movies about stock market

Top 20 movies about finance and the stock market

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

Who doesn’t want to improve their relationship with money, right? From learning simple finance concepts, knowing how to build your stock portfolio in the best way, even structuring good personal financial planning. In addition, watching these movies about finance and the stock market shows lets us learn good financial habits that can make all the difference in our daily lives.

Make your choice and find out how you can apply each learning experience in your life, while having fun! Prepare the popcorn now!

movies about financial markets

Before we go to our list, check out the insights and learnings you can get after watching these productions:

Leave the comfort zone and take a risk, always knowing the possible consequences;
A knowledge base is essential. Do not expect results betting on luck;
When it comes to money, not everything can be 100% controlled, but risk can be managed;
Easy, fast and steady gains do not exist. Dedicate yourself to a good performance.

Rogue Trader (1999)

The 1999 film features Ewan McGregor as an employee at Barings Bank. He starts out as a clerk, but has ambition and wants to move up in his career. Until he became a stockbroker for the company in Singapore.

He needed to set up futures and options operations. His first year is exceptional, with great gains, if not for one detail: he acted illegally in several situations and hid losses suffered in a company account.

For this reason, a “snowball” of losses begins that brings catastrophic consequences. The film shows how important it is to follow rules, be transparent and follow everything closely.

Wall Street (1987)

The 1987 production features Michael Douglas (Gordon Gekko) and Charlie Sheen (Bud Fox) as protagonists and shows the backstage of the New York Stock Exchange, a universe that can be surrounded by greed, power and coldness.

Fox has Gekko as a great idol. However, he realizes that many companies just want to profit, even if it brings losses to investors.

As the film shows, you need to be careful in the business world and not get carried away by attitudes and moments that will be harmful in the future.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

One of the most recent works on the financial market, the 2013 film features Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a securities broker who really existed.

The plot explains how Belfort used loopholes in the system to enrich and turn his own company into an industry giant. However, the involvement with illegal schemes, fraud and the routine of parties and expenses made the fate of the executive not the best.

Learn what you should do – and what you shouldn’t – to be successful in the financial market with the film.

The pursuit of Happiness (2006)

The 2007 production tells the real story of Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith. He is a family man who finds himself in a terrible situation: separated, penniless, with a small son and no source of income.

After failing as a salesman, he gets an unpaid internship at a stockbroker. And, in parallel to the financial problems, he maintains the hope that he will be able to become effective in the company and, with that, have a successful future.

Because it is inspired by real events, the plot is directly related to what is experienced by many highly trained professionals, or with great potential, who find it difficult to stand out in the market.

A class of persistence and how to be smart within the commercial universe, even with several obstacles.

The Big Short (2015)

Winner of the 2016 Oscar for best adapted screenplay, the film features Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling as financial agents who, in different ways, anticipate the 2008 crisis.

Everyone is betting that the “real estate bubble” will burst at any moment, and thus, they begin a real saga to understand how this will happen and how they can make money on top of that.

One of the great strengths of the production is to explain the “economês” in a fun and very didactic way. Therefore, it is one of those essential films for those who love the subject.

Inside Job (2010)

This is actually a documentary that won the Oscar in 2011. Directed by Charls Fergunson and narrated by Matt Damon, “Inside Job” exposes and analyzes the facts that led to the great economic crisis of 2008.

The work is based on extensive research and includes interviews with journalists, economists and politicians, all renowned names in their respective areas.

The production still shows how the combination of deregulation, neglect and greed led the market to collapse. Divided into five parts, it starts on the world economic scenario at the beginning of the 21st century. Throughout the documentary, we can see the consequences of the bursting of the housing bubble and those responsible for the scenario.

Although the excess of information and details make it a better choice for those already started in the financial market, “Inside Job” is an economics class that cannot be ignored.

Too big to Fail (2011)

This film is based on the eponymous book by journalist Andrew Sorkin, with the same name, and is the dramatization of the 2008 crisis through the eyes of Henry Paulson, United States Treasury Secretary at the time.

The plot focuses on the search for Paulson and his team, along with big names on Wall Street, to save the American economy amid the most unstable moments of that period.

The film’s name comes from a thesis that gained strength amid the economic turmoil of the end of the past decade. This expression conveys the idea that the ruin of some companies, like gigantic financial institutions, can have devastating consequences for the whole society.

Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street (2010)

This is another documentary, now directed by Marije Meerman that portrays the activities of quantative analysts (quants). These professionals are specialized in establishing advanced mathematical and statistical models to define values ​​and risks in some sectors of the financial market, such as hedge funds.

Based on academic research, the film questions the performance of the quants and whether the analyzes developed by them are, in fact, based on reliable data. In addition, to what extent can financial strategies be developed based on mathematical models that do not take into account different profiles, personalities and realities? This is the key question that the work tries to answer. Indispensable for anyone who relates to variable income.

Money Monster (2016)

This film tells the story of Lee Gates, a different TV presenter who gives investment tips on his television program. Played by actor George Clooney, Gates is kidnapped while he is live. The kidnapper is a man indignant at having lost his money by following the directions of the presenter.

Behind this loss is a worldwide corruption scheme that shows how the global financial market is interconnected. Amid the tension of the kidnapping, we can have a good laugh with the jokes, and we see criticism of the capitalist system. A good film mainly to link the financial market theme to entertainment.

The Wizard of Lies (2017)

This film is inspired by the real story of Bernard Madoff, also known as Bernie Madoff, one of Wall Street’s biggest investors. Condemned for one of the longest fraud ever discovered, he was responsible for a sophisticated operation, known as the Ponzi Scheme, considered the greatest financial fraud in the history of the United States.

