The 27 Best Political Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

Film critic Peter Travers shares his top picks of everything you need to see this election season.
15:49 | 11/02/16

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Transcript for The 27 Best Political Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now
Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and welcome popcorn where. This time we're gonna have a special show on political. Right you wonder I think there's an election happening on the air and it's out there. Hillary front. And everything else that's out there it makes you want to see if Hollywood ever got it right when they were doing it could they have ever predict the anything like what we're live witches. It anyway I'm gonna start with the theories political movies and I'm gonna go countdown from and the first when I'm gonna pay is Citizen Kane. And your state Citizen Kane he wasn't president. Nobody wanted to. And the great thing about this mean besides it being made the best American ever. Is that when Citizen Kane lost the election forgotten. And because only used what there headlines it's. Fraud at the polls. How could any movie had predicted down as matches this. Cain says the election was read on my god watching that again you can see it demagogue like he'd never seen it before. RI China ten. People think Chinatown was bad Jack Nicholson been detected and yes. But Chinatown was made right after Watergate and it was Watergate movie about parent land that. Everybody being crooked. And the end of China tan is so classic Robert Towne wrote it that way. Where Jack Nicholson once the fight he just wants to get all these coo rob people out of office that cops are corrupt. And his friend comes up to moment thing. It's true. Which means you cannot fight City Hall once still get. Then a classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington this is Jimmy Stewart. At his best an honest politician craze by corrupt system. Does a filibuster yet. Where he just talks and talks and talks until he thinks he can talk people or politicians. To not being corrupt. Course we hear this but he was mr. Smith was really politician who wasn't corrupt. Then there's a movie called frost knicks this is just the story about David Frost played by Michael Sheen. Interviewing. Richard Nixon played by frank and tell them Ron Howard directed at. But every kind of paranoia. Comes Nixon during these views about. Watergate about everything he did in his life that he wanted to turn around and make OK and he just couldn't do it. Amazingly. Another one Manchurian candidate Manchurian candidate. Is about a guy who is captured by North Korea is a soldier. And they brain wash and mini comes back. And winds up trying to help his corrupt mother played by Angela Lansbury get hurt idiot husband elected to office. What I think is so topical about this today. Is that that mother is in league with a foreign power every time we hear the debates Hillary Clinton this thing. Trump loves fruit and prove that he there and we eat together and he thing I don't know I don't know it this is a movie in which you see. How foreign powers can influence. Our American election again really topical. Then there's Lincoln Daniel Day-Lewis wins the Academy Award for playing Abraham Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg. And again going through this election where Hillary Clinton quoted Clinton when she said sometimes we believe things in private. That we don't announce publicly because we're pushing an agenda this is all over that it. All right then we have primary colors primary colors his for the movie that Joseph Klein wrote as a book. And he called himself anonymous because he didn't want to say the characters. Were bill and Hillary Clinton but of course we know they are and in the movie their played by John Travolta and Emma Thompson. And what we're seeing is in Joseph Klein a guy that wrote speeches for Clinton. An inside look about what it was like him be around this couple when they were on their trajectory took power still and I opened. Then there's a movie called the contender. Starring Joan Allen. Who is down wanting to be the president's nominee for vice president when the vice president drops and she have to go to the senate. Who have to advise and consent on that nomination. And we see in that movie when a woman has the faith. As opposed to what men have that and now everything is dragged. Together. Still topical still really really good. Then we have a movie called Fahrenheit. 9/11 this is Michael Moore this is a documentary. In which Michael Moore. Did his best. This was him saying look at what we're doing with guns look at how lobbies controlled politics. Look what the bushes have been doing the get a corrupt they are. What do you agree or disagree this is a movie that has the iron its I mean to watch it. Even now these issues are still so topical. And then. I was kind of at a time for the best one of the dramas that we hear. And they're both with Robert Redford when it's called the candidate where he plays a guy running for the senate. Who thinks he's gonna lose and he thinks he can tell the truth now. We can just say whatever he wants. And finds himself elected and don't know what to do there's no room in politics for someone who tells the truth. And then the ultimate. Political drop All the President's Men. The movie. Made us feel that we couldn't really get past the corruption. Of what was going on in the Nixon administration but made heroes of two journalists. Woodward and Bernstein played by Redford and Dustin Hoffman. These guys we're gonna come Meehan and expose what was happening expose what was behind Watergate. And made us believe in journalism in Reno feel that way today I don't know it's art but that to happen but. All the President's Men will never go out of style the perfect thing to. I have to give credit to TV to can't just be movies that are doing this. TV has done wonderful work with political movies the west wing. Still you mentioned it everybody knows which are talking about whenever I ran into Martin Sheen I still calling Mr. President because. That's who he was from watching that for so many years. You saw the ins and outs of what it was like in the White House. Written by Aaron Sorkin just perfectly done. Now there's a current one called the Americans. And