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15 Best Stock Market Movies Every Beginner Should Watch

Alina Haynes

Jul 13, 2022 16:11

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All avatars of the financial world make for an excellent film. Tragedy, humor, inventiveness, calamity, and redemption are evident in Hollywood's numerous financial films. While most films show financial professionals in an unfavorable light, the fantastic tales of excess, risk-taking, and greed make for riveting entertainment. It should be viewed by anybody considering or now working in the industry.


Movies may be exciting and enjoyable, but they occasionally provide a bizarre and essential view of actual life. This is true even in finance, where several award-winning films have successfully shown the intricate inner workings of the world of brokers and intraday trading. These films provide insights into the world of finance that are both thought-provoking and amusing.


Although the depiction of key financial events may appear somewhat overblown due to the inclusion of drama and panic, the fundamental lesson is apparent. Viewers who invest their time and money have a greater understanding of "what happened" during the global crisis and other critical economic crises. We recommend 15 best stock market movies as an amusing crash course in finance. 

1. The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is a movie produced by Hollywood that chronicled the life and career of Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort. The ever-famous actor Leonardo Dicaprio portrayed this role. The narrative describes Belfort's path from his first entry-level employment to his participation in significant stock market losses, his involvement in a fraudulent stock scam, and his decision to launch his own company.


You may probably relate to him if you intend to start investing in the stock market. Belfort has several issues with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (FBI). This film vividly depicted the rotten underbelly of the banking industry.


The film depicts the life and exploits of famed stock fraudster Jordan Belfort. Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio displayed their most acceptable acting abilities in this film. The Wolf of Wall Street depends on the true story of Stratton Oakmont, a vast public corporation that went public in the late 1980s and was embroiled in an illicit financial scam.


You will identify several business-applicable techniques, tactics, and procedures as you explore The Wolf of Wall Street with a critical eye. Just like Belfort understood he wanted to get wealthy against the odds, knowing what you want your business to accomplish is essential. This film proves that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you are more explicit, and Jordan Belfort is the ideal example of this. Instead of allowing the loss of his modest firm to dissuade him, he used it as motivation to become even more motivated to succeed on Wall Street.

2. Too Big To Fail (2011)

"Credit has the power to develop a modern economy, while its absence has the power to destroy it rapidly and completely."


This film is a revelation regarding the allegedly solid world of finance, as it provides an insider's view of the 2008 Financial Crisis. Too Big To Fail, a blockbuster on our list of the top stock market films, eloquently conveys to the spectator how interconnected and interdependent financial businesses and banks are and how their collapse might precipitate a catastrophic economic disaster. The film shows alarming realities about how the government frequently cannot regulate the financial sector as intended.

3. Chasing Madoff (2010) 

"You do not get straight lines in finance."


The film Chasing Madoff is based on the actual tale of Bernie Madoff and his multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. It is an investigative narrative of the ten years Harry Markopolos, and his colleagues at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission spent to bring down Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which defrauded an estimated $18 billion. It is one of the finest films on the stock market since it exposes the Ponzi scheme and warns against the unpleasant aspects of the financial world.

4. The Big Short

This film is accessible on Netflix with an intriguing plot summary. In 2008, according to Wall Street expert Michael Burry, several subprime mortgages were at risk of default. Burry put his clients' funds at risk by investing in credit default swaps worth over $1 billion. In the film, Ryan Gosling played the role of Jared Vennett, while Steve Carell portrayed Mark Baum, a hedge-fund specialist. In addition to these two villains, there are several additional greedy individuals in the novel. These guys profited substantially from the impending economic catastrophe in the United States (U.S.).


This film depicts the narrative of a few astute traders who foresaw the housing bubble bursting, which precipitated the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Michael Burry's successful fund endeavor, Jared Venett's entry into the Credit Default Swap (CDS) market, and Geller and Shipley's significant shorting gains are depicted in the film. It also analyzes essential trading concepts and provides insight into how unexpected events could impact the stock market, concentrating on debt securities.

