Politics 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories  

Ranker Film
503 votes 76 voters 5.3k views 39 items

Sometimes the truth is more entertaining than fiction, especially when it comes to films inspired by real-life political events, scandals, and personalities. The top true politics movies are typically about a major event that changed the scope of government. This is a list of true political movies featuring everything from All the President's Men to The Last King of Scotland to Malcolm X.

What classics will you find on this list of movies based on true politics? Maybe you'll vote Lincoln to the top. Daniel Day-Lewis took home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the 16th president, in a film examining the time when he abolished slavery. Hyde Park on Hudson, which offers a look at the personal life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is another good movie about a political figure. Nelson Mandela was the subject of the acclaimed 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Other notable movies featured in this roundup include Patton, The King's Speech, and The Ides of March.

Which political true stories are the best? Give your favorite films a thumbs up to move them to the number-one spot, and add any great flicks that are missing.

list ordered by

1
18 3
Munich is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Daniel Craig, Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush Munich is a 2005 historical drama and political thriller film based on Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli government's secret retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization after the ...more

2
20 6
All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford 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

3
13 6
Selma is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr. Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and ...more

4
10 4
Syriana is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's ...more

5
11 5
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a 2013 British-South African biographical film directed by Justin Chadwick from a script written by William Nicholson and starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. ...more

6
13 7
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field 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

7
14 8
The Last King of Scotland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
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

8
9 4
Patton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees 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

9
10 5
Thirteen Days is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson dramatising the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seen from the perspective of the US political ...more

10
10 6
The King's Speech is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce 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

11
10 6
JFK is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon 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

12
10 7
Snowden is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo Snowden is a 2016 biographical spy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone, based on books by Luke Harding and Anatoly Kucherena. The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the ...more

13
8 5
The Insider is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer The Insider is a 1999 American drama film directed by Michael Mann, based on the true story of a 60 Minutes segment about Jeffrey Wigand, a whistleblower in the tobacco industry. The 60 Minutes ...more

14
8 5
Trumbo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Trumbo

15
7 5
Good Night, and Good Luck is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels 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

16
11 10
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela 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

17
9 8
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen 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

18
8 7
Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen 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

19
7 6
The Ides of March is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling 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

20
9 9
Milk is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin 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

21
8 8
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell 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

22
5 5
Game Change is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris 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
5 5
Nixon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris 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

24
0 0
The Front Runner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, Kaitlyn Dever The Front Runner is a 2018 American biographical dark comedy film directed by Jason Reitman, based on the 2014 book All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai. American ...more

25
4 5
Hyde Park on Hudson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams 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

26
4 6
Invictus is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood "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

27
3 5
The Special Relationship is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Dennis Quaid, Michael Sheen, Lara Pulver The Special Relationship is a 2010 British-American political film directed by Richard Loncraine from a screenplay by Peter Morgan. It is the third film in Morgan's informal "Blair ...more

28
3 5
The Iron Lady is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Iain Glen The Iron Lady is a 2011 drama and biography film written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

29
3 5
Lumumba is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Eriq Ebouaney, Maka Kotto, Alex Descas Raoul Peck's award-winning LUMUMBA is a gripping epic that dramatizes for the first time the rise and fall of legendary African leader Patrice Lumumba.

30
2 4
The Color of Freedom is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories

31
2 4
The Last Emperor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen, Vivian Wu 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

32
5 8
Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks 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

33
1 4
Kaptaan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Kaptaan Saeeda Imtiaz, Mohi-Uddin Abro, Abdul Manan Kaptaan - The Making of a Legend is a 2013 Lollywood biographical film about the life of Pakistani politician, philanthropist and former cricketer Imran Khan. The title is Urdu for 'Captain' ...more

34
4 8
Evita is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Billie Piper Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón. Directed by Alan Parker and written by Parker and Oliver ...more

35
2 6
Suffragette is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Carey Mulligan, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw Suffragette is an upcoming 2015 British drama film directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan. The film centres on early members of the British women's suffrage movement of the late 19th ...more

36
2 6
Farewell, My Queen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux, Virginie Ledoyen Farewell, My Queen is a 2012 French drama film directed by Benoît Jacquot and based on the novel of the same name by Chantal Thomas, who won the Prix Femina in 2002. It gives a fictional ...more

37
2 7
Bobby is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone Bobby is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Emilio Estevez, and starring an ensemble cast. The screenplay is a fictionalized account of the hours leading up to the June 5, 1968 ...more

38
3 9
W is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Twiggy, Michael Conrad, Dirk Benedict W is a 1974 suspense film directed by Richard Quine and produced by Mel Ferrer. It stars Twiggy, Dirk Benedict and Michael Witney. Within 24 hours, three near-death accidents have occurred. At ...more

39
1 7
George Wallace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories
Angelina Jolie, Gary Sinise, Mare Winningham George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and ...more