best movie genres The Best Political Films Ever Made  

Ranker Community
Originally by
18.5k votes 1.2k voters 98.9k views 259 items Embed

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
list ordered by

1
513 116
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

60+ of Your Greatest Childhood Fears The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
361 115
All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
All the President's Men Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

3
277 94
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

4
321 133
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

5
259 82
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

6
219 106
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Gandhi Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen

7
206 83
Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Hotel Rwanda Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

8
157 44
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

9
244 119
The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

10
255 138
JFK is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
JFK Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

11
217 114
Wag the Dog is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Wag the Dog Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

12
144 71
Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Judgment at Nuremberg Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

13
195 85
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

14
194 92
American History X is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

15
173 91
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Mississippi Burning Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

The Best Werewolf Movies Ever Made The Most Interesting Jobs in the World

16
217 112
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

17
257 127
V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
V for Vendetta Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving

18
136 77
All the King's Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
All the King's Men Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, John Derek

19
120 61
Three Days of the Condor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Three Days of the Condor Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

20
111 69
Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Frost/Nixon Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen

21
150 107
Being There is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Being There Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden

22
106 66
In the Name of the Father is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
In the Name of the Father Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

23
190 177
Milk is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Milk James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

24
168 73
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd

25
115 61
Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Charlie Wilson's War Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

26
160 82
Good Night, and Good Luck is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

27
132 98
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Queen Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

28
123 60
Seven Days in May is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Seven Days in May Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

29
141 86
Thank You for Smoking is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Thank You for Smoking Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello

Everything That Happened Between The Star Wars Original Trilogy And The Skywalker Saga The 51 Best Pictures of Kim Jong-Un Looking at Things

30
130 92
Dave is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Dave Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Jay Leno

31
137 78
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field

32
87 80
Michael Collins is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Michael Collins Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman

33
88 36
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
sebbzor added Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman

34
86 42
Inherit the Wind is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Inherit the Wind Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan

35
133 93
Traffic is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Traffic Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas

36
99 67
The Mouse That Roared is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Mouse That Roared Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell

37
55 27
Fail Safe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
stubb added Fail Safe Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman

38
71 39
The Lives of Others is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Lives of Others Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck

39
96 74
Munich is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Munich Daniel Craig, Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush

40
62 54
Good bye, Lenin! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Good bye, Lenin! Daniel Brühl, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

41
102 81
The American President is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The American President Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox, Michael Douglas

42
148 105
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Malcolm X Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela

43
107 81
Nixon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Nixon Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris

The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time The Best Actresses in Film History

44
84 54
Reds is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Reds Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Gene Hackman

45
57 32
The Battle of Algiers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
stubb added The Battle of Algiers Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Gene Wesson

46
66 33
Brazil is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Brazil Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

47
72 52
Syriana is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
wiabux added Syriana George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet

48
76 52
The Ides of March is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Ides of March George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling

49
77 50
Z is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Z Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

50
66 56
The Constant Gardener is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
The Constant Gardener Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy