50 Best Business Movies Ever

There’s no easier way to amp up your business acumen than by learning from other people’s experiences. If those people happen to be movie characters, and learning means putting your feet up with some popcorn and a cold one, all the better.

Give yourself a break from the summer swelter by absorbing a business lesson or two from the 50 best business movies ever made.

For more in-depth descriptions of each movie, please refer here.

50

The Game (1997)

Michael Douglas stars as a loner executive who gets caught up in the ultimate corporate-produced virtual reality game.

49

Baby Boom (1987)

An eminent businesswoman inherits a baby from her dead cousin, leading to a bundle of surprises, for both the baby and herself.

48

Other People’s Money (1991)

A Wall Street corporate hotshot gets the biggest wakeup call of his life at a family-run business.

47

Disclosure (1994)

A man comes face-to-face (and body-to-body) with his ultimate competitor: his ex-wife.



46

Rogue Trader (1999)

The true story of the Barings Bank employee who brought down the entire organization through clever insider trading.

45

The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)

An ambitious Coca-Cola marketing man tries to establish the soft drink in an unfriendly Australian Outback.


44

Antitrust (2001)

A Stanford graduate and his friend make big plans to form the ultimate Internet start-up, but Silicon Valley politics get in the way.


43


The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

A Kansas farmboy heads to New York to realize the American dream.


42

Nine to Five (1980)

Three female office jockeys get revenge on their chauvinistic boss.

41

What Women Want (2000)

An advertising exec with a chauvinistic streak gets a rude awakening when he acquires the ability to read women’s minds.

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  1. Mike's Gravatar Comment by Mike on June 26th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    What? No “Twelve O’Clock High”?? It used to be required viewing for all new IBM managers. I’m shocked and outraged that it didn’t beat Nine to Five!

  2. bigmike's Gravatar Comment by bigmike on June 26th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Where’s “Other People’s Money”? Definitely should be in the top ten.

  3. Drea's Gravatar Comment by Drea on June 26th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Good point, Mike. I knew there was something more cogent out there than Forrest Gump (the FG ranking was quite honestly bugging me, but I couldn’t think of another movie to revise the list with). I’d love to hear about more movies that haven’t been included.

  4. Ironman's Gravatar Comment by Ironman on June 26th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    You’ve also missed the single best business movie ever! Other People’s Money – read Danny DeVito’s character’s (Larry the Liquidator) monologue at the end of the film, defending capitalism and business even in the worst of circumstances:

    This company is dead.

    I didn’t kill it. Don’t blame me.

    It was dead when I got here. It’s too late for prayers. For even if the prayers were answered and a miracle occurred . . . and the yen did this and the dollar did that . . . and the infrastructure did the other thing, we would still be dead.

    You know why?

    Fiber optics. New technologies. Obsolescence.

    We’re dead, all right. We’re just not broke.

    And do you know the surest way to go broke?

    Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure.

    You know, at one time there must have been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw.

    Now, how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?

    You invested in a business, and this business is dead. Let’s have the intelligence–let’s have the decency–to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.

    “But we can’t,” goes the prayer. “We can’t, because we have a responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?”

    I got two words for that: who cares?

    Care about them? Why? They didn’t care about you. They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years, this company bled your money.

    Did this community ever say, “We know times are tough. We’ll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer”? Check it out. You’re paying twice what you did ten years ago.

    And our devoted employees who have taken no increases for the past three years . . . are still making twice what they made ten years ago.

    And our stock, one-sixth what it was ten years ago.

    Who cares?

    I’ll tell you.

    Me.

    I’m not your best friend. I’m your only friend.

    I don’t make anything? I’m making you money.

    And lest we forget, that’s the only reason any of you became stockholders in the first place. You want to make money. You don’t care if they manufacture wire and cable, fried chicken, or grow tangerines! You wanna make money!

    I’m the only friend you’ve got. I’m making you money.

    Take the money. Invest it somewhere else. Maybe . . . maybe you’ll get lucky, and it’ll be used productively. And if it is, you’ll create new jobs and provide a service for the economy and, God forbid, even make a few bucks for yourselves.

