The financial world is full of crazy true stories, especially on Wall Street. The best wall street movies are often Hollywood hits because the glitz and glamour along with greed make for great scripts. These movies about wall street can also teach us a lot about investing in general though!
Working in Wall Street is a dream of many people. The money, the glamour, and the power are all very attractive to some people. With that being said, it’s not always what it seems like; there is a dark side to Wall Street too. A lot of movies have been made about this topic and here are 20 of the best ones!
The Best Stock Market Movies
Below you will find in no particular order, the best stock market movies of all time! There are some stock market documentaries in the mix as well.
You’ll also find links to each movie’s IMDB as well as a link to Amazon if you’re ready to watch!
Inside Job (2010)
Inside Job tells the story of the 2008 financial crisis, which many people still feel today’s adverse effects. This stock market documentary touches on everything from how Wall Street executives created risky loans and sold them to investors, to rating agencies giving out AAA ratings to these securities which were really toxic debt. This movie is available for free on Youtube, so if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to watch it!
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street is about a criminal wall street trader who was able to get away with his wrongdoing on Wall Street for two decades before being caught. It is based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort. The movie follows his story, starting in the 1980s when he became a stockbroker and eventually running over 300 million dollar Ponzi scheme through stock fraud.
This film showcases how people are willing to do anything for money on Wall Street, whether it’s illegal or morally wrong.
As Wall Street professionals, it is our duty to know the ins and outs of the industry. This movie is based on a true story of an investment bank analyst who becomes an executive at a high-flying Wall Street firm. The end goal of this film is to prove that women are not given equal opportunities as men in this industry.
However, what some people might not understand about this film is that it’s really not about how women are discriminated on Wall Street. It more so touches on gender inequality in general which affects both men and women.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Frank Capra. The stock market movie follows the life of George Bailey, an entrepreneur who has always wanted to travel and experience the world outside of his small town of Bedford Falls. However, his family prevents him because they need him to stay home and work on the family business. George begins to have feelings of worthlessness, but he is shown by an angel what would have happened if he had never been born.
Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which follows Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) and his firm, Blue Star. Stone won an Academy Award for Best Director during the 1988 Oscars for directing this powerful film. This film won an Oscar and was nominated for other awards as well.
Too Big to Fail (2011)
Too Big To Fail is a 2011 HBO TV miniseries that chronicles the financial crisis of 2007-2008. This miniseries is based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book of the same name. The miniseries includes well-known actors such as James Woods, Paul Giamatti, Bill Pullman, and Kevin Spacey. It follows the CEOs and government officials involved in this disastrous situation while showcasing their personal lives.
This movie shows how there’s always someone to blame when something gets out of hand – but also how it’s never one person’s fault but everyone’s fault.
One of the best movies about Wall Street is Dealers, a 1989 film starring James Woods. This film is about a group of college kids who get caught up in a world of drugs at prestigious Ivy League universities. The film follows these kids’ lives and how they deal with the pressures from their high-stress environments. This movie shows how drugs can quickly lead to addiction and other potential problems that may arise from drug abuse.
The Big Short (2015)
The Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay about the mid-2000s financial crisis. The film was written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.
The main focus of this movie is to show how outsiders (in this case, hedge fund managers) predicted the housing bubble and attempted to profit from it. It also follows these outsiders as they try to ensure that Wall Street executives in charge of mortgages don’t end up profiting from their mistakes.
This movie showcases how greed and corruption can seriously affect others and, in turn, create a domino effect. This is one of many finance movies that won an Oscar award.
American Psycho (2000)
American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological horror-crime film directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale in the lead role.
The film tells the story of a young Wall Street business Bateman who slashes women to death with an axe to satisfy his bloodlust.
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Capitalism: A Love Story is a finance documentary film series that critically looks at the modern capitalist system. The first part of the documentary focuses on how Wall Street deregulation and mortgage fueling led to the 2008 financial crisis. The second part tackles the issue by showing how abuses in the health care system lead to an increase in health care costs and insurance premiums. The last part focuses on how tax havens and other loopholes in international finance allow corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes while draining the public coffers.
Trading Places (1983)
Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. The movie follows a commodities broker, Louis Winthorpe III, who trades places with a homeless street hustler, Billy Ray Valentine. Trading Places was #1 at the box office on its opening weekend and remained in the top ten for eight consecutive weeks.
This movie follows two characters who are worlds apart but eventually learn to help one another out. Both characters have complicated family lives, but they build strong friendships while pretending to be one another.
The movie limitless tells the story of a struggling writer, Eddie, played by Bradley Cooper, who is given an illegal drug that allows him to utilize 100% of his brain’s capacity. The drug gives him extraordinary powers and has some severe side effects that he needs to be careful of. In this finance movie, Eddie ends up competing with wall street traders using just his brain. He can almost predict stock prices and entire financial markets.
Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call is a 2011 American drama film directed by J. C. Chandor and starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, and Demi Moore. It tells the story of how a group of employees at an investment bank reacts when they learn that the company is massively overexposed to the subprime mortgage market and about to go under.
This movie follows a group of traders through the events at the fictional investment bank during one 24-hour period in which everything falls apart. They must understand their mistakes from last night and their responsibility for millions of dollars worth of lost business during this morning’s call with management.
Boiler Room (2000)
Boiler Room is a 2000 American drama film starring Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Affleck, and Nicky Katt. It tells the story of a Yale University drop-out who works as a broker for a Wall Street investment firm.
This wall street movie follows the bank employees as they try to understand their mistakes from last night and their responsibility for millions of dollars worth of lost business during this morning’s call with management. It portrays how a group of people can do something wrong because of their lack of knowledge on the topic.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to the 1987 film Wall Street, is a 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone. The movie tells the story of a former stockbroker, Gordon Gekko, now in his seventies and serving time for insider trading and securities fraud.
He uses his connections to arrange a meeting with Fineman (played by Shia LaBeouf), the son of one of his former associates who works on Wall Street, along with some other young people looking for guidance in the financial world.
Rogue Trader (1999)
Rogue Trader is a 1999 romantic comedy film about the true story of the British financial journalist Nicholas Leeson, who in 1995 exploited weaknesses in foreign currency trading at Barings Bank. It stars Ewan McGregor as Nick Leeson with Izabella Scorupco as his wife, Lorraine. Other actors include Jim Broadbent, Damian Lewis, and Kathy Burke.
The film follows Nicholas Leeson’s career from his start as a clerk with Barings Bank to his rise to the position of Senior Trader for Europe at the bank’s Futures Department. It charts his downfall, subsequent trial for fraud in Singapore, and subsequent jailing in Singapore and England.
Chasing Madoff (2010)
This documentary film is about financial fraudster Bernard Madoff. The documentary follows the methods of his fraud, which was expounded upon in an earlier book by Jeffry A. Friedel. It offers a first-person examination of the 2008 Ponzi scheme to understand how it was possible that so many people could have been unaware for so long.
The movie also sheds light on the mechanics of this fraud through interviews with investigators, journalists, former members of Bernie’s family, federal prosecutors, Wall Street analysts, and other experts who discuss their take on how Bernie has managed to dupe so many people for so long.
The Family Man (2000)
The Family Man is a 2000 American Christmas fantasy drama film starring Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni. It tells the story of a successful, young executive who experiences just about every cliché imaginable in his quest to become wealthy and win the love of his life.
This movie follows a man who only lives for himself and works hard to succeed in his job. One day he wakes up and realizes that he’s not fulfilled because he doesn’t have a family or spend time with his friends. He then decides to change how he lives his life and starts living for someone other than himself.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 nonfiction film chronicling the rise and fall of the Enron Corporation. It shows how Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow concocted an innovative business model designed to make themselves millionaires while transforming what seemed like an ordinary energy company into one of the largest companies in America.
The documentary analyzes how the company could hide its actual financial condition from Wall Street for six years before finally collapsing under its weight. It’s a story that demonstrates how anything that seems too good to be true usually is.
The China Hustle (2017)
The China Hustle or The China Movie is a 2017 documentary film about the 2007 Chinese economic bubble. This documentary explores how Wall Street banks are knowingly feeding America toxic loans via investments.
It shows how these banks are helping with outsourcing American jobs to various industries in China while also exposing some of the consequences of loaning money to countries that may not be able to repay their debt.
Summary of the Best Movies About Wall Street
The movies on this list touch on many different aspects and topics related to Wall Street, but they all have one thing in common: They’re entertaining. But it’s important to keep in mind that money doesn’t buy happiness.
Whether you want stock market documentaries or just something lighthearted that will help you unwind after a long day at work, there is a movie for everyone here.
We hope our list of the best wall street movies has helped inspire your next Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime binge! Let us know what we missed so we can update the article with the best Wall Street films currently available.