Best Political Thriller Movies of All Time.

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If you love movies based on real events, certainly the best political thriller movies are an excellent option for you. If you thought politics was boring, you’ll start thinking differently after seeing these 14 masterpieces.

Best Movies About Politics That You Should See Before You Die

Let’s be honest! Finding good political movies these days isn’t easy. Most of these stories are slow and scarce of action. Also, the dialogues are too long. A good movie must have romance, adventure, suspense and off course, lots of action.

If that’s what you’re looking for, you should consider one of these 14 different options.

1. All the President’s Men

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are two Washington Post journalists who work together on a report. It’s a seemingly unimportant political issue. However, as their investigations progress, they realize that the matter is more important than it seems.

Finally, both journalists discover that it’s a case of corruption involving the then President of the United States, Richard Nixon and several members of his cabinet. The film is based on real events and shows how Bernstein and Woodward managed to reveal one of the most famous scandals in history.

Although the efforts of both journalists weren’t enough to prevent the re-election of Nixon as President of the United States, their investigations served as evidence in the Watergate case. At the end of the film, a press release written by Woodward reveals Nixon’s decision to resign from his second term, leaving Gerald Ford as a substitute President.

Important Information

All-the-President's-Men

Releasing Year
1976

Director
Alan J. Pakula

Main Cast
Dustin Hoffman – Carl Bernstein
Robert Redford – Bob Woodward
Jack Warden – Harry Rosenfeld
Hal Holbrook – Deep Throat

Awards
17 Awards including 4 Oscars

2. The Post

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, leaked a series of documents known as the “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times. There, the corruption behind the Vietnam War is revealed. After publishing several articles, the newspaper receives a court order that forces them to stop.

Meanwhile, Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee, who work for the Washington Post, manage to contact Ellsberg to obtain a copy of the documents and continue the investigation.

Again, the government attempts against the freedom of expression of the Times and the Post to try to stop the leak of information. However, following a decision of the Supreme Court, all concealment orders are dismissed.

Important Information

The-Post

Releasing Year
2017

Director
Steven Spielberg

Main Cast
Meryl Streep – Kay Graham
Tom Hanks – Ben Bradlee
Sarah Paulson – Tony Bradlee
Bob Odenkirk – Ben Bagdikian

Awards
18 Awards

3. The Manchurian Candidate

This political drama tells the story of Ben Marco, a retired commander who lectures on his experiences in Operation Desert Storm.

Raymond Shaw, a New York congressman, is pushed by his mother to become a candidate for the vice presidency of the United States. Shaw received the Medal of Honor for heroically saving Ben Marco and his men during an ambush in Iraq.

Upon hearing the news, Ben Marco begins to wonder if Colonel Shaw is really the hero everyone believes. After discovering the truth behind the fateful events in Iraq, Marco intends to reveal the whole truth to the media to avoid Shaw’s election.

Important Information

The-Manchurian-Candidate

Releasing Year
2004

Director
Jonathan Demme

Main Cast
Denzel Washington – Ben Marco
Liev Schreiber – Raymond Shaw
Jeffrey Wright – Al Melvin
Anthony Mackie – Robert Baker

Awards
1 Award

4. The Ides of March

Stephen Meyers works as campaign advisor for Governor Mike Morris. Morris tries to become the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. To do so, he’ll need to win the party’s primary elections first.

Meyers manages to contact the campaign leader of the opposition candidate and is tempted to betray Morris in exchange for a better job. Meyers tries to stay true to his principles and escape from political corruption, but his efforts are useless.

This film directed by George Clooney reveals the dirty moves that many political candidates resort to win the elections.

Important Information

The-Ides-of-March

Releasing Year
2011

Director
George Clooney

Main Cast
Ryan Gosling – Stephen Meyers
George Clooney – Governor Mike Morris
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Paul Zara
Paul Giamatti – Tom Duffy

Awards
9 Awards

5. Munich

It narrates the events following the terrorist attack of the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. In that tragic event, 11 athletes from the Israel team were killed by members of the terrorist group Black September.

Avner Kaufman, an Israeli secret agent, is elected to kill 11 men linked to the Munich terrorist attack. In his mission, Avner will have the support of four men: Robert, Carl, Hans and Steve.

Robert is an explosives expert. Hans, an experienced forger of legal documents. Carl is responsible for cleaning crime scenes, erasing evidence and disappearing dead bodies. Carl is a trained killer of Jewish origin, eager to get revenge.

The story is focused from a human point of view, showing the sacrifices that these men had to make to accomplish their mission.

Important Information

munich

Releasing Year
2005

Director
Steven Spielberg

Main Cast
Eric Bana – Avner
Daniel Craig – Steve
Ciarán Hinds – Carl
Mathieu Kassovitz – Robert

Awards
14 Awards

6. Three Days of the Condor

Considered by many the best movie directed by Sydney Pollack. Joseph Turner is a CIA agent in charge of finding coded messages in printed publications. One day, Turner discovers that all his coworkers have been killed and that he will be next soon.

