10 Movies And TV Shows Based On The American Elections You Can Stream Now, Film Companion

When we think about the American Elections, the adage “Fact is stranger than fiction” comes to mind. The recently concluded debate of the Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump is evidence of the fraught, comical, violent, anxiety inducing moment – the eve of the American Presidential Elections.

We thought this would be a great time to look back on the genre itself- of election movies, and list some of them that might entertain, and not necessarily induce agony. Then there are also the documentaries that are rousing and disturbing in equal measure. Since this is a list of films available on streaming platforms, many films like Wag The Dog, Man Of The Year, The American President, Weiner that are not available on streaming, are not featured here. 

1) Veep (2012-2019)

Streaming Platform: Disney+Hotstar

When former senator Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a charismatic leader, becomes Vice President, her life unravels! This satire follows her whirlwind journey, putting out fires, and juggling her choc-a-bloc schedule with a demanding private life. 

2) The Politician (2019-present) 

Streaming Platform: Netflix

A Ryan Murphy comedy-drama, this series centers on the story of Payton Hobart (Be Platt), a well to do Santa Barbara resident. Each season revolves around a different political race Hobart is involved in- from a student body presidential election to the New York senate.  

3) The Ides Of March (2011)

Streaming Platform: YouTube, Google Play

Directed by George Clooney, this political drama is about an idealistic staffer, Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) who needs to believe in a cause to fight for it. He works for a new presidential candidate (George Clooney), and gets a reality check exposed to the dirty politics at play behind the all the sheen.

4) The Manchurian Candidate (2004) 

Streaming Platform: Netflix

This is a star-studded political thriller with Denzel Washington playing a virtuous soldier, Liev Schreiber who is manipulated into becoming a vice-presidential candidate, and Meryl Streep, a Senator and his ruthless mother. Set in the midst of the Gulf War, this is a sinister story of kidnapping, and brainwashing of “rich people funding bad science to put a sleeper in the White House”.

5) The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 

Streaming Platform: YouTube, Google Play 

A sci-fi romantic thriller that begins with Matt Damon running for Senate in New York, when he meets a dancer played by Emily Blunt, this film takes on the age-old question of free-will versus fate. 

6) All The President’s Men (1976) 

Streaming Platform: Google Play, YouTube

A political film on the Watergate Scandal that made Nixon resign. All The President’s Men stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the two Washington Post journalists, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who broke the story. 

7) Frost/Nixon (2008)

Streaming Platform: Google Play, YouTube

A historical drama, this film tells the story behind the Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977, post Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate Scandal. These interviews were conducted by British talk-show host David Frost, and they were his attempts at giving the people the trial that Nixon never had. 

8) Knocking Down The House (2019) 

Streaming Platform: Netflix, YouTube

Congressman Crowley from New York hasn’t had a primary challenger in 14 years. Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), “I am running because everyday Americans deserve to be represented by everyday Americans.” This documentary follows stories like that of Cortez. It takes a behind-the-scenes look at the primary campaigns for the 2018 midterm elections- of Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin. All four of them are progressive Democrats. The Guardian noted that the final reels of this rousing Netflix documentary “feel like a Rocky movie”.

1.1 million people have watched the documentary, streaming on Netflix’s YouTube channel, free of cost. 

9) Get Me Roger Stone (2017) 

Streaming Platform: Netflix 

Describing himself as an “agent provocateur”, the controversial political strategist Roger Stone, with a Nixon tattoo on his back, becomes muse for this apparent-tell-all where his ego and eccentricity are on full display. The pioneer of negative campaigning, he morphed the election trail into a muckraking contest. He also brought Donald Trump into the White House. This documentary is a portrait of how to monetize hate into a political tool for victory. As Stone notes, “I revel in your hatred.” 

10) The Great Hack (2019)

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Cambridge Analytica, which worked on the Trump and Brexit campaign, claims to have over 5000 data points for each American voter. This documentary tracks people like  Brittany Kaiser, the former business development director for Cambridge Analytica, to build a portrait of paranoia- how your social media helps manipulate you into thinking things you wouldn’t otherwise have thought. A great double bill with The Social Dilemma, also on Netflix.  

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