(L to R) David Strathairn and Daniel Day-Lewis in 'Lincoln.'

(L to R) David Strathairn and Daniel Day-Lewis in 'Lincoln.'

Monday, February 21st is President's Day in the United States. Coinciding in the same month as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays, the holiday is now used to celebrate all U.S. Presidents, past and present.

Over the years, there have been many great movies to feature U.S. Presidents, both real and fictional. From Bill Pullman's President Thomas J. Whitmore fighting aliens in 'Independence Day,' to Daniel Day Lewis' Oscar winning performance as "Honest Abe" in 'Lincoln,' now is a perfect time to look back at the greatest movies about American Presidents of all-time.

Let's Begin!

Primary Colors (1998)

John Travolta in the movie 'Primary Colors'

Universal Pictures

Directed by Mike Nichols ('The Graduate'), and loosely based on Bill Clinton's 1992 run for the White House, the young and gifted Henry Burton (Adrian Lester) is tapped to oversee the presidential campaign of Governor Jack Stanton (John Travolta).

Burton is pulled into the politician's colorful world and looks on as Stanton, who has a wandering eye that could be his downfall, contends with his ambitious wife, Susan (Emma Thompson), and outspoken advisers, Richard Jemmons (Billy Bob Thornton) and Libby Holden (Kathy Bates).

Primary Colors

Primary Colors

"What went down on the way to the top."
63
R2 hr 23 minMar 20th, 1998


Dick (1999)

Dan Hedaya in the movie 'Dick'

Columbia Pictures

In this 90's comedy, Two high school girls (Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams) wander off during a class trip to the White House and meet President Richard Nixon (Dan Hedaya). They become the official dog walkers for Nixon's dog Checkers, and become his secret advisors during the Watergate scandal.

Dick

Dick

"The unmaking of the president"
59
PG-131 hr 34 minAug 4th, 1999


The Contender (2000)

Jeff Bridges in the movie 'The Contender'

Battleplan Productions

The vice president is dead, and as the president makes his choice for a replacement, a secret contest of wills is being waged by a formidable rival. When Senator Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) is nominated as the first woman in history to hold the office, hidden agendas explode into a battle for power.

Jeff Bridges received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as President Jackson Evans, a free-spirited politician who enjoys the spoils of the office.

The Contender

The Contender

"Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot."
67
R2 hr 6 minOct 13th, 2000


Thirteen Days (2000)

Kevin Costner in the movie 'Thirteen Days'

New Line Cinema

Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film tells the true story of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the nuclear standoff with the USSR sparked by the discovery by the Americans of missile bases established on the Soviet-allied island of Cuba.

Kevin Costner stars as Special Assistant to the President - Kennth O'Donnell, while Steven Culp plays Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. But its Bruce Greenwood's performance as President John F. Kennedy that truly makes the movie worth seeing.

Thirteen Days

Thirteen Days

"You'll never believe how close we came"
70
PG-132 hr 25 minDec 24th, 2000


Independence Day (1996)

Bill Pullman in the movie 'Independence Day'

20th Century Fox

On July 2, a giant alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped 'destroyer' spacecraft that quickly lay waste to major cities around the planet. On July 3, the United States conducts a coordinated counterattack that fails. On July 4, a plan is devised to gain access to the interior of the alien mothership in space, in order to plant a nuclear missile.

Bill Pullman's speech as President Thomas J. Whitmore at the conclusion of the film has become a modern classic.

Independence Day

Independence Day

"Don't make plans for August."
68
PG-132 hr 25 minJun 25th, 1996


Air Force One (1997)

Harrison Ford in the movie 'Air Force One'

Columbia Pictures

Russian terrorists led by Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman) conspire to hijack the aircraft with the President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) and his family on board. The commander in chief finds himself facing an impossible predicament: give in to the terrorists and sacrifice his family, or risk everything to uphold his principles and the integrity of the nation.

Air Force One

Air Force One

"Five miles up, The President of the United States is waging war on terrorism. Face to face."
64
R2 hr 4 minJul 25th, 1997


Dave (1993)

Kevin Kline in the movie 'Dave'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by the lateIvan Reitman ('Twins'), the movie follows a sweet-natured Temp Agency operator and amateur Presidential look-alike named Dave (Kevin Klein) as he is recruited by the Secret Service to become a temporary stand-in for the real President of the United States. Dave soon realizes that running the country is not so easy.

In addition to Klein, the cast also includes Sigourney Weaver ('Ghostbusters') as the First Lady, as well as Frank Langella ('Frost/Nixon') and Charles Grodin ('Midnight Run').

Dave

"In a country where anybody can become President, anybody just did."
66
PG-131 hr 50 minMay 7th, 1993


The American President (1995)

Michael Douglas in the movie 'The American President'

Columbia Pictures

Widowed U.S. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), one of the world's most powerful men, can have anything he wants, and what he covets most is Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), a Washington lobbyist. But Shepherd's attempts at courting her spark wild rumors and decimate his approval ratings.

The movie was directed by Rob Reiner ('A Few Good Men') and written by Aaron Sorkin before he created 'The West Wing.' The movie also features future 'West Wing' President, Martin Sheen as President Shepherd's Chief of Staff.

The American President

The American President

"Why can't the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?"
66
PG-131 hr 54 minNov 17th, 1995


JFK (1991)

Kevin Costner in the movie 'JFK'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Oliver Stone, the film follows the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy led by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner).

While the character of Kennedy does not actually appear in this film (except in old news footage), it is the first of Costner's two movies about the former President, which also includes 'Thirteen Days.'

JFK

JFK

"The story that won't go away."
77
R3 hr 9 minDec 20th, 1991


Lincoln (2012)

Daniel Day-Lewis in the movie 'Lincoln'

20th Century Fox

Director Steven Spielberg's Oscar winning film tells the revealing story of the 16th US President's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Daniel Day-Lewis received his third Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln

"With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices will change the fate of generations to come."
68
PG-132 hr 29 minNov 16th, 2012