10 Political Cover-up Movies to Watch if You Liked ‘Gaslit’

Coverups, controversy, redacted reports, and scandals at the highest level! A food processing company employee becomes a government informant, Meryl Strep chases down an insurances claim and uncovers a global financial scam, a report exposes the cruel investigative torture techniques that violate human rights, and a cattle breeder finds a lawyer to take down a chemical company!

‘Gaslit’, starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn, arrives towards the end of April, and we have the movies to prepare you for it! In our list, we have mentioned films that will give you a level of connectivity, bring humor to an otherwise dangerous plot, and get you well prepared to watch ‘Gaslit’ with films that are based in and around those events!

Here is our list of movies based on coverups and scams to get you geared up for the upcoming Martha Mitchell story in ‘Gaslit’.

The Report

A political drama that takes place after the tragic events of September 11, 2003. The CIA resorts to using unimaginable and humiliating torture techniques while conducting its terrorism investigations. When a report regarding the burning of these taped interrogations appears in the New York Times, a senate staffer named Daniel J. Jones is appointed to oversee an investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes. His almost 7000-page study reveals disturbing details about the CIA, its staff members, and the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

Scott Z. Burns serves as its director, with a cast that includes Adam Driver (‘Silence‘), Annette Bening (‘The Kids Are All Right’), Jon Hamm (‘Mad Men’), Jennifer Morrison (‘The Darkness’), Tim Blake Nelson (‘Just Mercy’), Ted Levine (‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’), Corey Stoll (‘First Man’) Michael C. Hall (‘Dexter’), and Maura Tierney (‘The Affair’).

It is based on the work of Daniel J. Jones, a former United States Senate investigator who reported on the investigation into the CIA’s use of severe and detrimental torture techniques. Repeated beatings, being shackled and sexually humiliated, exposed to heavy metal music in a confined space, and sleep, food, and drink deprivation were all used during these interrogations. Threats were also made against the inmate’s family members to gain a confession.

Watch ‘The Report’ on: Amazon Prime Video

The Informant!

A break away from the serious portrayals and drama-filled scenes is ‘The Informant!’. A biographical-crime comedy that follows the story of Mark Whitacre, an upcoming employee at the food processing company Archer Daniels Midland. The firm is being investigated by the US Justice Department for lysine price manipulation, and Whitacre gets recruited by the FBI. 

The film is based on the nonfiction book ‘The Informant’ by journalist Kurt Eichenwald and is directed by Steven Soderbergh. In the cast are Matt Damon (‘Ford v Ferrari’), Scott Bakula (‘Star Trek: Enterprise’), Joel McHale (‘Happily’), Melanie Lynskey (‘Two and a Half Men’), Ann Dowd (‘The Manchurian Candidate’), Patton Oswalt (‘The King of Queens’) and Clancy Brown (‘Billions).

Mark Whitacre is said to be the highest-ranking executive in US history to become a whistleblower. During the Archer-Daniels-Midland scandal of the lysine price-fixing scheme, he worked undercover with the FBI. In the mid-1990s, the lysine price-fixing conspiracy was a coordinated effort to boost the price of the animal feed component lysine. Because lysine is not produced naturally in the body, it is added to farm animal feed to maintain their health.

Watch ‘The Informant!’ on: Apple TV

Snowden

The story revolves around Edward Snowden’s life, his discharge from the army due to injury, and his dramatic revelations regarding government use of surveillance. Taking a job at the CIA, he discovers a variety of software used to monitor the public. To leak this information, he organizes a meeting with a documentary crew in a Hong Kong hotel.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (‘500 Days of Summer) is cast as Edward Snowden in the film. The rest of the cast includes Shailene Woodley (‘The Divergent Series’), Melissa Leo (‘The Fighter’), Nicolas Cage (‘Gone in 60 Seconds’), Zachary Quinto (‘American Horror Story’), Tom Wilkinson (‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose), and Scott Eastwood (‘Diablo’).

