in fifties Texas divided moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
-57
Total Votes:
751
62
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:
-59
Total Votes:
1107
63
Critics worried that Spike Lee’s evocation of poverty, police brutality, and racial tensions in Brooklyn would incite violence.
Current Score:
-59
Total Votes:
821
64
The deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children while filming prompted new safety regulations.
Current Score:
-62
Total Votes:
940
65
William Friedkin's sexually frank thriller offended gay-rights activists by implying that homosexuality inevitably leads to murder.
Current Score:
-62
Total Votes:
618
66
Women Against Pornography unwittingly raised this ugly horror movie’s profile by denouncing its relentless, misogynistic violence.
Current Score:
-65
Total Votes:
567
67
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:
-72
Total Votes:
606
68
Critics loved it, but media mogul W.R. Hearst -- the inspiration for Kane – used his influence to discredit Orson Welles’ groundbreaking movie.
Current Score:
-74
Total Votes:
1176
69
Luis Bunuel’s surreal masterpiece was widely condemned for its suggestions of incest, rape and necrophilia.
Current Score:
-75
Total Votes:
559
70
Moviegoers expecting to be titillated were taken aback by this drama’s raw, taboo-breaking examination of misogyny.
Current Score:
-78
Total Votes:
606
71
Tacking a cynical “real” murder sequence onto a ho-hum exploitation movie generated enough media outrage to make Snuff a lucrative hit.
Current Score:
-78
Total Votes:
582
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:
-79
Total Votes:
609
73
A US distributor added hardcore inserts to Bo Vibenius’ grim rape-revenge movie.
Current Score:
-85
Total Votes:
545
74
Frederick Wiseman's disturbing documentary exposed abuse in mental institutions, but its unflinching footage of patients was called insensitive.
Current Score:
-87
Total Votes:
573
75
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:
-89
Total Votes:
609
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:
-97
Total Votes:
675
77
This Italian shockumentary was castigated for exploiting footage of lurid cultural practices from around the world.
Current Score:
-115
Total Votes:
551
78
French filmmaker Catherine Breillat's film on explicit evocation of disturbing desires.
Current Score:
-117
Total Votes:
551
79
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:
662
80
Americans were shocked by the nudity and sexual frankness of this Czech drama about an unhappy wife searching for fulfillment.
Current Score:
-120
Total Votes:
550
81
Mockumentary about ‘60s youth was condemned as pornographic.
Current Score:
-121
Total Votes:
575
82
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:
-128
Total Votes:
568
83
Melvin Van Peebles’ indie movie reflected the simmering rage of disillusioned African-Americans.
Current Score:
-129
Total Votes:
573
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:
-131
Total Votes:
571
85
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:
-135
Total Votes:
547
86
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:
-137
Total Votes:
535
87
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:
-145
Total Votes:
561
88
Jean-Luc Godard's contemporary take on the Immaculate Conception featured copious nudity and was denounced by Pope John Paul II.
Current Score:
-146
Total Votes:
526
89
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:
-147
Total Votes:
823
90
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:
580
91
Busty starlet Jane Russell’s breasts cast a long shadow over this erotically charged Western, outraging guardians of public decency.
Current Score:
-150
Total Votes:
572
92
The trailer that positioned this chillingly realistic 9/11 docu-drama as a formulaic thriller occasioned more dismay than the movie itself.
Current Score:
-155
Total Votes:
765
93
Many groups claimed this honest portrait of the pioneering sex researcher advocated perversion and glorified Kinsey's work.
Current Score:
-155
Total Votes:
685
94
Bad pre-release buzz, including explosive accusations of animal abuse, helped turn Michael Cimono’s epic western into a legendary flop.
Current Score:
-165
Total Votes:
623
95
When Broadway sensations May Irwin and John Rice’s notorious lip-lock was immortalized on film, people were shocked!
Current Score:
-184
Total Votes:
592
96
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:
-189
Total Votes:
1235
97
Condemnation by the Catholic Church helped make this drama about unchaste priests a hit in Mexico.
Current Score:
-191
Total Votes:
559
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:
-198
Total Votes:
554
99
LDS spokesmen denounced this little-seen account of the 1857 Mormon massacre of California-bound settlers as a “distortion of history.”
Current Score:
-216
Total Votes:
614
100
Disney’s animated musical included lyrics that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee claimed perpetuated racist stereotypes.
Current Score:
-470
Total Votes:
1528