The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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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. 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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  1. 137
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    added by lostshadow Aaron Russo, Irwin Schiff, Katherine Albrecht This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ...

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  2. 86
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    Al Gore

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  3. 121
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    new! & added by testvikas2 Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  4. 85
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    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

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  5. 92
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    added by wiabux Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro

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  6. 39
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    ranked low on reranks Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Bai Ling

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  7. 131
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    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

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  8. 25
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Jay Leno

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  9. 69
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    added by Abbey Grantham Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston

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  10. 84
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Rufus Sewell

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  11. 75
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    Bill Murray, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Boyle

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  12. 130
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    added by Vvvvvvv Brendan Fraser, Michael Caine, Rade Šerbedžija

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  13. 72
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    Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Jan Josef Liefers

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  14. 123
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    added by MejaEhrenström Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Thomas Kretschmann

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  15. 96
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    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

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  16. 7
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    Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

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  17. 71
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    ranked low on reranks Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich

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  18. 111
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    added by wiabux Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Laura Linney

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  19. 99
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo

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  20. 38
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    Daniel Brühl, Michael Gwisdek, Christine Schorn

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  21. 33
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    Daniel Craig, Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush

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  22. 26
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

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  23. 5
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Martin Sheen, Ben Kingsley

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  24. 110
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  25. 49
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    Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Angela Bassett

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  26. 59
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    Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Julian Glover

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  27. 21
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    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

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  28. 129
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    added by StacyWolfe Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid

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  29. 88
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    Forest Whitaker, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson

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  30. 3
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    Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

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  31. 132
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    added by MarySSpiegel Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater

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  32. 61
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    added by sebbzor Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch

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  33. 47
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    Gene Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Harry Morgan

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  34. 45
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    added by wiabux George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet

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  35. 28
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    George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

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  36. 65
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    George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei

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  37. 62
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    George Stephanopoulos

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  38. 74
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    Gore Vidal, Richard Perle, Graydon Carter

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  39. 81
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    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

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  40. 109
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    added by wiabux Halle Berry, Sarah Silverman, Don Cheadle

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  41. 108
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    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

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  42. 115
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    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

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  43. 97
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

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  44. 15
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    Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

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  45. 77
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    Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan

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  46. 119
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    Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Shelley Berman

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  47. 68
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    added by stubb Henry Fonda, Larry Hagman, Dom DeLuise

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  48. 51
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    Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, Donald Meek

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  49. 101
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    Idi Amin

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  50. 117
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    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

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