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20 Movies That Divided Film Critics and Moviegoers

Christopher Nolan, Harmony Korine, and M. Night Shyamalan all have experience dividing film critics and moviegoers.

THE NEON DEMON, Elle Fanning, 2016. ph: Gunther Campine /© Broad Green Pictures /courtesy Everett Collection

“The Neon Demon”

Courtesy Everett Collection

While plot specifics around M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old” were kept under wraps in the lead up to release, one thing was certain about the director’s new movie: It was destined to divide film critics and audiences. Such is the case any time Shyamalan returns to the big screen. Is Shyamalan the most divisive filmmaker working today? That’s up for debate, but he joins filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Nicolas Winding Refn, Darren Aronofsky, and more in releasing movies that cause strong division among viewers. Love him or hate him, Shyamalan easily makes cinema a more exciting place. A movie like “Old” that gets five-star reviews and zero-star reviews is far more intriguing than a release that gets three-star notices across the board.

With “Old” now in theaters and igniting debates over whether or not Shyamalan made his best or worst movie, IndieWire takes a look back at some of the 21st century’s other divisive releases.

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