The 10 best political movies ever

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  11 months ago  •  34 comments

The 10 best political movies ever

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

The 10 best political movies ever

By Taegan Goddard, The Week, April 6, 2013

Legendary movie critic Roger Ebert, who died earlier this week, loved politics as much as the movies and regularly offered up his opinions through Twitter or his blog. Politico highlights some examples of his take on the nation's politics.

As a tribute,   The Fix   republished a reader-generated list of the best political movies ever. It's a good list, but I think it can be narrowed down to ten.

Here are my 10 favorite political movies:

1.   All the King's Men   - The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power through populist appeal.

2.   The Candidate   - A Senate candidate with no hope of winning actually wins.

3.   Mr. Smith Goes to Washington   - A newcomer to the U.S. Senate gets a tough lesson in political corruption, but doesn't back down.

4.   The War Room   - A look inside Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and the people who ran it.

5.   Wag the Dog   - A political operative and Hollywood producer join efforts to "fabricate" a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal.

6.   Charlie Wilson's War   - A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan to help in their war against the Soviet Union.

7.   All the President's Men   - Two reporters uncover the Watergate scandal which leads to the resignation of President Nixon.

8.   Dave   - A look-alike acts as president while the real president is in a coma.

9.  Bulworth   - A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with voters.

10.   The Manchurian Candidate   - A former POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin.

BUZZ NOTE:  There are pages of articles on the internet about best political movies, best political comedies, best political dramas, best political thrillers, best conservative political movies (I believe I posted that one about a year ago), and though this list is about 6 years old, it contains what I would have chosen as the best political movies.  There were no images with the article save for a thumbnail portrait of the author so I chose an image to be able to seed it.  There are links to the movies and to "The Fix" for you to expand the info.


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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    11 months ago

I believe that The War Room is the only one on the list that I've not seen.  If you wish, add your choice or choices to add to the list, but only if you also indicate WHY you have chosen it or them. 

I did this because I gave up trying to do something that wasn't political or religious. 

2  JohnRussell    11 months ago

I've seen all these movies except The War Room, which is a documentary.  Of these I think I would put Dave at the top , followed by Mr Smith Goes to Washington and The Manchurian Candidate. 

I think they are all really good movies though. 

There are two political movies that right off the top of my head would say belong on this list.  The Best Man , which stars Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson from a play by Gore Vidal, and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" which was about the passage of the constitutional amendment that ended slavery, and was pretty much all about political drama. 

3  JBB    11 months ago

A list of best political movies not including The Best Man is incomplete...

Buzz of the Orient
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JBB @3    11 months ago

I don't recall if I'd ever watched that movie but I just read a thumbnail sketch about it and it does appear to be an excellent political movie.  There really are so many that could be added to this list.

4  dave-2693993    11 months ago

Maybe some won't consider it a political movie, but I will add 3 Days of the Condor.

IMO, it is about as political as it gets.

Buzz of the Orient
4.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  dave-2693993 @4    11 months ago

I think 3 Days of the Condor is more CIA/Spy movie than political, unless you feel that it's political because it is about an assassination carried out by another country.  I've looked at a lot of lists of political movies, one 125 movies long, another 50, and no mention of that film.  Even movies like Duck Soup and Being There are listed.

4.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1    11 months ago

The spy aspect came across as result of political motives to me.

I am not surprised it is not an any lists, but thank you for the in depth research.

5  Ed-NavDoc    11 months ago

How can you have a list like this without including "The Mouse That Roared" with the immortal Peter Sellers?

Buzz of the Orient
5.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5    11 months ago

If the list were longer, it would probably be included.  As I mentioned in my BUZZ NOTE attached to the seed, there are specific categories and political comedies is one that would have had it on its short list.

