It’s been a wild week on the stock market as amateur investors discovered a ‘loophole’ in the system: that anyone could invest in shares if they really wanted, and that this act could drive up the price of stocks. GameStop has seen a massive period of growth from this realisation as everyone jumped on the market to elevate its share price as a joke. This Gizmodo Movie Night, we’re looking at why.
For those unfamiliar with how stocks work, there’s plenty of reading to get through to understand exactly what happened. But luckily, there is an easier way. If you’re looking to learn more about stocks or how big money investment works, there are plenty of movies to educate you.
Sure, many of the films on this list are dramatic, overblown affairs — but when it comes to learning about stocks, it’s the drama that’ll hold your attention.
Welcome to Gizmodo Movie Night: Money Makers Edition.
The Big Short
The Big Short is the ‘smart’ money movie for ‘dumb’ people. While it’s based on the financial crisis of 2008, it uses conventional storytelling techniques like fourth wall breaks and celebrity cameos to make sure audiences understand financial concepts as the tale goes on.
Everyone is having a fantastic time in The Big Short, and there’s a creativity and intrigue here that should pull viewers in regardless of their interest in finance. You’re likely to come away from this film knowing more about stocks than you ever learned from a book.
The Big Short is now streaming on Netflix.
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street is an incredibly glamourised interpretation of how Wall Street runs, but there are some interesting tidbits you can pick up along the way. Jordan Belfort’s story is one filled with corruption, fraud, sex, drugs and alcohol — and the movie certainly does not hold back in the telling.
If you want a raunchier look at the American financial market and what goes on behind the scenes of Wall Street, this movie’s your ticket. Just don’t put any stock in the ‘truthfulness’ of the film’s narrative.
The Wolf of Wall Street is available on Stan.
Before Leonardo DiCaprio was snorting his way through Wall Street, there was Wall Street, the iconic 1987 flick starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen as corporate stockbrokers. While it’s not based on real-life events, it does explore the high drama of stockbroking and how money makes the world go around.
Wall Street gave us “greed is good”. It gave us an all-time performance from Michael Douglas. But it also presents a very wily criticism of capitalism, and a deep understanding of how financial corruption takes place.
Wall Street is available on Foxtel GO.
If you like your financial advice a bit more Tom Hardy-shaped, you get two Toms for the price of one with Legend. This flick doesn’t quite explore the stock market side of investing, but it does explore the real-life story of the Kray Twins who used violence and extortion to take over the underground nightclub scene in London.
It’s a gang story at its heart, but it also explores the power of money and how the economy rests on gambling and the underground trade.
Legend is now streaming on Stan.
Too Big To Fail
Too Big To Fail tells the real-life tale of the 2008 financial disaster that nearly destroyed the U.S. market. It explores the nature of short selling and the toxicity of capitalism through the eyes of Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
If you want to get down with the nitty gritty of finance and understand the nature of direct capital, the importance of stocks and how the whole world revolves around the current (broken) financial system, this is the flick you’ll want to check out.
Too Big To Fail is now streaming on Foxtel GO.
Casino Royale is more of an action flick, but it’s grounded by a plot to bankrupt a ‘terrorist financier’ known as Le Chiffre (played marvellously by Mads Mikkelsen in one of his first mainstream Hollywood roles). Essentially, Bond is forced to take part in a high stakes poker game where money and power are everything.
If the complications of high stakes poker and the background narrative of shorting goes over your head, there’s plenty of eye candy and explosions to keep you entertained.
Casino Royale is now streaming on Stan.
Stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for the next themed movie night, where we recommend all the best films and TV shows currently streaming online.