The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
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18  reranks 7,349 votes 463 voters 32,069 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. 140
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  2. 139
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    1987 More
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  3. 138
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    1994 More
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  4. 137
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    2001 More
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  5. 136
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    1927 More
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  6. 135
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  7. 134
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  8. 133
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    No image

    Land and Freedom

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  9. 132
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    1988 More
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  10. 131
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  11. 130
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  12. 129
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    2000 More
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    added by: MarySSpiegel
  13. 128
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    1986 More
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  14. 127
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    1957 More
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  15. 126
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  16. 125
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    2005 More
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  17. 124
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    1992 More
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  19. 122
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  20. 121
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    This is a documentary regarding the Internal Revenue Service, which later branches out to ... more
  21. 120
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    1996 More
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  22. 119
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    often listed
    Our Brand Is Crisis

    2006 More
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  23. 118
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    1982 More
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  24. 117
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  25. 116
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    Control Room

    2004 More
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  26. 115
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  27. 114
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    1982 More
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  28. 113
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    1972 More
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    1998 More
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    1964 More
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  33. 108
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    often listed
    Street Fight

    2005 More
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  34. 107
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    No image

    JFK: The Day That Changed America

    2003 More
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  35. 106
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    JFK: The Case for Conspiracy

    1993 More
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    1961 More
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    often listed
    The Argentine

    2008 More
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  38. 103
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    1965 More
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  39. 102
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    1997 More
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  40. 101
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    An Unreasonable Man

    2007 More
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  42. 99
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    ranked low on reranks
    In the Line of Fire

    1993 More
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    added by: wiabux
  43. 98
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    1974 More
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  44. 97
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    The Good Shepherd

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  45. 96
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    The Killing Fields

    1984 More
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  46. 95
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  47. 94
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    1969 More
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  49. 92
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  50. 91
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    added by: Dave_7672
  51. 141 +

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