Top 11 Stock Market Documentaries: Must Watch

Cinema has surely impacted our lives considerably. And with the film industry being a multi billion-dollar enterprise, the popularity and influence of films have been far-reaching, to say the least. There are movies depicting aspects of everyday life with utmost aplomb and precision. Apart from mainstream cinema, there is a genre of films known as documentaries which are centered more on real-life experiences and accounts of everyday individuals. And documentaries cover all aspects and subjects and have a pretty wide range. While box office successes like Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street have broken all records and opened up a new avenue for filmmakers, they have sort of sensationalized the stock market spaces into a somewhat action-packed, hostile and an overtly toxic masculine domain. But the silver lining is that we still have a wealth of finance based documentary films that depict the authentic side of the finance and stock markets. Here is a list of the Top 11 Stock Market Documentaries you should definitely watch if you’re or aspiring to be a finance professional.

Also Read: Top 5 Hollywood Movies on Stock Market

1. Million Dollar Traders


This excellent documentary movie revolves around the life of 12 aspiring traders from different backgrounds. As an experimental competition, these traders were given $1 Million to trade for two months. The story depicts the emotional roller coaster these traders had to go through during these 2 months. Those who lasted till the end of two month period were given full time employment at the hedge fund owned by Van Dam.

2. Trader

Trader revolves around a sensible but superstitious hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and the highs and lows of his life. Paul Tudor Jones actually predicted the economic breakdown in 1987 with the help of his intuitive ability and Elliot Wave graphs. This documentary throws light on the importance of objective and multidisciplinary financial analysis and the significance of relying on luck as well as numbers to make it big. This is one of our personal favourite stock market documentaries ever made.

3. Frontline: Inside the Meltdown and Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street


Image Reference: http://ritholtz.com

These documentaries cover the 2008 financial crisis and digs deep into the factors that caused these breakdowns of economy. They provide a deeper understanding of the causes and effects of the 2008 recession period.

4. Freakonomics: The Movie


Freakonomics is a film based on the behavioral patterns of people, providing interesting theories and explanations for the same and their impact on the economics. With the help of data points, Freakonomics depicts how causality and correlation can be made between psychology and finance.

5. Inside Job

Inside Job opened up to rave reviews and was the recipient of the 2010 Oscar for the category of best documentary film. It was based on the 2008 housing and banking financial crisis. Right from the policy changes occurring in the US and the banking practices sequentially led to the breakdown of the US economy, this documentary provides financial professionals with the insight to learn from the mistakes that lead to a crisis as monumental as this one.

Also Read: 13 Crazy Facts about Stock Markets

6. Frontline: Breaking the Bank

This film is based on the American banking crisis that caused the transfer of 800 billion dollars of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds into American Banks as a result of poor management. This led to cash flow in the banking system ensuring that none of the large banks in the country would collapse. While the action invited mixed reactions, this documentary helps professionals gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the economy and the subjects of free market and capitalism.

7. 25 Million Pounds

25 Million Pounds

25 Million Pounds is a real-life account of Nick Leeson, a British Trader and Morgan Stanley clerk who went on to become a lawbreaking rogue trader responsible for the downfall of Barings Bank. This bank would hold hostage the money of the powerful elite, as well as the Queen. This film sheds light on the aspect of dishonesty and fraud in the stock market and finance industry. This is one of the most popular stock market documentaries in IMDB.

8. The Ascent of Money

This documentary is an account of the financial history of the world told by Niall Ferguson. From Babylon to the 2008 Global financial crisis, the entire journey is covered by this documentary.

From the Babylonian futures contracts and Francisco Pizarro’s exploitation of the Cerro Rico at Potosí, a mine that yielded silver for the European continent, all events are described and depicted here and this gives finance professionals the insight of how the finance world works.

9. The Warning

This documentary also bases itself on the 2008 crisis but from a different angle. The Warning revolves around Brooksley Born, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) who pushed for stricter regulatory measures that could have minimized the damage of the recession.

10. Life and Debt

Life and Debt

Life and Debt sheds light on the impact of indebtedness on small nations. It highlights the European Union’s rescue campaign for debt ridden countries like Greece and Portugal and gives professionals a worldview on how debt lending impacts countries.

11. Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

stock market documentaries

This documentary throws light on the growth of globalization starting from Russia and documenting the times of the Iron Curtain. Then events like International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank’s response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis are also covered. This documentary gives the viewer a good understanding of the global economy.

Also Read: Top 5 Stock Market Magazines for Traders and Investors


There is one common thing among all these stock market documentaries, and that is you would get lot of inspiration and learning from each of these. Few of them can help you to discover the emotional side of trading and how to control it, while few revolves around the high level financial ecosystem of the world. Watch each of them and you would understand yourself what I meant. Let us know in comments section if you have any other recommendations.

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