Being an entrepreneur is challenging, no matter what knowledge and degree you have there is always a phase you need an extra push. Work on limitless opportunities to improve your abilities and expertise to make a big difference. There are many sources of information and inspiration and movies are one of them.
Business movies maybe not be the first choice but entrepreneurs learn many lessons on how to run a successful business. Many films are based on a true story that shows how protagonists accept every hurdle and find ways to overcome them in their entrepreneurial journey. Many films provide an inside look, at the hard work of running startups with the life lessons of what not to do.
You can learn a lot from these money-minded and motivational movies for entrepreneurs. They go beyond entertainment and feature the story of real-life entrepreneurs of both admirable and notorious varieties.
Here is the list of 15 Inspiring Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch:
The Pursuit of Happyness
IMDb rating: 8
The 2006 biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. The movie stars Will Smith as Chris Gardner a struggling salesman who becomes homeless with his young son while trying to pursue a career as a stockbroker in San Francisco in the early 1980s. The film portrays the challenges that Gardner faces as he tries to provide for his son while facing poverty, homelessness, and the daily struggles of life on the streets. Throughout the movie, Gardner’s determination and perseverance serve as an inspiration to viewers, as he overcomes incredible odds to achieve his goals.
The Social Network
IMDb rating: 7.8
The 2010 biographical drama film directed by David Fincher is loosely based on the founding of Facebook and the legal battles that ensued among its co-founders. The film tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a socially awkward Harvard student who creates a website called “The Facebook” with the help of his friend Eduardo Saverin.
The film explores the complex relationships and legal disputes that ultimately led to the formation of one of the most influential companies in modern history. As Facebook grows in popularity, tensions rise between Zuckerberg and Saverin over the company’s direction and ownership. “The Social Network” received critical acclaim for its acting, direction, and screenplay, and it won three Academy Awards.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
IMDb rating: 6.2
The 2010 drama film directed by Oliver Stone and a sequel to the 1987 film “Wall Street.” The movie stars Michael Douglas, reprising his role as Gordon Gekko, a former stockbroker who was released from prison after serving time for insider trading. The film takes place in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and centers around the relationship between Gekko and a young Wall Street trader named Jake Moore, played by Shia LaBeouf. The film explores themes of greed, corruption, and the dangers of the financial industry, and raises questions about the morality of those who profit from the suffering of others.
The Big Short
IMDb rating: 7.8
The 2015 biographical comedy-drama film was directed by Adam McKay and based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Michael Lewis. The movie stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, and tells the story of a group of investors who predicted the 2008 financial crisis and profited from it.
The film follows the lives of several investors, each with their own unique approach to financial analysis, as they discover the impending collapse of the subprime mortgage market. The film sheds light on the complex financial instruments and practices that contributed to the crisis and highlights greed and moral bankruptcy. The movie also explores the human toll of the crisis, as millions of people lost their homes and jobs as a result of the collapse.
IMDb rating: 7.2
The 2016 biographical drama film directed by John Lee Hancock tells the story of Ray Kroc, the businessman who turned McDonald’s into a global fast-food empire. The film stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc a struggling milkshake machine salesman. The film chronicles Kroc’s journey as he discovers the revolutionary “Speedee Service System” invented by the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac.
“The Founder” explores themes of ambition, greed, and the cost of success, and sheds light on the often overlooked story of the McDonald brothers, who invented a new way of dining that revolutionized the fast food industry.
IMDb rating: 7.6
The 2011 American sports film is based on the true story of Billy Beane, a professional baseball player. The movie stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane and follows Beane’s struggles to compete with richer teams and his decision to use statistical analysis and advanced metrics to identify undervalued players and build a winning team.
The movie shows the importance of thinking outside the box, taking calculated risks, and using data to make informed decisions in business. The movie was praised for its performances, direction, and screenplay, and was nominated for six Academy Awards.
IMDb rating: 8.7
The 2020 Tamil-language biographical drama film directed by Sudha Kongara and starring Suriya in the lead role. The film tells the inspiring story of Captain Gopinath, the founder of Air Deccan, India’s first low-cost airline. The movie follows the struggles and triumphs of Nedumaaran Rajangam, a young man from a small village in Tamil Nadu who dreams of starting his own airline.
Through its compelling narrative and powerful performances, “Soorarai Pottru” explores themes of ambition, perseverance, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship. The movie highlights the importance of perseverance, determination, and hard work in achieving success. The movie is a tribute to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in India, and an inspiration to those who dare to dream big and pursue their passions against all odds.
IMDb rating: 7.7
The 2007 Indian Hindi-language biographical drama film directed by Mani Ratnam and starring Abhishek Bachchan in the lead role. The film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest conglomerates. The film follows the journey of Gurukant Desai, a young man from a small village in Gujarat who dreams of becoming a successful businessman.
Through its powerful narrative and superb performances, “Guru” explores themes of ambition, perseverance, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship. The movie highlights the importance of hard work, innovation, and strategic thinking in business, as well as the impact of socio-political and economic factors on entrepreneurship.
IMDb rating: 7.1
The 2011 American drama film was directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, and Stanley Tucci. The film takes place during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. The movie follows a group of high-level employees at a fictional investment bank who discover that the company’s investments are about to crash.
The movie highlights the impact of greed, risk-taking, and unethical behavior on the financial industry and its consequences on the wider economy. Through its powerful performances and taut direction, “Margin Call” offers a compelling and nuanced portrayal of the financial crisis, and sheds light on the complex web of factors.
Steve Jobs (2015)
IMDb rating: 7.2
The 2015 biographical drama film was directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. The movie stars Michael Fassbender in the lead role and portrays the life of Steve Jobs, the co-founder, and CEO of Apple Inc., one of the world’s most successful technology companies. The movie focuses on three key product launches in Jobs’ career, including the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, the NeXT Computer in 1988, and the iMac in 1998.
The movie highlights Jobs’ creativity, determination, and leadership qualities, as well as his flaws and personal struggles. The film depicts the personal and professional relationships that shaped Jobs’ life and the challenges he faced in his quest for innovation and success.
IMDb rating: 7.5
The 2004 American biographical drama film portrays the life of Howard Hughes, a pioneering aviator, and entrepreneur. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes. The movie follows Hughes’ journey from a young boy with a passion for aviation to a successful businessman and Hollywood producer.
The film explores themes of ambition, risk-taking, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship, as well as the personal toll of mental illness and obsessive behavior. Overall, “The Aviator” is an inspiring and engaging movie that highlights the importance of passion, creativity, and perseverance in entrepreneurship, as well as the challenges and risks involved in pursuing one’s dreams.
IMDb rating: 7.1
The 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles. The movie follows the story of Ben Whittaker (De Niro), a 70-year-old retired executive who becomes a senior intern at an e-commerce fashion start-up founded by Jules Ostin (Hathaway).
The movie is a tribute to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as a celebration of the value of experience, wisdom, and mentorship in the workplace. The movie also explores themes of work-life balance, career transitions, and mentorship.
The Company Men
IMDb rating: 6.7
The 2010 American drama film was written and directed by John Wells, and starring Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, and Tommy Lee Jones. The movie explores the impact of the economic downturn on the lives of these executives and their families, as they face financial instability, identity crises, and relationship challenges. The movie highlights the importance of resilience, adaptability, and community in times of crisis, as well as the need for companies to balance profitability with social responsibility. The movie is a reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and solidarity in the face of economic adversity, as well as a call to action for businesses and policymakers to prioritize the needs and well-being of their employees.
IMDb rating: 6.6
The 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. The movie tells the story of Joy Mangano, a divorced mother of two who rises to become a successful entrepreneur and inventor, best known for creating the Miracle Mop. The movie highlights the challenges Joy faces as a woman in a male-dominated industry, as well as her struggles to protect her intellectual property and maintain control over her business. Overall, “Joy” is an inspiring and empowering movie that celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and the power of perseverance.
The Wolf of Wall Street
IMDb rating: 8.2
The 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker who became a wealthy entrepreneur through a scheme of fraud and corruption. The movie follows Belfort’s rise to wealth and power as he founds his own brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, and engages in illegal activities to make profits.
The movie also explores themes of addiction, greed, and the corrupting influence of power. The movie is a cautionary tale of the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences of prioritizing personal gain over ethical behavior.
A good storyline and brilliant movie go beyond its entertainment value, it teaches some important life lessons added value to the entrepreneurial journey. We hope you enjoy the films highlighted in our must-watch list that offer a glance at the ambition and motivation of some notable entrepreneurs.