Every banker, trader, broker etc. we’ve talked to will barely glance at their Blackberry, let alone their Bloomberg screens over the next couple of days.
Everyone is in holiday mode.
So while you’re kicking it with your loved ones over BBQ and what not, feel free to relax with one of these movies. They’ll serve as a reminder for why you actually love working on Wall Street, and why you can’t wait for all the stupid relaxing to be over, obviously.
In a sentence: The broker scene, that's all you need to see '...when you become a cowboy, that's when I draw the line.'
Plot: OK, not totally a Wall Street movie, but when there's a full-on scene about trading on employment numbers in a movie, it makes the list. Directed by Spike Lee, the movie is mostly about a man's last day of freedom before going to jail for selling drugs.
In a sentence: A rare look inside the minds of mathematical geniuses who have invented financial models that have both destroyed and made Wall Street.
Plot: Quants is 45-minute documentary on the inner-workings of quantitative analysts on Wall Street. If you'd like to watch it, it's embedded below via YouTube.
In a sentence: A Frontline documentary that breaks down our latest doom machine.
Plot: The financial crisis comes alive as Frontline's expert documentarians interview the people that watched it all fall down, from journalists to regulators, to Wall Streeters. This is a two parter.
In a sentence: 'The leads are weak? You're weak!' -Alec Baldwin
Plot: Glengarry Glen Ross takes place off of Wall Street but still deals with the incentives that salesman deal with, including bonuses and cars and how they'll do anything to close the sale. Alec Baldwin is only in the movie for about 10 minutes but gives an speech that deserves an Oscar to a group of all-star actors including Jack Lemon, Kevin Spacey and Ed Harris.
In a sentence: A love letter to the bygone era of floor trading in the form of documentary.
Plot: The movie follows a group of real life commodities traders at the New York Board of Trade as they watch the way they do business disappear.
In a sentence: Faster paced British version of 'Wall Street.'
Plot: Based on the real-life story of Barings Bank trader Nick Leeson, Ewan McGregor does a surprisingly awesome job of emulating the British wunderkind down to his addiction to fruit candies. While a relatively unsuccessful movie at the box office, Rogue Trader is entertaining.
In a sentence: No movie about Wall Street is funnier than the 1983 comedy 'Trading Places.'
Plot: Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd are at their best as director John Landis tells the tale of how one man's fall from Wall Street is another man's blessing. Watching Murphy talk about futures and markets is hilarious and unparalleled in humour.
In a sentence: The classic Wall Street film.
Plot: Oliver Stone originally set out to depict the greed associated with Wall Street in the 1980s. Little did he know, it would go on to become one of the finest pieces of financial cinema ever created. Traders still go nuts for this movie and everyone loves Michael Douglas' character Gordan Gekko, who is modelled partly after Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky.
In a sentence: If you've ever worked in a job in sales or telemarketing, this should seem all too familiar to you.
Plot: Vin Diesel and Giovanni Ribisi as Long Island pump and dump brokers? Count us in. This classic flick showcases Ribisi's rise to the top as he learns the ins-and-outs of operating in a boiler room out of Long Island. It's very similar to Jordan Belfort's upbringing, minus the yachts and excessive drug use.
In a sentence: One of the best documentaries ever made. Ever.
Plot: Enron: TSGITR tells the tale of Enron's rise and fall from grace, including the strange tales of executives Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Andy Fastow, and Timothy Belden. This breathtaking movie also features interviews from former energy traders and hedge fund king Jim Chanos.
In a sentence: Brilliant... If you can find it.
Plot: Made in 1987 during the raging bull-market, this little-known documentary stars Paul Tudor Jones and chronicles his day-to-day life as an active investor. Jones uses techniques like historical chart reading, taken from Jesse Livermore, to predict the Black Monday crash on film. Even though it portrays Jones in a positive light, finding a (legitimate and legal) copy of this movie is nearly impossible to find as it's rumoured that Jones bought all 1000 copies in existence.
In a sentence: You'll never look at business cards the same way again.
Plot: Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale in American Psycho, is the consummate Wall Street professional, beyond the fact that he's losing his mind. Throughout the film Bateman utters some absolute classics, including a soliloquy on Phil Collins that likely changed his career for ever. The film also made 'The Dorsia' a catchphrase for an exclusive restaurant.
In a sentence: The film's ability to tackle different New York City social classes is without question.
Plot: Originally a book by Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities targeted the Manhattan elite of the 1980s and their distance from the rest of the city. Tom Hanks, as the film's lead, gets involved in an extramarital affair and, eventually, a tragic murder results. Remains excellent viewing to understand New York's stratification today.
Consider this one a new classic -- it seems like everyone else is.
In a sentence: Director and writer JC Chandor said he 'came up with this concept of locking these investment bankers in on the night when one of them thinks that he has found out that the world is coming to an end.'
Plot: One banker creates a model that shows that his firm is completely under water, but before he can show anyone, he gets fired. He hands his model off to junior banker and the firm goes into emergency mode trying to save everything.
In a sentence: You may come out of this one scratching your head.
Plot: Eric Packer, a billionaire investor rides around Manhattan in his state of the art limo/office. Throughout the day you'll meet his wife, his lover, and his associates. After a currency speculation goes awry, Packer's life begins to unravel. Enter murder, intrigue... etc.
In a sentence: A solid job on everyone's part, maybe not a stunner though.
Plot: Richard Gere plays a troubled hedge fund manager, Robert Miller, who is trying to sell his trading empire before anyone finds out that he's cooked the books. One night he accidentally falls asleep whole driving with hsi mistress and she dies. To cover it up, he has to get help from an unlikely source.
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