14 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch
All entrepreneurs should be on an eternal quest for knowledge. No matter what stage of the game you are in, there is always room to grow and learn. One way that you can broaden your business horizons is with a film. Both documentaries and fictional films can add value to your journey as an entrepreneur. Here are 14 movies that you should watch that are powerful tools as well as being extremely entertaining.
Synopsis: Set to be released in the summer of 2019, this powerful film follows the team of American designers and engineers that are tasked by Henry Ford II in 1966 with designing a car that will beat the Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race that takes place in France.
Names you will recognize: Actors Matt Daman and Christian Bale are in the lead roles.
Why you should watch it: Ford attempted to purchase Ferrari, but when the deal fell through, he was inspired to create an innovative car that could beat the Ferrari. This passion and surge in innovation is inspiring even it is mainly motivated by revenge.
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Synopsis: This documentary explores the ways that the Fyre Festival went from being marketed as an exclusive and luxurious music festival that was lauded by celebrities and social media influencers into a mess that was completely mismanaged. This disaster of an event left people stranded without the food and shelter they were promised and with a lot of missing cash.
Names you will recognize: The documentary includes footage of a lot of celebrities including Ja Rule, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner.
Why you should watch it: This film explores the power of social media in marketing, and it also will have you considering the necessity of having contingency plans.
The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind
Synopsis: This film follows the true life story of William Kamkwamba, a thirteen-year-old boy that was forced to drop out of school. Kamkwamba doesn’t give up on his education and instead sneaks into the library to learn. He teaches himself how to build a wind turbine in order to save his village from famine.
Names you will recognize: This movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor from the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.
Why you should watch it: This film is inspirational, and it really stresses the entrepreneurial mindset of striving to attain your goals no matter the adversity.
Synopsis: A documentary from 2001 that looks at the rise (and subsequent fall) of the startup GovWorks. It follows the dotcom period and the way friendships can be strained or ruined by business partnerships.
Names you will recognize: The documentary includes footage of Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman.
Why you should watch it: This film delves into a lot of the areas that are important to an entrepreneur such as financing, capital raising, and growth management.
Synopsis: A documentary that follows the story of a Chinese billionaire, Cho Tak Wong, and his struggle after opening an auto-glass factory in Moraine, Ohio in 2016. Wong’s workforce of 2,000 struggle with Chinese work standards.
Names you will recognize: This film was directed by the prolific documentary filmmaker Steven Bognar.
Why you should watch it: It offers good insight into issues with managing employees and discovering how expectations can cause a clash.
Synopsis: This film is an embellished telling of the fantastical life of con artist Frank Abagnale. His charm and masterful skills of deception opened doors for Abagnale where he was able to profit and scheme his way into many different jobs. This adaptation of a true story follows Abagnale and the FBI agent that was charged with bringing him down.
Names you will recognize: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lead role of Frank Abagnale, and Tom Hanks plays the FBI agent.
Why you should watch it: While used for nefarious purposes, Abignale’s innovation and creativity are a marvelous skill set that is in keeping with the entrepreneural spirit.
The Great Hack
Synopsis: Following the story of Facebook’s infamous data breach and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This film explores many themes including how the stolen data was used as a weapon in the political war.
Names you will recognize: This documentary was directed by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker Karin Amer.
Why you should watch it: It is a fascinating look at the power and responsibility companies have in regards to the personal data of its users.
Synopsis: An action film with a dash of dark comedy, Lord of War chronicles the life of a fictional arms dealer from the Ukraine that uses his ambition and tenacity to build a hugely successful illegal gun trade.
Names you will recognize: The main character in the film is played by Nicolas Cage.
Why you should watch it: While the film is focused on entrepreneurship of the illegal sort, it still shows excellent negotiation techniques and the ideas of building customer loyalty.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, this late 90s film tells the tale of a Barings Bank employee and investment trader that single-handedly brought down England’s largest bank.
Names you will recognize: This movie stars Ewan McGregor of Star War’s fame.
Why you should watch it: This movie touches on many financial aspects of business like capital markets, business ethics, and corporate valuation.
Synopsis: Follow Bud Fox as he attempts to navigate the cutthroat world of Wall Street. With a mantra of “greed is good,” Fox uses his ambition to become successful and powerful. It is a good alternative for those that find The Wolf of Wall Street difficult to watch.
Names you will recognize: The main character is played by a young Charlie Sheen.
Why you should watch it: While it does touch on the dangers of getting caught up in a glamorous lifestyle only focusing on wealth, it does dive into the world of corporate finance and portfolio management.
Synopsis: Based on the origin of Facebook, this film follows Mark Zuckerberg’s rise, from a student at Harvard to the creator of the most-used social networking site. It chronicles his legal battles with the two brothers that claim he stole the idea, and his former best friend that was kicked out of the budding company.
Names you will recognize: The film is directed by the celebrated David Fincher, and it stars Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, and Andrew Garfield.
Why you should watch it: This movie is a good reminder to the entrepreneurial mind that hugely successful endeavors all started somewhere modest.
Synopsis: Inspired by the fraudulent company Stratton Oakmont, Boiler Room is a story of a college dropout that takes a job at a less than legitimate investment firm in order to win approval from his father.
Names you will recognize: The movie stars a few very familiar faces like Vin Diesel, Ben Affleck, and Giovanni Ribisi.
Why you should watch it: This movie should be viewed as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs. It warns of the dangers of getting caught up in a lifestyle that will cause you to make unethical decisions.
Synopsis: This film is an adaptation of the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, and it delves into the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs rivalry that lasted from 1971 to 1997.
Names you will recognize: The resident geek of the 80s, Anthony Michael Hall and ER’s Noah Wyle star in the film as Gates and Jobs.
Why you should watch it: This film is another look at the humble start of a majorly successful company.
Synopsis: A film adaptation of an award-winning play, Glengarry Glenn Ross follows real estate salespeople as they navigate a turbulent selling season. It gives viewers an inside look into the schemes of the property-selling industry.
Names you will recognize: Mega-stars Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, and Jack Lemmon star in this 1992 film. There is also a scene-stealing cameo from William Baldwin.
Why you should watch it: This movie is good for those that need a little inspiration on how to operate in a very high stakes, high-pressure industry. This film has actually been used as a training tool for salespeople.
With this list of movies, you can turn your relaxation time into business building time without sacrificing any of the entertainment factor. You will be quite busy getting through this list of films and documentaries, and you will be surprised by how much you can learn from the comfort of your couch.