- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
With political thriller Argo sweeping almost every movie awards, it is a good time to take a look at other political thriller movies. They always involve themes such as international affairs, conspiracy theories, the CIA, terrorism and war. When based on a true story, political thrillers seem to have more validation and attract more attention. Here are the top 10 political thrillers that you may find interesting.
10. Enemy of the State (1998)
Directed by Tony Scott, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, this movie has grossed over $25 million worldwide. It is about a group of agents who killed a US Congressman and try to cover up the murder. A labor lawyer (Smith), who accidentally obtained a flash drive that contains a video of the killing, has to constantly run away from the people who want to kill him.
9. The Interpreter (2004)
As the first film ever to get permission shooting inside the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council chambers in New York, the movie is about about an interpreter, who overhears an assassination plot and must find way to warn others and protect herself. Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn both offered great performances and it was the last film to be directed by Sydney Pollack, who died in 2008.
8. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
The 2004 version, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, is a remake of the 1962 movie. Major Bennett “Ben” Marco, a veteran, begins to question what really happened to his famous U.S. Army unit during the Persian Gulf War. Sergeant Raymond Shaw rescued Ben’s team and became a war hero, which helped him launch his political career. But the truth isn't easy to uncover.
7. Munich (2005)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie looks back at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, with the notorious killing of 11 Israeli athletes. After the tragedy, a group of assassins, led by former Mossad agent Avner (Eric Bana), formed and tracked down and killed the members who were thought to be responsible for the murder. The movie is inspired by the actual Israeli operation, known as Operation Wrath of God.
6. The Constant Gardener (2005)
Starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, the film involves an international conspiracy on medicine and pharmacy. A British diplomat’s activist wife is murdered in Africa and he finds out the big secret behind the murder. The film received four Oscar nominations and Weisz won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt, the movie is set in London in the early 1970s. It follows a hunt for a soviet double spy in the British secret service. The film received three Oscar nominations. It won Best Film for the British Academy Film Awards.
4. The Lives of Others (2006) (German: Das Leben der Anderen)
As the Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film, German film The Lives of Others sets the story before the Berlin Wall falls. A GDR (East Germany) secret police, Stasi Captain Wiesler, spies on the playwright Georg Dreyman so he doesn't write anything against the government. But as the spying continues, the Captain decides to protect Dreyman.
3. JFK (1991)
Directed by Oliver Stone, JFK examines one of the most shocking moments in history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The film itself is controversial at first and major American newspapers criticized Stone for changing the historical facts. But the film earned over $205 million worldwide and was nominated for eight Oscars.
2. Syriana (2005)
Starring George Clooney, Syriana aims at the oil trade in the Persian Gulf and the global influence on the oil industry. The film uses multiple and parallel story lines in different parts of the world including Iran, Texas, Switzerland and Lebanon. George Clooney won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role as a CIA field officer stationed in the Middle East.
1. Argo (2012)
Sweeping almost every movie awards, Argo by Ben Affleck is based on the true story of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The beginning of the movie briefly shows the history of Iran by animation and the story is intense and breathtaking.