There have been many great movies about Wall Street and trading stocks over the years. Below you'll find our curated list of what we think are the top 10 movies every stock trader should watch.
Welcome to our blog post about the best movies about stock trading! The stock market is a fascinating and fast-paced world, and it's no surprise that it has been the subject of many films over the years.
From the high stakes and cut-throat competition of Wall Street to the complex financial machinations of The Big Short, these movies offer a glimpse into the world of stock trading and the people who make it their livelihood.
Whether you're a seasoned trader or just curious about the world of finance, these films are sure to captivate and entertain. In this post, we will be discussing the top 10 stock trading movies that you can't miss and what makes them so great. So, grab some popcorn and let's dive in!
1) Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. The film is set in the high-powered world of New York City finance and follows the story of Bud Fox, a young stockbroker who becomes embroiled in the illegal and unethical practices of the ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko.
As Bud becomes more deeply involved with Gekko and his ruthless tactics, he begins to lose sight of his own values and morals. The film explores themes of greed, power, and the corrupting influence of wealth. The film is widely regarded as a classic and is often cited as one of the most iconic films of the 1980s.
Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, a character that is widely considered to be one of the most memorable and iconic characters in cinematic history. The film also features strong performances from Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox and Daryl Hannah as Gekko's mistress. Wall Street is a powerful and thought-provoking film that offers a searing critique of the cutthroat world of high finance and the price of success.
2) Boiler Room (2000)
Boiler Room is a gripping and intense crime drama set in the high-stakes world of illegal, high-pressure stock brokerage firms.
The film follows the story of Seth Davis, a college dropout who is looking for a way to make a quick buck and find a sense of purpose in his life. He gets a job at a firm called J.T. Marlin, where he quickly rises through the ranks and becomes a successful broker. However, as he becomes more deeply entrenched in the world of J.T. Marlin, he discovers that the company's practices are illegal and that his colleagues are engaging in insider trading and other unethical behavior.
As Seth struggles with the moral implications of his actions and the pressure to continue making money at any cost, he must also navigate the cutthroat and fast-paced world of the brokerage firm, where greed and ambition reign supreme. The film explores themes of power, corruption, and the high cost of success.
Boiler Room features an all-star cast, including Giovanni Ribisi as Seth, Vin Diesel as Chris Varick, the charismatic and ruthless leader of J.T. Marlin, Nia Long as Abby, Seth's love interest and confidant, and Ben Affleck as Jim Young, the firm's legal advisor. The film is directed by Ben Younger, who also wrote the screenplay. Boiler Room is a gripping and thought-provoking film that delves deep into the dark side of the American dream and the lengths that some will go to achieve it.
3) Trading Places (1983)
Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The film is a satirical take on the class struggles and the excesses of capitalism, set in the world of high finance.
The story follows the lives of two men from vastly different backgrounds, the wealthy and entitled Duke brothers and the street-smart, ambitious Billy Ray Valentine, who are the subjects of a bet made by the brothers.
The Duke brothers decide to switch the lives of Valentine, a street-smart hustler, and Louis Winthorpe III, a wealthy and successful businessman, in order to prove their theory that a person's success is determined by their environment and not their abilities. As Valentine and Winthorpe navigate their new lives and the challenges that come with them, they ultimately come to realize the truth about themselves and the society that they live in.
The film features Eddie Murphy in a breakout role as Billy Ray Valentine and Dan Aykroyd as Louis Winthorpe III, both delivering fantastic performances that showcase their comedic talents. Jamie Lee Curtis also stars as Ophelia, a prostitute who becomes embroiled in the bet and ultimately helps Valentine and Winthorpe take down the Duke brothers. The film is both a hilarious comedy and a sharp satire that skewers the excesses of the capitalist system and the illusion of meritocracy. With its memorable characters, clever writing and memorable scenes, Trading Places is a classic comedy that has stood the test of time.
4) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. The film is based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort, who was a stockbroker and convicted felon, and tells the story of his rise to power and subsequent fall from grace.
The film follows Belfort, a young and ambitious stockbroker who quickly rises to the top of the Wall Street hierarchy, but at a heavy cost. He starts a firm, Stratton Oakmont, that becomes a boiler room operation that defrauds wealthy investors. Along the way, Belfort indulges in a hedonistic lifestyle of drugs, sex and excess, all financed by his illegal activities. Despite the FBI closing in on him, Belfort continues to live the high life, until he is finally caught and brought to justice.
