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. Some of the best political movies, 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. Good political movies are able to illuminate complicated situations for their viewers.

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.

Check out more lists like this awesome collection of political thrillers, slave movies that will make you question the justice of history, and the top napoleon movies ever made

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  1. 127
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    Jack O'Connell, Sean Harris, Martin McCann

    ) open
  2. 14
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    Malcolm McDowell, Steven Berkoff, Warren Clarke

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  3. 124
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    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

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  4. 110
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    Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Laura Linney

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  5. 106
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    Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

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  6. 90
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    added by stubb

    ) open
  7. 19
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    John Ireland, Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge

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  8. 2
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    Richard Nixon, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman

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  9. 85
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Rufus Sewell

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  10. 136
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    Aaron Russo, Irwin Schiff, Katherine Albrecht This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to cover the Federal Reserve System and "New World Order" conspiracy.

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  11. 16
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    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

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  12. 109
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    Bradley Cooper

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  13. 84
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  14. 108
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ralph Nader, Eric Alterman, Phil Donahue

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  15. 80
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    ranked low on reranks & added by drkaramaniac
    Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

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  16. 69
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    Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston

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  17. 132
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    Atlas Shrugged

  18. 139
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    Taylor Schilling, Michael Lerner, Jon Polito

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  19. 138
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    Atlas Shrugged: Part II Sean Hannity, Teller, Samantha Mathis

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  20. 77
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    Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen, Danny DeVito

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  21. 35
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    Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Antonov

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  22. 15
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    Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden

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  23. 59
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Susan Sarandon, Helen Hunt, Jack Black

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  24. 88
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    Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone

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  25. 121
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    Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty

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  27. 18
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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  28. 65
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    Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Jim Broadbent

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  29. 113
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    Halle Berry, Sarah Silverman, Don Cheadle

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  30. 129
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    Robert Powell

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  31. 64
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    Martha Higareda, Édgar Ramírez, Emmanuelle Bercot

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  32. 24
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    Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

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  33. 143
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    Matt Damon, Benicio del Toro, Rodrigo Santoro

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  34. 47
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    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski

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  35. 103
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    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

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  36. 92
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    Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

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  37. 112
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Josh Rushing

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  38. 71
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    Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Julian Glover

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  39. 27
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Jay Leno

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  40. 91
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    Kirsten Dunst, Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds

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  41. 96
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    Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Julie Christie

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  42. 125
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    Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, James Caan

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  43. 114
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    Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Thomas Kretschmann

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  44. 1
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    the people's #1
    James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

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  45. 72
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    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

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  46. 131
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    added by drkaramaniac
    Anny Duperey, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ulrich Tukur

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  47. 61
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    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein

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  48. 93
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    Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich

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  49. 137
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    Peter Coyote, Jeffrey Skilling, Gray Davis

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    Fahrehnait 9 11

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