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The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated March 5, 2020 835 votes 176 voters 12.3k views 59 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite dramas about politics and politicians.

This list contains information on the best political drama movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best political drama films come in many forms. Some good political dramas take place in the White House while other good political drama movies are set all around the world. Many of the best political drama movies have won awards.

What films will you find on this top political drama movies list? Frost/Nixon has to be near the top. This Ron Howard film examined the Watergate scandal through a series of interviews with David Frost (played by Michael Sheen) and Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). The 2008 movie was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards. All the President's Men is another good political drama.

Daniel Day Lewis disappeared into the role of the 16
th President of the United States when he played the title character in Lincoln. Other good political drama movies featured on this list include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, JFK, and The Queen.

Do you have a favorite political drama movie? Vote the best films up to the top of this list, then check out our list of the best political movies.

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list ordered by
1
All the President's Men ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

Released: 1976

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

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
2
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field

Released: 2012

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more
3
Thirteen Days is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

Released: 2000

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as President John F. Kennedy, Steven Culp as ...more
4
The Ides of March is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling

Released: 2011

Directed by: George Clooney

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
5
JFK is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

Released: 1991

Directed by: Oliver Stone

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
6
V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving

Released: 2005

Directed by: James McTeigue

V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore ...more
7
The American President ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox, Michael Douglas

Released: 1995

Directed by: Rob Reiner

The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. ...more
8
Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ron Howard

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
9
Miss Sloane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Directed by: John Madden

Miss Sloane is a 2016 French-American political thriller film directed by John Madden. In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought ...more
10
The Butler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

Released: 2013

Directed by: Lee Daniels

The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest ...more
11
Mr. Smith Goes to Washin... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

Released: 1939

Directed by: Frank Capra

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 American political comedy-drama film, starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, about one man's effect on American politics. It was directed by Frank Capra ...more
12
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, ...more
13
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

Released: 2006

Directed by: Stephen Frears

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
14
In the Line of Fire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo

Released: 1993

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

In the Line of Fire is a 1993 American action thriller film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and starring Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich. Written by Jeff Maguire, the film is about a ...more
15
Bridge of Spies is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan

Released: 2015

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Bridge of Spies is a 2015 historical drama legal thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg. Lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is entrusted with negotiating the release of U.S. Air Force pilot ...more
16
Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mike Nichols

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
17
The Ghost Writer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall

Released: 2010

Directed by: Roman Polanski

The Ghost Writer is 2010 thriller film written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski and directed by Roman Polanski.
18
Wag the Dog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 1997

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Wag the Dog is a 1997 black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson. The screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet was loosely adapted from Larry Beinhart's novel American Hero. ...more
19
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong

Released: 2012

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
20
Good Night, and Good Luc... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

Released: 2005

Directed by: George Clooney

Good Night, and Good Luck. is a 2005 American drama film directed by George Clooney and starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels. The movie was ...more
21
Milk is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

Released: 2008

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

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
22
Game Change is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jay Roach

Game Change is a 2012 American HBO political drama film based on events of the 2008 United States presidential election campaign, directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, based on the ...more
23
All the King's Men is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Jude Law

Released: 2006

Directed by: Steven Zaillian

All the King's Men is a 2006 film adaptation of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. It was directed by Steven Zaillian, who also produced and ...more
24
The Good Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2006

Directed by: Robert De Niro

The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film produced and directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and De Niro, with an extensive supporting cast. De Niro also produced it with ...more
25
Hoffa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Political Drama Movies, Ranked
Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tim Burton

Released: 1992

Directed by: Danny DeVito

Hoffa is a 1992 French-American biographical film directed by Danny DeVito and written by David Mamet, based on the life of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa, and ...more