19 Controverisal Movies That Were Banned Around The World

Society interprets art differently, sometimes leading to controversial reactions and outright bans. What might be seen as innocent or artistic in one place could be deemed offensive or politically charged elsewhere. Here’s a rundown of 19 movies that sparked controversy and were banned around the world.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros

You’d think Barbie would be universally adored, right? Well, not quite. Countries in the Middle East like Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates all initially rejected the movie due to its portrayal of LGBTQ+ values, stirring political tensions in the process.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Even Spidey’s web-slinging adventures weren’t enough to escape bans in Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. The film faced criticism for its pro-LGBTQ+ stance, particularly in a scene featuring Gwen Stacy holding a flag reading “Protect Trans Kids.”

The Simpsons Movie

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Who doesn’t love The Simpsons? Apparently, Myanmar wasn’t too fond of them, banning the movie due to perceived security concerns. The country felt threatened by rebel groups using flags with colors reminiscent of the iconic cartoon family. Who knew The Simpsons could cause controversy

The Last Temptation of Christ

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Portraying religious figures in a controversial light often leads to bans, as seen with The Last Temptation of Christ. Banned in Israel, the Vatican, Greece, and South Africa, the film’s depiction of Jesus grappling with lustful thoughts sparked outrage among religious communities.

The Kite Runner

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Despite its acclaim as a literary masterpiece, the film adaptation of The Kite Runner faced censorship in Afghanistan for allegedly inciting violence, disappointing fans eager to see the beloved story come to life on screen.

The Bunny Game

Photo Credit: Death Mountain Productions

Brutal and unflinching, The Bunny Game was deemed too explicit for viewers in the United Kingdom, where it was banned by the British Board of Film Classification for its disturbing portrayal of rape and sexual violence. Can you blame them?

Fifty Shades of Grey

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

The steamy romance of Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t titillate everyone, particularly in African countries like Kenya, New Guinea, and the United Arab Emirates, where it was banned for its explicit sexual content. At least they haven’t read the book.


Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Despite its Marvel pedigree, Eternals faced bans in conservative regions like the Middle East for its depiction of LGBTQ+ themes and what some considered blasphemous content, causing it to be prohibited in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

With its excessive depiction of drugs, sex, and profanity, The Wolf of Wall Street ran afoul of censors in Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, and Zimbabwe, where it was banned outright. Even in countries where it wasn’t prohibited, certain scenes were heavily censored.

The Da Vinci Code

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Misrepresenting religious figures is a surefire way to get banned, as demonstrated by The Da Vinci Code, which faced censorship in India, Syria, Belarus, and the Vatican. It was banned for its controversial portrayal of Jesus Christ.

Suicide Squad

Photo Credit: Warner Bros/DC Comics

China’s strict regulations on film content spelled trouble for Suicide Squad, particularly due to its depiction of witches and satanism, resulting in a ban on the film’s release in the country. Even the superhero movies aren’t safe.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Conservative attitudes towards LGBTQ+ representation led to the banning of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, depriving fans in those countries of the Marvel superhero’s latest adventure. Sadly, they missed out on Wanda and Doctor Strange’s adventures.

Last Tango in Paris

Photo Credit: United Artists

Bernardo Bertolucci’s provocative drama faced bans in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Italy, where it was deemed obscene and indecent, sparking debate over its controversial content. These were due to some specific scenes mentioned in the movie.

Angels and Demons

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Banned by the church upon its release, Angels and Demons faced censorship in multiple countries, including Samoa, due to its portrayal of controversial religious themes. Like its prequel, The Davinci Code, it was banned for similar reasons.

A Clockwork Orange

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Stanley Kubrick’s controversial masterpiece was banned in various countries for its graphic depiction of violence, including South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, and certain provinces in Canada. This was due to its strong depiction of violence.


Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Taking on religious subjects often leads to controversy, as evidenced by Noah’s bans in Middle Eastern countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, where its portrayal of a prophet sparked outrage. It was also banned in China for similar reasons.


Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Sacha Baron Cohen’s satirical mockumentary courted controversy worldwide, particularly in Arab countries where it was banned for its offensive content, seen as disrespectful to religious and cultural sensitivities.

The Hunger Games

Photo Credit: Lionsgate

The political undertones of The Hunger Games proved too sensitive for some countries, leading to bans in Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, where it was seen as potentially inciting unrest. They missed out on Katniss’ superb shooting skills.

The Phantom of the Opera

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Even classics like The Phantom of the Opera weren’t immune to censorship, with the 1925 film being banned in the United Kingdom for its frightening content, proving that even vintage horror can still spook audiences.

Up Next: 20 Movie Characters People Hate For No Reason

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

In the world of cinema, there are characters who fail to gain the audience’s approval, while others are deliberately written to be annoying. Sometimes, we end up hating these characters for reasons that might not hold up under closer scrutiny. Here’s a rundown of 20 characters who people hate for no reason.


25 Iconic Movie Roles That Can Never Be Played by Another Actor

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When it comes to iconic movie roles, some performances are so legendary that it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in those shoes. Here are 25 movie characters whose casting was so spot-on that we can’t even fathom the thought of a different actor taking over the part.


19 Ridiculous Movie Myths We All Believed as Kids

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox


In Hollywood, movies often stretch the truth to serve up some heart-pounding tales. Through sheer imagination, they blend fiction with reality and some of these scenes are edged in our memory forever. In this post, I’ll debunk 19 ridiculous movie myths we all thought were true when we were kids.

Part of this article was created with the help of AI – fully edited by humans