Most films set in Washington D.C. have elements of politics in them. Why else would the movie be set there, as D.C. isn't exactly known for its culture outside of the American political machine? Check out these five great movies set in D.C. so you can see the city without actually having to visit it.

"All the President's Men".

This classic film about Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovering the Watergate scandal may be the best film about Washington D.C., as it mixes modern life with journalism and politics in the American capital quite seamlessly. Or maybe that's just Alan J. Pakula, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.

"The American President".

This simple, yet well made love story about a president who falls in love comes from director Rob Reiner, who is known best for the romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally". While you get to see a bit of Washington D.C., you really get to see the inside of the White House and government buildings.

"The Distinguished Gentleman".

This comedy about a con man being elected to Congress stars Eddie Murphy, and he brings his brand to the D.C. political setting. This movie takes place all around Washington D.C., though, as most films in this city, many of the scenes revolve around the government buildings.

"State of Play".

Starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, this D.C.-set movie follows an investigative journalist as he uncovers assassinations and cover-ups within the political system of the United States government. It's an underrated movie that shows a lot more of Washington D.C. than you might think.


This small, but well-crafted movie follows the true story of the FBI agent who brings down his boss, Robert Hanssen, a Soviet Union spy for years. It takes place in the government offices of the FBI and in and around Washington D.C.