With this film, you can understand how the financial pyramid scheme works, which always promises high yields, but in most cases, it is just a scam.

It is interesting to see how he managed to maintain the scheme for so many years, to deceive so many people with his lies, including American regulators. And how a journalist discovered the fraud, leading him to 150 years in prison and a maximum security chain.

Renowned actor Robert De Niro plays Madoff in the lead role. The film also features performances by Michelle Pfeiffer as Madoff’s wife, Ruth. It is very worth watching.

Enron: The smartest guys in the room (2005)

In the form of a documentary on the financial market, it shows Enron, an American company in the energy sector, which in mid-2001 went bankrupt. It became the 7th largest company in the United States, until its executives ran away with all the company’s capital. This tax fraud has detonated shareholders’ investments because the shares have completely lost value.

The work tells, in chronological order, all the details about this meteoric fall of the company, which broke owing more than 13 billion dollars.

Watching these accounting frauds, you learn in a didactic way the risks of bets that are superficially attractive. Likewise, the documentary presents some terms and movements that anyone who wants to invest in the stock exchange – and rather build a good emergency reserve – needs to know.

Margin Call (2011)

How many films have we talked about her about the 2008 crisis? Several, isn’t it? But it was one of the main global crises, taking the world economy by storm. Margin Call is another one of those films that portrays this moment.

Imagine that a company is laying off all employees due to the crisis. One of them, when leaving the company, delivers a thumb drive with his project to one of the employees who will remain in the company. When he looks at the thumb drive, he realizes that the company will break if that project goes into action. And that is exactly what happens. As soon as the project is applied, the company’s shares fall 25%.

In just one day they have to deal with all the company’s capital. How to make? Sell ​​everything, and fast. Before any investor finds out that those shares are no longer worth a penny. Are you excited to watch? Have fun with a moment of pure adrenaline from the financial market.

Capitalism: A love story (2009)

Director Michael Moore took his hectic style, with several controversies, to the universe of Wall Street. In the film, he interviews not only big names in economics and politics, but also ordinary people.

It is worth mentioning that Moore takes advantage of the film to harshly criticize capitalism, which, in his opinion, has corrupted the ideals of freedom provided for in the United States Constitution, aiming at generating ever greater profits for a select group of society, while the majority lose more and more rights. The film is a good choice to analyze and perhaps draw unknown conclusions from Wall Street.

Chasing Madoff (2010)

Tip number 14 is a documentary released in 2010 that follows the investigations that led to Bernard Madoff being arrested. The film has interviews with Harry Markopolos – one of the main names to hand over Madoff -, Frank Casey, Neil Chelo, among other important figures who handed over the executive, arrested in 2008 on suspicion of a fraud that may have reached $ 65 billion. Curious? It’s worth watching!

Boiler Room (2000)

This production features famous names like Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck, and shows a universe similar to that of Jordan Belfort’s company: a scene of parties, cars, women, travel, drugs and FBI investigations. However, unlike Scorsese’s production, “The first million” takes place in a fictional scenario.

Moneyball (2011)

This is a 2011 film and shows the story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), manager of a baseball team, Oakland Athletics.

With little cash on hand and the help of Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Billy developed a sophisticated statistics program for the club that made him one of the top sports teams in the 1980s. Do you want a sensational and intelligent film? That’s the choice!

Wall Street: Money never sleeps (2010)

Let’s talk about another sensational film, now from 2010. After serving time for financial fraud, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) leaves prison. Unable to operate in the financial market, he devotes his time to giving lectures and writing a book, where he criticizes the risky behavior of the markets.

One day, after one of the lectures, he is approached by Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf), an idealistic trader on the Wall Street market. He lives with Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko’s daughter who no longer talks to him, and uses that closeness to get his attention.

Jacob wants advice on how to act with Bretton James (James Brolin), a big investor who made his mentor Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella) have to sell his traditional company for a pittance. Gekko decides to help him, asking in return for Jacob to help him get closer to Winnie.

For those who like plots involving monetary fraud, this film is the most suitable among all about finance. The drama has high points such as greed, crisis and money.

Becoming Warren Buffett (2017)

This is a documentary released in 2017 by HBO and tells a little more about the life of mega-investor Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world and a reference when it comes to the Value Investing investment strategy.

The work addresses Buffett’s childhood situations, his current habits and routines, especially regarding the functioning of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

For those who want to know more about the personal and professional trajectory of this great North American investor, the documentary is a must. In addition to course, learn a lot about a lifestyle considered ideal for investors and future investors.

The founder (2016)

Starring Michael Keaton, The founder tells the story of McDonald’s, from its early years as a family diner to becoming one of the biggest references in fast food worldwide.

It is a film that shows how a visionary and extremely competent manager can expand a small company and create value for its shareholders, year after year, for decades.

If you’re looking for investment films with inspiring success stories, you’ve found the title you need to watch.

Slumdog millionaire (2008)

Who has never heard of this movie, right? Jamal K. Malik (Dev Patel) is a young man who works serving tea at a telemarketing company. His childhood was difficult, having to escape from poverty and violence to get to his current job.

One day he signs up for the popular TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. Initially discredited, he finds the answers to the questions asked in facts of his life.

Ambition, strategic thinking, choices and a chance to change your life. The film, directed by Danny Boyle, from an adaptation of the book Q&A, by Vikas Swarup, addresses valuable teachings. Prepare the popcorn!

Read also: Investing for beginners.