21 Inspirational Entrepreneur Movies


377926280 33c0bfc0f2 300x199 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesInspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. Even on the big screen. Being a motion picture fanatic, I like to watch movies not only for entertainment value, but I really enjoy ones that have a powerful messaging ingrained into it.

This is a list of 21 entrepreneur movies created over the past 25 years that will not only entertain you, but have the capability to impact you with the powerful messages behind them.

These films are a must for every entrepreneurs library.  Click on the images to see a trailers for some of the films.

 

wall street 207x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesWall Street (1987)

Message: Every dream has it’s price.

Summary: Bud Fox is a Wall Street stockbroker in early 1980′s New York with a strong desire to get to the top. Fox finally meets with extremely successful (but ruthless and greedy) broker Gordon Gekko, who takes the youth under his wing and explains his philosophy that “Greed is Good”. Taking the advice and working closely with Gekko, Fox soon finds himself swept into a world of “yuppies”, shady business deals, the “good life”, fast money, and fast women; something which is at odds with his family including his estranged father and the blue-collared way Fox was raised.

 

tucker 212x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesTucker: The Man & His Dream (1988)

Message: Leaders never give up on their vision.

Summary: Based on a true story. Shortly after World War II, Preston Tucker is a grandiose schemer with a new dream, to produce the best cars ever made. With the assistance of Abe Karatz and some excellent salesmanship on his own part, he obtains funding and begins to build his factory. The whole movie also has many parallels with director Coppola’s own efforts to build a new movie studio of his own.

 

glengarry glen ross 192x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesGlengarry Glenn Ross (1992)

Message: Make success your only option.

Summary: Times are tough in a New York real-estate office and 4 salesmen are given a strong incentive by Blake to succeed in a sales contest. The prizes? First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is the sack! There is no room for losers in this dramatically masculine world; only “closers” will get the good sales leads. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, so a robbery is committed which has unforeseen consequences for all the characters.

 

p1 rudy 225x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesRudy (1993)

Message: Determination and heart will get you further than talent.

Summary: Rudy is a true story about Dan Ruettiger, an aspiring Notre Dame football player and his struggles to make it. Rudy grew up in a steel mill town where most people invested a lifetime into hard labor. With poor grades, mediocre athletic skill, and half the physical size of the other players, Rudy shows he can overcome all challenges with spirit and drive.

 

forrest gump poster 210x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesForrest Gump (1994)

Message: Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.

Summary: A man with a low IQ has accomplished great things in his life and been present during significant historic events – in each case, far exceeding what anyone imagined he could do. Yet, despite all the things he has attained, his one true love eludes him. “Forrest Gump” is the story of a man who rose above his challenges, and who proved that determination, courage, and love are more important than ability.

 

braveheart 207x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesBraveheart (1995)

Message: What are you willing to fight for?

Summary: One of the best movies of all time. When he was a young boy, William Wallace’s father and brother, along with many others, lost their lives trying to free Scotland. Once he loses another of his loved ones, William Wallace begins his long quest to earn Scotland’s freedom from English rule around the end of the 13th century. Wallace leads the people of his country into a outnumber battle and never looses sight for what he believes in.

 

jerry maguire 201x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesJerry Maguire (1996)

Message: The journey is everything.

Summary: Jerry Maguire used to be a typical sports agent: willing to do just about anything he could to get the biggest possible contracts for his clients, plus a nice commission for himself. Then, one day, he suddenly has second thoughts about what he’s really doing. When he voices these doubts, he ends up losing his job and all of his clients, save Rod Tidwell, an egomaniacal football player. Can Jerry resurrect his career while still staying true to himself?

 

office space 209x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur Movies

Office Space (1999)

Message: The 9-5 may not get you very far.

Summary: Peter Gibbons is a cubicle-dwelling employee stuck in the rat race. His girlfriend is cheating on him, he has an obnoxious neighbor, and he’s completely miserable with his job as a small cog in a company called Initech. Then he visits a hypnotherapist, who put Peter into a state of complete bliss. Free of worrying about making a living, he no longer feels the need to keep his job, just as the company is going through a massive downsizing. However, his new attitude only makes him more valuable in the company’s eyes.

 

2vxneib 1 210x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesPirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Message: Copying may just mean good business.

