25 Great Movies About Money (2023)

25 Great Movies About Money (1)

Photo: Wonderlane

When I first started researching this article, I figured I’d find a dozen decent movies based on money. I was wrong. There are hundreds of films out there with money at the core, and why not? Money makes the world go around, after all. It plays a part in all of our lives, so it’s no surprise that so many filmmakers have chosen to focus on it.

I boiled the list down to the best 25 that show a variety of themes across many different genres and ratings. Some are family films, others for the adults only, and some are documentaries. However, money is a major feature in each one...and hopefully you’ll learn a little something from them, too. (See also: Never Pay for a Redbox DVD Rental Again)

25 Great Movies About Money (2)

Boiler Room (2000) – Thriller, Rated R

Starring: Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi

An investment drama that crosses Wall Street with Glengarry Glen Ross (both on this list) Boiler Room is a good effort from a young cast. The basic premise is simple — a savvy college dropout turns from running an illegal casino to a seemingly legal investment business that’s based on very aggressive cold-calling. But obviously the bubble has to burst at some point, and when that happens, the real drama begins.

25 Great Movies About Money (3)

Brewster’s Millions (1985) – Comedy, Rated PG

Starring: Richard Pryor, John Candy

A classic from the 80s, Brewster's Millions features Pryor as a minor league baseball player who is given an offer he can’t refuse — spend $30 million in 30 days and have nothing to show for it, and he gets $300 million. He also can’t tell anyone about the deal, and that’s when the laughs come thick and fast. Everyone thinks he’s nuts as he spends money like a drunken sailor on the most frivolous things, but he soon discovers spending serious money is not as easy, or as fun, as he thinks.

25 Great Movies About Money (4)

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) – Documentary, Rated R

Starring: Michael Moore

Moore is a polarizing figure. The left think he’s a crusader for the working man, the right thinks he warps the truth for his own agenda. But love him or hate him, he knows how to make documentary movies. Capitalism: A Love Story deals with American democracy and capitalism, taking aim at Reagonomics, George W. Bush, and the free enterprise system that led to the collapse of the U.S. economy. But where did all the money go? And who’s to blame?

25 Great Movies About Money (5)

Casino (1995) – Crime Drama, Rated R

Starring: Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci

Although I prefer Goodfellas, which also deals with money, Casino is all about the evils of money. Set in the 70s, it centers around Ace Rothstein (DeNiro), a gambling genius with ties to the mob. They ask him to run the Tangiers casino, and he turns the place into a gold mine. But with success comes the usual trouble, with blonde bombshell hustler Ginger (Stone) and brutal mobster Nicky Santoro (Pesci) taking full advantage of Ace.

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25 Great Movies About Money (6)

The Color of Money (1996) – Drama, Rated R

Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise

A sequel to the original Paul Newman film The Hustler, this Martin Socrcese movie concerns money, exploitation, and revenge. Cruise is Vincent Lauria, a hot-shot pool player without a clue. Newman is “Fast” Eddie Felson, a former hustler who knows how to play the game. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from The Color of Money — “If you got an area of excellence...you're the best at something, anything...then rich can be arranged.”

25 Great Movies About Money (7)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) – Documentary, Rated R

Directed by: Alex Gibney

Some movies have a profound affect on you, leaving you more angered and frustrated than you ever thought possible. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is one such movie. It documents the faulty and utterly corrupt business practices of the Enron corporation, who abused California’s deregulated electricity market to make billions of dollars. This resulted in suicides, 20,000 people losing their jobs, and one of the largest bankruptcies in modern history.

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The Firm (1993) – Thriller, Rated R

Starring: Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman

Cruise plays Mitch McDeere, a bright young lawyer who is scooped up by a small but lucrative law firm. He gets suspicious when he finds out how many lawyers have died at the firm, and soon discovers its ties with the mob. A key scene in The Firm for me comes when his wife wishes for the days when they didn't have money and were scrabbling for change to buy pizza.

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Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – Drama, Rated R

Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin

Worth watching just for the infamous Alec Baldwin monologue, Glengarry Glen Ross was penned by David Mamet and is filled with rich, intelligent dialog. The whole movie centers on a Chicago real-estate office going through tough times. Each salesman is under immense pressure to close sales or lose their jobs, and we see how far people will go in search of the mighty dollar. A stunning movie. And remember, coffee’s for closers.

25 Great Movies About Money (10)

I.O.U.S.A. (2008) – Documentary, Rated PG

Directed by: Patrick Creadon

The national debt of the United States is growing at a rapid rate. As a nation, we’re hooked on credit, we save less than we ever have before, and the nation can no longer survive on what it collects through taxes. That’s the picture painted by I.O.U.S.A., and it’s bleak to say the least. As we follow the U.S. Comptroller General David Walker across the country, we see the damage that has been done, and the economic disaster on the horizon.

25 Great Movies About Money (11)

In Debt We Trust (2007) – Documentary, Rated R

Directed by: Danny Schechter

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Similar to I.O.U.S.A. in many ways, but with a more personal slant, InDebt We Trust analyses the growing trend of “borrow now, pay later” that is sweeping the nation. We used to owe less than we had in our savings accounts, but that’s no longer the norm. Now, we put more and more on credit and pay the minimum. But what impact will this have on the younger generation, and the world? The warning this film delivers is scarier than any horror flick.

25 Great Movies About Money (12)

Indecent Proposal (1993) – Drama, Rated R

Starring: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson

Imagine you’re in real dire financial straits. You could lose everything unless you get money, and quick. Now imagine a millionaire offers you $1 million to spend just one night with your significant other. Would you take it? And what would happen if you did? A powerful examination of human nature and morality, Indecent Proposal is a film worth watching to see just how money can twist your sense of right and wrong, and the damage it can do.

25 Great Movies About Money (13)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – Drama, Not Rated

Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

One of the most beloved movies, It's a Wonderful Life teaches us all a thing or two about the true meaning of life and the hold money can have on us. George Bailey (Stewart) has led the picture-perfect life in Bedford Falls. But when he loses $8,000 and puts the whole town in jeopardy, he contemplates suicide. That's when his guardian angel appears, to show him what life would be like if he'd never existed. A truly wonderful film.

25 Great Movies About Money (14)

Jerry Maguire (1996) – Drama/Romance, Rated R

Starring: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

My friends would tell me that if I turned up to work unusually happy, they knew I'd watched Jerry Maguire. It tells the story of Jerry Maguire, a sports agent who grows a conscience and writes a mission statement to his company — fewer clients, less money. He's fired, he loses his clients and his fiancée, and his career is in ruins. But that's when he discovers what matters most, and who matters most, in a tale that can melt the stoniest of hearts.

25 Great Movies About Money (15)

Maxed Out (2006) – Documentary, Not Rated

Directed by: James D. Scurlock

Another movie about the debt crisis consuming America, director James D. Scurlock uses satire from Louis C.K. and music from Coldplay to add some flavor to the tough subject of financial doom. Noting similarities between the credit industry and the drug trade, Maxed Out examines the predatory lending practices of some of the biggest financial institutions and ask that age old question — why? Filled with great knowledge, this is unmissable.

25 Great Movies About Money (16)

The Money Pit (1986) – Comedy, Rated PG

Starring: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long

Anyone thinking of buying a used home should stay well clear of this movie for a while. The Money Pit is the story of a happy couple who buy a "too good to be true" home for a bargain price. Everything looks great until they move in, and the entire house begins to fall to pieces. They soon go from happy to frantic as the house consumes every cent they own, and the home becomes metaphor for their troubled relationship. Great laughs throughout.

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Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Crime Thriller, Rated R

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts

I apologize to any purists out there who prefer the original to the remake, but I happen to like Soderbergh’s version of Ocean's Eleven a little better. In this crime caper, money is the root of all evil. Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) owns a chain of casinos in Vegas, and takes pleasure in destroying the competition in order to build his empire. Danny Ocean gathers a crew to rob him of his fortune. But there’s a deeper story involving Danny’s ex.

25 Great Movies About Money (19)

Office Space (1999) – Comedy, Rated R

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Ron Livingston

A wonderful piece of social satire from director Mike Judge, Office Space concerns the humdrum lives of workers at a software company. Their jobs are deeply dull, they’re facing layoffs, and they’re terrified of being unemployed. It all changes though when Peter Gibbons gets hypnotized and basically stops caring — which results in getting a huge promotion. With his friends in the firing line, they all hatch a plan. One of the five funniest movies ever made.

