One of the greatest things about a controversial film is that it sparks debate. It shocks us. Scares us. Changes us. And helps us to look at the world differently. Be it about war, religion, politics or pop-culture, a good controversy will often lead to a colorful discussion. However, Hollywood doesn't really care about discussion or debate -- to them, controversy equals big box office numbers ... some of the time.
Take, for example, recent films like The Da Vinci Code and United 93. One was controversial for its belief that Jesus Christ was married and fathered a child -- an idea that goes against what many feel is a proven truth. The other was about a horrific event that took place only five years ago, and raised questions over whether or not it was too soon to come out with a commercial film about what actually took place. While The Da Vinci Code took in millions at the box office, United 93 didn't do as well. However, both were engulfed in controversy. What does this tell us? Well, for starters, Jesus will always be Hollywood's number one superstar.
This week's Entertainment Weekly ranks the 25 most controversial films of all time. Not surprisingly, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ came in at number one. Also on the list are JFK, A Clockwork Orange, Natural Born Killers, Basic Instinct and Fahrenheit 9/11, among others. Some of these films are controversial because of only one or two scenes. I mean, Clockwork is number 2 on the list, mainly because of its one violent scene. Does it belong there? On a list that spans the entire history of film?
So, I ask you: How should we rate controversial films on a list like this? Also, what makes one stand out from the next. Oh, and for fun, what are some of your favorite controversial films of all time?