27 Inspirational Movies For Entrepreneurs To Watch in 2023
Inspiration can be a difficult thing to find when you're looking for it, but here are 27 best entrepreneurs movies to watch that can provide the inspiration your business needs.
Everyone needs inspiration from time to time. Be it a student, artist or an entrepreneur, it is important to relax your mind and let it wander for a bit so that it can get the best ideas for you. Some people like to do this by traveling, some by talking while some people like to watch TV shows and movies. Informative movies and documentaries can help you take a break from your ordinary schedule while learning something new. But before you start the binge season, make sure to designate your duties.
The movie industry enjoys telling the stories of renowned business people on the big screen, and over the past few years, there has been a steady stream of biopics that provide an inside look at how modern inventors achieved success. For entrepreneurs, these movies frequently provide sound counsel and a shot of inspiration.
In this post, we will discuss 27 inspirational movie titles that every entrepreneur can watch to regain confidence, refresh their mind or take a break from their never ending hustle. While you are at it, note down key takeaways from each film.
Before we move towards knowing these movies let’s get to know the whole list of 27 movies for entrepreneurs first.
27 Inspirational Movies For Entrepreneurs in 2023
- 1 27 Inspirational Movies For Entrepreneurs in 2023
- 2 27 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch For Inspiration
- 2.1 Startup.com
- 2.2 Catch Me If You Can
- 2.3 The Founder
- 2.4 Steve Jobs
- 2.5 Moneyball
- 2.6 Rogue Trader
- 2.7 Pirates of Silicon Valley
- 2.8 The New Hustle
- 2.9 The Big Short
- 2.10 The Usual Suspects
- 2.11 The Aviator
- 2.12 The Wolf of Wall Street
- 2.13 Boiler Room
- 2.14 Twelve Angry Men
- 2.15 The Billionaire
- 2.16 Joy
- 2.17 The Greatest Showman
- 2.18 Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room
- 2.19 The Pursuit of Happyness
- 2.20 The Social Network
- 2.21 Office Space
- 2.22 Lord Of War
- 2.23 The Godfather Trilogy
- 2.24 The Devil Wears Prada
- 2.25 Glengarry Glen Ross
- 2.26 The Merchant Of Venice
- 2.27 Thank You For Smoking
- 3 Final Word
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
While these movies do have a lot of inspiration, there is no scarcity of drama, comedy, romance or action in them. You can start with a movie that suits your general genre and move up the ladder by challenging yourself with a distinct theme.
27 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch For Inspiration
Startup.com is the perfect movie to understand the fall of the dotcom bubble. It is a documentary film that follows the journey of govWorks, a startup that failed due to internal power struggles and mismanagement. It had raised $60 million from Hertz Interactive Media, KKR, Sapient, and New York Investment Fund. It is a great movie if you want to understand how the dotcom bubble burst and its impact on the overall industry.
Apart from the dotcom bubble angle
, Startup.com also tells us why friendships do not always go well within professional relationships. They can easily turn into bitter rivalries because of internal politics within a company, work ethics, and professional goals.
Catch Me If You Can
When you hear the song Catch Me If You Can, you probably have an image of Leonardo DiCaprio’s successful con man character Frank Abagnale seducing just about everyone with his skill and expertise. Catch me if You Can is a famous movie that depicts the entrepreneurial journey and is based on a true story. It deals on significant issues including creative problem-solving, making the best of a difficult circumstance, and working hard to succeed.
In this movie, Frank must decide whether to live with his mother or his father, a decision that seems to be beyond his control. It is the choice he tries to avoid making, and it marks the beginning of his descent into criminality. The movie serves several important lessons like avoiding decisions will not ever help us. We can give ourselves time to consider them, but ultimately we have to make a decision. We must be accountable for the here and now and consider all possibilities.
The Founder is based on the story of American fast-food magnate Ray Kroc. The film, which stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, relates the tale of how he founded the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain, which grew to be the largest restaurant industry in the world. Additionally, it features Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as the McDonald brothers, the franchise’s original creators.
Ray Kroc is a contentious figure, but his life narrative can serve as motivation for business owners. In the end, he turned McDonald’s into a worldwide franchise, making it the most prosperous fast food company in the world. It is the biopic that tells the story of the ascent of one of the most significant business figures in America and possibly the most recognisable fast food company in the entire world. The McDonald brothers, who started McDonald’s in the first place but were dealt a poor hand and ultimately forced out of business, make you feel bad at the same time.
The arrival of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the tech industry has been extensively covered in the media. Following the businessman’s passing in 2011, Hollywood produced three full-length movies in short succession on his life, including critically acclaimed drama starring Michael Fassbender.
The movie examined the entrepreneur’s problems on a personal and business level. A side of Jobs that a large portion of the public was unaware of was revealed by his disputes with co-founder Steve Wozniak and former Apple CEO John Sculley as well as his paternity struggle over his daughter Lisa.
A closer look at NeXT, the computer business Steve started after being fired and ultimately acquired by Apple, as well as his triumphant return to Apple in 1997 were also depicted in the film. Following his return, Apple went on to rule the consumer technology market and introduce a number of ground-breaking products, such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
This Brad Pitt-starring sports biography has the potential to inspire many contemporary businesspeople. The story revolves around fundamental life changes and evolving game rules, as the name would imply. In both business and sports, overcoming fear and apathy is all that is necessary to create spectacular outcomes and solve problems quickly and efficiently.
Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), who has a small budget, chooses to build his team using the unproven sabermetric method in order to have amazing success in the Major Baseball League (MLB). To do this successfully, he had to change the way he lived. He was aware that the team lacked the financial resources to compete with the league’s top teams.
As a result, in order to get high outcomes, he had to take chances and make difficult choices. When they are up against fierce competition from established enterprises in the market, the majority of startups face a similar situation. Billy Beane’s success with his team demonstrates that success can be attained through taking chances and being creative.
The employee who single-handedly took down the Barings Bank, the biggest bank in England, is the subject of this 1999 movie, which is based on a true story. The film serves as a warning against people who mistakenly believe that their wealth and power make them important. It also demonstrates how money can fuel all manner of insane behavior.
The film serves as an important lesson for a new founder who is building an enterprise on external funding. It tells that leaders should never misuse funding and always take account of the cash flow- internal and external. Once you start watching this movie, several other important points will surely come up.
Pirates of Silicon Valley
This inspiring tale of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, two young computer geniuses who transformed their utopian concepts into global brands like Apple and Microsoft, will resonate with every entrepreneur and business owner.
The movie shows how the founders specify the start of time. Their wishes are fulfilled. The rest of us have the chance to see this fascinating process in action and apply its outcomes to our own objectives, hopes, and wishes.
The New Hustle
This is a fantastic documentary on three Australian entrepreneurs who did amazing things. The New Hustle tells the narrative of Canva’s early years, which is an amazing tale in and of itself given that Canva goes on to become a unicorn company. It captures the pre-conception and initial phase of the company that faced several challenges during that time. This film is a must watch for any tech founder of today’s time.
The Big Short
‘The Big Short,’ which was based on Michael Lewis’ nonfiction book of the same name, prominently features the U.S. housing meltdown. The movie adaptation portrays the tale of a group of Wall Street fund managers and investors who were able to foresee the country’s overheated housing market collapse and benefit from it. The U.S. subprime house mortgage crisis caused the collapse, which in turn sparked a global financial crisis and a string of well reported government bailouts for American institutions.
Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale, one of the movie’s main characters, was the first to realize that financial institutions had been bundling dubious mortgages into triple-A rated fixed income instruments. In order to wager against those bonds that would pay out a lot of money if the housing market fell, he developed a credit default swap. Most banks were more than eager to take the opposite side of the wager since they believed that the housing market was steadfastly solid.
Burry’s attempt to wager against what was then regarded as an unbreakable market was mocked in the film by Wall Street banks and his own investors. Burry maintained his position despite investors withdrawing funds from his fund left and right, and his tactic worked.
The Usual Suspects
If you love a solid psychological thriller with an audacious twist ending, The Usual Suspects is a must-watch. It depicts the tale of a bunch of experienced thieves who band together to pull off a successful theft after finding themselves in the same police lineup. The film examines issues including leadership consolidation, power and influence, and long-term business strategy, providing both existing and prospective entrepreneurs with insightful information.
This biographical drama has a compelling storyline, a stellar cast, excellent director, outstanding cinematography, and tasteful costumes. The fact that Aviator got five Oscar nominations is not an accident. However, this movie is more than just light entertainment. All entrepreneurs will find the narrative of a clever millionaire who owns the biggest film studio and a casino interesting. Those who lament their lack of drive and sense of purpose will find particular value in the movie.
The Aviator is a biopic about eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, who overcame all obstacles to become a well-known businessman and brilliant film director while managing his OCD, which was progressively getting worse. The actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, received his second Oscar nomination for his outstanding performance in the film. It is also considered one of the greatest biopics ever made.
Howard Hughes had his own personal struggle with a crippling mental disorder like OCD in addition to competing with rival businesses that had huge finances and movie moguls who had significant connections. He overcame a lot of challenges while maintaining his enthusiasm for aviation and creating a lasting legacy. He is the ideal example for budding entrepreneurs who must overcome many challenges in order to do big things.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort’s true story served as the inspiration for The Wolf of Wall Street. It chronicles his entrepreneurial rise and fall and demonstrates how his company, Stratton Oakmont, participated in penny stock trading and securities fraud, attracting the FBI’s attention. Martin Scorsese’s direction is masterful, and Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and Matthew McConaughey all give outstanding performances.
Jordan Belfort is the ideal illustration of what a businessperson should not be. He led a life of tremendous debauchery that ultimately brought about his collapse because he was driven by money and showed little to no empathy for the people he was deceiving.
You will like this if you can get over the fact that Vin Diesel portrays a slick-talking stockbroker in the movie. Furthermore, if you liked The Wolf of Wall Street, you will like Boiler Room even more because it is partially based on Stratton Oakmont, the shady stock trading business that Jordan Belfort created.
The movie’s heroes idolize Wall Street trader Gordon Gekko and make their fortune by convincing the unwary to invest in penny stocks. You are aware of the outcome clearly.
Boiler Room is ultimately a warning story for new entrepreneurs to avoid being seduced by the lifestyle of the affluent and famous to make unethical judgments, aside from exposing them to unique cold-calling techniques.
Twelve Angry Men
Twelve Angry Men is a masterful courtroom drama with deep insights about leadership, the psychology of group dynamics, and clashing value systems. You should watch this because it will make you reflect on how you make significant decisions.
As an entrepreneur is regularly required to make tough decisions, it is important for them to do that with confidence and trust in themselves and the team. This movie will help you build that confidence by showing different scenarios in which people made transforming decisions.
This movie will surely boost your morale if it appears that your efforts are not paying off, money is not coming in, and you are on the verge of despair. This narrative takes us through each stage of the hero’s arduous journey and is based on actual events. Young Tom’s ambition, resourcefulness, and initiative are not always rewarded in the real world, where adults urge that he receive the proper education and conform to their ideals.
Tom’s goal is business; he has no interest in going to school, attending university, or doing boring labor. One can never give up on the road to true growth, despite giving up on education and accruing debt, going through awful hardships, unsolvable issues, and dealing with the authorities.
Joy Mangano, a native of New York who became a mop millionaire in the 1990s from being a single mother, is the subject of this biographical film. The Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop that needed less effort to operate than its rivals, was the new product she invented to launch her career.
Mangano’s character is played by Jennifer Lawrence who is heartbroken to find that her mop will soon be discontinued by home shopping network QVC due to poor sales. In a desperate attempt, she decides to present the product herself on live television, claiming that she is the most qualified to do it. The bet paid out, and after clearing a few additional obstacles, Mangano’s business succeeded. She would later amass a million dollars and produce a number of other lucrative goods.
