Political Movies

by louyscesar | created - 22 Mar 2012 | updated - 10 Feb 2016 | Public

Political films when they are not mere propaganda interest me much. Political plots that reveal aspects of a historical time, make us reflect on the tragic human fate in their collective outcomes, through an investigation of individual motivations.

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1. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 370,454 | Gross: $169.71M

2. Charlotte Gray (2001)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

48 Metascore

A young Scottish woman joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France.

Director: Gillian Armstrong | Stars: Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden, Charlotte McDougall

Votes: 9,661 | Gross: $0.67M

A phrase from the movie caught my attention: "is not the nation but the family that makes us into the war."

3. Vanity Fair (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

53 Metascore

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Votes: 18,590 | Gross: $16.14M

The Battle of Waterloo by the English side view is much more a critique of British social rituals.

4. Allonsanfan (1974)

115 min | Drama, History

A anarchist leader (Fulvio) wishes to retire, as he is old and tired. He tries to hide himself, but his friends find him and insist he carries on helping them.

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Lea Massari, Mimsy Farmer, Laura Betti

Votes: 757

5. 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: 132,780 | Gross: $25.01M

6. The Battle of Chile: Part I (1975)

Not Rated | 191 min | Documentary

The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Director: Patricio Guzmán | Stars: Salvador Allende, Abilio Fernández

Votes: 958

7. The Organizer (1963)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, History

A former high school teacher turned unionist tries to organize workers laboring with inhuman conditions at a late 19th Century textile factory.

Director: Mario Monicelli | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Gabriella Giorgelli, Folco Lulli

Votes: 1,859

8. Valkyrie (2008)

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

56 Metascore

A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 203,875 | Gross: $83.08M

9. L'autre Dumas (2010)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, History

Nobody knows Auguste Maquet, and yet everybody knows "The Three Musketeers", Everybody knows Alexandre Dumas who wrote the swashbuckling masterpiece but who knows that Maquet is his ... See full summary »

Director: Safy Nebbou | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Poelvoorde, Dominique Blanc, Mélanie Thierry

Votes: 520

Hidden aspects of literary history are always interesting.

10. Total Recall (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

43 Metascore

A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Recall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale

Votes: 220,240 | Gross: $58.88M

11. Minority Report (2002)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

80 Metascore

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow

Votes: 446,037 | Gross: $132.07M

12. Giant (1956)

G | 201 min | Drama, Western

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker

Votes: 29,472 | Gross: $35.00M

13. Dharm (2007)

105 min | Drama, History

The movie is about a Hindu priest Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapur) who is one of the most highly respected priests in the entire city of Varanasi. A man who lives for his religion, soaked ... See full summary »

Director: Bhavna Talwar | Stars: Pankaj Kapur, Supriya Pathak, Pankaj Tripathi, Daya Shankar Pandey

Votes: 846

14. Valkyrie (2008)

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

56 Metascore

A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 203,875 | Gross: $83.08M

15. The Mahabharata (1989–1990)

Not Rated | 318 min | Drama, War

Jealousy and hatred is what separates the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Kauravas fear the Pandavas are after the throne of their father. Yudhishthira of the Pandavas gets told by the deity, Krishna, that he will become king. A war is inevitable.

Stars: Erika Alexander, Maurice Bénichou, Amba Bihler, Lou Bihler

Votes: 934 | Gross: $0.33M

16. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Drama

In 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro leads an expedition into the heart of the Inca Empire and captures the Incan Emperor Atahualpa and claims Peru for Spain.

Director: Irving Lerner | Stars: Robert Shaw, Christopher Plummer, Nigel Davenport, Leonard Whiting

Votes: 482

17. Rome (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 90 min | Action, Drama, History

A down-to-earth account of the lives of both illustrious and ordinary Romans set in the last days of the Roman Republic.

Stars: Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Kerry Condon

Votes: 132,320

18. The Tudors (2007–2010)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, History, Romance

A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII.

Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy, James Frain

Votes: 58,514

19. The Odyssey (1997– )

PG-13 | 176 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The warrior king Odysseus leaves his idyllic life in the kingdom of Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. After winning the war, he now must endure a lengthy, ten-year journey to return and, ... See full summary »

Stars: Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Rossellini, Bernadette Peters

Votes: 12,023

20. Miyamoto Musashi (1954)

Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Depicts the early life of the legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto; his years as an aspiring warrior, an outlaw and finally a true samurai.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Mariko Okada, Rentarô Mikuni, Kurôemon Onoe

Votes: 6,504

21. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

83 Metascore

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 988,251 | Gross: $760.51M

22. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,132,966 | Gross: $187.71M

23. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 845,349 | Gross: $75.60M

24. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 447,620 | Gross: $1.02M

25. 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: 515,984 | Gross: $83.47M

26. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt

Votes: 581,667 | Gross: $115.65M

27. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 329,247 | Gross: $7.27M

28. Gran Torino (2008)

R | 116 min | Drama

72 Metascore

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Votes: 637,229 | Gross: $148.10M

29. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 569,066 | Gross: $46.36M

30. Watchmen (2009)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

56 Metascore

In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman

Votes: 431,778 | Gross: $107.51M

31. Gone with the Wind (1939)

G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 249,680 | Gross: $198.68M

32. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 254,942

33. North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

98 Metascore

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 255,669 | Gross: $13.28M

34. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 333,669 | Gross: $138.53M

35. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

81 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 269,304 | Gross: $48.98M

36. 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: 300,019 | Gross: $23.53M

37. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama, History

55 Metascore

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton

Votes: 351,715 | Gross: $111.11M

38. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error, and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 167,928 | Gross: $9.93M

39. The X-Files (1993– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 174,065

40. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 370,454 | Gross: $169.71M

41. Minority Report (2002)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

80 Metascore

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow

Votes: 446,037 | Gross: $132.07M

42. 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: 119,305 | Gross: $119.19M

43. 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: 174,974 | Gross: $0.16M

44. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 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: 167,083

45. Contact (1997)

PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Votes: 225,025 | Gross: $100.92M

46. 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, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox

Votes: 197,983 | Gross: $52.77M

47. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 133,674 | Gross: $0.03M

48. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

R | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

63 Metascore

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the Crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Martin Hancock

Votes: 240,019 | Gross: $47.40M

49. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 264,368 | Gross: $78.62M

50. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western