Movie Madness: Putting 40 Controversial Movie Outfits From Iconic Films In The Spotlight

By Farah J

Dimly lit lounge, surrounded by loved ones (or alone), the smell of microwaved popcorn, the soft blanket on the comfy couch, and the introductory music of the movie in front of you…you can feel the joy and peace in this all-to-familiar scenario, can’t you?

Movies aren’t all about the plot or dialogues or even the crazy twists; characters’ wardrobes make a massive impact on the movie’s overall aesthetic before the character even has the chance to introduce themselves. A character’s whole vibe is based on their outfit – even down to the shoes!

We all critique costumes in movies that just don’t pass the vibe check of the character. However, there is often an explanation behind these questionable fits. Even though the icky costumes keep you uneasy the whole time, you should give these explanations a chance!

George Clooney – Batman & Robin 

Most Gen-Z’s don’t know about the old Batman series with George Clooney playing Batman – we can bet on that. The little ones probably don’t even know who George Clooney is! It’s a shame they missed one of the most iconic actors in the history of Hollywood.

Image Source: Mary Evans / Warner Bros

Speaking of, it’s kind of a good thing that they didn’t get to cringe every time Batman showed up on the screen. Well, it’s not that Clooney was a lousy actor. However, he was given a disturbing Batman costume with a particular detail of Bat-suit popping in our faces!

Rebel Wilson – Pitch Perfect 3 

Pitch Perfect was a massive hit when the first one came out, which led to another two sequels. Even though Rebel Wilson wasn’t the one the story revolved around, she carried the movies primarily by herself. If it weren’t for her comical character, PP wouldn’t have been what it is.

Image Source: Teen Vogue

However, the fans argued about the pink and white sailor suits in Pitch Perfect 3, where all the singers wore sleeveless tops while Rebel wore a tee. Due to the accusation of body discrimination, Rebel and the producers immediately confirmed that the tee was Rebel’s choice.

Ryan Reynolds – Green Lantern 

Ryan Reynolds is one of the highest-grossing actors in the Hollywood film industry, and for a good reason too. His movies are remarkable, one on top of the other. We think it is safe to state that Green Lantern doesn’t rank in his top 10s.

Image Source: Warner Bros

In case you didn’t notice, the Green Lantern’s suit was entirely CGI along with most of the movie. Instead of making a costume, the film production crew decided to render it in post-production! Reynolds had to wear an incredibly absurd and uncomfortable suit while filming it.

Olivia Munn – X-Men: Apocalypse 

The X-Men series has been a major hit, mostly due to the best-selling and fan-loved comics they are based on and are still just as popular today as they were back then. The fans were super excited when X-Men: Apocalypse went into production and eventually previewed on the big screen.

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All the characters, including Psylocke, one of the fan favorites, were brought to life exactly as in the comics. Even the costumes. Psylocke’s costumes were particularly under the radar for being too revealing, except the film crew tried to make them less controversial.

Marilyn Monroe – The Seven Year Itch 

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic and celebrated individuals in history. Even if you haven’t watched her movies or interviews, you probably have heard about her and even seen her name under the list of “the most influential people in history.”

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Her movie The Seven Year Itch was a hit when it came out in 1955. One of its scenes where the actress stands over the subway grate, making her dress fly up, went particularly viral. The act made history! However, unlike the fans, her husband wasn’t pleased, leading to the couple’s separation.

Milla Jovovich – The Fifth Element 

This movie is from 1997, yet a futuristic sci-fi plot. The characters and the film crew did such a great job in the movie The Fifth Element that it still maintains its element. Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich, an iconic couple of actors, didn’t leave any room for controversy.

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Well, except for Jovovich’s outfit. The movie started with Jovovich’s character waking up completely naked in the first scene, and later, the outfit she was given was barely an outfit – merely a few stripes of a cloth, or so the fans argued. The actress confirmed that she enjoyed wearing it.

Evangeline Lilly – Ant-Man and the Wasp 

The Ant-man series made its way up to the top and among the stars! By stars, we mean the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe movies. This is probably why The Ant-Man And The Wasp was incredibly awaited, especially with the new Marvel character, the Wasp, being introduced.

