The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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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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  1. 1
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    1964 More
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    1976 More
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    1982 More
    86
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    1961 More
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Milk

    2008 More
    80
  10. 10
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    1997 More
    78
  11. 11
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    1988 More
    77
  12. 12
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    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    77
  13. 13
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    1979 More
    76
  14. 14
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    74
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    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    71
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    1991 More
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    1971 More
    70
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    70
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    1998 More
    70
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    In the Name of the Father

    1993 More
    69
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frost/Nixon

    2008 More
    66
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    1950 More
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    The Constant Gardener

    2005 More
    58
  36. 36
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    Invictus

    2009 More
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  38. 38
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    1925 More
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    added by: stubb
  39. 39
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    ranked low on reranks
    Nixon

    1995 More
    57
  40. 40
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Good bye, Lenin!

    2003 More
    56
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    Gorky Park

    1983 More
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  42. 42
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    2011 More
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    1992 More
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    ranked low on reranks
    The Patriot

    2000 More
    55
  45. 45
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    1985 More
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  46. 46
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    added by: wiabux
  47. 47
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  49. 49
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  50. 50
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Hunger

    2008 More
    51
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