Stock Market Movies: 10 Movies From the World of Finance

Would you like to step into the complex world full of incomprehensible variables with stock market movies? How about those dark backroom deals made by old men in stylish suits?

Stock market movies have everything, if you’re looking for something that will keep you on the edge of your seat, envy you for a crazier life, or even teach you a thing or two about the cumbersome and complex equations that form the backbone of life, welcome to the world of finance. Top 10 stock market movies with you!


10) Too Big to Fail (2011) | IMDb: 7.3

Director: Curtis Hanson

Cast: William, Ed Asner, Billy Crudup

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

American workers were not the only ones who suffered financially in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash. US companies, both small and large, have suffered financial loss that threatens global economic stability. Lehman Brothers were on the verge of collapse, and its CEO, Richard S. Fuld Jr., blamed the falling share price on short-sellers, ignoring his bank’s weaknesses. Treasury Secretary Henry Hank Paulson refused to use public money to bail out Lehman, so in September 2008, Lehman filed for bankruptcy. She looks at why the government was seeking financial aid funds to prevent economic collapse, shedding light on how the US economy works.


9) Wall Street (1987) | IMDb: 7.4

Director: Oliver Stone

Cast: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Popularizing the phrase “greed is good,” this 1987 film is unquestionably a classic among stock market movies. In 1980s Wall Street, Bud Fox (Charlie) is an ambitious stockbroker and does his best to rise to the top. Fascinated by the ruthless Gordon Gekko (Douglas) power, Fox persuades Gekko to mentor him by engaging in insider trading. But as you’ll see at the film’s climax, unbridled greed begins to affect the people Fox values most. As Fox becomes embroiled in greed and underhand schemes, his decisions eventually risk the life of his honest father (Martin). Faced with this dilemma, Fox questions his loyalty.


8) Trading Places (1983) | IMDb:7.5

Director: John Landis

Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Duke & Duke Commodity Brokers, a Philadelphia-based commodity brokerage firm, is a financial firm named after its owners, Duke Brothers, who are kings of the stock market. The film is both entertaining and enlightening on some of the fundamental issues that are so common in financial markets. Senior executive Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) and swindler Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) are betrayed by successful brokers Mortimer (Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Bellamy). Winthorpe, an employee of Duke, is ambushed by the brothers for a crime he didn’t commit. His brothers replace him with the clever Valentine. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the plan, they set out to turn the situation on Duke.


7) American Psycho (2000) | IMDb: 7.6

Director: Mary Harron

Cast: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

You know the stereotype: every banker and financier is a greedy psychopath who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. Although it has a cliche theme among stock market movies, these stereotypes are accurate. This movie has it all, which sometimes means it’s just too much: brutal murder, a greedy psychopath, sex, unrequited love, torture, and lots of suspense. In 1987 New York City, handsome young professional Patrick Bateman (Ballet) lives a second life as a terrifying serial killer at night. The detective (Dafoe) is forced into a change by his fiancee (Reese Witherspoon), mistress (Samantha Mathis), co-worker (Leto) and secretary (Chloë Sevigny). A sarcastic comedy that examines the friendships that make a man a monster.


6) Moneyball (2011) | IMDb: 7.6

Director: Bennett Miller

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Billy Beane (Pitt), general manager of Oakland A, has a realization one day: The conventional wisdom of baseball is completely wrong. Faced with a tight budget, Beane must rebuild his team, defeating the wealthier ball clubs. Joining forces with Ivy League graduate Peter Brand (Hill), Beane prepares to challenge old traditions. Using a unique recruiting strategy, the manager builds a competitive team despite their tight budget. Based on the book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis, the movie tackles the financial challenges faced by the Oakland Athletics baseball team.


5) Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) | IMDb: 7.7

Director: James Foley

Cast: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

The atmosphere begins to heat up when an office full of New York City real estate dealers is informed that all but the first two will be fired by the weekend. Shelley Levene (Lemmon), who has a sick daughter, does everything she can to get better tips from her boss, John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), but to no avail. Things get complicated for tough-talking salespeople when coworker Dave Moss (Ed Harris) hatches a plan to steal leads. While the entire cast is top-notch, Alec Baldwin’s “motivational speech” will be the first scene you’ll remember after the movie. It brings to light the absolute best and worst aspects of working under tremendous pressure.


4) The Big Short (2015) | IMDb: 7.8

Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a series of subprime mortgages are in danger of defaulting. Burry is betting against the housing market, throwing more than $1 billion of his investors’ money into credit default swaps. His moves draw the attention of banker Jared Vennett (Gosling), hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum (S.Carell), and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men are making a fortune, taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America. The most important financial lesson to be learned from this movie is how the greed of a corrupt group of financial professionals can ruin the lives of millions of Americans across the country.


3) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) | IMDb: 8.2

 

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

The film showcases greed, drugs, and a lavish lifestyle in the most extreme and ludicrous ways. It’s a fun movie that can make you yearn for such a lifestyle, if only for a moment. The movie takes you on a crazy journey through the true story of Jordan Belfort, who rose from selling penny stocks to the big boy’s high-end financial club. In 1987 Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. In the early 1990s, while still in his 20s, Belfort founded his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. With his trusty lieutenant (Hill) and a jolly group of brokers, Belfort makes a fortune by defrauding millions of wealthy investors.


2) Inside Job (2010) | IMDb: 8.2

Director: Charles Ferguson

Cast: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snaer Manason

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

The global financial crash that occurred in the fall of 2008 caused the loss of millions of jobs and homes and plunged the United States into a deep economic recession. Matt Damon narrates a documentary that provides a detailed examination of the factors that led to the collapse and identifies key financial-political actors. Director Charles Ferguson recounts various interviews and takes the story from the United States to China, Iceland, and many other global financial trouble spots.


1) Generation: Freedom (2019) | IMDb: 8.9

Director: Christopher Sakr

Cast: Stephen Chou, Brian Clark, Brennan Agranoff

The number one movie on our list of stock market movies, Generation: Freedom, will make you question your perspective on life and your plans for the future. If you feel like you’re wasting your life on long trips and pointless meetings instead of spending time with people you care about or seeing the world, this movie will help you discover a new way of living and working. The film chronicles the true stories of how diverse people of all ages and backgrounds build income streams around their ideal lifestyles rather than forcing their lives to fit their work. After watching, you can learn how to build your own dream life.

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