Some of the biggest brokerages and financial firms in the United States have had their historical headquarters on Wall Street. This is one of the main reasons for its popularity, seen not only in the financial or investment field but also in books and movies. Here are the 13 best Wall Street Movies you can enjoy.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
English 3h IMDb
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo Di, CaprioJonah Hill, Margot Robbie
This film follows the story of Jordan Belfort. Jordan accepted a small position at a Wall Street brokerage firm in the year 1987 and later on established his firm, which is called Stratton Oakmont. Jordan builds a fortune by scamming wealthy investors.
He made millions of dollars with the help of his dependable buddies and a bunch of brokers. As Belfort and his friends enjoy the thrills brought about by success and money, the SEC and FBI pursue his empire.
Every one of the characters did an outstanding job of bringing their respective roles to life. The film was a rollercoaster ride following the ups and downs of success and chasing it.
2. The Big Short (2015)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
When Michael Burry, a Wall Street guru, realizes a handful of subprime house loans are at risk of default, he wagers on the housing market. He invests over $1 billion of the funds from his investors in credit-default swaps.
And so, a banker named Jared, a hedge fund expert Mark, and other greedy opportunists are drawn to his deeds. Despite a few editorial liberties, the movie’s portrayal of how things are behind the scenes was truthful. If you are in the financial world, you would most likely relate to the analytics in the film.
3. Wall Street (1987)
English 2h 6m IMDb
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie
This film follows Bud Fox, a highly ambitious stockbroker who will stop at nothing to succeed. Then he approaches Gordon Gekko, a corporate raider he looks up to, and asks for guidance and mentorship.
As Fox gets deeper and deeper involved in shady dealings and greedy schemes, he eventually jeopardizes his excellent father’s livelihood. With this predicament, Fox begins to rethink his decisions.
This is a powerful story that good actors portray. Because of the depth of the story and the wide range of topics covered, the movie can be considered one of the most relevant films of its day.
4. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
English 2h 13m IMDb
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan
Gordon Gekko is no longer in control of the world he once ruled after serving a lengthy prison sentence for insider trading. Gekko allies with his daughter’s fiancé, Jake, to mend his damaged relationship with this daughter.
Even though Jake begins to see Gordon as a father figure, he soon discovers that Gekko hasn’t changed. He is still a manipulative liar who would do anything to accomplish his plan. The film focuses on the financial crisis popularly called the Wall Street Meltdown of 2008, which makes it an intriguing watch.
5. Boiler Room (2000)
English 2h IMDb
Director: Ben Younger
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long
This movie follows the infamous “boiler room,” where people can become millionaires overnight. The story revolves around a back room of a shady brokerage company where the money-making happens. There, pushy stock jocks make their way to money.
In this modest neighborhood on Long Island, Gen Xers travel fast to pursue the green. It is a story of deception and flashy extortion. Boiler Room is an underrated film that shows so much about finance and the market.
The screenplay is good and well put together– although there might be quite a lot of cursing. In a way, this film imparts knowledge and lessons.
6. Inside Job (2010)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: Charles Ferguson
Stars: Matt Damon(voice), Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason
Millions of jobs and homes were lost due to the fall 2008 global financial crisis, which also sent the US into a severe economic downturn. This documentary offers an in-depth analysis of the factors that contributed to the economic meltdown and identifies major participants on both the financial and political fronts.
This movie should be required for everyone who wants to educate themselves about the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and the Financial Crisis of 2008. This great movie exudes feelings of disgust and anger, but most importantly, it will motivate you to demand change and be an agent of change.
7. Margin Call (2011)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey
This story tells how an analyst makes a discovery that could be highly detrimental to everyone. To limit the extent of the harm, top players at an investing firm take drastic action. The feelings and struggles during the Great Depression are revisited in this film.
This time, the viewer experiences it as though gazing through the opposite end of a telescopic lens. The viewers can watch without becoming very invested in what is going on since there is an odd detachment in the film. You know you’re in for a roller coaster experience when the movie starts to grab you.
8. Money Monster (2016)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
This film tells the story of Lee Gates, the host of a television show entitled “Money Monster.” He is a Wall Street expert who makes recommendations for popular stocks. One day, in the middle of a live telecast, an angry investor bursts into the set and takes him hostage.
By communicating with one another through his earpiece, Bill and his producer attempt to find a method to defuse the issue. The movie’s narrative is well executed and sheds light on issues of fraud, corruption, and greed that exist in real life.
The film may start slowly, but it picks up steam as you figure out the story and things get interesting.
9. Too Big To Fail (2011)
English 1h 39m IMDb
Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt
When the economy of the United States began to struggle in 2008, the nation’s financial leaders stepped up. Together, they work and attempt to protect and preserve the housing market from ruins.
An exhaustive, illuminating, and unsettling film that analyzes the financial catastrophe that almost sent us back to ancient times. This highly intriguing movie provides a lot of insight into the larger picture of how money works.
The movie has good actors portraying good roles and a creative screenplay, making it easier for viewers to relate and get hooked on the film.
10. Other People’s Money (1991)
English 1h 43m IMDb
Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Danny DeVito, Gregory Peck, Penelope Ann Miller
Larry Garfield, nicknamed Larry the liquidator, is a corporate raider who dissolves firms to make a profit by selling off their components. He sets his eyes on a cable firm in a tiny town. This cable company is responsible for the employment of most of the town’s population.
With this threat to his company and people, Chairman Andrew Jorgenson recruits his attractive stepdaughter, Kate. Her mission is to divert the merciless raider’s attention.
This movie may be the first to present a balanced view of the financial industry and company funding. This movie stitches two interesting concerts of romance and finances beautifully.
11. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
English 1h 40m IMDb
Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
Tension rises when an office packed with real estate salespeople in New York City declares that just the best or the top two will be employed in a week. Shelley Levene, having an ill daughter, goes out and makes every effort to get his supervisor more leads and to rise to the top two.
When his colleague Dave Moss devises a scheme to steal the leads, things become difficult for the brash salespeople. This movie offers a different story.
Narratively speaking, it’s an examination of the current state of the world. It’s not an action-filled movie with guns and violence, but it has the gripping element that keeps you watching, waiting for it to unfold.
12. The Company Men (2010)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: John Wells
Stars: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones
This film tells the story of a group of friends trying to navigate post-employment life. The story starts with Bobby Walker, a young executive quickly climbing the corporate ladder to the top.
However, when his company suffers from rounds of layoffs, Bobby, along with his coworkers Phil and Gene, find themselves in the unemployed lane. All three must reinvent their lives as they venture into the harsh post-career environment.
There is a newfound relevance to this film as the world tries to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a good film displaying the essential values of family, friendship, and being a team.
13. Arbitrage (2012)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling
Robert Miller, a giant in the world of New York hedge funds, is getting close to 60 years old and appears to be the epitome of success. The truth is, he is in over his head and making a last-ditch effort to sell his enterprise to a significant bank well before investigators and his family discover the extent of his deceit.
Miller is unexpectedly forced to balance family, business, and crime with the help of a former colleague after making a crucial misstep. The movie’s plot and characters in each scene will leave you wanting more.
These 13 best Wall Street movies will take you to the world of finance and the complexities that follow it. The gripping scenes and the challenges faced in each film will quench your thirst for a different type of action. There are also films mentioned with comedic relief and some romantic tropes that you will surely enjoy.