Top 10 Movies and TV Shows about politics to pump you up for the upcoming election
The first political debate has passed, and the inevitable bombardment of polls and expert opinion has officially taken over our lives.
As news, ads and interviews fill the airwaves, it’s easy to feel bogged down. So sit back and recharge those energy levels with some top-notch drama that’ll tantalize your senses during these last weeks of election season.
Sometimes politicians just look like angst-ridden teenagers, pulling pranks and name-calling.
Spend a bit of time watching this movie and you’ll realize just how accurate that first sentence is.
This isn’t a go-to movie. It’s downbeat and has too many sexual quips to not feel awkward set in a high school. However, once you realize its made by MTV your head just begins to nod. Of course, it is.
What makes Election worth a watch is the fact it is an over-the-top dirty tricks representation of an election. That’s right, you can unplug from reality’s theatrics and turn on something knowing that, after 103 minutes, you’ll never have to see any of these candidates again. It’s like a colonic for an election blockage.
This is a movie that tackles events outside of the political scandal. It doesn’t focus on what Richard Nixon did but the person he was and who he became because of it.
Frank Langella’s performance as Nixon humanizes a President that many consider America’s most reviled.
It is Michael Sheen’s David Frost that elevates what could have become an almost apologetic one-sided movie into a boxing match between a fallen heavyweight of the political landscape and an on-the-ropes TV personality.
It’s fascinating, thought-provoking and full of intrigue.
8. The West Wing
The West Wing is an NBC show, so don’t expect it to go all HBO and break rules.
What it does is deliver a left wing and patriotic President in Martin Sheen’s Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet — someone many American’s would want to believe in.
It also surrounds a good man with a team of loyal, intelligent staffers that worked together in order to get the job done. Something else every American would want to see.
It all sounds very idealistic, and that is The Green Wing’s value. It shows how it all could work.
7. Thank You for Smoking
Your thoughts on smoking aside, who would have believed a movie about a tobacco lobbyist could be both entertaining and eye-opening?
Set from the perspective of Aaron Eckhart, a gifted spin-doctor, who tries to charm and joke his way through the serious claims of how smoking kills.
It’s a terrible premise on paper, but its dark comedic transparency showing how lobbyists spin is just overwhelmingly wonderful to watch.
Any movie that can make fun of how facts are spun into a winning argument is a perfect foil in today’s political showmanship. It’s the perfect way to decode and take a moment to make sense of it all.
6. The Newsroom
If the TV sensationalism and non-stop of on-screen information has put you into a daze check out The Newsroom.
It is quick-witted show where Jeff Daniels puts real world news into the limelight and delivers unbiased, well-rounded content from fictional reporters that chase fact, not headlines.
The Newsroom is ideal for anyone who needs to see what news would be like without spin. It’s massively enjoyable, quick witted and the perfect destination to escape into.
5. Boardwalk Empire
Okay so Boardwalk Empire isn’t a political drama, but it definitely includes a heap of backhand deals, handshakes in the shadows and double-crossing to make it a relevant watch.
In what could be HBO’s best cast until Westworld’s release, Boardwalk Empire boasts performances that go beyond Hollywood and storylines that twist until good and bad is lost to the prohibition era.
Boardwalk Empire shows that it was once worse than it is now, or at least less publicized.
Veep is the comedy version of House of Cards.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays Selina Meyer, is the star of the show. She delivers a comedic performance that is possibly more memorable than her character on Seinfeld, Elaine Benes.
All of the supporting cast engage in mad White House shenanigans as they jostle to take power and authority in an evolving Presidential office.
We’re not going into the storyline behind Selina Meyer as she falls from grace and then transcends. But if you need a good laugh to recharge then this is the show about politics for you.
3. House of Cards
The first few seasons are sensational and cannot be recommended highly enough.
The show is brutal, underhand and two-faced in a way you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.
Politics, even in the darkest of shows and movies, hasn’t been delivered so unflinchingly. That is what makes Kevin Spacey’s Francis Underwood loathsome and yet engrossing to watch.
The fact Underwood is surrounded by equally loathsome people is terrifying. Yet as the show progresses to reveal this man’s vulnerabilities, you can’t help but have mixed emotions about whether you want him to win or lose.
If you need a show that will make you consider how far some would go for power, then this is it.
2. Wag the Dog
So the premise is simple — a sex scandal involving the President is about to be unveiled. What’s the best way to cover it up? Call in a Hollywood Producer and fake am international war.
In what feels like a plot for a conspiracy theory, Wag the Dog is a fantastic yarn that takes spin-doctoring and propaganda to an unimaginable level.
From casting an unknown American actress for a green screen role in front of a war-torn backdrop to picking the ideal soundtrack needed to inspire patriotism in the nation. This movie takes us on a step-by-step guide of political madness.
Performances by Robert DiNiro and Dustin Hoffman are fantastic, while the story itself is as hilarious as it is thought-provokingly mad.
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Not much can be said about our Top 10 winner beyond watch it. Watch it now.
It’s satirical, hilarious and emotive on a level which shouldn’t be possible when you consider the subject and time of its release.
A film about a nuclear holocaust when the world was gripped by the cold-war has no purpose being made. Yet Stanley Kubrick did it.
Whether it’s genius or insanity, this is the greatest film about politics of all time. It has so many hidden references and meanings that you’ll probably need to watch it several times over before seeing the beauty of it all.
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is the perfect watch during this election campaign. It’s funny, satirical and eye-opening.