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.

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List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 16
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    1971

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  2. 127
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    1957

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  3. 120
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    1996

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  4. 102
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    added by wiabux 1997

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  5. 113
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    added by wiabux 1997

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  6. 94
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    added by stubb 1969

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  7. 25
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    1950

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  8. 2
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    most listed 1976

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  9. 83
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    2006

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  10. 121
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    added by lostshadow 2006 This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ...

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  11. 19
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    1998

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  12. 86
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    2006

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  13. 101
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    2007

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  14. 72
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    added by Abbey Grantham 2012

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  15. 79
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    1971

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  16. 38
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    added by stubb 1925

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  17. 13
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    1979

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  18. 43
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    1992

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  19. 76
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    2006

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  20. 63
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    2002

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  21. 20
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    1995

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  22. 71
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    1985

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  23. 110
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    added by wiabux 1998

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  24. 64
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    2010

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  25. 23
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    2007

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  26. 124
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    added by HereshSniper 2008

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  27. 59
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    1974

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  28. 92
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    1996

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  29. 99
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    added by wiabux 1994

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  30. 137
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    added by sebbzor 2001

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  31. 116
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    often listed 2004

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  32. 54
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    1987

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  33. 26
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    1993

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  34. 138
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    added by stubb 1994

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  35. 87
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    1999

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  36. 103
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    1965

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  37. 1
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  38. 77
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    1933

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  39. 56
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    1999

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  40. 73
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    1987

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  41. 125
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    added by stubb 2005

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  42. 68
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    added by stubb 1964

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  43. 89
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    2010

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  44. 24
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2008

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  45. 5
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    often listed 1982

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  46. 98
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  47. 27
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    2005

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  48. 39
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    2003

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  49. 41
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    ranked low on reranks 1983

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  50. 90
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    added by stubb 1976

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  51. 141 +

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