25 Great Movies About Money (20)

The One Percent (2006) – Documentary, Not Rated

Directed by: Jamie Johnson

What is the one percent? Well, it refers to the wealthiest Americans who control 38% of the nation's wealth. And in this documentary by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, we discover some of the brutal facts about trickle-down economics, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the future of America. Warren Buffett disowned granddaughter Nicole after she appeared in the documentary. Ouch. Available on Netflix.

25 Great Movies About Money (21)

Other People’s Money (1991) – Comedy Drama, Rated R

Starring: Danny DeVito, Gregory Peck

DeVito is “Larry The Liquidator,” a merciless investor who buys companies, rips them apart and sells off the assets to make millions. But when he comes up against a mom-and-pop company, he gets more than he bargained for — a sassy and attractive lawyer, and a relative of the owners, who can play the same dirty games as Larry. Other People's Money is a funny and touching story about the importance of people’s lives over that of the might dollar.

25 Great Movies About Money (22)

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – Drama, Rated PG-13

Starring: Will Smith, Thandie Newton

Based on the true story of Christopher Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness is a rags-to-riches story that really tugs at your heart strings. Gardner (Will Smith) has a job trying to sell over-priced medical equipment, and it's not going well. His wife leaves him, he has to care for his young son, and he's got no income. Then one day he sees a guy driving a sports car and asks how he did it. He decides to become at trainee stock broker, unpaid and in dire financial straits.

25 Great Movies About Money (23)

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Rogue Trader (1999) – Drama, Rated R

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Anna Friel

Remember Nick Leeson, the trader who single-handedly brought down Barings Bank? Well, Rogue Trader is the story of one of the biggest investment failures in recent history. Nick is a skilled trader who assigned to work in Jakarta, but in an attempt to save money, Barings allows him to operate floor trading and back office facilities. This results in him breaking all kinds of trading rules, generating losses that quickly become impossible to recover.

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Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – Drama, Rated R

Starring: Dev Patel, Freido Pinto, Anil Kapoor

Winner of eight Oscars, Slumdog Millionaire is an often heart-wrenching tale about a Mumbai teen who becomes a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. When he starts getting answers correct that should be way beyond his general knowledge, he’s accused of cheating and interrogated. But through a series of flashbacks, we see that events from his life gave him this knowledge. One of the best movies of the last decade.

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The Sting (1973) – Crime Comedy, Rated PG

Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman

Set in 1936 Chicago, The Sting follows two con men who are looking to get revenge on a major crime boss in town. And they know his weakness — gambling on the horses. What follows is an elaborate sting operation to separate the man from his money without him ever knowing he was part of a "long con." Winner of seven Academy Awards, and with ragtime music by Scott Joplin, The Sting is a masterful movie that I watch every year.

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Trading Places (1983) – Comedy, Rated R

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy

Are titans of industry born to do it, or are they made? Will people resort to crime if pushed too far? These are the questions that two super-rich older brothers ask each other, and to find out they concoct a nasty plan. They ruin the life of their successful commodities trader and bring a bum from the streets in to replace him. What follows in Trading Places are some of the funniest moments ever captured on film. A classic comedy, with great acting and a great story.

25 Great Movies About Money (27)

Wall Street (1987) – Thriller, Rated R

Starring: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen

"Greed is good" spits Gordon Gekko, a ruthless stock broker who worships money and the power it brings him. Bud Fox is a young broker desperate to work with him, and the lure of success puts Fox on a path that leads to insider trading, shady business deals, fast cars, and fast women. Set in New York in the late eighties, the height of "yuppie" culture, Wall Street is a fast-paced film that puts a magnifying glass on greed.

Did I miss anything exceptional? Or just one of your favorites? Chime in, let us know any other movies about money that are worth a watch.

