It’s that time of year again. Americans will head to the polls and cast their votes on who will be leading the country for the next two years. It can be an exciting and stressful time, accompanied by a non-stop barrage of political ads.
But what about those who want to stay in the spirit of Election Season but need a break from the very divisive rhetoric being tossed about? Here’s a few movies that can help with that. While we could focus on classic films such as All the President’s Men, here are a few underrated gems to check out.
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Release Date: 2012
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis
While not Will Ferrell’s best outing, The Campaign is an enjoyable movie that has some great comedic moments. It features a career politician (Ferrell) who is running for what is supposed to be an easy re-election bid. But when Zack Galifianakis’ mild-mannered family man comes along and actually gains some momentum, the conflict gets equally fierce as both candidates go to outrageous extremes to outdo each other. It’s not perfect, but it often hits more than it misses.
Head of State
Release Date: 2003
Starring: Chris Rock, Bernie Mac
Where to stream it? Pluto TV
Chris Rock gives a standout comedic performance in this comedy that is both hilarious and heartfelt. The social commentary isn’t as poignant in a post-Obama world, but this story of Rock’s alderman that skyrockets into the presidential race is still a quickly paced, sharpened-tongue ride. And of course, the late Bernie Mac has a great supporting performance as well.
Release Date: 2020
Starring: Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper
Where to stream it? Freevee
Jon Stewart directs this hilarious but also heavy movie that really digs into both the heart and also the dark side of political campaigning. When Steve Carell and Rose Byrne’s political punditry endorses two different candidates for a small town mayoral race, the pressure hits on. With Stewart's expert direction and a plot twist that is both surprising and eye opening, it’s a solid film to watch.
Release Date: 2008
Starring: Kevin Costner, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper
Where to stream it? Prime Video
In a wild “what-if” scenario, Swing Vote looks into a situation where a politically apathetic man becomes the tie-breaking vote in an entire presidential election. As both candidates race to appeal to this one person’s vote (often to hilarious results), Costner learns about the importance of voting. While it is a little heavy-handed and blunt, it’s a well executed film and I truly appreciated how they chose to end the movie.