Here are our top 10 movie picks for success, motivation, and entrepreneurship. In this list of movies, you will find themes that you will relate to on your journey to success.
support, relationships, trust, teamwork, partnership, deception, losing it, depression, insecurity, strength, competition, knowledge, lack of knowledge, recruiting, coaching, leadership, mentor, strategy, journey, success, lack of success, tough journey, patience, persistence, happiness, pitching, etcThese are some of the themes portrayed in the movies below
Plot summaries were adapted from Imdb.com
The Pursuit of Happiness
If you are looking to stay motivated on your pursuit of happiness, and success, then this movie is for you.
1981, San Francisco. In what limited academic opportunities he has had in his life, Chris Gardner has demonstrated that he is a smart man. Yet he is struggling financially in his life. He has invested all his money on portable bone density scanners, which he personally sells to physicians. Despite being a better product than x-rays machines, they are also far more expensive, meaning that they are an unnecessary luxury for most physicians. He needs to sell three scanners per month just to meet the basic necessities to support his family, his wife, Linda, and their five year old son, Christopher, on who he dotes since he didn’t know his own father when he was a child. But lately, that has been three per month more than he has sold, resulting in an increasing embittered Linda continually needing to work double shifts doing manual work at a laundry, which still isn’t enough to cover those basic costs, they being currently behind three months rent. Chris can’t afford to pay his parking ticket, meaning that he has to take the bus everywhere now as the clamp remains on the tire of his car. Feeling like the scanner is not the answer to their financial problems, Chris, with or without Linda’s blessing, decides to take a chance by switching careers when he sees that brokerage and securities firm Dean Witter has a six month internship program, which only admits twenty applicants, leading to only one intern being hired at the end of the process. It isn’t until he is well immersed in the process that he learns that the internships are non-paying. Based largely on his chutzpah, Chris, against the odds, gets one of the twenty positions. With some changes in their lives resulting in fewer expenses, Chris figures he needs to sell his remaining six scanners just to scrape by for those six months. But some unexpected issues arise which leads to the Gardners possibly not making it through this phase of their lives financially, something he has to hide from his superiors at Dean Witter if he has any chance at all of making it through the internship and getting that paying job with them
If you are not sure what the future holds but feel greatness deep down in you and are just grinding and hoping that it will all payout in the future, then this movie is for you.
In 1954, Ray Kroc is an unsuccessful traveling salesman selling Prince Castle brand milkshake mixers. While he has a supportive wife, Ethel, and has saved enough to live a simple and comfortable life in Arlington Heights, Illinois, he craves more. Ray also observes that many of the drive-in restaurants that he tries to sell to are inefficiently run, with a long waiting time for orders and carhops more concerned with avoiding the groping from greasers than getting the orders right. After learning that a drive-in in San Bernardino is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake mixers, Ray drives to California to see it. What he finds is McDonald’s-a highly popular walk-up restaurant with fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
The Wolf of Wall Street
If you are looking to learn about sales, going all the way up just to lose side of who you are, and want to learn what not to do in business then this movie is for you.
In the early 1990s, Jordan Belfort teamed with his partner Donny Azoff and started brokerage firm Stratford-Oakmont. Their company quickly grows from a staff of 20 to a staff of more than 250 and their status in the trading community and Wall Street grows exponentially. So much that companies file their initial public offerings through them. As their status grows, so do the amount of substances they abuse, and so do their lies. They draw attention like no other, throwing lavish parties for their staff when they hit the jackpot on high trades. That ultimately leads to Belfort featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, being called “The Wolf Of Wall St.”. With the FBI onto Belfort’s trading schemes, he devises new ways to cover his tracks and watch his fortune grow. Belfort ultimately comes up with a scheme to stash their cash in a European bank. But with the FBI watching him like a hawk, how long will Belfort and Azoff be able to maintain their elaborate wealth and luxurious lifestyles?
