Money plays a vital role in every person’s life. Whether you are rich or poor, ignoring money matters is impossible.
And since art imitates life, it is unsurprising to see many great movies with money and the financial world as their central theme. Ready to watch these best movies on Netflix this weekend?
1 – Wall Street (1987)
(Directed and co-written by Oliver Stone; Starring Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Daryl Hannah, and Martin Sheen)
Wall Street is the story of Bud Fox, an entry-level trader, who gets involved with powerful Wall Street star Gordon Gekko, who mentors him. Though the film aims to warn us about the dangers of insider trading, it has proven to inspire people to work on Wall Street. It is one of the best films made on stock trading and has also been nominated for several Oscars.
2 – The Big Short (2015)
(Directed and Written by Adam McKay; Starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt)
The Big Short movie is based on Michael Lewis’s book – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. It follows the lives of a few traders that became aware of the housing bubble that triggered the subprime crisis of 2006-2007. Filmmakers did a great job at this, as the movie is known for its unconventional techniques to explain financial instruments like mortgage-backed bonds and synthetic CDOs.
This is the best picture to watch to understand what went wrong!
3 – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
(Directed by Martin Scorsese; Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill)
This movie about money is based on the life of the famous stock broker and scammer Jordan Belfort. It features his rise as a wealthy stockbroker and how his firm, Stratton Oakmont, engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street, eventually leading to his fall. The movie set a Guinness World Record for the most instances of swearing in a movie. It is one of my favorite movies of all time.
4 – Boiler Room (2000)
(Directed and Written by Ben Younger; Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Ben Affleck, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Tom Everett Scott, Ron Rifkin, and Jamie Kennedy)
It is one of the most interesting films to watch this weekend.
Boiler Room is based on a pump-and-dump scheme followed by some financial firms. The movie tells the story of a 19-year-old who gets a job as a broker with a NY firm that sells dubious stock with high-pressure telephone tactics. It serves as a warning for beginners who invests in the stock market to stick to reliable companies and invest based on sound fundamentals.
5 – Margin Call (2011)
(Directed by JC Chandor; Starring Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany)
This story takes place over 24 hours in an investment bank on Wall Street during the initial stage of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The film focuses on the action taken by the employees of this bank, which is on the brink of disaster.
6 – Brewster’s Millions (1985)
(Directed by Walter Hill; Starring Richard Pryor and John Candy)
This comedy classic is about Monty Brewster, a minor league pitcher, who must spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit the 300 million fortune left to him by his great uncle. He can, however, not own any assets, destroy the money, gift it, give it to charity, or tell anyone about this deal.
7 – Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
(Directed by PJ Hogan; Starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Darcy)
If you love shopping and are bad at managing money, this is an excellent film to watch.
Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopping addict who works as a journalist in a gardening magazine. Her life changes completely after getting a job as an advice columnist in a financial magazine. Her column becomes an overnight success, but her secret shopping addiction threatens to ruin her career and love life.
8 – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
(Directed by Stanley Kramer; Starring Spencer Tracey, Edie Adams, and Milton Berle)
This classic comedy from the 60s is about a mad pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a crazy group of people and how they race against each other.
9 – Easy Money (1983)
(Directed by James Signorelli; Starring Rodney Dangerfield, Joe Pesci, and Geraldine Fitzgerald)
This story is about Montgomery Capuletti, a heavy drinker, pot-smoker, and gambling family man who makes his living as a baby photographer.
When his snobbish mother-in-law dies, she leaves a stipulation in her final will that if Monty can curb his vices for a year by giving up drugs, gambling, and going on a diet, he will receive $10 million. His ability to resist temptations makes this comedy movie about money a must-watch.
10 – Trading Places (1983)
(Directed by John Landis; Starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy)
This comedy classic tells the story of a commodities broker and a poor street hustler who is unknowingly made the subject of an elaborate bet to test how each of them will perform if their life circumstances are swapped. Murphy and Aykroyd’s antics in the film make it a fabulous comic movie about money.
11 – The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
(Directed by Gabrielle Muccino; Starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith)
This moving true story is based on the life of Chris Garner, a single father and New York Salesman, and his young son. Evicted from their home, the pair live in shelters while Chris lands a job in a brokerage firm. Despite all the hardships and struggles, Chris becomes a Wall Street legend.
In our opinion, this is one of the best movies ever made.
12 – The Laundromat (2019)
(Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas)
This true story is about a widow who gets swindled out of insurance money. As she investigates the problem, her search leads her to two sly lawyers in Panama who hide cash for the super-rich. It’s a real-life expose of the Panama Papers leak. While the story is fictionalized, the names of the law firm linked to the scandal and its two founders were not.
13 – Broke (2012)
(Directed by Billy Corben)
This movie is a documentary on the lives of pro athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB. According to Sports Illustrated, 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of retirement.
This number is higher for NFL players, as 78% are broke within three years. Medical problems, bad investments, and economic realities after years of living high life cause them to go broke.
14 – Playing with FIRE: The Documentary (2019)
(Directed by Travis Shakespeare)
Playing with FIRE is a documentary that discusses the truths and the myths of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early).
This documentary follows the life of a couple trying to achieve financial independence so that they can retire early. It deals with the psychological and emotional ramifications of switching from a high-cost-of-living lifestyle to a low-cost-of-living one.
With a 6.8 rating on IMDb, this is one of the best documentaries to understand FIRE.
15 – Maxed Out (2006)
(Directed and written by James D. Scurlock)
This documentary shows how credit card companies make money and how credit card debt impacts the lives of ordinary people.
They want to convey that nothing is free, and you must ensure you can eventually pay for what you buy using your credit card. Maxed Out shows how the financial industry works and explains why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.
16 – Joy (2015)
(Directed by David O Russel; Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro)
Joy is a real-life story of Joy Mangano, a millionaire who created a business empire by inventing household products like the wonder mop. She also holds over 100 patents. This movie portrays her rise from a humble single mother to a matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
17 – Fargo (1996)
(Written and Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen; Starring Frances McDormand and William H. Macy)
This black comedy is the story of Marge Gunderson, who is investigating a triple homicide after a desperate car salesman hires two criminals to kidnap his wife to extort a ransom from her wealthy father. It’s a story that tells how greed can turn deadly.
With a rating of 8.1 on IMDb, this is one of the best films for complete entertainment.
18 – Moneyball (2011)
(Directed by Bennett Miller; Starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill)
This movie is the real-life story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. When Beane and assistant general manager Peter Brand face a limited budget for players, they build a team by using a computer-generated analysis to acquire new undervalued players.
19 – Hell or High Water (2016)
(Directed by David Mackenzie; Starring Jeff Bridges, Chriss Pine, and Ben Foster)
This neo-Western crime drama follows the lives of two brothers, Toby and Tanner, who plan to carry out a series of bank heists to save their ranch. Though these robberies are planned well, Tanner’s wild nature leads him to take unnecessary risks, which frustrates Toby.
20 – How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
(Directed by Jean Negulesco; Starring Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall)
This classic movie is about three fashionable Manhattan models who set out to find millionaires to marry. However, they discover it takes work to differentiate wealthy men from fraudsters. In the end, they do find true love.
Ready To Watch A Movie?
These are some of the best movies to watch and learn about different money stories. Watching these movies about money will entertain you and give you some critical insights into how the financial world works.
You can also learn about financial matters and how to invest your money better.
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