The film is directed by Martin Scorsese and features a strong performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, who immerses himself in the role and captures the character's ambition, greed, and excess. Jonah Hill also delivers a strong performance as Belfort's right-hand man, Donnie Azoff, and Margot Robbie as his second wife, Naomi Lapaglia. The film also features an all-star supporting cast including Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner and Jean Dujardin.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a darkly comedic and intense film that offers a searing critique of the excesses of Wall Street and the corrupting influence of wealth. The film is a cautionary tale that exposes the destructive nature of greed and the dangers of living a life without moral boundaries. With its sharp writing, strong performances, and Scorsese's masterful direction, The Wolf of Wall Street is a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
5) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin. The film is a sequel to the 1987 film Wall Street, and continues the story of Gordon Gekko, a ruthless corporate raider who was released from prison after serving a sentence for insider trading.
The film takes place in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and follows Gekko as he tries to rebuild his reputation and reconnect with his estranged daughter, Winnie. Along the way, he becomes involved with a young, ambitious trader named Jacob Moore, who is engaged to Winnie and is trying to navigate the treacherous world of Wall Street. Gekko sees an opportunity to redeem himself by mentoring Jacob and helping him to uncover a financial scam that threatens to bring down the entire financial system.
The film features a strong cast, with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gordon Gekko and delivering a nuanced and powerful performance as the character. Shia LaBeouf plays Jacob Moore, and Carey Mulligan stars as Winnie, Gekko's daughter. Josh Brolin also has a notable role as Bretton James, a Wall Street executive who is involved in the financial scam.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a thought-provoking and timely film that offers a searing critique of the financial system and the greed and corruption that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
The film is a worthy successor to the original Wall Street and continues to explore the themes of power, greed, and corruption in the world of high finance. Oliver Stone's direction, the performances of the cast, and the script make the film a compelling and engaging watch.
6) The Big Short (2015)
The Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt. The film is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Michael Lewis and tells the story of the 2008 financial crisis through the eyes of a small group of investors who saw the housing market collapse coming and bet against it, making a fortune in the process.
The film follows the story of Michael Burry, a quirky and eccentric hedge fund manager who discovers that the housing market is built on a foundation of fraud and deception. He decides to bet against the market by shorting subprime mortgages and assembles a team of investors to do the same. The film also follows the story of Mark Baum, a hedge fund manager who is initially skeptical of Burry's theory, but eventually joins him in shorting the market. Along the way, they encounter a variety of characters who are also betting against the market, including a group of amateur investors and a Wall Street veteran.
The film features a strong and talented cast, with Christian Bale playing Michael Burry, Steve Carell playing Mark Baum, Ryan Gosling playing a young Wall Street trader and Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert, a retired Wall Street veteran. The film also features a strong supporting cast, including Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, and Rafe Spall.
The Big Short is a thought-provoking and entertaining film that offers a unique perspective on the 2008 financial crisis and the greed and corruption that led to it. The film is both a comedy and a drama, and it's able to mix those elements well making it a unique and engaging watch. The film is directed by Adam McKay, who also wrote the screenplay and it's widely praised for its clever and accessible way of explaining complex financial concepts to a mainstream audience. The film received numerous accolades, including five Academy Award nominations, and it's considered one of the best films of the year.
7) Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call is a 2011 American drama film directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, and Zachary Quinto. The film is set in the high-pressure world of Wall Street and tells the story of a group of investment bankers who are faced with a financial crisis as the global economy begins to collapse.
The film begins with the firing of a senior executive and the discovery of a highly leveraged and risky portfolio of mortgage-backed securities. The portfolio's sudden devaluation threatens to bring down the entire firm and the executives are forced to make a series of difficult and morally questionable decisions in order to save the company.
The film features a strong ensemble cast, with Kevin Spacey playing the role of Sam Rogers, a senior executive who is tasked with managing the crisis, Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, a risk management specialist, and Zachary Quinto as Peter Sullivan, a young analyst who uncovers the crisis. The film also features strong performances from other notable actors including Demi Moore, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker and Stanley Tucci.
Margin Call is a thought-provoking and intense film that offers a searing critique of the greed and corruption that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
The film is directed by J.C Chandor who also wrote the screenplay, and it's widely praised for its intelligent and nuanced portrayal of the complex world of high finance. The film is a well-crafted and well-acted, and it manages to convey the complexity and the gravity of the financial crisis in a way that is both accessible and engaging. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
8) Arbitrage (2011)
Arbitrage is a 2012 American thriller film directed by Nicholas Jarecki and starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Roth. The film is set in the world of high finance and tells the story of a successful hedge fund manager named Robert Miller who is facing a financial and personal crisis.
