Posts Tagged ‘political cinema’

Excruciating decisions — many lists like this exist, and so what are the criteria? A political movie needs to say something, say it well and deliver theatrically. To me political struggles are about power and injustice, the organization of society. I’ve seen a lot of films, not as many as some but more than most.

Best / Most Impact

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Bob Roberts

This may be the best American political movie of all time.

JFK

This may also be the best American political movie of all time.

Chinatown (Collector's Edition DVD)

Chinatown

Emotional punch, rawness that isn’t apparent until the very end.

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All the President’s Men

I felt obligated to watch this again, but it sure does slice deeply, if a little short on action.

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Full Metal Jacket

The military culture opened up like a festering wound.

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Battleship Potempkin

Classic for a reason, quite useful to study.

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I Claudius

Noticed this on another list, and was instantly sold. It’s a TV production, a mini-series but why not? This deserves to be here.

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The Tudors

Similarly a mini-series, set in the court of Henry VIII, done with such perfection it has to be recognized.

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Caligula

The most chilling, raw film on the entire list. Mad Caesar, the fitting heir to a mad culture, the pinnacle of absolute power and atrocity.

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Dr. Strangelove

The cold war in a nutshell.

Idiocracy

A favorite of mine, and we quote it often. America continues down this path every day, and it is unlikely to ever seem dated, barring nuclear annihilation.

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Platoon

The US military as its own universe.

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The Handmaid’s Tale

The correct take and the correct villains.

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Miss Bala

How a corrupt narco empire intersects with the people under its dominion.

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Brazil

Fascism, absurdism, escapism.

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The Player

Hollywood as a class system.

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American Psycho

Ivy league Mansons: the masters of the universe.

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Cosmopolis

Elite self-loathing, power disparity and the obscenity of unrestrained capitalism.

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The Thin Red Line

Another take on the military, war as conquest and thought the enemy of soldiers.

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A Clockwork Orange

The state vs. crime, an experiment not so difficult to imagine.

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Raising Arizona

Recidivism, ethics, morality and love.

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Election

Ethics vs. morality.

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

The rot at the center of American politics, pervasive corruption, social manipulation.

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Thirteen Days

Nuclear brinksmanship and the madmen clamoring to wage war at any price.

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The Pianist

Warsaw Ghetto, the politics of survival.

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28 Days Later

At the edge of civilization, humanity is stripped away.

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Robocop

Corporate takeover of policing and government.

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Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Fools rush in.

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How to Get Ahead in Advertising

Society necessitates a personality split, and can only continue in its present form by destroying.

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Heathers

Society as a high school.

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The Road Warrior

The forces of civilization vs. the forces of anarchy, and one man caught in the middle.

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Eyes Wide Shut

Elite depravity and unaccountability.

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Bridge Over the River Kwai

Stockholm Syndrome, myopia, desperation clouds the mind.

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