Crash (1996): Controversial Films–Boos, Walk-Outs, Divisive Response (Cannes Film Fest)

Movies That Got Boos and Walkouts, From ‘Taxi Driver’ to ‘Neon Demon’

cannes boos walkouts
Everett Collection/IFC Films

A man being bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher in the Gaspar Noe’s 2002 Irreversible.

Two children being murdered by a sniper.

An un-simulated oral sex scene (to complete ejaculation in close-up) between Chloe Sevigny and Vincent Gallo in he 2003 The Brown Bunny.

Nicole Kidman literally standing above and peeing on Zac Efron’s jellyfish sting–in real time–

All of these movie scenes share something in common: They led to boos and walkouts from critics and audience members at the Cannes Film Festival.

Getting booed at Cannes has almost become sort of a ritual, a right of passage for many of the best filmmakers in the world, from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch, Sofia Coppola, Terrence Malick, Oliver Assayas and David Cronenberg.

Then, there are likes of Lars von Trier and Gaspar Noé, two filmmakers who court controversy and boos whenever they show a new film.

Even films that have won Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or are not immune to audience jeers (see “The Tree of Life,” “Wild at Heart” and more below).

Here are the some of the most controversial films in the festival’s history.