Movies like Big Short. Whether you work in banking or not, there will always be news stories about the impending recession. There has never been a better moment to schedule some fantastic financial films like The Big Short, especially with the legendary Wall Street guru Michael Burry from The Big Short still warning us about the impending economic crash.
The Big Short, starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Christian Bale, is based on actual events surrounding the housing bubble that contributed to the 2008 financial catastrophe. The emphasis is on the needless overcomplication of the financial sector, which prevented most insiders from predicting the collapse, with the exception of Michael Burry, an investor. As a result, if credit default swaps and subprime mortgages aren’t your thing, the film explains complex financial jargon to us commoners by using celebs like chef Anthony Bourdain and Margot Robbie relaxing in a bubble bath.
This list of financial films similar to The Big Short will appeal to you if you liked that film. In these films, power-hungry Wall Street brokers fight for their reputation in the chase of wealth while showing no mercy to anyone who stands in their way. Nevertheless, the subject of blind capitalism and its long-term toxicity addressed in both of these movies and videos.
Without further ado, I’ve put together a collection of 10 films that are similar to The Big Short.
Here are 10 additional films about money like The Big Short.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
One of the best scenes in movie history involves Jordan Belfort, high as a kite on quaaludes, crawling out of his crashed Lamborghini in style wearing his Nike Cortez sneakers. The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most entertaining financial pictures I’ve seen. You might even like this one if you aren’t even simply interested in finance. Based on the actual account of former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, known as the “wolf of Wall Street,” the movie injects humor into subjects that are usually dry.
Drugs, sex, and control. Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) accepted an entry-level position at a Wall Street company in 1987. Belfort started his own business, Stratton Oakmont, while he was still in his twenties. The film shows Belfort, along with his dependable lieutenant Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and a merry band of brokers, living his best life of insatiable greed, money, lavish parties, materialism, and overindulgence before receiving a sentence for defrauding investors of millions through pump-and-dump schemes.
2. Wall Street (1987)
One of the famous movie quotes from the classic Wall Street film, the first of all financial movies, is “Greed is good. Greed works.” It’s a must-watch if you enjoy blockbusters like The Big Short. The dialogue isn’t as clear and there’s a lot more financial jargon, but it’s still a classic and a pretty true portrayal of Wall Street in the 1980s, complete with hedonism, greed, and power.
Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young, ambitious, and determined stockbroker, is the subject of the film. He will stop at nothing to succeed. He falls prey to insider trading and illegal plots after being seduced by his rival Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), trading his morality for money and power. Even though the movie is intended to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of insider trading, it encourages you to embrace your greedy side.
3. Too Big to Fail (2011)
This film is for you if you can’t get enough of the events building up to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, even though Too Big to Fail isn’t the best dramatization of some of the most terrifying economic crisis moments in history.
Too Big to Fail’s worth lies in how well it explains the background of the financial crisis. The film Too Big to Fail, which is based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s best-selling novel of the same name, provides a close-up view of the historic financial crisis of 2008 and the influential individuals who, in a matter of weeks, determined the future of the global economy. The movie goes above and beyond to investigate the mutually beneficial relationship between Wall Street and Washington while focusing on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
4. Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call is your best option if you can’t get enough of movies like The Big Short and want to see the 2008 financial disaster from a variety of perspectives. It was apparently not based on a particular story, but the events just prior to the Global Financial Crisis served as inspiration.
The film follows key executives of a major investment bank over the course of 24 hours just before the stock market crashed on September 15, 2008, with the tagline “There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.” In essence, the bank made the conscious decision to sell worthless assets to uninformed buyers in order to avoid going bankrupt. This decision is very similar to and likely inspired by what Goldman Sachs did in 2008 during the financial crisis, when they decreased their holdings of mortgage-backed securities at the suggestion of two senior decision-makers.
5. Inside Job (2010)
Inside Job is a gripping documentary that exposes the corrupt practices of banks that contributed to the housing bubble and, ultimately, the financial crisis of 2008, in an environment where regulators and banks were in cahoots and there were few rules in place. If you enjoyed the movie The Big Short, you’ll enjoy this documentary about the same financial crisis events, which uses interviews with business insiders to show what happened behind the scenes from the bank’s viewpoint.
