Thanks to the vast expansion of our cable news industry, you could spend hours tonight watching talking heads speculate about the potential results of the Iowa Caucuses tonight. But fortunately, you don’t have to! You can keep hitting refresh on Twitter or the news site of your choice while watching any one of these movies, which actually get the mechanics of politics right in a way that most others don’t, and that most snap-judgment analysts won’t.
1. Primary Colors (1998): Unlike most political movies, which set up a dichotomy between often-unnamed but clearly defined members of opposite parties, the vast majority of Primary Colors takes place during the Democratic primary. That means you get tough debates, hilariously incompetent campaign volunteers who get whipped into a professional fighting force, the entrance of a late-breaking messiah candidate who turns out to be not-so-messianic, and best of all, a deeply cranky conversation about a meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. This is politics as informed and presented by people who have actually been there.