Movies About the Constitution (List)

Welcome to Constitution Day, a celebration of the enduring principles and values enshrined in the United States Constitution. As we reflect on the significance of this historic document, it’s a perfect time to dive into the world of movies that bring the Constitution to life on the silver screen. From stirring historical dramas to thought-provoking documentaries, these films offer both entertainment and education for those interested in the intricacies of our nation’s constitutional foundation.

With a long cinematic history, the Constitution has played a pivotal role in shaping numerous noteworthy films. While there are too many exceptional choices to narrow down to just a few, we have curated a list focused on films exploring the amendments and their implications. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a legal scholar, or simply enjoy a good movie, these constitutional films are sure to captivate your imagination and deepen your understanding of our founding principles.

Movies About the Constitution

So, grab your popcorn and get ready for an immersive cinematic journey through the lens of the Constitution. From stories of freedom of the press to the right to bear arms, these movies shed light on the rights and liberties that shape our society. Join us as we explore the best constitutional films, delve into historical moments, and highlight the must-watch movies about the Constitution.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the rich cinematic history of movies based on the Constitution.
  • Explore the amendments and their implications through captivating storytelling.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of our nation’s founding principles and values.
  • Find recommendations for films that highlight specific constitutional rights.
  • Enjoy an entertaining and educational experience with these must-watch Constitution movies.

The First Amendment

When it comes to films that explore the relevance and impact of the First Amendment, one standout movie is The Post (2017). Set in 1971, the film focuses on The Washington Post’s courageous decision to publish excerpts from the Pentagon Papers – a classified report detailing U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia spanning several decades. Director Steven Spielberg brilliantly captures the essence of freedom of the press and the tenacity required to protect this constitutional right, particularly when confronted by powerful forces.

If you’re interested in further exploring the First Amendment and its various facets, there are several other noteworthy films you might consider:

  • Selma (2014)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • All the President’s Men (1976)
  • The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

These movies provide different perspectives on the First Amendment, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition. Whether you choose to watch The Post or any of the suggested films, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the constitutional principles that shape our nation.

Notable Quote:

“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”
– Walter Cronkite

The Second Amendment

In this section, we will explore the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms. This fundamental right has been the subject of much debate and controversy over the years, with advocates emphasizing the importance of individual freedom and self-defense, while critics raise concerns about public safety and gun violence.

Our pick for a film that touches on the themes of the Second Amendment is Gran Torino (2008). Directed by Clint Eastwood, this thought-provoking movie tells the story of Walt, a retired Detroit autoworker who takes a stand to protect his changing neighborhood. The film explores the complexities of gun ownership, the role of militia, and the bond between individuals in the face of adversity.

“Get off my lawn!” – Walt Kowalski

In Gran Torino, Walt’s belief in his right to bear arms becomes an integral part of the plot as he uses his shotgun to defend his neighborhood from gang violence. The film delves into the moral and ethical implications of owning a firearm and raises questions about the limits of self-defense.

If you’re interested in exploring more films that touch on the Second Amendment, we recommend Tank (1984), Dirty Harry (1971), and Death Wish (1974). These movies delve into different aspects of gun rights and gun ownership, presenting diverse perspectives on the issue.

Films related to the Second Amendment

Film Year Director
Gran Torino 2008 Clint Eastwood
Tank 1984 Marvin J. Chomsky
Dirty Harry 1971 Don Siegel
Death Wish 1974 Michael Winner

These films offer varying perspectives on gun rights and explore the complex issues surrounding the Second Amendment. Whether you agree or disagree with the right to bear arms, these movies provide an engaging and thought-provoking look at the topic.

The Third Amendment

When it comes to movies that explore the complexities of the United States Constitution, one standout film is The Patriot (2000). Starring Mel Gibson as Daniel, a widower and father in South Carolina during the 1770s, the movie delves into the themes of the Third Amendment, quartering of soldiers, housing soldiers, and soldiers’ rights.

The story follows Daniel’s transformation from a reluctant observer to an active participant in the American Revolution. His hesitation fades when a brutal British colonel arrests his eldest son and burns down his house, which Daniel had recently used as a makeshift military hospital. This violation of his rights as a civilian prompts him to take action and fight for justice.

To further explore the theme of soldiers’ rights and the impact of militarization, you might consider watching movies such as Training Day (2001) and Cops and Robbersons (1990). These films offer a different perspective on how the presence of soldiers can influence societal dynamics and the rights of individuals.

The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments

When it comes to movies that explore the intricacies of our constitutional rights, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments provide rich material. From privacy rights and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures to the right to remain silent and the right to a fair trial, these amendments have been depicted in thought-provoking films that challenge and entertain viewers.