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Evangeline Lilly playing the Wasp, was welcomed and adored by Marvel fans as soon as she appeared on the screen. Except, her Wasp costume was a surprise to them as it was supposed to be bright yellow. Instead, it was all black with a questionable torso.

Jena Malone – Nocturnal Animals 

You might be familiar with this one if you are a fan of thriller, horror, or suspense genre movies. Even though this movie wasn’t a blockbuster, it is very commonly discussed among viewers due to its wild plot twists and turns.

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But one thing that stood out more than the ghosts was the ridiculous costume Jena Malone’s character wore in the movie. The entire vibe of the film was disturbed due to the insanely weird outfit – a leathery frilled-shoulder costume. The producer explained that it was all intentional!

Shefali Chowdury and Afshan Azad – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Part four of the Harry Potter series was fan-loved – the Yule Ball was the movie’s highlight. The dances, the teen romance drama: it felt more like an average muggle movie than one involving fire-breathing dragons and wizards turning into fishes!

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Even though everyone was in their best attire, the Patil sisters, last-minute dates of Harry and Ron, wore the blandest of the bland Indian saris! When the fans – especially the Indian fan club – critiqued it, the film crew explained that Hermione had to be the fairest of them all.

Margot Robbie – Suicide Squad

Remember when everyone dressed up as Harley Quinn for Halloween? Harley Quinn didn’t appear in the Batman comics until later; her first appearance was in an animated series. When Margot Robbie first appeared as Harley Quinn, a villain in the DC universe, she went viral worldwide!

Image Source: Harley Quinn / YouTube

It’s an exaggeration to say that Margot Robbie carried Suicide Squad all by herself. Even though the fan base loved the character, they weren’t very comfortable with Quinn’s costume in the movie. The fishnet over the shorts made the actress self-conscious, or so she admitted later.

Ryan Reynolds – X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Ryan Reynolds played Deadpool, Marvel’s violent and foul-mouthed superhero, in the Deadpool series. Unfortunately, he hadn’t had much luck when he first appeared in an X-Men sequel called X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool. Wade Wilson wasn’t able to attract a fan base then.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a slight disappointment for X-Men lovers already, and Ryan Reynolds’ character wasn’t much of a help either. His character, Wade Wilson, seemed forced and bland. The Deadpool movie, fortunately, set things right for the Marvel fans later!

Maureen O’Sullivan – Tarzan and His Mate

We have all heard about Tarzan – Disney’s animated version of Tarzan is still adored. But few of us have seen the original 1930s version of Tarzan called Tarzan and his Mate. The movie is almost the same: Tarzan roaming the woods half naked with his mate.

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It wouldn’t be as controversial as it is if it weren’t for the rags the main characters are wearing. People were quite expressive about O’Sullivan’s character’s costume. At least she wasn’t fully nude in the movie as it was initially intended.

Princess Merida – Brave

Disney tales were loved even more when they introduced Princess Merida in the animated movie Brave. The character was strong, brave, and most importantly, self-sufficient, unlike other “damsels in distress.” She definitely didn’t need any knight in shining armor.

Image Source:; Disney

Princess Merida became a controversial topic to discuss at Disney’s table when the character was depicted as more feminine and “less rough” in the 2D animation of the movie. Fortunately, they were able to handle the criticism and made Merida an inspiration for little girls all over the world.

Brie Larson – Captain Marvel

Marvel surprised the fans by revealing the actress playing Captain Marvel: Brie Larson. Marvel’s fan base was thrilled, but this joy was soon snubbed when the first behind-the-scenes photos of Captain Marvel were revealed, and they got a sneak peek at her outfit.

Image Source: Backgrid; @nerdy_basement / Twitter

The fan base expressed their criticism of the blue and green outfit of Captain Marvel – we all know that the character has a red and blue outfit. Marvel studios quickly prompted that the character initially wears a green costume before she switches to the red and blue one.

