Shooting Politics

by Luthor why | created - 14 Nov 2013 | updated - 14 Nov 2013 | Public

Movies every political science student should see.

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1. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Not Rated | 186 min | Drama, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
60 Metascore

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich

Votes: 52,841

2. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 280,498 | Gross: $5.51M

3. Lincoln (2012)

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

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

As the 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: 216,070 | Gross: $182.21M

4. Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | 139 min | Drama, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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: 5,330

5. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
88 Metascore

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 557,327 | Gross: $138.80M

6. Elizabeth (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
75 Metascore

A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes

Votes: 81,473 | Gross: $30.08M

7. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
45 Metascore

A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 59,119 | Gross: $16.29M

8. Invictus (2009)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
74 Metascore

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng

Votes: 134,650 | Gross: $37.49M

9. The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
54 Metascore

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Susan Brown

Votes: 90,984 | Gross: $30.02M

10. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
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: 84,196 | Gross: $70.60M

11. Munich (2005)

R | 164 min | Drama, History, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
74 Metascore

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 189,833 | Gross: $47.40M

12. Swing Vote (2008)

PG-13 | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
47 Metascore

In a remarkable turn-of-events, the result of the presidential election comes down to one man's vote.

Director: Joshua Michael Stern | Stars: Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Madeline Carroll

Votes: 16,049 | Gross: $16.28M

13. Michael Collins (1996)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
60 Metascore

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart

Votes: 26,182 | Gross: $11.09M

14. The American President (1995)

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

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
67 Metascore

Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. President and a lobbyist who 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: 46,023 | Gross: $65.00M

15. The Candidate (1972)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

7.1
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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: 8,286

16. Bulworth (1998)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
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: 23,104 | Gross: $26.53M

17. Dave (1993)

PG-13 | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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: 43,424 | Gross: $63.27M

18. Election (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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: 79,238 | Gross: $14.88M

19. Wag the Dog (1997)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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, Denis Leary

Votes: 71,773 | Gross: $43.02M

20. The Parallax View (1974)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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: 12,461

21. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 92,829 | Gross: $65.96M

22. The War Room (1993)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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: 3,323 | Gross: $0.90M

23. Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

Not Rated | 111 min | Action, Drama, History

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1920s Ireland, I.R.A. members are being lead by the war mongering Dr. Sean Lenihan, as they fight oppressive British forces.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns

Votes: 911

24. Z (1969)

PG | 127 min | Crime, Drama, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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: 19,838 | Gross: $0.08M

25. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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: 87,260 | Gross: $9.60M

26. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 160,950

27. The Lion in Winter (2003 TV Movie)

167 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry II meets with Eleanor of Aquitaine at Christmastide 1183 to choose one of his sons as his successor.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Glenn Close, Andrew Howard, Antal Konrád, John Light

Votes: 1,887

28. Bob Roberts (1992)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A right-wing folk singer becomes a corrupt politician and runs a crooked election campaign. Only one independent muck-raking reporter is trying to stop him.

Director: Tim Robbins | Stars: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman, Ray Wise

Votes: 12,182 | Gross: $4.48M

29. Primary Colors (1998)

R | 143 min | Comedy, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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: 25,041 | Gross: $38.97M

30. The Ides of March (2011)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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: 201,177 | Gross: $40.96M

31. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 384,194 | Gross: $0.28M

32. The Best Man (1964)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

7.7
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The two 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: 2,518

33. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
67 Metascore

In a totalitarian future society, a man, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director: Michael Radford | Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 55,786 | Gross: $8.40M

34. Milk (I) (2008)

R | 128 min | Biography, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 148,200 | Gross: $31.84M

35. State of Siege (1972)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.9
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In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Yves Montand, Renato Salvatori, O.E. Hasse, Jacques Weber

Votes: 3,312

36. The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Crime

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
45 Metascore

A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Lynn | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Lane Smith, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Joe Don Baker

Votes: 13,421 | Gross: $46.67M

37. Seven Days in May (1964)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

7.9
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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: 10,482

38. Frost/Nixon (2008)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.7
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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: 93,664 | Gross: $18.59M

39. Nixon (1995)

R | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.1
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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: 25,834 | Gross: $13.56M

40. The Queen (2006)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
91 Metascore

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

Votes: 93,357 | Gross: $56.44M

41. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
82 Metascore

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon

Votes: 57,585 | Gross: $0.15M

42. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

7.8
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62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 99,175 | Gross: $22.24M

43. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 26,028 | Gross: $28.35M

44. In the Loop (2009)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
83 Metascore

A political satire about a group of skeptical American and British operatives attempting to prevent a war between two countries.

Director: Armando Iannucci | Stars: Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Harry Hadden-Paton

Votes: 48,041 | Gross: $2.38M