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The Best Biopics About Real Politicians  

Ranker Film
602 votes 97 voters 5.5k views 30 items

List Rules Political biopics. Vote up the best biopics about politicians and political figures.

There are many biopics that look at the lives of politicians and other political figures. But what are the best political biopic movies? This list includes titles such as All the President’s Men, The King’s Speech, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Queen. The films on this list have been ranked by men and women as the best political biopics.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. It is for this reason we often feel an emotional connection to films. Politics affects our lives in a variety of ways, so it is natural that filmmakers are drawn to stories about the lives of those who run the world.

Political biopics have told the story of Queen Elizabeth, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and George Patton and with a peek into the lives of these individuals, we can hopefully understand their motives, and thus their politics, all that much better. These movies vary in their genre but they are all equally fascinating.

Vote up the greatest political biopic movies ever made below or add one you think is great that isn't already on the list.

list ordered by
1
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Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

Woodward and Bernstein

If you like this movie, be sure to check out our list of the best political thrillers.

All the President's Men is a 1976 American political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl ...more

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Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen
mahatma gandhi Gandhi is a 1982 epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United ...more

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#186 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #305 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce
 King George VI The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an ...more

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4
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Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon
Kennedy JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent ...more

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#174 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #450 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin
Harvey Milk Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, ...more

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#282 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #106 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Queen Elizabeth The Queen is a 2006 British historical drama film depicting the British Royal Family's response to Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. The film was directed by Stephen Frears, written by ...more

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7
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Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, James McAvoy
The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British fiction drama film based on Giles Foden's novel of the same name, adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, and directed by Kevin ...more

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#180 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #73 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
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Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris
Richard Nixon Nixon is a 1995 American biographical film directed by Oliver Stone for Cinergi Pictures that tells the story of the political and personal life of United States President Richard Nixon, played ...more

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#365 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #62 of 318 The Best Political Films Ever Made #28 of 41 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories

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Alexandra Lara, Bruno Ganz, Thomas Kretschmann
Adolf Hitler Downfall is a 2004 German film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's reign over Nazi Germany in 1945. The film is written and produced by Bernd ...more

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10
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George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees
George S. Patton Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during WWII. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by ...more

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11
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Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen
Richard Nixon Frost/Nixon is a 2008 British-American historical drama film based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan, who also adapted the screenplay. The film tells the story behind the ...more

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12
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Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Iain Glen
Margaret Thatcher The Iron Lady is a 2011 drama and biography film written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

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#538 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #12 of 54 The Best Biopics About Women #124 of 318 The Best Political Films Ever Made

13
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John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Bill Maher
Bill Clinton Primary Colors is a 1998 drama film based on the novel Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics, a roman à clef about Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, which originally had ...more

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14
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Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela
Malcolm X Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee. The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his ...more

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#2 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #2 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics #264 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

15
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Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth is a 1998 biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, ...more

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16
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Kirsten Dunst, Tom Hardy, Rose Byrne
Marie Antoinette Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical drama film, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It is based on the life of the Queen in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy ...more

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Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard, Julian Glover
Nelson Mandela Mandela is a 1987 HBO television film directed by Philip Saville. The film stars Danny Glover as Nelson Mandela and Alfre Woodard as his wife Winnie.

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Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood
t Nelson Mandel "From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar ...more

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Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks
Charlie Wilson Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy-drama film, recounting the true story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson who partnered with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos to launch ...more

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#37 of 80 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #279 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #21 of 54 The Funniest Comedy Movies About Politics

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Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen, Vivian Wu
 Pu Yi The Last Emperor is a 1987 biographical film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo ...more

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#158 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #217 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
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Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Josh Brolin
George W. Bush W. is a 2008 American biographical drama film loosely based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was produced and directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh ...more

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#263 of 318 The Best Political Films Ever Made #26 of 41 The Best Movies About Presidents #45 of 66 The Best Richard Dreyfuss Movies

22
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Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès
Napoleon Napoléon is a 1927 epic silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years. On screen, the title is Napoléon vu par Abel Gance, meaning ...more

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Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park on Hudson is a 2012 British biographical historical comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell. The film stars Bill Murray and Laura Linney as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Margaret ...more

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#30 of 41 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories #168 of 211 The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked #39 of 53 The Best Bill Murray Movies

24
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George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling
Howard Dean The Ides of March is a 2011 American political drama film directed by George Clooney from a screenplay written by Clooney, along with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon. The film is an adaptation of ...more

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#55 of 318 The Best Political Films Ever Made #23 of 41 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories #49 of 102 The Best Movies Directed by the Star

25
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Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Julian Glover
Steve Biko Cry Freedom is a 1987 British drama film directed by Richard Attenborough, set in the late 1970s, during the apartheid era of South Africa. The screenplay was written by John Briley based on a ...more

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