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Posted by: Samuel Ndwiga on 31/10/2019

13 Best Movies Every Entrepreneur Must Watch

13 Best Movies Every Entrepreneur Must Watch

If you are one of those entrepreneurs who think watching movies is nothing but a waste of time, then you are missing out on some essential leadership tips. For some reason, bragging about not having the time to watch a movie is considered admirable in some circles. This adoration is boosted by the fact that not all movies have proper resolution or concepts, making them a waste of precious time as noted by some CEOs. However, some movies can increase your productivity as well as your management skills.

Movies are not only meant for unwinding or as part of the ‘Netflix and chill’ plan to entertain a girl every once in a while. We get it; sitting down for two hours watching a plot develop can be overwhelming, especially if you are an ‘on-the-go’ person who is always worried about your next move. However, some of the movies that have been released over the past few years are more educational than entertaining. Some are even business-related, making them an ideal film for industry leaders and entrepreneurs to watch.

Before we discuss these movies and what they have to offer, here are some reasons why watching movies can improve your entrepreneurial skills.

They offer a chance to get more cultured

Have you ever been in a conversation with friends and then they start talking about a particular recently-released movie they can't get out of their minds? It hurts to miss out on such conversations seeing they cement the very concept of culture as we know it. Without these conversations, you can easily miss out on vital connections. What are you going to do other than stand there like an idiot making faces whenever people throw a glance at you? On the other hand, becoming aware of what is happening is a gateway to understanding societal trends. 

As an entrepreneur, understanding some of the trends shaping society means you can package a product or service and provide the same to a ready market. Joining such debates at the workplace is also a sure way of increasing your connection with your employees, assuming you are the head of the organization. Movies also mirror a particular people's culture and ideologies. As an entrepreneur, watching an informative film gives you a deeper understanding of the said people's way of thinking, which is a crucial business asset.


A source of inspiration

The reason most entrepreneurs never admitted that movies inspired most of their ideas is the backlash they feared would accompany the confession. Even if it is a brilliant idea, most people will brush it off and say ‘it came from a movie, so we should not take it seriously.' However, movies are some of the best sources of inspiration; a simple scene in a film can spark a multi-million dollar idea. An excellent example of an inspirational film is The Wolf of Wall Street.

Not to mention, directors and movie producers are very good at exposing some concepts in society that can boost your numbers in business. As such, watching a good movie every month can help trigger your imagination and offer some motivation when all your ideas seem to hit a brick wall every time. A movie such as Good Will Hunting can motivate you or your employees to work harder. It can also help you evaluate yourself analytically and encourage you to take more risks, which is important in business. 

Give yourself a break from life

Being an entrepreneur means you are always going to be on toes looking for the best ways to boost your sales or improve your brand awareness. However, work stress can limit your creativity and create a slump in productivity. Most CEOs are contracting diseases such as high blood pressure due to a rigorous working mentality and environment, which they bring back to the house too when office hours are up. 

The best movies to unwind and calm your mind should not be very informative. Instead, opt for something different such as a comedy or action film and immerse yourself fully into the same. Getting lost in an exciting movie or series for a few hours is one of the best and most fun ways to get your mind away from responsibilities and stress. A sci-fi movie can help you escape reality for a while then approach the same with somewhat brand new eyes once the film is over. 

However, this article will primarily focus on movies that can change your perception as an entrepreneur and boost your business. With that said, here are 13 must-watch movies for every entrepreneur, manager or CEO. 

1. Wall Street

Wall Street was released in 1987 starring Michael Douglas, who was a very famous actor around that time and in the 90s. Douglas remains one of the best actors in Hollywood after a stellar performance in this classic. The movie focuses on the greed seen in Wall Street and how an entrepreneur can manoeuvre the challenges and forge a career in the competitive industry. Gordon Gekko is the main character and lives his life under the impression that money is the answer to all problems.

He also believes greed is good for business as it can help entrepreneurs make more money than their honest and altruistic counterparts. Gordon won an Oscar for his role in the movie as Gekko and shows that greed and power are just as important in business as much as morals and a good head on your shoulders.

2. A Beautiful Mind

Now here is a perfect movie to shift your thinking and make you see things in a new light. A Beautiful Mind was released in 2001 but remains one of the highest-rated movies to date. The movie was inspired by the Nobel Prize-winning biography of John Forbes Nash Jr. John was a mathematician and an economist. Did I mention his biography was also a best seller? The movie focuses on finding the Nash Equilibrium.

The Nash Equilibrium is a concept game theory where an opponent's choice does not influence a person's strategy. This movie is perfect for economists seeing they use this theory to determine how to set prices or why individual decisions can affect a group or company in this case. 

3. Moneyball

All Brad Pitt fans were ecstatic when this movie came out back in 2011. The talented actor stars as Billy Beane in this film who is the general manager of a baseball team called the Oakland A’s. Beane is tasked with turning his team’s fortune in a time where they are not as financially independent as other teams in the league. As part of his recruitment process, Beane purchases bargain-bin players with the right attitude, but somewhat lacking in skill. 

This movie can teach any entrepreneur how to use the resources they have at their disposal and make the most out of the same. Trust me; you will not be disappointed.