Spoiler alert: It also explains why the banks receive bailouts despite having started the financial catastrophe. A must-watch to comprehend how major banks got away with their unethical behavior that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
6. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
On the other end of the political range, Michael Moore, an American filmmaker and left-leaning activist, produced the 2009 documentary Capitalism: A Love Story. Rampant capitalism at its breaking point was pertinent then and is relevant now. In his film, Moore examines how corporate greed affects society as a whole, showing how it affects people’s daily lives through interviews with those who are most directly affected.
Although he adopts a clear—if not slightly exaggerated—perspective on the rich versus the poor, it is a harsh reality and a reflection of the negative effects of unchecked capitalism on contemporary American society. A compelling and remarkable glimpse into the effects of Wall Street’s dishonesty and greed on society can be found in this must-see financial film.
7. Boiler Room (2000)
This one might be more enjoyable to those who found The Wolf of Wall Street’s depiction of Jordan Belfort’s fraudulent financial scams to be infuriating than amusing. Boiler Room said to be based on Stratton Oakmont, the business owned by Jordan Belfort, but from the viewpoint of its staff. The story is told from the perspective of a young stockbroker with a clean conscience who quickly begins to suspect something isn’t quite right with the company’s methods of making money.
Boiler Room depicts the opulent lifestyles of loud, twenty-something traders marketing penny stocks while shouting over one another on the phone. The camera then focuses on Giovanni Ribisi’s character Seth Davis, a college dropout who finds success quickly after working as a broker for a Long Island penny stock firm. Like many other investment companies in the 1980s (and probably still today), the brokerage firm wasn’t as trustworthy as it first appeared and was full of pump-and-dump schemes that defrauded gullible investors.
8. American Psycho (2000)
Even though American Psycho barely touches on finance and I don’t often watch horror films, this one sticks out. This is for you if you’ve ever pondered what it’s like to live as a corporate Wall Street sociopath. A 27-year-old handsome Patrick Bateman, portrayed by Christian Bale, is a successful investment banker with a grisly secret in this New York film from the late 1980s.
The lives of the finance industry’s elite and their disconnection from reality are made clear in American Psycho, particularly in the 1980s on Wall Street. Bateman, who is conceited, egotistical, narcissistic, and obsessed with appearances and money, reveals his inhuman side by despising anyone who isn’t as successful as him and who doesn’t seem to suit the lifestyle he wants to live.
9. Rogue Trader (1999)
Based on actual events, the film Rogue Trader reveals how English derivatives trader Nicholas Leeson brought down the UK’s oldest financial institution, Barings Bank, by himself in 1995. The storyline is rather intriguing, so even with unfavorable reviews and a plodding pacing, if you liked The Big Short, it’s worth seeing.
Ewan McGregor’s Leeson, who established the bank’s futures trading operation, sent to Singapore after the early success of risky but lucrative trades. But when his luck ran out, the cover-ups, out-of-control gambling with patrons’ money, and illicit trading took off, leading to the bank’s bankruptcy. Even though it wasn’t entirely Leeson’s responsibility, the 28-year-old was sentenced to more than six years in prison after confessing to two counts of fraud.
10. Startup.com (2001)
Startup.com is a website you should enjoy if you like watching movies about the financial crisis like The Big Short. The dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, when VCs were investing blindly in Internet businesses founded on ideas rather than sound business plans, is another significant economic crisis in US history that is the subject of this movie.
Startup.com focuses on the rise and decline of Internet businesses in the late 1990s and early 2000s, exploring the failure of startups that appeared to be taking off during the early days of the World Wide Web. Focusing on one particular business, GovWorks.com, Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman launched an online venture with a great concept but no real plan to make the website lucrative, with the primary goal being to attract investors. Despite only concentrating on one business, this documentary has historical significance. It offers a valuable perspective on the dot-com boom and collapse.
The movie illustrates Internet revolutions similar to today’s crypto rags-to-riches tales or the economics of unprofitable delivery apps supported only by financing, drawing comparisons. The current cryptocurrency craze and the inflated instant wealth diminished by the economic realities—bankruptcies, layoffs, and sudden wealth evaporation—have uncanny parallels to the dot-com boom.