Summary: From the obscure dorm-room and backyard origins to their very public battle for corporate supremacy, recap the journey of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak — the former a crafty Harvard dropout, the latter a pair of hippies with jobs at Hewlett-Packard and a yen to sell miniature versions of corporate mainframes to small businesses and at-home enthusiasts. The former plot thread recounts how Jobs and Wozniak “borrowed” key concepts from a Xerox computer lab, eked out their success as counter-cultural businessmen.

 

BoilerRoom 200x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesBoiler Room (2000)

Message: Selling will close one deal, caring will change your life.

Summary: A morally decent college dropout finds himself at conflict with his harsh federal judge father. From running a profitable underground casino, he gets a job as a stock broker and gets on the fast track to success. The firm is full of hard-nosed young go-getters striving to make it rich. Only things take a turn for the worst when he learns that his job isn’t what’s it cracked up to be.

 

remember the titans1229642708 198x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesRemember the Titans (2000)

Message: We all are one.

Summary: Suburban Virginia schools have been segregated for generations, in sight of the Washington Monument over the river in the nation’s capital. One Black and one White high school are closed and the students sent to T.C. Williams High School under federal mandate to integrate. The year is seen through the eyes of the football team where the man hired to coach the Black school is made head coach over the highly successful white coach. Based on the actual events of 1971, the team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other.

 

beautiful mind 202x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesA Beautiful Mind (2001)

Message: The only thing greater than the power of the mind is the courage of the heart.

Summary: From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally – late in life – received the Nobel Prize.

 

blow 202x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesBlow (2001)

Message: Cut corners to easy street and it can cost you everything.

Summary: I had to include my favorite gangsta flick in this list. George Jung is the son of a struggling small business owner. Seeing his family struggle to make ends meet and failing, George vows never to share a similar fate. Moving to California, he starts his own pot pushing operation in which he finds both success and imprisonment. In prison, he meets a cellmate who introduces him to the lucrative new market in cocaine. Upon release, George Jung quickly becomes a druglord moving masses of narcotics. However, for all the fabulous wealth and power he gained, the true costs of his dangerously treacherous occupation catch up with him in ways from which he would never recover.

 

startup 220x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesStartup.com (2001)

Message: Through our failures we become a greater success.

Summary: Friends since high school, 20-somethings Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman have an idea: a Web site for people to conduct business with municipal governments. This documentary tracks the rise and fall of govWorks.com from May of 1999 to December of 2000, and the trials the business brings to the relationship of these best friends. Kaleil raises the money, Tom’s the technical chief, and a third partner wants a buy out. The constant need for cash and for improving the site brings venture capital in by the millions. Kaleil is on C-SPAN, CNN, and magazine covers. Will the business or the friendship crash first?

 

corporation 211x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesThe Corporation (2003)

Message: Will you do what’s right or what will make you rich?

Summary: Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of “person” typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience. Furthermore, we see the profound threat this psychopath has for our world and our future, but also how the people with courage, intelligence and determination can do to stop it.

 

aviator 203x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesThe Aviator (2004)

Message: Imagine a life without limits.

Summary: Phenomenal public success contrasts with private behaviors close to madness: Howard Hughes from the late 1920s to the late 1940s, from “Hells Angels” (spending a fortune on details) through the only flight of the Hercules, a huge, money-losing transport plane. Along the way, the public Hughes sees the big picture – in movies and in aviation, building TWA and leading it through a fight with Pan Am and the US Senate. In private, phobias and compulsions threaten him with self-imposed solitary confinement. How long can his imagination, drive, and the sympathies of Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and the men who work for him stave off these internal disorders?

 

the secret movie 210x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesThe Secret (2006)

Message: You are what you attract.

Summary: The Secret is a feature length movie presentation which reveals The Great Secret of the universe. It has been passed throughout the ages, traveling through centuries… This is The Secret to everything – the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted. All the resources you will ever need to understand and live The Secret. The world’s leading scientists, authors, and philosophers will reveal The Secret that utterly transformed the lives of every person who ever knew it… Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Einstein.

 

peaceful warrior1 195x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesPeaceful Warrior (2006)

Message: Our true-self will always outperform our ego.

Summary: A talented college gymnast with serious Olympic aspirations, Dan Millman, leads a charmed life of first-place trophies, fast girls, and rowdy parties until a career-threatening injury and a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger named Socrates (Nick Nolte) show him how little he truly knows about living. In the months that follow his tragic injury, both Socrates and elusive beauty Joy impart to the growing young man the wisdom that he needs to leave the past behind and follow the path of destiny and fulfill his transformation into the peaceful warrior.

