The 25 Best Presidential Films

These are the best films that focus on a president, whether real or fictional, whether narrative or documentary.
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1.
JFK (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story. (189 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
2.
Fail-Safe (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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? (112 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
3.
Nixon (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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. (192 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
4.
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the 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. (150 mins.)
 
5.
The Best Man (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement. (102 mins.)
 
6.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington. (110 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
 
7.
Primary Colors (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA. (143 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
8.
Gabriel Over the White House (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A political hack becomes President during the height of the Depression and undergoes a metamorphosis into an incorruptible statesman after a near-fatal accident. (86 mins.)
Director: Gregory LaCava
 
9.
Dave (1993)
    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. (110 mins.)
Director: Ivan Reitman
 
10.
The War Room (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it. (96 mins.)
 
11.
Thirteen Days (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A dramatization of the Kennedy administration's struggle to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. (145 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
 
12.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case. (100 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
13.
The Contender (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for US Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to de-rail her confirmation. (126 mins.)
Director: Rod Lurie
 
14.
Frost/Nixon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. (122 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
15.
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society. (132 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels
 
16.
The Ides of March (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. (101 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
 
17.
White House Down (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders. (131 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
 
18.
Amistad (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt. (155 mins.)
 
19.
Recount (2008 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida. (116 mins.)
Director: Jay Roach
 
20.
The American President (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
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. (114 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
21.
Jimmy Carter Man from Plains (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A chronicle of the former president's tour recent for his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." (125 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
22.
Game Change (2012 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska becomes Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election. (118 mins.)
Director: Jay Roach
 
23.
John Adams (2008 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years. (71 mins.)
 
24.
Air Force One (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them. (124 mins.)
 
25.
Absolute Power (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President. (121 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood