The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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16  reranks 6,247 votes 380 voters 24,598 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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Score
  1. 38
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    ranked high on reranks
    Battleship Potemkin

    1925 More
    62
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  2. 123
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    1927 More
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  3. 79
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    1933 More
    45
  4. 8
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    84
  5. 51
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    1939 More
    57
  6. 6
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    1940 More
    85
  7. 75
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    1943 More
    47
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    1950 More
    73
  9. 129
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    1957 More
    33
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    1959 More
    68
  11. 49
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    1960 More
    58
  12. 7
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    1961 More
    84
  13. 48
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    1962 More
    58
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    98
  15. 3
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    1964 More
    98
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    1966 More
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    1969 More
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    1974 More
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    1974 More
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  26. 33
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    1975 More
    64
  27. 17
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Three Days of the Condor

    1975 More
    74
  28. 1
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    1976 More
    100
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    ranked high on reranks
    Harlan County, USA

    1976 More
    46
    added by: stubb
  30. 13
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    1979 More
    76
  31. 74
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    No image
    1980 More
    47
  32. 56
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    ranked low on reranks
    Reds

    1981 More
    56
  33. 5
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    1982 More
    86
  34. 106
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    1982 More
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  35. 93
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    1983 More
    63
  37. 90
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  38. 66
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    1985 More
    51
  39. 43
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    1985 More
    60
  40. 120
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    1986 More
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  41. 54
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    1987 More
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  42. 78
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  43. 119
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    added by: StacyWolfe
  44. 110
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    1988 More
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  45. 12
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    1988 More
    80
  46. 23
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    1991 More
    70
  47. 40
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    1992 More
    61
  48. 80
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    44
  49. 42
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    61
  50. 109
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    36
    added by: wiabux
  51. 138 +

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