 

pursuit of happyness1 201x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesPursuit of Happiness (2006)

Message: Life isn’t easy and we must make sacrifices.

Summary: In 1981, in San Francisco, the smart salesman and family man Chris Gardner invested the family savings in Ostelo National bone-density scanners, an apparatus twice more expensive than x-ray with practically the same resolution. The white elephant financially breaks the family, bringing troubles to the relationship with his wife that leaves him and moves to New York. Without money and wife, but totally committed with his son Christopher, Chris sees the chance to fight for a stockbroker internship position at Dean Witter, disputing for one career in the end of six months training period without any salary with other twenty candidates. Meanwhile, homeless, he has all sorts of difficulties with his son.

 

bucket list poster 203x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesThe Bucket List (2007)

Message: If you are not living, you are dying.

Summary: Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find the joy in life.

 

 

slumdog millionaire poster full 202x300 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesSlumdog Millionaire (2008)

Message: It’s not where you’re from, but where you’re going.

Summary: In Mumbai, the eighteen year-old orphan from the slums Jamal Malik is tortured by the policemen in a precinct accused of cheating a game show. Jamal, who has no education and works in a call center serving tea, is close to wining twenty million rupees in the show “Kaun Banega Crorepati?” (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) hosted by Prem Kumar, giving precise answers to the questions and raising suspicion of fraud. The police inspector shows the videotape and after each question, Jamal tells parts of his childhood with his brother Salim, his crush for Latika and their fight to survive on the streets to justify each correct answer, guided by his common sense and past experience, and prove his innocence.

 

Screen Shot 2012 02 11 at 1.13.17 PM 21 Inspirational Entrepreneur MoviesThe Social Network (2010)

Message: With success comes friends and enemies.

Summary: On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.

 

 

If you have any other great movie suggestions for entrepreneurs, please list them below.

{summaries courtesy of imdb.com, main image by wallyg}

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  1. HarrisonPainter says

    When I had multiple agents working for me I would play Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Room for them in training sessions. Then talk about how destructive ego and greed are to any business.

    This is an amazing list, and again, you have hit a home run!!! Babe Ruth/Barry Bonds has nothing on you my friend! LOL

    I would add “Breaking Away”(1979) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078902/ This was a great movie about dealing with the fears of growing up, determination, and making choices.

    Thanks Bradley!

  2. helenraptoplous says

    LOVE this list and the idea behind it! Thank you Bradley!! Huge movie fan and I use movies a lot for inspiration (like all the time!). One movie that I thought of right away when I read your question… 'Working Girl' with Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. It was a fabulous movie! Also, while I am thinking about Melanie Griffith, she was in another great business movie with Don Johnson called 'Born yesterday'. Let me throw another one out there, 'Door to Door', with William H. Macy and Kyra Sedgwick. Very inspirational.
    Keep up the great work Bradley, You rock!!!!
    xox
    Helen

      • helenraptoplous says

        Yea, you should try to see them, they are really good. Or I like them at least and see a lot of great business lessons in them. I just love keeping in touch with you! You are to just awesome things!!
        xox
        Helen

  3. chandramoorthy says

    Thats a great post my friend…very helpful

    I would like to add a few more movies names here:

    “Field of Dreams”
    “Goal”
    “Men of Honor”

    • BradleyWill says

      G-Ro-

      What do you mean, you're gonna pass. Alan, the only people making money passing are NFL quarterbacks and I don't see a number on your back.

  4. SEO Nepal says

    i'm not they are all inspiring for entrepreneurs but ya definitely worth watching. forrest gump's comic sense is quite inspirational & interesting.

  5. Inaki Zuloaga says

    I would recommend you Wind (1992)
    Starring: Matthew Modine, Jennifer Grey Director: Carroll Ballard. Is about the efforts of one guy to recover the Americas Cup after it is lost for the first time to Australia. Very good movie to set you in entrepreneurship mode.

    • BradleyWill says

      I feel that the secret is like a gateway for people to understand the law of attraction. There is not much applicable “how to” knowledge, but what it does is get people thinking and get a clear vision of what they want.

      I got caught up in all the material things and used that as a measurement of my success in the past. An entrepreneur can learn about establishing their vision, drawing out a vision board and get an introduction to the law of attraction. Believe it or not, all entrepreneurs don't understand the concept that “like attracts like.”

      I have heard many people share similar opinions. I have heard John Assaraf's book “The Answer” is a great follow up to this movie.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      bradley will

      • John says

        “The Secret” ripped off ideas of the masters, eliminated any mention of hard work , and called it their own. I recommend reading Hanaal, Hill, Wattles etc.

  6. shantaram says

    Amazing list
    Do check out “October sky” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132477/
    Its a movie which left a great impression on me.

    Plot (imdb ) : The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

  7. Davidbeking says

    Great Post Brad…

    Slumdog Millionaire is one of my favorite movies…

    The cinematography is amazing!

    Pursuit of happiness is also awesome…

    office space…. a great comedy!

    I love pretty much all of these movies!

    One movie that i would check out is called “Flash Of Genius”

    It's a great entrepreneurial movie that i would check out…

    Keep these awesome posts coming!

  8. whoisgregreed says

    Add “American Gangster”

    “The loudest guy in the room is the weakest” Frank Lucas

  9. surabhij says

    This was really good…i will definitely try to watch the ones i have missed out :) Thanks for this post!

  10. Name says

    ROCKY I & II…and the
    Most overlooked and misunderstood personal development movie:
    Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano…

    luv Rudy, Wall Street and Forest Gump

  11. joshhinds says

    Good list Bradley. Some I've seen, some I haven't. Because of your easy to digest reviews I'm a lot more likely to catch the ones I haven't yet. I like that you have a balance between what to do and movies which hold lessons of what not to do. As business philosopher Jim Rohn might say, powerful learning opportunities can come from learning what to do as well as what not to do.

    Josh :-)

  12. joehigh says

    Lot of great flicks on this list. I love Remember the Titans! Let me encourage you to also watch The Ultimate Gift. Great story.

  13. @DannyBocanegra says

    Awesome list dude, was glad to see some of my favorites on here: A Beautiful Mind, Boiler Room, and Pursuit of Happiness.

    One more that I’d add is “Good Will Hunting”…..message: Loyalty, care for others, and being humble are character traits you cant buy.

    Im off to catch up on some of these Ive missed. Thanks Brad, Peace!

    @DannyBocanegra

  14. Raúl González says

    You know, the enron documentary is very very enlightning on what not to do. I looooooove Tucker, thanks for reminding me that one; dead poet society perhaps on the You're suposed to be changing the world

  15. stevesipress says

    “Thank You For Smoking”, “Tin Men” = thick-skinned salespeople
    “Ghostbusters” = entrepreneurial story at heart – never quit!
    “The Rookie” = you're never to old to chase your dream
    “Towering Inferno” = don't cut corners in your quest for the top
    “Saving Private Ryan” = relentless focus and pursuit of your goal
    “Field of Dreams” = pursue your dream
    “Seabiscuit”, “Star Wars”, “Stand and Deliver”, “Hoosiers” = underdogs
    “Working Girl”, “Fame”, “Ray”, “Chariots of Fire”, “The Karate Kid”
    “Apollo 13″, “Erin Brockovich”, “Big Night”, “Barbarians At The Gate”
    “The Secret of My Success”, “E-Dreams”, “Triumph of the Nerds”
    “Dead Poets Society”, “Rocky”, “Goodfellas”, “Casino”, “Good Will Hunting”, and of course: “Godfather II”
    …just to name a few!

  16. AnkammaRao says

    Thank you. I have seen Pursuit of Hapiness, i am gonna download other movies.

    Thanks
    AnkammaRao

  17. petersorensen says

    Great movies! I've seen all but two of them. I guess I will go to Blockbuster and rent the 2 I haven't seen yet. I love some of the classic Boiler Room scenes. All of them have some great messages and stories of hope, possibility, of never giving up, being committed, all great lessons for young entrepreneurs. Keep up empowering the young entrepreneurs out there like myself Brad. We need more of us! Thanks for the movie tips.

    Peter

  18. beanie72 says

    My favourite is A Knights Tale with two great quotes.
    “A man can change his stars”
    “Most of it is the guts to take a blow.
    Very appropriate for all Entrepreneurs.
    Cheers Adam Bean

  19. Young, Fabulous, Self-Employed says

    I am surprised Facing the Giants didn't make the list — it's definitely an inspirational movie with tons of applicable lessons for business owners in a sports setting.

    Facing the Giants is the story of Grant Taylor, a mediocre high school football coach. After several years of failing seasons, the Shiloh Eagles consider replacing him as head coach. This is not the only problem Taylor is facing however; his car is breaking down, the players' fathers are trying to get him fired, and he discovers that he is the reason that his wife cannot become pregnant.

    In order to find a solution to these problems, he prays to God for help. He creates a new coaching philosophy and decides to praise God after each game. From that point on, he loses only one game and goes on to win the state championship.

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  24. Kevin Rehberg says

    “Put the coffee down. Coffee is for closers.”

    Great list. I might add “21″ the movie about the MIT card counters – although the book is better.

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  28. SHREY DEEPUM says

    SIR
    U MIGHT KNOWING ABOUT THIS MOVIE….
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  29. James Kithuka says

    I love the list! Its perfect. I was scrolling to see if you had Boiler Room and sure enough, there it was! The lesson I took from that movie is that you have to sell hard (but dont rob people like they did). Thanks for this list.

  30. Tomtutton says

    thanks bradley, i love having movies on in the background when i’m working. and these are the best type. the aviator is my favorite movie ever, i’ve probably watched it 1,000 times.

  31. RobM says

    Hustle and Flow, not the best subject matter but shows triumph over adversity.

    Note: Bradley you should look into an organization called CEO Space I think you will like it.
    Rob

  32. Anonymous says

  33. Zwenz says

    Where is Social Network? That was the most recently inspiring movie that I have seen…

  34. HS says

    Men of Honor. A true story about a man in the navy that has to overcome rigid adversity in pursuit of his dream. Winston Churchill said that success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. In my opinion, this would have been an appropriate tagline for the movie. I first watched it when I was 16. In business, it helped me through a most challenging period. It has always helped me see truth when consience surrenders to greed. It has led me to believe that the prime asset of any business are the principles which lead it.     

  35. MyCollegesandCareers says

    Another one I would add to the list is Inception. 2 messages: “You musn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling” and “The most resilient parasite is an idea. A single idea can build cities, transform the world, and rewrite all the rules.” 

    Great post, Bradley! Bookmarking. -Sarah

  36. Gopi Gandhi says

    Hello Bradley,

    I’m from India and would like to suggest some good Indian movies (if you don’t mind to suggest a foreign movie to take its place here :-) that I felt inspiring. “Guru” is a critically acclaimed story inspired from Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani. “Chakde India” is a movie about a Hockey coach who coaches the Women’s hockey team to success – A movie about patriotism and team work. A Tamil movie titled “Vaaranam Aayiram” too inspired me because of the presentation of the movie and the strong message content in it – Whatever happens, life must go on. Another Tamil movie I would like to mention is “Pudhiya Geethai” – Movie is Nonsensical, but the theme, message, climax is something inspires me more than any other movie I have seen or read about – Would suggest to watch this movie if you could tolerate the nonsensical part.

    Your list is highly impressive and happy that someone has taken efforts to list it down.

    Gopi

  37. Ajax says

    Dear Bradley ,
    Thanks for this amazing list. I have seen some of the movies that you have listed. But I want to mention this video to all as I found it very inspiring.

    Nick Vujicic – No Arms No Legs No Worries, an amazing story of a man with a BIG heart who has no arms and legs. This movie is for everyone from kids to the elderly, its meant to convey a very special message to all. You will never forget his take on life.
    Visit his official website to know more:http://www.attitudeisaltitude.com/

  38. Rajesh says

    Hello guys,
                Its me Rajesh from Chicago . I say movies are my best companions ever…I love to watch all genre movies … Some of the good movies which motivated me are 1. Pursuit of Happiness 2. Forest Gump 3. Dead Poet Society 4. Saving Private Ryan 5. Social Network 6. Beautiful Mind 7.Up 8. How to train the Dragon 9.Green Mile 10. The Blind side 11. Shawshank Redemption 12.Lord of the rings (Frudo & Sam)  and lot more to mention ..But i dont remember now….  

  39. Mike says

    Great list although I think The Social Network should be closer to the top. How about “Facing the Giants”? It’s a christian based film but great quotes and business principles throughout.

  40. Ravingmushroom says

    Agh! Whats ‘the secret’ doing on there?  It represents everything that the self help industry stands for. The brainwashing of  people to make as much money as possible.

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