Top 12 Must-Watch Movies on Finance, Stock market and Wall Street
The world of finance is quite complex. For a common individual, it’s a bit tough to understand the relation of stock exchanges, brokerages, securities, underwriting firms, large banks and big businesses. If you are an insider of the industry, then you can easily know about the basic functioning of the industry. But for an outsider, it’s totally a no man’s land. Decisions taken on these financial streets, whether its Wall Street or Dalal Street impact every person on the main street. Apart from contributing to the national economy, they are also responsible for some of the biggest market crashes.
In order to better understand this industry, books are one of the best medium to know about its functioning and how decisions taken in those close board rooms impact common individuals. But if you want to avoid the financial jargons, then films and documentaries offer a better way to know the inside of the industry. Over the course of time, Hollywood has produced some great movies on this topic, which are full of tragedy, comedy, ingenuity, catastrophe and thriller. Let’s look at some of the best finance movies:
- Wallstreet (1987)
It’s a story about a young and ambitious stockbroker who becomes involved with a wealthy corporate raider. This academy award winning movie provides a better view of conflict between greed and ethics in the financial world. This is a classic story about a cunning, ambitious and morally vacant stock broker, who will do anything to reach at the top. The Wall street movie is a must watch for every trader in the stock market.
- Boiler Room (2000) – Fiction
This movie is a drama film which is based on the interviews the writer conducted with numerous brokers over a two-year period. The film narrator tells his story about how he learns in short time to separate the losers from their money with telephonic fantasies about hot stocks and IPO. He observes that everyone wants to get rich quickly and the dream of selling wealth through calls is quite easy. This film is a must watch for those who want to experience how intoxicating the promise of huge wealth is and how it can corrupt anyone.
- Rogue Trader (1999)
The film is based on the derivatives market. It depicts a true story about a young Singapore based derivatives trader, Nick Lesson who single handed brought down Barings Bank through high risk trading and deception. It provides a great insight about the future and derivatives market.
- The Big Short (2015)
This film is based on a true story and follow three groups of people who predict the collapse of the US Credit and Housing bubble before the 2008 financial crisis. It’s also describes sophisticated financial instruments such as Synthetic CDOs and mortgage backed bonds in a clever way. It’s a great movie, which perfectly depicts the failure of investment banks and institutions who themselves don’t understand the product they built.
- The Wolf of Wall Street
The film is based upon an original adaptation of the book with the same name. Based on a true story and life of Jordan Belfort, the film depicts the rise and fall of a charismatic and unscrupulous stockbroker who ends up in prison for securities fraud. The picture received both critical acclaims as well as scrutiny.
- Margin Call (2011)
Margin call is one of the best movies based upon what led to the 2008 financial crisis. The story depicts what happen before the 36-hour period at a large Wall Street investment bank and highlights the initial stage of the financial crisis of 2007-08. Throughout the entire movie, it will force you to keep yourself on the edge of the seat.
- Trading Places (1983)
Trading places is a comedy drama based on the most commonly misunderstood topic i.e. short selling. The film depicts a story about a young homeless man who enters the world of finance through circumstances outside of his understanding. It’s a totally entertaining movie and must watch if you want to have a great laugh.
- Glengarry Glen Ross:
It is one of a classic movie based on the adaptation of a David Mamet play. The movie depicts the life of a real estate salesman whose morals have been utterly eroded after working for an unscrupulous company. It showcases the greed and underhanded tactics used for making sales. Alec Baldwin’s motivational speech is the focus point of the whole movie. It is one of the best sales movies of all time.
- Inside Job (Documentary)
It is an academy award winning documentary and one of the best documentaries on the 2008 financial crisis causes and its impact on the world. The documentary contains throughout investigation of the crisis and its origins in the early 2000’s. It is well researched and leaves the viewer stunned by the level of greed and corruption in the financial system.
- Barbarians at the Gate (1993) – True Story
It is one of the finest documentaries to watch. It has won two golden globe and more than 16 nominations. It’s a true story which focuses on the leveraged buyout model of R.J.R. Nabisco. It depicts a bitter battle between the corporate individuals to take over this conglomerate. They want to make a killing by purchasing the undervalued company from shareholders, however the wall street investment professionals he hires start to become his competition in the buyout.
- Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps (2011)
It is the second in series of the first movie. It deals with the Geeko’s life post 2008 financial crisis. He is out of the prison and looks to be on the right path with his new book “Warning of ruin “. Geeko speech is the highlight of the movie, which sum ups the current economic and financial condition of today’s generation.
- The Ascent of Money (2008)
If you want to know about the history of money, then this documentary is a must watch for you. Niall Ferguson, a world-renowned historian tracks how money comes into the system and how it transformed the world.
These movies are a must watch for those who are interested in the financial world and want to build a career in that domain. These films will provide you a glimpse about how the industry functions and how day to day life is there, because sometimes “Truth is stranger than Fiction‘’. The simplest way to watch these movies on DVD or satellite channels. But apart from that, you can also watch these stock market movies on Netflix.