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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  1. 18
    Up 66
    Down 23

    1971

    open
  2. 86
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    1957

    open
  3. 119
    Up 8
    Down 13

    1996

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  4. 105
    Up 10
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    added by wiabux 1997

    open
  5. 109
    Up 16
    Down 11

    added by wiabux 1997

    open
  6. 97
    Up 5
    Down 11

    added by stubb 1969

    open
  7. 20
    Up 70
    Down 36

    1950

    open
  8. 2
    Up 169
    Down 48

    most listed 1976

    open
  9. 83
    Up 13
    Down 13

    2006

    open
  10. 131
    Up 1
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    added by lostshadow 2006 This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ...

    open
  11. 21
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    1998

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  12. 87
    Up 35
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    2006

    open
  13. 102
    Up 13
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    2007

    open
  14. 70
    Up 20
    Down 15

    added by Abbey Grantham 2012

    open
  15. 78
    Up 25
    Down 28

    1971

    open
  16. 39
    Up 27
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    added by stubb 1925

    open
  17. 11
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    1979

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  18. 43
    Up 45
    Down 42

    1992

    open
  19. 76
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    2006

    open
  20. 65
    Up 33
    Down 39

    2002

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  21. 19
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    1995

    open
  22. 73
    Up 16
    Down 10

    1985

    open
  23. 113
    Up 10
    Down 10

    added by wiabux 1998

    open
  24. 63
    Up 26
    Down 22

    2010

    open
  25. 16
    Up 44
    Down 14

    2007

    open
  26. 129
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    added by HereshSniper 2008

    open
  27. 54
    Up 32
    Down 18

    1974

    open
  28. 94
    Up 18
    Down 29

    1996

    open
  29. 99
    Up 15
    Down 8

    added by wiabux 1994

    open
  30. 136
    Up 5
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    added by sebbzor 2001

    open
  31. 106
    Up 12
    Down 25

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2004

    open
  32. 57
    Up 20
    Down 14

    1987

    open
  33. 24
    Up 86
    Down 39

    1993

    open
  34. 137
    Up 5
    Down 11

    added by stubb 1994

    open
  35. 91
    Up 21
    Down 33

    1999

    open
  36. 112
    Up 1
    Down 2

    new! 1965

    open
  37. 1
    Up 232
    Down 40
    open
  38. 81
    Up 16
    Down 10

    1933

    open
  39. 56
    Up 46
    Down 28

    1999

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  40. 71
    Up 23
    Down 12

    1987

    open
  41. 127
    Up 8
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    added by stubb 2005

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  42. 68
    Up 11
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    added by stubb 1964

    open
  43. 89
    Up 15
    Down 25

    2010

    open
  44. 26
    Up 35
    Down 22

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2008

    open
  45. 5
    Up 87
    Down 34

    1982

    open
  46. 101
    Up 15
    Down 24

    1974

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  47. 29
    Up 85
    Down 43

    2005

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  48. 38
    Up 18
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    2003

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  49. 41
    Up 56
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    ranked low on reranks 1983

    open
  50. 90
    Up 5
    Down 10

    added by stubb 1976

    open
  51. 138 +

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