Best Movies Set in Washington DC

Get ready for a trip to Washington, DC by watching one of the many cinematic classic filmed here. Whether you’re looking for a thought-provoking Stanley Kubrick movie or a children-oriented flick about museum exhibits coming to life, we have something for you.

Dr. Strangelove

This always-cool, Kubrick black comedy takes place during the Cold War, but remains ever-relevant. The political classic about a crazed general who precipitates nuclear war  features Peter Sellers playing three different roles, including the American president.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

This 1939 Frank Capra black-and-white flick follows a young U.S. Senator, played by James Stewart, through his political travails. The highlight of this old-school pick has to be the perennially referenced filibuster at the end. Need one more recommendation? The movie was nominated for eleven Oscars, so it’s approved across the board.

Night at the Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian

This fun, action-packed children’s movie is the perfect way to get the tykes excited for an upcoming trip to DC, especially the gallery visits. Watch as Ben Stiller comes to Washington to help out his old friends from the previous movies set in New York.

Air Force One

The always-charming Harrison Ford plays the President of the United States in this action-packed political thriller. After delivering a fiery speech proclaiming that he won’t negotiate with terrorists, Ford’s plane home is hijacked and he has to fight for his and his family’s lives. Meanwhile, back in DC, his vice-president, played by Glenn Close, has to hold the line in the White House.

Primary Colors

Loosely based on Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, this political drama, written by Elaine May and directed by Mike Nichols, exposes the underside of the electoral game. The film’s stellar cast includes Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates, and Maura Tierney.  What happens when an idealistic campaign operative sees what politics really entails?