Jennifer Lawrence – X-Men: First Class

Mystique has been one of the X-Men characters who charmed people since she was introduced in comics. And Jennifer Lawrence playing Mystique in the X-Men series highlighted the character even further! It’s no secret that she definitely did her homework!

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But one thing that critics wouldn’t let go of was Mystique’s “costume.” Lawrence had a hard time “getting into” Mystique’s costume every day on set – it was all makeup and no clothes! Yet, the actress was still able to ace that character.

Theda Bara – Cleopatra

In the 1900s, it was a disgrace – even punishable – for women to wear revealing dresses. One couldn’t think of going out with even bare ankles! Cleopatra was revolutionary, but her outfits weren’t as much: they were met with extreme criticism from society.

Image Source: Orange County Archives / Flickr; Wikimedia / Public Domain

Well, when the film industry decided to replicate Cleopatra’s costume accurately by letting Theda Bara play Cleopatra in 1917 by giving her “not much to wear,” the viewers weren’t very eager and amused by it; it came off as rather a shock to them.

Chris Evans – Avengers

Captain America was one of the first Marvel characters in the comics and is incredibly played by Chris Evans. Evans has worked in several Marvel movies as Cap, including the Avengers series. Even though his acting is exceptional, his costume isn’t met with the same enthusiasm.

Image Source: Startraks Photos / Rex Features; Backgrid

Especially in front of other Avengers, Captain America’s costume seems weird and ridiculous. In the Captain America series, the outfit is indescribable, and its development isn’t much in the new movies either. At least they got rid of that helmet!

The X-Men – X-Men (2000)

The X-Men series is the reason we came to love superhero movies. And honestly, these movies are why we wished to have incredible superpowers of our own when we were little! X-Men made a solid base for the rest of the Marvel Universe to flourish.

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Except, when the first X-Men in 2000 came out, the X-men wore black leather suits with weird details instead of blue and yellow suits as in the comics. The fans’ anticipation was shocked when their favorite superheroes weren’t replicated as such.

January Jones – X-Men: First Class

January Jones’ character Emma Frost was done insanely poorly when they ripped her off of her entire personality and left her with only the “eye candy” material – we believe it is fair to speak the truth now. Frost is an entirely different character, as shown in the series.

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January Jones played the part well, at least what was given to her. But the MCU left us disappointed and angry when they gave us barely 15 percent of what Frost was supposed to be: an admirable leader who was supposed to run the mutant academy after Xavier!

Matthew Goode – Watchmen

It is annoying and unfair to the fandom when the film producers don’t reproduce books or comics into live-action movies exactly as they originally are! It takes the whole joy out got the fans when they don’t get what they were shown in the novels!

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Watchmen is one of those films which are based on graphic novels. The filmmakers gave Ozymandias a bland, poorly-made black leather outfit instead of a purple, jeweled costume described in the book. Not to mention the horrid, different endings.

Tom Hiddleston – Thor

Tom Hiddleston is one of the actors who took their character to another level; he gave the character the life it was meant to have! Whether you were on Thor’s side or Loki’s, we know you wouldn’t hesitate to admit that Hiddleston did a fine job presenting Loki.

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However, fans couldn’t help but point out a malfunction in the wardrobe. We can’t tell if it was intentional, but you could see a pair of slouchy pants Loki wore in the movie. You couldn’t unsee after seeing the ill-fitted, exaggerated parts of the pants!

Mickey Rooney – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s wasn’t considered as uncomfortable as it would be in the modern age. Mickey Rooney is portrayed as a stereotypical Asian man – you probably guessed where this is going. His character would be pretty offensive to young viewers now.

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There was nothing particularly wrong with what he was wearing in that movie, yet his upsetting personality ruined the entire vibe of it. If this character were to be shown in new movies, the criticism would be through the roof!

Halle Berry – Catwoman

Catwoman is only tolerable because of Halle Berry. Sure, the comics were great, and the character is well-written and established, but the live-action version of Catwoman was a major flop in the film industry. No one would even know about it if it wasn’t for Berry.

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Halle did a spectacular job carrying the character throughout the movie, even when the character was left hanging by a thread (pun intended). One glance, and you could tell the iconic leotard of the character was replaced by a weird leather halter top and pants!

