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Best Political Thrillers on Netflix

December 28, 2021
3 min

Nothing gets the heart pumping more than an exciting political drama! If you are looking for an escape from reality and the scare of real-life politics, a strong political thriller will certainly not be your cup of tea.

These dramas mix the dark underbelly of the political world with corruption and conspiracy theories that can frighten even the bravest among us.

And with uncanny parallels to real-world politics, these thrillers manage to repeatedly highlight the high stakes of politics in ways that are often unnervingly ahead of their time.

But where to watch these movies and shows?

These are some of the best political thrillers on Netflix:

The Crown

This historical drama series covers the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and shows her life from 1947 when she got married until the 21st century.

Written by Peter Morgan and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television, this four-season drama is absolutely captivating.

It begins in the early days of Queen Elizabeth’s reign before moving on to the Suez Crisis of 1956 and the Profumo affair of 1963 and demonstrates almost flawless historical detail all the way.

Aside from the Queen, the show also shows other supporting characters, including Prince Philip, Elizabeth’s husband, and Margaret, Elizabeth’s sister.

Most importantly, the heavy weight of the crown is highlighted throughout the show – the unhappiness of the royal family, the sacrifices they must constantly make, and how they must simply carry on no matter what.

This is a must-watch for any political and historical fan.

House of Cards

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards

This American TV drama is a series about one man, Frank Underwood, a Democrat congressman. It is set in Washington DC.

Based on a book also called House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, the whole series centres around Frank and the complex and crafty political schemes he creates to become president.

After Frank fails to be appointed as secretary of state, he puts together a complex plan to gain power aided by his ambitious wife, Claire. This political thriller covers themes of ruthless practicality, manipulation, betrayal, and power.

With six seasons in total, this series will without a doubt catch your attention and leave you craving more with its many unexpected twists and turns.


Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes in Bodyguard

This British political thriller was created and written by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions for BBC.

Set in a context of hierarchy and power, this six-episode television series follows the fictional story of Police Sergeant David Budd.

David is a heroic but unstable British army war veteran who suffers from PTSD and is working for Royalty and for the Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

After being assigned to protect Home Secretary Julia Montague, as her principal protection officer, he finds himself torn between his duty and other distractions.

This thriller covers themes of controversial governmental monitoring of private information and themes of PTSD. It is a work of suspense and careful camera work and pacing – a must-watch for any viewer fascinated with the intricacies of politics!

Designated Survivor

Kiefer Sutherland in Designated Survivor

This intense show is an American political thriller drama series created by David Guggenheim.

The three seasons of the show follow the story of Thomas Kirkman, an American academic and government official (the designated survivor), who is chosen to stay at an undisclosed secure location in case anything should go wrong with the presidential line of succession.

When an explosion unexpectedly kills everyone ahead of him in the line, he is suddenly thrust from his positions as the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to President of the United States. He must deal with his inexperience all while looking to uncover the truth behind the explosion.

If you haven’t watched Designated Survivor yet, you have a lot to catch up on!


Sidse Babett Knudsen in Borgen

This Danish political drama tells the story of how, despite all the odds, minor centrist politician Birgitte Nyborg Christensen becomes the first female prime minister of Denmark.

The three-season show is titled Borgen, or literally ‘The Castle’ in Danish, and informally refers to the name of Christiansborg Palace where all three branches of the Danish government reside: the Parliament, the Prime Minister, and the Supreme Court.

Mixing political intrigue with unexpected turns and compelling drama, the show follows Brigette as she struggles to hold onto power all while trying not to compromise her ideals and facing attacks from the left, the right, the press, and even from within her own cabinet.

This multi-award-winning show needs to be added to every political fan’s watch list!


Netflix offers a whole range of juicy, addictive, and binge-worthy political thrillers. From the political turmoil of historical dramas to the politics of alternate alien realities, Netflix offers an entire assortment of options that will leave all of us wanting more.