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25 Great Movies About Money (28)

FAQs

How can I become a billionaire movie? ›

Top 10 Movies About People Trying to Get Rich
  1. Catch Me if You Can (2002)
  2. Margin call (2011)
  3. Limitless (2011)
  4. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013, not for the kids!)
  5. Wall Street (1987,2010)
  6. A Christmas Carol (1843)
20 May 2020

What is a really good movie to watch? ›

30 Most Popular Movies Right Now
  • #1. Halloween Ends (2022) 39% 40% #1. ...
  • #2. Amsterdam (2022) 33% 58% #2. ...
  • #3. Smile (2022) 79% 76% #3. ...
  • #4. Luckiest Girl Alive (2022) 43% 74% #4. ...
  • #5. Werewolf by Night (2022) 91% 91% #5. ...
  • #6. Terrifier 2 (2022) 87% 85% #6. ...
  • #7. Hellraiser (2022) 66% 60% #7. ...
  • #8. Don't Worry Darling (2022) 38% 68% #8.

What is a good 2 hour movie? ›

2-Hour Movies
  • The Sea Beast.
  • Someone Borrowed.
  • The Unforgivable.
  • Luckiest Girl Alive.
  • Uncharted.
  • Red Notice.
  • The Stranger.
  • The Informer.

What movies are about Wall Street? ›

Wall Street

Are any actors a billionaire? ›

Actress and investor Jamie Gertz is the richest actor in the world. The '80s star's net worth is estimated to be $3 billion. She is the owner of the Atlanta Hawks NBA team and has acted in many films and TV series throughout her career.

What is the richest movie in the world? ›

Films
RankTitleYear
1Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides2011
2Avengers: Age of Ultron2015
3Avengers: Endgame2019
4Avengers: Infinity War2018
78 more rows

What is number 1 movie of all time? ›

Gone with the Wind—first released in 1939—is generally considered to be the most successful film, with Guinness World Records in 2014 estimating its adjusted global gross at $3.4 billion.

What is the number 1 most watched movie? ›

Most Watched Movies Of All Time
  • Titanic (1997) ...
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ...
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) ...
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) ...
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) ...
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ...
  • The Lion King (1994)

What is the top 1 movie of all time? ›

Top Lifetime Grosses
RankTitleYear
1Avatar2009
2Avengers: Endgame2019
3Titanic1997
4Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens2015
117 more rows

Which movie is based on stock market? ›

  • Boiler Room (2000)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) ...
  • Trading Places (1983) ...
  • Rogue Trader (1999) ...
  • Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) ...
  • American Psycho (2000) ...
  • Barbarians at the Gate (1993) ...
  • The Big Short (2015) ...
6 Sept 2022

What movie is based on the Great Depression? ›

1. Our Daily Bread & Other Films of the Great Depression – 1940 (NR)

What is the longest movie available on Netflix? ›

Below are the longest movies on Netflix.
  1. The Irishman (2019) What is this? ...
  2. Troy (2004) Director: Wolfgang Petersen. ...
  3. The Hateful Eight (2015) What is this? ...
  4. A Bridge Too Far (1977) Director: Richard Attenborough. ...
  5. Django Unchained (2012) What is this? ...
  6. Dangal (2016) What is this? ...
  7. Les Misérables (2012) ...
  8. Zodiac (2007)
29 Mar 2022

Which movie shot in 24 hours? ›

As per reports, Suyamvaram even won a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the fastest-made film with the most number of stars.

Which movie shooted in 24 hours? ›

Producer Giridharilal Nagpal announced his intentions of making, Suyamvaram, a film shot within 24 hours in January 1999, citing it had been a fourteen-year dream.

Is Justin Bieber a billionaire? ›

Justin Bieber is a fabulously wealthy individual, but he's not a billionaire.

Who is the youngest billionaire? ›

(Image credit: @alexandr_wang) As a kid, Alexandr Wang was a math whiz who liked participating in national math and coding competitions.

Who is the No 1 actor in world? ›

Top 100 Stars in Leading Roles at the Worldwide Box Office
RankNameMovies
1Scarlett Johansson33
2Robert Downey, Jr.43
3Samuel L. Jackson64
4Chris Hemsworth25
79 more rows

What movie has made the most money 2022? ›

Top Gun: Maverick

Which is the No 1 movie in World 2022? ›

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness currently has the highest weekend debut of 2022.

What is the highest grossing film of all time 2022? ›

Here are the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time, according to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro:
  • Avatar (2009), $2.8 billion.
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019), $2.7 billion.
  • Titanic (1997), $2.2 billion.
  • Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), $2.06 billion.
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018), $2.04 billion.
3 days ago

How do actors get so rich? ›

The simplest answer to why actors are paid so much is that people pay so much to watch them. Most people associate acting with wealth, and for good reason. The world's most successful actors can make tens of millions of dollars for a single film.

