10 election-themed movies to watch on Primary Election Day | TribLIVE.com

10 election-themed movies to watch on Primary Election Day

Jonna Miller
Dustin Hoffman, Anne Heche and Robert DeNiro star in "Wag the Dog."

Today is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Were you first line at 7 a.m. or will you cast your ballot after work?

Whenever you make it to the polls … pat yourself on the back for exercising your right to vote. Reward yourself with some popcorn and a movie fit for celebrating the democratic process.

Here are 10 election-themed films — comedies, drama and satire with IMDb summaries— to consider:


Vote for Pedro! A listless and alienated teenager (Jon Heder) decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.


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


A high school teacher’s (Matthew Broderick) personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever (Reese Witherspoon) determined to become student body president.

WAG THE DOG (1997)

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro and Anne Heche.


Two former U.S. Presidents (Jack Lemmon and James Garner), hated rivals, join forces to expose the current, corrupt President at the risk of their lives.


An incumbent Representative (Will Ferrell) embroiled in personal scandal faces a no-holds-barred challenge from a naive newcomer (Zach Galifianakis) funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers.


Former Police Sergeant Barnes (Frank Grillo) becomes head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.

MILK (2008)

The story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.


When a presidential candidate dies unexpectedly in the middle of the campaign, Washington, D.C., alderman Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock) is unexpectedly picked as his replacement.


In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart’s (Hugh Jackman) presidential campaign is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.

Jonna Miller is a Tribune-Review features editor. You can contact Jonna at 724-850-1270, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: AandE | Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.