We have a list of the 11 Greatest Wall Street Movies & Documentaries you need in your movie playlist. These movies have a good message as to how uncertain things can be in dealing with the stock market, and also how rewarding things can be if you play your cards right.
Add these to your Movie collection and inspired by the greatest Wall Street movies of our time.
The Top Wall Street Movies
Boiler Room (2000)
In a sentence: If you’ve ever worked in a job in sales or telemarketing, this should seem all too familiar to you.
Plot: Vin Diesel and Giovanni Ribisi as Long Island pump and dump brokers? Count us in. This classic flick showcases Ribisi’s rise to the top as he learns the ins-and-outs of operating in a boiler room out of Long Island. It’s very similar to Jordan Belfort‘s upbringing, minus the yachts and excessive drug use.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
In a sentence: “The leads are weak? You’re weak!” -Alec Baldwin
Plot: Glengarry Glen Ross takes place off of Wall Street but still deals with the incentives that salesman deal with, including bonuses and cars and how they’ll do anything to close the sale. Alec Baldwin is only in the movie for about 10 minutes but gives an speech that deserves an Oscar to a group of all-star actors including Jack Lemon, Kevin Spacey and Ed Harris.
Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
In a sentence: The film’s ability to tackle different New York City social classes is without question.
Plot: Originally a book by Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities targeted the Manhattan elite of the 1980s and their distance from the rest of the city. Tom Hanks, as the film’s lead, gets involved in an extramarital affair and, eventually, a tragic murder results. Remains excellent viewing to understand New York’s stratification today.
Rogue Trader (1999)
In a sentence: Faster paced British version of “Wall Street.”
Plot: Based on the real-life story of Barings Bank trader Nick Leeson, Ewan McGregor does a surprisingly awesome job of emulating the British wunderkind down to his addiction to fruit candies. While a relatively unsuccessful movie at the box office, Rogue Trader is entertaining.
Trading Places (1983)
In a sentence: No movie about Wall Street is funnier than the 1983 comedy “Trading Places.”
Plot: Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd are at their best as director John Landis tells the tale of how one man’s fall from Wall Street is another man’s blessing. Watching Murphy talk about futures and markets is hilarious and unparalleled in humor.
Wall Street (1987)
In a sentence: The classic Wall Street film.
Plot: Oliver Stone originally set out to depict the greed associated with Wall Street in the 1980s. Little did he know, it would go on to become one of the finest pieces of financial cinema ever created. Traders still go nuts for this movie and everyone loves Michael Douglas’ character Gordan Gekko, who is modeled partly after Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
In a sentence: Part 2 of the classic Wall Street, Gordon Gekko is released from jail to start a new life, does he start a new life or does he get caught up back in the spiralling world he created on Wall Street?
Plot: To take down a merciless finance executive, a young trader agrees to a disgraced Wall street legend’s proposal in exchange for the man to be reunited with his daughter, the trader’s fiancée.
Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room (2005)
In a sentence: One of the best documentaries ever made. Ever.
Plot: Enron: TSGITR tells the tale of Enron’s rise and fall from grace, including the strange tales of executives Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Andy Fastow, and Timothy Belden. This breathtaking movie also features interviews from former energy traders and hedge fund king Jim Chanos.
In a sentence: Brilliant… If you can find it.
Plot: Made in 1987 during the raging bull-market, this little-known documentary stars Paul Tudor Jones and chronicles his day-to-day life as an active investor. Jones uses techniques like historical chart reading, taken from Jesse Livermore, to predict the Black Monday crash on film. Even though it portrays Jones in a positive light, finding a (legitimate and legal) copy of this movie is nearly impossible to find as it’s rumored that Jones bought all 1000 copies in existence.
American Psycho (2000)
In a sentence: You’ll never look at business cards the same way again.
Plot: Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale in American Psycho, is the consummate Wall Street professional, beyond the fact that he’s losing his mind. Throughout the film Bateman utters some absolute classics, including a soliloquy on Phil Collins that likely changed his career for ever. The film also made ‘The Dorsia’ a catchphrase for an exclusive restaurant.
Quants: The Alchemists Of Wall Street (2010)
In a sentence: A rare look inside the minds of mathematical geniuses who have invented financial models that have both destroyed and made Wall Street.
Plot: Quants is 45-minute documentary on the inner-workings of quantitative analysts on Wall Street. If you’d like to watch it, it’s embedded below via YouTube.
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