These Are the 5 Best Movies About Wall Street

The most entertaining (and educational!) movies about Wall Street.

Key points

  • These films provide excellent insights into Wall Street’s complex world while entertaining viewers from start to finish.
  • Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street show the sinister side of the finance world as unscrupulous traders use every trick in the book to make a fortune, ultimately leading to their downfall.
  • Margin Call and The Big Short give insight into the 2008 financial crisis and how greed and recklessness brought down the global economy.

The world of finance can seem boring to many people, but that hasn’t stopped moviegoers from enjoying watching movies about Wall Street and continuing to come back for more. These films not only offer an intriguing look into the high-stakes world of financial trading, where fortunes are lost or made, but show the moral implications of such pursuits. Wall Street movies also provide unique insights into how the stock market and the economy work, allowing viewers to gain a better understanding of a complex subject. If you enjoy these types of movies, then here are five you don’t want to miss.

1. Wall Street (1987)

This is the movie that is credited with starting it all. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas, this award-winning movie is one of the most iconic movies about Wall Street ever made. It tells the story of Gordon Gekko, a ruthless corporate raider who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The film is often credited for popularizing the phrase “Greed is good” and has become an iconic representation of the excesses and corruption of Wall Street. This movie won one Oscar, and had 10 film award wins and five nominations.

2. Margin Call (2011)

This movie is essential viewing for anyone interested in Wall Street. Set during the 2008 financial crisis, this award-winning drama tells the story of an investment bank on the brink of collapse. Led by an all-star cast of Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, and Jeremy Irons, this film follows a group of investment bankers over a 24-hour period as they try to avoid disaster when their firm faces financial ruin due to risky investments gone bad. This movie was nominated for one Oscar, and had eight film award wins and 24 nominations.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

When it comes to Wall Street, no movie captures the essence of financial trading better than Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life stock broker Jordan Belfort, this film follows his rise (and lavish lifestyle) and rapid fall from grace. Along the way, viewers get an inside look at excesses of Wall Street and how greed can corrupt even those with seemingly good intentions. This movie was nominated for five Oscars, and had 37 film award wins and 179 nominations.

4. The Big Short (2015)

Based on real events and the best-selling book by Michael Lewis, this award-winning movie follows a group of investors who saw warning signs before the housing market crash of 2008. Led by another all-star cast, consisting of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, the characters decide to bet against the impending mortgage crisis using “collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).” It’s an interesting take on how smart people can make money by betting against conventional wisdom, how they were ridiculed, and then eventually had the last laugh. This movie won one Oscar, and had 37 film award wins and 81 nominations.

5. Boiler Room (2000)

Another award-winning Martin Scorsese film, this cult classic stars Giovanni Ribisi as Seth Davis, an ambitious young man who gets involved in an unscrupulous penny stock brokerage firm. He soon discovers the dark side of working in finance and must decide whether to do something about it. This film also has an all-star cast in addition to Ribisi, starring Vin Diesel, Ben Affleck, Scott Caan, and Jamie Kennedy. This movie came out one month prior to the 2000 dotcom bubble, a perfect precursor to the crash that saw the Nasdaq fall by 75%. This movie had one film award win and nine nominations.

Whether you’re looking for intense drama, a riveting portrayal of financial trading, or want to learn more about Wall Street, then these five movies about Wall Street have something for everyone. They offer an intriguing look into what goes on behind closed doors on Wall Street and make for great viewing whether you’re an investor yourself or just curious about what goes on in the world of high-stakes trading. So pop some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy one (or all!) of these great films!

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