the Americans is I think. Showing Russian spies trying to basically lived as Americans. And bring down the system from within they don't have to try very hard we're basically doing in ourselves. Then there were two HBO movies I give that things one is called game change which Julianne Moore plates there payment. Ward the age. Mean you want to remember what happened that terror paying them that this close to the president's. Scarier than what we're going through now. And then another one called recount. Which was about what happens when Al Gore lost to bush. And they wanted to recount we would do in those chads we were doing everything that's a lot of people out there and a little bit in me that thinks that election got stolen. Number two is house of cards house of cards which we still watch peca. It's like the president and First Lady. As lady Macbeth and this is Robin Wright and they showing us what can happen if we bring eruption into the White House let it sit there. And let it just turn toxic in the world we laugh but the laughs it's an art wrote. And then number one is got to be I mean come on Julie Louis-Dreyfus. How much but can she be she doesn't know what she's doing and he becomes vice president and then for a minute. She becomes president he has no he had no clue what is. But underneath the laughter in that theory news. And what a press that. We've just sitting on it that he can be. So TV I give credit. To me political movies work best when there's a year and the people that make them. At heart that which thing. The one remembers notes at the end of my path and you don't think of this as political. Is basically duck soup which is marked. The mark but this couldn't be better. This is banned at their absolute peak where they're trying grab just trying to create a war between for don't he had until Bosnia. Between two countries don't want to be more because it will now. Get them. It's to her I don't care how old is it's great. Then there's the great dictator this is Charlie chaplin's first round movie. Released in 1940 misses before the war began. And this is Chaplin doing his take Hitler. Cling to parts when you're Jewish barber and they. And yet in this first. I think the best political speeds. In cinema history where the Bob Byrd gets up there as Hitler. Talked about why he will run political camp scene would be. And why people's values. It's not. Then there's day. Kevin Kline basically playing a guy who looks like the president and they tried to hide the president in his illness and death. And they put this thing out there who begins to look at politics. And pop star and then says media make a change. It's of this kind may be Bob Roberts was Tim Robbins playing right wing candidate an old thing. And within all wrong. And getting his point across that way with that being robbed once home. Club. It's crazy. Warren Beatty did this with the movie cobol war. Makes a movie about a guy who's running for re election and then it. And he says I don't care so I'm tell the truth and then go out there and I'm going to deal with the black community. I'm gonna pat them on my thigh in the show that life span for the black community. And says if I'd lose it leave them out. Just this topical as it was ten years ago hit a perk up for a favorite of mine is called team America world we. It's animated it's from those guys. And what we're seeing is America at war but what was that are rising as the liberty. All trying to get. This fifth and Democrat. And Republican every album called. Public tests at. But at the same time reflect through this art premier a raise the America. Fascination with. One of our candidate was most of liberty practice. These profits. Then. I have a movie called wag the dog which is written by David Mamet and stars Robert Niro and Hoffman. We are. Basically Dustin Hoffman is a movie producer who gets hired in the presidential campaign to distract. And it. By declaring war on some country. Because his tribe sect scandal off. With me just wrote itself. What we live with constantly how can we distract. Them it's like Hillary when they say. You know about those emea. You stated that take money for this and me and she looks around and says. Let's talk about something else this is the best political movie about talking about something else. Then number three is in Ballou. In the loop was created by Armando in new chi who is the guy behind me. And again it's just America and Great Britain deciding to come together to to clear warmth them it's the most well now. To watch that game scandal means in general you look at it and you laugh and you. A number two. This one's called election Alexander Payne. It's about high school election Reese Witherspoon is plane a character that to me is more. Tracy Flick and she wants to be the president. Who. But what she is is Nixon. And she uses every trick whether cupcake. Every time I Steve Reese Witherspoon and faith is the greatest thing ever and the last time that enters you're. It's that kind of high school in me that says more about politics than anything it right there in the way. Number one. Comedy but to me the number one political movie of all time right up there with all the president's man. In its call Doctor Strange. War now I've learned to stop worrying and the pop. Then we hubris when he directed at targeted as a drama and turned it into comedy. He tried to fool the past Peter Sellers play not only the not in the wheelchair but the president of the United States. He's playing multiple parts Davis but the all remember it's all in the war room. It all on the saints. General arguing with politicians. Who was gonna tell us what to do the president is ineffectual. Not in the wheelchair. And create the but this is the movie it says. Who can we trust with the nuclear cult who can we trust. And the end of Doctor Strange which will stay with me now. It's very slim Pickens he's the cowboy actor and Hubert hired him after big John Wayne played us. Major. Who would fit on the bomb as it was being dropped and go. Growth in the air. And while they played a kind of song called will meet again don't know. While the world was. Should've done that turns out every answer Hubert eight. Which shows we. You've never seen. It yet that the heart while more. Doctor.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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