    Watch it on Youtube here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfL7STmWZ1c

  5. Mark Hamilton's Gravatar Comment by Mark Hamilton on June 26th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    There’s no analysis!! Why are these movies any good?

    What makes these lists interesting is the analysis that goes with it. A simple list is boring.

  6. Connor's Gravatar Comment by Connor on June 26th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    It’s a tiny thing, but Shall We Dance is actually set in Osaka. Good pick, though.

  7. Anthony Kuhn's Gravatar Comment by Anthony Kuhn on June 26th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I don’t have any suggestions for additions or omissions, but I did link to this post today in my blog at the Innovators-Network to help generate some hits at your blog, Drea. Thanks for the nice relief from a hectic day with this light piece!

  8. Drea's Gravatar Comment by Drea on June 27th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    bigmike and Ironman: Other People’s Money is actually #48 on the list. Far too low a rank, apparently. Mark: I agree. This was my first big movie list, and I realize I have a few things to learn. I plan to revise the list over time to include a list of actors and why each movie is a great biz flick. I thought the YouTube clips would make descriptions redundant. I know better now! Connor: Thanks! Fixing the mistake now. Anthony: Thank you! I’m glad I could bring some relief into Hecticsville. (Check out the upcoming Bizarre Jobs post for this week, too. I can’t believe what some people put in their job postings.)

  9. Recruitment Oursourcing's Gravatar Comment by Recruitment Oursourcing on June 27th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    9-5 and What Women Want are two awesome movies. I can watch them both everyday and never get tired of them. Great flicks, the best!!

  10. Eduardo's Gravatar Comment by Eduardo on July 3rd, 2008 at 11:48 am

    What about Schindler’s List? No I am not a Nazi.

  11. Joe's Gravatar Comment by Joe on July 22nd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    The Big Kahuna, has to be be on that list this list phails for not even mentioning it and it has to be in the top 20

  12. InvestmentPlayground's Gravatar Comment by InvestmentPlayground on September 12th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Boy this list is subjective. But it is good. Glengary Glenross, Barbarians at the Gate, Wall Street all belong at the top. I have to check out Other People’s Money and Big Night as well. Hudsucker Proxy’s another one – top fifteen. But come on – “Modern Times” as a business movie??

  13. Amanda's Gravatar Comment by Amanda on September 29th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I can’t believe Office Space didn’t make the list… this movie came up several times in various courses I took in college! Classic!

  14. Pregnancy's Gravatar Comment by Pregnancy on October 5th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    The Coca Cola kid was a great movie. Im going to pop that DVD in right now!

  15. Thanksgiving Recipes's Gravatar Comment by Thanksgiving Recipes on October 8th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    i was surprised that trading places was not on this list, even though its a comedy, its still a business movie

  16. Chris's Gravatar Comment by Chris on October 18th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Im surprised so many people are ignoring that this is a top 50 list and that nearly all of the movies they think didn’t make it, actually did.

  17. Jerry's Gravatar Comment by Jerry on January 11th, 2009 at 7:43 am

    The Solid Gold Cadillac is a good business movie. Not a great movie but an entertaining one. It’s more about business than some of the movies picked. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049777/

  18. Roger's Gravatar Comment by Roger on January 12th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and
    Sabrina. Were these on the list?

  19. Dharmesh's Gravatar Comment by Dharmesh on September 3rd, 2009 at 1:26 am

    What about There will be blood…

  20. khunjeng's Gravatar Comment by khunjeng on September 29th, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Best business moive is Scarface. The rest just dont just the mustard.

  21. manik's Gravatar Comment by manik on October 3rd, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    where is Wall Street?

  22. Movie Fan's Gravatar Comment by Movie Fan on November 25th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for putting the list up, enjoyed it! There’s another list over at http://wallstreetmovies.blogspot.com

  23. eric jason's Gravatar Comment by eric jason on January 22nd, 2010 at 6:53 am

    my god why is -lord or war -was not listed on the best movie its best movie ever by nicolas cage.

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