2012 marked a banner year for the movies. Box office records were broken, indie films became Hollywood phenomenon and studios like Paramount and Universal marked their 100th anniversaries. Despite these noteworthy achievements, 2012 was also a year when Hollywood was marred by several scandals. From technological advances to film criticism complaints, here are 15 of the most controversy spreading mainstream films of last year.
Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was released in December. The western takes place in the world of America’s pre-Civil War slave trade and has courted controversy for its racial depictions and stylized gore. It has been damned by the likes of filmmaker Spike Lee (who accuses it of depicting “A Holocaust” as a “Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western) and commentator Tavis Smiley (who called it a “parody” of slavery). Radio personality Jeff Kuhner has also accused the film of “reverse racism” and “anti-white bigotry.” Meanwhile, critics of the film’s violence have caught the ire of Tarantino himself, who had strong words for both Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy when questioned about the film inspiring real life violence. These controversies, however, have not stopped the film from earning Golden Globe wins for Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino) and Best Supporting Actor (for Christoph Waltz).