15 Best Movies About Economic Crisis

POSTED BY Ali Raza, UPDATED ON February 14th, 2024
Best Movies About Economic Crisis

The financial crisis has become one of the most common issues that people of the modern era face. Whether it’s the current recession or the 2008 financial crisis, it has been an issue for humanity long before the Depression era. That’s why we’re talking about the best films that portray the impact and aftermath of these financial crises. So without any further ado, here we list the best movies about economic crisis:


15. The Crash (2017)

The Crash 2017

The Crash is one of the action movies that incorporate economic issues somewhere in the plot. This futuristic film focuses on the crash of the economy that is realistically quite possible.

It all begins when the U.S. economy is on the edge of another financial abyss. At the center of it is Guy Clifton (Frank Grillo), who is hired by the government. His job is to ensure that the U.S. stocks fall and the market goes into disarray. That’s when his quest to cripple the U.S. economy begins through a devious plan.


14. The Entrepreneur (2011)

The Entrepreneur (2011)

The Entrepreneur is a French movie that focuses on the impacts of financial issues on the life of an entrepreneur. It all begins when a factory owner becomes entangled with debt and gets strangled by banks.

On top of that, global financial issues and his flailing marriage get in the way. To save his factory and his marriage, he goes to various lengths to protect them both from falling. This ensures quite a journey that makes it an engaging movie, to say the least.


13. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

Wall Street Money Never Sleeps 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was a much-awaited sequel to some of the 1987 classics. But when the film arrived, it seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere. But instead of focusing on fictional events, this time, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) goes on a different journey.

The story begins right after the eye of the storm of the global economic crisis of 2008. This begins when a young Wall Street trader Jake (Shia LeBeouf), partners with Gekko to alert them of the impending financial crisis and find the killer of Jake’s mentor.


12. The Last Days of Lehman Brothers (2009)

The Last Days of Lehman Brothers (2009)

Another film that focuses on the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, The Last Days of Lehman Brothers, focuses on the final few days of the investment banks. Right before the collapse, this film tells the story of the dramatic weekend before its fall.

The U.S. had seen nothing like it before since 1929, and the Lehman Brothers survived that too. But will they survive the current crisis that shakes their foundations? This film tells the story of the dramatic impact of the flailing economy in those days.


11. Up in The Air (2009)

Up in the Air 2009

Up in The Air is an intriguing take on the global financial crisis of 2008. In this film, the protagonist Ryan (George Clooney), is a corporate downsizing expert. In other words, his job is to lay people off in the politest way to save corporations money and help them downsize.

On his journey, he travels millions of miles through the air—almost at the cusp of reaching 10 million miles in the air. But, the film focuses largely on his personal life and how he handles frequent traveling and flying.


10. 99 Homes (2014)

99 Homes 2014

99 Homes is another great film about the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The protagonist, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), works day and night to save his family’s home. However, the real estate agent breathes down their neck as time passes.

This film is the true embodiment of “Deal with the Devil.” As the twisted fate dictates, Dennis ends up working for the same agent who wishes to evict him. This leads him on a journey to regain his home and hopes that he can keep it this time.


9. The Wizard of Lies (2017)

The Wizard of Lies 2017

The Wizard of Lies is a 2017 film about a real fraudulent act and one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the history of the United States. Responsible for some $64 billion of deceitful money, Bernie Madoff (Robert De Niro) is on the cusp of being caught up.

But before his sins catch up to him, Madoff tries to fight his way through and then slips through the cracks. But soon, it all catches up to him, and his world crumbles around him as it all leads to the unveiling of the largest scam in U.S. history.


8. The Company Men (2010)

The Company Men (2010)

The Company Men is another intriguing story about economic problems faced by companies amid a recession. During the post-2008 global financial crisis recession, a lot of companies go through troubles, and so does the GTX Corporation.

Thus, they must cut jobs and lay off employees to improve the company’s balance sheet. That’s when Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) watches his world crumble around him. Soon, he begins to question his self-worth amid this financial disaster.


7. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street talks about issues way before the 2008 crisis. Instead, this film focuses on the life and career of Jordan Belfort, the real Wolf of Wall Street. This glamorized version of Belfort’s story got many different reviews—but it largely pleased the audience and critics.

The film, titled after his memoir of the same name, tells the story of his schemes that shot him to the top of stockbroking. However, soon things began to go wrong as Belfort took hit after hit when Wall Street came crashing down around him.


6. Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Sorry We Missed You is a 2019 film about the post-effects of 2008’s financial crash. Since then, Ricky Turner (Kris Hitchen) has continued a difficult battle while being entangled in debt and issues. But, soon, opportunities present themselves.

The film focuses on the ray of hope in the life of a middle-to-lower-class family. As Ricky sees a glimmer of hope in a van that he acquires. However, things do not go according to plan, and Ricky’s family bonds are tested at his lowest point.


5. Inside Job (2010)

Inside Job (2010)

Inside Job is a documentary film that dives deep into the financial meltdown of 2008. It also talks about the conspiracy theories surrounding the entire event and how it could have been averted—if at all. But soon, the economy plunges nose-first into deep waters.

The film focuses on the views and theories of famous people, including those who play important parts in financial and political roles. Thus, giving viewers a deeper take on what happened when the economy came crashing down.


4. Too Big to Fail (2011)

Too Big to Fail 2011

Too Big To Fail is another film that lands you in the middle of the global financial meltdown of the late 2000s. In the middle six months of 2008, this film focuses on Richard Fuld’s (James Woods) futile attempts to save a prominent investment firm on Wall Street.

This leads to a series of back-channel negotiations and off-the-book attempts to save the 4th largest investment bank. But as the crisis was being recompensed by the U.S. government, Lehman Brothers firm began to breathe its last.


3. Margin Call (2011)

Margin Call 2011

Margin Call is another great film about the challenges and issues faced by major financial firms. But when the economic crisis hits, these major financial firms begin to downsize and start cutting corners by laying people off. Soon, the 2008 financial crisis officially ensues.

The film follows the events of the first and the hardest hit 24 hours of the entire duration of that crisis. Soon, panic spreads as the firm leaders try to avert total disaster.


2. Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street 1987

Wall Street was one of the first films that started the trend of economic and financial films. It all begins when Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young stockbroker, begins to impress his idol and mentor, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).

But soon, greed gets the best of Fox and lands him in hot water. His schemes begin to fall around him, and his decisions impact his father. As things start to get tense, Fox’s loyalty is tested towards his father and his mentor.


1. The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short 2015

The Big Short is the best film about the global financial crisis of 2008. It provides an in-depth and dramatic look into the things that occurred in the months leading to the meltdown. And it also has a star cast that includes Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell.

It all began when four investors living different lives predicted what was coming. After the housing crisis of 2005, Michael Burry (Christian Bale) doesn’t think the crisis has been averted yet. He tries to warn the government, bankers, investors—or anyone who’ll listen. But to no avail, things go from bad to worse for the banks as the four investors are eventually proven right.


Honorable Mentions

  • Promised Land (2012)
  • Two Days, One Night (2014)
  • Killing Them Softly (2012)

What are your favorite films about the economic crisis? Share with us in the comments!

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