10 Movies That Are Not Allowed in Countries Around the World

Rob Leung

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 10 movies that sparked controversy and were banned around the world.

Barbie

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.

Eternals

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.