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.

Check out more lists like this awesome collection of political thrillers, slave movies that will make you question the justice of history, and
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  1. 38
    Up 32
    Down 24

    added by stubb Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Antonov

    open
  2. 121
    Up 8
    Down 9

    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

    open
  3. 75
    Up 19
    Down 12

    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

    open
  4. 12
    Up 147
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

    open
  5. 53
    Up 45
    Down 33

    Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, Donald Meek

    open
  6. 7
    Up 142
    Down 52

    Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

    open
  7. 77
    Up 17
    Down 11

    Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan

    open
  8. 25
    Up 78
    Down 40

    John Ireland, Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge

    open
  9. 117
    Up 10
    Down 14

    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

    open
  10. 32
    Up 63
    Down 36

    Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell

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  11. 47
    Up 35
    Down 21

    Gene Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Harry Morgan

    open
  12. 9
    Up 74
    Down 24

    Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

    open
  13. 35
    Up 41
    Down 12

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

    open
  14. 3
    Up 155
    Down 45

    Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

    open
  15. 1
    Up 270
    Down 50

    the people's #1 James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

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  16. 68
    Up 14
    Down 13

    added by stubb Henry Fonda, Larry Hagman, Dom DeLuise

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  17. 31
    Up 72
    Down 36

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  18. 120
    Up 1
    Down 4

    Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Shelley Berman

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  19. 108
    Up 3
    Down 4

    Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Julie Christie

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  20. 67
    Up 16
    Down 10

    added by stubb Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Gene Wesson

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  21. 92
    Up 8
    Down 12

    added by stubb

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  22. 73
    Up 21
    Down 24

    Peter Boyle, Robert Forster, Peter Bonerz

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  23. 56
    Up 40
    Down 23

    Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

    open
  24. 15
    Up 81
    Down 26

    Malcolm McDowell, Steven Berkoff, Warren Clarke

    open
  25. 76
    Up 26
    Down 30

    Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen, Danny DeVito

    open
  26. 119
    Up 2
    Down 5

    Robert Redford, Natalie Wood, Peter Boyle

    open
  27. 122
    Up 2
    Down 2

    added by testvikas2 Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  28. 52
    Up 37
    Down 22

    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski

    open
  29. 100
    Up 15
    Down 27

    Idi Amin

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  30. 29
    Up 75
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston

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  31. 21
    Up 46
    Down 24

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

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  32. 2
    Up 197
    Down 60

    most listed Richard Nixon, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman

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  33. 90
    Up 6
    Down 12

    added by stubb Norman Yarborough

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  34. 13
    Up 96
    Down 51

    Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden

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  35. 78
    Up 23
    Down 26

    Bill Murray, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Boyle

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  36. 57
    Up 45
    Down 27

    Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Gene Hackman

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  37. 5
    Up 102
    Down 43

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Martin Sheen, Ben Kingsley

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  38. 118
    Up 11
    Down 15

    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

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  39. 103
    Up 15
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks & added by stubb Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt

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  40. 41
    Up 62
    Down 41

    ranked low on reranks William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy

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  41. 129
    Up 1
    Down 2

    added by testvikas2 Kevin Costner, Rebecca De Mornay, Lukas Haas

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  42. 94
    Up 25
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks & added by stubb John Malkovich, Craig T. Nelson, Sam Waterston

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  43. 71
    Up 20
    Down 13

    Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Jim Broadbent

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  44. 46
    Up 48
    Down 38

    Sean Penn, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside

    open
  45. 115
    Up 10
    Down 14

    James Woods, Jim Belushi, Cynthia Gibb

    open
  46. 60
    Up 21
    Down 18

    Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Julian Glover

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  47. 72
    Up 26
    Down 16

    Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich

    open
  48. 141
    Up 9
    Down 16

    added by stubb Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

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  49. 11
    Up 69
    Down 29

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

    open
  50. 16
    Up 136
    Down 67

    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

    open
142 +

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