A day doesn’t seem to pass by without a new teen movie packed with Gen-Z stars dropping on Netflix. “He’s All That,” a rather unremarkable remake of the 90s classic “She’s All That,” was panned by critics because of TikTok star Addison Rae’s atrocious acting ability.
However, the main controversy of the film centered around its puke-worthy product placement. These days, product placement in film and television is, unfortunately, the norm, but it’s usually fairly subtle. “He’s All That’s” product placement was so explicit and in-your-face that even Addison Rae’s loyal TikTok following couldn’t stomach it.
The iconic musical talent of Nina Simone has reverberated through the decades. It was only fitting that her story and rise to musical greatness be portrayed on film. This is exactly what filmmakers attempted to do in 2016.
The Achilles heel of the film turned out to be the choice to cast actress Zoe Saldana in the leading role of Nina Simone. Saldana had to don prosthetics and make-up as she is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, while Nina Simone was African American. Many questioned why filmmakers didn't just hire an actress of similar descent and skin tone to Nina, especially in light of the fact that roles for such actresses are already few and far between.
The Tree of Life
It wasn’t just the ending of "The Tree of Life" that was a little confusing—it was the whole movie. It centers primarily on a family living in a Texas town, though their lives are intercut with other scenes that represent everything from the dawn of time to the afterlife.
Director Terrence Malick never specified exactly what the movie was about. However, film critics have suggested that the movie prompts you to reflect on all the good and bad in your own life and how it fits into the bigger picture. Viewers were split, some adoring the abstract nature of the film while others couldn't stand it!
The Silence of the Lambs
This Oscar darling certainly sings for its supper. For animal lovers out there, don't fret! No lambs were involved in the making of the film. Instead, the true terror is focused on unlucky humans. Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee and the protagonist of the film, takes us on a quest to catch a serial killer with the help of none other than...Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who's himself a serial killer.
Clarice gets up close and personal with the skin-crawl-causing cannibal. The film appears on various "greatest films of all time" lists, so not only will it frighten you, but it will also impress your cinephile friends. The controversy surrounding the film stemmed from how LGBTQI+ characters were portrayed. Queer-rights activists have since criticized the film for perpetuating negative stereotypes associated with the community.
The mind of director Darren Aronofksy is delightfully dark! Think "Requiem for a Dream" and "Black Swan." It's almost no surprise, then, that Aronofsky's film "Mother!" was released in 2017 by polarized audiences.
The psychological horror was praised by some for its complex narrative and high production value, while others found it to be overly pretentious and grotesque. Not even Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence in the leading role could quell the controversy.