The Greatest Showman
If your life is not going the way you hoped it would go, and are looking for a glimpse of success and while everyone and everything seems to keep you down, you have come to the right place. If you have a great vision and need the right team to execute it and you need to learn how to treat them, then this movie is for you.
Orphaned, penniless but ambitious and with a mind crammed with imagination and fresh ideas, the American Phineas Taylor Barnum will always be remembered as the man with the gift to effortlessly blur the line between reality and fiction. Thirsty for innovation and hungry for success, the son of a tailor will manage to open a wax museum but will soon shift focus to the unique and peculiar, introducing extraordinary, never-seen-before live acts on the circus stage. Some will call Barnum’s wide collection of oddities, a freak show; however, when the obsessed showman gambles everything on the opera singer Jenny Lind to appeal to a high-brow audience, he will somehow lose sight of the most important aspect of his life: his family. Will Barnum risk it all to be accepted?
The Ultimate Life
Sometimes when we seem to have it all, it is easy to not remember the journey of how it happened. If you are looking to take a step back and look at your journey from a new perspective, then this movie is for you.
Between running his grandfather’s foundation, being sued by his greedy extended family, and seeing his beloved Alexia leave on an extended mission trip to Haiti, Jason Stevens’ world is unraveling. But then he discovers his late grandfather’s journal and is transported back into Red Stevens’ incredible rags-to-riches life. With everything he loves hanging in the balance, Jason hopes he can discover the ultimate life. THE ULTIMATE LIFE is a powerful reminder that some things are worth more than money!
We all have worked for someone at some point. Sometimes, you might not feel appreciated as you should and you decide to start your own thing because you are great at what you do. If you are feeling like that and are thinking about a new venture, then this movie is for you.
As a catastrophic injury robs her of a promising sports career and a greatly-desired Olympic medal, former competitive skier, Molly Bloom, moves to sunny Los Angeles to start anew, rather than attending law school. But once there, Molly will soon find the quickest way to success and the closest thing to a profession, running a high-stakes poker game business for deep-pocketed celebrities, well-off businessmen, and the elite. And just like that, a powerful poker hostess and an entire empire are born; however, there’s always a fine line between triumph and defeat. With her only hope resting in the capable hands of the wary New York lawyer, Charlie Jaffey, desperate Molly will have to strive for sympathy; nevertheless, who would be willing to represent the infamous “Poker Princess”?
If you feel like you have created something great enough that your circle or people close to you want to take it away from you, then this is the right movie for you.
The film opens in 2001 with a middle-aged Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) introducing the iPod at an Apple Town Hall meeting. It then flashes back to Reed College in 1974. Jobs had already dropped out due to the high expense of tuition but was still attending classes with the approval of Dean Jack Dudman (James Woods) who took him under his wing. Jobs is particularly interested in a course on calligraphy. He meets up with his friend Daniel Kottke (Lukas Haas) who is excited to see that Jobs is holding a copy of Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass. Influenced by this book and his experiences with LSD, Jobs, and Kottke spend time in India. Two years later, Jobs is back in Los Altos, California living at home with his adoptive parents Paul (John Getz) and Clara (Lesley Ann Warren). He is working for Atari and develops a partnership with his friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) after he sees that Wozniak has built a personal computer (the Apple I). They name their new company Apple Computer, though there already is a company called Apple Records that is owned by The Beatles (Wozniak then teases Jobs that this is symbolic of his preference for Bob Dylan). Wozniak gives a demonstration of the Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club. Jobs is later approached by Paul Terrell (Brad William Henke) who shows interest in the Apple I. Knowing that he and Wozniak will need a studio in which to build them, Jobs convinces his father Paul to allow them to use the family garage (set up as a carpentry/tool center) for his new company. Realizing that they cannot build these computers alone, Jobs also recruits Kottke, Bill Fernandez (Victor Rasuk), and Chris Espinosa (Eddie Hassell) to the Apple team.
The Social Network
If you are in the process of creating something and executing on your vision and are still in the fresh happy start of the journey, then this is the movie to prepare you for what’s coming.
