The last thing many people want to think about when movie watching is politics, but in the best political movies some plot details might eerily reflect real life. Other political comedies are funny enough that watching them still feels like escapism.
We may watch political movies during an election year to learn more about candidates, during off years to learn about the political system or use them to educate our children or students.
Whether they are political thriller movies
Here are 5 recent political movies you’ll want to check out.
Long Shot – New to the Box and Redbox on Demand, this one is more of a political rom‐com. It stars Charlize Theron as a career politician who decides to run for president, and Seth Rogen as an anti‐establishment childhood friend she hires to be her speech writer. Clearly it’s an “opposites attract” type of situation, with an overarching theme about staying true to — and standing up for — yourself. I’ll admit I went into this one a bit cynical, but I ended up really, really enjoying it.
The Campaign – Two of the most hilarious comedians alive — Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis — go head‐to‐head as rivals both running for the same Congressional seat in North Carolina. Their escalating tactics to derail each other’s campaign, supported by various shady characters played by Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Dylan McDermott and Jason Sudeikis (on top of countless real‐life cameos), make this one a must‐see.
Dave – The sweetest film on this list by far, Dave tells the story of a presidential impersonator (Kevin Kline) who actually ends up taking over the country’s reins when the real president suffers a stroke and falls into a coma. What might happen when a truly good, everyday American goes up against the political machine?
Idiocracy – In this searing 2006 Mike Judge comedy that is starting to hit a little too close to home, Luke Wilson plays an Army librarian who enters into a state of suspended animation alongside the prostitute Rita (Maya Rudolph) as part of an experiment. When they finally wake up in the year 2505, they realize that humanity has gotten progressively dumber over the centuries, to the point where no one knows how to keep plants alive, reality TV rules, and people are named after products.
Wag the Dog – This 1997 black comedy brings Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro together as a Hollywood producer and a Washington spin doctor who elaborately make up an entire war in Albania in order to distract the public from a presidential sex scandal.
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If your political appetite has been whet, check out these:
What themes can you expect in political movies?
- Suspense – There may be a plot involving mystery that slowly unfolds as the characters’ traits are revealed and we get to know them better.
- Humor – Even the most serious characters should be able to laugh at themselves.
- Romance – Is there a forbidden love? Does a relationship get in the way of the political climb?
What’s your favorite political movie?