Plenty of presidential movies have taken us back into history. From Abraham Lincoln’s years in office to even the life story of Barack Obama, various presidents have had their stories told on screen. Certain films in particular have given us an astonishing look at American history. In honor of Presidents Day coming up, take a look at five that achieved critical acclaim.
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All the President’s Men (1976)
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are two names that will always be remembered in American history. See how the legendary Washington Post reporters uncovered the details of Watergate, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Dustin Hoffman stars as Bernstein while Robert Redford plays Woodward. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film was nominated for eight Academy Awards including best picture and best director.
Then relive what happened in the years following the Watergate scandal. Directed by Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon showcases British journalist David Frost’s famous interviews with Nixon in 1977. The historic interviews led to an unexpected turn of events: Nixon admitted to his faults for the first time as 45 million Americans watched.
Daniel Day-Lewis impeccably portrays President Abraham Lincoln in this Steven Spielberg film. Lincoln, also starring Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, follows the president’s struggles as he worked to emancipate the slaves.
The Butler (2013)
Directed by Lee Daniels, The Butler follows a black butler named Cecil Gaines as he serves eight presidents in the White House. It takes viewers through historic moments that shaped America, including JFK’s assassination and the Freedom Riders. The film, also starring Oprah Winfrey as Cecil’s wife, was inspired by Eugene Allen, a butler who served in the White House for 34 years. He was brilliantly portrayed by Forest Whitaker.
All the Way (2016)
Actor Bryan Cranston stars as Lyndon B. Johnson in this Jay Roach-directed film showing the president’s first year in office after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The film follows Johnson’s fight to launch a civil rights bill.