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14 Movies You Must Watch if You Love ‘The Big Short’

May 14, 2018
8 min read

“The Big Short” tells the true story of a group of skillful investors who were able to profit immensely by betting against the US mortgage market. Michael Burry, Jared Vennett, and Mark Baum were some of the intelligent financial professionals who saw the collapse of the economic collapse coming.

If you love dramas dealing in finance, here is the list of fourteen movies similar to ‘The Big Short’ that are our recommendations. They are related to the world of economics and finance, and range from documentaries to biographical dramas. You can watch several of these movies like The Big Short on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

14. Freakonomics (2010)

If you are a beginner in the field of economics and want to learn more about, “Freakonomics” is a must watch. This is a documentary that focuses on human being’s behavior and how it makes decisions and reacts to different situations. Hosted by economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner, “Freakonomics” presents a series of interesting subjects that will change your view on the utility of economics. For example, it looks at the possible impact a person’s name has for their success in life.

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13. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

In this dramatic motion picture, we follow Gordon Gecko and Jake Moore who partner up on a difficult mission. They must alert the financial community that something dangerous is about to happen to the financial world. Moreover, they must find out if Jake’s mentor truly took his life or if he was murdered. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is the sequel of “Wall Street” (a movie that will appear later on this list). It stars Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, and Carey Mulligan.

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12. Rogue Trader (1999)

Nick Leeson is an ambitious man hoping to be more than just a bank clerk. Because of his determination, he ended up causing the bankruptcy of one of the oldest banks in Britain. Starring Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel, this movie is an exciting crime drama told in an entertaining and informative way. Both the acting and the storytelling are spot on.

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11. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

This documentary is a look at capitalism and how it has shaped the daily lives of Americans. Michael Moore argues that the United States of America has been run more like a business than like a traditional government. Corporate America leads to poor getting poorer and the richer getting even more wealthy. “Capitalism: A Love Story” not only looks at the history of this phenomenon but also analyses it through a series of interviews. If you liked “The Big Short” and you want to better understand it, you should watch this one.

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10. Arbitrage (2012)

Richard Gere is Robert Miller, an accomplished sixty-year-old financial businessman with a loving family. In the past, Richard has cooked his hedge fund’s books to cover an investment gone wrong and dodge being arrested for fraud. Now, he desperately wants to sell his profit and avoid any future problems, despite the company’s huge profits. “Arbitrage” is an exciting thriller due to its complex characters and good performances. Despite its simplistic starting point, the movie’s plot becomes increasingly thrilling as time passes.

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9. 99 Homes (2014)

Dennis Nash was recently evicted from his home by a real estate broker named Rick Carver. Forced to move to a dangerous motel with his son and mother, Dennis Nash starts to work for Carver in the hopes of recovering his home. So, Dennis enters into the world of scamming and stealing from the banks and the government. Will he be able to resist and stay an honest man? “99 Homes” was smartly directed and written by Ramin Bahrani. It is a compelling drama about the U.S. economy and its society. Moreover, Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield have incredible performances.

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8. Too Big to Fail (2011)

Nominated for three Golden Globes, “Too Big to Fail” is a behind the scenes look at the financial meltdown of 2008. We follow Richard Fuld’s attempt to save Lehman Brothers and Hank Paulson (Secretary of the Treasury), Ben Bernanke (chair of the Federal Reserve), and Tim Geithner (president of the New York Fed) trying to find a solution for the financial services firm. Furthermore, we follow several individuals (including Hank Paulson and Warren Buffet) as they try to save the US economy. “Too Big to Fail” succeeds at creating tension and providing new footage from this period. This biographical drama stars James Woods, William Hurt, and John Heard.

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7. Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve (2013)

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s role has changed immensely over its 100 years. This documentary provides the first behind the scenes ever over this powerful institution. It looks at its policies (past and present) and how they affect the lives of Americans and overall citizens of the world. Moreover, it reflects upon the impact of the financial collapse of 2008. Narrated by Live Schreiber, “Money For Nothing” is a must-see for investors and lovers of the financial world since several members of the Federal Reserve, IMF and the Bank of International Settlements make an appearance.

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6. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” is a documentary about one of the biggest scandals of American history. Enron Corporation was an energy company (the seventh largest company in the USA) that profited from faulty and corrupt business practices. Upon its bankruptcy, its top executive leaders walked away with millions of dollars. Besides revealing new footage and audio, this documentary explores the human drama behind this scandal in a captivating way.

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5. Boiler Room (2000)

Seth Davis is a college dropout who operates an illegal casino from his apartment. He has high aspirations but he mostly wishes the approval of his father, a successful judge. In order to do that, he gets a job as a stockbroker but, after he completes his initial training, he realizes the job is too good to be true. After becoming apprehensive of his boss’s business practices, Seth realizes something wrong is going on.

Directed and written by Ben Younger, “Boiler Room” is an impressive crime drama starring Giovanni Ribsi, Vin Diesel, and Ben Affleck. It perfectly captures the desires of society and how consumerism and the lack of social conscience have affected our daily lives.

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4. Margin Call (2011)

“Margin Call” follows Seth Bregman and Peter Sullivan as they complete a study from their former colleague Eric Dale. When they finish the project, they discover that their respected financial company is near collapse. Set in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis, this drama provides an inside look into the financial sector and the panic that emerged during this time. It stars Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons. It is relevant to mention that it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay.

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3. Inside Job (2010)

If you want to learn more about the 2008 financial crisis, “Inside Job” is a must watch. It provides an interesting analysis of a crisis that caused millions of people around the world to lose their jobs and homes. Matt Damon narrates it and director Charles Ferguson conducts a series of interviews to trace the beginning of this disaster. From corrupted politics to regulation, this documentary explores everything you need to know.

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2. Wall Street (1987)

Bud Fox is a stockbroker working on the 80s Wall Street and he will do anything to get to the top. Gordon Gekko is a high-powered and successful broker that takes Fox under his wing. Fox quickly enters a world of immoral schemes, fast money, fast women, and greed. “Wall Street” is an entertaining and relevant drama today. It perfectly captures the wild culture of the 80s and the struggles of choosing between the ethical and the greedy. Because of his incredible performance, Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

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1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

In the early 1990s, Jordan Belfort is a successful stockbroker who owns his own firm with more than 250 employees. His trading schemes allowed him to have an enormous fortune that leads to substance abuse. However, when the FBI starts to carefully watch Belfort’s crazy schemes, he invents new ways to expand his fortune. But will he be able to do so without getting caught? Based on a true story, “The Wolf of Wall Street” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading and Supporting Role, Best Motion Picture, Best Writing and Best Achievement in Directing.

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