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. 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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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 129
    Down 25

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

    1976 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 156
    Down 25
    1964 More
    97
  3. 3
    Up 97
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    The Manchurian Candidate

    1962 More
    97
  4. 4
    Up 54
    Down 10

    ranked high on reranks
    Schindler's List

    1993 More
    91
  5. 5
    Up 102
    Down 25
    1940 More
    86
  6. 6
    Up 49
    Down 13
    1982 More
    85
  7. 7
    Up 102
    Down 16

    ranked high on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 41
    Down 2

    often listed
    Hotel Rwanda

    2004 More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 92
    Down 33

    often listed
    Wag the Dog

    1997 More
    82
  10. 10
    Up 80
    Down 43
    2008 More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 33
    Down 4

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Judgment at Nuremberg

    1961 More
    79
  12. 12
    Up 38
    Down 8

    often listed
    Mississippi Burning

    1988 More
    79
  13. 13
    Up 72
    Down 25

    ranked high on reranks
    Being There

    1979 More
    76
  14. 14
    Up 58
    Down 24

    often listed
    The Queen

    2006 More
    76
  15. 15
    Up 47
    Down 17

    ranked high on reranks
    Braveheart

    1995 More
    75
  16. 16
    Up 32
    Down 6

    often listed
    American History X

    1998 More
    75
  17. 17
    Up 38
    Down 18

    often listed
    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    74
  18. 18
    Up 70
    Down 28
    2005 More
    73
  19. 19
    Up 22
    Down 7
    1975 More
    73
  20. 20
    Up 69
    Down 25
    2005 More
    72
  21. 21
    Up 54
    Down 22
    1950 More
    72
  22. 22
    Up 68
    Down 37
    2001 More
    71
  23. 23
    Up 31
    Down 9
    1971 More
    71
  24. 24
    Up 84
    Down 44
    1991 More
    69
  25. 25
    Up 19
    Down 8
    1993 More
    68
  26. 26
    Up 46
    Down 17
    1959 More
    68
  27. 27
    Up 18
    Down 8
    2008 More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 51
    Down 19
    1964 More
    66
  29. 29
    Up 21
    Down 1
    2012 More
    66
  30. 30
    Up 78
    Down 44
    2005 More
    66
  31. 31
    Up 34
    Down 10

    ranked high on reranks
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    1975 More
    64
  32. 32
    Up 60
    Down 30
    1993 More
    64
  33. 33
    Up 23
    Down 7
    2000 More
    64
  34. 34
    Up 17
    Down 4
    2007 More
    63
  35. 35
    Up 13
    Down 10
    2009 More
    63
  36. 36
    Up 43
    Down 26
    1983 More
    63
  37. 37
    Up 15
    Down 5
    2005 More
    63
  38. 38
    Up 38
    Down 23
    1992 More
    63
  39. 39
    Up 59
    Down 36
    1992 More
    62
  40. 40
    Up 55
    Down 35
    2004 More
    62
  41. 41
    Up 21
    Down 10
    2011 More
    62
  42. 42
    Up 11
    Down 6
    1925 More
    62
    added by: stubb
  43. 43
    Up 10
    Down 6
    2005 More
    61
  44. 44
    Up 37
    Down 20
    1985 More
    60
  45. 45
    Up 7
    Down 6
    2003 More
    60
  46. 46
    Up 51
    Down 28
    1995 More
    59
  47. 47
    Up 51
    Down 33
    1995 More
    59
  48. 48
    Up 35
    Down 14
    1939 More
    59
  49. 49
    Up 21
    Down 7
    1960 More
    59
  50. 50
    Up 6
    Down 6
    2008 More
    58
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