Maven's Best 100+ American Politics Movies

by maven0690 | created - 23 Sep 2013 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

Politics: American Style (rated 6+ votes 100+) Power, Ambition, Thrillers, Scandals, Comedy, War, Romance, Intrigue and more ... Hollywood's Best Portrayals of Politics in America may awaken you to the Deals, Triumphs, Lies and High Drama of the "Art of the Possible." Learn what it takes to enter political life and why Mario Cuomo said "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose." Also see Maven's Inspirational Lawyering Maven's Top Rated Favorites Maven's B-Movie Favorites Maven's SciFi Not Horror Maven's Secret Science Maven's Chivalry, Sword & Sorcery

EXTERNAL WEB SITES ebizmba.com/articles/political-websites (popular) RealClearPolitics.com/ (Unbiased? News) FiveThirtyEight.com/politics/ (Unbiased? News) brookings.edu/ (Liberal Think Tank) heritage.org/ (Conservative Think Tank) foxNews.com/ (Conservative Cable TV) msnbc.com/ (Liberal Cable TV) cnn.com/ (Liberal Cable TV)

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1. House of Cards (2013–2018)

TV-MA | 51 min | Drama

A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright, Kate Mara

Votes: 440,047

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: 100,181 | Gross: $9.60M

3. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 232,529 | Gross: $182.21M

Featurette http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-w4A43wkGU Bio-2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AimGN1w5gOg

4. 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: 11,705

5. Thirteen Days (2000)

PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, History, Thriller

67 Metascore

In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Shawn Driscoll, Drake Cook

Votes: 51,490 | Gross: $34.59M

6. 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: 23,934 | Gross: $26.53M

7. 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: 17,945

8. The Ides of March (2011)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

67 Metascore

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 209,103 | Gross: $40.96M

9. 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: 98,126 | Gross: $18.59M

10. 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: 68,362

11. 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: 75,484 | Gross: $43.02M

12. The Contender (2000)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

59 Metascore

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for U.S. Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to derail her confirmation.

Director: Rod Lurie | Stars: Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater

Votes: 22,099 | Gross: $17.87M

13. 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: 49,046 | Gross: $65.00M

14. The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed | 82 min | Comedy

Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics, but he endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn

Votes: 3,117

15. State of the Union (1948)

Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Drama

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 3,223

16. All the King's Men (1949)

Approved | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek

Votes: 12,232

17. The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as mayor of a U.S. town for the last time.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O'Brien

Votes: 2,690

18. Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | 139 min | Drama, Thriller

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon

Votes: 6,035

19. 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: 2,752

20. 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: 9,092

21. A Lion Is in the Streets (1953)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

A charismatic peddler from the bayous finds his true calling in politics. Is he a demagogue in the making?

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Hale, Anne Francis, Warner Anderson

Votes: 535

22. Scandal (2012–2018)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Thriller

A former White House Communications Director starts her own crisis management firm only to realize her clients are not the only ones with secrets.

Stars: Kerry Washington, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Díaz

Votes: 64,459

23. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Stars: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer

Votes: 57,601

24. Election (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Jessica Campbell

Votes: 84,582 | Gross: $14.88M

25. W. (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

56 Metascore

A chronicle of the life and Presidency of George W. Bush.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks

Votes: 44,843 | Gross: $25.53M

26. The Campaign (2012)

R | 85 min | Comedy

50 Metascore

An incumbent Representative embroiled in personal scandal faces a no-holds-barred challenge from a naive newcomer funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott

Votes: 120,225 | Gross: $86.91M

27. Primary Colors (1998)

R | 143 min | Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman

Votes: 26,386 | Gross: $38.97M

28. 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: 27,385 | Gross: $13.56M

29. A Perfect Candidate (1996)

105 min | Documentary

The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat, focusing on North's campaign strategist, Mark Goodin, and a Washington Post reporter. Mudslinging ... See full summary »

Directors: R.J. Cutler, David Van Taylor | Stars: Don Baker, Mark Goodin, Mark Merritt, Peter Baker

Votes: 253 | Gross: $0.05M

30. 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: 46,529 | Gross: $63.27M

31. The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)

R | 108 min | Drama

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as well... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg | Stars: Alan Alda, Barbara Harris, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn

Votes: 1,464

32. The War Room (1993)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, History

A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it.

Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Heather Beckel, Paul Begala

Votes: 3,594 | Gross: $0.90M

33. Why We Fight (2005)

PG-13 | 98 min | Documentary, History, War

68 Metascore

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

Director: Eugene Jarecki | Stars: Gore Vidal, John McCain, Ken Adelman, John Ashcroft

Votes: 9,591 | Gross: $1.44M

34. The Panama Deception (1992)

91 min | Documentary, History, War

A film about the true reasons for the 1989 US invasion of Panama and big media complicity in these activities.

Director: Barbara Trent | Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Carlos Cantú, Diviana Ingravallo, Abraham Alvarez

Votes: 965 | Gross: $0.31M

35. First Monday in October (1981)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

For the first time in history a woman is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she becomes a friendly rival to a liberal associate.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Walter Matthau, Jill Clayburgh, Barnard Hughes, Jan Sterling

Votes: 1,276

36. 1776 (1972)

G | 141 min | Drama, Family, History

A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.

Director: Peter H. Hunt | Stars: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Donald Madden

Votes: 7,265 | Gross: $6.10M

37. Boss (2011–2012)

TV-MA | 56 min | Crime, Drama

Mayor Tom Kane, diagnosed with a dementia disorder, struggles to keep his grip on power in Chicago.

Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Hannah Ware, Jeff Hephner

Votes: 16,575

38. J. Edgar (2011)

R | 137 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly fifty years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Hamilton

Votes: 117,442 | Gross: $37.31M

39. Recount (2008 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 116 min | Drama, History

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary, Ed Begley Jr.

Votes: 11,466

40. The Special Relationship (2010 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

A dramatization that traces former UK prime minister Tony Blair's relationships with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Director: Richard Loncraine | Stars: Michael Sheen, Demetri Goritsas, Adam Godley, Marc Rioufol

Votes: 4,089

41. Game Change (2012 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska becomes Senator John McCain's running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Peter MacNicol

Votes: 20,064

42. The Kennedys (2011)

TV-14 | 346 min | Drama, History, Romance

The triumphs and tragedies of the most popular political family in American history.

Stars: Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 6,767

43. Kennedy (1983)

282 min | Biography, Drama, History

Biography of the 1961-1963 Presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Stars: John Shea, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Andrew Rayden

Votes: 472

44. Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War (2004)

56 min | Documentary, War

60 Metascore

Interviews with varied U.S officials and experts offer a deconstruction on the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq in the wake of 9/11.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: John Dean, David Albright, Robert Baer, Milton Bearden

Votes: 896

45. John Adams (2008)

TV-14 | 71 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years.

Stars: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 25,782

46. Thomas Jefferson (1997– )

180 min | Documentary, History

A biographical film about The United States' influential and profoundly enigmatic Founding Father.

Stars: Ossie Davis, Joseph Ellis, John Hope Franklin, Gwyneth Paltrow

Votes: 539

47. The Adams Chronicles (1976)

50 min | Drama, History

Ambitious multipart PBS production that brings to life five generations of one of America's leading political and historical families. It traces their lives from John Adams early years as a... See full summary »

Stars: Tim Wilson, Michael O'Hare, Wesley Addy, David Birney

Votes: 159