Top Five: Election Movies

Today is a very inspiring day. It's the day you get to fulfill your civic duty and vote. After you're done, revel in the electoral process with a classic election film. You're guaranteed to feel like your vote was more important after watching a Hollywood retelling of the process. Watch a trailer on your iPhone to get amped up while you wait in line. The voting process is way more exciting when it's summed up from a general perspective and squeezed into two hours.

Here are five election films to get you pumped for doing your civic duty. Now go vote!

5. Black Sheep In an effort to include a stupid movie, Black Sheep makes the list. Chris Farley does his thing where he gets in the way of normal peoples' lives. It's funny in a Chris Farley way.

 

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4. Election Election is a classic teen movie from the era when teen movies didn't suck. The movie successfully parodies high school and politics without falling into the typical traps of a high-school movie. (And it takes us back to a time when we could believe Reese Witherspoon was still in high school.)

 

3. Milk Milk is one of the best biopics to come out in the last 10 years. It's also about elections. As fun as it is to hate on Sean Penn, he does a really good job playing Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay elected official in California. It's an inspiring and heartbreaking movie. More than 30 years after the events took place, it's still incredibly relevant.

 

2. The War Room The War Room is a 1993 documentary directed by D.A. Pennebaker that offers a rare glimpse into Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. It's a feel-good movie for democrats, not because it lambasts corporations or republicans, but because it shows democrats organizing efficiently and being successful. It's a journey back in time to when political documentaries weren't polarized, negative sludge fests. The entire film can be viewed on Youtube.

 

1. Tanner '88 Tanner '88 set the standard for political mockumentaries. Robert Altman's miniseries was broadcast on HBO in the months leading to the 1988 presidential election. Footage of fictional candidate Jack Tanner, played by Michael Murphy, is mixed with scripted footage from real politicians including Pat Robertson, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson and others. It's surprisingly hard to find clips of it on the internet, but it's currently being issued by the Criterion Collection.


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