The Best 100 Movies about Politics (under construction)

by Ioannis111 | created - 23 Apr 2011 | updated - 25 Feb 2013 | Public

A NOTE ON THE STRUCTURE OF THIS LIST: Albeit entitled "the best 100 movies about politics," this list will contain a larger number of movie titles. The reason for this is that I want to make sure of the correctness of the rankings. That is, the list will contain more than a hundred movies, so that the hundred best movies will REALLY be the "best" ones (according to my standards, of course.) The reader will be able to see what movies have NOT made the list and that these have not been neglected.

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1. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 94,817 | Gross: $70.60M

Key ideas: NIXON, JOURNALISM, WATERGATE

9.61/10 (79th viewing)

"When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow!"

The greatest movie about politics, ever! The first time I saw it, I remember I couldn't stop replaying it. I must have seen it more than four times on the same day. Top-notch acting by almost everyone involved: Jason Robards is terrific, Hoffman and Redford are the epitome of the idealist journalist, and the rest of the cast play their roles flawlessly. The setting is so realistic that the viewer feels the anxiety and the passion of the journalists as their own. The reality of American politics is slowly disclosed in all its ruthlessness and corruption. A must-see.

2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 100,156 | Gross: $9.60M

Key ideas: AMERICAN POLITICS, SENATE, IMAGINARY

8.95/10 (14th viewing)

Superb, feel-good movie about american politics, a movie that never bores the viewer, as it is exciting from beginning to end. James Stewart is brilliant as the young senator who fights against political corruption.

3. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 68,348

Key ideas: COLD WAR, PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONING, KOREA WAR

8.55/10 (77th viewing)

"Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." ("conditioned" Major Ben Marco)

"I was loveable. Jocie was loveable. The Senator was loveable. The days were loveable, the nights were loveable. And everybody was loveable. Except, of course, my mother." (Raymond Shaw)

"You are to shoot the presidential nominee through the head, and Johnny will rise gallantly to his feet and lift Ben Arthur's body in his arms, stand in front of the microphones and begin to speak. The speech is short. But it's the most rousing speech I've ever read. It's been worked on here and in Russia on and off, for over eight years. I shall force someone to take the body away from him. Then Johnny will really hit those microphones and those cameras, with blood all over him, fighting off anyone who tries to help, defending America even if it means his own death! Rallying a nation of television viewers into hysteria, to sweep us up into the White House with powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy!" (Mother Iselin to her son!)

Political paranoia at its scariest: acts of conditioning minds in the era of Cold War! Almost perfect film, superior acting by the big three: Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Harvey, Janet Leigh; but the best of all is Angela Lansbury as Raymond Shaw's power-mad mother (nominated for Oscar and won Golden Globe) - even the most blood-thirsty Hollywood monster pales in comparison to her evil mind. A flim to be seen again and again.

4. Being There (1979)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden

Votes: 61,531 | Gross: $30.18M

Key ideas: AMERICAN POLITICS, COMEDY, IMAGINARY

8.51/9 (17th viewing)

"US President: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives? Chance: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden. US President: In the garden. Chance: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again. US President: Spring and summer. Chance: Yes. US President: Then fall and winter. Chance: Yes. Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy. Chance: Yes! There will be growth in the spring! Benjamin Rand: Hmm! Chance: Hmm! US President: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that this is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time. I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill."

A masterpiece. Sellers' legendary performance and Hal Ashby's magisterial direction make this movie a memorable one. It shows us how a stupid person can look and sound profound in a political context, a context that dies for "refreshing" ideas, even if these are empty of meaning. It also makes apparent the lightness of human existence, that life does not really require much thought and energy. This is a hilarious movie, but also a milestone of American cinema.

5. The Wave (1981 TV Short)

TV-G | 44 min | Short, Biography, Drama

An experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.

Director: Alexander Grasshoff | Stars: Bruce Davison, Lori Lethin, John Putch, Johnny Doran

Votes: 2,828

Key ideas: FASCISM, SCHOOL, EXPERIMENT

8.25/10 (5th viewing)

"Strength through Disclipine, Strength through Community, Strength through Action!" (the motto of the Wave)

"Fascism isn't something those other people did, it's right here in all of us."

Scary! A teacher's 'experimental' answer to his students' question: "How could the [non-Nazi] Germans do nothing as millions of innocent humand beings were being murdered? How could they claim they weren't involved?" One of the best TV movies about politics ever made.

6. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 77,272 | Gross: $48.17M

Key ideas: MALCOLM X, LUTHER KING, BLACK MOVEMENT, BLACK POWER, ISLAM

8.15/10 (15th viewing)

"Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you that I charge the white man. I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth. There is no place in this world that this man can go and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone he's created havoc. Everywhere he's gone he's created destruction. So I charge him. I charge him with being the greatest kidnapper on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth. The greatest drunkard on this earth! He can't deny the charges! You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof of those charges! You and I are the proof. You're not an American, you are the victim of America. You didn't have a choice coming over here. He didn't say, 'black man, black woman, come on over and help me build America'. He said, 'get down in the bottom of that boat and I'm taking you over there to help me build America'. Being born here does not make you an American. I am not an American, you are not an American. You are one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of America. You and I, we've never seen any democracy. We didn't see any democracy on the cotton fields of Georgia, wasn't no democracy down there. We didn't see any democracy. We didn't see any democracy on the streets of Harlem or on the streets of Brooklyn or on the streets of Detroit or Chicago. Ain't no democracy down there. No, we've never seem democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!" (Malcolm X)

Overly long, but exciting biopic. Denzel Washington's performance is undoubtedly the best of his career. He successfully brings forth the contradictions in Malcolm X's ideology, his genuine agony about the situation of black people in America and the humane character of his personality. The documentary scenes embedded in the film do not disrupt its narrative, but enforce it instead. Some of the pop elements we encounter in the movie - clearly a personal choice of director Spike Lee - could be avoided and some of the songs chosen do not fit it entirely. The greatest virtue of the film is its giving plenty of cinematic space to spirituality, the ideas that generated and maintained Malcolm X's actions. Indeed, the two most enjoyable parts of the movie are (a) the first rebirth of Malcolm while being in prison through the teachings of Elaija Mohammed and (b) his second rebirth during and after his visit to Mecca and the other holy places. This is a demanding movie and requires multiple viewings, but at the end of the day is - hands down - a monumental achievement in the history of cinema.

7. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 86,763 | Gross: $43.98M

Key ideas: CHINA, EMPEROR, COMMUNISM, JAPAN, OPIUM

8.13/10 (2nd viewing)

8. In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Votes: 144,829 | Gross: $25.01M

Key ideas: IRELAND, IRA, ENGLISH IMPERIALISM, COURT, BOMBING

8.10/10 (7th viewing)

9. V for Vendetta (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Votes: 970,374 | Gross: $70.51M

Key ideas: OPPRESSION, CONTROL, GREAT BRITAIN, TERRORISM, IMAGINARY

7.53/10 (1st viewing)

10. The Conformist (1970)

R | 113 min | Drama

100 Metascore

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio

Votes: 24,102

Key ideas: FASCISM, ITALY, EROTICISM, ACADEMIA

7.51/10 (2nd viewing)

"Imagine a great dungeon in the shape of a cave. Inside, men who have lived there since childhood, all chained, and forced to face the back of the cave. Behind them, far away, the light from a fire flickers. Between the fire and the prisoners, imagine a low wall, similar to that little stage on which a puppeteer shows his puppets. [...] Now try and imagine some other men passing behind that little wall bearing statues made of wood and stone. The statues are higher than that wall. [The prisoners] see only the shadows the fire makes on the back of the cavern that faces them. Shadows. The reflections of things. Like what's happening to you people now in Italy. Say those prisoners were at liberty and could speak out. Mightn't they call the shadows they see reality, not visions? Yes, they would mistake for reality the shadows of reality."

Visually stunning, hypnotic film about fascism. The story is not as deep as one may have expected and there is some shallow acting, but there are moments of intellectual epiphany (such as the reference to Plato's Myth of the Cave in the Republic). The reason to see this film again and again is its aesthetics, from the photography to the score to the direction to the eroticism of the female protagonists. Thus, it has indeed been correctly stated that "Il Conformista" can be understood both as a study in politics and as a study in beauty. In fact, it may be the case that Bertolucci wanted to suggest some deeper, underlying connection between these two elements of human existence.

11. The Parallax View (1974)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

65 Metascore

An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, William Daniels, Walter McGinn

Votes: 13,612

7.30/10 (1st viewing)

Not for everyone, "systematic", movie. It all makes sense at the end. Clever script and haunting atmosphere. You'll continue thinking about it days after you have seen it.

12. Seven Days in May (1964)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner

Votes: 11,703

7.29/10 (3rd viewing)

"He's not the enemy. Scott, the Joint Chiefs, even the very emotional, very illogical lunatic fringe, they're not the enemy. The enemy is an age. A nuclear age. It happens to have killed man's faith in his ability to influence what happens to him. And out of this comes a sickness. A sickness of frustration. A feeling of impotence, helplessness, weakness. And from this, this desperation, we look for a champion in red, white and blue. Every now and then a man on a white horse rides by and we appoint him to be our personal god for the duration. For some men it was a senator McCarthy. For others it was a General Walker. Now it's a General Scott."

