When Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End calls the brawling Pirate Court to order, he steps onto the table with a pistol in one hand and, curiously, chain shot in the other. During his speech, we get a shot of Jack peering through his legs, where you can clearly see a pair of huge, cast-iron balls.
Magneto's description of God sounds a lot like Professor X. Doubles as Fridge Brilliance after it's revealed in X2: X-Men United that Magneto views mutants to be gods among insects, and there is no one in the world he respects (and loves, as we learn in X-Men: First Class) more than his old friend.
Magneto: I've always thought of God as a teacher, a bringer of light, wisdom, and understanding.
The relationship between Charles and Erik is set up as being akin to the relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X; near the end of the film, Erik even quotes Malcolm X's line, "By any means necessary."
If you didn't already get the suggestion that Senator Kelly was akin to Senator Joseph McCarthy, the fact he claims he has a list of known mutants early on the film should be a clue.
X-Men: The Last Stand: Mystique refuses to answer to Raven Darkholme (her birth name) because "that's my slave name." Considering the franchise's rather unsubtle use of Have You Tried Not Being a Monster? and Mystique/Raven's struggle about the discrepancy between the way she appears and her true identity, it also brings to mind a transgender person adopting a new name that reflects their gender. Also the words "slave name" were used by the likes of Malcom X or Muhammad Ali rejecting their surnames likely given to one of their ancestors by a former master.
X-Men: First Class: Hank McCoy says about his mutation, "You didn't ask, so I didn't tell."
Between going through a personal hell, his mind clearly not working straight, it being the '70s and him shooting up to dull the pain, Xavier closely resembles a shell-shocked Vietnam veteran. James McAvoy has even called it his Born on the Fourth of July look.
There is Jesus imagery surrounding Charles; his story arc is almost a metaphor for Jesus accepting his role as a martyr, with Xavier having to choose between life as a man, or getting in that wheelchair and suffering to save the world.
The images from the Bad Future of mutants being branded to identify them, camps full of mutants, and those who helped them being marched to off-screen executions is strongly reminiscent of the Holocaust. Given the X-Men series' penchant for drawing that parallel, it's undoubtedly deliberate.
The footage of the mutants fighting at the Paris Peace Conference is eerily reminiscent of the Zapruder film, right down to the small format and shaky cam.
X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur's relentless pursuit of Xavier for the latter's body and the subsequent Mind Rape is a disturbing analogy for an obsessive stalker/rapist wanting to violate his prey. It also helps the impression that Charles is a Pretty Boy, which further enhances his image as a victim. A later scene reinforces this subtext; after being denied possession of Xavier's body, Apocalypse begins to angrily call out to Charles and demand he show himself in a manner reminiscent of an abusive spouse. In addition to the not-so-subtle shot of Professor X being cuffed to a slab against his will while his captor looms threateningly over him, there is an I Have You Now, My Pretty vibe when Apocalypse forcibly pushes his bloodied, but still beautiful-looking captive down to the floor and gloats, "You're mine now."
What really drives the rape metaphor home is how Apocalypse's whole interaction with Xavier was all about taking control over the victim, which is the primary method a rapist would use to make the victim feel helpless.
In New Moon, one of the wolf pack's wives gets her face nearly clawed off because she made her wolfman angry. But she forgives him, and acts like it never happened, because that's what good women do. Unfortunate Implications abound whether or not this is meant to be taken literally (and with Stephenie Meyer's writing, who can say?)
The scene at the start of Stuart Little where the Littles meet and decide to adopt Stuart plays out like a white family adopting a black kid. The adoption agent even says "We try to discourage parents from adopting outside their own... species. It rarely works out".
In Transformers, Frenzy spread-eagling himself over a computer terminal he'd plugged into, twitching and yelping.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The girl who aggressively hits on Sam gets squirted in the face... just not by Sam. Of course, Sam doesn't really help the scene by yelling, "Oh my God your face! Lemme get some wetnaps for your face!"
Spider-Man: (pinning Venom down) You have to take off this suit! Venom: You'd like that, wouldn't you?
