Our list of the Top 10 Best Political Movies of All-Time which we now, more than ever, need in our lives.
Hollywood has long used politics as the main subject to one of their productions, but Political movies can take many forms.
They can have a serious stance on a major issue or moment in history, they can also make fun of the whole system with a satirical tone.
Regardless, the genre for almost a century, Hollywood has produced some of the most gripping, entertaining political movies ever put to film.
Top 10 Best Political Movies of All-Time
10. “The Candidate” (1972)
Always one to go against the grain, Robert Redford showed off his un-conformist ways in this film. He plays Bill McKay, a young good-looking son of a former governor who has no chance of winning the senate seat he’s going after so he’s allowed to run his campaign as he wants and speaks what’s on his mind.
9. “Citizen Kane” (1941)
Though director and star Orson Welles tried to keep it from the public and press, it was obvious that his character of Charles Foster Kane was heavily based on the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. All the way down to Kane attempting to get into politics, which Hearst also tried.
8. “In the Loop” (2009)
Before he created the hit HBO series “Veep,” Armando Iannucci directed this hilarious satire that follows the not-too-bright American and British governments as a war in Iraq is upon them. The vile language and power plays make you wonder why anyone would get into politics.
7. “Wag the Dog” (1997)
With a sex scandal about to dismantle the president’s reelection, a spin doctor (Robert De Niro) hires a big Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to fabricate a war.
6. “JFK” (1991)
From Kevin Costner’s perfect performance as a New Orleans district attorney searching for justice to Gary Oldman looking exactly like alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, the movie is an incredible journey inside one of American history’s most disputed moments.
5. “A Face in the Crowd” (1957)
Though most will remember Andy Griffith for playing the squeaky-clean sheriff on “The Andy Griffith Show,” one of his best performances was playing the despicable Arkansas drifter Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes who becomes one of the biggest commentators in the country thanks to his unfiltered, good-ol’-boy talk. However, his thirst for power leads to his demise.
4. “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962)
Frank Sinatra plays a former prisoner of war who realizes that a fellow soldier in his platoon has been brainwashed to be an assassin for a Communist conspiracy.
3. “All the President’s Men” (1976)
In one of the best movies about journalism ever made, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, respectively, as they uncover the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Nixon.
Stanley Kubrick’s classic satire on nuclear war never gets old. From the multiple characters played by Peter Sellers to George C. Scott’s gum-smacking war hawk general to Slim Pickens riding the bomb to the end of civilization, the movie has countless memorable moments filled with a dark comedy that has been imitated for decades.
1. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939)
When this film was originally released, it was banned in some areas of the world as it differed with regional ideology, and was under controversy here in the US because some thought it made senators look bad. Today, Frank Capra’s look at a naive senator who ends up fighting a jaded and corrupt Washington, DC, has become a pillar in the political movie genre.
A big reason why the film is still a classic is the performance by Jimmy Stewart as Jefferson Smith. Playing someone who fights for the belief that good can come out of the halls of the senate, he gives one of his finest performances.
Close But No Cigar Political Movies
11. “Bulworth” (1998)
12. “Lincoln” (2012)
13. “Primary Colors” (1998)
14. “Frost/Nixon” (2008)
15. “All the King’s Men” (1949)
16. “The Contender” (2000)
17. “The American President” (1995)
18. “Seven Days in May” (1964)
19. “Election” (1999)
20. “Nixon” (1995)