The Top 10 Banned Movies in the World, Especially in the Most Censored Countries
Every country has film censorship, the control of the content and presentation of a film.
For example, the US state governments have the right to recognize films to be of an obscene nature and impose a ban. All films that are deemed contrary to Islamic morals are banned in Iran. India has CBFC, the most powerful censor board in the world, to censor movies.
Films that are banned in a country change over time. The following content covers the top 10 banned movies in the world, especially in the most censored countries. Plus, know where to watch the banned movies if you wish.
1. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10 | Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Movie Banned in: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Vatican City, and China
Released in 2006, The Da Vinci Code is an American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown’s 2003 novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany.
The film was considered controversial on religion, so it’s banned in a lot of countries. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Pakistan banned The Da Vinci Code because of blasphemous content. Similarly, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, and Vatican City banned it for religiously sensitive themes.
2. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10 | Genre: Drama, Romance
Movie Banned in: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Portugal, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and Venezuela
Last Tango in Paris is a 1972 erotic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and portrays a recently widowed American who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young Parisian woman. The film’s raw portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to international controversy and drew various levels of government censorship in different countries.
Last Tango in Paris was banned in Argentina, Italy, Portugal, South Korea and Venezuela for being pornographic. Brazil banned the film from 1972-1979 because the government considered it as an attempt against morality and good habits.
3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10 | Genre: Crime, Sci-Fi
Movie Banned in: Canada, the UK, Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea
Released in 1971, A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian crime film that uses disturbing and violent images to show psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social problems in Britain. The main character played by Malcolm McDowell has interests in classical music, theft, rape, and violence.
The film chronicles his horrific criminal mind, his arrest, and his attempts to escape through psychiatric treatment. The film was banned in many countries because of the controversy over violence and rape, including Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Malaysia, South Korea, and the UK.
4. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 | Genre: Drama
Movie Banned in: Argentina, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, and the US.
Released in 1988, The Last Temptation of Christ is an epic religious drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, depicting the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle with fear, doubt, depression, reluctance, and lust. The temptation for Christ to imagine himself engaged in sexual activity in the film aroused the anger of some Christians.
Countries including Argentina, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, and the US banned it for blasphemous themes.
5. Child 44 (2015)
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10 | Genre: Crime, Drama, History
Movie Banned in: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan
Banned on 15 April 2015 in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Child 44 is a 2015 mystery thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, written by Richard Price, and based on Tom Rob Smith’s 2008 novel of the same name.
The film uncovers a strange and brutal series of child murders during Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States claimed that the film is a distortion of historical facts and banned the movie.
6. The Blue Kite (1993)
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 | Genre: Drama
Movie Banned in: China
More Banned Movies in China: Sorrows of the Forbidden City (清宫秘史1984), Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl (天浴1998), Shinjuku Incident (新宿事件2008), The Da Vinci Code (2006), etc.
Released in 1993, The Blue Kite records the lives of a Beijing family from the 1950s and 1960s, as they experience the impact of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. It’s directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang.
The story is told from the perspective of Tietou, a young boy growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Beijing, and shows the true impact of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution on his family.
The Blue Kite was banned in Mainland China because it revealed a typical tragedy caused by poor leadership decisions.
7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10 | Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Movie Banned in: Vietnam
More Banned Movies in Vietnam: The Hunger Games (2012), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Taste (2021), We Were Soldiers (2002), Green Dragon (2001), Xich lo (1995), etc.
Directed by David Fincher with a screenplay by Steven Zaillian, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is released in 2011, telling the story of Blomkvist’s investigation to find out what happened to a girl from a wealthy family who disappeared 40 years prior. He recruits the help of Salander, a computer hacker.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becomes a banned movie in Vietnam because its international distributor, Sony Pictures, did not accept the requirement by the Vietnamese National Film Board of cutting out some sensitive scenes.
8. There Is No Evil (2020)
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 | Genre: Drama
Movie Banned in: Iran
More Banned Movies in Iran: Gaav (1969), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), Bita (1981), Ghaire aze Khoudo Hitch Kass Naboud (1981), Gabbeh (1996), Ten (2002), Zoolander (2001), etc.
Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, There Is No Evil is a 2020 Iranian drama film. The film tells four stories concerning the death penalty in this country to criticize the Iranian government’s use of capital punishment. Show how four men choose between their conscience and their duty to carry out the death penalty.
In addition to banning this movie, the government also temporarily prohibited the film’s director from making films in the country, imprisoned him, and prohibited him from traveling outside Iran.
9. King of the Sands (2013)
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10 | Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Movie Banned in: Saudi Arabia
More Banned Movies in Saudi Arabia: Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), Noah (2014), Onward (2020), Eternals (2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), and All Harry Potter movies (2002–2018)
Released in 2013, King of the Sands is a controversial movie on the life of prince Abdulaziz Al Saud (Ibn Saud), founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The film is directed by Najdat Anzour, with the main characters starring Fabio Testi, and Bill Fellows in the title roles.
King of the Sands presents an impoverished prince in exile who conquers the land of his ancestors (Najd) and continues to expand to the better part of the Arabian Peninsula. People who achieve such accomplishments seem to be ruthless. He first killed the rivaling Emirs of Ha’il and later massacred his own shock troops, the Ikhwan.
The Saudi royal family has also attempted to ban the movie from screening in other countries. However, it was shown in Damascus, Syria. NOTE that The King of Sands is not available to stream with a subscription service. You can try your luck at our collection of free movie streaming sites.
10. Camp X-Ray (2014)
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10 | Genre: Drama, War
Movie Banned in: Cuba
More Banned Movies in Cuba: Cuban Love (2019), Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008), Azúcar Amarga (1996), GoldenEye (1995), Red Zone Cuba (1966), Cuba Crossing (1980), etc.
Released in 2014, Camp X-Ray is an American independent drama film based on the detention facility Camp X-Ray at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. It is directed and scripted by Peter Sattler, and stars Kristen Stewart and Peyman Moaadi with John Carroll Lynch, Lane Garrison, and Joseph Julian Soria in supporting roles.
How to Bypass Censorship and Watch the Banned Movies?
In countries with heavy film and internet censorship, using a VPN can help you get around restrictions and watch the banned movies. Since the movie may be copyrighted in different platforms and countries, you’ll need a VPN with a wide network of servers.
PandaVPN has 3000+ servers located in 170+ server locations in 80+ countries around the world. You can change your IP address to any one of the addresses of its VPN servers and browse the internet without geo-blocks. Getting on Netflix US is easy as pie.
Step 1: Download and install PandaVPN.
PandaVPN offers Android new users a 3-day free trial and doesn’t require you to pay in advance, while iOS new users can get a free trial for 7 days and you need to subscribe and complete the payment as most service providers ask for. Simply download PandaVPN and you’ll get a free trial account.
Step 2: Connect to any server location with the least censorship.
Enter the server list and choose a server location to connect to, for example, the server in the US. As you can see, PandaVPN providers 20+ US servers.
Step 3: Watch the banned movies as you like.
Now you can freely change your location on Netflix, HBO (Max), Disney+, FuboTV, Amazon Prime Video, etc., and watch the banned movies legally from anywhere.
FAQs about the Banned Movies
Q: Is Fifty Shades of Grey banned in India?
Yes, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is banned in India. CBFC decided the raunchy film was too explicit for Indian audiences, even after all nudity was cut out.
Q: What Disney movies are being banned?
Disney’s “Lightyear” was banned from 14 countries for including same-sex kiss, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, etc. “Beauty and the Beast” is banned in Kuwait for homosexual references. Plus, “Dumbo”, “Peter Pan”, “The Aristocats”, and “Swiss Family Robinson” have all been subjected to new content restrictions for kids under 7.
Q: Is it illegal to watch banned films?
Only if you download the banned movies does it become illegal. Copyright only deals with the illegal acquisition or distribution of content. Watching films on a site is like a window shopping and you acquire nothing.