Films All the President’s Men

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AP Government

Political Movie Review

-All the President’s Men (R) 1976 138 minutes Imdb= 8.0

Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.

-Bob Roberts (R) 1992 102 minutes Imdb= 7.0

A corrupt rightwing folksinger runs a crooked election campaign while only one independent muck-raking reporter is trying to stop him.

-The Manchurian Candidate (R) 2004 129 minutes Imdb= 6.4

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

-The Manchurian Candidate (PG-13) 1962 126 minutes Imdb= 8.2

A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

-The Candidate (PG) 1972 110 minutes Imdb= 7.1

Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

-Gideon’s Trumpet (Unrated, made for TV) 1980 104 minutes Imdb= 7.3

True story of Clarence Gideon's fight to be appointed counsel at the expense of the state. This landmark case led to the Supreme Court's decision which extended this right to all criminal defendants.

-Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (unrated but because of the production date would likely be PG

for the perhaps one or two curse words… again, it was made in 1939) 1939 129 minutes imdb= 8.4

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

-1984 (unrated) 1956 90 minutes Imdb= 7.0

George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

-1984 (R) 1984 113 minutes Imdb= 7.1

George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

-Dave (PG-13) 1993 110 minutes Imdb=6.8

To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance, is put in his place.

-Clear and Present Danger (PG-13) 1994 141 minutes Imdb=6.8

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

-Dr. Strangelove (Unrated) 1964 95 minutes Imdb=8.6

An insane general starts a process to nuclear holocaust that a war room of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

-Nixon (R) 1995 192 minutes Imdb=7.1

A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame.

-JFK (R) 1991 189 minutes Imdb=8.0

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

-The Pentagon Papers (R) 200392 minutes Imdb=6.6

Defense worker Daniel Ellsberg seeks to publish a series of classified government documents detailing the true nature of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

-Thirteen Days (PG-13) 2000 145 minutes Imdb=7.3

The film is set during the two-week Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, and it centers on how President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and others handled the explosive situation.

-Malcolm X (PG-13) 1992 202 minutes Imdb=7.7

The biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.

-Wag the Dog (R) 1997 97 minutes Imdb= 7.1

Before elections, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to "fabricate" a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal.

-Primary Colors (R) 1998 143 minutes Imdb= 6.7

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

-Truman (PG) 1995 135 minutes Imdb=7.3

Biographical account of America's President for the latter part of WWII. Shows Truman's rise from small-town nobody to leader of the USA, his decission to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan, and subsequent election as the US' post-war President.

-Election (R) 1999 103 minutes Imdb=7.4

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections.

-State of the Union (Unrated) 1948 124 minutes Imdb=7.4

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

-A Face in the Crowd (Unrated) 1957 125 minutes Imdb=8.1

An Arkansas hobo becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

-All The King’s Men (Unrated) 1949 110 minutes Imdb=7.6

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

-Citizen Kane (PG) 1941 119 minutes Imdb=8.6

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

-Born on the Fourth of July (R) 1989 145 minutes Imdb=7.2

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

-The Best Man (PG-13) 1964 102 minutes Imdb=7.7

The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.

-Advise and Consent (Unrated) 1962 139 minutes Imdb=7.8

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

-1776 (G) 1972 142 minutes Imdb=7.2

The film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants

-The American President (PG-13) 1995 114 minutes Imdb=6.8

Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.

-Primary Colors (R) 1998 143 minutes Imdb=6.7

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the


-Charlie Wilson’s War (R) 2007 102 minutes Imdb=7.3

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

-In the Line of Fire (R) 1993 128 mimutes Imdb=7.2

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

-My Fellow Americans (PG-13) 1996 101 minutes Imdb=6.3

Kramer and Douglas, two former presidents from opposite ends of the political spectrum, become reluctant allies when they become the target of a conspirator in President Haney's administration. The two ex-presidents realize they have an enemy within the government and set out to find evidence that will clear their names. The search takes them across the Southern Appalachians; along the way they meet a homeless couple, thwart kidnapers in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, and find themselves marching in a gay pride parade

-Three Days of the Condor (R) 1975 117 minutes Imdb=7.5

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.


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-Good Night, And Good Luck (PG) 2005 93 minutes Imdb=7.7

In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history.

-V for Vendetta (R) 2006 132 minutes Imdb=8.2

A shadowy freedom fighter known only as "V" uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.

-The Good Shepard (R) 2006 167 minutes Imdb=6.8

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

-Syriana (R) 2005 128 minutes Imdb=7.1

A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

-Frost Nixon (R) 2008 122 minutes Imdb= 7.9

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

-Thank you for Smoking (R) 92 minutes 2005 Imdb=7.6

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Court Movies:

-The Rainmaker (PG-13) 1997 135 minutes Imdb=6.9

An idealistic young lawyer and his cynical partner take on a powerful law firm representing a corrupt insurance company.

-Erin Brockovich (R) 2000 130 minutes Imdb=7.2

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

-Philadelphia (PG-13) 1993 125 minutes Imdb=7.6

When a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

-Inherit the Wind (Unrated) 1960 128 minutes Imdb=8.1

Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

-A Few Good Men (R) 1992 138 minutes Imdb= 7.6

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

-A Time to Kill (R) 1996 149 minutes Imdb=7,1

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.

-12 Angry Men (Unrated) 1957 96 minutes Imdb=8.9

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

-To Kill a Mockingbird (Unrated) 1962 129 minutes Imdb=8.5

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

-The Crucible (PG-13) 1996 124 minutes Imdb=6.9

A 17th-century Salem woman accuses an ex-lover's wife of witchery in an adaptation of the Arthur Miller play.

