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:
1024
Total Votes:
3204
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:
785
Total Votes:
2137
3
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s politically provocative and sexually explicit movie equates fascism and sexual torture.
Current Score:
647
Total Votes:
1695
4
The sight of 13-year-old Linda Blair vomiting, swearing, and abusing herself with a crucifix horrified moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
628
Total Votes:
2594
5
This rape-revenge movie so incensed critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel that they tried to have it pulled from theaters.
Current Score:
323
Total Votes:
1385
6
Variety dubbed this historical epic -- written by Gore Vidal, produced by Bob Guccione, and directed by Tinto Brass -- a “moral holocaust.”
Current Score:
297
Total Votes:
1315
7
Directed by Oliver Stone from a Quentin Tarantino script, this look at sexual obsession was blamed for inspiring real-life murders.
Current Score:
276
Total Votes:
1676
8
Darren Aronofsky’s hallucinatory chronicle of addiction had to be released unrated when he refused to cut a degrading orgy.
Current Score:
273
Total Votes:
1681
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:
262
Total Votes:
1354
10
The movie that ushered in “porno chic,” Deep Throat sparked precedent-setting court cases that challenged assumptions about obscenity.
Current Score:
249
Total Votes:
1495
11
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:
248
Total Votes:
1874
12
Rural cannibals slaughter soft city folks in the first “meat movie,” a horror tale rooted in realistic violence and social malaise.
Current Score:
248
Total Votes:
1650
13
Wes Craven changed Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring into a crude, taboo-breaking shocker.
Current Score:
237
Total Votes:
1191
14
Stanley Kubrick played up the dark humor in Nabokov’s novel about a middle-aged man infatuated with a pubescent girl.
Current Score:
211
Total Votes:
1205
15
In this grotesque movie, a mad doctor turns three young victims into a twelve-limbed abomination.
Current Score:
209
Total Votes:
1475
16
Though its sympathies were with the sideshow performers, this circus drama was criticized for casting real-life “human oddities.”
Current Score:
186
Total Votes:
1110
17
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:
172
Total Votes:
1098
18
Walkouts were common during this French thriller, which depicts a vicious and lengthy rape and its aftermath in reverse chronological order.
Current Score:
163
Total Votes:
983
19
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:
161
Total Votes:
991
20
Mel Gibson's film was called anti-Semitic and became the highest-grossing independent film ever.
Current Score:
150
Total Votes:
1564
21
Even in 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Civil War epic caused a stir for its stereotypical depiction of African-Americans.
Current Score:
149
Total Votes:
1035
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:
148
Total Votes:
1046
23
Cult provocateur John Waters used bizarre, crude, tasteless and sexually grotesque images to challenge cultural mores in his first feature.
Current Score:
142
Total Votes:
920
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:
135
Total Votes:
1223
25
Michael Rooker’s intense performance made this take on Henry Lee Lucas’ crimes feel unbearably real.
Current Score:
131
Total Votes:
837
26
The National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures reviled Polanski's dark horror classic for making "perverted use” of Christian beliefs.
Current Score:
125
Total Votes:
1323
27
Michael Cimino’s depiction of friendships tested by the Vietnam War won an Oscar, despite accusations of inaccuracy and racism.
Current Score:
111
Total Votes:
1331
28
Religious fundamentalists picketed and boycotted Martin Scorsese’s film on the life of Christ.
Current Score:
105
Total Votes:
1033
29
The only X-rated Best-Picture winner, this gritty movie discomfited some viewers with its frank, non-judgmental depiction of homosexuality.
Current Score:
104
Total Votes:
1004
30
One of the most influential movies of the seventies was accused of glamorizing Depression-era robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Current Score:
98
Total Votes:
1106
31
This satire lampooned religious zealotry and thus was labeled blasphemous and sacrilegious.
Current Score:
87
Total Votes:
1237
32
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:
83
Total Votes:
835
33
This animated satire included such provocations as depicting Satan and Saddam Hussein as lovers.
Current Score:
73
Total Votes:
1285
34
Howard Hawks’ classic was banned in several states despite pre-release changes designed to counter claims that it glorified gangsters.
Current Score:
68
Total Votes:
1186
35
Bernardo Bertolucci's striking juxtaposition of lust and despair starred Hollywood icon Marlon Brando.
Current Score:
63
Total Votes:
837
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:
57
Total Votes:
1357
37
Subtle performances helped make this thriller about a teen sparring with a suspected pedophile seem thought-provoking rather than sleazy.
Current Score:
57
Total Votes:
841
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:
41
Total Votes:
869
39
Is Harry Callahan’s contempt for modern criminal-justice protocols a liberal critique of vigilantism or reactionary propaganda?
Current Score:
39
Total Votes:
1159
40
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:
27
Total Votes:
855
41
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:
15
Total Votes:
643
42
Worried that Walter Hill’s depiction of gangs might incite real violence, Paramount Pictures temporarily pulled it from several theaters.
Current Score:
9
Total Votes:
873
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:
3
Total Votes:
1037
44
Louis Malle’s decision to cast 12-year-old Brooke Shields as a New Orleans prostitute struck many as child exploitation.
Current Score:
3
Total Votes:
669
45
Oliver Stone's complex, provocative conspiracy thriller was attacked for legitimizing a crackpot theory about JFK’s assassination.
Current Score:
1
Total Votes:
965
46
Sam Peckinpah's movie was both praised for its vision of the dying West and lambasted for its savagely explicit violence.
Current Score:
0
Total Votes:
778
47
This Oscar-winning antiwar movie drew fire for portraying young German soldiers with sympathy.
Current Score:
-9
Total Votes:
755
48
British critics called Michael Powell’s thriller about a tormented murderer perverted, necrophilic, and trashy; his career never recovered.
Current Score:
-11
Total Votes:
619
49
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:
-12
Total Votes:
608
50
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:
-15
Total Votes:
605
51
Ken Russell’s drama about womanizing priests, sex-crazed nuns, and hysteria in seventeenth-century France was banned in deeply Catholic Italy.
Current Score:
-18
Total Votes:
600
52
Kevin Smith’s inquiry into the nature of good and evil is surprisingly sincere, but its vulgar snarkiness still rankled religious leaders.
Current Score:
-20
Total Votes:
948
53
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:
-22
Total Votes:
606
54
Inspired by grotesque medical experiments carried out by Japan’s notorious Unit 731 during WWII.
Current Score:
-28
Total Votes:
544
55
Unsimulated sex scenes sparked accusations that filmmaker Larry Clark exploited his teenaged cast, and it was barely distributed in the US.
Current Score:
-30
Total Votes:
616
56
Nagisa Oshima's graphic examination of sexual obsession was seized and edited by US Customs.
Current Score:
-35
Total Votes:
559
57
Leni Rienfenstahl’s gorgeous documentary glorified the Nazis' ideals and iconography.
Current Score:
-39
Total Votes:
615
58
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:
-47
Total Votes:
991
59
Critics loved it, but media mogul W.R. Hearst -- the inspiration for Kane – used his influence to discredit Orson Welles’ groundbreaking movie.
Current Score:
-50
Total Votes:
1048
60
Peter Greenaway put a high-style gloss on base depravity in this cruel allegory about capitalism.
Current Score:
-52
Total Votes:
590
61
Critics worried that Spike Lee’s evocation of poverty, police brutality, and racial tensions in Brooklyn would incite violence.
Current Score:
-54
Total Votes:
728
62
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:
-55
Total Votes:
659
63
Peter Bogdanovich’s melancholy look at adultery, alcoholism, and promiscuity in fifties Texas divided moviegoers and critics.
Current Score:
-64
Total Votes:
670
64
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:
-65
Total Votes:
543
65
The deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children while filming prompted new safety regulations.
Current Score:
-76
Total Votes:
836
66
William Friedkin's sexually frank thriller offended gay-rights activists by implying that homosexuality inevitably leads to murder.
Current Score:
-77
Total Votes:
547
67
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:
-80
Total Votes:
556
68
Moviegoers expecting to be titillated were taken aback by this drama’s raw, taboo-breaking examination of misogyny.
Current Score:
-83
Total Votes:
545
69
Luis Bunuel’s surreal masterpiece was widely condemned for its suggestions of incest, rape and necrophilia.
Current Score:
-86
Total Votes:
504
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:
-90
Total Votes:
520
71
Women Against Pornography unwittingly raised this ugly horror movie’s profile by denouncing its relentless, misogynistic violence.
Current Score:
-93
Total Votes:
507
72
A US distributor added hardcore inserts to Bo Vibenius’ grim rape-revenge movie.
Current Score:
-95
Total Votes:
489
73
Frederick Wiseman's disturbing documentary exposed abuse in mental institutions, but its unflinching footage of patients was called insensitive.
Current Score:
-98
Total Votes:
512
74
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:
-99
Total Votes:
537
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:
-101
Total Votes:
545
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:
-103
Total Votes:
609
77
Mockumentary about ‘60s youth was condemned as pornographic.
Current Score:
-118
Total Votes:
524
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:
-124
Total Votes:
596
79
French filmmaker Catherine Breillat's film on explicit evocation of disturbing desires.
Current Score:
-124
Total Votes:
500
80
Americans were shocked by the nudity and sexual frankness of this Czech drama about an unhappy wife searching for fulfillment.
Current Score:
-125
Total Votes:
497
81
This Italian shockumentary was castigated for exploiting footage of lurid cultural practices from around the world.
Current Score:
-125
Total Votes:
495
82
Melvin Van Peebles’ indie movie reflected the simmering rage of disillusioned African-Americans.
Current Score:
-126
Total Votes:
514
83
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:
-133
Total Votes:
483
84
The trailer that positioned this chillingly realistic 9/11 docu-drama as a formulaic thriller occasioned more dismay than the movie itself.
Current Score:
-134
Total Votes:
690
85
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:
-136
Total Votes:
512
86
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:
-137
Total Votes:
503
87
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:
-140
Total Votes:
496
88
Busty starlet Jane Russell’s breasts cast a long shadow over this erotically charged Western, outraging guardians of public decency.
Current Score:
-141
Total Votes:
517
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:
-142
Total Votes:
726
90
Jean-Luc Godard's contemporary take on the Immaculate Conception featured copious nudity and was denounced by Pope John Paul II.
Current Score:
-144
Total Votes:
478
91
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:
505
92
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:
-153
Total Votes:
1085
93
Many groups claimed this honest portrait of the pioneering sex researcher advocated perversion and glorified Kinsey's work.
Current Score:
-154
Total Votes:
604
94
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:
-157
Total Votes:
521
95
Bad pre-release buzz, including explosive accusations of animal abuse, helped turn Michael Cimono’s epic western into a legendary flop.
Current Score:
-163
Total Votes:
557
96
When Broadway sensations May Irwin and John Rice’s notorious lip-lock was immortalized on film, people were shocked!
Current Score:
-168
Total Votes:
526
97
Condemnation by the Catholic Church helped make this drama about unchaste priests a hit in Mexico.
Current Score:
-178
Total Votes:
502
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:
-182
Total Votes:
496
99
LDS spokesmen denounced this little-seen account of the 1857 Mormon massacre of California-bound settlers as a “distortion of history.”
Current Score:
-190
Total Votes:
548
100
Disney’s animated musical included lyrics that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee claimed perpetuated racist stereotypes.
Current Score:
-383
Total Votes:
1321