But the most crucial thing that this film teaches is to never quit. Before becoming successful, Mangano struggled with a volatile industry, betrayal from family, and financial issues. Her greatest asset ultimately turned out to be her unwavering faith in both herself and her product.
The Greatest Showman
This film effectively conveys the spirit of entrepreneurship. For the sake of truly creating a thriving show company, the main character goes through hell. You read that right show biz! This film covers everything from finding a partner to managing a marriage and children.
Apart from the entrepreneurship spirit, the movie teaches an important lesson of work life balance and how you have to maintain both. A new founder could watch this movie to get a hang of solutions to maintain a balance between professional and personal life.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room
Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a documentary. It examines the collapse of the Enron Corporation in 2001 and all the major characters that contributed to the Enron affair. Interviews with the writers McLean and Elkind, former Enron executives and employees, stock analysts, reporters, and former California governor Gray Davis are all included in the movie.
The Enron narrative is the pinnacle of greed and deceit. As a result, it can teach entrepreneurs and business leaders important lessons about the negative effects of greed. The top executives at Enron were solely motivated by greed and profits, and as a result, they did everything in their power to deceive the stakeholders and the general public until it all fell apart like a house of cards. This included using questionable accounting techniques and hiring dubious individuals in crucial roles.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner, the founder of the private brokerage business Gardner Rich & Co should be your idol if you believe in hardwork. In the biopic of Gardner’s life, it is shown how the businessman battled homelessness while supporting his kid alone in San Francisco. Gardner battled for an internship as a stockbroker after his job selling bone density scanners came to an end, spending time in homeless shelters and even once in a subway station lavatory.
When highlighting how Gardner’s wife abandoned the family and the IRS took his salary due to unpaid parking citations, the movie does pull emotional punches.
Gardner obtains the stockbroker position at a company through pure effort, and he leverages that profession to eventually start his own business. Important lessons that you could learn from this movie is that you should never be scared to try something new or to work hard to achieve your goals. In order to be successful, entrepreneurs frequently go above and above, and Gardner is no different. Additionally, there is merit in taking the long view. Gardner undertook an unpaid internship, believing that it would eventually pay off, despite the fact that he and his son were homeless and had daily difficulties.
The Social Network
The life of Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, is not one of rags-to-riches. It comes as little surprise, though, that a movie about the hardships his social network firm faced behind the scenes, which now has more than a billion users worldwide, made the list.
Even though the film’s creators, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, blended reality and fiction to produce what some have criticized as a less-than-accurate portrayal, it nonetheless offers entrepreneurs valuable advice on how to thrive in the competitive world of startup entrepreneurship.
Sean Parker, the original president of Facebook, was seen as untrustworthy and arrogant, and Zuckerberg struggled while trying to get money for the company in its early years. He also had severe issues with co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
This movie provides many excellent business advice, but one of the best lessons is the significance of having a legally enforceable contract between partners and early leaders in place, which is often illustrated in the film. By establishing and documenting their decision-making procedures and the roles that each employee played at the company, Zuckerberg and his co-founders could have avoided a great deal of unnecessary trouble.
If you had believed your workplace drama was extreme, Office Space will persuade you otherwise. The film, a dark comedy, does a better job than any other at capturing the soul-crushing routine of the corporate world. In the end, the main character, Peter, quits his job to launch his own company. The majority of entrepreneurs can relate to this.
The film depicts all the difficulties and peculiar ways that corporations occasionally work with. The movie even has a rap score, which occasionally makes it a laugh riot. It is a film that most office workers can relate with, and it also serves as motivation for business owners.
Lord Of War
The movie Lord of War is a must-see if you enjoy dark comedies with lots of action. The life of Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), a Ukrainian immigrant who determines that the illicit gun trade is the only path to success, is portrayed in this war-crime movie. Putting morality aside, Yuri exemplifies the traits that successful entrepreneurs need: ambition, persistence, and risk tolerance.
Additionally, this movie goes into great detail regarding growth hacking, cultivating client loyalty, and bargaining strategies. Most likely, you will apply some of the principles to your own business endeavor.
The Godfather Trilogy
The Godfather trilogy is arguably the best film series of all time for entrepreneurs because it emphasizes the need of networking and forming relationships. How doing good deeds can assist your bottom line, and how knowing your competition is essential is greatly highlighted in this series. The films are incredibly entertaining and full of exciting and thought-provoking scenarios that will leave you better equipped to manage your next professional challenge.
The movie is entertaining to see and will be useful for individuals who depend on only one source of cash flow. In actuality, the entire movie series is a collection of suggestions for improving your organization amid fierce competition. Many of the techniques and concepts from this movie series are still applicable today.
The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada can inspire you to pursue your desired career. It is a movie that demonstrates how anyone can deal with uncomfortable circumstances, how to move through foreign environments, and how persistence eventually pays off. Additionally, it offers a fascinating look into the fashion world and might help you advance professionally.
This film has several hidden lessons that are embedded deep into the context. To understand them, you will have to carefully watch every scene and think what purpose is it serving for the movie and if it can be replicated in an organization.
Glengarry Glen Ross
The movie Glengarry Glen Ross is based on the critically acclaimed play about four real estate salesmen whose careers are in jeopardy after the corporate office declares that everyone would be fired in a week except for the top two guys. This film is a fun demonstration of manipulation and competition. Be warned: sometimes the path to success is significantly more uncertain than you realize if you are beginning a new business.
The film depicts what it is like to work in a high-stress sales environment and how you must be witty to survive and succeed. Since its premiere, the movie has been used to instruct real-world salespeople in both good and bad sales practices. You can also watch this movie just for the fact that it features Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin (in a scene-stealing cameo).
The Merchant Of Venice
One of Al Pacino’s best movies is The Merchant of Venice, which is based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. A young aristocrat named Bassino seeks financial assistance from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. This is a fun historical story that teaches principles about risk management, business partnerships, and mercantile law that are still relevant today.
Apart from entrepreneurs, this movie also teaches life changing lessons for youngsters who are just venturing out in the world. It helps them gain basic financial know-how and promotes developing expertise in the domain.
Thank You For Smoking
Want to become a marketing or sales guru for virtually any product? The movie you must see is Thank You for Smoking. Its plot centers on the schemes of Big Tobacco’s main spokesperson, Nick Naylor, who stands up for the cigarette industry under trying circumstances. Entrepreneurship requires selling, and this film shows you that anything can be sold if you have the data and the ability to persuade your audience.
It is also a great movie to watch for salespersons and marketers who are looking for inspiration to build new campaigns for their products or services.
Many audiences find interest in movies about wealthy millionaires and accomplished businessmen, particularly when those stories are based on actual people and genuine events. Even though watching a movie about millionaires may seem like just a fun activity to us, it is impossible to avoid being moved by the perseverance, tenacity, obstinacy, and daring of the individuals who achieved their achievement.
Films about successful people motivate us to take action, inspire us to reflect on our strengths, and sometimes even serve as inspiration for us to launch our own businesses. Watch or rewatch these films whenever you require motivation or simply want to take a break from your demanding work schedule. You will not be let down.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are top 10 motivational movies for entrepreneurs?
Here are top 10 motivational movies for entrepreneurs to watch this year:
2. The Pursuit of Happyness
3. Office Space
4. Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room
5. Rogue Trader
6. Pirates of Silicon Valley
8. The Billionaire
9. The Founder
10. The New Hustle
Which are the best movies for entrepreneurs?
The Pursuit of Happyness, Moneyball and Startup.com are considered among the best movies for entrepreneurs. These movies explain almost all the skills that a modern day founder must have to make their business successful.
What are entrepreneurship films?
Movies that are recommended for entrepreneurs and budding businessmen are often known as entrepreneurship films. They teach important business lessons that can be applied to enterprises.