The 27 Best Political Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

Film critic Peter Travers names his top political movies and TV shows.

— -- This election cycle is so full of twists and turns, it's almost as if the plot was pulled from the pages of a screenplay.

So, did Hollywood somehow predict what is playing out right before our eyes? Film critic Peter Travers, who is host of ABC News' "Popcorn With Peter Travers," has pulled together his list of the top political movies that may have set the tone for what's happening today.

He kicks off the list with the classic, "Citizen Kane."

"The great thing about this movie, besides it being maybe just the best American movie ever, is that when Citizen Kane lost the election for governor, because he owned the newspaper, what did he put out there in the headlines? It said, 'Fraud at the polls.' How could any movie have predicted Donald Trump as much as this?" Travers said. "Kane said the election was rigged. Watching that again, you're going to see a demagogue like you've never seen before."

Director Ron Howard's "Frost Nixon" released in 2008 also made Travers' list.

"This is just the story about David Frost, played by Michael Sheen, interviewing Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella," Travers said. "But every kind of paranoia comes out in these interviews about Watergate, about everything he did in his life that he wanted to turn around and make okay. And he just couldn't do it. Amazing movie."

Watch the “Frost/Nixon” movie trailer:

"Chinatown," the film classic "Mister Smith Goes to Washington" and "Primary Colors" are others that stand out in Travers' eyes.

"Primary Colors is the movie that Joe Klein wrote as a book and he called himself anonymous because he didn't want to say the characters were Bill and Hillary Clinton," Travers said. "But of course we know they are. In the movie they're played by John Travolta and Emma Thompson. And what we're seeing is Klein, a guy that wrote speeches for Clinton, give an inside look at what it was like to be around this couple when they were on their trajectory to power. Still an eye-opener."

Michael Moore's political documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," which honed in on the Bush administration, is also a must-see, according to Travers.

"'Fahrenheit 9/11' is a documentary in which Michael Moore did his best," Travers said. "This was him saying, 'Look at what we're doing with guns. Look at how lobbies control politics. Look what the Bushes have been doing. Look at how corrupt they are.' Whether you agree or disagree, this is a movie that has a fire in its belly. To watch it even now, these issues are still so topical," Travers said.

There are some classic must-see dramas that are sure to give you a political rush, Travers said, including the film he calls "the ultimate political drama" -- "All the President's Men."

It's "the movie that made us feel that we couldn't really get past the corruption of what was going on in the Nixon administration," Travers said of his pick, "but made heroes of two journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, played by [Robert] Redford and Dustin Hoffman. These guys were going to come in and expose what was happening, expose what was behind Watergate and made us believe in journalism.

"All the President's Men" will never go out of style. It's the perfect thing to watch," he said.

But not all great political works are on the big screen. Travers said TV has done wonderful work with political movies.

In the series "The West Wing," "you saw the ins and outs of what it was like in the White House, written by Aaron Sorkin, just perfectly done," Travers said. "Now, there's a current one called 'The Americans.' And 'The Americans' is showing Russian spies trying to basically live as Americans and bring down the system from within. They don't have to try very hard. We're basically doing it ourselves."

The Netflix series "House of Cards" also finds a place on the list.

"This is Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey showing us what can happen if we bring corruption into the White House, let it sit there and let it just turn toxic in the world. We laugh, but the laugh sticks in our throat," Travers said.

Watch a “House of Cards” trailer:

Travers added that HBO's "Veep" is another TV series worthy of checking out.

"C'mon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, how much fun can she be? She doesn't know what she's doing," Travers joked. "And she becomes the vice president and then for a minute she becomes the president. She has no idea, no clue what it is. But underneath the laughter, in that series is a sense of what a precipice we are on politically. We're just sitting on that edge ready to be toppled over."

Don't see your favorite on the list? Be sure to watch the video above for Peter Travers’ complete list of political movies and series you need to see, including his top 10 political films of all time.