Joubert, the murderer, chases Turner in several scenes of the movie. Turner feels trapped and without escape. Joubert’s motives are uncertain, allowing film viewers to draw their own conclusions.

From the beginning, the film catches the viewer with its interesting plot. In addition, the soundtrack generates tension and expectation to know what will happen next.

Important Information

Three-Days-of-the-Condor

Releasing Year
1975

Director
Sydney Pollack

Main Cast
Robert Redford – Turner
Faye Dunaway – Kathy
Cliff Robertson – Higgins
Max von Sydow – Joubert

Awards
5 Awards

7. V For Vendetta

Considered one of the best politic thrillers of all time. V is a masked vigilante who struggles to end the tyranny of the government. In history, Britain is ruled by a fascist party known as Nordic Fire.

Evey Hammond works for the state television network. One day, she’s arrested by police officers for disobeying a curfew. Before being arrested, V appears to save her. Then, V reveals his plans to destroy the parliament while the Old Bailey building is blown into pieces.

Shortly after, government spokesmen try to deceive the population by making believe that it was a controlled demolition. However, V takes control of the state television network and declares himself as responsible for the events. Then V promises that he’ll destroy parliament on May 5 of next year.

When time comes, V dies tragically, assigning Evey one last mission. Then, she personally takes charge of demolishing the parliament, running a train full of explosives under its structure.

Important Information

V-For-Vendetta

Releasing Year
2005

Director
James McTeigue

Main Cast
Natalie Portman – Evey
Hugo Weaving – V
Stephen Rea – Finch
Stephen Fry – Deitrich

Awards
7 Awards

8. Z

Z is a deputy and medical doctor who struggles to end the dictatorship in his country. To move the masses, Z offers an inspiring speech. After his presentation, Z is hit with a baseball bat by an assassin hired by the government.

Official media reveal that a drunk driver ran over the deputy, killing him instantly. However, a photographer and an investigating judge manage to discover the whole truth. Several men are involved in the attack, including some police officers.

When the day of the trial arrives, the investigating judge is dismissed, the members of the jury are killed and the convicted receive light penalties. At the end of the film, the dictatorship is replaced by a military government, worsening the situation in the country.

This movie shows how some governments control the judiciary power at their own convenience. It also shows that the solution to a country’s problems doesn’t entirely depend on a change of government.

Important Information

Z

Releasing Year
1969

Director
Costa-Gavras

Main Cast
Yves Montand – Z
Irene Papas – Z’s wife
François Périer – The investigating judge
Jacques Perrin – The journalist

Awards
12 Awards including 2 Oscars

9. Zero Dark Thirty

Based on recent events around the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Maya is a CIA agent who has spent her entire life investigating where Osama Bin Laden is hiding. Maya is assigned to work in Pakistan. There she tries to find new clues to find a terrorist known as Abu Ahmed, who was supposedly working as Bin Laden’s personal messenger.

After a long investigation, Maya manages to determine that Abu Ahmed is actually the brother of Ibrahim Sayed, a terrorist killed in the battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Through an informant in Kuwait, CIA agents manage to find the phone number of Sayed’s mother.

Making a telephone call to Sayed’s mother, agents get to discover Ibrahim’s current location. Then, Sayed is chased by members of the army to an urban complex where Bin Laden is suspected of being hidden. However, the evidence isn’t yet clear.

Without being completely sure, Navy SEALS are sent on a clandestine mission to the supposed home of Osama Bin Laden. During the operation, the SEALS kill Bin Laden with a shot in the head.

Important Information

Zero-Dark-Thirty

Releasing Year
2012

Director
Kathryn Bigelow

Main Cast
Jason Clarke – Dan
Reda Kateb – Ammar
Jessica Chastain – Maya
Kyle Chandler – Joseph Bradley

Awards
87 Awards including 1 Oscar

10. The Constant Gardener

Tessa Quayle is a young activist who tries to demonstrate how pharmaceutical companies have illegally tried some experimental medicines in Kenyans. Before achieving it, Tessa is brutally murdered.

The results of the investigations reveal that it was a crime of passion. A missing local doctor is the main suspect. Tessa’s husband, Justin Quayle refuses to believe the story revealed by the authorities.

To clear his wife’s reputation, Justin travels to Kenya. There he discovers how pharmaceutical companies use people as guinea pigs to try a new medicine against tuberculosis, known as Dypraxa.

Finally, Justin exposes the whole truth to the public light and manages to prove that the pharmaceutical companies were linked to the death of his wife.

