The Best Political Films Ever Made Films

The Best Political Films Ever Made

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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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  Name
Score
  1. 42
    Up 11
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battleship Potemkin

    1925 More
    62
    added by: stubb
  2. 134
    Up 2
    Down 5
    1927 More
    34
    added by: stubb
  3. 76
    Up 11
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Duck Soup

    1933 More
    47
  4. 8
    Up 102
    Down 17
    1939 More
    83
  5. 50
    Up 35
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Young Mr. Lincoln

    1939 More
    58
  6. 5
    Up 103
    Down 25
    1940 More
    87
  7. 78
    Up 8
    Down 5
    1943 More
    45
  8. 21
    Up 54
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks
    All the King's Men

    1950 More
    72
  9. 112
    Up 5
    Down 6
    1957 More
    36
  10. 25
    Up 47
    Down 17
    1959 More
    68
  11. 49
    Up 21
    Down 8
    1960 More
    58
  12. 11
    Up 34
    Down 4
    1961 More
    80
  13. 58
    Up 11
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Lawrence of Arabia

    1962 More
    56
  14. 140
    Up 0
    Down 4

    about to drop off
    Salvatore Giuliano

    1962 More
    29
    added by: stubb
  15. 3
    Up 99
    Down 21
    1962 More
    97
  16. 129
    Up 2
    Down 4
    1964 More
    35
    added by: stubb
  17. 2
    Up 159
    Down 25
    1964 More
    98
  18. 83
    Up 6
    Down 5
    1964 More
    44
    added by: stubb
  19. 30
    Up 52
    Down 20
    1964 More
    66
  20. 66
    Up 5
    Down 3

    ranked high on reranks
    The Battle of Algiers

    1966 More
    51
    added by: stubb
  21. 117
    Up 3
    Down 4
    1969 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  22. 80
    Up 17
    Down 15
    1969 More
    45
  23. 63
    Up 31
    Down 17
    1969 More
    53
  24. 137
    Up 1
    Down 4
    1970 More
    33
    added by: stubb
  25. 20
    Up 34
    Down 9

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    A Clockwork Orange

    1971 More
    72
  26. 68
    Up 23
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    Bananas

    1971 More
    50
  27. 48
    Up 20
    Down 8

    ranked high on reranks
    Chinatown

    1974 More
    58
  28. 94
    Up 13
    Down 18
    1974 More
    38
  29. 31
    Up 35
    Down 10
    1975 More
    65
  30. 17
    Up 24
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Three Days of the Condor

    1975 More
    74
  31. 1
    Up 129
    Down 27

    most listed &ranked low on reranks
    All the President's Men

    1976 More
    100
  32. 72
    Up 3
    Down 5

    ranked high on reranks
    Harlan County, USA

    1976 More
    49
    added by: stubb
  33. 13
    Up 72
    Down 26
    1979 More
    76
  34. 75
    Up 19
    Down 17
    No image

    ranked high on reranks
    Where the Buffalo Roam

    1980 More
    48
  35. 59
    Up 34
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Reds

    1981 More
    55
  36. 6
    Up 51
    Down 13

    often listed
    Gandhi

    1982 More
    86
  37. 103
    Up 7
    Down 7
    1982 More
    37
  38. 110
    Up 4
    Down 4
    1982 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  39. 36
    Up 44
    Down 26
    1983 More
    63
  40. 90
    Up 7
    Down 2
    1984 More
    40
    added by: stubb
  41. 65
    Up 9
    Down 4
    1985 More
    51
  42. 44
    Up 37
    Down 21

    ranked low on reranks
    The Falcon and the Snowman

    1985 More
    60
  43. 132
    Up 3
    Down 6
    1986 More
    34
  44. 55
    Up 16
    Down 9

    ranked high on reranks &ranked low on reranks
    Cry Freedom

    1987 More
    57
  45. 82
    Up 12
    Down 8
    1987 More
    44
  46. 126
    Up 1
    Down 2
    1987 More
    35
    added by: StacyWolfe
  47. 105
    Up 5
    Down 5
    1988 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  48. 12
    Up 38
    Down 9
    1988 More
    79
  49. 24
    Up 86
    Down 45
    1991 More
    69
  50. 38
    Up 38
    Down 24
    1992 More
    62
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