A classic example is from the late 80's comedy The Couch Trip where on a radio call-in show, John Burns (Dan Aykroyd) suggests to a man trying to overcome a problem with premature ejaculation, to imagine working on his car instead. His description of taking apart a transmission... well, if the caller had had the opposite problem, it would've helped.
Sir Ian McKellen's film version of Richard III. The setting is established right off as 30s Europe. Sure, why not? Then we come to Richard's coronation scene... and down come the long, red banners with his black-and-white emblem and fervent background chanting. Oh, right.
Like their TV series, The Star Trek films love to do this:
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a big, honkin' allegory about the end of the Cold War. It starts off with the horrible disaster on the Klingon moon Praxis, (not in Chernobyl); which forces the Klingon Empire, (not the Soviet Union) to reach out to the Federation (not the West). Conservative hard-liners then kill (not attempt to kill) Gorkon (not Gorbachev) for his trouble. From there, it diverges a bit from actual history, but you get the picture.
Star Trek Into Darkness: The Federation suffers a major attack on Earth, and the leaders of Starfleet, specifically Admiral Marcus, try to turn this into a war against the Klingons, who didn't have anything to do with the attack. Then Marcus orders Kirk to kill a terrorist by shooting photon torpedoes at the Klingon homeworld instead of bringing him in for trial. Real subtle, guys.
Don't Be a Menace features gangsta Loc Dog receiving a package of white powder from his friend, promising him that he'll get some when it's ready. Loc then measures, tests, and puts the powder in an apparatus on the stove. Of course at the end of the scene, it's shown that he's not processing heroin but rather baking a tasty cake instead.
In one version of the Dracula movie, Jonathan cuts his finger while dining with the Count, who gets a little too... excited about this and wants to suck Jonathan's finger.
In the Coppola version, Lucy enthuses about Quincy's big "thing" - namely, his bowie knife.
In Iron Man, Tony Stark is trying to unsuit himself...
Tony: Hey! Ow, ah, ah! Jarvis: It is a tight fit, sir. Tony:(pained grunting) Jarvis: Sir, the more you struggle, the more this is going to hurt. Tony: Be gentle. This is my first time.
Tony's line when Pepper shows up immediately following the previous exchange sold the scene:
Tony: Let's face it. This is NOT the worst thing you've caught me doing.
According to Entertainment Weekly's review of The Jonas Brothers' 3-D concert movie, there's one part where the brothers spray foam at the audience — out of a hose, if I remember the article correctly. The reviewer only hopes that the target audience doesn't see the symbolism in this.
CSA: The Confederate States of America, an Alternate History where the South won the Civil War, features several false propaganda films supposedly from the Fifties that portray those favoring the abolition of slavery as evil ("Watch out, because your neighbor could be an Abby!"). Later in the Mockumentary there's another propaganda piece that asks "Have you now, or have you ever been, a homosexual?" Both are intended to be similar to the Red Scare fear of communism.
There was a scene in City Slickers where Mitch and Phil are talking about what seems to be impotence but they're really talking about using the VCR. And they've been at it for four hours.
The song "Breakin' Out" in Shock Treatment plays over scenes of Brad escaping from the asylum. But listen to the words, and it seems to be about another kind of coming out entirely...
Hoo boy, this exchange in Commando when John convinces the villain (who looks like both a member of the village people and Freddy Mercury) to let go of his daughter and have a knife fight with him.
John: You don't want to pull the trigger. You want to put the knife in me and look me in the eye and see what's going while you turn it. That's what you want to do, right?
Bennett: (With an orgasmic expression on his face.) I can kill you John.
John: Come on, let the girl go, just between you and me, don't deprive yourself of some pleasure, come on Bennett, let's party!
Bennett: I can beat you, I don't need the girl hahah, I DON'T NEED THE GIRL! I don't need the gun John. I can beat you. I DON'T NEED NO GUN! AND I'LL KILL YOU NOW!
The fights ends with John impaling Bennett on a long hard steam pipe.
In Muppets from Space, the scene where Gonzo talks about being an alien sure sounds an awful lot like coming out of the closet...
In Jewel Robbery from 1932, the Robber gives a security guard a “funny” cigarette that when smoked makes the guard giggle and ramble incoherently. He also mentions that the guard will wake up with a good appetite in the morning.
In Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, gun obsessive Eugene Tackleberry loses his virginity, for which he and his equally gun obsessed girlfriend have to take their guns out of their holsters etc and put them on the floor. As they do, the lights go off, and but a moment or two later a gunshot is heard.
In Girl with a Pearl Earring the scene where Vermeer pierces Griet's ear for her as well as touching her lips is symbolic of her losing her virginity as well as the scene where he sees her hair (it's played like he saw her naked).
Rhys Ifans: So in a sense, it's almost like what crystal meth would do to an addict, where you feel all powerful and almost a sense of hubris that you can do anything, and that for Connors becomes addictive. That's why he returns to being the Lizard, and guys who are on powerful drugs want everyone else to feel the same, regardless of its social benefits. They want everyone to feel that great, because they feel great.
Raleigh: We're compatible! You felt it too, right?
Smoke Signals: Just replace "seats" with "land" during the scene when the two Native American protagonists find their bus seats have been stolen by two racist white men.
Thomas: Um, excuse me? These are our seats.
Man: You mean these were your seats.
Victor: No, that's not what he means.
Man: Now listen, these are our seats now. There ain't a damn thing you can do about it.
The fourth film of the Harry Potter film franchise has a certain scene in which Lord Voldemort and Harry scream and groan in some very suggestive ways. Especially if it is heard without the video.
It's even preceded by this line:
Voldemort: (...) no matter, no matter. Things have changed. I can touch you now!
The same movie contains a scene of the imposter of Mad-Eye Moody beginning to rummage like crazy through his shelves, pushing glass bottles aside and obviously frantically searching for something. It's the polyjuice potion, to keep his appearance up, but to anyone who knows the behavior of an alcoholic searching for booze, this scene was a great depiction of it.
The sixth film gives us Felix Felicis, a luck potion that apparently makes Harry behave like he was high.
As with District 9, Neil Blomkamp makes little effort to be subtle in his symbolism. Lets see, an impoverished and overcrowded land with a primarily Spanish-speaking population trying desperately to get to the place where all the wealth and resources seem to be concentrated. The mostly white, English-speaking population of the wealthy land aggressively trying to keep the masses of non-citizens at bay. The bulk of the film even takes place in Los Angeles, in case the rest was too subtle.
The movie also mirrors the "white flight" pattern seen in many American cities: minorities move into a city, causing middle- and and upper-class whites to move to the suburbs, and when minorities start moving to the suburbs, whites move to further suburbs. The logical conclusion to this is for the upper class to build their own space station..
Joseph Losey's The Assassination of Trotsky has a long and extremely graphic bullfight sequence about halfway through the movie, witnessed by the character who ultimately assassinates Trotsky. Quite possibly the most unsubtle (and needlessly grotesque) bit of foreshadowing in cinema history.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith: The conversation when they're discussing how many people they've killed plays out like they're discussing previous sexual partners.
John Smith: How many? Ok... I'll go first, then. I don't keep exact count, but I'd say, uh, high 50s, low 60s. I mean, I know I've been around the block an all, but...
Jane Smith: 312.
John Smith: What? How?
Jane Smith: Some were two at a time.
An early scene in French Cancan has showman Danglard and his newest starlet Nini visit a dance teacher to create a new version of the cancan. When they arrive at the studio, the dancers lounging around in their underwear look more like hookers than hoofers.
The Wolf of Wall Street: Set at a minor-league brokerage firm on Long Island that specializes in penny-stock pump-and-dump schemes? Most of the employees younger single men who indulge their considerable fortunes on hookers and cocaine at debauched company parties? Motivational speeches by a charismatic asshole who drives a Ferrari? If it sounds a lot like Boiler Room, it should—that film was also inspired by the real-life Stratton Oakmont firm.
In Maleficent, the titular character is drugged by someone she believed was a friend, then mutilated in her sleep, which pushes her over the Despair Event Horizon. She was effectively date-raped on screen. This is a metaphor which Angelina Jolie states was entirely intentional.
