Our fave five financial flick picks

21 December 2020

Hollywood might have made their mark exploring the stories of tormented artists or lovesick couples, but we all know what the people want to see — cash, baby!


In honour of all things green, here are our top five favourite films about the stuff that pays your rent and makes the world spin around. 

The Big Short

Based on a book by Michael Lewis, "The Big Short" explores the story of the global financial crisis, without skipping over the important stuff. With the who’s who of Hollywood A-listers and an incredible piece of self-aware screenwriting, the film offers elements of drama and mystique to a story that might have otherwise felt boring to the layman watcher. Margot Robbie deserves an Oscar nod for this highly sensual explanation of money jargon, in a way that we can understand. As the top commenter notes in the YouTube video “If economics was taught like this, I'd get my MBA.'


The Pursuit of Happyness

Is this Will Smith at his best? Are you crying? (no, I’ve got something in my eye!). 

If there’s any film that makes you want to get out of bed and make things happen, it’s watching Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden try and overcome incredible hardship to make something of themselves. It’s both a critique of 21st-century capitalism and an ode to it. 


Trading Places

What would you do if you got a chance to be a big shot money manager? Homeless street hustler Eddie Murphy gets a chance to work at a multinational commodities brokerage firm. As Eddie grows more familiar with his new place, he smells wind of a major white-collar crime afoot and sets out to stop it.

It’s a fun hypothetical scenario to explore, as well as an educational insight into how the inaccessible world of billionaire business works (kind of). 


The Wolf of Wall Street

Staying on the motif of big stars in the prime, it could be argued that Leonardo Di Caprio’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street was Leo at his best. Again focused on the great recession, Leo plays the ultimate picture of Wall Street arrogance as he gallivants around building his fortune with little consideration for who he hurts along the way. 

It’s a good film to put you off Wall Street altogether, but his dismantling by the FBI and ensuing regulatory push is enough to quell some of these fears. 




Money, sports, and Brad Pitt. Sound like enough to warrant a watch? The film follows Pitt as a retired financial guru who takes his financial wisdom into the world of sports. He recruits a ragtag group of athletes by using data in ways it wasn’t being utilized at the time, taking them further than ever seemed possible. 

In a world where most people understand the incredible power of data, the 2011 flick feels like a real precursor. In many ways, it’s a good reminder of the information-driven field of finance, and how many other areas could benefit from a similar analysis. 


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