DemDaily: The Best Political Movies of All Time

February 16, 2022

'Tis the movie season! Oscar nominations were announced February 8, and the winners of the Golden Globe Awards came out in January.

This prompts our listing of what, by general consensus of numerous publications, writers, editors, expert observers and my friends, are the best political movies of all time.

Politics is present in almost every film and form, particularly in this day and age. While the scope of what entails a "political," movie is difficult to define to the agreement of all, we can all agree that the genre has provided us with some of the most inspiring and entertaining movies over the last eighty years.

Political cinema, in the narrow sense of the term, is films that portray current or historical events or social conditions through a partisan perspective in order to inform or to agitate the spectator.

The Top 35
In the interest of peace, we are listing the top 35 movies in chronological order rather than by popularity. Enjoy!

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
State of The Union (1948)
All the King's Men (1949)
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
The Primary (1960)
Advise and Consent (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Seven Days in May (1964)
The Candidate (1972)
All the President's Men (1976)
Being There (1979)
JFK (1991)
The Distinguished Gentlemen (1992)
Malcolm X (1992)
The American President (1995)

On everyone's list: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, All The President's Men, The Manchurian Candidate, Citizen Kane, Dr. Strangelove, Wag The Dog, Election, JFK

Lone Star (1996)
Wag the Dog (1997)
Bulworth (1998)
Primary Colors (1998)
Election (1999)
The Contender (2000)
Thirteen Days (2000)
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Milk (2008)
Frost/Nixon (2008)
In The Loop (2009)
Lincoln (2012)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)Selma (2014)
The Post (2017)Vice (2018)

International Favorites
While we excluded international flicks from the list, there were several favorites: Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), The Battle of Algiers (1966), Z (1969), The Conformist (1970), State of Siege (1972), Ghandi (1982), The Killing Fields (1984), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Downfall (2004), The Lives of Others (2006), The Attacks of 26/11 (2013) and The Darkest Hour (2017).

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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