5 Must-Watch Movies For The Money Mavericks!

Five of my favorite ‘money themed’ movies in no particular order…

The Business Of Being Born (2008)

The business of being born moneycone
If you are pregnant or about to become pregnant, I would advice you against watching this movie! The movie is about how something as natural as childbirth has become a booming business in the US.

Physicians like control and don’t like surprises. You can’t predict the exact day a child will be born, but you can with a C-Section!

In 2008, more than 32% of child births in the US were delivered through C-Sections! One of the highest in the world! Natural child birth is frowned upon here – something that is very normal and not to mention natural, for the majority of this planet’s population.

This is a fascinating movie.

The High Cost Of Low Prices (2005)

the high cost of low prices walmart moneyconeThis movie with a very catchy title is about the world’s largest retail store Walmart. Walmart takes capitalism to a whole new level effectively shutting down small business in its path. The movie also gives a glimpse of the Walton family, America’s richest family. After 9/11 they decided they needed to prepare for any apocalyptic attack that might wipe out mankind – so they built themselves a nuclear bunker with helipads!

The movie also takes a look at their philanthropic pursuits. In 2004, the family donated $3.2 million on conservative causes and for lobbying and yet could only spare $6000 for the Critical Need Fund, a fund setup to help fellow Walmart employees in times of distress.

Walmart employees donated $5 million.

This is a great movie with lots of mind blowing facts about Walmart. May not stop you from shopping at Walmart but might atleast make you feel guilty!

Super Size Me! (2004)

super size me - mcdonaldsWe all know junk food isn’t good for us. But how? What exactly happens to you if you decide to live on junk food? That’s exactly what Morgan Spurlock, the lead in this movie decided to find out. Spurlock decides to live off of McDonald’s meals for a month and Super Size Me is about the physical and psychological effects of this.

And no there were no fast food lawsuits after this movie! In fact, McDonalds stopped asking its customers if they wanted to supersize their fries with their order!

This is actually a very entertaining movie!

Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room (2006)

Enron the smartest guys in the room moneyconeI wish everyone watched this movie. Enron was the darling of Wall Street. It was named the ‘most admired’ company by no less than Fortune magazine! The company was making consistent profits and even survived the dot-com bust! One fine day, Enron was shutdown and some of it’s top executives are behind bars today.

If you lived in California in the early 2000s, this will hit you especially hard. Most who lived there would remember the rolling blackouts. Frequent power cuts that put that state to shame. There was no power shortage. They were artificially created by Enron to drive California’s electricity prices high! (To draw a parallel today, the high gas prices today has got nothing to do with supply. There is enough oil, but the prices spike up due to speculation. Enron was doing the same with California’s electricity)

Jeffrey Skilling, the CEO of Enron jokes about California’s energy crisis which he was directly responsible

What is the difference between California and the Titanic? At least when the Titanic went down, the lights were on!

All Enron cared about was stock prices and how to keep it high. They even had a stock ticker in their elevator! And to keep its stock prices high, Enron went to great lengths, booking unrealized profits and skirting the law.

The scene where a gas line worker’s 401K is decimated by plummeting stock prices after the scandal is hard to watch.

But the movie has a happy ending. The then CEO of Enron, Jefferey Skilling in now behind bars for his role in the scandal serving a 24 year prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado.

Trading Places (1983)

trading places eddie murphy dan aykroyd moneycone

This is one of my favorites! The wealthy Duke brothers attempt to settle the age-old debate: ‘Are you what you are due to your environment or is that decided at birth’? The brothers decide to switch the lives of the highly sophisticated Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) with that of the poor homeless hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Billy Ray is given the keys to Winthorpe’s mansion and Winthorpe is framed for robbery and drugs!

What happens next is quite hilarious! The final scene at the trading floor with the Duke brothers driving the price of frozen orange juice before the crop report and its aftermath is riveting!

