If today’s 24-hour news cycle has you feeling, erm, some feelings, we’re right there with you. Real-time updates of daunting world news and hourly dispatches from political leaders can be unnecessarily draining. It’s hard to imagine that decades ago, one would have to wait for the evening news to be regaled with the day’s major headlines.
And this heated election season has undoubtedly intensified things. (Ed. note: We hope you got out there and voted today. If you haven’t yet, stop reading the internet and go find your polling place!). But, with your civic duty fulfilled, it’s understandable if you’re ready for a break from your daily news digest.
Not sure what to do with that time away from your Twitter feed and email blasts? We rounded up some of the best political movies that you can stream now for some much-needed LOLs, catharsis, and distraction. So log off Twitter dot com and take a gander at the mix of classic hits and Oscar-nominated films you should watch, ahead.
12 can’t-miss political movies to turn on today:
Election chronicles the overachieving Tracy Flick (played by Reese Witherspoon) as she campaigns to become student body president of her high school. When the high school government teacher (portrayed by Matthew Broderick) encourages a popular athlete to run against Flick, a bitter feud ensues.
Malcolm X, 1992
This Denzel Washington and Spike Lee classic pays tribute to the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X. The biographical drama follows his many transformations from his time incarcerated to his conversion to and break with Islam and shocking assassination in 1965.
V For Vendetta, 2006
Set in a futuristic, totalitarian Britain, V for Vendetta follows a masked vigilante who urges citizens to rise up against oppression. When “V” rescues Evey (played by Natalie Portman) from the secret police, she becomes an ally in his fight.
My Date With The President’s Daughter, 1998
Okay, so maybe this is more politics adjacent, but we could all use some comic relief from this beloved teen flick. This ’90s film follows a high school student who unknowingly asks out the president’s daughter on a date. When the secret service interferes with their plans, the two sneak off for a night of misadventures.
In this biographical film Sean Penn portrays Harvey Milk—California’s first openly gay politician to be elected to public office. Penn went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his moving performance as the gay activist who meets his end with a tragic assassination.
This female produced and directed film gives us an intimate look at the life of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The documentary is as much a history lesson on gender equality as it is an eye-opening look at how an underestimated woman rose to the top and spent 25 years (and counting) on the bench.
The Post, 2017
Set in 1971, The Post follows journalists from The Washington Post as they attempt to publish classified documents exposing government secrets concerning US involvement in the Vietnam War. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks deliver captivating performances that helped the film earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
What happens when two students wander off during a class trip to the White House and stumble into the Watergate robbery? See what unfolds for 15-year-old Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams) as they encounter President Nixon in this laugh-out-loud comedy.
The Contender, 2000
When the current vice president dies, the president must choose who will take on the role in his place. His controversial pick of female senator Laine Hanson (played by Joan Allen) is met with plenty of opposition as powerful political players do everything in their power to discredit her.
This thriller follows the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The sensationalized retelling of the tragedy puts forth conspiracy theories and suggests a government coverup of the actual events surrounding the case. Director Oliver Stone said it wasn’t a true story per se: “It explores all the possible scenarios of why Kennedy was killed, who killed him, and why.”
All the President’s Men, 1976
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are investigative reporters working to uncover the truth behind the Watergate scandal in this critically-acclaimed film. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as The Washington Post journalists in this gripping interpretation.
Confirmation is a historical drama that depicts the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings where his former employee Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. The events of 1991 were suddenly thrust into the spotlight again this year when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced sexual assault allegations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.