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Top 10 Conspiracy Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
These films weave a web of intrigue, danger and thrills. Everyone loves a good conspiracy film filled with cover-ups, assassination attempts and chase scenes. From "The Insider" to "All The Presidents Men", "JFK" and "The Manchurian Candidate", there are is no shortage of cinematic nail bitters. Join as we count down our Top 10 favorite conspiracy movies.

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Top 10 Conspiracy Movies

It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you! Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 favorite conspiracy movies.

Number 10: Enemy of the State (1998)

Kicking off our list is the film that makes us paranoid about the government’s ability to watch us! This spy thriller follows a corrupt politician and rogue NSA agents who kill a congressman in order to pass a bill that would lift all surveillance restrictions. When a lawyer, played by Will Smith, is randomly given the evidence, he tries to survive in a world where anything can be used to track him. Incredibly, this movie foreshadowed the government’s increased surveillance powers following 9/11.

Number 9: Michael Clayton (2007)

This corporate corruption tale stars George Clooney as a lawyer who handles all of the dirty work for a major law firm, otherwise known as “the fixer.” When another “fixer” turns on their employers, Clooney’s character finds himself at the center of a conspiracy, and must decide between his conscience and his sense of loyalty. This gripping tale doesn’t need tons of action to keep us on the edge of our seats: with a compelling anti-hero and riveting story, all we need is one car explosion.

Number 8: The Pelican Brief (1993)

In this legal thriller, two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. When a law student, played by Julia Roberts, discovers the truth behind the killings and tries to get the story published, the President’s men target her. Her only hope is an FBI agent, played by Denzel Washington. This film features superb acting, and drama that effortlessly shifts to action and back again.

Number 7: Da Vinci Code (2006)

Based on the best-selling book, this conspiracy film focuses on a 2000-year-old cover-up that threatens to unravel all of Christianity. What secret could be so damning? Oh, just that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married, had a daughter together, and that the Holy Grail wasn’t a physical chalice, but Christ’s bloodline. Geez, no wonder this story has been considered so controversial!

Number 6: Conspiracy Theory (1997)

Mel Gibson plays a cab driver obsessed with conspiracies in this thriller. When one of his theories turns out to be true, he is targeted for assassination. To save himself, he enlists the help of a government employee to help him expose the cover up. The only problem is he doesn’t know which of his countless theories got him in hot water. We dig the film’s ability to mix drama and suspense with comedy.

Number 5: LA Confidential (1997)

This 1950s-era film noir tale of police corruption is based on actual events. It treats us to a complex web of murder, blackmail, prostitution and homicide. This movie explores morality, the question of whom society regards as the hero, and how such views aren’t always clear-cut. What we love most are its incredibly well-crafted characters, brought to life by the likes of Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger.

Number 4: The Insider (1999)

A laid-off research chemist, portrayed by Russell Crowe, becomes a whistleblower on Big Tobacco and their product’s negative health effects in this true story. He enlists the help of a “60 Minutes” producer, played by Al Pacino, who works closely with journalist Mike Wallace. Intelligent writing and sharp performances keep you glued to the screen throughout this film’s lengthy runtime.

Number 3: All The Presidents Men (1976)

Few films have so dramatically attempted to bring the Watergate scandal to the big screen. This particular case follows the investigation of Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman respectively. This conspiracy thriller showcases the daring search for truth about Nixon’s dealings with almost unbearable tension.

Number 2: JFK (1991)

This masterpiece is part historical drama and part thriller. Oliver Stone takes us for a ride alongside District Attorney Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Costner, as he struggles to prove that there was indeed a government conspiracy behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This riveting film takes advantage of our existing interest in this crime, and the fact that we may never have all the answers about this real-life mystery.

Number 1: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Taking the top spot on our list is the 1962 political thriller that was far ahead of its time. The themes of thought control and multinational conspiracy come alive as a former Korean POW is brainwashed by Communists to conduct a political assassination. Of all the films on this list, this unusually tense and intelligent movie is easily the most influential and chilling conspiracy tale ever recorded.

With so many great conspiracy movies, we’re sure we’ve missed a few. Which is your favorite?

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