The Swamp logo

Best Movies About American Politics

Politics are everywhere, and are especially prominent in the world of media. These are the best movies about American politics that have left their mark in film history.

By Kelsey LangePublished 6 years ago 5 min read

It's important for the world of filmmaking to marry with the world of politics. Why? Because it gives a completely different platform to the ideals that are so often spoken about, solely by politicians or news media. This way, consumers can receive the topics that are so relevant to everyone's lives in a new form.

With this being said, there are many ways to create an impactful American political film. We created a list of the best movies about American politics that do this form of film the most successfully.

Based on the popular political book by Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men follows the story of the Watergate Scandal. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are two green reporters who begin to research the 1972 burglary that occurred in the headquarters of the Democratic Party. However, they find an unexpected source who explains the connection between the White House and the burglar.

Directed by Alan J. Pakula, All the President's Men is one of the best movies about American politics that is both historically and culturally noteworthy.

JFK is certainly one of the best movies about American politics because it not only focuses on the assassination of the famous president, but the investigation that it was a cover-up, as suspected by attorney Jim Garrison. Garrison opens a case against the suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. However, Oswald is killed. But will this stop Garrison's investigation?

The 1991 film is among the conspiracy thriller genre and was directed by Oliver Stone, adapted from Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar's books titled On the Trail of the Assassins.

A great adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning political novel by the same name, Advise and Consent was directed by Otto Preminger as a neo-noir motion picture. After Robert Leffingwell is nominated as U.S Secretary of State, controversy ensues due to his hidden past. How will the United States react?

The film won the National Board of Review for the Best Supporting Actor, as well as received nominations for both the Cannes Film Festival and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts: BAFTA Film Award.

A 1997 black comedy, Wag the Dog is one of the most unique films on the list of the best movies about American politics. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, the film was directed by Barry Levinson. The movie follows a spin doctor in Washington D.C. who distracts America with a fake war with Albania from a sex scandal that a president electorate has, just weeks before the election.

The film was ironically released right before the Lewinsky scandal and the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory bombing. This prompted many conspiracy theories and comparisons of reality.

Known as a controversial political satire black comedy film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Peter Sellers and George C. Scott. The film takes place during the Cold War while there is fear of a nuclear conflict against the Soviet Union. Based on Peter George's Red Alert, a novel published in 1958, the film focused on the first strike nuclear attack.

Jefferson Smith is appointed to the Senate of the United States, though he is unfit for the position and very naive. The rest of the senior Senate believes he will take a seat back and will be easy to manipulate during the Great Depression. However, the opposite ensures.

As one of the best movies about American politics, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington stars Jean Arthur and James Stewart and was directed by Frank Capra, in 1939. Leaving a huge impact on society, the political comedy-drama has been honored with the best films of 1939, the New York Film Critics Circle Award, and is part of the National Film Registry.

Bill Mckay is recognized by the Democratic Party machine in hopes to run for the Senate after he is noticed for fighting for the little man as a Californian lawyer. However, his opponent is apparently unbeatable.

The 1972 political comedy-drama stars Peter Boyle and Robert Redford and was directed by Michael Ritchie. Winner of an Academy Award, the film was used in multiple political campaigns. It even won a Best Writing Oscar, as well as a nomination for Best Sound.

As one of the most recent among the best movies about American politics, Lincoln was produced in 2012. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Da-Lewis, the film follows the world during the Civil War, under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

Highlighting his legacy and the end of the war and the production of the 13th Amendment, the film portrays Lincoln's courage and moral strength as a leader. Plus, Steven Spielberg does an incredible performance, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film won a multitude of many other awards, ranging from Oscars, Golden Globes, to BAFTA Film Awards.

As both the sequel and prequel toThe Godfather, this film may have received mixed reviews from critics, it still received eleven total nominations for Academy Awards. Plus, it was the first sequel to ever win Best Picture.

The Godfather II follows Michael Corleone and Vito Corleone's paths, time traveling back and forth from 1958 to 1917. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the 1974 film grossed a total of $47.5 million.

Starring Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino, Jack Warden, and Isaiah Washington, the 1988 political comedy follows Jay Billington Bulworth, the California Senator, as he tries to escape an assassin as he runs for re-election.

Directed by Warren Beatty, Bulworth is one of the best movies about American politics grossed over $29 million at the box office and holds a 75% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes.

movie review

About the Creator

Kelsey Lange

Passionate about writing, animals, makeup, movies, friends, family, learning, exercising, and laughing!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.