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The Best Political Thriller Movies

Updated January 5, 2021 7.5k votes 1.3k voters 212.0k views154 items

List RulesVote for your personal favorite political thriller films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of all the best political thriller movies ever made, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. To see which of your favorites are currently streaming along with other great dramas, check out The Best Dramas on Amazon Prime and the The Best Drama Films on Netflix Instant

This political thriller movie list can be sorted by cast, year, director, and more. This list of political thriller films also contains political thriller movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. This political thriller films list can also be copied to start your own. This list, though, contains the best political thriller movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films This political thriller movie list can be sorted by alphabetically, by director, by year and more, but is currently ordered from best to worst. What's your favorite item on this list? Upvote it and a few more you like to see your opinions impact the order.

List of political thriller films includes political movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. Re-rank this entire page then share it to see what your friends think.

These are the top films in the political thriller genre, meaning that each and every one of these is a movie with at least a single element of the political thriller genre in it. Be it the motifs of the political thriller genre or just some of the most common archetypes.

These are definitely all of the political thrillers out there, including some of the worst and best recent political thrillers and some are a great example of a good American political thriller. Though political thrillers are often about America, there are a few fun foreign political thrillers on here too.  

List includes choices like Category 7: The End of the World and The Deal so that if you care about this subject, you can vote on at least one thing. If we missed any political thriller movies on this list, please add them to the list yourself, as this is an open list which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the most famous political thriller movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about political thriller movie lists.

You can find the release information for any of the films listed below. It's often available in the data set, so you can even find the cast of some of these by clicking on the names of the political thriller movies. List includes photos and political thriller movie trailers next to the names of the movies.

These movies, like The Odessa File and The Little Drummer Girl include images when available.

Whether you're at home and want to watch these political thriller movies on DVD, streaming Blu-ray or streaming, or if you're seeing them in theatres for the first time, this is a list of good political thriller movies that can be helpful in either situation to see where they all stack up. So from the latest, to the greatest political thriller movies, here is the full political thriller movies list, ordered from best to worst.

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  • Three Days of the Condor1
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    Three Days of the Condor

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway

    Released1975

    Directed bySydney Pollack

    Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack...  more
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  • The Manchurian Candidate2
    131
    41

    The Manchurian Candidate

    Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury

    Released1962

    Directed byJohn Frankenheimer

    The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John...  more
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  • The Hunt for Red October3
    157
    61

    The Hunt for Red October

    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery

    Released1990

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John...  more
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    #53 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#25 of 206 The Best Adventure Movies

  • In the Line of Fire4
    96
    20

    In the Line of Fire

    Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich

    Released1993

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    In the Line of Fire is a 1993 American action thriller film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and...  more
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  • The Day of the Jackal5
    118
    35

    The Day of the Jackal

    Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox

    Released1973

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and...  more
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  • Mississippi Burning6
    109
    30

    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman

    Released1988

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by...  more
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  • Spy Game7
    117
    38

    Spy Game

    Brad Pitt, Robert Redford

    Released2001

    Directed byTony Scott

    Spy Game is a 2001 American spy film directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert Redford and...  more
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    #4 of 35 The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives#264 of 625 The Greatest Action Movies Of All Time

  • Patriot Games8
    104
    29

    Patriot Games

    Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1992

    Directed byPhillip Noyce

    Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom...  more
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    #47 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time#57 of 102 The Best 1990s Action Movies

  • The Lives of Others9
    150
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    The Lives of Others

    Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe

    Released2006

    Directed byFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck

    The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker...  more
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  • Clear and Present Danger10
    107
    34

    Clear and Present Danger

    Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe

    Released1994

    Directed byPhillip Noyce

    Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 spy action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, based...  more
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  • The Pelican Brief11
    115
    41

    The Pelican Brief

    Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byAlan J. Pakula

    The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal thriller based on the novel of the same name by John...  more
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    #12 of 23 The Very Best Courtroom Thriller Movies#22 of 28 The Best Movies With A Bird Name In The Title

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy12
    157
    71

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2011

    Directed byTomas Alfredson

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson. The screenplay...  more
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    #61 of 128 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made#18 of 20 Great Movies About Non-Violent Crimes

  • Munich13
    110
    38

    Munich

    Daniel Craig, Eric Bana

    Released2005

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Munich is a 2005 historical drama and political thriller film based on Operation Wrath of God,...  more
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  • V for Vendetta14
    138
    61

    V for Vendetta

    Natalie Portman, John Hurt

    Released2006

    Directed byJames McTeigue

    V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and...  more
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  • Enemy of the State15
    122
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    Enemy of the State

    Will Smith, Jack Black

    Released1998

    Directed byTony Scott

    Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National...  more
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  • Syriana16
    111
    47

    Syriana

    George Clooney, Matt Damon

    Released2005

    Directed byStephen Gaghan

    Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and...  more
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    #65 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#27 of 89 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives

  • Z17
    76
    22

    Z

    Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand

    Released1969

    Directed byCosta-Gavras

    Z is a 1969 Algerian French language political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, with a...  more
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    #243 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#45 of 340 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • Thirteen Days18
    86
    32

    Thirteen Days

    Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood

    Released2000

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

    Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson...  more
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  • State of Play19
    95
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    State of Play

    Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck

    Released2009

    Directed byKevin Macdonald

    State of Play is a 2009 political thriller film. It is an adaptation of the six-part British...  more
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    #87 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade#68 of 106 The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too

  • The Ghost Writer20
    91
    38

    The Ghost Writer

    Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor

    Released2010

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    The Ghost Writer is 2010 thriller film written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski and...  more
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    #30 of 31 Great Movies Set Along the Coast#4 of 82 The Best Movies About Writers

  • Notorious21
    69
    20

    Notorious

    Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant

    Released1946

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Notorious is a 1946 American spy thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock,...  more
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    #15 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made#11 of 75 The Greatest Classic Romance Movies

  • The Parallax View22
    73
    24

    The Parallax View

    Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss

    Released1974

    Directed byAlan J. Pakula

    The Parallax View is a 1974 American political thriller film directed and produced by Alan J....  more
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  • Missing23
    58
    13

    Missing

    Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek

    Released1982

    Directed byCosta-Gavras

    Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa-Gavras, starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy...  more
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    22 Celebrities with One or Fewer Testes#35 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s

  • The Boys from Brazil24
    58
    20

    The Boys from Brazil

    Laurence Olivier, Gregory Peck

    Released1978

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    The Boys from Brazil is a 1978 British-American thriller film directed by Franklin J....  more
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  • Michael Clayton25
    56
    19

    Michael Clayton

    George Clooney, Tilda Swinton

    Released2007

    Directed byTony Gilroy

    Michael Clayton is a 2007 American legal thriller film written and directed by Tony Gilroy,...  more
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