Our Picks:

Minority Report (2002) – A powerful, futuristic Fourth Amendment primer that explores the consequences of predictive law enforcement and the ethical implications of technology.

“The system is perfect, but human beings are not.” – John Anderton, Minority Report

The Client (1994) – A legal thriller that showcases a teenager’s Fifth Amendment rights and highlights the importance of legal representation and protection against self-incrimination.

12 Angry Men (1957) – A gripping courtroom drama that examines the Sixth Amendment, focusing on the right to a jury trial and the obligation to deliberate with an open mind.

Philadelphia (1993) – A poignant portrayal of the Seventh Amendment’s significance, shedding light on the right to bring civil actions and seeking justice for discrimination and wrongful termination.

Further Viewing:

  • The Conversation (1974) – Explores surveillance and the implications it has on privacy rights.
  • The Truman Show (1998) – Raises questions about surveillance, free will, and the impact of media on personal lives.
  • Gattaca (1997) – Delves into genetic discrimination and the challenges faced by individuals deemed “genetically inferior.”
  • Runaway Jury (2003) – Examines jury manipulation and the power of the legal system.
  • Erin Brockovich (2000) – Tells the inspiring true story of a legal assistant fighting for justice against a powerful corporation.

The movies listed above offer compelling narratives that shed light on the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments. They challenge viewers to consider the importance of privacy rights, the protection against unfair treatment by authorities, and the pursuit of justice in a society governed by the rule of law.

The Eighth Amendment

When it comes to depicting the challenges of cruel and unusual punishment, 12 Monkeys (1995) takes center stage. The film follows James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner from the year 2035, who travels back in time to assist scientists in finding a cure for a deadly pandemic that devastated the world in 1996. Throughout his time-traveling journey, Cole is subjected to various forms of punishment including being confined to a mental institution in 1990, getting shot during World War I, and ultimately being coerced into carrying out a mission that seems destined to end in his own demise.

If you’re interested in exploring more films related to the Eighth Amendment and its protection against excessive bail and fines, as well as cruel and unusual punishment, additional recommendations include Dead Man Walking (1995) and Sleepers (1996).

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments

When it comes to exploring the unenumerated rights and the powers reserved to the states or the people, two movies stand out: Enemy of the State (1998) and The Free State of Jones (2016).

In Enemy of the State, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) finds himself caught in a web of government overreach. The Ninth Amendment becomes his saving grace as he fights against a system that threatens his privacy and freedom. This thrilling film serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our individual rights.

On the other hand, The Free State of Jones tells the story of a disillusioned Confederate deserter in Mississippi who leads a militia of fellow deserters in a rebellion against their corrupt government. The Tenth Amendment looms symbolically throughout this historical drama, emphasizing the power of the people to rise against injustice.

  • Further viewing:
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004)
  • Milk (2008)

These films shed light on the importance of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments in ensuring the protection of unenumerated rights and the preservation of power within the states and the people.

The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments

When exploring the impact of the United States Constitution on civil rights, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments play a pivotal role. These amendments were significant milestones in the quest for equality, protection, and voting rights for all citizens.

Our first pick, 13th (2016), is a paramount documentary that delves into the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in America. It sheds light on the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. Through powerful storytelling, this film prompts reflections on the ongoing struggle for civil rights and the need for urgent reform.

Next, we have On The Basis of Sex (2018), a film that brings the principles of the Fourteenth Amendment to life. This movie chronicles the inspiring journey of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a brilliant attorney who fought gender discrimination and championed equal protection under the law. Through her determination and intellect, Ginsburg shaped history and paved the way for progress.

To witness the true promise of the Fifteenth Amendment, we recommend All The Way (2016), featuring Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson. This film captures the tumultuous times of the Civil Rights Movement, emphasizing the importance of voting rights for African Americans. Cranston’s compelling performance showcases the power of political leadership in driving change.

For those eager to further explore the themes of civil rights, equality, and voter empowerment, other notable films include:

  • Lincoln (2012): A historical drama highlighting President Abraham Lincoln’s role in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.
  • Mississippi Burning (1988): Based on true events, this film explores the investigation of civil rights activists’ disappearances in Mississippi during the 1960s.
  • Loving (2016): The biographical drama about the interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, and their landmark Supreme Court case that invalidated laws banning interracial marriage.
Film Year Main Theme
13th 2016 Racial inequality and mass incarceration
On The Basis of Sex 2018 Equal protection under the law
All The Way 2016 Voting rights and Civil Rights Movement
Lincoln 2012 Abolition of slavery
Mississippi Burning 1988 Civil rights activism and racial violence
Loving 2016 Interracial marriage and equal rights

These films vividly illustrate the progressive journey towards a more inclusive and just society. By embracing storytelling as a medium, they raise awareness, challenge biases, and inspire conversations about the importance of civil rights, equal protection, and voting rights for all.