Also considered a Hollywood blockbuster, The Big Short grossed over USD$130 million in the United States alone and won many Academy Awards. This film imparted essential lessons about human nature, Wall Street greed, and how it can ruin the lives of everyday Americans. This is an absolute must-watch for everyone interested in the stock market.

5. Barbarians At The Gate

This film was so successful that it received two Golden Globes and sixteen nominations from the film industry. The leveraged takeover of RJR Nabisco is the center of this factual story. This film centered on James Garner's portrayal of F. Ross Johnson as the chief executive officer and president. Because he was attempting to purchase the firm, he engaged Wall Street financial managers, but they eventually became his adversaries in the film.

As ruthless executive Henry Kravis, portrayed by Jonathan Pryce, and President Johnson began to conflict, other significant characters began to emerge. With offers pouring in and Kravis making shrewd plays, Johnson faces a conundrum over how to win over the remaining parties.


This company's acquisition resulted in an incredible $25 billion deal value, a perfect example of the banking sector's takeover frenzy occurring at the time. You will learn much about corporate greed and the execution of multibillion-dollar agreements by the film's end. 

6. Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader tells the tale of Nick Leeson's stunning success and dramatic failure. It is one of the most engaging films about the stock market because it teaches valuable risk management and financial control. It demonstrates how Leeson utilizes meticulously designed accounts to conceal massive financial problems from his superiors. The film provides a glimpse inside the mind of a trader and his desperate attempts to conceal his mistakes and oversights. Moreover, eventually, perhaps many other traders could identify with these patterns.


Even though Leeson's tale is humorous, it is somewhat instructional regarding risk management and financial inaccuracy. The movie was based on Nick Leeson's book Rogue Trader: How I took down Barings Bank and shook up finance, one of the most apparent instances of why a trader should never go against the market. 

7. Changing Locations (1983)

Eddie Murphy plays a street-smart con artist tricked into becoming the manager of a commodities trading company, unwittingly replacing his predecessor, played by Dan Aykroyd, in this modern adaptation of "The Prince and the Pauper."


Although actual trading takes second place to the individuals' adjustment to their new circumstances, the last 15 minutes of the film accurately depict a frenetic trading session in the orange juice futures pits. Even without the supporting cast, nostalgia for the 1980s, or the actors' excellent performances, this moment is worth the price of admission.

8. Betting On Zero

"Betting on Zero" is the title of a Netflix film that examines the truth of Wall Street greed. Bill Ackman's campaign alleges that Herbalife is an enormous pyramid enterprise. Throughout the presentation, he describes how the business defrauded distributors and how Herbalife's CEO disagreed.


The subject matter of the nonfiction book Betting on Zero is intriguing, despite its lack of stylistic distinction. Herbalife's management asserts that hedge fund tycoon Bill Ackman is a market manipulator seeking to destroy their company. In the film, Bill Ackman was on a mission to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid fraud in history, believing that its eradication and closure would be "good for America." 

9. Inside Job

This video examines the financial practices and policies that contributed to the 2008 financial catastrophe. This critically acclaimed documentary will give you insight into the origins and effects of such a catastrophic catastrophe. This award-winning academy documentary captivated many audiences, and many consider it the most delicate film regarding the financial crisis.


This video examined the circumstances that precipitated and contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. With high-profile interviews and Matt Damon's captivating narration, this film offers a riveting factual narrative wrapped in informational interviews and outstanding photography. Even if the video lacks optimism for good change, the simple fact that it garnered popularity is a positive indicator. It is one of the greatest films on the list and a must-watch.

10. Margin Call

This film has received eight prizes and one Oscar nomination, demonstrating why it is a must-see. This film provides a glimpse of the fragility of our financial system and the potential for catastrophic destruction amid market shock waves. When the 2008 financial crisis peaked, the preceding twenty-four hours were a roller coaster ride.


Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany represented the principal leaders in the investing firm, who resorted to extreme methods when an analyst disclosed information that may ruin their entire enterprise. In the narrative, a financial firm analyst in the risk management division was sacked. There were ramifications in the current project he was managing, but nobody paid attention to them. After finishing the analysis, his protégé searches for the actual cause of the economic catastrophe.


A fire sale occurs whenever an item is sold at a significant discount. Since they may purchase at a discount and sell for a profit, many investors seek these changes. Consequently, they purchase underpriced things in bulk, expecting to profit from their inevitable price increase. It is OK to hoard inexpensive stocks, but you should carefully consider why someone would want to sell them, especially in a hurry. This is a lesson you must learn from seeing this film.

11. The Ascent of Money (2008)

"The rise of money has been indispensable to the rise of man. There is no such thing as "the future" in a unique sense, and only many unpredictable futures will never lose their ability to astonish us."


The Ascent of Money is a documentary on the rise of financial markets, stock markets, credit, and trade in contemporary civilization and how it has profoundly influenced our world. It is a must-see for everyone interested in the financial history of the globe. It is separated into six chapters and stretches into the period of globalization; this expanded form makes it a significant addition to our list of the greatest stock market films of all time!

12. Equity

A prosecutor investigates allegations of corruption while an investment banker attempts to climb the corporate ladder at a Wall Street corporation. The film 'Equity' follows a female financial banker around the streets of New York City, a novel approach to the male-dominated Wall Street genre. A lady in the film aspires to become a successful Wall Street trader but is falsely accused of being unscrupulous.


She embarks on a mission to discover a web of corruption within the system to show her value. Her close buddy deceived her, but she would not easily give up. This is one of the greatest movies on the stock market with a female lead, and it examines a woman's challenges when navigating the challenging nature of the stock market. This film will undoubtedly resonate with many female merchants and bankers.

13. Wall Street

Wall Street continues to be a powerful recruitment tool for stock traders, financial brokers, analysts, and bankers over 30 years after its release. A film set in New York amid the 2008 financial crisis, 23 years after the original film. Alongside Michael Douglas' portrayal of the repentant felon Gordon Gekko, his daughter Winnie and her fiance Jacob Moore also appear in the film.


Each character has a different view on money, prompted by a different reason. Bud feels that accumulating more wealth will bring him happiness. Gordon Gekko's aim in life is to earn more wealth, which he regards as his religion. According to Lou, seeking it will rule your life and lead you down an undesirable road. Carl does not measure it, nor does he need it. As a life lesson, despite what Gekko claims, we know that greed or the love of money is not a positive trait, as seen in the film Wall Street.

14. Money Monster (2016) 

After a guy called Budwell loses all of his funds owing to the advice of a financial expert on a television show, he pursues the expert and his team. He holds them hostage to obtain information about the stock's decline. The film conveys that it is foolish to believe so-called market gurus blindly and is an entertaining stock market film.

15. Boiler Room

This 2000 drama features Seth Davis as a college dropout. A suburban illicit investment business employs him as a broker. As his profession advances, he prioritizes money over all else. Later, he begins to question the legitimacy of the company.


In contrast to Barbarians at the Gates, Boiler Room is built on the pump-and-dump scheme, the lowest economic rung possible. Although Boiler Room is a work of fiction, pump-and-dump firms and the anguish and suffering they inflict on victims are actual.


The film advises starting investors to remain with transparent, established firms with sound foundations and to avoid investing in companies that appear too good to be true. The success of stockbrokers in the early 1990s was driven by their alpha attitude, which you should also acquire. Never forget that every chance might potentially be a wonderful one, regardless of how often you fail.

Final Thoughts

Life and art continue to be influenced by one another. Even though many of these stock market movies deal with subjects such as corruption and criminality, they teach us a great deal about the market. Viewing these fantastic films may blend education and fun by understanding the worldwide markets. Today, potential investors may register an online brokerage account and begin their adventure in the world of finance.