The Best Political Films Ever Made Films
Ultimate List
144  items 8,849 votes 576 voters 44,345 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.

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
  • 20 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 137
    Up 2
    Down 4

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

    open
  2. 17
    Up 51
    Down 18

    Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

    open
  3. 53
    Up 59
    Down 50

    Michael Douglas, Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen

    open
  4. 9
    Up 71
    Down 23

    Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

    open
  5. 131
    Up 7
    Down 9

    added by stubb Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

    open
  6. 42
    Up 34
    Down 33

    Meryl Streep, Iain Glen, Jim Broadbent

    open
  7. 133
    Up 7
    Down 9

    added by sebbzor Matt Damon

    open
  8. 122
    Up 8
    Down 16

    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson

    open
  9. 86
    Up 36
    Down 48

    Al Gore

    open
  10. 128
    Up 10
    Down 12

    added by stubb Peter Coyote, Jeffrey Skilling, Gray Davis

    open
  11. 96
    Up 18
    Down 31

    Burt Reynolds, Kelly Preston, Alicia Witt

    open
  12. 60
    Up 47
    Down 32

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein

    open
  13. 77
    Up 10
    Down 11

    added by sebbzor Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan

    open
  14. 108
    Up 18
    Down 13

    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

    open
  15. 36
    Up 32
    Down 28

    Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood

    open
  16. 144
    Up 5
    Down 11

    added by sebbzor Yehezkel Lazarov, Mickey Leon

    open
  17. 95
    Up 7
    Down 12

    added by stubb

    open
  18. 81
    Up 17
    Down 12

    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

    open
  19. 139
    Up 4
    Down 8

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

    open
  20. 123
    Up 2
    Down 2

    added by MejaEhrenström Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Lara, Thomas Kretschmann

    open
  21. 38
    Up 22
    Down 24

    Daniel Brühl, Michael Gwisdek, Christine Schorn

    open
  22. 93
    Up 24
    Down 7

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

    open
  23. 85
    Up 10
    Down 13

    Andy Griffith, Rip Torn, Walter Matthau

    open
  24. 74
    Up 18
    Down 12

    Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Jim Broadbent

    open
  25. 29
    Up 72
    Down 34

    open
  26. 7
    Up 137
    Down 51

    Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

    open
  27. 13
    Up 66
    Down 28

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

    open
  28. 69
    Up 24
    Down 18

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

    open
  29. 57
    Up 38
    Down 23

    Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

    open
  30. 62
    Up 28
    Down 25

    George Stephanopoulos

    open
  31. 64
    Up 28
    Down 25

    Martha Higareda, Édgar Ramírez, Emmanuelle Bercot

    open
  32. 141
    Up 9
    Down 15

    added by stubb Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

    open
  33. 79
    Up 17
    Down 16

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tim Burton

    open
  34. 12
    Up 131
    Down 62

    Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Jay Leno

    open
  35. 21
    Up 65
    Down 30

    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

    open
  36. 23
    Up 44
    Down 23

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

    open
  37. 83
    Up 13
    Down 13

    added by wiabux Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

    open
  38. 41
    Up 60
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy

    open
  39. 117
    Up 11
    Down 14

    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

    open
  40. 97
    Up 18
    Down 9

    added by wiabux Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

    open
  41. 115
    Up 13
    Down 15

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

    open
  42. 8
    Up 105
    Down 73

    often listed James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

    open
  43. 48
    Up 55
    Down 40

    John Travolta, Bill Maher, Emma Thompson

    open
  44. 76
    Up 15
    Down 21

    Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone

    open
  45. 52
    Up 10
    Down 17

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

    open
  46. 91
    Up 10
    Down 14

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

    open
  47. 73
    Up 18
    Down 9

    Gore Vidal, Richard Perle, Graydon Carter

    open
  48. 58
    Up 20
    Down 18

    Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck

    open
  49. 121
    Up 2
    Down 1

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

    open
  50. 67
    Up 15
    Down 10

    added by stubb Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Gene Wesson

    open
145 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists