The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 drama/black comedy film directed by Martin Scorcese, which is a biography on the real life story of John Belfort. In this list, we will look at other best movies like Wolf of Wall Street.
In the meantime, this film starring Leonardo di Caprio was as riveting as it was entertaining. It was a very real, if not crude, depiction of what unapologetic desires for success and gains can look like.
It follows Belfort’s story as he climbed up the corporate ladder from rank-and-file employee to grossly rich stockbroker, living the excessively high life until his white-collar crimes caught up with him.
The story begins in the early 1990s, when Belfort and his partner Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) set up their own brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont.
It was a dizzying whirlwind trip to success as their firm skyrocketed to the top of the most important and coveted firms in Wall Street. As their client list grew longer and the personalities got bigger, however, so did their appetite for sex, drugs, lies, and alcohol.
Eventually, the FBI uncovered some very questionable trading tactics conducted by Belfort through his firm. Ever the maverick, he tried to throw the feds off his track, until he finally could no longer outrun his misdeeds.
Along with di Caprio’s stellar and convincing performance, the supporting cast, including Jonah Hill also helped bring character and flavor to this film.
Here are other best films to watch like The Wolf of Wall Street.
1. Goodfellas (1990)
English 2h 25m IMDb
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Before there was The Wolf of Wall Street, there was Goodfellas. This 1990 feature by Martin Scorcese tackled the life of mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his relationship with his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco).
Joining in the fray are his mob partners James Conway (Robert de Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci).
As James and Tommy seek higher mob aspirations, killing everyone who gets in the way, Henry decides to turn the other way, but can he make it in time before it’s too late?
Goodfellas is one of the renowned classic mobster movies directed by the great Scorcese. Even more admirable is when Henry Hill himself confirmed that the film character of Tommy DeSimone came as close as 90-99% accurate to the real-life Tommy.
2. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
English 1h 32m IMDb
Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello
Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) tries his best to be the best role model for his 12-year-old son. He also tries his best to spin great tales about his clients, Big Tobacco, as their chief spokesperson.
Thank You for Smoking is a hard-hitting satirical comedy on how tobacco companies spend tons of cash to wash their hands off the liability for the harms resulting from their products.
It’s a compelling watch, especially when you see up to what lengths these big corporations will go to, only to protect their reputation, business interests, and profits.
3. The Aviator (2004)
English 2h 50m IMDb
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
This biopic starring Leonardo di Caprio takes a closer look at the life of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes, particularly the early days of his professional career from the 1920s to the mid-1940s.
Howard Hughes was also the owner of R.K.O. Pictures. The other passion he focused on was his love for aircrafts. Hughes was an avid designer, and eagerly promoted new aircrafts himself. Eventually, he founded TWA, which directly rivaled Juan Trippe’s Pan Am airlines.
Central to understanding the personality of Hughes was understanding his germophobia, which greatly impacted his daily life and habits, especially when compounded by his mental illness. It’s as enlightening and intriguing as a celebrity biography may come.
4. Margin Call (2011)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey
It’s the great financial crisis of 2008 brewing on the horizon. Inside an investment firm, key players are on the brink of a life-changing 24-hour period as an employee holds information that may lead to the firm’s downfall and ruin.
Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) is an entry-level firm employee that may have gained knowledge on data that he should never have. What follows is a high stakes action with major stakeholders doing all they can to protect their interests.
This thrilling drama delivers the goods, as you experience the full rollercoaster of emotions, with revealing discoveries one after the other in the midst of an imploding financial crisis.
5. The Founder (2016)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch
The Founder looks back on the history of the world-famous fast-food chain McDonald’s.
Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a hustling salesman recognized as the one responsible for convincing the McDonald brothers–Dick (Nick Offerman) and Maurice/Mac (John Carroll Lynch)–to grow and expand their restaurant into a successful franchise.
Bold, if not a little off kilter, Ray set out to draw the brothers out into taking more high-stake investment decisions if they really want to succeed.
Eventually, however, too many cooks in the kitchen prove to be disastrous for everyone involved. A standoff ensues, and priorities and best interests must be reevaluated.
It’s an intriguing look at how one of the biggest companies in the world today started out with humble beginnings.
6. The Big Short (2015)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Investing in the mortgage market can bring in the big bucks–but also a truckload of problems. This was what a group of investors discovered for themselves when they bet against it in 2006-2007.
The Big Short uncovers the scope and breadth of corruption deeply embedded in the market, and how it can easily play against the stakeholders.