Evan Peters – X-Men

Whether through comics or X-Men: Days of the Future Past, Quicksilver was quick to make a huge fan base. Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, first screened in X-Men and made his way through the fans’ hearts speedy-quick (pun very much intended)!

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However, the comics’ fandom had some concerns when Quicksilver in the movie didn’t look anything like the one shown in the comics. It all evaporated when the new shiny, silvery look on Quicksilver – and his comical personality – became the icing on the cake of the X-Men movie.

Jamie Foxx – Django Unchained

One of the notable movies of Jamie Foxx’s career is Django Unchained. It is also one of the greatest accomplishments of Quentin Tarantino besides Pulp Fiction! The character was a successful hit in the film industry, and it had many people talking.

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Django was rendered an intimidating killer and had a sleek, iconic way of dressing up. If there was one thing Django was known for, it was his round-rimmed glasses. In case anyone didn’t know: those round-rimmed glasses weren’t made until the 20th century!

Henry Cavill – Man of Steel

Henry Cavill is the most famous actor among the ones who played Superman all these years. It may be due to his sharp features – or maybe the interesting character development that was pursued. Whatever it is, Cavill was admired as much as he was critiqued.

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The Superman fandom pointed out that the character’s costume was darker-toned and had less-contrasting colors than the original. However, they appreciated that Superman finally decided not to wear his bright red underpants over the costume!

The Redcoats – Pirates of the Caribbean

Not just the main characters, but we all know that the movie wouldn’t have been much fun to watch if it wasn’t for the clumsy, ham-handed Red Coats. The story interestingly revolves around Captain Jack Sparrow outsmarting these dressed-up fools in red.

Image Source: Peter Mounta / Disney Enterprises

The problem is quite a minor one but a mistake is still a mistake. Let’s have a quick history recall: The British soldiers didn’t start wearing red-colored coats until the late 17th century. In contrast, this movie series is set in the early 17th century!

Ben Affleck – Daredevil

Daredevil wasn’t able to achieve success when it came out. The superhero, played by Ben Affleck, is nowhere near a fan favorite. The costume’s look of a ridiculous red leather jacket and pants wasn’t the reason for its downfall either.

Martín Leonardo Pérez Junior

There were several unrealistic, absurd mistakes in the movie. Although the superhero wears a red costume in the comics, the red ill-fitted leather costume wasn’t it. The viewers couldn’t take the low-budget costume design seriously even if they wanted to. In comparison, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil also wears a red suit that is beloved by fans because of its high-quality look. 

Kristen Stewart – Twilight: Eclipse

Bella, Stewart’s character in the Twilight series, isn’t displayed as the type of person who usually cares about her outfit presentations; a simple shirt and denim jeans with a hoodie on top always work! It’s the character’s personality, so her outfits are on point.

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The problem was her hair in Twilight saga: Eclipse. Before the production of this movie, Kristen Stewart was cast in Runaway, so she cut her hair short. The Twilight crew had to use a wig for the third movie, which was way too obvious to the viewers.

Willem Dafoe – Spider-Man

Dafoe, one of the most talented actors, managed to play the role of Green Goblin in Spider-Man effortlessly, making it a massive hit. But Marvel’s fandom got a little pissed when the live-action version of Green Goblin wasn’t exactly as in the comics.

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Even though the Goblin in the Spider-Man movie was scary and “villain” enough, the fans weren’t happy that they changed the character’s costume. The comic version wears a purple hat with a green mask, while the movie version has a styled green face armor!

Carrie Fisher – Return of the Jedi

When the Return of the Jedi aired, Princess – or Slave – Leia’s outfit was a shock to all. Jaws dropped on the sight; we can’t say if the jaw-drop was a good response or not. We guess it depends on how you look at the eerie development of the character.

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In the first part of the film, the character Princess Leia was presented as independent, powerful, and dominant, and her costume was fitting to the character as well. But here, the metal bikini switched the character’s personality to submissive and “fragile.” 

