Are you a fan of thrilling political stories? If so, Netflix has a treasure trove of movies that blend politics and drama. From secretive meetings in the heart of Washington, D.C. to the power-packed corridors of Apartheid-era South Africa, these films offer an exciting peek into the world of politics.
This list features movies that dive into the lives of both renowned politicians and the impact of government actions on regular folks across the globe.
What makes these films truly special is that your preferences shape their rankings. You hold the key to elevating your favorite political drama to the top spot. Conversely, you can also give a thumbs down to movies that fail to meet your expectations.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rearrange the list to create your very own version. Your rankings will be a valuable addition to this captivating collection of Netflix’s political dramas.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that one film, “Beasts of No Nation,” tends to spark heated debates among viewers.
1. The Trial of the Chicago 7
Hey there! So, there’s this awesome historical legal drama called ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. It’s all about this crazy trial that went down in 1969, where seven anti-Vietnam War protestors were accused of conspiracy and inciting riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Let me tell you, this film is something else. It’s got an incredible ensemble cast that brings the story to life. You really get a sense of the political and social chaos of the time, with all the tension between the establishment and a disillusioned generation.
What’s really cool about this movie is how it reminds us that the fight against government overreach and the importance of dissent are ongoing struggles. It’s a powerful reminder of the role protest plays in a democratic society. So, definitely check it out!
Directed by: Aaron Sorkin
Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen
2. The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep gives an Oscar-winning performance in this biographical drama that explores the life of Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. From her humble beginnings as a grocer’s daughter to her ascent to power, the film offers an intimate look into Thatcher’s remarkable resilience and unwavering determination. As we witness the layers of her character unfold, we are prompted to contemplate the lasting impact of a woman who reshaped her nation and defied convention.
Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Actors: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach
3. The Foreigner
There’s this action-thriller film that’s all about Quan, a businessman from London. He’s forced to embark on a revenge mission after his daughter, his one and only loved one, dies in a bomb attack by the Irish Republican Army. It turns into a gritty battle between him and a British government official, with lots of secrets being revealed and personal grudges coming to the surface. Plus, there’s this whole thing about a forgotten past that keeps echoing throughout the story. It’s a thrilling narrative, for sure.
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Actors: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Fearon
4. Patriots Day
Directed by: Peter Berg
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, Kevin Bacon
5. Kill the Messenger
Journalism and politics come together in this intense thriller inspired by real-life events. Kill the Messenger, directed by Michael Cuesta, tells the story of Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), an investigative journalist who stumbles upon a scandalous conspiracy involving the CIA’s connection to drug trafficking in Nicaragua. As Webb fights against powerful entities determined to shut him down, the film provokes us to question the very nature of truth in politics and society.
Directed by: Michael Cuesta
Actors: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta
6. Beasts of No Nation
Beasts of No Nation is a gripping film that fearlessly depicts the harsh reality of child soldiering in an unnamed African civil war. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this movie stars the talented Idris Elba as a heartless warlord who forcibly enlists young Agu (played brilliantly by newcomer Abraham Attah) into his army. With its compelling narrative and outstanding performances, Beasts of No Nation sheds light on the tragic aftermath of political unrest, as innocent children are thrust into a world of violence and forced to mature far too soon.
Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Actors: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Opeyemi Fagbohungbe
7. The Most Hated Woman in America
This awesome biopic takes a deep dive into the life of atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, played by the talented Melissa Leo. O’Hair made quite a stir in American society when she successfully got rid of mandatory prayer in public schools. Directed by Tommy O’Haver, The Most Hated Woman in America does a fantastic job of portraying the complexity of O’Hair’s character and showcasing her influence on the intertwining realms of politics and religion in the US. The film offers a captivating glimpse into one woman’s battle for the separation of church and state, while also shedding light on themes of free speech, activism, and cultural division.
Directed by: Tommy O’Haver
Actors: Melissa Leo, Peter Fonda, Sally Kirkland
Barry offers a fresh perspective on a familiar political figure – a young Barack Obama figuring out his way through college in New York City. Directed by Vikram Gandhi, this coming-of-age drama provides a thought-provoking and personal glimpse into the pivotal moments that shaped the future US president. Devon Terrell’s portrayal of Obama is truly remarkable, as he captures the essence of a young man wrestling with his identity and searching for his purpose in life.
Directed by: Vikram Gandhi
Actors: Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Mitchell
9. The Runner
Nicolas Cage takes the lead in this gripping political drama as a Louisiana Congressman whose life spirals out of control due to a sex scandal linked to the catastrophic 2010 BP oil spill. Directed by Austin Stark, The Runner dives deep into the shadowy realm of politics and corruption, offering a thought-provoking examination of the obstacles faced by politicians when under intense public scrutiny. With its captivating storyline, the movie keeps audiences hooked, delving into themes of redemption, ambition, and the complex morality found in modern American politics.
Directed by: Austin Stark
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Connie Nielsen, Peter Fonda
10. The Queen
This movie provides an intense and captivating depiction of the British royal family after Princess Diana’s tragic death. It takes us behind the scenes to witness the tough choices made during a period of national mourning. Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth II is outstanding, and she brilliantly portrays the clash between traditional values and modernity. The film also sheds light on the challenging balance between public and private life that the royals must navigate. It offers audiences a profound insight into the political dynamics that occur behind the closed doors of the palace as the monarchy grapples with a changing world.
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Actors: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Chappaquiddick is a truly gripping political thriller. It delves into the notorious tale of Senator Ted Kennedy’s role in a tragic car accident that claimed the life of a young woman. With John Curran at the helm and Jason Clarke in the lead as Kennedy, the movie offers a captivating exploration of a powerful figure wrestling with his own guilt and ambitions. Chappaquiddick raises thought-provoking inquiries about political accountability and personal responsibility, making it an absolute must-see for aficionados of historical drama.
Directed by: John Curran
Actors: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms