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.

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. 140
    + 4
    - 8

    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.

    ) open
  2. 25
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    Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

    ) open
  3. 54
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    Michael Douglas, Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen

    ) open
  4. 9
    + 83
    - 33

    Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

    ) open
  5. 123
    + 11
    - 14

    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

    ) open
  6. 41
    + 43
    - 43

    Meryl Streep, Iain Glen, Jim Broadbent

    ) open
  7. 86
    + 43
    - 61
    ) open
  8. 139
    + 13
    - 19

    added by stubb Peter Coyote, Jeffrey Skilling, Gray Davis

    ) open
  9. 96
    + 20
    - 39

    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

    ) open
  10. 63
    + 51
    - 41

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein

    ) open
  11. 82
    + 15
    - 21

    added by sebbzor Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan

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  12. 105
    + 25
    - 19

    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

    ) open
  13. 39
    + 39
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood

    ) open
  14. 90
    + 11
    - 16

    added by stubb

    ) open
  15. 73
    + 27
    - 16

    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

    ) open
  16. 141
    + 8
    - 14

    added by HereshSniper Matt Damon, Benicio del Toro, Rodrigo Santoro

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  17. 117
    + 10
    - 8

    added by MejaEhrenström Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Thomas Kretschmann

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  18. 38
    + 28
    - 33

    Daniel Brühl, Michael Gwisdek, Christine Schorn

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  19. 85
    + 35
    - 11

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

    ) open
  20. 131
    + 10
    - 20

    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

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  21. 104
    + 4
    - 2

    added by bobcatbowen Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

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  22. 70
    + 27
    - 18

    Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Jim Broadbent

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  23. 30
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    - 43
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  24. 7
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    Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

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  25. 12
    + 83
    - 39

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

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  26. 69
    + 33
    - 29

    added by Abbey Grantham Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston

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  27. 55
    + 48
    - 30

    Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

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  28. 126
    + 1
    - 1

    added by drkaramaniac Karin Viard, Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur

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  29. 127
    + 1
    - 1

    added by drkaramaniac Anny Duperey, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ulrich Tukur

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  30. 67
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    - 33

    George Stephanopoulos

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  31. 65
    + 33
    - 31

    Martha Higareda, Édgar Ramírez, Emmanuelle Bercot

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  32. 143
    + 13
    - 21

    added by stubb Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

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  33. 72
    + 21
    - 23

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tim Burton

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  34. 11
    + 144
    - 74

    Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Jay Leno

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  35. 17
    + 91
    - 41

    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

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  36. 130
    + 1
    - 1

    new! & added by drkaramaniac Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty

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  37. 119
    + 3
    - 2

    new! & added by drkaramaniac George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube

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  38. 24
    + 54
    - 36

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

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  39. 81
    + 22
    - 20

    added by wiabux Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

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  40. 42
    + 62
    - 50

    William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy

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  41. 132
    + 12
    - 23

    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

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  42. 93
    + 27
    - 16

    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

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  43. 102
    + 23
    - 20

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

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  44. 138
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    - 4
    No image

    added by Joh1 Atlas Shrugged: Part II Sean Hannity, Teller, Samantha Mathis

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  45. 8
    + 121
    - 96

    often listed & ranked high on reranks James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

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  46. 48
    + 62
    - 49

    John Travolta, Bill Maher, Emma Thompson

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  47. 83
    + 17
    - 29

    Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone

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  48. 56
    + 14
    - 26

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham

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  49. 91
    + 16
    - 22

    added by wiabux Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro

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  50. 74
    + 24
    - 15

    Gore Vidal, Richard Perle, Graydon Carter

    ) open
146 +

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