Movies That Every MBA Should Watch

Movies That Every MBA Should Watch

Summer reading lists are popular amongst MBAs. But books aren’t the only medium to learn a thing or two about business. In a recent post for Business Insider, Vikas Jha, a digital entrepreneur and founder of Alore Growth OS, listed his top movies that teach valuable business lessons—a list that he calls “The Hollywood MBA.”

This is, of course, a fun topic that has been addressed by Poets&Quants over the years. We’ve asked business school professors to recommend their favorites (see Profs Name Favorite Movies For MBAs); we’ve asked students (see 12 Favorite Business Movies Of MBAs), and we’ve done the Ten Movies Every MBA Student Must Watch, the definitive article on this subject that has amassed nearly one million views. By the way, Wall Street, The Insider, and Tucker: A Man & His Dream topped that list.


The Big Short is a biographical film based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, which details how the 2008 U.S. recession was largely triggered by the housing bubble. The film, Jha says, is a must-watch for entrepreneurs and offers lessons on risk management in the stock market.

“The movie really brings into focus the harm that can be done when leverage is held by large financial institutions in the derivatives and CDOs market,” Jha says. “Investors need to pay attention to risk management if they want to protect themselves.”


A documentary film follows the journey of a dot-com startup, govWorks Inc., which raised $60 million in funding—but ultimately failed.

“This one is worth seeing, especially if you’re a techie, or someone who’s interested in understanding the internet bubble,” Jha says. “This movie shows the effect money, greed and power can have on relationships. Friends are not always the best business partners.”


The Social Network tells the founding story of Facebook—portraying a college-aged Mark Zuckerberg who gets sued by twins who claim he stole their idea. The takeaway from The Social Network, Jha says, is that it doesn’t matter who comes up with an idea, but rather who brings it to life.

“Facebook happened because Mark Zuckerberg had the will, the confidence, the vision, and the discipline to make it happen,” Jha says. “While it is known that no original idea exists, the real job is to get busy making it a reality.”


  1. The Big Short (2015)
  2. (2001)
  3. The Social Network (2010)
  4. Jobs (2013)
  5. Becoming Warren Buffett (2017)
  6. Joy (2015)
  7. Wall Street (1987)
  8. Moneyball (2011)
  9. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
  10. Office Space (1999)
  11. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)
  12. Catch Me if You Can (2002)
  13. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
  14. Jerry Maguire (1996)
  15. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  16. Nightcrawler (2014)
  17. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
  18. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Sources: Business Insider, P&Q

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