A good movie is a perfect way to unwind after a long week at the office, but aside from being entertaining, some movies are packed with business tips, entrepreneurial motivation and the importance of balance. While there are dozens of blogs out there that highlight the best business movies, we scanned 10 of them to see which movies came up most frequently. Here are five that regularly make the list – and that you might want to add to your queue for the next time you can’t figure out what to watch.
Wall Street (1987)
Greed is a slippery slope and almost no movie showcases the dark path – and severe consequences – of living the “greed is good” lifestyle quite like Wall Street. When you add this movie’s look at investments, the stock market, corporate finance and capital markets, it regularly makes the list.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The right thing isn’t always the easy thing, which is especially true for George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. When Bailey’s father dies, he gives up his dreams of traveling and moves home to take over the family bank. But when the bank’s savings go missing, Bailey wishes he’d never been born. That’s when Angel Clarence shows him how different the town would be without him – and helps him see the difference he has made. It’s a great reminder that doing the right thing matters.
Office Space (1999)
Everyone has had the inspiration to throw away a stack of memos (or “delete all” on emails) and destroy a printer every now and then, so it’s no surprise Office Space often finds itself on these lists. It’s a satirical picture of office life, but also a great reminder of what it takes to run an effective business and be a great manager. Or a bad one. It might also inspire you to quit that 9-to-5, dead-end job and start that business you’ve been dreaming about.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
This is the classic startup story and the moral is that success often starts with putting your customers’ needs before your own. The story starts when Jerry Maguire, a high-powered sports agent, is fired from his own successful company for fighting for a more personal approach. He breaks out on his own with one employee, one clients and a LOT of grit. Show me the money!
The Social Network (2010)
Say what you want about Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg created a social network that caught fire and changed the way we see each other and interact with the world. But it didn’t come easy – and he’s still fighting law suits and complaints – but The Social Network profiles the beginnings of Facebook, the challenges Zuckerberg faced and the struggles any business owner can have along the way.
There are dozens (probably hundreds) of great business movies out there – here’s looking at you Citizen Kane, Erin Brockovich, The Godfather, Twelve Angry Men, The Usual Suspects – but these five are a great place to start.