Solid, perfectly ensembled (Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Martin Balsam) account of an attempted junta in the USA in the age of Cold War. Full of suspense, great score and very thoughtful. Black and white. See it! It will blow your mind!

13. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 331,461 | Gross: $11.29M

7.26/10 (2nd viewing)

The true face of socialism in full disclosure. Brilliant movie. Excellent acting by Ulrich Mühe and Sebastian Koch (not perfect by Martina Gedeck). Won Oscar (best foreign language film). It raises significant questions concerning the implementation of communist/socialist theory. Individuality appears as the enemy of a superbly organized government whose highest aim is "to know everything". It makes us think about the possibility of a "proper" communist state - could that become a reality after all the failures? What would then be the value of communist theory? Would it be only an ideological whim - or maybe only a power of opposition? This is a film that not even for a moment bores the reader. Excellent structure, excellent direction, excellent story, excellent depiction of a historical period and of certain "world". Highly recommended - it might be placed in the Top 10 in the future.

14. George Wallace (1997)

TV-14 | 178 min | Biography, Drama

Following Alabama governor George Wallace through segregation, presidential elections, an assassination attempt and personal trauma.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Mare Winningham, Clarence Williams III, Joe Don Baker

Votes: 1,200

7,17/10 (1st viewing)

15. The Confession (1970)

GP | 139 min | Drama, History, Thriller

Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Gabriele Ferzetti, Michel Vitold

Votes: 3,305

7.16/10 (1st viewing)

16. Cry Freedom (1987)

PG | 157 min | Biography, Drama, History

59 Metascore

South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country, after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend, the black activist Steve Biko.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, Wabei Siyolwe

Votes: 11,755 | Gross: $5.90M

7.15/10 (3rd viewing)

"JUDGE: But why do you use a phrase like 'black is beautiful'? BIKO: Because black is commonly associated with negatives - the black market, the black sheep of the family, anything which is supposed to be bad. JUDGE: Then why do you use the word? Why call yourselves black? I mean, you people are more brown than black. BIKO: Why do you call yourselves white? You people are more pink than white. JUDGE (smiling): Precisely..."

I think the most fitting attribute for this movie is ... "solid." It tells us two stories in one go, the story of the last days of Steve Biko, the legendary black South African civil rights activist, and the story of Donald Woods, the white South African journalist who risked his life and the life of his family in order to tell the story of Biko to the wider world. The film is divided by Biko's funeral. What comes before is dominated by Denzel Washington's amazing performance in the role of Steve Biko, and the involving depiction of the atmosphere of fear and oppression that characterized South Africa at that time. What comes after the funeral is more of an action movie, the telling of the adventure Woods has in his attempt to escape from the banning the South African regime imposed upon him and reach England, where he would be able to publish the real story of Biko's life and work. This is a solid, enjoyable, and thoughtful movie. Highly recommended.

17. Frost/Nixon (2008)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell

Votes: 98,113 | Gross: $18.59M

7.11/10 (3rd viewing)

18. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 133 min | Drama, History, Western

A historic chronicle based on the book by Dee Brown explains how Native Americans were displaced as the United States expanded west.

Director: Yves Simoneau | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, August Schellenberg, Anna Paquin

Votes: 5,694

7.10/10 (1st viewing)

19. Nixon (1995)

R | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

66 Metascore

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris

Votes: 27,381 | Gross: $13.56M

7.09/10 (1st viewing)

20. Milk (I) (2008)

R | 128 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

Votes: 157,886 | Gross: $31.84M

7.09/10 (1st viewing)

21. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated | 127 min | Drama, War

82 Metascore

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald

Votes: 43,182 | Gross: $1.83M

7.09/10 (2nd viewing)

"The old for her The new that made me think On Ireland dearly While soft the wind Blew down the glen And shook the golden barley Twas hard the woeful words to frame To break the ties that bound us But harder still to bear the shame Of foreign chains around us And so I said the mountain glen I'll seek at morning early While soft the wind blew down the glen And shook the golden barley."

An excellent film about the brutality of the English in Ireland and how their evil destroyed the harmony of the Irish family and community. It is indeed beyond our comprehension why the English imperialists thought they had the right to behave in such a way to other people (Irish, Indian, Cypriot, etc.). A highly recommended film, especially to the English journalists, such as Simon Heffer, Dominic Lawson and Michael Gove, who buried the film as a political propaganda and accused director Ken Loach as a traitor! Excellent depiction of the circumstances that gave rise to the formation of I.R.A. A sad and brutal film.

22. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 178,103 | Gross: $9.93M

7.07/10 (4th viewing)

23. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

63 Metascore

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 20,870

7.07/10 (3rd viewing)

Oskar: "I prefer to see myself as one of the audience...and let my modest artistry blossom in secret!" Bebra: "My dear Oskar. Believe a more experienced colleague...Our sort must never be the audience. We must perform, determine the action..., otherwise the others will run us. And the others will come. They will occupy the fairground, with torchlight processions, grandstands, and there they'll preach our downfall."

Extraordinary film, unique cinematic experience. (But by no means a flawless film.) It builds slowly from a satyrical non-political beginning to the terrifying essence of Nazi Germany. The protagonist, Oskar Matzerath, a boy that stopped growing when he was three, is the pariah of the system, the unfitting observer of an irrational behaviour, a behaviour governed by the pompous, up-lifting rhetoric of the Nazi Generals. Constantly comical - it generates genuine laughter (the proud parade that degenerates into a vals dance is of particular mention). But there are also horrifying moments, both in literal contexts (e.g. we see a man getting sea eels from a dead horse's head and then preparing a meal out of them) and in psychological/historical ones (e.g. we witness the gradual social alienation of Poles and Jews and the burning of their properties by the Nazis). Based on a book by the Nobel prizer Gunter Grass.

WINS: Oscar (best foreign language film), Japanese academy (best foreign language film), Blue Ribbon (best foreign language film), Cannes (Palm d'Or), Bodil Awards (best European film)

24. The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13 | 141 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

50 Metascore

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard

Votes: 71,403 | Gross: $100.77M

6.95/10 (9th viewing)

Scary, intelligent, well-directed and brilliantly acted "green" political thriller. A hugely underrated film, which engages the viewer from beginning to end. Highly recommended.

25. Dave (1993)

PG-13 | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

76 Metascore

To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance is put in his place.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn

Votes: 46,519 | Gross: $63.27M

6.94/10 (4th viewing)

Key ideas: AMERICAN POLITICS, COMEDY, IMAGINARY, ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, INFIDELITY, ROMANCE

"REED: Dave, have you ever driven through a red light? You know...on an empty road when there's nobody around and you know it's safe? DAVE: I'm not sure. I might have. REED: Well, let's say your mother is in the car and you have to get her to the hospital. You'd do it then for sure, wouldn't you? DAVE: Yes, I guess I would. REED: Now, let's say the whole country is in the car. The entire United States of America. DAVE: In the car? REED: In the car. DAVE: I see what you mean. REED: Dave, the country is sick ... ALEXANDER: ... and you're going to get it to the hospital."

Really funny political comedy. Nominated for Oscar. Highly recommended.

26. Fail-Safe (1964)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver, Dan O'Herlihy

Votes: 17,937

6.94/10 (1st viewing)

27. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

PG | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels

Votes: 91,217 | Gross: $31.50M

6.69/10 (2nd viewing)

"'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.' No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that Congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We walk not in fear, one or another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to associate, to speak and to defend the causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the results. We proclaim ourselves, indeed as we are, the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right. 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.'"

Black-and-white depiction of the collision between the CBS journalist Edward Murrow and U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy. Nominated for six Oscars. Excellent Jazz score. Documentary footage. Not a thrilling film, but a serious account of the "paranoia" of a certain age, the age of McCarthyism. Excellent acting and direction. Somewhat propagandistic, though (leftist propaganda), but the film does capture successfully a moment in time. Nice portrait of Murrow, the ethical, humanist, hard-working journalist. Not recommended for group viewing. Not recommended for repeated viewings.

28. Z (1969)

M/PG | 127 min | Crime, Drama, History

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Périer

Votes: 21,853 | Gross: $0.08M

6.65/10 (1st viewing)

"Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is not the result of chance. It is DELIBERATE."

Peculiar brave film, filled with grey, blue and brown colours, reminiscent of greek movies of the same period. Greek music on the background (by Theodorakis, who wrote the music from house arrest in Greece - it was smuggled out to be placed on the film). Excellent cast (Papas, Montand, Trintignant). It tells the real-life story of the assassination of Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in May 1963 - but without ever mentioning his name. Clearly the film is meant to criticise the fascist leadership of the Greek Junta, who exercised considerable violence against all "reactionaries" (including pacifist politicians such as "Z"). It is not a flawless film - somewhat theatrical at times (referring to both the setting and the acting) and unbalanced with respect to the union of all its elements (music, action, memory flashes). But it is a film that stays with you for months after you've seen it - and this says a lot about its quality. The violence of fascism is deeply felt by the viewer - and the atmosphere of hatred against political reaction couldn't be more haunting. This is a hymn to political freedom and a relentless critique of the hypocrisy and corruption of politicians of any place and age. Based on a book with the same title by prominent Greek author Vasilis Vasilikos. The film was banned in Greece for many years.

