12 Most Political Movies of 2012
From comedy to drama to foreign to documentary, 2012 was the year of the political film.
And it's not surprising; as an infinite parade of politicians from both sides of the political spectrum repeated ad nauseam, that this was the year of "the most important election of our lifetime."
That's why Hollywood reflected it in its productions — most of which are unsurprisingly on the short list of the most respected film awards out there. Here are 12 of them:
Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the president who held the union together after the devastating and bloody Civil War, reminded us about the slow and painful fight for civil rights in the United States (just in time for the Supreme Court decision of reviewing marriage equality in America).
Ben Affleck's account of the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis is another Oscar favorite, which premiered amid a heated national debate over the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — were killed.
3. The Campaign:
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis starred as hilarious political opponents who, according to director Jay Roach, mimicked the circus-like 2012 Republican presidential primary.
4. Zero Dark Thirty:
Kathryn Bigelow's "Osama Bin Laden movie" invited controversy before the election when Republican lawmakers decried the supposed access to classified information that the Obama administration gave to Hollywood producers — with the alleged intention of portraying President Obama in a positive light during his reelection year.
5. 2016 Obama's America:
Conservative author and documentary filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's expose of Obama's supposed anti-colonialist plan to destroy America failed at preventing the reelection of the guy some on the right see as a Kenyan-born socialist who wants to end America "as we know it."
6. Dark Knight Rises:
Christopher Nolan's last installment of the Batman trilogy sparked a national debate on gun control when James Holmes stormed into an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater where the movie was premiering and killed 12 people while injuring 58 others. In addition, the movie is full of Occupy Wall Street references.
7. The Dictator:
Sasha Baron Cohen's comical portrayal of a presumably Middle Eastern dictator who visits America contains satirical references not only to autocrats such as Libya's Gaddafi but also to political day-to-day characters such as the Brooklyn hipster liberal he ends up falling in love with.
8. Ai Weiwei Never Sorry:
Beijing-based journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman documented Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei's preparation for an American museum exhibition that he was ironically forbidden to attend for political reasons.
9. Atlas Shrugged Part II:
The follow-up to Atlas Shrugged Part I, based on the novel of the same name by libertarian icon Ayn Rand delighted conservatives and was mocked by liberals during one of the most polarizing election years yet.
10. Red Dawn:
The remake of the 1984 film about the Soviet threat, starring Chris Hemsworth, was mocked for substituting Russians with Chinese and — subsequently — with North Korean invaders in order to not piss off the guys we borrow money from.
11. Hyde Park on Hudson:
Roger Michell's FDR biopic, starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney, revisits the legacy of the New Deal champion in an election year that torn the country between two opposing political visions.
Just like in real life, the 23rd James Bond film addresses budget cuts when the British secret service is called to testify in front of parliament to justify its existence in a world plagued by cyber terrorism.