Ten Movies About Politics That Will Make You Never Want to Vote Again
Call us unoriginal. Call us hacks. Call us whatever you want. But when it's election day darn it, we're going to talk politics ... Kind of.
In honor of our constitutional privilege and responsibility, Cultist is throwing up our favorite ten election movies of all time. Admit it, you'd rather spend a couple of hours watching one of these than trudging to your local voting booth and hanging a chad.
Make the jump for your guide to not voting.
10. The Manchurian Candidate
The movie that explained to us what happened between 2000 and 2008. Take your pick between the 1962 version or the remake with Denzel Washington.
|Reese as a young Palin.|
Reese Witherspoon was that perfectly annoying high-school student everyone hated. And she was running for class president. The hard-working do-gooder you knew would stab you in the heart to get ahead reminds us of Sarah Palin. Mathew Broderick is just as engaging as the teacher who plots against her school election campaign. His character has more than a little John Edwards in him and we're not only talking about the perfectly coiffed hair.
8. Bob Roberts
Tim Robbins directed and starred in this 1992 mockumentary that was born of a Saturday Night Live skit. He played the title character, a folk-singing conservative who fakes paralysis to win an election. His character is like the crazy love child of rocker Teg Nugent and Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed.
Michael Keaton and Geena Davis are speech writers for opposite sides of an election who fall in love despite the career suicide it could mean. The two have decent chemistry (but nothing like they showed in Beetlejuice) and watching the movie is fun despite lacking any real depth, kind of like politics. The movie marked Christopher Reeve's last acting role before his paralysis.
6. Tanner 88
A mockumentary miniseries directed by Robert Altman and starring Michael Murphy, one of those actors you've seen a million times but can't quite name. Think Dan Quayle! Cynthia Nixon plays his daughter for you Sex in the City freaks. There's also a bunch of cameos from real-life politicians including Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, Bob Dole, and Donna Rice-loving Gary Hart.
5. Primary Colors
This not-so-subtle film based on Bill Clinton's rise to the presidency had an all star cast with Vinnie Babarino playing the candidate. It delved into the problems society has when they elevate any politician to hero status and forget that we're all barely a rung above sex-starved monkeys.
Warren Beatty goes nuts as a liberal politician with nothing to lose. Yeah, the fictionalized version of Howard Dean's political career. We're not sure whether the scenes where Beatty takes on a gangsta persona (accompanied by Halle Berry) are brilliant or embarrassing.
3. The Contender
Joan Allen did her best Hilary Clinton in this flick about the ravenous nature of politics and the vulture-like media which gladly dishes the dirt. Allen portrays a senator who's in line to be named vice president until an alleged sex scandal from her college days seemingly dooms her. (She was apparently willingly gang banged by some frat boys. But who hasn't had a wild night?) She takes the high road and won't discuss it, but Gary Oldman steals the show as the scumbag politico who pulls the strings on exposing the scandal.
Charlie Crist, uh, we mean Sean Pean, plays gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk who lobbies for, what else, gay rights in 1970s San Francisco. Penn won the Oscar for best performance, overshadowing Josh Brolin's portrayal of Dan White, the conservative simpleton who eventually assassinates Milk. Among Milk's battles are one with singer Anita Bryant. Yeah, the same lady who almost four decades later continues to fight against gay rights across the country and Miami-Dade County. You know what they say: Evil never dies.
1. The Candidate
Robert Redford channels his best JFK in this flick about the campaign of a young, idealistic lawyer who is persuaded to run for Senate. At first, he despises the back-door dealmaking, but as his chances of unseating a longtime incumbent increase, he finds himself entrenched in the dirty world of politics. The last line of the movie (see below), after Redford wins the election, epitomizes what's wrong with our current poltiical system.