You know what they say, ‘money makes the world go round’ – and it sure is entertaining to watch on the big screen. Especially when a little drama is involved. So whether you’re into stockbroking antics, doccos about capitalism or classic heist movies, we’ve narrowed down some of our favourites that have stood the test of time.
We reckon Margot would agree with our picks too.
Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks SKG
Catch Me If You Can: Leo is about to make a few appearances on this list, but this film in particular does a great job of demonstrating the power of a con-artist. It’s based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who managed to make millions from counterfeit checks and other forgeries, whilst pretending to be a pilot, doctor and lawyer.
Jerry Macguire: Tom Cruise plays a slick sports agent who’s life is suddenly overturned after he gets fired for speaking his mind in a company-wide memo. Desperate to keep the athletes that he represents, Jerry starts his own management firm with single mother Dorothy Boyd (played by Renee Zellweger). Plus, witnessing the iconic moment where Tom Cruise yells “Show me the money!” makes it worth the watch.
20th Century Fox
Wall Street: This is a classic movie that captures the abundance, wealth and powerful spirit of the ‘80s. Best known for Michael Douglas' portrait of the unscrupulous financial shark Gordon Gekko who, despite his dubious methods, became a hero to many real stockbrokers on Wall Street. This is an eye-opening look at the reality of working in a cutthroat industry.
Edward R. Pressman Film Corp., Dune
Wall Street Money Never Sleeps: In the sequel to Wall Street, Gordon Gekko continues with the same market manipulation that got him in trouble in the first film, but this time he has a new apprentice in Shia LaBeouf's character. Although Shia's character comes to view Gordon as a father figure, he learns the hard way that he is still a master manipulator who will stop at nothing to reach his goals. This movie is ultimately about greed and what lengths some people will go to satiate theirs.
Arbitrage: This 2012 film stars Richard Gere and tells the story of a hedge fund manager who seems to live a good and simple life – but behind the scenes, he’s hiding a big secret while trying to sell his company before it leaks. This is a gripping watch and let's be real, you can't go wrong with a classic Gere performance.
Many Rivers, Boy of the Year
Limitless: A hyper-focused Bradley Cooper stars in this science fiction film that explores the limits of the human psyche. Cooper's character Eddie takes a pill from the black market and suddenly gains access to his entire brain capacity which he uses to write a book and become a Wall Street genius.
Plan B Entertainment
The Big Short: Oh, the infamous GFC. This movie does a great job illustrating how the global financial crisis in 2007-2008 happened and is based on author Michael Lewis’s best-selling book of the same name. The all-star cast includes Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Christian Bale.
Battle Mountain Films
The Company Men: This movie follows the lives of three men (Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones) who are in the prime of their careers working at a corporate manufacturing company, then suddenly find themselves laid off during an economic downturn. Now unemployed, the three struggle to survive and must refine themselves in a competitive and hostile job market.
The Godfather: Dubbed as one of the greatest movies of all time, this classic based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel is all about a Mafia dynasty’s rise to power in New York, starring Marlon Brando. It focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and depicts the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal.
Appian Way, Emjag, Sikelia
The Wolf of Wall Street: You knew this one was coming. This movie documents the life of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a real life stockbroker who quickly rises up through the ranks of Wall Street while engaging in a high level of extravagance and debauchery. This film earned four Oscar nominations and has some iconic performances.
Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room: This documentary is all about the rise and fall of the company Enron. It delves into the corrupt and faulty business practices leading to its ultimate demise.
Dog Eat Dog Films
Capitalism a Love Story: Michael Moore directed this documentary-style film which presents us with some confronting realities of Capitalism around corporate greed that are deeply embedded into the Western world. It delves into the price America pays for its love of capitalism.
Sony Pictures Classics
Inside Job: Split into five parts, this clever documentary breaks down the factors leading to the 2008 financial crisis. Inside job also considers some of the long-term implications of capitalism.
Jigsaw Educational Productions Inc., Loki Films
Freakonomics: A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics.
Did we miss anything? Tweet us @wisraustralia if you have any movies to add.