It’s hard to know how exactly to celebrate President’s Day other than taking the day off from work. This year, honor America’s leaders by watching an appropriate film about the presidency. Here are the best movies about presidents you can stream online right now.
Where to stream it: Netflix
No one can carry a historical presidential drama like Daniel Day-Lewis. The method actor picked up an Oscar for his performance as the 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 biopic. The movie is epic, with incredible performances, depicting one of our nation’s darkest times and the figures who pulled us through.
The American President
Where to stream it: Amazon Prime
Before wowing audiences with “The West Wing” on TV, Aaron Sorkin penned this equally inspiring rom-com about the president starring Michael Douglas as the commander-in-chief and Annette Bening as a lobbyist who sparks a scandalous romance with him. It’s cute, funny and heartfelt, and Douglas’ speech at the denouement is one of the better scenes in the history of film.
All the President's Men
Where to stream it: Cinemax
A number of films have covered Nixon and Watergate, but none is quite as good as this cinematic classic. While it doesn’t feature a portrayal of a president, it’s certainly on theme for the holiday, highlighting the values that are fundamental to our democracy: freedom of the press, truth and justice.
Air Force One
Where to stream it: Crackle
A number of action movies incorporate the president, but Harrison Ford gave audiences the quintessential crime-fighting commander-in-chief. The pres faces off against terrorists led by Gary Oldman who hijack the eponymous aircraft. It’s a ridiculous premise executed with nonchalant badassery.
Where to stream it: Hulu
Oliver Stone has produced a number of movies about American presidents, more famously covering JFK and Nixon, but his film about George W. Bush is insightful and honest. It’s a curious cast, with Josh Brolin as Bush and other famous figures played by Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Richard Dreyfuss. Stone commendably holds back on critique in order to portray Bush’s human side, making this an engaging movie to watch, especially in our current political climate.
Where to stream it: Hulu
In 2008, Ron Howard produced one of the more contemplative portrayals of a president, picking as his subject the famous TV interview between British journalist David Frost and former president Nixon in 1977. It’s a total game of wits unraveling slowly, with some seriously tense scenes as Frost (Michael Sheen) tries to get Nixon (Frank Langella) to confess to wrongdoing on-camera.