4. Catch me if you can

This 2002 drama/crime movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, playing as Frank Abagnale Jr, shows how wits are vital when outsmarting your opponents. Frank is a jack of all trades seeing he had worked as a lawyer, doctor, and co-pilot before he was even 18 years old. His with helped him break the record for the most successful bank robbery in the United States catching the attention of Carl Hanratty (played by Tom Hanks), an FBI agent. 

What ensues is an entertaining and thought-provoking game of wits, but for some reason, Frank is always a step ahead of the law. 

5. The Social Network

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is a common face all over the world by now. The Facebook founder tells his story in a 2010 classic called The Social Network. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark in the film showing how an idea generated in a dormitory became a billion-dollar company over time. However, the newfound success also earns Mark some hate as enemies arise and stress the billionaire with lawsuits. 

The Social Network can teach entrepreneurs how to separate their relationships from work while showcasing the brilliance of both Mark as the Facebook founder and Jesse’s amazing acting skills. 

6. The Founder

If you wish to unwind preferably with a loved one and watch an informative yet hilarious movie, I would recommend The Founder. This 2016 American biography revolves around the life of Michael Keaton (playing as Ray Kroc) and his friends Mac (John Lynch) and Dick (Nick Offerman) founded the multi-million dollar company that is McDonald's. They were running a burger operation at the time but exploited the opportunity in the food and beverage industry to create McDonald's.  

However, the brothers do not see the vision and pull away at some point, and Kroc is left to create the business by himself. This movie outlines the importance of persistence and keeping appositive mindset when everyone around you does not buy into your vision.

7. Office Space

This is yet another movie entrepreneurs can watch with their loved ones. Office Space was released in 1999 and is a romance/comedy film Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston). Peter works at a software company but hates his job so much. As such, to keep working, he hires a hypnotherapist, who unfortunately dies in the middle of a session with Peter. Awkwardly and as someone who has noticed they have nothing to lose but their life, Peter cheers himself up and even charms consultants in a bid to get a promotion. 

The blissful Peter is suddenly more appealing and gets that promotion, but his friends are not happy with his fortune. As such, they formulate a plot to bring him down; this movie is a must-watch for all entrepreneurs. 

8. Startup.com


If you are an entrepreneur with a new business idea or a startup, this is the movie you should watch first. This 2001 documentary focuses on the founders of the internet and the trouble they had when breaking down society's walls as they ushered in the internet revolution. Some of these problems, such as censoring and privacy, are still a major challenge to date, but different platforms have varying ways of guaranteeing the same.  

The movie also shows how harsh economic realities can shoot down an impressive business idea unless one is persistent enough to keep looking for the loopholes that will guarantee a breakthrough. 

9. Twelve Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men is arguably the oldest movie on our list, seeing the first version of the drama/crime movie came out in 1957. This movie shows how justice can be affected by personal issues as 12 jury members deliberate the fate of a young boy arrested for murder. One juror highlights the doubtful elements seen in the case, which raises personal issues among the other jury members causing a conflict of interest.  

This movie can give entrepreneurs an idea on how to handle situations that might be close to your heart but require a harsh approach. Sometimes, the business comes first.

10. The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie was banned in Kenya as well as a variety of other countries a few weeks after it was released in Hollywood. However, the 2013 drama/comedy is one of the most insightful movies of all time for any entrepreneur. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) works at a Wall Street brokerage firm, but later starts his firm with the help of his right-hand man and a group of happy brokers.

Belfort makes millions of dollars by defrauding wealthy investors and encourages a hedonistic culture of alcohol, sex, and drugs even at the office; with the law hot in his tail all along. 

11. Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader is an adaptation/ drama film released in 1999 starring Nick Leeson (Ewan McGregor), a young British banker. Leeson advances in his job and secures a position in a bank in Singapore. After seeing how easy it is to make shady deals and defraud investors in the Asian market, Leeson makes risky trades and makes a lot of money. However, after a while, the losses start to show, and while he tries his best to hide the same, the proof is too much.

Leeson ends up leaving Singapore with his wife, but the law later catch up with him, and he is forced to pay for the consequences of his actions.

12. Lord of War


The Lord of War is a fantastic American drama/crime movie starring Yuri Orlov (Nicholas Cage). Yuri is a successful arms dealer, but the cold war makes it hard for him to make any profits at the time. As such, he ventures out and starts selling arms on a global scale contributing to worldwide terrorism. However, Yuri tries his best in the movie to encourage his younger brother to do the right things with his life and also pursues the woman of his dreams. 

This movie shows how to navigate against the rough terrain that is risky business and come out on top. Fun fact; Yuri shares a name with former Russian business and arms dealer Ole Orlov. 


 13. Boiler Room

If you have not yet watched the Boiler Room, you are missing out on one of the most insightful movies ever made. The drama/crime film came out in 2000 and revolves around the life of roughly 20 people who were made millionaires overnight through shady brokerage deals. Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Ben Affleck, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Tom Everett Scott, Ron Rifkin, and Jamie Kennedy, to mention a few, all-star in the film as well as other famous actors.

While they are always on the lookout for the law, these young brokers manage to live the life of their dreams with more money than they can spend funding a high-life lifestyle — a very captivating movie to watch on a slow day.  

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