The movie was probably inspired by a real life incident relating to the Hunt brothers when they tried to play the Silver market resulting in the 1980 ‘Silver Thursday’ crash.

Have you watched any of these movies? What’s your favorite?

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26 thoughts on “5 Must-Watch Movies For The Money Mavericks!

  1. Super size me made me stop eating fast food. I have only eaten fast food roughly 2 times in the last 6 years!

  2. You didn’t include Wall Street!

  3. Haven’t seen the first. I will get WalMart documentary. Last three are very good.
    I liked “Boiler Room”.
    Also, the “Commanding Heights” 3 part documentary from PBS is really good for understanding economics.

  4. Good list. I’ve seen Supersize me and it’s one movie that disgusted me (I don’t eat fast food). I’ll have to check out the rest. Thanks!

    -Ravi Gupta

  5. I saw Trading Places, and that is it from your list. Some of my favorites are:
    1. Purple Rain (from my teen years, just had to include it)
    2. Green Mile
    3. Swingblade
    4. Godfather
    5. Casablanca
    6. Forrest Gump
    7. LA Confidential

    • Trading places is my favorite on the list above!

      Boiler room and Wallstreet isn’t bad either…

      Kris, at first I thought you listed Slingblade instead of Swingblade! Slingblade was awesome, I’ll have to google Swingblade (I never heard of it)…

  6. Great post and I am so predispositioned to love it because a) I love personal finance and 2) I love movies. Trading spaces is a classic. I also love Glengarry Glen Ross and Wall Street (the original). I want to see that new documentary about the wall street meltdown. It was nominated for an oscar this year but the name is escaping me for some reason. I will have to check out a few of the above that I have not yet seen.

  7. Hey There,
    Great list, I especially enjoyed ‘Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices,’ fantastic documentary. I see that one of your other readers mentioned ‘Wall Street’ and figured I’d give it my recommendation as well.
    Thanks for the read,

  8. I’ll have to check out the Walmart movie, it looks fascinating. As for Supersize Me, I’ve been skipping over it since I really like McDonalds and don’t want to be disgusted over it! ;)

  9. Supersize me is a great movie, though it is disgusting watching the effects of eating nothing but fast food for every meal. Can’t say I’ve seen any of the other movies.

  10. I’ve seen SuperSize Me and Trading Places, both good movies. The other ones you noted seem interesting.

    Personally, I enjoy documentary or investigative-type programs, and ones that relate to money issues can be especially intersting to – even if not primarily about money.

    A few mainstream motion pictures that come to mind immediately are the original Wall Street, and Jerry Maguire (Show me the money!!!).

  11. Ha, ha, Ha. I absolutely love Trading Places. I’m not much of a “watch it again” type of guy, but when this movie airs on TBS, I can’t help but to watch it.

    “Super Size Me” momentarily changed my eating habits at McDonalds, especially after watching the fries that never changed their physical condition, but now I’m back at it again. I was never ever a “Super Size” upgrade guy.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  12. Trading places was great! I have never bought commodities simply because I remember the end of that movie from when I was a little kid lol.

  13. Nice list, I would include “The Social Network,” it really was inspirational and instilled drive in me.

  14. Loved trading places, so hilarious. What about wall street? And dare I say Wall Street 2? Supersize it was also incredible. Love money lessons on film!

  15. [...] Cone with 5 Must-Watch Movies For The Money Mavericks!  I’d add in Baby Boom – entrepreneurship at its [...]

  16. Nice list of movies but to be honest, I have not seen any of the above movies yet! I’ve seen Wall Street, though.
    One movie that our business professor asked us to review back in the days is “Baby Boom,” which is a really old movie (1987) starring Diane Keaton. It is very interesting to watch on a business perspective.

  17. Nice list, I would include “The Social Network,” it really was inspirational and instilled drive in me.

  18. Frontline on PBS has a number of documentaries about the economy and they’re all excellent. They’re available to watch online too.

    CNBC also has some original programming that’s really good.

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