Miller is a wealthy and powerful man who has built his empire through a combination of talent and deception. He is approaching the brink of financial ruin and must find a way to save his company and his reputation before the truth of his actions is exposed.
The film follows Miller as he navigates a web of lies and deception to try and save his business and his family. He is faced with a series of difficult and morally questionable decisions, and must balance the needs of his family with the needs of his business. Along the way, he is pursued by a police detective, who is investigating his financial dealings and a young woman who is trying to uncover the truth about his past.
The film features a strong and talented cast, with Richard Gere playing the lead role of Robert Miller and delivering a powerful and nuanced performance. Susan Sarandon plays his wife, Ellen, and Tim Roth plays the detective investigating him. The film also features a strong supporting cast including Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta, and Nate Parker.
Arbitrage is a thought-provoking and intense film that offers a searing critique of the greed and corruption that exists in the world of high finance. The film is directed by Nicholas Jarecki, who also wrote the screenplay, and it's widely praised for its intelligent and nuanced portrayal of the complex world of finance and the moral dilemmas faced by those who operate within it. The film is a well-crafted and well-acted, and it manages to convey the complexity and gravity of the financial crisis in a way that is both accessible and engaging. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards including the Golden Globe for Best Actor for Richard Gere's performance.
9) Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
"Barbarians at the Gate" is a 1993 film based on the true story of the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco, a major American corporation, by a group of investors. The film is directed by Glenn Jordan and stars James Garner as F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, and Jonathan Pryce as Henry Kravis, the head of the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), who leads the buyout effort.
The movie follows the events leading up to the LBO, which took place in the late 1980s. As Johnson and his team attempt to take the company private, they are met with fierce resistance from Kravis and his team at KKR. The two sides engage in a heated bidding war, with both sides determined to come out on top.
Throughout the film, viewers see the cutthroat nature of the world of high finance and the lengths that some will go to in order to make a profit. The movie also explores the personal lives of the characters and how their actions affect those around them.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising the performances of the cast and the story's depiction of the greed and excess of the 1980s. It was nominated for several awards and is considered a classic of business cinema.
The historical events depicted in the movie is widely considered as one of the most dramatic and significant LBOs in the history of the United States. The buyout, which was valued at $25 billion, was the largest leveraged buyout in history at the time. It served as a symbol of the excesses of the 1980s and the greed of Wall Street.
10) Money Monster (2016)
"Money Monster" is a 2016 film directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O'Connell. The film is a thriller that explores the world of financial news and the stock market.
Clooney plays Lee Gates, a popular financial television host who dispenses stock market advice on his show "Money Monster." Gates is considered a guru by many, but his advice is not always sound. One day, during a live broadcast, an irate viewer named Kyle Budwell (O'Connell) storms the studio, holding Gates hostage at gunpoint. Budwell is angry because he followed Gates' advice and lost all of his savings.
As the situation unfolds on live television, Gates and his team, including his producer Patty Fenn (Roberts), try to figure out a way to defuse the situation. Meanwhile, Budwell demands that Gates admit his mistakes and reveal the truth behind a recent stock market crash that cost him his life savings.
The film delves into the themes of financial fraud and the role of the media in shaping public opinion. It also explores the personal lives of the characters and the impact of their actions on those around them.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the cast and the commentary on financial fraud, while others criticized it for its lack of depth.
Overall, Money Monster is a thrilling and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about the financial world and the role of the media in shaping public opinion. It is well acted, with a strong cast led by George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and provides a commentary on the dangerous consequences of financial fraud and the pressure the media put on individuals in the public eye.
In conclusion, the stock market and trading have been popular subjects in movies for decades. The films on this list offer a diverse range of perspectives on the world of finance, from the cutthroat nature of Wall Street to the impact of financial fraud on everyday people. Whether you're a seasoned trader or just curious about the stock market, these movies offer an entertaining and informative look at the industry.
From the dramatic true story of "Barbarians at the Gate" to the thought-provoking commentary of "Money Monster," these films offer something for everyone. Whether you're in the mood for a thrilling drama or a comedic romp, the movies on this list have something to offer. We hope you have enjoyed our list of the top 10 stock trading movies and will watch and enjoy them as much as we did.