The 50 Greatest Business Movies

by migliano-eduardo | created - 30 Dec 2011 | updated - 30 Dec 2011 | Public

Compared to cop movies or love stories, movies about business are few and far between. Business settings may lack romance and car chases, but some of the best movies of all time have been about business. Here are the best of the best.

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1. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,381,275 | Gross: $134.97M

2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 956,491 | Gross: $57.30M

3. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 565,271 | Gross: $4.36M

4. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 338,535 | Gross: $7.27M

5. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 459,299 | Gross: $1.02M

6. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,535,932 | Gross: $330.25M

7. The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996 TV Movie)

Documentary

Three part documentary that shows the insight look at the history of computers, from its rise in the 1970s to the beginning of the Dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

Stars: Robert X. Cringely, Douglas Adams, Sam Albert, Paul G. Allen

Votes: 1,152

8. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 351,876 | Gross: $1.59M

9. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 180,994 | Gross: $0.16M

10. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 576,079 | Gross: $138.80M

11. The Corporation (2003)

Not Rated | 145 min | Documentary, History

73 Metascore

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott | Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora, Nina Jones

Votes: 19,390 | Gross: $1.88M

12. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 399,734 | Gross: $42.44M

13. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 447,798 | Gross: $40.22M

14. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall

Votes: 126,602

15. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 64,012 | Gross: $4.31M

16. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 202,124 | Gross: $52.77M

17. The Social Network (2010)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

95 Metascore

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara

Votes: 553,497 | Gross: $96.96M

18. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

PG | 129 min | Adventure

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

Votes: 39,826

19. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 19,431

20. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 146,769 | Gross: $28.97M

21. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

80 Metascore

An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Director: James Foley | Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin

Votes: 86,761 | Gross: $10.73M

22. Office Space (1999)

R | 89 min | Comedy

68 Metascore

Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss.

Director: Mike Judge | Stars: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu

Votes: 221,726 | Gross: $10.82M

23. American Gangster (2007)

R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

Votes: 357,912 | Gross: $130.16M

24. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

89 Metascore

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 48,100 | Gross: $2.96M

25. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama

64 Metascore

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

Votes: 392,984 | Gross: $163.57M

26. 127 Hours (2010)

R | 94 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott

Votes: 315,209 | Gross: $18.34M

27. Door to Door (2002 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Drama

A man with cerebral palsy is determined to become a salesman.

Director: Steven Schachter | Stars: William H. Macy, Kyra Sedgwick, Kathy Baker, Joel Brooks

Votes: 3,731

28. Thank You for Smoking (2005)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello, Joan Lunden

Votes: 203,633 | Gross: $24.79M

29. Up in the Air (I) (2009)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman

Votes: 295,393 | Gross: $83.82M

30. Lord of War (2005)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol Agent.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan

Votes: 272,243 | Gross: $24.15M

31. I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

PG | 85 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country's shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster.

Director: Patrick Creadon | Stars: Robert Bixby, Humphrey Bogart, Warren Buffett, George Bush

Votes: 1,788 | Gross: $0.82M

32. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

R | 116 min | Drama, Horror, Musical

83 Metascore

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall

Votes: 315,223 | Gross: $52.90M

33. The Godfather: Part III (1990)

R | 162 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York City and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia Don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins, while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire

Votes: 317,891 | Gross: $66.67M

34. American Psycho (2000)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage

Votes: 416,569 | Gross: $15.07M

35. The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama, History

77 Metascore

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly

Votes: 299,637 | Gross: $102.61M

36. The Queen (2006)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama, History

91 Metascore

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

Votes: 95,832 | Gross: $56.44M

37. The Method (2005)

115 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

During IMF & World Bank Summit and demonstrations which upset Madrid, like other capitals, major corporation Dekia holds interviews to recruit a top executive from seven applicants. Their ... See full summary »

Director: Marcelo Piñeyro | Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri, Eduard Fernández, Pablo Echarri

Votes: 9,257 | Gross: $0.01M

38. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

53 Metascore

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Charles Durning

Votes: 71,129 | Gross: $2.87M

39. Wall Street (1987)

R | 126 min | Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie, Franklin Cover

Votes: 131,762 | Gross: $43.85M

40. The Mist (2007)

R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

58 Metascore

A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher

Votes: 253,910 | Gross: $25.59M

41. Gosford Park (2001)

R | 131 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Maggie Smith, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 71,694 | Gross: $41.31M

42. Barbarians at the Gate (1993 TV Movie)

R | 107 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

The president of a major tobacco company decides to buy the company himself, but a bidding war ensues as other companies make their own offers.

Director: Glenn Jordan | Stars: James Garner, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Riegert, Joanna Cassidy

Votes: 2,517

43. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 165,112 | Gross: $71.51M

44. Jerry Maguire (1996)

R | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston

Votes: 216,390 | Gross: $153.95M

45. Big Night (1996)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.

Directors: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci | Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Larry Block

Votes: 14,807 | Gross: $11.88M

46. Soul Kitchen (2009)

99 min | Comedy, Drama

76 Metascore

In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

Director: Fatih Akin | Stars: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Pheline Roggan, Anna Bederke

Votes: 33,170 | Gross: $0.27M

47. Margin Call (2011)

R | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.

Director: J.C. Chandor | Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany

Votes: 104,497 | Gross: $5.35M

48. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History

History of Apple and Microsoft.

Director: Martyn Burke | Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Noah Wyle, Joey Slotnick, J.G. Hertzler

Votes: 22,308