10 Political Movies You Need To Watch Before The Next Election

A new general election is just around the corner, which raises the possibility that we might finally end up with a proper action movie president or could slide into one of the many possible dystopian futures we’ve been predicting for years.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

political movies

Make Sure You've Seen All 10...

A new general election is just around the corner, which raises the possibility that we might finally end up with a proper action movie president or could slide into one of the many possible dystopian futures we’ve been predicting for years. But regardless of what happens or who you support, it is well worth your time to check out the best political movies ever made. Fortunately, we did the legwork and put them together on a list. Follow along through the full slideshow!

political movies

10. Bulworth (1998)

Warren Beatty plays a suicidal U.S. Senator who raps his way to popularity while avoiding an assassin he himself hired for insurance money. Bulworth is actually a remarkably hilarious, castigating look at what honesty in politics gets you.

9. The Candidate (1972)

In The Candidate, Robert Redford portrays Bill McKay, the idealistic son of a former California governor, who is persuaded to run for office against any undefeatable opponent. The draw: he can say anything he wants, because he’s going to lose anyway.

8. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Good Night, and Good Luck dramatizes the real-life struggle between legendary news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Senator Joseph McCarthy (who appears via archival footage) in the anti-Communist Red Scare of the 1950s.

political movies

7. Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln covers the last few months of his life and his administration’s efforts to pass the controversial 13th Amendment (which abolished slavery in the U.S.) as the Civil War draws to a close.

political movies

6. Frost/Nixon (2008)

Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprised their roles as British journalist David Frost and former U.S. President Richard Nixon in this film from the acclaimed play of the same name, and the Ron Howard-directed film loses nothing in adaptation.

5. The Ides of March (2011)

The Ides of March (adapted from Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North) dives deep into the seedy underbelly of politics and never comes up for air. George Clooney portrays a popular governor and potential presidential candidate, while Ryan Gosling and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman play his campaign managers/political fixers.

political movies

4. The Post (2017)

Steven Spielberg shows up again on the list of best political movies, this time directing and producing The Post, a dramatization of the Washington Post’s controversial publication of the Pentagon Papers.

political movies

3. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate is a completely fictional noir thriller, but that doesn’t make it any less reflective of real events. The movie stars Frank Sinatra as a Korean War soldier who escapes from capture along with his superior officer (Laurence Harvey). However, Sinatra’s haunting nightmares about their experience as POWs lead him into a dark conspiracy that plans to destroy the United States government itself.

political movies

2. JFK (1991)

Kevin Costner stars as real-life New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who finds himself pulling a never-ending thread into the vast conspiracy about the death of the president in Dallas, delving into a shadowy world of organized crime and political backstabbing.

political movies

1. All the President’s Men (1976)

All the President’s Men stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as real-life Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two people who arguably brought down a sitting U.S. President in the Watergate scandal.