10 movies every entrepreneur should watch and why

Top 10 Business Movies

Hollywood loves a good story, and what better story is there than a story about someone facing the struggles of trying to succeed in business? From scrappy underdogs trying to succeed against powerful, established competitors to simple explorations of the daily struggles faced by business, there are dozens of classic movies about the business of doing business. There are a number of important lessons any budding new entrepreneur can learn from Hollywood's version of business as depicted in these movies.

Here are ten movies every entrepreneur should watch. Some are educational, some are cautionary, some are a bit of both, but all of them have important lessons for you:

1. Wall Street (1987)

Filmed at the height of Reagan presidency, this movie informed a generation of young business people that 'Greed is good". An object lesson in what happens when you shed all traces of morality in the pursuit of money and power, this movie is a perfect reminder that giving up your principals for money comes with a high price.

2. Joy (2015)

A woefully unappreciated and not widely known movie about how one women completely revolutionized the mop industry in the 1990s. This movie tells the story of Joy Mangano, whose invention of the Miracle Mop self-wringing mop turned her into a millionaire. Her story is an inspirational must-see movie for anyone who considers themselves a market disruptor.

3. The Social Network (2010)

Although largely fictionalized, this account of the founding and eventual success of Facebook is an inspirational story of how true entrepreneurs face challenges. The movie teaches important lessons about the need to be resilient yet flexible enough to change direction when needed.

4. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

A perfect time-capsule of the cutthroat world of Chicago real estate during the early 1980s - the movie is based on David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name - this movie is a lesson in what happens when business values money, and sales, above all else. A perfect lesson in how not to run a sales department.

5. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

A made-for-television exploration of the early days of Apple and Microsoft, and the fluctuating love-hate relationship between company founders Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. An inspirational story with quite a few useful pointers for entrepreneurs.

6. Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

An inspirational movie based on the true story of Chris Gardner, who rose from desperate poverty and homelessness to become a Wall Street legend. Gardner's story is the story of how you can never give up on a dream regardless of what obstacles may come your way.

7. Moneyball (2011)

The true story of how Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane disrupted baseball by using computer-generated analysis to recruit players and build a powerhouse team. His use of overall career statistics - rather than recent performance - to recruit players revolutionized baseball.

8. Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry Macquire tells the story of a highly successful sports agent who seemingly has it all but comes to realize that a career built solely around money and success is an empty one. He comes to question the value of his work, and his life, and gives it all up for a chance to follow his dream of working as an independent agent who values client relationships above simply getting richer. A lesson in how following your dream can be much more fulfilling than simply chasing money.

9. Steve Jobs (2015)

A relatively unflinching look at Apple founder Steve Jobs, this movie details both his success and his failures, and his struggle to keep Apple a leader in tech innovation. Jobs' story is both inspirational to entrepreneurs and a cautionary tale of what happens when one man becomes the very soul of the business they founded - and what happens when that person leaves the company. A must-see for every entrepreneur.

10. Office Space (1999)

A perfect microcosm of the modern office cube farm - complete with disrespectful, clueless management and tedious, mind-numbing routine - that has created the rise of the modern entrepreneur. An inspirational tale of how one man leads an in-office revolution on a bold chance to break out of his existential workplace hell. Several valuable lessons in this movie including the value of daring to break free of your mind-numbing office job and follow your own path. Also carries a powerful message about the importance of wearing the right amount of flair at all times.

What are your top ten movies for entrepreneurs?

RELATED: 7 inspirational movies for entrepreneurs

Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs
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Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs

The Social Network

Based on the true story of Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates and co-founders, this movie shows us how one idea can go from a thought in casual conversation to a world-dominating platform.

This film also brings to light the drama and behind-the-scenes tensions that arise when setting out to begin a new business or venture. We learn through Zuckerberg's faults in the movie that you must stay cognizant of your actions and the way that you treat people, or you may damage relationships with those closest to you. 

Photo credit: Facebook


If this picture queues the iconic theme song to start playing in your head, you're not alone. Rocky is the ultimate underdog story, one that can inspire even the most experienced of entrepreneurs.

When being called up to fight world champion Apollo Creed, Rocky sees an opportunity and does everything he can to make the most of it.

Through physical strength, Rocky exemplifies true mental strength that has us all rooting for him and the people, quite literally, in his corner. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Jerry Maguire

In a classic awakening of the conscience, sports agent Jerry McGuire decides to write a letter to his entire company about how the hunger for deals and a profit are making it easy for everyone to lose sight of who they are.

This gets McGuire fired, and he must start his own business. With only one star football player under his management, McGuire learns what it really means to love what you do while still being able to sustain an income and sense of morality. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Forrest Gump

This classic has so much to teach us about believing in ourselves, believing in others, and how there is literally no one who can tell you what you're capable of doing other than yourself. 

As someone who's mentally disadvantaged, Forrest lives a life that's anything but limited and does it all with a smile. His determination is admirable, and at the very least, this movie will remind you to never give up on the things you want the most. Mental fortitude is the most important thing.

Photo credit: Facebook

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods is the girl you can't help but root for, right from the opening scene at the start of this movie. After getting her heart broken by her long-term boyfriend (whom she thought would soon be her fiancé), she learns that he'll be attending Harvard Law school in the fall.

Determined to both get him back and prove to him she's more than just a dumb blonde, Elle works harder than she's ever worked before (with the help of everyone she knows and loves), gets accepted to Harvard and finds herself on the defendant side of a high profile court case that forever changes her life and career.

Elle teaches us how to pool our resources and connections to get to our goals. The film also reminds us about how important friends and family are to have as a support system when you're taking on an endeavor that most people expect you to fail at.

Plus, she shows us that the seemingly impossible can become possible if you're willing to smile through it (and maybe if you put on a little pink!)

Photo credit: Facebook

Charlotte's Web

A classic tale of friendship and trust, Charlotte's Web will always inevitably give you all the feels. It reminds us all that by being kind and by simply being someone's friend, you can make all the difference.

The people who find the most success and get to where they need to be are the people who care deeply for others and expect nothing in return.

The film, as does the novel, can make anyone see that the relationships we build along the way become the best investments that we make.

Photo credit: Facebook

The Intern 

This 2015 movie starring Robert DiNero and Anne Hathaway is feel-good film about a 70-year-old retiree named Ben Whittaker who, recently widowed, is looking to come out of retirement for something fun to do. When he sees a posting for am"senior internship", Ben believes he's the perfect fit.

Ben works under the owner of a fashion website (played by Hathaway) and the two form an incredible, honest bond. Their friendship shows that the most successful partnerships and ventures come from the most unexpected places. 

It's a nice reminder that hard work, positive mentality and kindness will always be in style, no matter how old or young you are. 

Photo credit: Facebook


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