50 Best Business Movies Ever

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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.


The Game (1997)

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


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.


Other People’s Money (1991)

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


Disclosure (1994)

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


Rogue Trader (1999)

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


The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)

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


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.


The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

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


Nine to Five (1980)

Three female office jockeys get revenge on their chauvinistic boss.


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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  • 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!

  • bigmike

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

  • Drea

    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.

  • 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.


    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:


  • 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.

  • Connor

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

  • 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!

  • Drea

    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.)

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

  • Eduardo

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

  • Joe

    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

  • 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??

  • Amanda

    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!

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

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

  • Chris

    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.

  • Jerry

    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/

  • Roger

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

  • Dharmesh

    What about There will be blood…

  • khunjeng

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

  • where is Wall Street?

  • Movie Fan

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

  • eric jason

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