The 10 Greatest Performances in Political Thrillers
7. George Clooney in Syriana (2005)
Clooney's Oscar-nabbing role as CIA vet Robert Barnes in the complex, but fascinating Syriana is masterful, and it also mirrors the audience's viewing experience: We're just as disoriented as he is in the film's mind-boggling world of distrust.
6. Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone (1983)
The film adaptation of Stephen King's supernatural political thriller (a rare genre!) features a superb performance by Walken, who, as Kathy Griffin once pointed out to Movieline, wasn't "crazy" yet in '83. As a schoolteacher who gains a sixth sense and finds himself intercepting a dastardly U.S. Senatorial Candidate's (Martin Sheen) plot to ignite nuclear war, he fills his clairvoyant moments with fear and a jarring graveness.
5. Henry Fonda in Fail-Safe (1964)
An electrical malfunction almost starts a nuclear war, and Jane's dad, our president, has to stop it! Tom Joad is as stonily courageous as ever in this stark thriller, and you can't take your eyes off him during his phone call with Buck, the president's translator (played by an august young Larry Hagman).