By James Chittenden
While you are home with time on your hands, you may turn on the TV from time to time. Are your mental entrepreneurial gears stuck?
OneClickAdvisor has compiled an A+ list of movies, documentaries and shows to entertain and educate you. Watch, enjoy and resume your climb to the top.
Best Documentary Series
True stories of respected companies and people caught doing wrong.
Dirty Money (2018-current). Dirty Money is a Netflix original television series which tells true stories of corporate corruption, securities fraud and creative accounting. Some episodes will hit surprisingly close to home with people and companies you will easily recognize. You may even be a customer of a few of them.
Best Fiction Series
For all of your binge watching needs.
Billions (2016-current) is a brilliant drama pitting a crusading prosecutor (U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades, played by Paul Giamatti) against Bobby Axelrod, a billionaire hedge fund king played by Damian Lewis.
Ozark (2017-current) starring Jason Bateman is a series about a financial advisor who launders money for a drug cartel. The Ozark Mountains in Missouri offers relative quiet and privacy for a variety of schemes and other opportunities for criminal enterprise.
Succession (2018-current) is an account of a family-controlled media conglomerate called Waystar Royco. Tempers, competition and drama flare as the head of the family and conglomerate ages and the family must decide who takes over next in this satirical comedy-drama.
Best Documentary Movies
Porn for MBAs. High-quality, entertaining storytelling through first-rate graphics, video news clippings, and interviews. Take a walk through major events in the economy and business landscape with major players who shaped them.
Hank: 5 Years from the Brink (2013). In 2008, Hank Paulson, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, fought and won an uphill battle to convince banks, Congress and presidential candidates to sign off on a trillion dollars in bailouts. It was the only way to stave off an economic collapse.
Inequality for All (2013) Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton explains why America’s working class has shrunk while the wealthiest Americans have gotten far richer. He makes a compelling case for strengthening the middle class again, and how to do it.
Saving Capitalism (2017) Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton explains structural changes in the U.S. economy, and explains new ways to protect capitalism from it’s own excesses.
Betting on Zero (2016) This film follows Bill Ackman, the leader of a major hedge fund as he discovers unethical and possibly illegal business practices at Herbalife, a multilevel marketing health food company. He works to expose Herbalife as a pyramid scheme while taking a massive short position; in essence, betting that Herbalife will go out of business and that it’s stock price will fall to zero.
Food, Inc. (2008) Warning: you may find footage from inside animal-processing plants unsettling. Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner shows how huge corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the U.S., from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. The film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits and commentary from food experts.
WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (2021). WeWork was not just a co-working space; it was a community and a model to change the world. However, the CEO’s hubris and demands resulted in a botched IPO. The company became cult-like, which resulted in rapid expansion, and rapid implosion.
Best Movies: Sales, Finance, and Entrepreneurship
Some are true stories, others not. All good.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, a hedonistic young stockbroker who built the short-lived 1990s Stratton Oakmont empire through cold-calling.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Will Smith stars as Chris Gardner. Gardner is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. He lands an internship at Dean Witter and later becomes the founder of a highly successful investment firm.
We Bought a Zoo (2011) starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. Damon plays Benjamin Mee, who buys an 18-acre zoo that has been essentially abandoned for years. As the upkeep, renovation, veterinary bills and other costs exceed estimates by wide margins, the project threatens to destroy relationships and goals. While the movie does have a happy ending, it also offers valuable lessons in small business budgeting.
Wall Street (1987) Starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. Directed by Oliver Stone. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.
The Wizard of Lies (2017) Robert De Niro plays Bernie Madoff, a stockbroker and investment adviser who was arrested in 2008 for perpetrating the largest pyramid scheme and financial fraud in American history.
The Social Network (2010) Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns into the global social network known as Facebook.
Joy (2015) Jennifer Lawrence stars as Joy Mangano, who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right.
Jobs (2013) College dropout Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), together with his friend, technical whiz-kid Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), sparks a revolution in home computers with the invention of the Apple 1 in 1976.
Con Man (2018) Barry Minkow started a carpet cleaning business while in high school, took it public, and served time for securities fraud. After serving his sentence, he became a pastor and started another business, which led to more charges and prison time. Cast includes Armand Assante, Justin Baldoni, Mark Hamill, Talia Shire.
Jerry Maguire (1996) When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he writes a heartfelt company-wide memo that promptly gets him fired. Jerry then starts his own management firm, with one sole client; football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.).
The Founder (2016) The true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc soon maneuvers himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a multi-billion dollar empire.
Boiler Room (2000) Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), a 19-year-old Queens College dropout, runs an unlicensed casino in his home near the campus, catering to college students. Although he earns a successful living, he is a disappointment to his father. He becomes a stockbroker in a small but aggressive brokerage firm and gets wealthy by telemarketing small stocks in a “pump and dump” operation.
The Laundromat (2019) Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas. Based on the true story of the Panama Papers, the film dramatically portrays how the ultra-rich evade taxes and accountability for crimes through the use of offshore accounts and shell corporations.
Ford V. Ferrari (2019) American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Co. They build the car to compete against the race cars of Ferrari at the Le Mans event in France in the 1960s.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) When an office of New York City real estate salesmen is given the news that all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week, they become extremely competitive. Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), who has a sick daughter, does everything in his power to get better leads from his boss.
Tucker, A Man and His Dream (1988) Inventor Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges) creates the Tucker Torpedo, an affordable, reliable and futuristic car. His dreams are challenged by Detroit’s auto manufacturers, production problems and accusations of stock fraud, and he is forced to defend his dream and honesty in court.
The Intern (2015) After becoming a widower, 70-year-old Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) takes an opportunity to become an intern at an online fashion site. Through his charm, wisdom and sense of humor, Ben soon becomes popular with his younger co-workers, including Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the boss and founder of the company.
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) The accomplishments of visionaries Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) and Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall) revolutionize the 20th century as these former co-workers become rival giants.
Flash of Genius (2008) Greg Kinnear plays Robert Kearns, a mechanical engineer and professor who invented and patented an intermittent windshield wiper. He showed it to engineers at Ford Motor Company who took his idea, installed it in their vehicles, then stonewalled him. He sued them and won millions.
Best Biography Series
How did they pull it off?
Trump: An American Dream (2018) Trump: An American Dream is a four-part British television documentary series, exploring the journey of Donald Trump through five decades, his public persona and career path leading up to his presidential run.
Henry Ford/American Experience (2013) The life of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020) A chronicle of the story of Madam C.J. Walker, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first female African American self-made millionaire.
Very Ralph (2019) is the story of legendary designer Ralph Lauren and his rise to create one of the world’s most visible fashion brands.
The Men Who Built America (2012) This series profiles the lives of Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford. The men came from meager beginnings to build their respective empires to create modern railroads, the modern financial system and making cars accessible to the masses.