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Movies About United States Presidents, Real and Fictional

Updated on March 9, 2013
White House - scene from "Independance Day"
White House - scene from "Independance Day" | Source

Films about the American presidents are some of the best movies ever made. They are usually exciting, gripping, emotional, and, more often than not, fairly accurate as documentaries.

This list features some of the best films about the United States presidents. Some are geared more towards fact while others are more fictional. Either way, all of these movies are extremely entertaining.

Air Force One

Air Force One is an action-packed film starring Harrison Ford. It was originally released in 1997.

The film is about a group of terrorists that hyjack AIr Force One, the president's personal aircraft. The president (Harrison Ford) must stop the terrorists before it's too late.

An awesome action movie, but who would expect anything less when Harrison Ford is in it?

Received 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Air Force One" Movie trailer


As the title implies, this film is about JFK, or president John F. Kennedy. Released in 1991, this movie stars Kevin Costner and Kevin Bacon and runs for just over three hours.

The film follows Jim Garrison, New Orleans' District Attorney, as he investigates the assassination of JFK. Garrison doesn't believe that the assassination is as clear cut as the media and American government may have people believing. He is convinced that there is more to the story that what is being revealed.

Received 4.2 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"JFK" Movie Trailer

All The President's Men

All The President's Men was released in 1976. It stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

All The President's Men does not focus particularly on a president, although it involves president Richard Nixon. Rather, it follows two Washington Post news reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, as they investigate the occurrences surrounding the Watergate scandal and ultimately bring down Nixon's presidency.

Received 4.4 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"All The President's Men" Movie Trailer

The American President

The American President was released in 1995 and stars Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.

In The American President, Douglas plays president Andy Sheppard who, as a widower, gains an attraction for and begins to charm environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening).

This is a fantastic film that, unlike many other presidential movies, shows the president's more personal side, rather than focusing on politics or being a fast-paced thriller of sorts. It's a beautiful romantic story without being too "chick-flicky."

Received 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"The American President" Movie Trailer


W. was released in 2008 and stars Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks. W. is a film about president George W. Bush.

Josh Brolin plays George W. and fits the role perfectly. He looks just like the former president and his mannerisms are spot on. Rather than solely focusing on his political career and term as president, this film depicts the president on a more personal level, exploring different aspects of his personal life.

Received 3.2 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"W." Movie Trailer


Frost/Nixon was released in 2009 and stars Frank Langella and Michael Sheen.

David Frost is a British talk show host and, after president Richard Nixon resigns, finances his way to an interview with the former president. Under the terms of the contract, Frost is allowed to ask any question he likes and, although Nixon can choose to not answer, it will be done so in front of a large audience. However, the monetary compensation for the interview cannot be passed up while the former president is facing a financial crisis.

Received 4.1 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Frost/Nixon" Movie Trailer

In The Line of Fire

In The Line of Fire was released in 1993 and stars Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, and Rene Russo.

Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, a secret service agent who continues to blame himself for the assassination of JFK 30 years prior. Now, he faces a psychotic assassin (John Malkovich) who is threatening to go after the current U.S. president.

This is an excellent, fast-paced movie with two of the best actors. Malkovich plays an insanely good psychotic and Eastwood is just as powerful as the secret service agent going after him.

Received 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"In The Line of Fire" Movie Trailer

Primary Colors

Primary Colors was filmed in 1998 and stars John Travolta and Emma Thompson.

Primary Colors is a political comedy-drama based on a novel by political reporter, Joe Klein. Jack Staton (John Travolta) plays a presidential candidate who, during his campaign, is forced to deal with his own indiscretions as well as find a way to handle information that could possibly ruin the prospect of his opponent becoming president. Although the character Jack Staton is not intended to be a replica of the president at the time, Bill Clinton, he represents many of Clinton's qualities, problems, and political issues faced by the president.

The film was released during the height of the Monika Lewinski scandal and, as such, did not do very well in the box office. People were more interested at the time with the real scandals that were occuring, rather than watching a representation. The movie received high rating nonetheless, as it is a very good film.

Received 4.2 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Primary Colors" Movie Trailer

Thirteen Days

Thirteen Days was released in 2000 and stars Kevin Costner and Bruce Greenwood.

Thirteen Days is a political drama about the thirteen days in October 1962 in which the United States dealt with the Cuban missile crisis. The film explores the United States' negotiations with Russia at the time, which almost led to an all-out nuclear war.

Not so much of a fast-paced action movie as it is dialogue driven, Thirteen Days is a great film that documents the political turmoil being faced at such an important time in history.

Received 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Thirteen Days" Movie Trailer

Head of State

Head of State was released in 2003 and stars Chris Rock as president.

Chris Rock plays Mays Gilliam in this political satire film. He is chosen by an unspecified party to run as presidential candidate after the party's original candidates die in a plane crash. The party guided Gilliam through his speeched though never intended him to win the race. Gilliam eventually begins to give his speeches in his own, outspoken way.

Received 3.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Head of State" Movie Trailer


Dave was released in 1993 and stars Kevin Klein and Sigourney Weaver.

Dave is a political comedy about an ordinary man named Dave (Kevin Klein) who is asked to double as the president of the United States. Sigourney Weaver plays first lady.

Received 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Dave" Movie Trailer


Dick was released in 1999 and stars Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. The film is a comedy about two girls that unintentionally become involved in the Watergate scandal. The notorious Deep Throat character is unknown but, according to this film, it's two fun, happy-go-lucky girls (Dunst and Williams).

This film puts a fun, humorous spin on the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's presidential downfall.

Received 4.1 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Dick" Movie Trailer

Wag The Dog

Wag The Dog was released in 1998 and stars Dennis Leary, Dustin Hoffman, and Kirsten Dunst with Robert DeNiro and Anne Heche

Wag the Dog is a political satire film about covering up facts and changing the focus of the American public away from possible presidential scandals to other, more serious world problems. This is yet another film that parallels the Monika Lewinski scandal occuring at the time.

Received 3.9 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Wag The Dog" Movie Trailer


Nixon was released in 1995 and stars Anthony Hopkins as president Richard Nixon, as well as several other familiar faces such as Joan Allen (as Pat Nixon), James Woods (as H. R. Haldeman), and David Hyde Pierce (as John Dean).

Nixon, as an Oliver Stone film and starring Anthony Hopkins, does not fail to appease its audience. The film depicts Nixon as a brilliant political leader who gets caught up in the Watergate scandal and hatred towards the Kennedy family. It's a great film that captures Nixon wonderfully. The viewer becomes engrossed in the character and is able to see him on a very personal level.

Received 4.1 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"Nixon" Movie Trailer

The Conspirator

The Conspirator, a courtroom drama, was released in 2011 and stars James McAvoy and Robin Wright. The Conspirator is a film that focuses on the assassination of president Abraham Lincoln.

Following the assassination, a group of individuals including seven men and one woman are arrested for suspicion of conspiring to kill the president, vice president, and secretary of state. The woman that was arrested Mary Surrat (Robin Wright) ran a boarding house in which John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators met to plan the attacks. The woman's lawyer must fight to prove her innocence and demonstrate that she was simply being used as bait in order to help catch the real conspirator who ended up getting away, her son.

Received 3.9 / 5 stars on Amazon.

"The Conspirator" Movie Trailer


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    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      Thank you for the feedback Bankscottage and Patty!

      The American President is a great movie. I really like anything with Michael Douglas :) And it was a pleasure making this list, it helps me to remember the films and hopefully provide suggestions.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      I have seen most of the movies listed and they are definitely good!!! Thanks for sharing your list!!!

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great Hub. I prefer humor, fiction and upbeat movies. That makes "Dave" my all time favorite president movie (followed close by "The American President").

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      You're welcome and thank you :) I LOVE movies so these hubs are really fun for me.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I have to try to watch at least one of these movies in full. I believe one or two maybe exciting, informative and thank you for all the hard work that went into this article.

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      Wow that is amazing. I'd tell that story to everyone. My coolest story is seeing Michael Buble at the airport. Still neat but, I think you have me beat.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is one huge compliment, then....did I tell you I worked backstage at The Filmore in 1969 and handed Clapton his guitar? Now that was cool!

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      Thank you Billy :) I take a compliment on a Hub from you like I would having Eric Clapton tell me he liked my guitar solo. Hehe I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There are some great movies here; I was surprised how many of them I have seen. Interesting hub to read; thanks for a great job!