30 Best Movies About Money and Finance

By TAD Staff
November 2021

The creativity of movies is a nice complement to the rigidity of finance and economics. If you are someone who enjoys both, then we bet your perfect movie night includes a film on this list.

From informative documentaries to foreign social commentaries about money and everything in between, keep scrolling for the 30 best movies about money and finance.

Generation: Freedom

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.9
Topping our list of the best movies about money and finance is Generation: Freedom, a 2019 documentary by filmmakers Christopher Sakr and Michael Hall. This fascinating doc takes viewers on a cross-country journey to meet ordinary people who have broken free of the typical 9-to-5 work schedule that is burning out and depressing so many others. 

Parasite 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.6
Parasite is the 2019 Korean film that took the world by storm. The movie follows the wealthy Park family and the poor Kim family as they form an interesting friendship. Greed and class discrimination are major themes of the movie. It was awarded the Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year at the 2020 Academy Awards. 

It’s a Wonderful Life

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.6
It’s a Wonderful Life is the 1946 classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The family favorite tells the story of George Bailey, a frustrated businessman. He is visited by an angel who shows him what life would be like had he never existed. It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for five Oscars at the 1947 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. 

The Wolf of Wall Street

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.2
The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of Jordan Belfort, a wealthy stockbroker who gets caught up in crime and corruption, only to become a target of the federal government. The Martin Scorsese-directed film has an all-star cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. Though it walked away empty handed, The Wolf of Wall Street was nominated for five Oscars at the 2014 Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Motion Picture of the Year.  

Inside Job

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.2
Inside Job is a 2010 documentary about the 2008 financial meltdown. The doc is narrated by none other than Matt Damon, and features interviews with some of the world’s foremost economists. Inside Job was awarded the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 2011 Academy Awards. 

The Ascent of Money

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.0
The Ascent of Money is a 2008 documentary by bestselling author and economist Niall Ferguson. It blends both facts and opinion. It’s hosted by Ferguson, and takes viewers on an “historical adventure through the ascent of money.” At the 2009 International Emmy Awards, The Ascent of Money was recognized as the best documentary. 

Slumdog Millionaire

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.0
Slumdog Millionaire is the inspiring story of a Mumbai teen named Jamal. The movie tells the story of Jamal’s life, from his early childhood in the slums to a life-changing appearance on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Directed by Danny Boyle, the film turned leads Dev Patel and Freida Pinto into huge stars. At the 2009 Academy Awards, Slumdog Millionaire took home eight of its 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Motion Picture of the Year. 

The Pursuit of Happyness

IMDb Viewer Rating: 8.0
Will Smith and his real-life son, Jaden, are the stars of Pursuit of Happyness. Based on a true story, Pursuit of Happyness follows Chris Gardner from homelessness with his young son to a promising career as a stockbroker. Will Smith and the film were very well received internationally. Smith was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor at the 2007 Academy Awards.  

The Big Short

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.8 
Based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, The Big Short recounts the true story of a group of investors who, in 2006 and 2007, used their own tactics to bet against the U.S. mortgage market. The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and a slew of other A Listers. The Big Short was nominated for five Oscars at the 2016 Academy Awards, where it was ultimately named Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Glengarry Glen Ross

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.7
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 crime drama starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, and Kevin Spacey — plus a number of other top names. Written by David Mamet and directed by James Foley, the movie is “an examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.”

American Psycho 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.6
American Psycho is the 2000 drama based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The film stars a slew of big names, including Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, and Reese Witherspoon. American Psycho tells the story of a rich NYC investment banking executive who is hiding an alternate psychopathic ego from his coworkers and friends. A hit on the international film festival circuit, American Psycho remains a cult classic. 

Moneyball 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.6
Moneyball is a biographical drama released in 2011. The movie tells the true story of Billy Beane, general manager of baseball’s Oakland A’s. Working with one of the leanest budgets in the sport, Beane uses a unique computer algorithm to find and win over the best new players. Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as Beane, plus Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Chris Pratt. 

Trading Places 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.5
Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy star in the 1983 comedy Trading Places. The two legendary actors star as a street-smart con artist and a snobby investor “who find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.” The movie — which was nominated for one Academy Award and two BAFTAs — remains popular today. 

Wall Street 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.4
Wall Street is a 1987 classic starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. The latter plays a naive young stockbroker who is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the top — even if that means trading on illegal inside information. For his role as corporate raider Gordon Gekko, Douglas was awarded the Best Actor Oscar at the 1988 Academy Awards. 

