The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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16  reranks 6,659 votes 414 voters 26,767 views more info

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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List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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Score
  1. 126
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    1927 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  2. 1
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    1976 More
    100
  3. 11
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    1988 More
    81
  4. 119
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    2005 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  5. 85
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    1996 More
    39
  6. 56
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    1999 More
    50
  7. 84
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    1999 More
    39
  8. 122
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    2005 More
    30
    added by: sebbzor
  9. 131
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    28
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  10. 87
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    2009 More
    38
  11. 79
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    No image
    1980 More
    43
  12. 127
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    1969 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  13. 90
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    1976 More
    37
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  14. 92
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait

    1974 More
    36
  15. 9
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    1997 More
    82
  16. 73
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    2012 More
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    added by: Abbey Grantham
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    1940 More
    83
  19. 96
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    1997 More
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  20. 38
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    2009 More
    58
  21. 121
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    2011 More
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  22. 105
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    1982 More
    33
  23. 65
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    1969 More
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  24. 57
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    1993 More
    50
  25. 77
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    1992 More
    43
  26. 45
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    1962 More
    54
  27. 88
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    2006 More
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  28. 86
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  29. 120
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  30. 68
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  31. 111
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    2003 More
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  32. 69
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  33. 32
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Constant Gardener

    2005 More
    59
  34. 60
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    2006 More
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  35. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    79
  36. 134
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    2001 More
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    added by: sebbzor
  37. 116
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    2007 More
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  38. 22
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  39. 64
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    2011 More
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  40. 80
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    1966 More
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    2008 More
    82
  42. 18
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    1979 More
    71
  43. 81
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    1969 More
    42
  44. 30
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    1993 More
    60
  45. 26
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    1959 More
    64
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    2005 More
    59
  47. 23
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    2005 More
    66
  48. 101
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    often listed
    Control Room

    2004 More
    34
  49. 118
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    2003 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  50. 21
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    In the Name of the Father

    1993 More
    67
  51. 137 +

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