-Anatomy of a Murder (Unrated) 1959 160 minutes Imdb= 8.1

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

-The Verdict (R) 1982 129 minutes Imdb= 7.7

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

-The Pelican Brief (PG-13) 1993 141 minutes Imdb=6.4

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.


-Why We Fight (PG-13) 2005 98 minutes Imdb=8.1

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

-The Fog of War (PG-13) 2003 95 minutes Imdb=8.2

A film about the former US Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war.

-The End of Suburbia (Unrated) 2004 78 minutes Imdb=6.8

A documentary on after World War II suburbias

-America: From Freedom to Facism (Unrated) 2006 95 minutes Imdb= 7.8

A documentary that explores the connection between income tax collection and the erosion of civil liberties in America.

-An Inconvenient Truth (PG) 2006 100 minutes Imdb=7.8

A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

-The Corporation (Unrated) 2003 145 minutes Imdb=8.2

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

-The President’s Photographer (Unrated) 2010 52 minutes Imdb=6.7

The movie offers a fresh and candid viewpoint on life and work behind the famous facade of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

-Unconstitutional (Unrated) 2004 66 minutes Imdb=8.0

A documentary that investigates the ways in which the civil liberties of American citizens

and Immigrants have been rolled back since the September 11 and the Patriot Act.

-A Perfect Candidate (Unrated) 1996 105 minutes Imdb=7.3

The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat, focusing on North's campaign strategist, Mark Goodin, and a Washington Post reporter. Mudslinging ensues.

-Sicko (PG-13) 2007 123 minutes Imdb= 8.2

A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories.

-Unprecedented: The 2000 Election (Unrated) 2002 50 minutes Imdb=7.8

The battle for the Presidency in Florida and the undermining of democracy in America.

-Journeys with George (Unrated) 2002 79 minutes Imdb=6.8

Documentary account of George W. Bush's presidential campaign.

-Outfoxed (Unrated) 2004 75 minutes Imdb=7.6

Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided.

-Kimjongilia (Unrated) 2009 75 minutes Imdb=6.8

North Korean defectors tell their stories of repression, escape and hope.

-Manufacturing Consent (Unrated) 1992 167 minutes Imdb= 8.1

A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda.

-Media Malpractice (Unrated) 2009 115 minutes Imdb=6.2

How Obama got elected and Palin was targeted

-Capitalism: A Love Story (R) 2009 127 minutes Imdb=7.4

Capitalism: A Love Story examines the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). The film moves from Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan.

-Outrage (R) 2010 109 minutes Imdb= 6.9

The plot concerns a struggle for power amongst Tokyo's Yakuza clans, today just as likely to be playing the stock market as shaking down pachinko parlors, over which the Sanmo-kai clan holds sway in the face of constant betrayal and ever-changing allegiances.

-Control Room (Unrated) 2004 84 minutes Imdb=7.8

A documentary on perception of the United States's war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera's coverage.

-Crossing Arizona (Unrated) 2006 Imdb= 8.2

A collection of personal accounts stemming from Arizona's illegal immigration crisis.

-I.O.U.S.A. (PG) 2008 85 minutes Imdb= 7.6

Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country's shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster.

-The War Room (PG) 1993 96 minutes Imdb=7.5

A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran


-Frontrunners (Unrated) 2008 83 minutes Imdb=6.5

It's hard to run for office - even in high school. And the campaign for student body president at Stuyvesant, perhaps the most prestigious public high school in the country, is almost as sophisticated as any presidential election.

-Beyond Elections (Unrated) 2008 114 minutes

What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world, 120 countries now have at least the minimum trappings of democracy - the freedom to vote for all citizens.

-Why We Fight (PG-13) 2005 98 minutes Imdb=8.1

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

-Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections (Unrated) 2008 80 minutes Imdb=7.6

UNCOUNTED exposes how the election fraud that altered the outcome of the 2004 election led to even greater fraud in 2006 and now looms as an unbridled threat to the outcome of the 2008 election.

-Internationally Speaking (Unrated) 2005 Imdb=6.4

Voices from around the world address America and its foreign policy. Seen as individuals rather than cultural stereotypes, people from all over the world share their opinion of America, its government, its foreign policy, and its people.

-The Shock Doctrine 2009 79 minutes Imdb=7.2

An investigation of "disaster capitalism", based on Naomi Klein's proposition that neo-liberal capitalism feeds on natural disasters, war and terror to establish its dominance.

-10 Trillion and Counting 2009 60 minutes

All of the measures by the feds to stem the tide in the financial meltdown have added hundreds of billions of dollars to our national debt. FRONTLINE reports on how this debt will constrain and challenge the new administration, and on the growing chorus, that without fiscal reform the US government may face a debt crisis of its own in years to come that make the current financial problems look almost painless by comparison.

-Inside the Meltdown 2009 60 minutes

FRONTLINE investigates the causes of the worst economic crisis in 70 years and how the government responded. The film chronicles the inside stories of the Bear Stearns deal, Lehman Brothers collapse, the propping up of insurance giant AIG and the $700 billion bailout. It also examines what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't see, couldn't stop and haven't been able to fix

-The President’s Book of Secrets 2010 Imdb=5.6

Journey inside White House history to unveil fascinating truths behind secrets known only to the President.

Movie Review Format
Part I: Heading

Your name

Film name

Copyright Date

Rating (1-5, five being the best)
Part II: Synopsis

Write a short 3-5 sentence summary of the film and how it is government-related.

Part III: Analysis

Analyze the film. In your analysis essay, you should include (some of) the following:

Film’s importance

Political aspects of the film

Governmental Accuracy (does it portray the government accurately or is it “Hollywood”)

Film’s impact on your political opinion, if any.

Criticisms or disagreements with the film

Praises or agreements with the film

Recommendation of the film

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