Most Popular Political Thriller Movies and TV Shows

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1. Homeland (2011– )

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend

Votes: 284,145

2. Designated Survivor (2016–2019)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession.

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn

Votes: 65,789

3. Angel Has Fallen (2019)

R | 121 min | Action, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
45 Metascore

Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh | Stars: Gerard Butler, Frederick Schmidt, Danny Huston, Rocci Williams

Votes: 17,585 | Gross: $67.16M

4. The Purge (2018– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Action, Drama, Horror

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in an altered United States, several unrelated people discover how far they will go to survive a night where all crime is legal for 12 hours.

Stars: Gabriel Chavarria, Hannah Emily Anderson, Jessica Garza, Colin Woodell

Votes: 7,831

5. Seberg (2019)

96 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
58 Metascore

Inspired by real events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star, Jean Seberg, who in the late 1960s was targeted by Hoover's FBI, because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.

Director: Benedict Andrews | Stars: Zazie Beetz, Margaret Qualley, Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn

Votes: 333

6. Scandal (2012–2018)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Thriller

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A former White House Communications Director starts her own crisis management firm only to realize her clients are not the only ones with secrets.

Stars: Kerry Washington, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Díaz

Votes: 64,339

7. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 330,009 | Gross: $11.29M

8. Medici (2016– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A political family drama set in Florence in the early fifteenth century. Cosimo de Medici finds himself at the helm of his banking dynasty when his father, Giovanni, dies suddenly.

Stars: Daniel Sharman, Annabel Scholey, Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Sarah Parish

Votes: 12,221

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
70 Metascore

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford

Votes: 684,106 | Gross: $259.77M

10. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

R | 119 min | Action, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
41 Metascore

Disgraced Secret Service agent Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack and works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett

Votes: 241,218 | Gross: $98.93M

11. The Bourne Identity (2002)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen

Votes: 481,106 | Gross: $121.66M

12. London Has Fallen (2016)

R | 99 min | Action, Thriller

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
28 Metascore

In London for the Prime Minister's funeral, Mike Banning is caught up in a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders.

Director: Babak Najafi | Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett

Votes: 130,389 | Gross: $62.68M

13. Enemy of the State (1998)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
67 Metascore

A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his N.S.A. goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet

Votes: 216,462 | Gross: $111.55M

14. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
58 Metascore

In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine Captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill

Votes: 166,938 | Gross: $122.01M

15. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 147,630 | Gross: $1.24M

16. Air Force One (1997)

R | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
61 Metascore

Communist Radicals hijack Air Force One with The U.S. President and his family on board. The Vice President negotiates from Washington D.C., while the President, a Veteran, fights to rescue the hostages on board.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson

Votes: 169,723 | Gross: $172.96M

17. Body of Lies (2008)

R | 128 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
57 Metascore

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani

Votes: 202,130 | Gross: $39.39M

18. The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

PG-13 | 106 min | Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
60 Metascore

The affair between a politician and a contemporary dancer is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Director: George Nolfi | Stars: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Lisa Thoreson, Florence Kastriner

Votes: 230,872 | Gross: $62.50M

19. Salt (2010)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
65 Metascore

A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski

Votes: 280,423 | Gross: $118.31M

20. The Sum of All Fears (2002)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
45 Metascore

C.I.A. analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo-Nazi faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected President by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore, Maryland.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt

Votes: 98,061 | Gross: $118.91M

21. The Good Shepherd (2006)

R | 167 min | Drama, History, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
61 Metascore

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director: Robert De Niro | Stars: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin

Votes: 95,127 | Gross: $59.95M

22. White House Down (2013)

PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
52 Metascore

While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke

Votes: 195,057 | Gross: $73.10M

23. In the Line of Fire (1993)

R | 128 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
74 Metascore

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott

Votes: 86,488 | Gross: $102.31M

24. Patriot Games (1992)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
64 Metascore

When CIA analyst Jack Ryan interferes with an IRA assassination, a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin

Votes: 95,594 | Gross: $83.29M

25. Valkyrie (2008)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, History, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
56 Metascore

A dramatization of the July 20, 1944 assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Adolf Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 216,658 | Gross: $83.08M

26. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 132,664 | Gross: $70.41M

27. Return to Paradise (1998)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
54 Metascore

Two friends must choose whether to help a third friend who was arrested in Malaysia for drug possession.

Director: Joseph Ruben | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix, David Conrad

Votes: 13,058 | Gross: $8.29M

28. The Colony (2015)

R | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
33 Metascore

A young woman's desperate search for her abducted boyfriend draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.

Director: Florian Gallenberger | Stars: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey

Votes: 43,121

29. The Crying Game (1992)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
90 Metascore

A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier's world.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 48,023 | Gross: $62.55M

30. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
74 Metascore

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Joaquim de Almeida

Votes: 83,136 | Gross: $122.19M

31. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 94,420 | Gross: $70.60M

32. Mississippi Burning (1988)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
65 Metascore

Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif

Votes: 80,650 | Gross: $34.60M

33. State of Play (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
64 Metascore

When a congressional aide is killed, a Washington D.C. journalist starts investigating the case involving the congressman, his old college friend.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren

Votes: 128,784 | Gross: $37.02M

34. Edge of Darkness (2010)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
55 Metascore

As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic

Votes: 85,642 | Gross: $43.31M

35. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 98,469 | Gross: $65.96M

36. The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13 | 141 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
50 Metascore

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard

Votes: 71,134 | Gross: $100.77M

37. Absolute Power (1997)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
52 Metascore

Career thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) witnesses a horrific crime involving U.S. President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Votes: 47,103 | Gross: $50.01M

38. The Constant Gardener (2005)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
82 Metascore

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé

Votes: 126,745 | Gross: $33.58M

39. Syriana (2005)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
76 Metascore

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved in and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak

Votes: 121,553 | Gross: $50.82M

40. The Ides of March (2011)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
67 Metascore

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 208,793 | Gross: $40.96M

41. The Ghost Writer (2010)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
77 Metascore

A ghost writer, hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister, uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 149,834 | Gross: $15.54M

42. No Way Out (1987)

R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
77 Metascore

A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young, Will Patton

Votes: 32,626 | Gross: $35.51M

43. The Jackal (1997)

R | 124 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
36 Metascore

An imprisoned I.R.A. fighter is freed to help stop a brutal, seemingly "faceless" assassin from completing his next job.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora

Votes: 100,839 | Gross: $54.93M

44. Fair Game (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
69 Metascore

CIA operative Valerie Plame discovers her identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband wrote criticizing the Bush administration.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison, Vanessa Chong

Votes: 44,356 | Gross: $9.53M

45. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
63 Metascore

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Votes: 43,619 | Gross: $41.51M

46. Green Zone (2010)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, Igal Naor

Votes: 123,254 | Gross: $35.05M

47. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
94 Metascore

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 68,224

48. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
78 Metascore

An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles

Votes: 52,913 | Gross: $10.25M

49. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
100 Metascore

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 86,415 | Gross: $10.46M

50. The Siege (1998)

R | 116 min | Action, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
53 Metascore

The secret U.S. abduction of a suspected terrorist leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York City, which leads to the declaration of martial-law.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Annette Bening, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 65,372 | Gross: $40.98M



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