This weekend, Paul Thomas Anderson's much-anticipated film "The Master" opens in theaters. The movie stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, an intellectual faith-based leader who has a manipulative relationship with his followers, especially his manic, violent right-hand man (played by Joaquin Phoenix).

Anderson has stated that Hoffman's character was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction writer-turned-founder of the controversial Church of Scientology. Despite the production's insistence that the film is not an expose about Scientology, it has still been the movie's biggest talking point -- and this week, angry members of the church have allegedly begun harassing the movie's distributor the Weinstein Company (and intend to mount more initiatives that will attack the film).

"The Master" is not the first movie to explore the origins of a faith-based organization. Moviefone looks at a variety of films -- from historical dramas to science-fiction adventures -- that have raised heated conversations simply for willing to question religious beliefs.

RELATED: Angry Scientology Supporters Lash Out At Weinstein Co.

P.T. Anderson Talks "The Master"
categories Movies