The most infamous NC-17 films


Shame (2011)

You would think that a film where Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict could be erotic. Think again. The feel-bad movie of its decade, Shameby director Steve McQueen (12 years of slavery, widows), truly deserves its title as Fassbender’s ad executive has one empty, compulsive encounter after another. Women are rarely hailed as brave to strip naked on camera, but Fassbender truly delves into the depths of this nuanced performance of humiliation, sexual trauma survival, and family dynamics. It is one of the finest movies on this list that viewers will only get to watch once.


Antichrist (2009)

Danish director Lars von Trier is familiar with the NC-17 rating; he directed Nymphomaniac, after all. But while this very long and very explicit film was, in its twisted way, a manifesto about love, Antichrist was his dark mirror. Willem Dafoe, accustomed to revealing everything on screen, and Nymphomaniac Star Charlotte Gainsbourg describes a couple going through serious marital problems after the tragic and accidental death of their child, culminating in an act of self-harm so gruesome and graphic that four viewers reportedly passed out during a Cannes premiere screening.

In fact, the horror film was so violent and sexually explicit that von Trier didn’t even bother to submit it to the Motion Picture Association for its obvious NC-17 content, and the film was released without any ratings and arrived home. video with two versions, a heavily edited “Catholic” cut and a full length “Protestant” version.

A Serbian Film (2010)

This is indeed a Serbian film about a former porn star who accepts the lead role in an “art school film”, only to realize that he is forced to participate in a snuff film . There are just about every -philias and -isms one can imagine up to and including incest, necrophilia and pedophilia.

Banned in Malaysia, the Philippines, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Norway, director Srđan Spasojević defends the film as a parable, “a diary of our own aggression by the Serbian government… It is about the power monolithic rulers who hypnotize you to do things you don’t want to do. You have to feel the violence to know what it is. Either way, this is a movie guaranteed to make even the most hardened gore dog look away.


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