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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    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

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    added by Vvvvvvv Brendan Fraser, Michael Caine, Rade Šerbedžija

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    added by lostshadow Aaron Russo, Irwin Schiff, Katherine Albrecht This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ...

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    Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal

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    James Woods, Jim Belushi, Cynthia Gibb

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    added by StacyWolfe Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid

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    Robert Redford, Natalie Wood, Peter Boyle

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    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson

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    Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Shelley Berman

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    Robert J. Groden

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    James Cagney, Red Buttons, Pamela Tiffin

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    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

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    added by wiabux Halle Berry, Sarah Silverman, Don Cheadle

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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks James Carville

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Daniel Ellsberg

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Josh Rushing

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    Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benicio del Toro

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    Ralph Nader, Eric Alterman, Phil Donahue

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    added by Dave_7672 Kevin Costner, Willie Nelson, Bill Maher

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    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

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    James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan

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    Kirsten Dunst, Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds

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    Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Nassar

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    Forest Whitaker, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson

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  51. 138 +

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