In the latest hiccup in society worth noting, regular joe internet investors have been boosting up the prices of AMC, GameStop, and various other stocks, which has traditional hedge fund guys on Wall Street (hoping to short those same stocks) crying foul and losing billions in the process.
Because we know this will continue to be buzzing news, we thought we'd pick out the 9 best movies Hollywood's produced about Wall Street - so that you can see how the elite traders have been depicted on film so far...and reflect even further on efforts by the everyman to stick it to 'em.
The Wolf of Wall Street
If asked what a Wall Street party might look like, this is the film we'd recommend. Based on the true life of Jordan Belfort, the film provides an up-close look at the broker's creation of a lucrative, totally illegal empire, complete with the drugs, women and other shenanigans that make up highly toxic, thoroughly decadent operations.
The Big Short
Based on the 2008 housing crisis, the film shows how key players identified an upcoming crash in the market, and bet against housing for their own financial gain. It's a serious affair with an enjoyable ensemble cast, including Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt. It's also a highly informative and important motion picture.
Acting more as a tale inspired by the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the film brings audiences into a delicate situation happening at an investment firm. Within a 24-hour period, the company finds itself on the brink of falling apart, and needing to work together to decide what the next best step is... even if it means burning the bridges and relationships they've spent years building.
Looking for a crash course on what it means to be involved in insider trading on Wall Street? You've found it, in this no-holds-barred 80s account directed by Oliver Stone, which espouses the motto, "greed is good." Michael Douglas is the ruthless veteran broker vying for the soul of newcomer Charlie Sheen, who tries to hold onto his roots while still making it big. Charlie's real-life dad Martin Sheen plays his father, and the voice of conscience in the film.
This Wall Street entry's the funniest on our list, pairing up comedic legends and SNL alums Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. The two icons end up switching places as unknowing participants in a rigged social experiment. Once they discover the ruse, they try to flip the script on the wealthy rich, codger snobs who set up the experiment in the first place.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Our next pick is famously known for Alec Baldwin's ABC (Always. Be. Closing.) speech, which can either be seen as inspiring or super demeaning. In our opinion, we would say it's the latter. It's a salesman-esque environment similar to Wall Street that consists of a lot of memorable A-List (Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Jack Lemon, Alan Arkin) backstabbing and name calling.
Showing that young star Christian Bale is a force to be reckoned with, this pick depicts the double life of a psychopath trying to climb the corporate ladder...even if he has to literally kill his way to the top. Bale's psycho is constantly on the edge of murdering an animal or person, but he sometimes seems conflicted before he executes on his decisions.
This fast-paced flick has a bunch of young hopefuls doing whatever it takes to rake in dough for their brokerage firm. Sometimes these guys are moving so fast towards getting green in their pockets, they're not at all looking closely at what they're actually selling. Keep a close eye on Affleck in what's basically the Gen X version of Alec Baldwin's character in "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Our final pick is another film based on a true story - this one about Nick Leeson and his employment at Barings Bank. Leeson is a booze-fueled loose cannon when it comes to making risky trades, but his confidence and successful business take him straight to the top, becoming one of Barings' key traders. The only thing for him, though...sometimes when you make too risky of a trade, losing is no longer an option.
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.