The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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16  reranks 6,500 votes 397 voters 26,106 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.

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List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
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    1976 More
    100
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    1962 More
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    1964 More
    97
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    1993 More
    93
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    1982 More
    86
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    1961 More
    83
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    2004 More
    83
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    1940 More
    83
  9. 9
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    1997 More
    82
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    2008 More
    82
  11. 11
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    1988 More
    81
  12. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    79
  13. 13
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    75
  14. 14
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    2006 More
    73
  15. 15
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    1979 More
    72
  16. 16
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    1998 More
    72
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    Three Days of the Condor

    1975 More
    72
  18. 18
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    1995 More
    72
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    1950 More
    70
  20. 20
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    In the Name of the Father

    1993 More
    68
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    2005 More
    67
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    1971 More
    67
  23. 23
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    66
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frost/Nixon

    2008 More
    65
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    1959 More
    65
  26. 26
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    2001 More
    64
  27. 27
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    1991 More
    64
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    2012 More
    63
  29. 29
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    2007 More
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  30. 30
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    1964 More
    60
  31. 31
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    1993 More
    60
  32. 32
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Constant Gardener

    2005 More
    59
  33. 33
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    2011 More
    59
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    2005 More
    59
  35. 35
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    2000 More
    59
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    ranked low on reranks
    V for Vendetta

    2005 More
    59
  37. 37
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    1983 More
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  38. 38
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Invictus

    2009 More
    57
  39. 39
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    1925 More
    57
    added by: stubb
  40. 40
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    1992 More
    57
  41. 41
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    1985 More
    56
  42. 42
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    1992 More
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  43. 43
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    ranked low on reranks
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    1975 More
    55
  44. 44
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    1995 More
    54
  45. 45
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    1962 More
    54
  46. 46
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Good bye, Lenin!

    2003 More
    54
  47. 47
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    1995 More
    53
  48. 48
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    1939 More
    53
  49. 49
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    2004 More
    53
  50. 50
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Hunger

    2008 More
    53
  51. 138 +

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