The top 10 movie presidents of all time

With 'White House Down' in theaters we look at the best of POTUS on screen

Are you a fan of In Contention?

Sign up to get the latest updates instantly.

This weekend Roland Emmerich's "White House Down" hits theaters. While it's a minor romp that will either delight you or cause you to roll your eyes out of your head, it reminds of that old staple of the cinema: the movie president.

One almost imagines playing a movie president is a right of passage for actors. Sometimes it's a silly walk-on, like Tim Robbins in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" or Tommy "Tiny" Lister in "The Fifth Element." Other times it's a well-crafted performance that speaks as profile, like Josh Brolin in "W." or Phillip Baker Hall in "Secret Honor." Still others, it can be a wonderful caricature, like Donald Moffat gave us in "The Right Stuff," or a stalwart fictional Commander-in-Chief facing blockbuster crisis, like Morgan Freeman in "Deep Impact" or Danny Glover in "2012."

Jamie Foxx gets his turn in "White House Down," and so I decided to use the occasion to poll a few HitFix peeps and narrow down a list of the very best movie presidents to ever rule on the big screen. Not everyone could make the cut, however. Movie POTUSES (POTUSI?) that just missed include Bill Pullman's Thomas J. Whitmore from "Independence Day" (I know!), John Travolta's office-seeking Governor Jack Stanton from "Primary Colors" and the zany antics of Terry Crews and Jack Nicholson in "Idiocracy" and "Mars Attacks!" respectively.

So who DID make it? Click through the gallery below to find out, and tell us YOUR favorite movie president in the comments section below. Also, vote in our poll to let us know which of our picks you would have put at #1.

HitFix Poll

Which of our top 10 movie presidents is #1 in your book?

Oscar-statues-outside-the-82nd-academy-awards-at-the-kodak-theater-in-hollywood-ca._article_story_main_primary

Everything: Academy Awards

Latest news, photos, reviews, interviews, videos and more.

Kristopher-tapley-sm
Kristopher Tapley
Editor-at-Large
Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.
2013-2014 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
UPDATED: MARCH 2, 2014