Set against the backdrop of the infamous US mortgage housing crisis of 20015, Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Mark Baum (Steve Carrelle), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), with the help of Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) work together to bring to light research information that can bring major financial institutions to their knees.
What’s interesting about this film is that it effectively distills intricate financial concepts with light comedy, while also retaining the integrity of its information. It’s entertaining education on investment and its pitfalls, minus the boring classroom discussion.
7. American Hustle (2013)
English 2h 18m IMDb
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper
Con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to work for rogue FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).
HIs mission for them: break into the dangerous underworld of mafia and powerbrokers in Jersey to nail a case. Throwing them in for a loop is Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), Irving’s firecracker of a wife, who just might bring everything down to a collapse.
The star-studded cast played wonderfully into their roles, making it an easy jury favorite among award-giving bodies. If the 10 Oscar nominations among the 227 total nominations it’s received, with all of its 70 wins, are not enough to get you to watch it, then nothing else will.
8. The Great Gatsby (2013)
English 2h 23m IMDb
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
What’s it like to live right next door to a millionaire, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) wonders in The Great Gatsby. It’s a warranted question, especially when the neighbor being referred to is none other than Jay Gatsby (Leonardo di Caprio).
This adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, as directed by the auteur Baz Luhrmann, puts writer and Wall Street trader Carraway smack in the middle of the extravagant and lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous.
As with everything else sparkly and shiny, however, not all is what it seems, and cracks begin to form under the surface of the glitz and glamor.
9. The Social Network (2010)
English 2h IMDb
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Practically everyone in the world knows Facebook, has used it, has aspired to copy it. The story of THE social network of the world is one that’s made of legends as well.
A Harvard college dropout, a small campus app born inside a dorm room that eventually grew into this multi-billion global corporation. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of—and beyond.
Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is known as the creator of Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking app.
However, as with any successful ventures, enemies and obstacles are to be expected. In this case, he’s going up against his own co-founder, and twins claiming to be the original creator of the idea. It’s tough being young, rich, and famous.
10. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
English 2h 21m IMDb
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo diCaprio) is, quite literally, a jack of all trades and master of none. He’s passed as a doctor, a pilot, and even a lawyer even before hitting 21. All very impressive, if only it was all true.
Frank Abagnale, Jr. is, in fact, a con man, making a living by skillfully forging his way into transactions. As with any other exploits like this, they’re bound to grab the attention of some other very curious parties. In this case, it’s FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks).
What follows is an amusing, albeit suspense-filled, tale of cat and mouse playing hide-and-seek, as con man and FBI agent try to outwit, outrun, and outlast each other. Who will be the last man standing?
Catch Me If You Can is a highly entertaining production, punctuated with smart, rapid-fire storytelling that leaves the audience ready for more, without missing a beat.
11. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
English 2h 13m IMDb
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) used to be the big shot in Wall Street, until he went to prison for it. As he steps out back to freedom, he pulls in his future-son-in-law and idealistic stock broker, Jake Moore (Shia LeBouf) to help him exact revenge on his Wall Street nemesis.
Jake soon finds himself embroiled in a complex mission of saving the financial community from its downfall, among other pursuits of justice.
Can head stay true to his convictions, or is winning the favor of his future father-in-law going to cloud his better judgment?
Wall Street is an intensely focused drama on the inner workings of the world of Wall Street, the players in it, and how unfettered desires and greed can set you down a path that will be hard to recover from. Even the best and most innocent of intentions may not last long on this street.
12. Money Monster (2016)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
Losing life savings can drive any decent person to madness, especially when it comes at the cost of your family’s health and security.
But people lose money everyday, especially on Wall Street. The question is, who will actually do something about it in order to find the justice they deserve?
TV host Lee Gates (George Clooney) and producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) are about to find out as they and their crew are taken hostage by investor Jack O’ Connell (Kyle Budwell), who’s lost everything. The most dangerous man, so they say, is one who’s got nothing to lose.
Connell is claiming that a conspiracy is involved, which caused him to lose his money.
Now, in front of a live audience, Lee and Patty must work together to uncover this conspiracy so that folks like O’Connell won’t be duped anymore into investing their hard-earned money for nothing.
These high-stakes financial films are as curious as they are action-packed and interesting.
Even if you’re not all too interested in the more complex terms of the financial world, it’s still interesting to see how very close these events come to affect the lives of regular people on a daily basis.
The Wolf of Wall Street and the rest of these films might prove educational too, so feel free to give it a try.