The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 12,019 votes 815 voters 69,589 views 144 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

  • 20 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 359
    - 62

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

    ) open buy now
  2. 2
    + 242
    - 74

    Abraham Murphy, Jack Warden, Meredith Baxter

    ) open buy now
  3. 3
    + 187
    - 61

    most listed
    Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

    ) open buy now
  4. 4
    + 184
    - 61

    Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Maria Peszek

    ) open buy now
  5. 5
    + 136
    - 59

    Trevor Howard, Bernard Hill, John Gielgud

    ) open buy now
  6. 6
    + 130
    - 40

    Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Jean Reno

    ) open buy now
  7. 7
    + 168
    - 70

    Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Paulette Goddard

    ) open buy now
  8. 8
    + 127
    - 107

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

    ) open buy now
  9. 9
    + 178
    - 52

    Charles Lane, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains

    ) open buy now
  10. 10
    + 89
    - 38

    Maximilian Schell, Burt Lancaster, Werner Klemperer

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 95
    - 41

    Frances McDormand, Michael Rooker, Brad Dourif

    ) open buy now
  12. 12
    + 165
    - 87

    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ) open buy now
  13. 13
    + 152
    - 78

    Willie Nelson, Anne Heche, Merle Haggard

    ) open buy now
  14. 14
    + 117
    - 39

    John Savident, Patrick Magee, Margaret Tyzack

    ) open buy now
  15. 15
    + 111
    - 68

    Melvyn Douglas, Richard Basehart, Shirley MacLaine

    ) open buy now
  16. 16
    + 105
    - 44

    Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Edward Furlong

    ) open buy now
  17. 17
    + 65
    - 39

    Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Frank Langella

    ) open buy now
  18. 18
    + 97
    - 68

    Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Alex Jennings

    ) open buy now
  19. 19
    + 96
    - 54

    Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, John Derek

    ) open buy now
  20. 20
    + 123
    - 65

    Brian Cox, Ian Bannen, Brendan Gleeson

    ) open buy now
  21. 21
    + 61
    - 54

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

    ) open buy now
  22. 22
    + 61
    - 38

    Helen Stenborg, Addison Powell, Faye Dunaway

    ) open buy now
  23. 23
    + 59
    - 40

    Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Massey

    ) open buy now
  24. 24
    + 71
    - 35

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Blunt, Om Puri

    ) open buy now
  25. 25
    + 160
    - 83

    ranked low on reranks
    John Hurt, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea

    ) open buy now
  26. 26
    + 104
    - 57

    Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe, Maria Bello

    ) open buy now
  27. 27
    + 67
    - 19

    Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Quinn

    ) open buy now
  28. 28
    + 103
    - 62

    Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin, Ben Stein

    ) open buy now
  29. 29
    + 107
    - 63

    George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson

    ) open buy now
  30. 30
    + 83
    - 44

    Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Fredric March

    ) open buy now
  31. 31
    + 97
    - 35

    Vincent Schiavelli, Louise Fletcher, Anjelica Huston

    ) open buy now
  32. 32
    + 79
    - 42

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

    ) open buy now
  33. 33
    + 104
    - 66

    Benicio del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace

    ) open buy now
  34. 34
    + 60
    - 35

    Eric Bana, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marie-Josée Croze

    ) open buy now
  35. 35
    + 47
    - 34

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

    ) open buy now
  36. 36
    + 74
    - 43

    Peter Sellers, Leo McKern, Timothy Bateson

    ) open buy now
  37. 37
    + 30
    - 34

    Michael Gwisdek, Katrin Saß, Christine Schorn

    ) open buy now
  38. 38
    + 41
    - 43

    Matt Damon, Patrick Mofokeng, Julian Lewis Jones

    ) open buy now
  39. 39
    + 80
    - 59

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Steenburgen, James Woods, Ed Harris

    ) open buy now
  40. 40
    + 45
    - 46

    Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Roger Allam

    ) open buy now
  41. 41
    + 39
    - 36

    Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Aubrey

    ) open buy now
  42. 42
    + 40
    - 23

    added by wiabux
    George Clooney, Matt Damon, William Hurt

    ) open buy now
  43. 43
    + 100
    - 71

    George Guidall, Al Sharpton, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ) open buy now
  44. 44
    + 46
    - 29

    Harry Morgan, Paul Hartman, Spencer Tracy

    ) open buy now
  45. 45
    + 58
    - 48

    Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Rene Auberjonois

    ) open buy now
  46. 46
    + 63
    - 51

    Alexander Knox, William Hurt, Ian McDiarmid

    ) open buy now
  47. 47
    + 51
    - 29

    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Beulah Quo

    ) open buy now
  48. 48
    + 34
    - 18

    added by wiabux
    Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, David Oyelowo

    ) open buy now
  49. 49
    + 34
    - 17

    added by sebbzor
    John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy

    ) open buy now
  50. 50
    + 16
    - 27

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Michael Fassbender

    ) open buy now
145 +

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