Vic Eldred
6  Vic Eldred    11 months ago

Do I dare add "JFK", which is a lot of revisionist history involving the events leading up to the assassination of JFK, supposedly through the eyes of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison. Then there is "W", which is another revisionist story based on the life of George W Bush. That's the one where we find actor Josh Brolin as George W Bush, constantly sitting down to a Dr Pepper and a Cheeseburger. Both are highly political, one sided and creations of Oliver Stone. They are entertaining and dangerously believable.  To that list I add the recent movie (hit job) about Dick Cheney, which Iv'e already done a little article on here called "Vice".

Sparty On
6.1  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    11 months ago

I agree Vic, i'd put JFK in there as well.   One doesn't have to agree with the premise to like a movie and i thought Stone did very well with it even if it was a highly revisionist take.

Didn't really care for W or the Cheney movies though.

Buzz of the Orient
6.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    11 months ago

JFK  and W are on other lists of Political movies.  I don't recall seeing "Vice".

Vic Eldred
6.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.2    11 months ago

It only got released this past December. It uses some interesting angles ( I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it), but strangely it also depicts George W Bush as having that Dr Pepper and Cheeseburger at lunch & supper. Can we concede that was his weakness?

Buzz of the Orient
6.2.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.2.1    11 months ago

I thought Nixon liked Dr. Pepper.  The movie Elvis and Nixon showed that. 

Vic Eldred
6.2.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.2.2    11 months ago

Who knew? I thought he was coffee only.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
6.2.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.2.1    11 months ago

I enjoyed Vice. I thought the acting was amazing and you had to take it tongue in cheek. 

Sparty On
7  Sparty On    11 months ago

It's largely satire but i'd still put Dr Strangelove in there.

Highly entertaining and very topical movie for its time.

Vic Eldred
7.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @7    11 months ago

How did we forget that one. A cult classic!

Sparty On
7.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @7.1    11 months ago

I agree but my guess is Buzz left it off because its largely satire.

Honestly it's one of my all time favorite movies.

Kubrick really made some fine films.

Vic Eldred
7.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @7.1.1    11 months ago

That movie was shown over & over in a Harvard Square, Cambridge Cinema during the 1970's. The students loved it!

Buzz of the Orient
7.1.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @7.1.1    11 months ago

I'm not the author of the seed - it's not my list, but this seed contains the list that was  the closest to what I would choose limited to 10 among the many lists I saw.

Buzz of the Orient
7.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @7    11 months ago

Yep, that's a political movie on other lists of them.

7.3  Kathleen  replied to  Sparty On @7    11 months ago


It should would be, a dark comedy and perfect.

8  Kathleen    11 months ago

I asked my husband about this one.

He picked.

1. Advise and Consent

2. All the Presidents Men

3. Charlie Wilson's War

4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  (That would be mine too)

5. Manchurian Candidate

Sparty On
8.1  Sparty On  replied to  Kathleen @8    11 months ago

Ah .... Charlie Wilson War.   Forgot about that one.  

Good movie and welcome back Kathleen.

8.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Sparty On @8.1    11 months ago

Thank you...

He also just said he forget about another great one which may be his number one.

Seven Days in May.

Sparty On
8.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Kathleen @8.1.1    11 months ago

Not familiar with that one, i'll have to check it out.

Buzz of the Orient
8.1.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @8.1    11 months ago

 Charlie Wilson's War is on the seed author's list above.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
8.1.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @8.1.3    11 months ago

Charlie Wilson's War was such a great movie. 

Buzz of the Orient
9  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    11 months ago

Going to sleep now, but no reason to lock this seed, I hope. 

Sparty On
10  Sparty On    11 months ago

Hey ... how about Team America: World Police?

F___ yeah!


Buzz of the Orient
10.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @10    11 months ago

Is that a recent movie?

Sparty On
10.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @10.1    11 months ago

Its a spoof movie, done by the guys who did South Park.   I think is was done in the mid 2000's.

You will never see it in China i can promise you that.   It's humor is very ... lets say .... aggressive.

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