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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  1. 130
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    added by Vvvvvvv Brendan Fraser, Michael Caine, Rade Šerbedžija

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  2. 129
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    added by StacyWolfe Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid

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  3. 128
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    added by HereshSniper Matt Damon, Benicio del Toro, Rodrigo Santoro

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  4. 127
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    added by stubb Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

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  5. 126
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    added by stubb

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  6. 125
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    added by testvikas2 Kevin Costner, Rebecca De Mornay, Lukas Haas

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  7. 124
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  8. 123
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    added by testvikas2 Milton Gonçalves, Nelson Xavier, Zezé Motta

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  9. 122
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    new! & added by testvikas2 Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  10. 121
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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 cover the Federal Reserve System and "New World Order" conspiracy.

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  11. 120
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    added by stubb Peter Coyote, Jeffrey Skilling, Gray Davis

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  12. 119
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    added by MarySSpiegel Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater

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  13. 118
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    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

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  14. 117
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    added by MejaEhrenström Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Thomas Kretschmann

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  15. 116
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    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

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  16. 115
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    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

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  17. 114
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks James Carville

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  18. 113
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    added by stubb

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  19. 112
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    added by wiabux Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Laura Linney

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  20. 111
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    added by wiabux Halle Berry, Sarah Silverman, Don Cheadle

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  21. 110
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  22. 109
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    James Woods, Jim Belushi, Cynthia Gibb

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  23. 108
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    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

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  24. 107
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    often listed Josh Rushing

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  25. 106
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

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  26. 105
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    ranked low on reranks & added by stubb Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt

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  27. 104
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  28. 103
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    often listed & added by Dave_7672 Kevin Costner, Willie Nelson, Bill Maher

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  29. 102
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    Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Julie Christie

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  30. 101
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    Ralph Nader, Eric Alterman, Phil Donahue

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  31. 100
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    Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benicio del Toro

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  32. 99
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo

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  33. 98
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    Lili Taylor, Bill Ayers, Todd Gitlin

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  34. 97
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    Idi Amin

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  35. 96
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    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

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  36. 95
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  37. 94
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    James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan

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  38. 93
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    added by stubb Norman Yarborough

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  39. 92
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    ranked low on reranks & added by stubb John Malkovich, Craig T. Nelson, Sam Waterston

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  40. 91
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    Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Nassar

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  41. 90
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    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

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  42. 89
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Rufus Sewell

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  43. 88
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    added by wiabux Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro

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  44. 87
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    Kirsten Dunst, Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds

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  45. 86
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    Forest Whitaker, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson

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  46. 85
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  47. 84
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    added by sebbzor Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan

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  48. 83
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    Al Gore

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  49. 82
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    added by wiabux Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

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  50. 81
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    Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan

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