The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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16  reranks 6,662 votes 414 voters 26,902 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. 20
    Up 51
    Down 17
    1971 More
    67
  2. 120
    Up 5
    Down 9
    1957 More
    30
  3. 103
    Up 8
    Down 8
    1996 More
    33
  4. 96
    Up 9
    Down 5
    1997 More
    35
    added by: wiabux
  5. 100
    Up 13
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Air Force One

    1997 More
    34
    added by: wiabux
  6. 127
    Up 4
    Down 7
    1969 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  7. 19
    Up 67
    Down 30
    1950 More
    70
  8. 1
    Up 147
    Down 38
    1976 More
    100
  9. 76
    Up 13
    Down 10
    2006 More
    43
  10. 17
    Up 50
    Down 19
    1998 More
    72
  11. 88
    Up 34
    Down 40
    2006 More
    38
  12. 95
    Up 12
    Down 19

    often listed
    An Unreasonable Man

    2007 More
    36
  13. 73
    Up 14
    Down 12
    2012 More
    44
    added by: Abbey Grantham
  14. 71
    Up 24
    Down 24
    1971 More
    44
  15. 40
    Up 17
    Down 15

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battleship Potemkin

    1925 More
    56
    added by: stubb
  16. 18
    Up 82
    Down 39
    1979 More
    71
  17. 39
    Up 41
    Down 35
    1992 More
    56
  18. 68
    Up 15
    Down 13
    2006 More
    46
  19. 72
    Up 29
    Down 35
    2002 More
    44
  20. 16
    Up 70
    Down 29
    1995 More
    72
  21. 75
    Up 11
    Down 7
    1985 More
    43
  22. 113
    Up 6
    Down 7
    1998 More
    31
    added by: wiabux
  23. 61
    Up 25
    Down 18
    2010 More
    49
  24. 28
    Up 27
    Down 11
    2007 More
    63
  25. 129
    Up 1
    Down 3
    2008 More
    28
    added by: HereshSniper
  26. 63
    Up 25
    Down 16
    1974 More
    49
  27. 85
    Up 17
    Down 26
    1996 More
    39
  28. 97
    Up 10
    Down 6
    1994 More
    35
    added by: wiabux
  29. 134
    Up 3
    Down 7
    2001 More
    27
    added by: sebbzor
  30. 101
    Up 11
    Down 22

    often listed
    Control Room

    2004 More
    34
  31. 54
    Up 18
    Down 11
    1987 More
    51
  32. 30
    Up 75
    Down 35
    1993 More
    60
  33. 128
    Up 4
    Down 7
    1994 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  34. 84
    Up 20
    Down 29
    1999 More
    39
  35. 3
    Up 193
    Down 34
    1964 More
    97
  36. 78
    Up 13
    Down 7
    1933 More
    43
  37. 56
    Up 42
    Down 26
    1999 More
    50
  38. 70
    Up 18
    Down 9
    1987 More
    44
  39. 119
    Up 6
    Down 7
    2005 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  40. 82
    Up 7
    Down 7
    1964 More
    42
    added by: stubb
  41. 86
    Up 12
    Down 22
    2010 More
    38
  42. 24
    Up 28
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frost/Nixon

    2008 More
    65
  43. 5
    Up 69
    Down 23
    1982 More
    85
  44. 92
    Up 14
    Down 21

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait

    1974 More
    36
  45. 22
    Up 80
    Down 39
    2005 More
    67
  46. 46
    Up 12
    Down 16

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Good bye, Lenin!

    2003 More
    53
  47. 35
    Up 51
    Down 31
    1983 More
    59
  48. 90
    Up 3
    Down 8
    1976 More
    37
    added by: stubb
  49. 115
    Up 8
    Down 8
    1988 More
    31
    added by: stubb
  50. 77
    Up 12
    Down 10
    1992 More
    43
  51. 137 +

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