The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 12,392 votes 838 voters 76,189 views 145 items f p @

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. 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.

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

  • 21 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 365
    - 63

    the people's #1
    Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 192
    - 61

    most listed
    Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 244
    - 76

    Abraham Murphy, Jack Warden, Meredith Baxter

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 191
    - 62

    Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Maria Peszek

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 141
    - 61

    Trevor Howard, Bernard Hill, John Gielgud

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 180
    - 53

    Charles Lane, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 132
    - 43

    Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Jean Reno

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 171
    - 73

    Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Paulette Goddard

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 93
    - 40

    Maximilian Schell, Burt Lancaster, Werner Klemperer

    ) open buy at  
  10. 10
    + 129
    - 109

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank M. Robinson, Diego Luna, Josh Brolin

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 96
    - 45

    Frances McDormand, Michael Rooker, Brad Dourif

    ) open buy at  
  12. 12
    + 166
    - 90

    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 122
    - 40

    John Savident, Patrick Magee, Margaret Tyzack

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
    + 153
    - 80

    Willie Nelson, Anne Heche, Merle Haggard

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 126
    - 66

    Brian Cox, Ian Bannen, Brendan Gleeson

    ) open buy at  
  16. 16
    + 112
    - 71

    Melvyn Douglas, Richard Basehart, Shirley MacLaine

    ) open buy at  
  17. 17
    + 109
    - 45

    Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Edward Furlong

    ) open buy at  
  18. 18
    + 63
    - 40

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Helen Stenborg, Addison Powell, Faye Dunaway

    ) open buy at  
  19. 19
    + 72
    - 19

    Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Quinn

    ) open buy at  
  20. 20
    + 164
    - 85

    John Hurt, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea

    ) open buy at  
  21. 21
    + 99
    - 70

    Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Alex Jennings

    ) open buy at  
  22. 22
    + 98
    - 56

    Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, John Derek

    ) open buy at  
  23. 23
    + 67
    - 42

    Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Frank Langella

    ) open buy at  
  24. 24
    + 62
    - 57

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Stephen Rea, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jean Kennedy Smith

    ) open buy at  
  25. 25
    + 61
    - 42

    Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Massey

    ) open buy at  
  26. 26
    + 73
    - 38

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Blunt, Om Puri

    ) open buy at  
  27. 27
    + 105
    - 59

    Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe, Maria Bello

    ) open buy at  
  28. 28
    + 105
    - 63

    Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin, Ben Stein

    ) open buy at  
  29. 29
    + 101
    - 37

    ranked low on reranks
    Vincent Schiavelli, Louise Fletcher, Anjelica Huston

    ) open buy at  
  30. 30
    + 79
    - 45

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley

    ) open buy at  
  31. 31
    + 108
    - 64

    George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson

    ) open buy at  
  32. 32
    + 84
    - 45

    Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Fredric March

    ) open buy at  
  33. 33
    + 62
    - 37

    Eric Bana, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marie-Josée Croze

    ) open buy at  
  34. 34
    + 105
    - 68

    Benicio del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 42
    - 46

    Matt Damon, Patrick Mofokeng, Julian Lewis Jones

    ) open buy at  
  36. 36
    + 48
    - 36

    added by stubb
    N. Poltavtseva, Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein

    ) open buy at  
  37. 37
    + 75
    - 44

    Peter Sellers, Leo McKern, Timothy Bateson

    ) open buy at  
  38. 38
    + 31
    - 36

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael Gwisdek, Katrin Saß, Christine Schorn

    ) open buy at  
  39. 39
    + 60
    - 50

    Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Rene Auberjonois

    ) open buy at  
  40. 40
    + 42
    - 24

    added by wiabux
    George Clooney, Matt Damon, William Hurt

    ) open buy at  
  41. 41
    + 81
    - 62

    Mary Steenburgen, James Woods, Ed Harris

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 46
    - 49

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Roger Allam

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 53
    - 31

    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Beulah Quo

    ) open buy at  
  44. 44
    + 40
    - 39

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Aubrey

    ) open buy at  
  45. 45
    + 102
    - 74

    George Guidall, Al Sharpton, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ) open buy at  
  46. 46
    + 47
    - 31

    Harry Morgan, Paul Hartman, Spencer Tracy

    ) open buy at  
  47. 47
    + 65
    - 53

    Alexander Knox, William Hurt, Ian McDiarmid

    ) open buy at  
  48. 48
    + 37
    - 20

    added by wiabux
    Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, David Oyelowo

    ) open buy at  
  49. 49
    + 37
    - 18

    added by sebbzor
    John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy

    ) open buy at  
  50. 50
    + 76
    - 70

    Trey Parker, Maurice LaMarche, David Michie

    ) open buy at  
146 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists