49. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Director: Oliver Stone
Considered one of the most controversial movies of all time, Oliver Stone’s somewhat satirical Natural Born Killers has earned that reputation by featuring abhorrent violence of the most unsettling kind. Starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, and a parade of other great talent, NBK wasn’t just brutal, it was also grounded in the side of reality that most of us don’t like to think about. The remorseless killing in this movie isn’t grotesque simply because it’s a crime; it’s grotesque because we hear about this type of random, senseless violence all the time, and here it is for our entertainment.
During the movie’s opening scene, Harrelson and Lewis wipe out an entire diner in grisly fashion with little empathy or remorse. If that’s not disturbing enough, the couple is then glamorized by a country obsessed with shocking crimes. It tapped into the zeitgeist of the times perfectly when big-time murder cases were all the rage, such as the O.J. Simpson trial. And as the country is glued to the story, we see the true nature of humanity.
The movie was so foul for people at the time that it was almost given an NC-17 rating and even was linked to a series of copycat crimes around the country.