Mandatory Staff Picks: 8 Essential Election-Themed Movies
It’s hard to imagine any election-themed movie being more outrageous than reality right now. But at some point, you might want to take a break from the news cycle and immerse yourself in a political movie with fictional (and therefore non-threatening) characters. You’ll probably marvel at what audiences used to consider high Election Day drama (An affair? Ha! Try a deadly pandemic!) but the following films capture what used to be a more straightforward process and candidates whose flaws were at least relatable, if not forgivable. These are the eight essential election-themed movies.
Cover Photo: Columbia Pictures
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'All the President's Men'
A pair of novice Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), break the true story behind the 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex in this political thriller.
'The Ides of March'
A naive press secretary (Ryan Gosling) delves into dirty politics while working for a governor (George Clooney) seeking the Democratic nomination for president in this political drama.
'In the Line of Fire'
A Secret Service agent (Clint Eastwood) is tasked with protecting the president leading up to an election when his past comes back to haunt him in this heart-pumping action film.
'Wag the Dog'
When the president finds himself in the middle of a sex scandal two weeks before the election, a spin doctor (Robert De Niro) recruits a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to create a fake war as a distraction tactic in this political comedy.
John Travolta stars as a Bill Clinton-esque governor with a wandering eye who has his sights set on the White House in this 1998 dramedy.
'The American President'
A widowed president (Michael Douglas) falls for a lobbyist (Annette Bening) and must decide between winning re-election or pursuing true love in this romantic drama.
A high school government teacher (Matthew Broderick) convinces a student athlete to run for school president against pushy, popular candidate Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) in this snarky satire.
Awkward outcast Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) joins forces with the new kid at school Pedro (Efren Ramirez) to run a campaign for class president in this comedy with a cult following.
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