The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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18  reranks 7,437 votes 484 voters 35,105 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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  1. 17
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    1991

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    2004

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  3. 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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  4. 136
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    added by stubb 1927

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    1995

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    1999

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  7. 125
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    added by stubb 2005

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    1979

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    added by stubb 1966

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  10. 113
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    added by wiabux 1997

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    1985

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    1980

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  13. 122
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    added by sebbzor 2010

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  14. 90
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    added by stubb 1976

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  15. 51
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    1995

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  16. 124
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    added by HereshSniper 2008

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  17. 104
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    often listed 2008

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    2008

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    new! 1961

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    1993

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  21. 131
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    added by wiabux 2011

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  22. 9
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2008

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    1965

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    1996

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    2002

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  26. 60
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    added by wiabux 2006

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  27. 7
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    1940

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  28. 14
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    2006

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  29. 42
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    2011

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  30. 40
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    ranked low on reranks 1995

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  31. 64
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    2010

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  32. 81
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    1992

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  33. 22
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    2005

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  34. 96
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    ranked low on reranks & added by stubb 1984

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    added by stubb 1988

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  36. 29
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    1964

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  37. 34
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    2001

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  38. 127
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    1957

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  39. 12
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    ranked low on reranks 1939

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  40. 61
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    1993

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    1999

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    2000

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  43. 46
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    added by wiabux 2005

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  44. 27
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    2005

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  45. 72
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    added by Abbey Grantham 2012

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  46. 67
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    2011

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  47. 140
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    added by sebbzor 2002

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  48. 74
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    1969

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  49. 41
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    ranked low on reranks 1983

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    1933

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  51. 141 +

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