OSCAR WINS (2): best film editing, best foreign language film. OSCAR NOMINATIONS (3): best director, best picture, best screenplay based on another medium OTHER WINS: BAFTA (Theodorakis), Cannes (best actor for Trintignant, Jury Prize for Gavras), Golden Globe (best foreign language film), New York Film Critics Circle Award (best director, best film)

29. Under Fire (1983)

R | 128 min | Drama, War

Three journalists in a romantic triangle are involved in political intrigue during the last days of the corrupt Somozoa regime in Nicaragua before it falls to a popular revolution in 1979.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Nick Nolte, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy

Votes: 6,419 | Gross: $5.70M

6.60/10 (2nd viewing)

30. The Constant Gardener (2005)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

82 Metascore

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé

Votes: 126,970 | Gross: $33.58M

6.60/10 (3rd viewing)

31. Salvador (1986)

R | 122 min | Drama, History, Thriller

An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: James Woods, Jim Belushi, Michael Murphy, John Savage

Votes: 18,059

5.90/10 (1st viewing)

32. The Day of the Jackal (1973)

PG | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel

Votes: 35,058 | Gross: $16.06M

5.85/10 (1st viewing)

33. The Candidate (1972)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

Director: Michael Ritchie | Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter

Votes: 9,089

5.84/10 (1st viewing)

34. The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)

R | 150 min | Action, Biography, Crime

76 Metascore

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek, Bruno Ganz

Votes: 33,987 | Gross: $0.48M

5.84/10 (1st viewing)

35. State of Play (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

64 Metascore

When a congressional aide is killed, a Washington D.C. journalist starts investigating the case involving the congressman, his old college friend.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren

Votes: 129,048 | Gross: $37.02M

5.81/10 (1st viewing)

36. Enemy of the State (1998)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

67 Metascore

A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his N.S.A. goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet

Votes: 217,005 | Gross: $111.55M

5.80/10 (1st viewing)

37. The Ipcress File (1965)

Not Rated | 109 min | Thriller

In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd

Votes: 12,765

5.51/10 (5th viewing)

38. The Interpreter (2005)

PG-13 | 128 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

62 Metascore

Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Christensen

Votes: 94,040 | Gross: $72.71M

5.50/10 (1st viewing)

39. The American President (1995)

PG-13 | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A widowed U.S. President running for reelection and an environmental lobbyist fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception," and sparks fly anyway.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox

Votes: 49,037 | Gross: $65.00M

5.49/10 (1st viewig)

"President Andrew Shepherd: You have concerns? Sydney Ellen Wade: Yes. Not many. A few. One. I have one concern. President Andrew Shepherd: This wouldn't have to do with the fact that one of us is president?" Typical "American president" movie, full of cliches, but also quite enjoyable. A family movie. Well-known actors: Douglas, Sheen, Fox, Bening, Dreyfuss. A more appropriate title: "The American President's Girlfriend". Easily forgotten, but brainless attention guaranteed. Oscar nominated for its music (unbelievable!).

40. Bobby (I) (2006)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama, History

54 Metascore

The story of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and twenty-two people in the hotel, whose lives were never the same.

Director: Emilio Estevez | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Harry Belafonte

Votes: 40,265 | Gross: $11.24M

5.47/10 (1st viewing)

41. The Best Man (1964)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

The 2 front runners for their party's presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the former President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, Margaret Leighton

Votes: 2,751

5.42/10 (1st viewing)

42. Wag the Dog (1997)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 75,470 | Gross: $43.02M

5.21/10 (1st viewing)

43. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Votes: 43,786 | Gross: $41.51M

5.20/10 (1st viewing)

44. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine Captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill

Votes: 167,428 | Gross: $122.01M

5.10/10 (1st viewing)

45. Bulworth (1998)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Kimberly Deauna Adams, Vinny Argiro

Votes: 23,930 | Gross: $26.53M

3,7/10 (1st viewing)

Bad, bad movie...

46. The Third Generation (1979)

111 min | Crime, Drama

A mogul merrily funds terrorists to boost his computer sales, by panicking West German government and industry c. 1980, as the third generation of Western European left-wing activists forms... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler, Margit Carstensen

Votes: 1,745

0,25/10 (1st viewing)

The worst political movie ever? Most probably...

47. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

8