13 Best Movies About Money for Your Watch List Tonight

movies about money

There’s no getting around it – money plays a key role in our daily life. Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or decide which yacht to buy, money is part of key decisions throughout your life.

So, it’s no surprise that movies about money attract attention. Through them, we can learn valuable financial lessons, dream of what our future can look like or simply

Afterall, movies about money certainly have no shortage of drama!

The stories that come out of New York’s famous financial world are often better than anything a screenwriter could have invented.

One of most alluring things about movies about money is the fact that these tales are often true. They remind us that – while we like to think the world of numbers is black and white – it’s anything but.

Here, Wallet Arrow chose the 13 best movies about money, and ranked them on a 1 – 100 scale. Most are Hollywood-style movies, while a few are don’t-miss documentaries:

1. Trading Places (1983)

This classic 1980s flick stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. A small-time con artist swaps lives with a wealthy stock trader. Bucking the trend of drama in Wall Street films, Trading Places is a timeless comedy. Still, we get an unsettling look at the division between the lifestyles of Wall Street high-fliers and those on the outside.

  • How to Watch: $2.99 on YouTube, U.S.
  • Wallet Arrow’s Rating: 89

2. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

When this sexy Martin Scorsese film about the real life of one Wall Street trader hit the theaters, audiences were shocked at the lifestyle, the scandal and the company culture the movie follows. Starring Leonard DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margo Robbie and Matthew McConaughey.  

  • How to Watch: $1.99 Netflix rental
  • Wallet Arrow’s rating: 95

3. Too Big to Fail (2011)

Too Big to Fail tells the story of how financial leaders scrambled to manage the economy’s downfall in 2008 that caused widespread carnage on Wall Street. As megabanks Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers are on the brink of collapse, Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke (played by Paul Giamatti) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (played by William Hurt) spring into action.

  • How to Watch: $3.99 Amazon Prime Rental
  • Wallet Arrow’s rating: 87

4. Margin Call (2011)

Margin Call, with Paul Bettany and Kevin Spacey, takes us inside the company culture of adrenaline-fueled decision making with this fast-paced thriller. As a financial analyst at a big Wall Street firm uncovers some alarming information, company big wigs spring into action

  • How to Watch: $2.99Amazon Prime rental ($3.99 HD), free with HBO subscription
  • Wallet Arrow Rating: 92

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5. The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short, based on Michael Lewis’ best-selling book of the same name, is another film about the financial crisis of 2008. It dives into a true story of how Wall Street insiders hustled to make a killing as economy was on the brink of collapse. The film unravels how the complex mortgage market played a key role in the financial crisis, and how some people stood to earn millions with the right deals. Starring Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling.

  • How to Watch: $2.99 Amazon Prime rental ($3.99 HD)
  • Wallet Arrow’s rating: 93

6. Inside Job (2010)

Narrated by Matt Damon, this documentary about the 2008 financial crisis explores the causes and effects of economy’s collapse. Widespread corruption and systemic issues in the financial industry are at the forefront of this Academy Award-winning film.

  • How to Watch: $3.99 Amazon Prime Rental
  • Wallet Arrow’s rating: 89

7. The Queen of Versailles (2012)

What started out as a documentary about the construction of Versailles, which was slated to be the biggest and most expensive home in the U.S. quickly takes a dark turn.

  • How to Watch: $3.99 Amazon Prime Rental
  • Wallet Arrow rating: 94

8. Moneyball (2011)

Often touted as a sports drama, Moneyball is a true story of how Oakland A’s baseball management chased the dollars with innovative new strategies. Based on Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning the Unfair Game, this film stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  • How to Watch: Free with Netflix
  • Wallet Arrow rating: 96

9. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

Michael Moore’s critical look at the pitfalls and successes of capitalism in the U.S., which he argues rewards “runaway” greed. This documentary underscores the deep division between the top 1% of wealthy Americans versus the other 95%, touching on a range of topics from the insurance industry to poverty-level wages.

  • How to Watch: Free with Amazon Prime
  • Wallet Arrow Rating: 71

10 In Time (2011)

This sci-fi thriller is also one of the best movies about money. In Time shines light on a real societal issue: the difference between the haves and the have-nots. Only in this world, the currency is not dollars – it’s time. Here, people stop aging at age 25 with one more year to live, but they have the potential to buy eternal life. Some have a much better shot at dodging death than others. Starring Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, and Amanda Seyfried.

  • How to Watch: $3.99 Amazon Prime Rental
  • Wallet Arrow’s rating: 91

11. Wall Street (1987)

Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without one of the best movies about money – Wall Street, a story of a young analyst who saddles up to a mentor with penchant for playing by his own rules with corporate takeovers. In Michael Douglas’ iconic courtroom scene, his character Gordon Gekko pronounces what is now one of the most widely cited Wall Street catchphrases: “Greed is good.” (He actually says, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”) And he has much more to say about how he views the virtues of greed.

  • How to Watch: Free with Amazon Prime
  • Wallet Arrow’s Rating: 96

12. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

A sequel to the original, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Gordon Gecko continues to prove a master manipulator driving by his own interests, even as he steps into a father-figure role.

  • How to Watch: Free with Amazon Prime
  • Wallet Arrow rating: 80

13. Playing with FIRE: The Documentary (2019)

A must-see for anyone who has dreamed of retiring early, Playing with FIRE: The Documentary (not to be confused with the Playing with Fire about firefighters) takes a realistic look at the growing role of Financial Independence, Retire Early mentality.

  • How to Watch: $4.99 Amazon Rental
  • Wallet Arrow rating: 87

The Bottom Line

If you’re strapped for some fresh movies to watch, check out some of the best movies about money. Add them to your watchlist for entertainment that can double as a valuable financial lessons.

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