The Best Political Films Ever Made Films

The Best Political Films Ever Made

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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. Some of the best political movies, 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. Good political movies are able to illuminate complicated situations for their viewers.

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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    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    the people's #1
    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

  2. 2
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    All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    All the President's Men Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

  3. 3
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    The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    most listed
    The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

  4. 4
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    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

  5. 5
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    Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Gandhi Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen

  6. 6
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    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

  7. 7
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    Patriotism is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    Patriotism Yukio Mishima, Yoshiko Tsuruoka

  8. 8
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    Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hotel Rwanda Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

  9. 9
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    added by Mollevangsvagen
    Kevin Vaz, Abdiaziz Hilowle, Martin McFaul

    ;
  10. 10
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    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    The Dupes Ahmad Addas, Ali Elrawas, Nagah Hafiz

  11. 11
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    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

  12. 12
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    A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

  13. 13
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    The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

  14. 14
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    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    József Madaras, Andras Kozak, Zoltán Latinovits

    ;
  15. 15
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    Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

  16. 16
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    JFK is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    JFK Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

  17. 17
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    Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Judgment at Nuremberg Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

  18. 18
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    Wag the Dog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Wag the Dog Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

  19. 19
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    American History X is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

  20. 20
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    Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Mississippi Burning Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

  21. 21
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    V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    V for Vendetta Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving

  22. 22
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    Milk is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Milk James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

  23. 23
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    Being There is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Being There Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden

  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Rosette, Marie Rivière

    ;
  25. 25
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    Three Days of the Condor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Three Days of the Condor Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

  26. 26
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    In the Name of the Father is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    In the Name of the Father Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

  27. 27
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    All the King's Men is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    All the King's Men Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, John Derek

  28. 28
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd

  29. 29
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    Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Frost/Nixon Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen

  30. 30
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    The Queen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Queen Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

  31. 31
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    Good Night, and Good Luck is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

  32. 32
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    Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Charlie Wilson's War Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

  33. 33
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    Thank You for Smoking is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Thank You for Smoking Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello

  34. 34
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    Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field

  35. 35
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    Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

    ;
  36. 36
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman

    ;
  37. 37
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    Dave is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Dave Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Jay Leno

  38. 38
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    Munich is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Munich Daniel Craig, Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush

  39. 39
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    Traffic is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Traffic Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas

  40. 40
    + 26
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen

    ;
  41. 41
    + 25
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    Peter Kern, Heinz Schubert

    ;
  42. 42
    + 60
    - 26
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & added by sebbzor
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman

  43. 43
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    - 60
    The Mouse That Roared is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    The Mouse That Roared Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell

  44. 44
    + 24
    - 1
    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    Liviu Ciulei, Ion Caramitru, Victor Rebengiuc

    ;
  45. 45
    + 48
    - 47
    Good bye, Lenin! is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Good bye, Lenin! Daniel Brühl, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

  46. 46
    + 23
    - 1
    Triumph of the Will is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mollevangsvagen
    Triumph of the Will

  47. 47
    + 85
    - 71
    The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    The Patriot Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

  48. 48
    + 63
    - 38
    Inherit the Wind is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Inherit the Wind Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan

  49. 49
    + 61
    - 42
    Syriana is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made

    added by wiabux
    Syriana George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet

  50. 50
    + 127
    - 96
    Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made


    Malcolm X Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela

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