15 Banned Movies: From Clockwork Orange to Wonder Woman

Movies can push boundaries, spark conversations, and even incite outrage. Sometimes, that outrage leads to bans. Here are 15 films that have been banned throughout history, for reasons ranging from political dissent to graphic violence:

1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Poster of A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian nightmare was banned in several countries for its brutality and disturbing themes.

2. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Martin Scorsese’s portrayal of Jesus Christ sparked protests and bans across the world.

3. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Poste of Cannibal Holocaust

This Italian found-footage film’s realistic violence led to obscenity charges and bans.

4. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Poster of Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s exploration of fascism and depravity is one of the most controversial films ever made, banned in many countries.

5. Battle Royale (2000)

Kinji Fukasaku’s Japanese thriller about teenagers forced to fight to the death was banned in several countries for its violence.

6. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Mel Gibson’s depiction of the Crucifixion was criticized for its anti-Semitism and graphic violence, leading to bans in some countries.

7. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

Michael Moore’s scathing documentary about the Iraq War was banned in Egypt.

8. Borat (2006)

Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary comedy caused controversy for its offensive humor, leading to bans in several Middle Eastern countries.

9. The Interview (2014)

This Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy about assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un caused a cyberattack and led to theater chains initially refusing to show it.

10. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

Abdellatif Kechiche’s graphic portrayal of a lesbian love story was banned in China for its sexual content.

11. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

The erotic romance film was banned in some countries, including India and the United Arab Emirates, for its BDSM themes.

12. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel angered religious groups and was banned in some countries for its portrayal of Christianity.

13. The King’s Speech (2010)

Poster of The King's Speech

Tom Hooper’s historical drama was banned in North Korea for its portrayal of the British monarchy.

14. Wonder Woman (2017)

Poster of Wonder Woman

Patty Jenkins’ superhero film was banned in Qatar, Bahrain, and Lebanon for featuring actress Gal Gadot, who served in the Israeli military.

15. Joker (2019)

Poster of Joker

Todd Phillips’ exploration of mental illness and violence was banned in some countries amid concerns it could inspire violence.

These are just a few examples of films that have been banned throughout history. The reasons for banning films vary, but they all reflect the power that movies can have to challenge and provoke.

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