Best Political Movies, Based on True Stories of History

by ray_mcmullen | created - 12 Oct 2017 | updated - 7 months ago | Public

Primarily non-fiction, accurate and intelligent politically based movies & documentaries or biographies (all worth watching many inaccurate movies left off list)

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1. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

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: 94,426 | Gross: $70.60M

2. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 786,090 | Gross: $170.74M

3. Conspiracy (2001 TV Movie)

R | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials meet to determine the manner in which the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" can be best implemented.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Clare Bullus, Stanley Tucci, Simon Markey

Votes: 17,028

4. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer, George W. Bush

Votes: 15,584

5. Too Big to Fail (2011 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 99 min | Biography, Drama, History

Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt, Erin Dilly

Votes: 14,232

6. Recount (2008 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 116 min | Drama, History

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary, Ed Begley Jr.

Votes: 11,430

7. All the Way (2016 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 132 min | Biography, Drama, History

Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the President of the United States in the chaotic aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination and spends his first year in office fighting to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Frank Langella

Votes: 12,039

8. The Wizard of Lies (2017 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 133 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The fall of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme robbed $65 billion from unsuspecting victims; the largest fraud in U.S. history.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow

Votes: 19,257

9. Snowden (2016)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto

Votes: 122,608 | Gross: $21.59M

10. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 66,068 | Gross: $4.31M

11. 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: 123,158 | Gross: $119.19M

12. 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: 135,811 | Gross: $21.24M

13. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, News

75 Metascore

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 78,069 | Gross: $23.81M

14. Game Change (2012 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska becomes Senator John McCain's running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Peter MacNicol

Votes: 20,005

15. Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

R | 102 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Votes: 102,160 | Gross: $66.66M

16. A Most Wanted Man (2014)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror.

Director: Anton Corbijn | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl, Robin Wright

Votes: 68,744 | Gross: $17.24M

17. Path to War (2002 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 165 min | Biography, Drama, War

In the mid-1960s, President Johnson and his foreign-policy team debate the decision to withdraw from or escalate the war in Vietnam.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Michael Gambon, Donald Sutherland, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill

Votes: 2,908

18. Frost/Nixon (2008)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

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: 97,882 | Gross: $18.59M

19. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 132,667 | Gross: $70.41M

20. George Wallace (1997)

TV-14 | 178 min | Biography, Drama

Following Alabama governor George Wallace through segregation, presidential elections, an assassination attempt and personal trauma.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Mare Winningham, Clarence Williams III, Joe Don Baker

Votes: 1,197

21. Lincoln (2012)

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

86 Metascore

As the American 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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 231,875 | Gross: $182.21M

22. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 542,216 | Gross: $136.03M

23. The Big Short (2015)

R | 130 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

In 2006-2007 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt

Votes: 319,184 | Gross: $70.26M

24. Margin Call (2011)

R | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.

Director: J.C. Chandor | Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany

Votes: 108,868 | Gross: $5.35M

25. Bridge of Spies (2015)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, History, Thriller

81 Metascore

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan

Votes: 267,737 | Gross: $72.31M

26. Shock and Awe (2017)

R | 90 min | Biography, Drama, History

47 Metascore

A group of journalists covering former President George W. Bush's planned invasion of Iraq in 2003 are skeptical of the President's claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction."

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Woody Harrelson, James Marsden, Rob Reiner, Tommy Lee Jones

Votes: 4,025 | Gross: $0.08M

27. Confirmation (2016 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

Judge Clarence Thomas' nomination to the United States Supreme Court is called into question when Anita Hill, a former colleague, testifies that he sexually harassed her.

Director: Rick Famuyiwa | Stars: Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 4,464

28. Nuremberg (2000)

180 min | Drama, History, War

The dramatized account of the war crime trials following the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Stars: Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, Christopher Plummer, Jill Hennessy

Votes: 5,290

29. Spotlight (I) (2015)

R | 129 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 375,955 | Gross: $45.06M

30. Darkest Hour (2017)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

75 Metascore

In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn

Votes: 143,511 | Gross: $56.47M

31. Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

65 Metascore

Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 35,974 | Gross: $2.44M

32. Vice (I) (2018)

R | 132 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell

Votes: 89,438 | Gross: $47.84M

33. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

R | 157 min | Drama, Thriller

95 Metascore

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong

Votes: 255,004 | Gross: $95.72M

34. W. (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

56 Metascore

A chronicle of the life and Presidency of George W. Bush.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks

Votes: 44,782 | Gross: $25.53M

35. Munich (2005)

R | 164 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

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: 200,864 | Gross: $47.40M

36. Detroit (2017)

R | 143 min | Crime, Drama, History

77 Metascore

Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore

Votes: 42,142 | Gross: $16.79M



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