10 Emotionally Gutting Films That Wrecked Their Audiences

These unflinching, gut-wrenching stories will stick with you more than any regular blockbuster.

Paramount Pictures

The common cinema audience is very well accustomed to the big name blockbusters that appear on the silver screen each year; whenever you go into a Marvel Cinematic Universe production, you know exactly what you're getting. But the underlying creativity coming out of the movie business can't be overstated. In amongst the big names, we've seen bold, often uncomfortable stories make their way to theatres.

Often they aren't nearly as financially successful, but they make their mark by leaving audiences with a thought-provoking or harrowing tale that sticks in the mind long after watching. This is often down to their more adult-oriented tone and content. Some films on this list are historical adaptations, whilst others are original stories developed for the silver screen. What they all have in common is an ability to make a deep, unflinching impact on their audiences.

Whether they were controversial, highly emotive or simply refused to pull their punches, these productions made a lasting, often unforgettable impression upon their release. In no particular order, here are ten powerful films that left audiences utterly flabbergasted upon viewing.

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A tough but fair writer and critic broadly covering games, movies and just about every type of entertainment media. Spent a good part of the last seven years blogging and more recently, making amateur videos under "The Cainage Critique". You can follow my work on my website and my YouTube channel at