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. 121
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    2006 More
    32
    added by: lostshadow
    This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ... more
  2. 136
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    1927 More
    29
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  3. 2
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    1976 More
    98
  4. 11
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    1988 More
    77
  5. 125
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    31
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  6. 91
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    1996 More
    39
  7. 56
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    1999 More
    50
  8. 87
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    1999 More
    39
  9. 76
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    added by: sebbzor
  10. 135
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  11. 93
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  12. 82
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    No image
    1980 More
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  13. 94
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    1969 More
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  14. 90
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    1976 More
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  15. 98
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    1974 More
    36
  16. 10
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    1997 More
    78
  17. 72
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  18. 106
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    1961 More
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  19. 122
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  20. 7
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    1940 More
    84
  21. 102
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    1997 More
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  22. 37
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  23. 131
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  24. 117
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    1982 More
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  25. 58
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    1969 More
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  26. 61
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  27. 81
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  28. 103
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    1965 More
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  29. 35
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    1962 More
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  30. 86
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  31. 89
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  32. 127
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  33. 75
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  34. 107
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  35. 71
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  37. 57
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  38. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    77
  39. 137
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    2001 More
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  40. 111
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    1964 More
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  41. 129
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  42. 27
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  43. 67
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  44. 64
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    1966 More
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  45. 9
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Milk

    2008 More
    80
  46. 13
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    1979 More
    76
  47. 73
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    1969 More
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  48. 26
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    1993 More
    66
  49. 32
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    1959 More
    62
  50. 28
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    2005 More
    65
  51. 141 +

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