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7 Best Wall Street Movies to Watch in 2024

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Despite the massive size of the financial industry, Wall Street is still shrouded in mystery from the perspective of the average person – the complex financial instruments and multi-billion trades are difficult to understand for anyone who doesn’t have a financial background. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating world of Wall Street, one of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to watch movies that chronicle some of the most interesting stories from the world of finance. We have selected the best Wall Street movies to watch to help you get started. 

Here are the best Wall Street movies to watch in 2024:

  • Wall Street (1987)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
  • The Big Short (2015)
  • Boiler Room (2000)
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
  • Margin Call (2011)
  • Dumb Money (2023)

The best Wall Street movies to watch in 2024: Top Wall Street movies ranked

If you’re looking for best movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street”, you’re in luck – we provide a list of 7 high-quality films depicting both real and fictional stories from the high-flying world of finance. When selecting the best Wall Street movies to watch, we tried to strike a balance between entertainment and education. 

1. Wall Street

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Drama 1987 81% 7.3

Wall Street is an 1987 movie directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah. The movie focuses on an ambitious stockbroker called Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) who admires Gordon Gekko, a highly influential figure on Wall Street. Although Gekko is not initially interested in working with Fox, the young stockbroker eventually gets Gekko’s attention with an insider trading tip.  

As Fox starts working with his Wall Street idol and their unscrupulous tactics begin translating into profits and elevate Fox’s status, the duo attracts the attention of US securities regulator SEC.

2. The Wolf of Wall Street

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Comedy 2013 83% 8.2

The Wolf of Wall Street is a biographical comedy released in 2013 directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie is based on a book of the same name, which is a memoir written by former Wall Street fraudster Jordan Belfort, who ran an over-the-counter brokerage called Stratton Oakmont. The brokerage marketed penny stocks and engaged in pump and dump schemes.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a thrilling watch depicting the excesses of Jordan Belfort as Stratton Oakmont began expanding rapidly in the 1990s and his ultimate downfall as authorities wise up to his fraudulent schemes. 

3. The Big Short

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Comedy / Drama 2015 88% 7.8

The Big Short is a 2015 Comedy / Drama film directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. The film follows the events of the 2007 / 2008 financial crisis from the perspective of three companies: Scion Capital, FrontPoint Partners and Brownfield Fund.

Scion Capital’s Michael Burry (played by Christian Bale) discovers that the American housing market was in a bubble and shorts the housing market with over $1 billion of his investors’ money, eventually winning big as the housing market collapses.

The Big Short provides an entertaining and surprisingly educational perspective of the 2007 / 2008 financial crisis, and is a very worthwhile watch despite the events it describes unfolding well over 15 years ago. 

4. Boiler Room

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Drama 2000 78% 7

Boiler Room follows the story of college dropout Seth Davis, who joins a brokerage firm promising wealth, only to discover it's a scam operation using "pump and dump" schemes on worthless stocks.

Despite initial success and a rise in his career, Seth's guilt over the harm caused leads him to plot against the firm. With his father's reluctant assistance, they attempt a scheme to expose the corrupt practices. However, the FBI intervenes, arresting Seth but offering him immunity in exchange for testimony against the firm. As the authorities close in, Seth tries to rectify some of his wrongs before contemplating his future after the firm's inevitable collapse.

5. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Documentary 2005 87% 7.6

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 documentary that examines the collapse of Enron Corporation, showcasing the unethical practices and corporate greed that led to one of the largest business scandals in American history.

It features insider accounts and exposes the deceptive and fraudulent actions of key company executives who misled the public and their own employees, ultimately resulting in immense financial disaster and the loss of thousands of jobs.

The documentary has garnered praise from critics, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. 

6. Margin Call

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Thriller / Drama 2011 74% 7.1

In 2008, as an investment bank begins massive layoffs, risk manager Eric Dale hands a critical model to associate Peter Sullivan, who discovers that the bank's financial holdings are dangerously over-leveraged. After confirming the dire situation, the firm's leadership, led by CEO John Tuld, decides to conduct a fire sale of the toxic assets, despite the potential damage to their reputation and the market. 

Eric Dale is coerced into supporting the sale, while Sam Rogers, another senior figure, is forced to oversee the process, leading to significant market turmoil but preventing the bank's immediate collapse. The ordeal ends with layoffs, ethical compromises, and Rogers reluctantly agreeing to stay on under Tuld's manipulative leadership.

7. Dumb Money

Genre Release Date Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating IMDB Rating
Comedy / Drama 2023 85% 6.9

Dumb Money is a 2023 film that follows the story of Keith Gill, a financial analyst that frequents r/WallStreetBets, an online forum dedicated to stock market investing which is infamous for celebrating reckless and speculative trading.

Gill invests his life savings in GameStop stock despite skepticism from his friends, and begins livestreaming the progress of his investment. By January 2021, GameStop’s stock soars due to mass purchases by retail investors from r/WallStreetBets, challenging hedge funds like Melvin Capital who had bet against the stock. This causes significant financial losses for the funds and elevates Keith to become a legendary figure in the r/WallStreetBets community.

However, turmoil ensues when r/WallStreetBets is shut down and Robinhood halts GameStop stock purchases due to capital shortages, leading to a panicked sell-off. This results in a congressional investigation involving Robinhood, Citadel, and Melvin Capital’s heads, along with Keith, who denies any deceitful motives.

The bottom line

Hopefully, our list of the best Wall Street Movies has given you plenty of ideas to pass the time while learning more about some of the most compelling stories coming from the financial industry.

Just like Wall Street, the world of cryptocurrency also has its fair share of fascinating stories featuring sensational success and catastrophic failure alike. If you want to explore further, make sure to check out our list of the best crypto movies to watch.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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