Because economics is such an integral component of contemporary life, many excellent films have been made that explore its various facets. Movies have chronicled a wide range of economic topics, from the 2008 financial crisis to the development of game theory. Try one of these 10 movies for your next movie night if you’re a fan of economics.
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Based on the true story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane, who utilized statistics to analyze and understand his players’ strengths and weaknesses, Moneyball is the film that sparked a worldwide interest in statistics. Economists will like seeing statistics put to work in the real world and the fact that the numbers guys are the movie’s true heroes. You can find out more about sports statistics in our in-depth look at the subject.
2. The Wolf of Wall Street
A new film based on a true story tells of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who made millions of dollars in the 1980s by defrauding investors. This film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and depicting the height of Wall Street’s decadence, was a critical and commercial success thanks to its moral complexity and stellar ensemble cast.
3. Wall Street
Michael Douglas plays a stockbroker who becomes involved with a corporate raider who has evil designs in this 1980s movie from the same period as Wolf of Wall Street. A look at the gaudy and extravagant lifestyle of a 1980s trader, the film explores questions of ethics, money, and power in the world of high-level organizations.
In Arbitrage, Richard Gere plays a hedge fund manager who has been engaged in dubious accounting techniques to hide his losses and escape being arrested for fraud, and the film is a thriller. After his secrets are nearly revealed in a vehicle accident, he must determine how to elude the police and keep his secret safe.
5. The Informant!
The Informant, starring Matt Damon, is a light-hearted comic crime thriller with an economics-themed plot. After reporting price fixing at his business to the FBI, this movie chronicles the life of a whistleblower as he helps amass evidence against his employer, based on an actual case. The video examines corporate malfeasance in a lighthearted and sarcastic manner, highlighting the difficulties in stopping it.
6. Too Big To Fail
Following the 2008 financial crisis and its origins as chronicled in the book Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves. An attempt to avert a worldwide economic collapse is the focus of the film, which is told from the perspectives of major actors in several financial organizations.
7. A Beautiful Mind
Playing with numbers: John Nash, the mathematician who invented game theory, is depicted in this fictionalized biographical account. This film was a big success as well as highly regarded by historians and mathematicians because it explored both Nash’s mathematical accomplishments and the schizophrenia that he suffered from.
8. Margin Call
This fictionalized dramatization of the 2008 financial crisis takes place over the course of one day at a major Wall Street investment bank as the crisis gets under way. This is a must-see film with a stellar cast and plenty of action.
9. The Big Short
It’s worth watching for the unique way financial instruments are taught in this biographical film on the 2008 financial crisis. Subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations are explained in an easy-to-understand manner thanks to cameo appearances by well-known celebrities and fourth-wall-breaking discussions into the camera.
10. Inside Job
It’s yet another film examining the financial system, this time with an emphasis on the United States and how the financial services industry has accrued power and bred corruption over the last few decades. It covers the early 2000s boom, the crisis, and the current condition of affairs in five sections. The first covers the history of the financial industry.