Top 50 Best Business Movies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Each of these movies is a masterclass in starting and scaling a business that touches on resourcefulness, invention, relationships, and more. Plus, the inspiration that comes from them is priceless.
Being an entrepreneur is very very hard. One reason for this is it is simply a very unpredictable endeavor to take on. Dreaming up an idea, starting a business around it from scratch, and then scaling it comes with many pitfalls.
What I find most helpful with the below list of movies is that they give you a nice view into the importance of creating the right partnerships, ingenuity, and out-of-the-box thinking. Plus, although many portray the challenges and difficulties in ramping a business, they also show great inspiration when it all works and lands behind talented efforts.
1. Joy (I) (2015) PG-13 | 124 min | Biography, Drama Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramírez 2. The Founder (2016) PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into the biggest restaurant business in the world, with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini
3. The Aviator (2004) PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly 4. Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) PG | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Frederic Forrest 5. The Social Network (2010) PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara 6. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999 TV Movie) Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History History of Apple and Microsoft.
Director: Martyn Burke | Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Noah Wyle, Joey Slotnick, J.G. Hertzler 7. Startup.com (2001) R | 107 min | Documentary Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com.
Directors: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Tom Herman, Kenneth Austin, Tricia Burke 8. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.
Director: James Foley | Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin 9. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) R | 180 min | Biography, Crime, Drama Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey 10. Fyre (2019) TV-MA | 97 min | Documentary, Crime, Music An exclusive behind the scenes look at the infamous unraveling of the Fyre music festival.
Director: Chris Smith | Stars: Billy McFarland, Jason Bell, Gabrielle Bluestone, Shiyuan Deng
11. Moneyball (2011) PG-13 | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Sport Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
12. Steve Jobs (2015) R | 122 min | Biography, Drama Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels 13. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.
Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe
14. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.
Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer, George W. Bush 15. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) TV-14 | 119 min | Documentary The story of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar tech company, its founder Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest self-made female billionaire, and the massive fraud that collapsed the company.
Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Alex Gibney, Elizabeth Holmes, Dan Ariely, Roger Parloff
16. The Great Hack (2019) TV-MA | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, History The Cambridge Analytica scandal is examined through the roles of several affected persons.
Directors: Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Brittany Kaiser, David Carroll, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, Ravi Naik 17. Becoming Warren Buffett (2017) TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary The legendary investor started out as an ambitious, numbers-obsessed boy from Nebraska and ended up becoming one of the richest and most respected men in the world.
Director: Peter W. Kunhardt | Stars: Susan Buffett, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Aiden Linkov
18. Flash of Genius (2008) PG-13 | 119 min | Biography, Drama Robert Kearns takes on the Detroit automakers who he claims stole his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper.
Director: Marc Abraham | Stars: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Alan Alda, Tim Eddis 19. The Corporation (2003) Not Rated | 145 min | Documentary, History A documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.
Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott | Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora, Nina Jones
20. Suckers (II) (1999) R | 87 min | Comedy Ever bought a used car from a dealer before? Want to know what REALLY happens behind the scenes? This movie offers some insight through the eyes of one of the dealers.
Director: Roger Nygard | Stars: Joe Yannetty, Jake Johannsen, Daniel Benzali, David Ackert 21. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009) R | 89 min | Comedy Used-car liquidator Don Ready is hired by a flailing auto dealership to turn their Fourth of July sale into a majorly profitable event.
Director: Neal Brennan | Stars: Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, David Koechner, James Brolin 22. Lord of War (2005) R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an INTERPOL Agent.
Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan
23. Rogue Trader (1999) R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, History The story of Nick Leeson, an ambitious investment broker who singlehandedly bankrupted one of the oldest and most important banks in Britain.
Director: James Dearden | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Anna Friel, Cristian Solimeno, Lorna Pegler 24. The Godfather (1972) R | 175 min | Crime, Drama An organized crime dynasty's aging patriarch transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton 25. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.
Director: David Frankel | Stars: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier, Emily Blunt 26. Baby Boom (1987) PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance The life of super-yuppie J.C. is thrown into turmoil when she inherits a baby from a distant relative.
Director: Charles Shyer | Stars: Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Harold Ramis, Kristina Kennedy
27. Chef (2014) R | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.
Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman
28. Risky Business (1983) R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.
Director: Paul Brickman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur
29. Working Girl (1988) R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.
Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin 30. A Most Violent Year (2014) R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Drama In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.
Director: J.C. Chandor | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola 31. American Gangster (2007) R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.
Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin 32. Burnt (I) (2015) R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama Adam Jones is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Director: John Wells | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio 33. There Will Be Blood (2007) R | 158 min | Drama 8.2 A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis,