What makes a movie controversial? Well, yes, it incites conversation, that much we know. But there are plenty of comedies out there that deal with sex, politics, religion, and all sorts of hot-button topics, and only a handful go down as memorably daring, provocative, or truly controversial. One fine candidate for the list opens this weekend in limited release: 'Four Lions' is a witheringly trenchant farce about a group of clueless terrorists -- and if finds even a small audience, the film was most certainly be controversial to some degree.

But the theory as to specifically WHY certain comedies become (and remain) controversial, we do what The History Channel does: we look to the past.
Four Lions
R2009
Based on 28 critics

Bumbling jihadists try to carry out acts of terrorism in England. Read More

Network
R1976
Based on 7 critics

TV exec (Faye Dunaway) boosts her ratings with mad anchorman (Peter Finch). Read More

Tropic Thunder: with Spanish Subtitles
R2008
Based on 39 critics

A pampered actor and his co-stars become part of a real war in a Southeast Asian jungle. Read More

The Producers
Not Yet Rated1968
Based on 5 critics

Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) and accountant (Gene Wilder) back sure-fire flop. Read More

Blazing Saddles
R1974
In Theaters on April 9th, 1992

Gucci-saddlebagged Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) teams up with the drunken Waco Kid (Gene Wilder). Read More

Watch at JCC Manhattan
December 25, 2016
2:00pm
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The Life of Brian
R2008
Based on 14 critics

Mistaken for the Messiah, Brian (Graham Chapman) rocks Rome leading the Judean People's Front. Read More

categories Features