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. 61
    Up 8
    Down 2
    2006 More
    54
    added by: wiabux
  2. 4
    Up 55
    Down 11

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Schindler's List

    1993 More
    92
  3. 97
    Up 30
    Down 34
    2006 More
    38
  4. 134
    Up 2
    Down 5
    1927 More
    34
    added by: stubb
  5. 41
    Up 59
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Malcolm X

    1992 More
    62
  6. 35
    Up 17
    Down 5
    2007 More
    63
  7. 23
    Up 69
    Down 37

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Traffic

    2001 More
    72
  8. 114
    Up 4
    Down 5
    2005 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  9. 112
    Up 5
    Down 6
    1957 More
    36
  10. 118
    Up 3
    Down 4
    2004 More
    36
    added by: Joie
  11. 6
    Up 51
    Down 13

    often listed
    Gandhi

    1982 More
    86
  12. 68
    Up 23
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    Bananas

    1971 More
    50
  13. 13
    Up 72
    Down 26
    1979 More
    76
  14. 104
    Up 5
    Down 5
    1996 More
    36
  15. 91
    Up 13
    Down 17
    2002 More
    39
  16. 111
    Up 4
    Down 4
    2000 More
    36
    added by: wiabux
  17. 34
    Up 14
    Down 11

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Invictus

    2009 More
    64
  18. 48
    Up 20
    Down 8

    ranked high on reranks
    Chinatown

    1974 More
    58
  19. 137
    Up 1
    Down 4
    1970 More
    33
    added by: stubb
  20. 18
    Up 38
    Down 19

    often listed
    Michael Collins

    1996 More
    74
  21. 57
    Up 39
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks
    Election

    1999 More
    56
  22. 20
    Up 34
    Down 9

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    A Clockwork Orange

    1971 More
    72
  23. 26
    Up 19
    Down 9
    1993 More
    68
  24. 81
    Up 19
    Down 23

    ranked high on reranks
    Dick

    1999 More
    44
  25. 138
    Up 9
    Down 19
    2009 More
    33
  26. 39
    Up 56
    Down 36
    2004 More
    62
  27. 126
    Up 1
    Down 2
    1987 More
    35
    added by: StacyWolfe
  28. 87
    Up 10
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks
    Amazing Grace

    2006 More
    43
  29. 7
    Up 42
    Down 3
    2004 More
    84
  30. 59
    Up 34
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Reds

    1981 More
    55
  31. 83
    Up 6
    Down 5
    1964 More
    44
    added by: stubb
  32. 22
    Up 69
    Down 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Thank You for Smoking

    2005 More
    72
  33. 58
    Up 11
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Lawrence of Arabia

    1962 More
    56
  34. 15
    Up 58
    Down 25
    2006 More
    76
  35. 46
    Up 52
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Nixon

    1995 More
    59
  36. 139
    Up 0
    Down 3
    2012 More
    31
    added by: StacyWolfe
  37. 29
    Up 81
    Down 44
    2005 More
    66
  38. 36
    Up 44
    Down 26
    1983 More
    63
  39. 67
    Up 28
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks
    The Ides of March

    2011 More
    50
  40. 121
    Up 2
    Down 3
    2005 More
    36
    added by: sebbzor
  41. 79
    Up 10
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Hoffa

    1992 More
    45
  42. 63
    Up 31
    Down 17
    1969 More
    53
  43. 62
    Up 26
    Down 17
    1993 More
    53
  44. 135
    Up 1
    Down 4
    2010 More
    33
    added by: sebbzor
  45. 116
    Up 3
    Down 4
    1994 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  46. 73
    Up 11
    Down 2

    ranked low on reranks
    Why We Fight

    2005 More
    48
  47. 38
    Up 38
    Down 24
    1992 More
    62
  48. 33
    Up 24
    Down 8
    2000 More
    64
  49. 76
    Up 11
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Duck Soup

    1933 More
    47
  50. 78
    Up 8
    Down 5
    1943 More
    45
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