Edward Snowden is a former computer intelligence expert who, while working for the National Security Agency as a subcontractor, released highly sensitive information. This information included numerous global surveillance programs that monitored people and their movements.

Watch ‘Snowden’ on: Apple TV

The Laundromat

This movie is a comedy-drama representation of the world’s financial system. Ellen, a widow, struggles to obtain compensation from the boating company that was responsible for her husband’s death. She is unable to do so due to complications with the insurance company. Following the paper trail, she conducts her own inquiry. On the hunt for a couple of law partners in Panama City, she is exposed to the workings of insurance fraud, bribery, and money laundering.

‘The Laundromat’ has a high profile cast list that includes stars Meryl Streep (‘The Iron Lady‘), Gary Oldman (‘Darkest Hour‘), Sharon Stone (‘Casino’), David Schwimmer (‘Friends’), Jeffrey Wright (‘Batman‘) and Matthias Schoenaerts (‘Red Sparrow’). Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh directs the movie which is based on the book ‘Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite’ by investigative journalist and author Jake Bernstein.

The film follows the 2015 Panama Papers incident, in which 11.5 million documents containing detailed information on over 200,000 offshore accounts were leaked. These documents revealed widespread tax evasion and numerous illegal and criminal activities committed by people in positions of authority.

Watch ‘The Laundromat’ on: Netflix

Official Secrets

Official Secrets‘ sees analyst Katherine Gun, whose daily job is to translate signal intelligence – information gained by the collection and analysis of the electronic signals. She finds evidence of a cooperative effort between the US and the UK to spy on diplomats. Leaking the information to the press, she hopes that it will prevent a war. As she chooses her country above her government, her life is flipped upside down.

South African screenwriter Gavin Hood directed the film. It stars Keira Knightley (‘The Imitation Game), Matt Smith (‘The Crown’), Rhys Ifans (‘Elementary’), Adam Bakri (‘Omar’), Ralph Fiennes (‘No Time To Die’), and Indira Varma (‘Game Of Thrones’).

Katharine Gun is a British linguist who worked at the Government Communications Headquarters as a translator. She revealed information to the public, as a whistleblower, concerning an illegal effort aimed at persuading the UN Security Council to sanction the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Watch ‘Official Secrets’ on: AMC+ | Netflix

All the President’s Men

After discovering suspicious activity one evening, a security guard called in the police who arrest some people at the Watergate complex. The arrested individuals are in possession of elaborate technology that includes bugging equipment. Reporters for the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein, and Bob Woodward rush to cover the story. Their findings reveal one of the most infamous scandals in political history.

The movie is directed by late filmmaker Alan J. Pakula. Investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are played by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford, respectively. Also in the cast are actors Jane Alexander, Stephen Collins, and Meredith Baxter.

Watergate was a series of political scandals that occurred during President Richard M. Nixon’s presidency. The scandal was sparked by a break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex, hence the name. It was followed up by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. A highly recommended movie from a different point of to prepare for ‘Gaslit’.

Watch ‘All the President’s Men’ on: HBO MAX

The Mauritanian

Mohamedou, a detainee at the United States military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center has been imprisoned without charges for more than a decade. He is subjected to cruel forms of interrogation tactics and forced to give a confession. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch is in charge of his prosecution and is given the task of convicting and finding Mohamedou guilty at all costs. Nancy Hollander, Mohamedou’s defense attorney tries her level best to put the pieces together and prove his innocence.

The Mauritanian‘ is based on ‘Guantanamo Diary’ by a former detainee at Guantánamo Bay detention camp inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi and it is directed by Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald. It has a cast list that includes Jodie Foster (‘The Silence of the Lambs‘), Tahar Rahim (‘The Serpent Series‘) Shailene Woodley (‘The Divergent Series‘), Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Imitation Game‘), and Zachary Levi (‘Shazam!‘). Jodie Foster won a Golden Globe Award in the category for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her performance in the film Nancy Hollander.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi spent fourteen years detained at Guantánamo Bay prison. He was arrested and jailed on suspicion of recruiting hijackers for the 9/11 attacks, although he was never charged. He was subjected to years of enhanced interrogation tactics and was finally freed years later with the help of criminal defense lawyer Nancy Hollander.

