Between documentaries and fictional films, from the comfort of your sofa, you will learn a lot about the plight of entrepreneurs. You will glean some powerful insights from these 18 provocative and wildly entertaining films, whether you are just starting out on your business venture or have been at it for years.
1. FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened:-
There are currently two films that are both worth watching about the disastrous Fyre music festival: Hulu’s Fyre Scam and Netflix’s FYRE: The Biggest Party That Never Happened. Watch and learn how the festival developed from an exclusive event with supporters of celebrities and social media influencers to a mismanaged tragedy that ultimately robbed the money of people and left them stranded on an island with inadequate food and shelter accommodation.
Startup.com is a 2001 documentary film documenting the rise and fall of the real-life GovWorks start-up that raised $60 million from Hearst Interactive Media, KKR, Sapient, and the New York Investment Fund. To better understand the boom and bust of the dotcom era, it is good viewing and serves as a cautionary tale about how business relationships can easily endanger friendships.
3. Catch Me If You Can:-
You imagine the famous con artist Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) deceptively charming just about anybody with his mastery of ability when you hear Catch Me If You Can. Catch me if You Can is a classic film that exemplifies the entrepreneurial path, based on a true tale. This addresses key issues such as imaginative problem solving, turning the good out of a bad situation, and the good old ‘hustle to achieve success.
4. Lord of War:-
Lord of War is a must-watch if you like dark comedy with a fair bit of action. This war-crime film chronicles the life of Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), an immigrant from Ukraine who, through the illicit trade of weapons, determines his path to success. Morality aside, the determination, tenacity, and capacity of Yuri to tolerate risk display the very attributes that entrepreneurs need to succeed. Plus, this movie delves extensively into these subjects if you want to learn more about growth hacking, customer loyalty building, and negotiation strategies. In your own business venture, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself integrating some of the lessons.
5. Wall Street:-
In the pursuit of power and achievement, do you ever find yourself pushed to your limits? Through the eyes of Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), an ambitious stockbroker who navigates the Wall Street economic rollercoaster, Wall Street unravels this theme, embracing the “greed is healthy” slogan. This film is a glimpse into corporate finance, management of portfolios, concepts of investment law and capital markets. The tale of a young, susceptible mind is more revealing, illustrating how easy it is to get swept away by the glamorous lifestyle that accompanies wealth. Plus, if you felt it was a little too much for The Wolf of Wall Street, this film is a tamer, more socially critical version.
6. Rogue Trader:-
This 1999 film is based on the real story of an employee who single-handedly brought down the largest bank in England, Barings Bank. The film demonstrates how money drives all kinds of maniacal actions and serves as a cautionary storey about individuals who wrongly believe that power and money make them important.
7. Twelve Angry Men:-
Twelve Angry Men is perhaps my all-time favourite film, a brilliant courtroom drama that has many layers of insight into leadership , group behavioural psychology, and competing value systems. This is a must-watch and will make you think about the way you make critical choices.
8. Office Space:-
We would go ahead and ask you to watch this American comedy that perfectly satirises a tech company’s corporate culture in the 1990s, focusing on working relationships and office politics. It’s a good laugh and will certainly get you thinking about leadership, methods of team building, and career development.
9. The Godfather Trilogy:-
The Godfather trilogy is probably the best cinema for entrepreneurs at all times, demonstrating why partnerships and networking matter, why helping people lend themselves to good company, and why it is non-negotiable to consider competition. The films are highly enjoyable, full of exciting and thought-provoking scenes that will make you better prepared to cope with the next business challenge.
10. The Usual Suspects:-
If you enjoy a strong psychological thriller with an ambitious twist ending, The Usual Suspects is a must-watch. It tells the storey of a group of career criminals who want to team up and pull a lucrative heist in the same police lineup. The film examines issues such as restructuring of leadership, power and control, and long-term market strategy, serving as useful guidance for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.
11. The Smartest Guys in the Room:-
This 2005 documentary film is based on reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind’s best-selling book of the same name, which touches upon one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history — the fall of the Enron Corporation. This is a must-see for a history buff or someone looking for an instance of modern corporate exploitation that is thought-provoking and surprising.
12. How to Get Ahead in Advertising:-
How to Get Ahead in Advertising will teach you a thing or two about innovative problem-solving, even though you’re not looking for advertising advice. When first released, the film was a flop, but redeemed itself several years later and is touted as a beautifully amusing advertising industry satire. It will certainly make you think about business in the commercial world differently.
13. The Devil Wears Prada:-
You will be inspired by The Devil Wears Prada to take the plunge and follow your dream career. It’s a movie that explores how uncomfortable circumstances can be handled, how to negotiate environments that seem unfamiliar, and how hard work ultimately pays off. It’s a fascinating window into the fashion industry as well and can show you a thing or two about how to work up the corporate ladder.
14. Thank You For Smoking:-
The perfect film for a marketing savvy businessman or someone who wants to learn a few tricks on how to sell just about any product is Thank You For Smoking. The film tells the storey of Nick Naylor, a tobacco industry lobbyist, who brilliantly twists claims in the most difficult of circumstances to protect the cigarette industry. For those who want to learn a few things about crisis management , organisational communications, PR and negotiating strategies, this is an excellent watch.
15. Glengarry Glen Ross:-
Glengarry Glen Ross is based on the award-winning game about four real estate sellers whose jobs are on the line when the corporate office declares that all but the top two men will be fired in one week. This film is an exciting showcase of exploitation and rivalry. Be forewarned if you’re starting a new business: sometimes the path to success is far more sketchy than you expect.
16. The Merchant of Venice:-
The Merchant of Venice is based on a play by Shakespeare and is one of the greatest films by Al Pacino. The tale is about Bassino, a young aristocratic class member, who, for financial assistance, turns to a Jewish moneylender, Shylock (Al Pacino). This is a fun period piece with lessons that still carry significance today on business relationships, risk evaluation and mercantile law.
17. Erin Brockovich:-
This legal drama is based on the real storey of Erin Brockovich, who helps to win the highest payout ever paid in a direct-action case, against all odds. The film embodies female empowerment and underlines the value, even in the face of challenges, of sticking to one’s scruples. Themes such as corporate responsibility, sustainable business models and gender biases in business are discussed.
18. The Founder:-
We hear the amazing true storey of struggling salesman Ray Kroc in The Founder, whose tragic meeting with McDonald ‘s brothers changed his life — and the way we eat food in America..