12 Of The Best Political Films That Will Motivate You To Get To The Polls

We know that you’re probably exhausted from the circus that is the current election (and it’s barely just begun). However, if you’d like to escape into some worlds where politics make a bit more sense, here are 12 of the best political films to keep you moving forward until November.

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Just five years before President Obama took office, Chris Rock became the first Black President (which seemed unimaginable at the time) in 2003's Head of State. Rock played Mays Gilliam, a low-level public servant who runs for President after the POTUS and Vice-President are killed in a plane crash. At first, Gilliam isn't taken seriously until his straight-talking political style starts to catch on with the rest of the county. Basically he was the anti-Trump.
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2004's adaptation of the Richard Condon's novel The Manchurian Candidate stars Hollywood legend Denzel Washington stars as Gulf War veteran Ben Marco, who believes things didn't exactly happen during the war like his fellow squad-mate Sergeant Raymond Shaw wants him to remember. Things really begin to spiral out of control once Marco realizes Shaw is a potential vice-presidential candidate. Though the conspiracies in the film can seem like a bit much, this is a political thriller you definitely want to check out.
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We all recall former President Bill Clinton claiming that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman." Though it's been nearly 20 years since one of the biggest White House scandals of all time went down, the political film Primary Colors was right on time when it hit theaters back in '98. In the film, John Travolta stars as Southern Governor Jack Stanton who hires a young campaign manager to oversee his presidential bid. The only issue is Governor Stanton's ever-wandering eye, despite his super ambitious and politically driven wife (Emma Thompson).

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Warren Beatty stars as the financially ruined and disillusioned senator Bulworth, who puts a hit out on his own life so that his family can collect his $10 million life insurance policy. Disgusted with himself and with politics, Bulworth shuns politically correct rhetoric in favor of blurting out whatever he wants. As his life and career begin to spectacularly crash and burn, Bulworth finds himself enamored with a young woman (Halle Berry) which in turn causes him to rethink his self-orchestrated murder.
8
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin proved once again that he is a master storyteller with 1995's The American President. Starring the iconic Michael Douglas as the widowed but charming POTUS Andrew Shepard, the film isn't so much a political thriller as it is a delightful romance film. Despite initial overwhelming public support, President Shepherd's relationship with lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade proves to be detrimental to his re-election.
7
What's a campaign without a bit of scandal? Ryan Gosling and George Clooney star in The Ides of March. Directed by Clooney, he also stars in the film as the charming Governor Mike Morris whose idealistic press secretary, Stephen Meyers (Gosling) soon discovers that the Governor is not as clean and honorable as he originally thought.
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You may think that high school elections are no big deal, but the film Election proves that they are super important. In the film, Reese Witherspoon stars as the insufferably determined Tracy Flick, a teen determined to win the election for student body President, despite being sabotaged by a disgruntled teacher. A role played to perfection by '80s teen icon Matthew Broderick.
5
If you know anything about politics today, then we're certain you've heard of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2013, Booker was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Marshall Curry's documentary film Street Fight, follows the young activist's rise to mayor in 2005 where he unseated longtime mayor, Sharpe James. The film is a deep look into the many injustices that are plaguing disenfranchised minority communities across the county.
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What's the fun in politics if no one is willing to get dirty? Comedic icons Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star in The Campaign as political rivals who will stop at nothing (even sleeping with each others wives) to guarantee their spot in Congress. The film is offensively funny and will have you gasping for air while watching the two men ruin each other politically.
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Gus van Sant's Milk, starring Sean Penn as the slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, is an extremely important story in American politics. Milk was the first openly gay man to serve in public office when he was elected as a San Francisco city supervisor in 1977.  Though his life was tragically cut short, his passion and optimism proved that it only takes one person to really create a change in this society.
2
All the President's Men stars Hollywood legends Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. The film was based on these real-life figures whose investigation into the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., led them to the Watergate Scandal and President  Richard Nixon's eventual resignation.
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Frank Capra's 1939 classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring Jimmy Stewart is political intrigue at its best. In the film, Stewart stars as the idealist Jefferson Smith, who is initially chosen by a corrupt Senator Joseph Pain as the state's Junior Senator. However, Smith discovers that Pain isn't exactly on the up and up, and instead of becoming his puppet, Smith stands up against corruption on the senate floor.

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