Movie List

Best Movies About Capitalism On Netflix Right Now

August 29, 2019
7 min read

The fight between capitalism and socialism has been an ever-going one throughout history. Wars have been fought over it, debates on the topic take place almost every day all over the world. We can all agree that socialism arrived as a properly documented philosophy much later, while capitalism is something which has always been there. When man first produced surplus and exchanged his goods for some other commodity with another man, capitalism was born. Thus, it is a more primitive way of life that is ingrained into our society.

There can be thousands of criticisms that one can levy on capitalism but one must also understand that Hollywood exists because America is the land of excesses. If there is no excess, it cannot be possible to spend as much money on entertainment, as is done by Hollywood. So we can say that any big-budget movie is actually in itself a statement for capitalism. However, some films have dealt with the topic in a more direct fashion. Here’s the list of top capitalism movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:

6. Saving Capitalism (2017)

Let us start off this list with a documentary. The book ‘Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few’ by Robert Reich is the inspiration behind this documentary. Here, Reich chronicles how capitalism has been the basis of America becoming the most powerful and the richest country in the world. He tries to say that there is nothing really evil about capitalism despite all its pitfalls, as it happens to be the only system that works. Throughout the course of the documentary, Reich speaks to many people from different rungs of the social ladder, and each of his conversations makes it clear that no matter how rich or poor, nobody is happy with the current economic system of America. He even proposes certain policies he believes can rid the country of such evils. The documentary is overall interesting and offers a fresh perspective on the subject. It attempts to solve certain problems that are currently troubling the world.

5. Limitless (2011)

The film ‘Limitless‘ is essentially one about exploring the possibilities to get the most out of life using any means necessary. The central character of the film, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a novelist who is constantly struggling with failures in life. However hard he tries, Eddie cannot reach his fullest potential. In such a scenario, he comes across a drug which helps him operate at his peak human capacity. While on the drug, he makes immense progress on his book, and later decides to use this heightened cognitive ability to make money in whichever way possible. He starts investing in stocks and soon pockets millions of dollars. Things soon take a downward spiral when the side-effects of the drug start showing symptoms.

The film brilliantly depicts the desperation in human beings to earn money. Here, the central character’s sole objective after taking the drug is not producing works of art, which was earlier his livelihood, but for gaining enough capital which will help him survive in this world dominated by the market. He becomes a perfect example of the capitalistic mindset.

4. Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins‘ is essentially a superhero story, but what Bruce Wayne represents is what we are more interested in right now. After having witnessed his parents’ murder at the hands of a lowlife criminal, Bruce has grown up with the idea that he will not allow anyone else to suffer from this fate. He endures endless amounts of pain and suffering to finally become a vigilante who shall always protect Gotham from the many evil characters plaguing the city.

But here we must understand one very simple thing: considering the high crime rate of Gotham, Bruce must not have been the only child who has witnessed his parents’ murder. But no other kid has taken up this mission to destroy all evil quite like him. Why? The answer is simple – social and economic security. While the lives of many such children are completely destroyed when their parents die, Bruce has had the financial backing to pick himself up. He also has his billions to make the Batmobile, his hi-tech weaponry, and an ability to control Gotham’s fate using his money. Thus, without the Wayne Enterprise’s insane capital, Gotham would not have got its own private Dark Knight.

3. Something Ventured (2011)

Entrepreneurs are there to bring their fresh, new ideas of business to life. But just because you have a revolutionary idea does not mean that you have the financial strength to bring it to life. And this is exactly where the role of the venture capitalist comes into place. These venture capitalists invest in such ideas or companies that they believe have the potential to create something big and important. Naturally, it is a hit-or-miss game. But it is through the help of venture capitalists that all great ideas and companies like Apple, Intel, Atari, or Cisco became unbelievably large players in the market. This documentary chronicles the history of this relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs while interviewing some of America’s biggest exponents of this profession. The series is a rather eye-opening account which makes it clear to us how certain people, who decided to take risks, went on to change the market forever.

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2. The Aviator (2004)

This 2004 Martin Scorsese film chronicles the life of one of the greatest American businessmen ever — the sensational Howard Hughes. Played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘The Aviator‘ depicts Hughes’ life as he climbs from one milestone to another while dealing with his own personal demons. Hughes not only builds planes and runs an aviation company, but also was a brilliant pilot himself. His interests did not stop at aviation, and he went on to produce some of the most memorable movies of the 1930s like ‘Hell’s Angels’ (1930) and ‘Scarface’ (1932). Scorsese’s vision in the film is to portray the image of a man who is relentless in his pursuit of greatness in his field. Hughes makes the American Dream come alive through his sheer determination and willingness to take chances. He never backs down and never takes no for an answer. He is the perfect capitalist in every sense of the term.

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1. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight‘ is a very important movie to explain the pro-capitalistic stance Hollywood tends to take. As we all are aware, the film has two main characters who drive the narrative forward – the Joker and Batman himself. Batman is the force which keeps order in society. And order in American society means the flourishing of capitalistic enterprises more than anything else. Any disruption in society will naturally have detrimental effects on the market, and Bruce, being the agent of normalcy and a businessman himself, cannot let that happen.

On the other hand is this brute force of nature called the Joker. He is very difficult to grasp because of his lack of empathy towards anything. He loves to see society engulfed in chaos. He relishes at the fact that he has been able to reveal to the world that all the garb of civilization which we put on ourselves is only for the smooth machinery called market to be maintained. His anarchy gets a symbolic representation when he robs a bank and simply burns a huge pile of money. By doing this, he is preventing money from circulating in the market, and thus in his own way, trying to cripple capitalism itself. However, he does not succeed, and Bruce does goes on to reveal the pro-capitalistic stance of the film.

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