10 Best Political Thrillers

Saturday, February 5 by Amanda Ferguson

The 10 best political thrillers combine action, intelligence, and a general know-how on subtle commentary. Typically, they take hold of an issue that took place years ago. Or, they use issues in modern time that need to be addressed. At any topic, however, they are thrilling in their political commentary.

  1. "All The King's Men". In 1949, Orson Welles tackled the sources of power in the United States. This political thriller criticized the power that media has over politics. This issue is still true to this day.
  2. "Manchurian Candidate". This political thriller's entire storyline wouldn't exist were it not for political conflict. The political conflict isn't simply the politics of government but also the politics of the family dynamic. This film was edgy for its time and more intelligent than thought possible.
  3. "Fail-Safe". An accidental nuclear showdown between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. creates one of the best political thrillers. This film is also rife with commentary on technology and its effect on rational, intelligent people. It brings to light "what if" scenarios, and it's not too fun.
  4. "Taxi Driver". When the film "Taxi Driver" was released, there had been numerous political assassinations by lone gunmen. This political thriller tries to get into the mind of one of these lone gunmen. The film is handled in the way a beatnik would recite poetry.
  5. "All The President's Men". Americans are constantly feeling lied to by politicians. This wasn't more true than during the Watergate scandal.  "All The President's Men" follows two reporters as they uncover the lies and sordid truths behind the scandal. This political thriller played favorite to the media's role in political turmoil.
  6. "Conspiracy Theory". This political thriller mashes together a love story, bizarre conspiracies, and questionable truths. The lead character is a crazed cab driver that is fixated upon finding answers, even if they don't make sense. Until one day, he hits the nail on the head and becomes a target of political siege.
  7. "Enemy Of The State". This political thriller tips its hat to the early cinematic achievements of political films in the '60s and '70s. Its as though, this film is recreated "The Conversation". It has the themes of older films, but it uses modern techniques and modern issues.
  8. "The Interpreter". Combining the issues of the United Nations and the conflicts in Africa, this film acts as a blank canvas for change. An interpreter for the U.N. overhears a conversation that she shouldn't have and becomes the target of attacks of silencing. This political thriller displays the lack of work done by the United Nations with major issues.
  9. "Syriana". In 2005, Americans were lost and confused about what was happening in the middle east. "Syriana" attempts to shed some light onto the issues swirling around the controversial, War On Terror. The scene where George Clooney's character gets tortured has been burned into the brains of moviegoers all over.
  10. "JFK". Oliver Stone attempts to reshape history with this political thriller. He uses a young, quick-witted lead character who continuously unveils lie after lie. This film is left open ended and leaves audiences to fill in the blanks.
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