How can I start my own movie? ›

You need to:
  1. Choose the right equipment.
  2. Learn how films tell stories.
  3. Develop your story idea.
  4. Plan your shots and sound.
  5. Film and edit the movie carefully.
  6. Get feedback before you finish.
  7. Share it in the right format.

How do I become a successful movie? ›

5 Key Tips on Producing a Successful Film
  1. Build a good team around you that support any skills you may not have. Have clear contracts with all. ...
  2. Start your marketing strategy from day one. ...
  3. Constantly keep up on industry information. ...
  4. Have a good business plan for your film.
13 Feb 2014

Can actors become millionaire? ›

The most traditional among professions to make you rich, acting is a low entry barrier yet hard to reach success field. The odds of making it to the list of Hollywood biggies are low but given the right amount of talent and drive, you can become a successful actor.

Who is the lowest paid actor in Hollywood? ›

1. Jonah Hill. Jonah Hill voluntary accepted the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) minimum salary just so he could work with director Martin Scorsese. Hill told The Howard Stern Show he jumped at the chance to film for seven months on a thin $60,000 salary claiming, “They gave me the lowest amount of money possible.

Who is the richest actor in the world? ›

As of August 2022, Jerry Seinfeld is the richest actor in the world with a net worth of $950 million. Who is the 2nd richest actor in the world? Tyler Perry with a net worth of $800 million.

What actor has the highest salary? ›

With a worldwide gross of over USD 1.3 billion, Top Gun: Maverick is the highest-grossing film of 2022. With this one film, Tom Cruise sits at the very top of the list of highest-paid actors in the world with a stratospheric earning of over USD 100 million reportedly.

Can you sell just an idea for a movie? ›

Can You Sell a Screenplay Idea? No, generally producers don't listen and buy movie ideas because of legal reasons and you cannot copywrite an idea. But if your idea has some type of influence such as a famous actor, producer or intellectual property attached with a film treatment then yes.

Can 1 person make a movie? ›

If you want to make a movie with one person, focus on simple, filmable concepts. Sure, you might not have a full cast and crew to make a big budget film, but many filmmakers have used that limitation as inspiration for some creative workarounds.

Can you make a film with no experience? ›

High-end TV and major film sets require you to have some experience, even for entry-level work. You will find it hard to work on a big film set without at least 3 previous credits in your role. As such, you might need to work on independent film sets before working in the professional film industry.

How much money do you need to make a good movie? ›

However, according to Investopedia, the average film budget for a Hollywood motion picture rests at around $65 million. It's important to note that doesn't include marketing costs, which can often cost half as much as the production costs.

How much money do you need to start a movie? ›

A low budget movie can cost about $30 million, while an expensive production with high-tech special effects can run into millions of dollars. Usually, Hollywood films have budgets ranging from $100 million to $200 million, which means that they are more complex and require more time than other films.

What is a good amount of money for a movie to make? ›

The average cost to produce a major studio movie has been around $65 million. But the production costs don't cover distribution and marketing, which adds another $35 million or so, on average, bringing the total cost to produce and market a major movie to right about $100 million.

What jobs can make u rich? ›

There are all kinds of degrees to earn these days, but not all of them guarantee a high-paying job in the end.
...
Top 10 Jobs That Make You Rich
  • Doctor. ...
  • Surgeon. ...
  • Investment Banker. ...
  • Corporate Executive. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer. ...
  • Psychiatrist. ...
  • Data Scientist. ...
  • Research & Development Manager.

What celebrity is a billionaire? ›

Billionaire Celebrities: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Oprah, Jay-Z.

Which jobs can make you a millionaire? ›

Here are 10 jobs you should choose in 2021 to earn big bucks and get rich quickly:
  • Data Scientist. Several reports agree that 'Data Scientist' is the sexist job of the 21st century. ...
  • Product Manager. ...
  • Cloud Architect. ...
  • Full Stack Developer. ...
  • Big Data Engineer. ...
  • DevOps Engineer. ...
  • Blockchain Developer. ...
  • Mobile Application Developer.
25 Dec 2020

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