The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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18  reranks 7,349 votes 463 voters 32,060 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
  • 18 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 16
    Up 114
    Down 57
    1991 More
    70
  2. 6
    Up 71
    Down 13
    2004 More
    84
  3. 121
    Up 1
    Down 0
    2006 More
    32
    added by: lostshadow
    This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ... more
  4. 136
    Up 5
    Down 8
    1927 More
    28
    added by: stubb
  5. 18
    Up 78
    Down 33
    1995 More
    70
  6. 56
    Up 45
    Down 26
    1999 More
    50
  7. 125
    Up 8
    Down 7
    2005 More
    31
    added by: stubb
  8. 13
    Up 89
    Down 40
    1979 More
    76
  9. 65
    Up 12
    Down 5
    1966 More
    47
    added by: stubb
  10. 113
    Up 15
    Down 9
    1997 More
    34
    added by: wiabux
  11. 72
    Up 15
    Down 8
    1985 More
    44
  12. 80
    Up 21
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    No image
    1980 More
    42
  13. 122
    Up 7
    Down 5
    2010 More
    32
    added by: sebbzor
  14. 90
    Up 5
    Down 8
    1976 More
    38
    added by: stubb
  15. 51
    Up 57
    Down 43
    1995 More
    51
  16. 124
    Up 4
    Down 3
    2008 More
    31
    added by: HereshSniper
  17. 104
    Up 11
    Down 21

    often listed
    The Argentine

    2008 More
    34
  18. 69
    Up 20
    Down 17
    2008 More
    45
  19. 105
    Up 0
    Down 0
    1961 More
    34
  20. 4
    Up 94
    Down 27
    1993 More
    89
  21. 131
    Up 6
    Down 10
    2011 More
    30
    added by: wiabux
  22. 9
    Up 95
    Down 62

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Milk

    2008 More
    80
  23. 103
    Up 0
    Down 0
    1965 More
    34
  24. 92
    Up 18
    Down 27
    1996 More
    38
  25. 64
    Up 33
    Down 35
    2002 More
    47
  26. 60
    Up 12
    Down 5
    2006 More
    49
    added by: wiabux
  27. 7
    Up 124
    Down 38
    1940 More
    84
  28. 14
    Up 73
    Down 41
    2006 More
    74
  29. 42
    Up 30
    Down 25
    2011 More
    56
  30. 39
    Up 66
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks
    Nixon

    1995 More
    57
  31. 63
    Up 26
    Down 20
    2010 More
    47
  32. 81
    Up 15
    Down 12
    1992 More
    42
  33. 22
    Up 83
    Down 37
    2005 More
    68
  34. 96
    Up 17
    Down 5

    ranked low on reranks
    The Killing Fields

    1984 More
    36
    added by: stubb
  35. 132
    Up 9
    Down 10
    1988 More
    30
    added by: stubb
  36. 29
    Up 68
    Down 28
    1964 More
    62
  37. 34
    Up 81
    Down 51
    2001 More
    59
  38. 127
    Up 7
    Down 10
    1957 More
    31
  39. 12
    Up 133
    Down 27

    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    1939 More
    77
  40. 61
    Up 27
    Down 20
    1993 More
    48
  41. 87
    Up 21
    Down 30
    1999 More
    39
  42. 44
    Up 43
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    The Patriot

    2000 More
    55
  43. 46
    Up 15
    Down 7
    2005 More
    52
    added by: wiabux
  44. 27
    Up 83
    Down 41
    2005 More
    65
  45. 71
    Up 17
    Down 13
    2012 More
    44
    added by: Abbey Grantham
  46. 67
    Up 31
    Down 26
    2011 More
    46
  47. 140
    Up 3
    Down 8
    2002 More
    26
    added by: sebbzor
  48. 73
    Up 19
    Down 20
    1969 More
    44
  49. 41
    Up 54
    Down 35

    ranked low on reranks
    Gorky Park

    1983 More
    56
  50. 77
    Up 16
    Down 8
    1933 More
    43
  51. 141 +

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