Financial blunders, stock market crashes, and economic meltdowns make for a painfully addictive viewing experience, especially for business students. Who knew that middle aged men in conservative suits could convey such a thrill? Here are (in no particular order) the top 10 films every business student should watch.
Staff Writer: Anita Rudakov
1. Something Ventured (2011)
Exactly as the name suggests, this film takes a look at venture capitalism and technology-driven culture in the 20th century. However, instead of villainizing the men in suits, Something Ventured presents a fast-paced and informative look at American capitalism and the power of investing in an idea.
2. Too Big to Fail (2011)
HBO’s take on the 2008 financial crisis follows the archetype of a financial thriller to a T, offering a healthy dose of swearing and a heavy sense of urgency. Yet, the predictable structure and lengthy exposition add clarity to a very complicated crisis, which admittedly, even business students often struggle to understand.
3. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Adapted from the play of the same name, this film relies solely on dialogue to illustrate the struggles of a salesman – and it succeeds. The adapted screenplay is clever, foul and punchy, and every line is expertly delivered by an accomplished cast. Overall, Glengarry Glen Ross is a pungent look at the cutthroat culture of corporate sales, and is definitely a must-watch.
4. Wall Street (1987)
A young Charlie Sheen engaged in insider trading and an easy to follow plot make for an excellent tale of corporate greed. If you are less into Sheen and more interested in the timeless antics of Shia Laboeuf, try Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which is set during the 2008 financial crisis.
5. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
This documentary exposes the greed and crime that led to one of the world’s largest and most scandalous corporate bankruptcies. It tells the infamous tale of Enron, which urges you to brush up on accounting standards and hold your moral compass nice and tight.
6. The Social Network (2010)
The Social Network illustrates the notorious story of Facebook, communicated through Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced, catchy screenplay. The film brings a brand of exhilarating and sharp pessimism to the big screen, which is ultimately reflective of the digital age in which it was set.
7. Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call offers an inside look at the profligate Wall Street culture and the complex initial stages of the 2008 financial crisis. The film recounts a story of morality and human nature while closely adhering to the beloved model of a dialogue-driven financial thriller.
8. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Shameless and raw, this egregious tale of corruption and trickery is entertaining from beginning to end. The film offers a bold, blatant look into stockbroker Jordan Belfort’s drug-induced, sex-crazed escapades while staying true to Scorsese’s classic cinematic energy.
9. Inside Job (2010)
Serving as a narrative of the 2008 financial crisis, this film is an authentic and well-organized exposé that can be easily digested, no matter how many economics courses you have taken. The filmmaker’s bitter attitude towards the corrupt realm of business and government is flawlessly epitomized, making Inside Job a must-see.
10. Office Space (1999)
A satirical look at the 9-to-5 job, this film serves as a handbook of human resource faux-pas. All in all, it is a look at the cubicle culture, work relationships, and office politics that most modern millennials should try to avoid.