The Seventeenth Amendment

Our pick: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939). Jefferson Smith spends much of the film fighting the Washington machine as it attempts to chew him up and spit him out. He’s mocked in the press, manipulated by colleagues, and eventually discovers new layers of corruption and graft. It’s a film that makes the comfortable uncomfortable, and we’re behind that notion.

Further Viewing:

  • Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)

The Eighteenth Amendment

Our pick: The Untouchables (1987). This classic cops-and-mobsters struggle brings together an all-star cast including Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert DeNiro, and Andy Garcia. Action, courtroom drama, intrigue – plus an ending with one of the best kickers ever.

Further viewing:

  • Little Caesar (1930)
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
  • Miller’s Crossing (1990)

In the era of Prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment brought about a ban on the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States. This controversial decision led to a rise in organized crime and gang violence, as illegal alcohol production and distribution became lucrative businesses.

The Untouchables provides a thrilling depiction of the battle between law enforcement and notorious gangsters during this tumultuous period. With its stellar cast and gripping storyline, the film exposes the brutal realities of the Prohibition era and the lengths that both sides were willing to go to maintain power.


In conclusion, movies about the Constitution provide an entertaining and informative way to explore the ideas and principles that form the foundation of our nation. These films cover a wide range of topics, from the freedom of the press and the right to bear arms to privacy rights and the fight for civil rights. By watching these movies, viewers can gain a deeper understanding of our constitutional rights and the impact they have on individuals and society.

Whether you’re a fan of historical dramas or prefer thought-provoking documentaries, there’s a movie on this list for everyone. From Spielberg’s thrilling portrayal of the Pentagon Papers in “The Post” to Clint Eastwood’s powerful story of friendship and protection in “Gran Torino,” each film offers a unique perspective on the Constitution and its relevance in our lives.

So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy these must-watch Constitution movies. As you immerse yourself in these cinematic experiences, you’ll not only be entertained but also gain a deeper appreciation for the rights and freedoms that are the bedrock of our great nation.


What are some examples of movies about the Constitution?

Some examples of movies about the Constitution include “The Post”, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”, “The Patriot”, and “Enemy of the State”.

Do these movies cover all aspects of the Constitution?

While these movies touch on various aspects of the Constitution, they primarily focus on specific amendments or constitutional rights. For a broader exploration of the Constitution, additional films are recommended.

Are these movies historically accurate?

While some movies strive for historical accuracy, others take artistic liberties for storytelling purposes. It is always helpful to do further research to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the events and context portrayed in these films.

Can these movies be used as educational tools?

Yes, movies about the Constitution can serve as educational tools to spark discussions about constitutional rights, historical events, and the impact of the Constitution on society. They can be used in classrooms, study groups, or individual learning.

Are there any documentaries about the Constitution?

Yes, there are documentaries focused specifically on the Constitution, such as “13th” and “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America”. These films provide in-depth analysis and insights into the Constitution and its impact on American society.

Which movies highlight the First Amendment?

“The Post” and “Citizen Kane” are examples of movies that specifically address freedom of the press, while “Selma” explores the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful protest.

Are there any movies that discuss gun rights?

“Gran Torino” touches on issues related to the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Other films like “Tank” and “Dirty Harry” also depict gun-related themes and perspectives.

Do these movies cover the right to privacy?

Yes, films like “Minority Report” delve into the concept of privacy rights, particularly the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Movies like “The Conversation” and “The Truman Show” also explore related themes.

Are there any movies that focus on civil rights?

“The Thirteenth Amendment” is a documentary that specifically examines issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration. Films like “On The Basis of Sex” and “All The Way” also highlight the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, respectively, and their impact on civil rights in America.

Which movies discuss the dangers of government overreach?

“Enemy of the State” and “The Free State of Jones” both address the potential threat of government overreach and the importance of protecting individual rights. These films raise important questions about the balance between government power and personal liberties.

Can these movies be enjoyed by people of all ages?

While some movies may contain mature themes and content, there are movies suitable for different age groups. It is important to check individual film ratings and content warnings to determine appropriateness for specific audiences.

Are these movies only relevant to Americans?

While these movies primarily focus on the U.S. Constitution and its impact on American society, many of the themes explored in these films, such as individual rights, justice, and the balance of power, are universal and can resonate with viewers from various countries.

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