15 Controversial Movies That Could Never Be Made Today

Katherine Heigl
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Hollywood is changing. What was once considered acceptable may now be deemed too controversial or politically incorrect to make it to the big screen.

As society’s values and beliefs evolve, so do the types of stories studios are willing to invest in for entertainment. Here are fifteen movies Redditors shared would never be made today.

1. Soul Man (1986)

Soul Man is a comedy film about a white student who poses as an African American to receive a scholarship to a prestigious university. The film stars C. Thomas Howell is the main character, Mark Watson, and Rae Dawn Chong is his love interest. Blackface is a definitive NO in today’s culture. 

2. Pretty Baby (1976)

Pretty Baby is a drama film about a 12-year-old girl growing up in a brothel in the red-light district of New Orleans in 1917. The film stars Brooke Shields as the main character, Violet, and Keith Carradine as her photographer love interest. 

One Redditor shared, “It depicts child prostitution and the nude scenes of Brooke Shields, who was 12 years old at the time of filming, makes this a film that would never be made today.”

3. The Ringer (2005)

The Ringer is a comedy film about a man who pretends to be mentally disabled to compete in the Special Olympics. The film stars Johnny Knoxville as the main character, Steve Barker, and Katherine Heigl as his love interest.

4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical film set in the 1850s Oregon frontier. It tells the story of a backwoodsman who brings home six bridegrooms for his six brothers, all living in his cabin. The film stars Howard Keel as the main character, Adam Pontipee, and Jane Powell as his bride, Milly.

5. Heathers (1988)

Heathers is a black comedy film about a student in high school who becomes involved in a series of murders of her classmates, all named Heather. The film stars Winona Ryder as the main character, Veronica Sawyer, and Christian Slater as her love interest.

6. Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles is a coming-of-age comedy directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker, a high school student whose family forgets her birthday.

The movie also stars Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling, and John Cusack. One Redditor suggested, “It could be made today, but not with the same format that consisted of gross misogyny and cultural stereotypes.”

7. The Jerk (1979)

The Jerk is a controversial comedy directed by Carl Reiner and starring Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, a white man who is adopted by a black family and goes through a series of misadventures. The movie also stars Bernadette Peters and Catlin Adams.

8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a comedy-drama directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer, and Robert Romanus. The movie follows a group of high school students navigating the challenges of teenage life.

9. Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! is a comedy directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, and Leslie Nielsen. The movie is a parody of disaster films. It follows a former pilot recruited to fly a commercial airliner. 

Unfortunately, it’s packed full of lines that are no longer quotable due to their politically incorrect jokes, raunchy theatrics, and casual racism.

10. Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science is a comedy directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly Le Brock. The movie follows two high school students who create a female android to fulfill their fantasies.

11. The Last Boy Scout (1991)

The Last Boy Scout is an action comedy directed by Tony Scott and starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. The plot centers around a down-on-his-luck private detective (Willis) hired by a former pro quarterback (Wayans) to investigate the murder of his stripper girlfriend.

One Redditor shared, “Absolutely hilarious. One of the best comedy movies. It has a lot of wife jokes, fat jokes, fat wife jokes, and sweary kids. I love this movie.”

12. Never Been Kissed (1999)

Never Been Kissed is a romantic comedy film directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Drew Barrymore and David Arquette.

The plot centers around Josie Geller (Barrymore), a copy editor at the Chicago Sun-Times who goes undercover at a high school to research a story on contemporary teenage life.

Someone admitted, “It’s still one of my favorite movies ever, but the teacher being attracted to someone he believes is a high school student would not fly today.”

13. Murder by Death (1976)

Murder by Death is a comedy-mystery film directed by Robert Moore and starring an ensemble cast including Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, and Peter Sellers. 

The plot centers around a wealthy blind man who invites the world’s greatest detectives to his mansion for a dinner party, only to be murdered shortly after.

A Redditor suggested, “Murder by Death would be a problem today due to its casual racism, homophobia, and ableism. Peter Sellers did yellow face. Still a fun film, though, good production design, a solid script, and this is a parody done right!”

14. Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places is a comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. The plot centers around two men from vastly different backgrounds, a wealthy commodities broker (Aykroyd) and a streetwise hustler (Murphy), who is unknowingly made involved in a bet made by two wealthy brothers.

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15. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a comedy directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Jim Carrey as the titular character, a wacky and eccentric pet detective. 

The plot centers around Ace being assigned to locate the lost mascot of the Miami Dolphins football team and uncovering a conspiracy involving the team owner. 

Many noted that Ace Ventura is “transphobic and homophobic” in today’s society and would not make it to the big screen.

What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or are your favorite comedies on this list? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Boss Level Gamer.




Written by Elizabeth Ervin

One Comment

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  1. What? No Blazing Saddles? That always makes the list. As for many more…I can’t see why some of them would not be made today. Also, Weird Science…I’m not sure that Beth really watched the movie that closely. Kelly Le Brock was not an android. I just have a feeling that Beth is so woke that she can’t see straight.

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