All Characters – Inception

Inception was one of the highest-grossing film productions in the year 2010. Due to its mind-blowing cinematic climaxes and visual effects, not to mention the incredible acting by the cast, this movie boggled everyone’s minds!

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There is nothing particularly wrong with the characters’ wardrobe. However, it does not fit the plot of the movie. The “virtual reality” shows the residual self-image of the characters, yet the outfits worn by their VR selves don’t quite sparkle stardust on their personalities.

Doug Jones – The Shape of Water

Winning the Academy Award eclipses all the downfalls and critiques of this movie. Although there was nothing wrong with the characters’ costumes in The Shape of Water, there were quite a few concerns about the unrealistic-looking Amphibian man.

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The fans claimed that the Amphibian man’s costume was too eerie and impractical to be taken seriously. But at that time, this was probably the best they could do. The movie still managed to chart at the top and won awards!

Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder

If this movie was to be released today, it would’ve been banned before it even hit the theatres. Good thing it was aired when it did because there was much less criticism given when Robert Downey Jr.’s character wore a black face on purpose.

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In modern times, if you watch this comedy movie, you will be less amused and more offended by the horrid wrongdoings – the character’s makeup wouldn’t be much of an issue anymore. The message behind the movie was a problem in itself.

Natalie Portman – Attack of the Clones

Metal bikinis, leather tops, strips of cloth sewn unfittingly, and now a torn top: what is the film industry up to? We couldn’t tell you. It is already unrealistic enough to make women uncomfortable without revealing clothes for a fight too.

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Portman hadn’t even passed her teens in this movie, and still, she had to wear a half-ripped crop top while her character was shown fighting aliens in the middle of an arena. No wonder the viewers were quite aggravated about this custom decision.

Raquel Welch – One Million Years B.C.

If you looked at modern times, this fur bikini wouldn’t be as much of a shock to you as it did to the viewers when it came out in 1966. The young, charming actress, Raquel Welch, wore a very revealing fur bikini which caused quite a commotion.

Image Source: 20th Century Fox

The costume was attuned to the movie’s theme: fur and rags tied together, but still, it was controversial as the character wore a costume that was a bit too revealing to be considered realistic. This outfit made it to the list of the most iconic historical costumes.

Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud – Aladdin

Disney’s remakes of the classics aren’t what everyone enjoys. Especially if the remakes involve some serious major changes in the plot or the characters’ personalities or even their costumes! Disney couldn’t successfully remake Aladdin, though.

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There were many controversial comments and expressions of unhappiness from around the world when they didn’t give Aladdin his signature vest or Jasmine’s infamous crop top. Disney later admitted that a modern Aladdin had to have a little change.

Bryce Dallas Howard – Jurassic World

It is always unrealistic when the filmmakers give female characters stilettos or pumps with high heels in an action movie for the majority of the time. It is more unrealistic when they outrun the dinosaurs while wearing heels and a knee-high dress!

Image Source: Allstar / Universal Pictures; Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures

When Jurassic World was made, following the Jurassic Park series, the viewers didn’t know what to comment on Bryce’s character, who wore heels and a white dress most of the time in a dinosaur movie. Howard explained that it fit her character: a leading researcher.

Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman

For some reason that we don’t know, female fighters are always given extremely revealing clothes or armor. It is debatable whether the filmmakers try to make the character’s already revealing costume less or more of what it is.

Image Source: Imbd

Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, is one of the biggest characters in the DC universe. Except there is a lot of debate on her “barely-there armor.” The costume in the movie was more revealing than in the comics: no shorts and knee-high boots, which looked quite uncomfy and dysfunctional!

The Amazonians – Justice League

If you think Gal Gadot’s costume was too revealing, wait till you watch what The Amazons are wearing in Justice League. Armor is supposed to protect your body from getting injured in battle. Except, Justice League begs to differ, though.

Image Source: Screenshots ? Bluegazette

The Amazons wore inadequate and “skimpy” metal and leather bikini armors. Their early appearances showed very little clothing on their bodies which changed to the front torso armor after Wonder Woman was introduced, or so the producers admitted.