The Social Network explores the moment at which Facebook was invented--through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The movie moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto to capture the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making--and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart. In the midst of the chaos are Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliant Harvard student who conceived a Web site; Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), once Zuckerberg’s close friend, who provided the seed money for the fledgling company; Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists; and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), the Harvard classmates who asserted that Zuckerberg stole their idea and then sued him for ownership of it. Each has his own narrative, his own version of the Facebook story in this multi-level portrait of 21st Century success--both the youthful fantasy of it and its finite realities as well.
High Flying Bird
This is a fairly new movie and when I was watching it, it reminded me of Jerry Maguire. If you are a manager or supervisor that feels like creating a better lifestyle for your team is being stopped by your superiors, then this movie is for you.
A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.
This is a story about trying to turn the little that you have in something grandiose. It is about having and keeping a grand vision for your future and executing it with the right team. If you like The Greatest Showman, then you will like this one.
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Buster Moon, a dapper koala, presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal-some, might even say delusional-optimist, who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.
Bonuses and honorable mentions:
Most people live as pawns in their employers plans. It usually takes getting fired or being denied a raise you have worked hard for or being passed on for a promotion you deserve for most people to wake up. If you are feeling unappreciated at work, then this movie is for you.
Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth), a tech-savvy twenty-something, becomes a corporate spy for a scheming businessman. Determined to make the most of his new job at Wyatt Telecom, Adam is horrified when a felonious mistake earns him the wrath of unforgiving CEO Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman). Typically, Wyatt’s first response would be to throw a lawbreaking employee under the bus. But this time he’s willing to cut a deal: Should Adam agree to infiltrate Wyatt Telecom’s chief rival, the CEO will turn a blind eye to his employee’s error. In no time Adam is climbing the corporate ladder straight to the top. No one suspects a thing, and Wyatt is gaining a distinct advantage over the competition. Later, upon realizing that his success is a mere illusion and he’s become a simple pawn in a much bigger game, Adam hatches an ingenious plan to get out of his situation before it’s too late.
B) Jerry Maguire
If you are at a point in your life where you feel like you are not reaching your full potential, and your life is stagnant, then this movie is for you.
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a successful sports agent. The biggest clients, the respect, a beautiful fiancée, he has it all. Until one night he questions his purpose. His place in the world, and finally comes to terms with what’s wrong with his career and life. Recording all his thoughts in a mission statement Jerry feels he has a new lease on life. Unfortunately his opinions aren’t met with enthusiasm from his superiors and after dishonorably being stripped of his high earning clients and elite status within the agency Jerry steps out into the sports business armed with only one volatile client (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and the only person with belief in his abilities (Renée Zellweger) with the impossible task of rebuilding what he once had. Along the way he faces the harsh truths which he’d ignored in the past and a host of hardships that he’d never faced before.
C) Shaolin Soccer
This is not your typical business movie. It is a kung-fu movie but the reason I put it on this list is the dedication behind the main actor. While most might look at the striker on the team as the main actor, the coach caught my eye. His journey trying to make it in the soccer industry only to be kicked around until he decides to recruit his team put this movie on this list. If you are having struggles getting your business started and failing miserably at accomplishing tasks and even leading your team, then this movie is for you.
But if you look at it as someone with a lot of skills and a mediocre life starts looking for a team to achieve success with by coaching them.
Sing is a skilled Shaolin kung fu devotee whose amazing “leg of steel” catches the eye of a soccer coach. Together they assemble a squad of Sing’s former Shaolin brothers, inspired by the big-money prize in a national soccer competition. Using an unlikely mix of martial arts and newfound soccer skills, it seems an unbeatable combination until they face the dreaded Team Evil in the ultimate battle for the title.
If you like our list, you should check out our list of Top 10 TV Business and Entrepreneurship Shows
And do you think that we missed a movie? Comment to let us know what you think of this list. Enjoy these movies and stay motivated.