Important Information

The-Constant-Gardener

Releasing Year
2005

Director
Fernando Meirelles

Main Cast
Ralph Fiennes – Justin Quayle
Rachel Weisz – Tessa Quayle
Hubert Koundé – Dr. Arnold Bluhm
Danny Huston – Sandy Woodrow

Awards
36 Awards including 1 Oscar

11. The Day of the Jackal

Based on one of the most popular political thrillers books. The Day of the Jackal tells the story of a British assassin hired by the OAS to kill the then President of France, Charles de Gaulle.

Detective Claude Lebel is chosen to find and stop the murderer. During the movie, the Jackal seems to have a great advantage over the cops, which raises suspicions about a possible information leak. Later, it’s discovered that Colonel St. Clair revealed confidential information to his mistress Denise, who worked as an informant for the OAS.

After the truth is known, St. Clair commits suicide and Denise is arrested by the police.

On August 25, during the celebration of the liberation of Paris, the Jackal hides behind a window, aiming his rifle at the President’s head. After failing the first shot, the Jackal is discovered and then killed by Detective Lebel.

At the end of the movie, the Jackal is buried with a gravestone without a name. Despite the efforts of the authorities, his true identity remains a mystery.

Important Information

The-Day-of-the-Jackal

Releasing Year
1973

Director
Fred Zinnemann

Main Cast
Edward Fox – The Jackal
Terence Alexander – Lloyd
Michel Auclair – Colonel Rolland
Alan Badel – The Minister

Awards
1 Award

12. The Interpreter

Silvia Broome works as an interpreter for the UN. Accidentally, Silvia listens to the details of an alleged plan to assassinate the President of Matobo, Edmond Zuwanie. Tobin Keller, a secret agent of the UN is assigned to protect Silvia.

Zuwanie will try to give a speech at the world headquarters of the UN to escape from a political trial. During the speech, security measures on the place become stricter. At the end of the story, some details are revealed about a dark past that connects Silvia with Zuwanie.

Important Information

The-Interpreter

Releasing Year
2005

Director
Sydney Pollack

Main Cast
Nicole Kidman – Silvia Broome
Sean Penn – Tobin Keller
Catherine Keener – Dot Woods
Jesper Christensen – Nils Lud

Awards
3 Awards

13. Missing

Based on a true story. Charles Horman, an American journalist, mysteriously disappears in Chile after the coup against Salvador Allende. His father, Ed Horman and his wife Beth, decide to investigate personally to find him.

However, the authorities refuse to help them. During a visit to the US embassy in Chile, Ed and Beth don’t receive the support they need.

Apparently, the disappearance of the young man is an attempt to cover up the participation of the US government in the violent actions that brought Augusto Pinochet to power.

Important Information

Missing

Releasing Year
1982

Director
Costa-Gavras

Main Cast
Jack Lemmon – Ed Horman
Sissy Spacek – Beth Horman
Melanie Mayron – Terry Simon
John Shea – Terry Simon

Awards
11 Awards including 1 Oscar

14. The Ghost Writer

A ghost writer is hired as a replacement to write the memoirs of former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Adam Lang.

Lang faced criminal charges from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. To escape justice, Lang takes refuge on a private island in Massachusetts, along with his wife Ruth and his assistant Amelia.

A photo where Lang appears next to Professor Paul Emmett attracts the attention of the ghost writer. When he asks Lang about his link with Emmett, he just says it was just a casual encounter.

However, the ghost writer refuses to believe it. Shortly before Lang was killed by the father of a war veteran, the ghost writer manages to discover the whole truth. Emmet was a CIA agent, who recruited Ruth Lang to influence her husband’s decisions in favor of the United States.

Finally, Lang’s memoirs are published, revealing the whole truth. At the end of the movie, the ghost writer dies in mysterious circumstances as his predecessor.

Important Information

The-Ghost-Writer

Releasing Year
2010

Director
Roman Polanski

Main Cast
Ewan McGregor – The Ghost
Pierce Brosnan – Adam Lang
Jon Bernthal – Rick Ricardelli
Tim Preece – Roy
Jim Belushi – John Maddox

Awards
33 Awards

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I am a newspaper and multimedia journalist covering entertainment, lifestyle, beauty, and pinch of fashion. I began my career as executive producer & writer of a local entertainment show. With over fifteen years of experience covering news and entertainment, I cover a huge number of events like Emmy Awards, Comic-Con, beauty pageants and many more. After spending several years as the producer, writer, and reporter for various networks, I currently work as a freelance journalist and blogger focusing on lifestyle and entertainment. With the world inundated with negativity, I pride myself on providing a positive alternative news narrative to my readers who have a long to know about the entertainment industry and business. I help them find the world's top entertainment blog & websites worth to try for. My readers credit me for my vivacious and infectious writing style that really knows how to captivate audiences. I currently live in LA. With my wife and two sons. I also have a great passion for travelling around the world.

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