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. Some of the best political movies, 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. Good political movies are able to illuminate complicated situations for their viewers.

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.

Check out more lists like this awesome collection of political thrillers, slave movies that will make you question the justice of history, and the top napoleon movies ever made

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  1. 50
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    Trey Parker, Maurice LaMarche, David Michie

    ) open buy at  
  2. 49
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    added by sebbzor
    John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy

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  3. 48
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    added by wiabux
    Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, David Oyelowo

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  4. 47
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    Alexander Knox, William Hurt, Ian McDiarmid

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  5. 46
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    Harry Morgan, Paul Hartman, Spencer Tracy

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  6. 45
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    George Guidall, Al Sharpton, Vincent D'Onofrio

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  7. 44
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Aubrey

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  8. 43
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    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Beulah Quo

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  9. 42
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Roger Allam

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  10. 41
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    Mary Steenburgen, James Woods, Ed Harris

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  11. 40
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    added by wiabux
    George Clooney, Matt Damon, William Hurt

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  12. 39
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    Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Rene Auberjonois

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  13. 38
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael Gwisdek, Katrin Saß, Christine Schorn

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  14. 37
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    Peter Sellers, Leo McKern, Timothy Bateson

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  15. 36
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    added by stubb
    N. Poltavtseva, Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein

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  16. 35
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    Matt Damon, Patrick Mofokeng, Julian Lewis Jones

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  17. 34
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    Benicio del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace

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  18. 33
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    Eric Bana, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marie-Josée Croze

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  19. 32
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    Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Fredric March

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  20. 31
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    George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson

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  21. 30
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley

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  22. 29
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    Vincent Schiavelli, Louise Fletcher, Anjelica Huston

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  23. 28
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    Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin, Ben Stein

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  24. 27
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    Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe, Maria Bello

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  25. 26
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    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Blunt, Om Puri

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  26. 25
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    Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Massey

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  27. 24
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Stephen Rea, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jean Kennedy Smith

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  28. 23
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    Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Frank Langella

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  29. 22
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    Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, John Derek

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  30. 21
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    Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Alex Jennings

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  31. 20
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    John Hurt, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea

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  32. 19
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    Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Quinn

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  33. 18
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Helen Stenborg, Addison Powell, Faye Dunaway

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  34. 17
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    Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Edward Furlong

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  35. 16
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    Melvyn Douglas, Richard Basehart, Shirley MacLaine

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  36. 15
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    Brian Cox, Ian Bannen, Brendan Gleeson

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  37. 14
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    Willie Nelson, Anne Heche, Merle Haggard

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  38. 13
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    John Savident, Patrick Magee, Margaret Tyzack

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  39. 12
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    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Vincent D'Onofrio

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  40. 11
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    Frances McDormand, Michael Rooker, Brad Dourif

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  41. 10
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank M. Robinson, Diego Luna, Josh Brolin

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  42. 9
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    Maximilian Schell, Burt Lancaster, Werner Klemperer

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  43. 8
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    Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Paulette Goddard

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  44. 7
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    Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Jean Reno

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  45. 6
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    Charles Lane, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains

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  46. 5
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    Trevor Howard, Bernard Hill, John Gielgud

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  47. 4
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    Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Maria Peszek

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  48. 3
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    Abraham Murphy, Jack Warden, Meredith Baxter

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  49. 2
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    most listed
    Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

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  50. 1
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    the people's #1
    Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

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