“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Martin Scorsese’s 2013 Best Picture nominee tells the story of real-life stock broker turned criminal, Jordan Belfort. Adapted from Belfort’s memoirs of the same name, the darkly comic film follows Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) from his humble beginnings as a small cog in a Wall Street brokerage firm, to his fall from grace as the mastermind of a fraudulent investment empire. As DiCaprio’s character states in the film, Wall Street is a complex place— one that’s primed for corruption.
After losing his job at a high profile brokerage firm as a result of 1987’s infamous Black Monday market crash, Jordan discovers he can make a small fortune selling penny stocks to moderately wealthy investors. With this in mind, he wastes no time recruiting his shady friends and starting his own investment firm. As his business grows, Jordan’s dishonest sales practices draw the attention of the FBI, which sets the stage for his ultimate downfall. Investors interested in seeing the consequences of corruption in the stock market should watch this film.
Set in the late 1980s and based on Bret Easton Ellis’s controversial 1991 novel, “American Psycho” is a gore-filled satire of materialism, greed, shallowness and ‘80s popular culture. By day, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) works as an investment banker at a bustling NYC brokerage firm. Despite his cushy job and booming net worth, Bateman gets very little work done, spending the bulk of his time at the office obsessing over designer clothing, chic haircuts and trendy new restaurants. By night, Bateman is consumed by homicidal urges and engages in horrific acts of murder.
Equal parts funny and cringe-worthy, “American Psycho” follows its antihero’s quest to maintain his sanity in a culture consumed by greed and outward appearance. As Publishers Weekly reports, Bret Easton Ellis penned the original novel at a time when he was disillusioned by society and corporate culture. Fans of the film should pick up a copy of Ellis’s “Rules of Attraction,” in which Patrick Bateman plays a supporting role.
Another film at http://www.icodesnippet.com/ inspired by the life of Jordan Belfort, albeit not as true-to-life as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” 2003’s “Boiler Room” takes a hard-hitting look at corrupt stock brokers. The film follows finance-savvy college dropout Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), who is recruited by charismatic stock broker Chris Varick (Vin Diesel) to join his brokerage firm. Shortly after starting his new job, Seth discovers many of the stocks peddled to clients are for companies that have gone out of business or simply do not exist.
Content with taking advantage of the wealthy and gullible at first, Seth later has a change of heart when he discovers that the firm’s fraudulent practices have bankrupted a number of clients. This prompts him to work with the FBI to bring the firm’s actions to light and punish those at the top. Investors in the mood for an edge-of-your-seat crime drama needn’t look any further than “Boiler Room.”
Responsible for introducing audiences to iconic antihero Gordon Gecko and his infamous catchphrase, 1987’s “Wall Street” tells the story of well-meaning junior broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), who becomes the protege of notorious stock shark Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglass).
At first, Bud enjoys the perks of being a corporate raider — a corner office, a bombshell girlfriend and more money than he knows what to do with. However, Bud soon has an attack of conscience after discovering that Gecko’s anything-goes approach to corporate takeovers has cost thousands of people their livelihood. This gives way to a riveting battle of wits between Bud and his devilishly clever mentor.
“Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street”
If you want to learn more about the technical side of the stock market, 2010’s “Quants” is essential viewing. This fascinating documentary looks at the lives of the mathematicians and computer experts responsible for developing the mathematical models for consumer spending habits used by top investors. Entertaining and highly informative, “Quants” introduces viewers to an often-overlooked faction of Wall Street.
In addition to being an interesting subject for real-life study, the stock market serves as the backdrop for a plethora of entertaining films. With such an abundance of five-star cinema, day traders can easily mix business with pleasure the next time they watch a movie.