The Best Political Films Ever Made Films

The Best Political Films Ever Made

13,280 views 140 items 5,163 votes 323 voters 25 followers 19reranks
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 Katrina Law Hot, Funniest Twitter Accounts to Follow, Jacqueline Macinnes Wood Hot, Best FNL Characters and Natalie Wood Hot
< >
  • the crowd
  • 19 reranks
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 129
    Down 27

    most listed &ranked low on reranks
    All the President's Men

    1976 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 159
    Down 25
    1964 More
    98
  3. 3
    Up 99
    Down 21
    1962 More
    97
  4. 4
    Up 55
    Down 11

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Schindler's List

    1993 More
    92
  5. 5
    Up 103
    Down 25
    1940 More
    87
  6. 6
    Up 51
    Down 13

    often listed
    Gandhi

    1982 More
    86
  7. 7
    Up 42
    Down 3
    2004 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 102
    Down 17
    1939 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 92
    Down 34
    1997 More
    82
  10. 10
    Up 80
    Down 45

    often listed
    Milk

    2008 More
    82
  11. 11
    Up 34
    Down 4
    1961 More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 38
    Down 9
    1988 More
    79
  13. 13
    Up 72
    Down 26
    1979 More
    76
  14. 14
    Up 49
    Down 18
    1995 More
    76
  15. 15
    Up 58
    Down 25
    2006 More
    76
  16. 16
    Up 34
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    American History X

    1998 More
    76
  17. 17
    Up 24
    Down 7

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

    1975 More
    74
  18. 18
    Up 38
    Down 19

    often listed
    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    74
  19. 19
    Up 70
    Down 29
    2005 More
    73
  20. 20
    Up 34
    Down 9

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    A Clockwork Orange

    1971 More
    72
  21. 21
    Up 54
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks
    All the King's Men

    1950 More
    72
  22. 22
    Up 69
    Down 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Thank You for Smoking

    2005 More
    72
  23. 23
    Up 69
    Down 37

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Traffic

    2001 More
    72
  24. 24
    Up 86
    Down 45
    1991 More
    69
  25. 25
    Up 47
    Down 17
    1959 More
    68
  26. 26
    Up 19
    Down 9
    1993 More
    68
  27. 27
    Up 18
    Down 9

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frost/Nixon

    2008 More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 22
    Down 2

    often listed
    Lincoln

    2012 More
    67
  29. 29
    Up 81
    Down 44
    2005 More
    66
  30. 30
    Up 52
    Down 20
    1964 More
    66
  31. 31
    Up 35
    Down 10
    1975 More
    65
  32. 32
    Up 61
    Down 30
    1993 More
    64
  33. 33
    Up 24
    Down 8
    2000 More
    64
  34. 34
    Up 14
    Down 11

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Invictus

    2009 More
    64
  35. 35
    Up 17
    Down 5
    2007 More
    63
  36. 36
    Up 44
    Down 26
    1983 More
    63
  37. 37
    Up 16
    Down 6

    often listed
    Munich

    2005 More
    63
  38. 38
    Up 38
    Down 24
    1992 More
    62
  39. 39
    Up 56
    Down 36
    2004 More
    62
  40. 40
    Up 21
    Down 11

    often listed
    The Iron Lady

    2011 More
    62
  41. 41
    Up 59
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Malcolm X

    1992 More
    62
  42. 42
    Up 11
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battleship Potemkin

    1925 More
    62
    added by: stubb
  43. 43
    Up 10
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Constant Gardener

    2005 More
    61
  44. 44
    Up 37
    Down 21

    ranked low on reranks
    The Falcon and the Snowman

    1985 More
    60
  45. 45
    Up 7
    Down 7

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

    2003 More
    59
  46. 46
    Up 52
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Nixon

    1995 More
    59
  47. 47
    Up 51
    Down 34

    ranked low on reranks
    The American President

    1995 More
    59
  48. 48
    Up 20
    Down 8

    ranked high on reranks
    Chinatown

    1974 More
    58
  49. 49
    Up 21
    Down 8
    1960 More
    58
  50. 50
    Up 35
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Young Mr. Lincoln

    1939 More
    58
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 140

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists