18 Best Political Movies

Political movies explore a lot of complex personalities in depth. In case you are inclined towards challenging and pretty imaginative learnings, there are a few Hollywood movies that do cater to your likings. From the biopics to some of the made-up plots with some pretty amazing twists, political movies are a treat to watch.

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Best Political Movies Of All Time To Watch Online

In case you are preparing your movie list for the weekend, there are a few good pieces that you can binge-watch. Let us take a look at some of the best ones.

1. Milk (2008)

  • Genre: Drama/Romance
  • IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Starz, iTunes, Vudu

Cast:

  • Sean Penn
  • James Franco
  • Emile Hirsh
  • Josh Brolin
  • Dustin Lance Black
  • Diego Luna
  • Alison Pill

Overview: As simple as the title of the movie is, it deals with some of the most sensitive topics in the realm of politics. The pivotal character of Harvey Milk, played by Sean Penn, discusses the role of this American activist who faces a range of backlash and discrimination for fighting for gay rights against the U.S administration.

The movie narrates the struggles, the story of growth, and how Milk becomes California’s first openly gay elected official.

It was released in 2009 and directed by Gus Van Sant. Apart from the writing and the plot of the movie, another factor that stands out is the acting of every actor in the movie.

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2. Wag the Dog (1997)

  • Genre: Comedy/Political Cinema
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Robert De Niro
  • Anne Heche
  • Willie Nelson
  • Woody Harrelson
  • William H. Macy
  • Kirsten Dunst

Overview: Released back in 1997, this movie touches on the subject of controlling media narratives the influence of the political scene. The movie plot highlights one of the biggest revealing sex scandals of the U.S President a few days before the elections.

While the President is stuck in haywire, his aide, Conrad Bean constructs a fake war against Albania to divert the attention of the media and possibly get an out of the situation.

The movie was directed by Barry Levinson and has been nominated even for the Academy Awards. It has some witty comebacks and if you want to know the character that steals the show, it is Dustin Hoffman. 

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3. Dr Strangelove (1964)

  • Genre: Comedy/War
  • IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
  • Available Platforms: Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Peter Sellers
  • George C. Scott
  • Slim Pickens
  • Sterling Hayden
  • James Earl Jones
  • Keenan Wynn
  • Tracy Reed

Overview: Even though this is a pretty old release, Dr Strangelove is a movie that is watched by movie buffs over and over again. As bizarre the plot of the movie is, it is pretty much a plot that keeps you hooked from the start till the end. The movie deals with some pretty heavy subjects of the cold war, the nuclear arms race, and MAD.

The movie takes you along a ride when an American Brigadier imposes a heavy nuclear catastrophe on the world by releasing a B-52 bomber on the Russians without any prior information, later leading to a series of consequences.

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4. V for Vendetta (2005)

  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Hugo Weaving
  • Natalie Portman
  • John Hurt
  • Stephen Fry
  • Stephen Rea
  • Rupert Graves
  • Tim Pigott-Smith

Overview: If there is one movie that is placed in the top 5 when talking about political movies, this has to be one of them. The movie is based on a novel of the same title by Alan Moore. The movie deals with a masked vigilante who finds their way to overthrow a totalitarian British government with plans, strategies, and tactics.

All these strategies imposed by the vigilant is done with the aid of a female accomplice. The plot of the movie in the earlier setting seemed very confusing but it was later that people well accepted and appreciated the political message. It also charged inspiration for the popular hacktivist group, Anonymous.

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5. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

  • Genre: Thriller/Political Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, Sho, Fubo TV

Cast:

  • Frank Sinatra
  • Angela Lansbury
  • Janet Leigh
  • Kimberly Elise
  • Jeffrey Wright
  • Jon Voight
  • Vera Farmiga

Overview: As weird as the name of the movie is, The Manchurian Candidate is a pretty acclaimed political movie of all time. This weaves in a lot of political themes with thriller plots and twists that leave the audience guessing the next move every single moment through.

Starring the winning duo of Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury, this movie deals with subjects of McCarthy communism and consistent Cold War paranoia. The plot of the movie depicts how an Army officer, brainwashes, tries to plot the assassination of the President. The movie also has a 2004 remake starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.

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6. Malcolm X (1992)

  • Genre: Drama/Biography
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes

Cast:

  • Denzel Washington
  • Spike Lee
  • Angela Bassett
  • Delroy Lindo
  • Al Freeman Jr.
  • Kate Vernon
  • Albert Hall

Overview: Released in 1992, Malcolm X is a biopic celebrating the constant contribution of the popular Black activist. Starring Denzel Washington, this movie walks you through the life of Malcolm X and how his contributions paved way for the African Americans in the U.S. 

The movie takes you through the years, discovering his life from the youth days to his days of activism and finally the fateful day of his assassination. It talks about some important topics of freedom and the constant oppression that Black people in the U.S have to face on the daily. The movie was directed by Spike Lee.

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7. Frost/Nixon (2008)

  • Genre: Drama/History
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Frank Nangella
  • Michael Sheen
  • Matthew Macfayden
  • Sam Rockwell
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Oliver Platt
  • Sam Rockwell

Overview: Played by Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon, this movie deals with the post-Watergate scandal of 1972. Sheen plays the role of David Frost, a television host that conducts a string of interviews with the American President, Richard Nixon and later bring him justice for something he has been falsely accused of.

But, as the interviews consistently progress, Frost realizes that the situation of breaking down the tough walls of Nixon is not as easy as it seems. With some facts divulged, the movie does deal with a wide range of sensitive topics that no one even thought about in the first place.

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8. Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

  • Genre: Comedy/Cinema
  • IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
  • Available Platforms: Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • James Stewart
  • Jean Arthur
  • Claude Rains
  • Edward Arnold
  • Harry Carey
  • Guy Kibbee
  • Thomas Mitchell

Overview: For a movie that was released back in 1939, this does have a pretty amazing rating when it comes to political movies. Unlike the majority of the other political movies that are encircled around serious themes, this one is a political comedy movie that you wouldn’t regret watching.

The movie touches base on some of the pitch-black politics eroding some of the worst kept secrets of the world. Jimmy Stewart plays the role of a boy-Scout appointed as the corrupt governor by the Senate. 

The movie was directed by Frank Capra. And, the best part of this movie is how relatable the plot of the movie is.

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9. Miss Sloane (2016)

  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Jessica Chastain
  • Gugu Mbatha Raw
  • Michael Stuhlbarg
  • Sam Waterston
  • Alison Pill
  • Mark Strong
  • John Lithgow

Overview: Depicting on the subject of a lobbyist, a high profile one, who tackles on the realms of the gun lobby. The movie is not your typical political movie but has several twists and turns along the way. It is a bit contrived and can be a little confusing at times but the end of the movie does leave you with a few political understandings you didn’t realize.

Unlike the majority of the other political movies, this one is a breath of fresh air in which the government movie where the lobbyist is a heroine instead of a villain. The movie was directed by John Madden.

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10. Il Divo (2008)

  • Genre: Comedy/Political
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Giulio Andreotti
  • Toni Servillo
  • Carlo Buccirusso
  • Anna Bonaiuto
  • Flavio Bucci
  • Giulio Bosetti
  • Giorgio Colangeli

Overview: The movie deals with the fabled Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, a powerful man who has abused his power. Paolo Sorrentino biopic walks you through a whole lot of mysteries of one of the political figures overall. It depicts some amazing light and camera settings subjecting Andreotti’s guilt to the world.

Played by Toni Servillo, he pretty much mimics the caricatural features of Andreotti’s character. By the end of the movie, you will end up realizing the truths laid behind.

The movie was directed by Paolo Sorrentino and discusses some prime conspiracy issues that political figures experience in the political world.

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11. The Butler (2013)

  • Genre: Historical/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play, Msn

Cast:

  • Forest Whitaker
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Robin Williams
  • David Oyelowo
  • Mariah Cary
  • Alan Rickman
  • John Cusack

Overview: The civil rights movement in America is the highlight of the movie. The movie talks about the butler of the White House who has served eight presidents over the triple-decade tenure. Cecil Gaines, the protagonist of the movie depicts the happenstances in the U.S from the front row.

Additionally, Oprah’s character as Cecile’s wife, Gloria is pretty unforgettable as well. 

The movie was released in 2013 and directed by Lee Daniels. Aside from the amazing script of the movie and Forest Whitaker’s contribution, the supporting cast of the movie is likely one of the best. It does touch base on the subjects of the socio-political history of America.

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12. Lincoln (2012)

  • Genre: War/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
  • Available Platforms: Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Sally Field
  • Joseph Gordon
  • James Spade
  • David Strathairn
  • Jared Harris

Overview: If you have been interested in Abraham Lincoln’s life and service as the U.S President, Lincoln is likely the best movie for that. The story of the movie discusses the power used by Lincoln in abolishing slavery and reunite the country again to fight against the Civil rights movement.

This historical drama discusses the efforts made by Lincoln to pass the Thirteenth Amendment. It doesn’t matter whether you are a civil war historian or not, this movie will interest anyone in the close realm.

The movie was released in 2013 and directed by the legendary director, Steven Spielberg. It has also received a range of Academy nominations.

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13. No (2012)

  • Genre: Drama/History
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Available Platforms: Amazon Prime, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Gael Garcia Bernal
  • Paloma Marena
  • Luis Gnecco
  • Alfredo Castro
  • Antonia Zegers
  • Marcial Tagle
  • Pascal Montero

Overview: After Augusto Pinochet loses his throne as the future leader of the country. The movie discusses the process that leads up to the process of this historical decision. It also discusses the innovative campaign that was created by the opposition to capture the citizens’ attention in politics like never before.

The movement recruit, Rene Saavedra, is the star of the show who consistently worked along to hatch the bold plan of the opposition to win the elections.

The movie was released back in 2012 and directed by Pablo Larrain. It didn’t do the best in the theatres but the viewers have expressed how much of an impact the movie leaves on you.

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14. All the President’s Men (1976)

  • Genre: Drama/Political Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 8/10
  • Available Platforms: Amazon Prime, Youtube, HBO Max, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes

Cast:

  • Robert Redford
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Jason Robards
  • Frank Wills
  • Jane Alexander
  • Stephen Collins
  • Hal Holbrook

Overview: Released back in 1976, All the President’s Men is a pretty amazing political movie that depicts the importance of the Watergate scandal. The main impacts of the two reporters unveil some of the biggest controversies surrounding the scandal. This is one of the scandals that compelled President Richard Nixon to resign from his post. 

The movie was directed by Alan J. Pakula and was nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Production Design. The suspense throughout the movie is extremely riveting and often becomes a little monotonous for some viewers. But, the ending of the movie makes up for every second you watch it.

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15. JFK (1991)

  • Genre: Drama/Mystery
  • IMDb Rating: 8/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes

Cast:

  • Kevin Costner
  • Gary Oldman
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Jack Lemmon
  • Donald Sutherland
  • Walter Matthau
  • Tommy Lee Jones

Overview: If there is one conspiracy in the American political history that is talked about, it is the assassination of the former U.S President John F. Kennedy. The movie highlights the subject of the attorney Jim Garrison, an attorney who fights to find the truth behind the assassination. 

But, with his search for truth, Garrison faces a constant push from the government. The movie was released back in 1991 and directed by Oliver Stone. The movie walks you through every nitty-gritty that happened following the assassination and how every move was handled along the way. It even received an Academy Award nomination for the Best Cinematography.

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16. The King’s Speech (2010)

  • Genre: Drama/History
  • IMDb Rating: 8/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes

Cast:

  • Colin Firth
  • Geoffrey Rush
  • Helena Bonham
  • Guy Pearce
  • Derek Jacobi
  • Michael Gambon
  • Jennifer Ehle

Overview: If you are a history buff, you likely know of King George VI. This movie deals with the king’s struggles in dealing and overcoming his struggles with stammering and speech issues with his therapist Lionel Logue.

The movie is not your typical political movie but deals with subjects of lack of confidence to steer him through the realms of World War II. This movie deals with King’s ultimate chance to be the voice that the people are looking for in their leader.

The movie was released in 2010 and directed by Tom Hooper. It even received an Academy Awards nomination for the Best Actor in a Leading role.

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17. The Post (2017)

  • Genre: Drama/History
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, Msn, iTunes, Fubo

Cast:

  • Meryl Streep
  • Tom Hanks
  • Sarah Paulson
  • Bob Odenkirk
  • Matthew Rhys
  • Jesse Plemons
  • Carrie Coon

Overview: If you have watched the movie, All President’s Men, The Post is a pretty good reincarnation of the same. The movie then leads up to the issues of the Watergate scandal and emphasizes how the media portrayal of situations is pretty drastic. This further emphasizes on a historical movie and the possible set up of the investigations for the Watergate scandal.

The characters of Katharine and Ben are the ones who set out to find the answers to the decades-long secret about the Vietnam War.

The movie was released in 2017 and directed by Steven Spielberg. For the amazing acting, Meryl Streep was nominated under the Academy Awards for the Best Actress in a Lead Role.

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18. Recount (2008)

  • Genre: Drama/Political History
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Available Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes

Cast:

  • Laura Derm
  • Tom Wilkinson
  • Ed Begley Jr.
  • George W. Bush
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Denis Leary
  • John Hurt

Overview: Last but not least on the list is the 2008 released movie, Recount. It depicts the claim made by the Gore campaign following the U.S Presidential elections who demand a recount saying that there are voting irregularities in the Democratic strongholds. 

The two camps have a face off against each other that seek justice for their leaders. Laura Derm makes the screen time worth it till the end. Kevin Spacey also contributes his part to the movie. The movie was directed by Jay Roach. It highlights some of the common happenstance that does lurk around during the election season that not many citizens are aware of.

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FAQs Related To The Best Political Movies

1. What is the best Political Movie To Watch Online?

We can not name just one best political movie for you to watch online. but we can give you the 5 best movies based on politician dramas you should watch.

  • Dr Strangelove (1964)
  • V for Vendetta (2005)
  • Mr Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
  • All The President’s Men (1976)
  • The King’s Speech (2010)

2. Where Should I Watch The Best Political Movies?

Anyone can watch the best Political Movies online through OTT platforms available on the internet like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Hulu. Just search for the movie name you want to watch and click on the watch now button and enjoy streaming your favourite film in 2020.

3. Can I Watch Best Political Movies Online Without Paying?

No, you need to take the premium subscription of any of the OTT platforms subscription either monthly or yearly to watch the movies listed in this article. Netflix, Amazon prime and youtube are some of the notable streaming services you can use to browse movies.

Check: 25 Best suspense movies on Netflix to watch in 2020

Wrapping It Up

Political movies are more than the constant riot that you witness. That is not what the majority of the ones mentioned in this list talks about. We have left you with a list of movies that have inspiration from some of the real-life events and some inspirational characters in the history of U.S politics.

Every single movie that we have picked out and sorted for you draws you in and keeps you on the edge of the seat throughout. If you like watching conspiracies and political dramas, these movies are enough to satiate your hunger. Make sure that you read through the plots we mentioned and pick out the one that best suits your interest. At the end of the day, we often need a break from reality to binge watch some more drama surrounding politics.

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