The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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16  reranks 6,528 votes 398 voters 26,139 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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  1. 27
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    1991 More
    64
  2. 7
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    2004 More
    83
  3. 127
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    1927 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  4. 18
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    1995 More
    72
  5. 56
    Up 42
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    1999 More
    50
  6. 118
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    2005 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  7. 136
    Up 3
    Down 7
    2004 More
    27
    added by: Joie
  8. 15
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    1979 More
    72
  9. 80
    Up 8
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    1966 More
    43
    added by: stubb
  10. 100
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    ranked low on reranks
    Air Force One

    1997 More
    34
    added by: wiabux
  11. 75
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    1985 More
    43
  12. 79
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    No image
    1980 More
    43
  13. 123
    Up 4
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    2010 More
    30
    added by: sebbzor
  14. 90
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    1976 More
    37
    added by: stubb
  15. 47
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    1995 More
    53
  16. 125
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    2008 More
    29
    added by: HereshSniper
  17. 97
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    often listed
    The Argentine

    2008 More
    35
  18. 66
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    2008 More
    46
  19. 4
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    1993 More
    93
  20. 121
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    2011 More
    30
    added by: wiabux
  21. 10
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    2008 More
    82
  22. 85
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    1996 More
    39
  23. 70
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Bowling for Columbine

    2002 More
    44
  24. 58
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    2006 More
    50
    added by: wiabux
  25. 8
    Up 114
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    1940 More
    83
  26. 14
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    2006 More
    74
  27. 134
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    2003 More
    28
    added by: wiabux
  28. 32
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Iron Lady

    2011 More
    59
  29. 43
    Up 61
    Down 37
    1995 More
    55
  30. 61
    Up 25
    Down 18
    2010 More
    49
  31. 78
    Up 12
    Down 10
    1992 More
    43
  32. 23
    Up 74
    Down 35
    2005 More
    66
  33. 95
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    ranked low on reranks
    The Killing Fields

    1984 More
    35
    added by: stubb
  34. 117
    Up 7
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    1988 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  35. 31
    Up 61
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    1964 More
    60
  36. 26
    Up 78
    Down 48
    2001 More
    64
  37. 120
    Up 5
    Down 9
    1957 More
    30
  38. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    79
  39. 57
    Up 27
    Down 19
    1993 More
    50
  40. 84
    Up 20
    Down 29
    1999 More
    39
  41. 34
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    2000 More
    59
  42. 51
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    2005 More
    52
    added by: wiabux
  43. 21
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    2005 More
    67
  44. 73
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    2012 More
    43
    added by: Abbey Grantham
  45. 65
    Up 28
    Down 25
    2011 More
    47
  46. 131
    Up 3
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    2002 More
    28
    added by: sebbzor
  47. 81
    Up 18
    Down 18
    1969 More
    42
  48. 36
    Up 50
    Down 31
    1983 More
    58
  49. 77
    Up 13
    Down 7
    1933 More
    43
  50. 128
    Up 4
    Down 7
    1969 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  51. 138 +

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