Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a world-renowned businessperson, you’ll certainly appreciate a good business movie. These works of art can often teach us to adopt a new mindset and cultivate useful qualities. Perseverance, dedication, and resilience are just a few examples.

The following list of movies will help you explore the world of big corporations and budding startups. From documentaries to whimsical comedies, we’ve got everything you might be looking for.

These movies can be a window to the inner works of Wall Street. Through them, you can also explore the lives of some of the most successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. And above all else, they can teach about the dangers of going down the illegal path.

You’re about to discover the best business movies you should watch in your lifetime. Don’t worry, you don’t have to binge them all at once. Watching as few as one movie a month is perfectly enough. As you work your way down the list, you’ll notice your outlook on the business world expanding. And it’s fine if you don’t like them all. Our collection is so exhaustive you’re bound to find ones to your taste.

The Founder (2016)

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McDonald’s is a renowned food chain business across the globe. But though many have eaten their meals at the fast food store, few know about its history.

The Founder follows the biographical story of two McDonald’s brothers and Ray Croc who proved to be their demise. The slick salesman claimed their business idea as his own—all without paying them any royalty. And the moral of the story? Everyone has their own agenda and you shouldn’t trust them easily.

Pursuit of Happyness

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Based on a true story, this movie follows the journey of Chris Gardner and his son. The homeless salesman rejects an unpaid internship offer and decides to take control of his own fate.

And he succeeds. In just a year, he becomes a millionaire. The pursuit of Happyness reminds us how hard decisions and sacrifices now can lead to a much better life later.

The Wolf of Wall Street

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The Wolf of Wall Street follows the transition of Jordan Belfort from a poor nobody to a rich stockbroker. He achieves this meteoric career rise thanks to his skills of persuasion (or perhaps deception would be more accurate).

Though crude at times, the movie perfectly captures how business cultures come to be in such fast-growth companies.

The Social Network

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We’re sure everyone’s heard of this famous business movie. The Social Network is a biography of Mark Zuckerberg who became the world’s youngest billionaire. He managed to do so by creating Facebook, one of the most successful networking sites out there.

The story is a great source of motivation for young entrepreneurs. It reminds us that we’re never too young to achieve greatness, as long as we try our hardest. When he created Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was still just a student.

Fyre Festival

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Fyre Festival reminds us that while passion and desire are strong driving forces behind success, they alone are not enough. To make a breakthrough, you’ll need to think strategically and work hard.


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Joy is a very relatable character. Though she is teeming with great ideas, she is too scared to see them through. Once she finally overcomes the first obstacles, she begins her long march toward success. And though she faces many challenges, she overcomes them.

Joy also shows us that it is possible to balance our professional and personal lives, no matter how difficult it may be. At the time of launching her career, she was already a divorced mother of two.

Boiler Room

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One of the best business movies, Boiler Room tells us how to make money out of nothing. At the same time, it acts as a salutary reminder of how high the cost of success can be. And we don’t mean financially.

The protagonists of this movie are young but unrelenting, taking the no-holds-barred policy on their route to success. Boiler Room does a wonderful job of exploring the darker side of the business world.

The Big Short

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Based on the eponymous book, this biographical drama draws inspiration from the US’s mortgage housing crisis back in 2005.

A group of brave investors denounces the American mortgage market, declaring it corrupt. They claim that it will soon crumble, which truly happened.

The movie is perfect for those who wish to explore the inner workings of various market sectors.

Pirates of Silicon Valley

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The movie focuses on the competition between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates from 1971 to 1997. It draws inspiration from the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer.

Though Bill Gates emerges victorious at the end of the movie, things took a much different turn in real life.

Regardless, both tech-moguls are a great source of inspiration for any young entrepreneur. Learning about their stories can help you lead your own business.

Steve Jobs

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Apple has become one of the leading brands in technology. All the more reasons to learn about its journey to success.

The movie focuses on Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. It tells us how he overcame the challenges he faced when building iconic brands, both personal and professional.

This remains one of our favorite entrepreneur movies of all time. Make sure you watch it at least once, you won’t regret it.

The Corporation

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To make a business a legal person, you have to turn it into a corporation. However, such corporations often forget where they came from. Whereas initially, they strived to manifest a certain ideal in this world, they soon start making money just for the sake of making money.

The movie explores how such an attitude can harm our world and create a bleak future for our children.

American Hustle

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This true crime story delves into various topics. Though it teaches us many lessons, these are more often than not shrouded in humor. It is this balance of education and entertainment that landed it a spot on our list.

The movie warns us that the mistakes we make in the past will catch up to us at some point. When this happens, we often have to pay a high price to fix them.

The Game

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The Game follows the story of Nicholas Van Orten, a successful banker from San Francisco. But his success came at a price – he has no personal life. This changes the moment his brother gives him a life-altering gift for his birthday.

The movie forces us to reflect on our values in life. Is money truly worth everything? Or perhaps there are some other things that make life just as worth living if not more?

