Top Political Movies, Part 2

Lincoln (2012) / Director: Steven Spielberg / Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn

The carnage of the Civil War weighs on the 16th U.S. president, who as a masterful political warrior carries on the fight with Cabinet and Congress on the issue of freeing the slaves. Based in part on a bestselling political biography by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. An unprecedented third Oscar for best actor in a leading role to the uncanny Day-Lewis (breaking his tie with two-timers Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, and Sean Penn).

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) / Director: Stanley Kubrick / Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

Inane statesmen frantically try to defuse a nuclear showdown between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in this arena of the absurd. Peter Sellers plays three roles— the title character (a mad scientist), the U.S. president, and a British officer — and all brilliantly. Perhaps greatest black comedy ever, the satirical look at the Cold War had serious undertones. If only the silly fighting could stay in the war room, where it belongs…

Primary Colors (1998) / Director: Mike Nichols / Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates

A man joins the campaign of a rascally, Clinton-like candidate for U.S. president, his practical, Hillary-like wife, and the people they enchant and betray. Based on the best-selling book by Joe Klein that caused a ruckus when it was first published anonymously.

Syriana (2005) / Director: Stephen Gaghan / Stars: Kayvan Novak, George Clooney, Matt Damon

A politically-charged examination of the Middle East-based oil industry and the way it distorts the destinies of nations and individuals. Best Supporting Actor Oscar to Clooney.

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) / Director: George Clooney / Stars: David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., Frank Langella

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow (Strathairn) uses his position to bring down Red-baiting U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.