Jerry Maguire 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.3
Jerry Maguire is a 1996 dramedy starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renee Zellweger. The classic film stars Cruise as the titular character, a newly fired sports agent who attempts to become independent with the one athlete-client who dared stay with him. Jerry Maguire was nominated for five Academy Awards at the 1997 Oscars. It won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Gooding Jr.). 

Too Big to Fail 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.3
Too Big to Fail is a television movie that first premiered in 2011. The miniseries recounts the 2008 financial meltdown from the perspective of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. James Woods, William Hurt, John Heard, and Cynthia Nixon star in the film. It was nominated for a whopping 11 Primetime Emmy awards. 

Living on One Dollar 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.3
Living on One Dollar is a fascinating documentary by filmmakers Zach Ingrasci, Sean Leonard, and Chris Temple. The eye-opening film follows four young friends as they set out to live on just $1 per day for two months in rural Guatemala. Living on One Dollar won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sonoma International Film Festival. 

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.2
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a 1967 classic musical comedy. The movie focuses on an ambitious window washer who aims to climb the corporate ladder using the titular manual. How to Succeed… was nominated for Best Written American Musical at the 1968 Writers Guild Of America Awards. 

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.2
Maxed Out is another documentary to make our list of the best movies about money and finance. Produced in 2006, the doc shines a spotlight on the modern American financial industry, where there’s always more credit and where everything seems fine as long as minimum payments are made. 

Barbarians at the Gate

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.2 
Barbarians at the Gate is a 1993 television movie starring James Garner and Jonathan Pryce. The miniseries follows the president of a huge tobacco company who sets off a major bidding war after he decides he wants to buy the company himself. Barbarians at the Gate was nominated for nine Primetime Emmy awards. It took home the Emmy for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. 

In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.2
It wasn’t too long ago that owing more money than you had in your checking account was more of an exception than a rule. The documentary In Debt We Trust takes viewers on a deep dive into why and how that has changed for nearly everyone in America. 

Margin Call 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.1
Margin Call is a 2011 thriller starring Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, and a slew of other A Listers. The film revolves around the major players at an investment bank during a 24-hour time period at the start of the 2008 financial crisis. Screenwriter J.C. Chandor’s script is especially strong, and even earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 2012 Academy Awards. 

Owning Mahowny 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.1
In Owning Mahowny, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny, a bank manager with a gambling problem and access to a multimillion dollar account. The movie is based on the true story of a real-life one-man bank fraud. Minnie Driver and John Hurt also star. 

Boiler Room 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 7.0
Boiler Room tells the story of a college dropout who lands a fast-track job as a broker for an investment firm. Not surprisingly, things don’t quite go as planned. The movie stars Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Scott Caan, and Ron Rifkin.  

How to Marry a Millionaire 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.9
This beloved 1953 film stars Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Betty Grable. In How to Marry a Millionaire, the three actresses play women who set out to find and marry eligible millionaires. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design, and a BAFTA nomination for Best Film from any Source. 

Working Girl 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.8
Working Girl is the 1988 dramedy about a secretary named Tess played by Melanie Griffith. When her boss steals an idea of hers, she seeks revenge by pretending she has his job. Working Girl’s A-List cast includes Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, and Joan Cusack, among others. 

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.7
Minimalism is a 2015 documentary that takes a close look at the growing trend of minimal living. Viewers of Minimalism are asked to question how their lives might be improved with less.

Joy 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.6
In Joy, actress Jennifer Lawrence portrays the real-life Joy Mangano, a single mother turned powerful businesswoman thanks to a unique idea for a mop. The film also stars Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Virginia Madsen, to name but a few big co-stars. Lawrence’s performance was critically acclaimed, and even earned her a Best Actress nomination at the 2016 Academy Awards. 

Brewster’s Millions 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.5
Brewster’s Millions is a 1985 comedy starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. Pryor plays Montgomery Brewster, a minor league baseball player who must spend $30 million in a month in order to inherit $300 million. Of course, there are rules to how he can spend the money. 

Rogue Trader 

IMDb Viewer Rating: 6.4
Ewan McGregor stars in Rogue Trader as Nick Leeson, a real-life investment broker who singlehandedly bankrupted one of Britain’s oldest banks. The 1999 crime drama also stars Alexis Denisof, Anna Friel, and Cristian Solimeno.  

If you have enjoyed our list of the best movies about money and finance, then be sure to check out these other great articles:

30 Best Podcasts About Personal Finance
30 Great Free Online Courses for Accountants
The Real Cost of the American Dream

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