In the 1942 melodrama Kings Row, town ladykiller Drake McHugh (Ronald Reagan) is injured in a train accident and both of his legs are amputated. Amputated by the disapproving father of the virginal girl he's engaged to. The legs just might be standing in for another part.
Little Red Riding Hood is known as a cautionary fairy tale - and the scene between her and The Wolf in Into the Woods has a definite pedophilia edge to it.
Noni and Kid Culprit's disasterous BET performance in Beyond The Lights. To recap: The entire performance was already primed to be extremely sexual with Noni and Kid Culprit simulating sex on a bed on stage. But it begins to cross the line into dangerous territory when Noni, trying to shed off some of her sexual image, refuses to strip on-stage as was choreographed and maneuvers herself out from underneath Kid Culprit on the bed. He in turn furiously pushes her down several times and attempts to disrobe her much to hers and to some in the audience's shock. Continuing the performance, Noni slides down Kid Culprit's legs, only to have him hold her head down near his crotch, refusing to let her up even when she tries to get up several times. The performance ends with Noni publicly humiliated. The sexual-assault imagery is so overt that By-the-Book Cop Kaz is inches from punching Kid Culprit on stage on national television.
Lambert's Cruel and Unusual Death in Alien involves the sinewy tail of the Xenomorph sliding up between her legs, and then cutting to Ripley listening to Lambert's grunts of pain before cutting out. Given the film's infamous sexual overtones, the parallels with a rape scene were very likely intentional.
Monsters. An unwanted bunch of aliens from Mexico are constantly attempting to cross the US border and actually succeeding despite a giant fortified wall being put in place to stop them. You've got the American immigration controversy.
In Monte Carlo, Count Rudolph (disguised as a hairdresser) insists on giving Countess Helene a scalp massage despite her protests. She starts out by saying, “No, no, no, no!” and progresses to rapturous moans of “Oh, that feels good … Ohh! Oh, that feels even better.”
There's a scene with Nancy in the bath with her legs stretched out and Freddy tries to attack her by reaching a hand up out of the water in between her legs and then pulling her down trying to drown her while laughing.
Tina's death visually evokes a rape.
The Hunger Games: There are constant reminders of the influence of reality television on the setting, such as the sponsors.
The District 11 riots resemble the civil rights put downs.
In the 1956 movie Baby Doll, Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach in his film debut) sneaks into the house, finds a rocking horse in the nursery and raucously straddles it while hitting it with his riding crop while "Shame, Shame, Shame" plays.
The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren interrogating an abducted Rey while the latter is tied down and in obvious terror and pain has more than a few parallels with a rape scene.
Zootopia: The animal police, due their own unexamined prejudices treat predators differently. A politician whips up anger at predators with a reputation for violence for political gains. Many have commented that this is Disney's most political film for the subtle and not so subtle messages about race.
In French crime films of the 1950s, e.g. Rififi, it is common for the protagonist to have spent four or five years in jail. There is a critical consensus that this is a reference to the German occupation of France in World War Two.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them America has outlawed wizard-nomajs relationships both as friendships and marriages, something that Europeans like the British find outrageous. This is very similar to what happened in real life, like the fact that the US had segregation laws that made marriages between different races illegal, and though friendships were not illegal, considering the segregation of everything (bars, churches, workplaces, schools) it was pretty hard to socialize with other races. Europeans, with some exceptions, didn’t have similar laws and this practice was seen as barbaric in many countries of Europe.
Star Trek Beyond: Krall's Social Darwinist rhetoric bears a strong resemblance to that of the Nazis, no doubt on purpose. This may be ironic given that he turns out to be a black man. The good guys get this too, oddly, with Scotty illustrating Federation doctrine that strength comes from unity with the "fasces" symbol (a bundle of sticks is stronger than one) that was used by the Italian Fascists and inspired their name (of course, they are hardly the only ones who said this).note The actual Nazis and Fascists said both things, in fact. Struggle was good between nations or races, but unity was also a strength within as well.
The Matrix: Those familiar with Buddhism and Gnosticism will find similarities in the plot with the idea of the world we see being an illusion that blinds us to the true reality. Neo is also similar to Buddha or Christ with this context.