According to the memorable musical number from “Cabaret,” “money makes the world go round,” and it is simple to understand why since money controls so many aspects of our life. Money is a universal drive for individuals to work so they can survive, regardless of whether we have too much of it or, more commonly, not enough.
The financial industry, in all of its guises, makes for excellent film. The numerous finance movies that Hollywood has produced throughout the years contain all of these elements: tragedy, humour, cleverness, catastrophe, and redemption. Even though most films show financial professionals in a less than favourable light, the amazing tales of excess, reckless behaviour, and, of course, greed all make for gripping viewing and should be essential viewing for anybody considering or currently employed in the industry.
Here are 10 must watch movies about money!
10. The Big Short (2015)
The financial crisis of 2007–2008 was a significant topic that is still on many people’s thoughts today. The Big Short is a must-watch even though its consequences are something no one wants to think about. Some of the highest-earning performers of the modern era appeared in the movie, including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt. Although it is a drama, it is an excellent one.
The movie, which is not to be missed, is based on the best-selling book of the same name, which tells the story of how hedge fund manager Michael Burry successfully predicts the collapse of the US housing market and profits handsomely from it.
9. Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call offers a closer look at the greed and dishonest behaviour of many Wall Street corporations, which ultimately contributed to the downfall of the US economy, and shows a typical day at a Wall Street investment bank during the early stages of the 2007–2008 financial crisis.
In the years that followed, numerous additional investment companies similar to the one shown in the film were uncovered. These corporations ignored evident risks and proceeded to sell their worthless assets with a greedy attitude.
8. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
The film chronicles how Enron, one of the largest US firms at the time of the events, came to experience the largest bankruptcy in US history. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room describes the dishonesty and poor business practises that Enron employed, leaving its investors and employees with nothing but empty pockets. The movie received an Oscar nomination.
7. Trading Places (1983)
Also on our list of movies about money is this updated version of “The Prince and the Pauper,” Eddie Murphy plays a cunning con guy who accidentally unsuspectingly succeeds Dan Aykroyd’s character, a wealthy businessman, as manager of a commodities trading firm.
The final 15 minutes of the film contain a pretty accurate portrayal of a frantic trading session in the orange juice futures pits, despite the fact that actual trading takes a background to the people adjusting to their new circumstances. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that this sequence alone is worth the ticket price, but the supporting cast, the nostalgia for the 1980s, and the excellent acting from the stars make this a must-see.
Read: Top 10 Producers in the Producers Guild of America
6. Boiler Room (2000)
Boiler Room is situated on the absolute bottom rung of the financial ladder: the pump and dump scheme, in contrast to “Barbarians at the Gate,” which takes place in the gloss and splendour of a corporate boardroom. Although “Boiler Room” is a work of fiction, pump-and-dump companies and the anguish that their victims endure are both quite real.
The movie “Boiler Room” serves as a cautionary tale for people just beginning their stock market investing careers. It advises them to remain with transparent, reliable businesses with strong fundamentals and to always abide by the maxim “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
5. Arbitrage (2012)
In Arbitrage, a hedge fund manager’s life is depicted, and it seems like he has a happy and simple life. However, the reality is concealed behind the scenes, and he tries to sell his business before that is discovered. His life starts to fall apart as his intelligent daughter begins to question things and after a disastrous car accident.
4. Limitless (2011)
Limitless is the next film on our list of must-watch financial movies.
The science fiction thriller Limitless is based on Alan Glynn’s book The Dark Fields. Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, and Anna Friel are among the cast members. It centres on the lives of a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) who receives NZT-48, a novel medicine that allows him access to all of his brain’s potential.
We observe as the medicine enhances his attention span, drive, and aspirations, finally enabling him to achieve great success in the stock market.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
You are missing out on some of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill’s best performances if you haven’t seen this Scorsese-directed movie tracing the rise and fall of a well-known stock scammer, Jordan Belfort. Five Oscar nominations were made for it.
In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays the part of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who connives to defraud investors out of millions of dollars.
The movie is based on a genuine narrative that revolves around the infamous Stratton Oakmont, an over-the-counter brokerage firm, and a pump-and-dump scam that assisted in the IPO of numerous significant public companies in the late 1980s and early 1990s (but again with a lot of dramatic licence). It provides some startling but also illuminating insights into the iconic Wall Street greed.
2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a follow-up to the first film on our list, and it tells the tale of Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, who is released from prison and decides to carry on with the same duplicitous plans and companies that got him into problems in the previous film. While his daughter tries to avoid him, he develops a close relationship with Jake, her fiancé, a young investment banker.
1. Wall Street (1987)
Surprisingly, the Oliver Stone classic that inspired countless college grads to rush to their Series 7 tests and utter the legendary phrase “Blue Horseshoe likes Anacott Steel” is the top finance film that every professional must watch. Nearly 30 years after it was first produced, “Wall Street” still has enormous power as a recruiting tool for traders, brokers, analysts, and bankers. It was originally designed to depict the excess and hedonism associated with banking.
Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be Bud Fox or even Gordon Gekko (legitimately, of course) and indulge a little in our greedy side? After all, as Gekko would say, “Greed is good,” despite the fact that the movie serves to warn us about the risks of insider trading.
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