The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
Ultimate List
16  reranks 6,659 votes 414 voters 26,753 views more info

The Best Political Films Ever Made

Political movies can approach the notion of politics and government from numerous perspectives, and with many wildly divergent purposes. Some of the earliest and best-remembered films were essentially propaganda tools being used by a political party or ideological group, hoping that the new media of cinema could be useful in helping to persuade or mollify the masses. (In some cases, as with the Nazi documentary "Triumph of the Will" or Sergei Eisenstein's massively influential "Battleship Potemkin," they were undeniable successful, at least initially.)

Political films can also serve the opposite purpose, encouraging people to distrust or even fear their government, or attacking an individual politician or political movement specifically. The paranoia thrillers of the 1970s, for example, reflected America's distrust in its own leaders following the Watergate and other corruption scandals. More recently, George Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck" told a true story about journalist Edward R. Murrow facing off against Joseph McCarthy, but as a way of discussing political issues that remained relevant even upon its release in 2005.

Many Americans' understanding of complex political situations, both in their homeland and in other countries, as well, comes from watching popular films. For example, the satirical take on the politics of war in "Wag the Dog," the insights into Greek politics provided by Costa-Gavras "Z" or the look at Bolivian elections in the documentary "Our Brand is Crisis."

This list includes notable and significant political movies from throughout cinema history from all different styles and genres. It is VoteRanked and Open, so be sure to vote up your favorites, vote down the movies you don't think belong on the list and add any other suggestions you have at the bottom of the page.

Check out more lists like this awesome collection of political thrillers, slave movies that will make you question the justice of history, and the top napoleon movies ever made
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 16 ReRanks
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 146
    Down 38
    1976 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 114
    Down 28
    1962 More
    99
  3. 3
    Up 193
    Down 34
    1964 More
    97
  4. 4
    Up 84
    Down 20
    1993 More
    94
  5. 5
    Up 69
    Down 23
    1982 More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 54
    Down 9
    1961 More
    83
  7. 7
    Up 116
    Down 36
    1940 More
    83
  8. 8
    Up 62
    Down 12
    2004 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 113
    Down 44
    1997 More
    82
  10. 10
    Up 90
    Down 57
    2008 More
    82
  11. 11
    Up 52
    Down 16
    1988 More
    81
  12. 12
    Up 125
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    79
  13. 13
    Up 47
    Down 29

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    74
  14. 14
    Up 67
    Down 38
    2006 More
    73
  15. 15
    Up 30
    Down 15

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Three Days of the Condor

    1975 More
    73
  16. 16
    Up 70
    Down 29
    1995 More
    72
  17. 17
    Up 50
    Down 19
    1998 More
    72
  18. 18
    Up 82
    Down 39
    1979 More
    71
  19. 19
    Up 67
    Down 30
    1950 More
    70
  20. 20
    Up 51
    Down 17
    1971 More
    68
  21. 21
    Up 28
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    In the Name of the Father

    1993 More
    67
  22. 22
    Up 80
    Down 39
    2005 More
    67
  23. 23
    Up 76
    Down 36
    2005 More
    66
  24. 24
    Up 28
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frost/Nixon

    2008 More
    65
  25. 25
    Up 104
    Down 56
    1991 More
    64
  26. 26
    Up 56
    Down 27
    1959 More
    64
  27. 27
    Up 78
    Down 49
    2001 More
    63
  28. 28
    Up 27
    Down 11
    2007 More
    63
  29. 29
    Up 34
    Down 12
    2012 More
    63
  30. 30
    Up 75
    Down 35
    1993 More
    60
  31. 31
    Up 61
    Down 26
    1964 More
    60
  32. 32
    Up 19
    Down 15

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Constant Gardener

    2005 More
    59
  33. 33
    Up 99
    Down 54
    2005 More
    59
  34. 34
    Up 27
    Down 13
    2005 More
    59
  35. 35
    Up 51
    Down 31
    1983 More
    59
  36. 36
    Up 40
    Down 17
    2000 More
    58
  37. 37
    Up 27
    Down 21
    2011 More
    58
  38. 38
    Up 20
    Down 21
    2009 More
    58
  39. 39
    Up 41
    Down 35
    1992 More
    56
  40. 40
    Up 17
    Down 15

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battleship Potemkin

    1925 More
    56
    added by: stubb
  41. 41
    Up 45
    Down 28
    1985 More
    56
  42. 42
    Up 67
    Down 52
    1992 More
    56
  43. 43
    Up 48
    Down 22
    1975 More
    55
  44. 44
    Up 62
    Down 38
    1995 More
    54
  45. 45
    Up 22
    Down 6
    1962 More
    54
  46. 46
    Up 12
    Down 16

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Good bye, Lenin!

    2003 More
    53
  47. 47
    Up 40
    Down 23
    1939 More
    53
  48. 48
    Up 64
    Down 48
    2004 More
    53
  49. 49
    Up 57
    Down 42
    1995 More
    53
  50. 50
    Up 50
    Down 34
    1998 More
    52
  51. 137 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 136

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists