The Best Financial Movies You Can Stream Right Now
BOOSTING YOUR financial literacy can be a bit like eating your veggies – you know it’s good for you, but it’s not terribly enjoyable.
Good news: There are dozens of movies, television shows, documentaries and documentary series available to cord cutters on popular video-streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Hulu and Netflix.
Some of these financial movies are dramas based on real events and financial concepts. Others are documentaries or nonfiction television series that seek to illustrate financial ideas. Ready to fire up your favorite streaming service? Here are the best financial movies and shows to stream right now:
- “Dirty Money”
- “Margin Call”
- “Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis”
- “Shark Tank”
- “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”
- “This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy”
- “Too Big to Fail”
Read on for some of our favorite financial movies to stream right now.
This six-part documentary series explores a range of financial concepts and consumer issues, including payday loans, pharmaceutical pricing and the fraudulent clean diesel claims made by Volkswagen. The episodes, streaming on Netflix, demystify complex money topics with deep research and clear explanations.
While not every episode is about money in this explanatory series from Vox, many illustrate financial concepts important to individuals and consumers. Check out 15- to 20-minute episodes on the racial wealth gap, cryptocurrency, the gender pay gap and the stock market.
Stream on: Netflix
If you’re a fan of the “Freakonomics” books or podcast, consider the related movie that strings together economist-driven explanations on a range of topics, including educational incentives, cheating scandals and baby names.
This Wall Street drama follows a group of workers at an investment bank on the eve of the 2007 financial crisis as they struggle to save their firm. If you want a movie that tackles complex financial concepts and investing strategies while keeping your heart pumping, here’s a good one to start watching.
“Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis”
Hear from the real versions of the financial players portrayed in “Too Big to Fail” in this documentary from Vice that combines interviews from former presidents, financial executives, policymakers and advisors, including Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon.
For anybody who’s ever dreamed of launching a small business, “Shark Tank” is worth a watch for an idea of what kinds of products and companies are valuable and what a future investor would want to know about your business. The show, which airs on ABC, is currently streaming on Hulu. Within it, entrepreneurs pitch their products and businesses to a team of investors, including Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John. In turn, the investors ask for metrics, inquire about plans for growth and pose other crucial money queries.
Stream on: Hulu
“The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”
This documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar blood-testing company launched by Stanford University dropout Elizabeth Holmes. Within it are lessons for investors and consumers about the warning signs of fraud, the due diligence investors should take before backing a company and the clues that a consumer product isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy”
This explainer series, hosted by actor and comedian Kal Penn, takes an explanatory and comedic approach to a range of financial ideas, from money laundering to bitcoin. While the show can oscillate strangely between comedy and explanatory reporting, it tackles big financial topics comprehensively and with enthusiasm.
“Too Big to Fail”
This financial drama takes look at the financial crisis and the insiders who are working to minimize the fallout. Actors portray some of the most important names in the crisis, including Paulson, Bernanke and Dimon.
There are plenty of other financial movies and television shows in addition to these that are streaming online. Others, such as “The Big Short,” are currently available to purchase through streaming services such as YouTube and Amazon Video but are not included in a regular membership.