Watch ‘The Mauritanian’ on: Showtime

Backstabbing For Beginners

The narrative follows Michael Soussan, who lands his dream of a job working at the United Nations. He is assigned as a program coordinator in the oil-for-Food Program set in Iraq. He wants to work for the interest of the people until he is caught up in a scandal. Approached by Central intelligence, he is asked to monitor any suspicious activity that is going on within the program.

Danish Filmmaker Per Fly directs the film. It stars Sir Ben Kingsley (‘Gandhi’), Theo James (‘The Divergent Series’), Jacqueline Bisset (‘9/11’), Rossif Sutherland (‘A Call to Spy’), and Rachel Wilson (‘In The Tall Grass’). It is an adaptation of the book ‘Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy’ by Michael Soussan.

The movie is based on an account by a whistleblower and writer Michael Soussan. While working for the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq, he discovered significant corruption and financial mismanagement. In 1996, the UN Security Council established the Oil-for-Food program to allow Iraq to sell enough oil to cover its population’s food and other needs.

Watch ‘Backstabbing For Beginners’ on: Showtime

Dark Waters

‘Dark Waters’ follows lawyer Robert Bilott’s transition from a corporate defense attorney to an environmental lawyer. He is approached by a cowhand who claims that his cattle have died of poisoning in the water. Robert soon discovers that the water is indeed polluted and that the contamination has spread to the town’s drinking water supply. His life and the lives of his loved ones are in jeopardy as he pursues an environmental case against the chemical firm.

Journalist Nathaniel Rich’s column in the New York Times ‘The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare’ is the inspiration for the movie directed by Todd Haynes. Mark Ruffalo (‘Shutter Island’) plays lawyer Robert Bilott. Anne Hathaway (‘The Devil Wears Prada’), Tim Robbins (‘Mystic River’), Bill Camp (’12 Years A Slave’), William Jackson Harper (‘The Good Place’) are the supporting cast members in the legal drama.

The movie is based on environmental attorney Robert Bilott’s lawsuit against DuPont, a chemical manufacturing company. Bilott defended 70,000 people in West Virginia, in a legal struggle that lasted over two decades. He went on to write a memoir titled ‘Exposure’, in which he detailed his experiences.

Watch ‘Dark Waters’ on: Apple TV

The Post

‘The Post,‘ is set in the 1970s and it chronicles the story of Katharine Graham, a newspaper publisher for the Washington Post, and journalist Ben Bradlee. The Washington Post looks set to publish a series of classified documents relating to the US government’s role in the Vietnam War. These records provide details on a vast government secret cover-up that spanned three decades and four US presidents. The government does all it can to shut down this operation, while Graham’s company’s future is at stake. 

A must-see film in the build-up to the ‘Gaslit’ series, as it also touches on the Watergate scandal.

Tom Hanks (‘Captain Phillips’), Meryl Streep (‘Julie & Julia’), Sarah Paulson (‘Run’), Bob Odenkirk (‘Better Call Saul’), Tracy Letts (‘Ford vs Ferrari’), Bradley Whitford (‘The West Wing’), Bruce Greenwood (‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets’), Matthew Rhys (‘Burnt’), Alison Brie (‘Horse Girl’), and Jesse Plemons (‘Windfall’). Steven Spielberg is the director of the film. Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys also shared the screen in ‘A Beautiful Day in the ‘Neighborhood’ (2019).

Officially titled “History of U.S. Decision-Making in Vietnam, 1945–68,” the Pentagon Papers are a study of the Vietnam War’s origins and evolution. The Pentagon Papers revealed that the US was involved in Vietnam since the 1950s, undisclosed to the public and the US media. The documents were released by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg.

Watch ‘The Post’ on: Apple TV

 

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