Trading Places

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True to its name, the movie focuses on two people, one rich and one poor, trading places. The movie culminates in the switched pair meeting at last.

Much like the Game, this movie poses questions such as what truly matters in life. Can money truly buy happiness? Or is it more about the attitude we take toward life?

The Billionaire

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you’re suffering from a dry spell in your business endeavors, this movie can help you get right back on track. The true-life story follows the protagonist as he works his way through innumerable hurdles that block his path to success.

His biggest obstacle is posed by those closest to him. The Billionaire reminds us that following our own intuition instead of bowing to the opinions of the masses can help us achieve our dreams.


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Starring Brad Pitt, Moneyball teaches us how to react to the changes in life. To succeed, we must first move past our fears and apprehensions. Only then can we taste the fruits of our labor, often even with limited starting resources.


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Casino tells a story of a gambler who works with a mafia. Together, they manage a Las Vegas casino.

The movie explores how greed and lust for power can lead to moral corruption. To avoid seeing our hard work undone, we must never give in to these inner demons.

Catch me If You Can

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The movie stands out above the rest of our best business movies on this list. Instead of focusing on a legitimate business, it tells the tale of a conman who’s impersonated countless professions.

Despite his less-than-legal endeavors, we’ve got much to learn from Frank Abagnale Jr. Even with the conditions being far from favorable, he managed to pull through. Adopting this kind of resilience can certainly be useful.

Glengarry Glen Ross

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Glengarry Glen Ross is a film adaptation of the eponymous award-winning play.

The movie follows four real estate agents who must survive a difficult sales period. To keep their jobs, they must use every skill they have to surmount this challenge. Their perseverance should be an inspiration for us all.

Wall Street

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Wall Street is a cautionary tale of how ruthlessness doesn’t always pay off. The young protagonist seeks rapid success, no matter what it costs him. Unfortunately, he soon learns that he can flout the law for only so long before it catches up to him.


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Unlike the previous business movies on our list, this one is a documentary. Startup.com provides invaluable insight into managing a business. It covers several topics, from creating a friendly workplace to properly managing your employees.

The Aviator

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This movie is a biography of Howard Hughes’s life. During his life, he had to overcome many obstacles, such as his OCD. Despite this, he became a mogul in the film industry. Later, he also founded his own aircraft company.

If you seek motivation, look no further than the Aviator. It shows us that even the worst obstacles can be overcome, provided we try hard enough.

Con Man

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Con Man follows the true story of Barry Minkow, a shrewd businessman. He understands that lies and deception are necessary to reach success. His theory proved to be correct and he quickly ascends through the corporate world.

Though the methods are less than honorable, understanding them won’t hurt you. Even if you don’t use them, you can protect yourself from people using them against you.

Margin Call

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Set in 2008 during an economic crisis, the movies follow Wall Street’s top managers. They have to make a difficult decision and choosing wrongly means bankruptcy.

The movie teaches us that to succeed in the business world, we must be ready for the worst-case scenario situations all the time. If we keep our cool, we can come out of them unscathed.

Erin Brockovich

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This movie will stand mostly to female audiences, though everyone can find inspiration in its story. The main protagonist is Erin Brockovich, a woman who must win the biggest lawsuit the world has ever known. Thanks to her unrelenting attitude, she manages to win.

The movie is incredibly inspiring. It shows us just how much hard work can achieve, even if the whole world seems to be set against us.

What makes a business movie worth watching?

Business movies can be a great way to pass your time. Whether you want to relax or learn new business techniques, they can provide you with both. We recommended going through each movie at least once. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your new comfort movie.

The best business movies are those based on a true story. It’s one thing to write a compelling story and it’s another one to live it. When we know the tale of success is real, the movie’s motivation and inspiration suddenly become greater. Such movies can often compel us to be more driven and resilient, even amidst a crisis.

Watching a good business movie can help us in the following 4 ways:

  • They open our minds to new ideas: Humans are creatures of habit. We often end up entombing ourselves in that which we know. This includes the way we think too. But in the ever-changing world of business, conservative thinking can work against us. Business movies often open us to new ideas and teach us about topics we’ve never even imagined before.
  • They are a good way to wind down after an exhausting day: All work and no play… you know how the saying goes. But jokes aside, building a successful career can be incredibly exhausting. You’ll often find yourself focusing solely on your work to the exclusion of everything else. But such workaholism can become counterproductive in the end. By watching a business movie, you can both relax and learn something new to help you with your career.
  • They are vital parts of our culture: These movies are excellent conversation topics. Many people might expect you to know. To avoid appearing boorish and uneducated, you should watch each at least once. Who knows, maybe they’ll come in handy as an ice-breaker one day.
  • They can be a source of inspiration and motivation: Managing your own business can be overbearing at times. Not a single entrepreneur is immune to doubts and misgivings here and there. At times, we might even be tempted to quit. While doubts are natural parts of our mindset, we still need to work our way through them. And business movies smash through even the hardest ones. Few things are as motivating and empowering as a story in which hard work leads to success. 

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I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.