The 100 Best Political Films

by leandropgodoy | created - 25 Apr 2011 | updated - 04 Oct 2013 | Public

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1. I, Claudius (1976)

Not Rated | 669 min | Biography, Drama, History

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed

Votes: 13,324

2. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 46,141 | Gross: $0.05M

3. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 177,908 | Gross: $0.16M

4. The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War

95 Metascore

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Tommaso Neri

Votes: 45,645 | Gross: $0.06M

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

PG | 95 min | Comedy

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: 397,755 | Gross: $0.28M

6. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,359,564 | Gross: $134.97M

7. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 941,012 | Gross: $57.30M

8. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 655,151

9. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

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: 291,224 | Gross: $5.51M

10. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 23,244

11. 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: 20,402 | Gross: $0.08M

12. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

88 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 122,494 | Gross: $9.60M

13. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 29,955 | Gross: $0.17M

14. Rome, Open City (1945)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 19,302

15. Throne of Blood (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 37,869

16. The Exterminating Angel (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy

The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal, Claudio Brook

Votes: 23,497

17. Underground (1995)

Not Rated | 167 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of serbian socialists prepares for the war in a surreal underground filled by parties, tragedies, love and hate.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac

Votes: 49,369

18. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 522,156 | Gross: $83.47M

19. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 22,883

20. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall

Votes: 124,855

21. Incendies (2010)

R | 131 min | Drama, Mystery, War

80 Metascore

Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Mustafa Kamel

Votes: 113,475 | Gross: $6.86M

22. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

R | 90 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan

Votes: 50,850 | Gross: $2.28M

23. 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: 306,655 | Gross: $11.29M

24. Earthlings (2005)

95 min | Documentary, Horror

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Director: Shaun Monson | Star: Joaquin Phoenix

Votes: 15,318

25. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 87,339

26. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

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: 169,698

27. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 118,440 | Gross: $0.33M

28. The Wages of Fear (1953)

Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli

Votes: 45,729

29. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

67 Metascore

Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Stevie Wonder

Votes: 119,802 | Gross: $119.19M

30. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Votes: 125,745 | Gross: $4.06M

31. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 30,472 | Gross: $1.72M

32. 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: 21,633

33. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

93 Metascore

A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier

Votes: 31,849 | Gross: $0.20M

34. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 131,915 | Gross: $21.24M

35. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 200,046 | Gross: $52.77M

36. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 69,967 | Gross: $27.55M

37. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

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: 569,564 | Gross: $138.80M

38. No Man's Land (I) (2001)

R | 98 min | Drama, War

84 Metascore

Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.

Director: Danis Tanovic | Stars: Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic, Georges Siatidis

Votes: 40,953 | Gross: $1.06M

39. Bloody Sunday (2002)

R | 107 min | Drama, History, War

90 Metascore

A dramatization of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre by British troops on January 30, 1972.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Allan Gildea

Votes: 21,503 | Gross: $0.77M

40. Paradise Now (2005)

PG-13 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

71 Metascore

Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad | Stars: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hamza Abu-Aiaash

Votes: 21,003 | Gross: $1.45M

41. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

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: 58,877 | Gross: $0.15M

42. 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: 17,051

43. 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: 134,588 | Gross: $25.01M

44. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

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: 57,393 | Gross: $8.40M

45. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 46,173 | Gross: $34.70M

46. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director: Terry George | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

Votes: 302,894 | Gross: $23.53M

47. The Edukators (2004)

R | 127 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.

Director: Hans Weingartner | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg, Burghart Klaußner

Votes: 29,040 | Gross: $0.18M

48. Man of Iron (1981)

PG | 156 min | Drama, History

A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania, Wieslawa Kosmalska

Votes: 2,563

49. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 44,376

50. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War