The movie guide to finance | Virgin Media
The movie guide to finance

The movie guide to finance

06/10/2016Movies

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If your eyes glaze over in sheer boredom whenever the topic of finance is raised, and the complicated and delicate intricacies of economics escape you, then you should know that there is a simple yet entertaining way of learning and understanding the basics: Hollywood movies! So fear not, because once you've gone through our movie guide, you'll be ready to talk money with the best of them. Get some popcorn ready, bring out your yellow legal pad to take notes and before you know it you'll be throwing around words like "bonds" and "stocks," "yields" and "equity" like a pro. 
 

1. Follow the money (Money Monster, 2016)

Our first investment is the aptly titled Money Monster, available now on Virgin Movies.  Hollywood veteran Jodie Foster sits in the director's chair, while the always-delectable duo of Julia Roberts and George Clooney masterfully bring to the screen the electrifying vibes of a television studio held hostage by an angry average Joe pushed to his limits.  Rising Brit Jack O'Connell is Kyle, a deliveryman who lost all of his earnings after he took financial advice dished out by the show's host, Lee Gates (Clooney). Money Monster is the perfect illustration of how the stock market is a rigged game which the average man has no chance of winning.

Watch Money Monster now on Virgin Movies.  Find it in On Demand > Movies

 

2. Buy low, sell high (The Wolf Of Wall Street, 2013)

In The Wolf Of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese showcased not only the unethical games played out in the stock market but also the sordid partying and bottomless consumption of illegal substances that the players engage in. Based on a true story and with a role that everyone believed would give Leo his first Oscar, this film is enough to convince us that everything to do with stocks and portfolios is nothing but a scam and all that those suits care about is their cars and mistresses, begging the question: Is Wall Street really that rock and roll?          

 

3. Short term needs or long term gains? (The Big Short, 2015)

The Big Short cast alone is reason enough to watch this film. Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Marissa Tomei walk us through the American credit and housing crisis. It's the true story of a few outsiders who try to turn the tables on the big boys and expose the truth on the impending crash that would shake the American and the global economy to their cores. Whether you understand all the finance jumble and jenga or not, you'll know that you'll be rooting for this group of seemingly eccentric yet determined (and dreamy) guys out the get the system.

 

4. Every dream has a price (Wall Street, 1987)

Oliver Stone's Wall Street presented an equally chilling view into the ruthless world of finance, filled with Gordon Gekkos and Gekko wannabes. This is the character after all that gave the world the imitable lesson that "Greed is Good."  Equal parts despicable and mesmerizing, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is a corporate high roller, idolised by his ambitious protégé, the equally genially named Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen).  Gaining access to Gekko’s inner circle, Fox quickly learns how to bury his ethics, until Gekko’s underhanded wheeler-dealings land a little too close to home.  Be careful what you wish for…


5. Never give up (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 2010)

Sleep is for wimps

Sleep is for wimps

Just hop, skip and a twenty-three year wait later we got financial shenanigans in Wall Street: Money Never SleepsAfter being released from prison, Gekko makes his inevitable comeback and in his attempt to regain his lost credibility, zeroes in on the next apprentice that he plans to manipulate in order to re-establish his empire and take out a couple of past enemies at the same time. The fact that the apprentice in question happens to be his daughter's fiancé is just the fine print in the contract.

 

6. There’s no business like funny business (Trading Places, 1983)

No list would be complete without this great classic: Trading Places came out at the peak of the stock market's glamour and also Eddie Murphy's career. The premise was '80s comedy gold, where a lowly con artist replaces an old money, snobby investor all for the amusement of two millionaire brothers. Murphy gets a crash course into how deals are struck behind closed doors and Dan Aykroyd gets a lesson on how quickly doors close in your face once your inherited privilege is taken away from you. Murphy's signature laugh is the last one echoed in all its glory, when the millionaire brothers are struck down after their pawns join forces against them and the dirty games they play in the stock room.