20 Best Inspirational business movies | Inspiring Films to Watch

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If you wish to become an entrepreneur, what’s your first need? Of course some motivation! inspirational business movies are one of the best motivations, right?! In this article, I have come up with some of the most inspiring films to watch. These movies are made for all entrepreneurs who want to touch greater heights. Let’s dive into the article and learn about these movies!

Inspirational Business Movies

1. The Pursuit of Happyness

The first movie on our list of the best inspirational business movies is “The Pursuit of Happyness” This is a movie that every entrepreneur must watch in his or her life as it teaches many lessons of life. Imagine you are struggling to get a job and you are a single father with a son. Doesn’t that sound hard?

The Pursuit of Happiness is a motivational story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who finds himself homeless with his young son. Despite many obstacles, Gardner refuses to give up and joins a prestigious brokerage company without pay. He then gets a chance to showcase his talent and gets what he deserves. This film is a testament to the resilient and incredible human spirit, and I’m sure, this is one of the most inspiring films to watch in order to succeed in life!

  • Year of Release: 2006
  • Theme: A biographical movie of Chris Gardner based on his struggle to build a career with homelessness.
  • Movie Duration: 1h 57m
  • IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
  • Director: Gabriele Muccino
  • Lead Role: Will Smith

2. Steve Jobs

I bet every one of us knows about this great man, Steve Jobs, who is renowned for his innovative ideas and products at Apple. This movie gives an insight into the personal and professional life of Steve Jobs, and how he became the visionary co-founder of Apple.

It is one of the best inspirational business movies which explores Steve Jobs’ complex character, his innovative contributions to technology, and his impact on the world. It also explores the dark sides of his life, personality, and work habits, providing a balanced look at the respected and controversial man.

  • Year of Release: 2015
  • Theme: Documentary film about Steve Jobs’ life and legacy
  • Movie Duration: 2h 8m
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
  • Director: Alex Gibney

3. Soorarai Potru

Can you imagine the difficulty of a common man creating an airline company competing with the other major airlines? I couldn’t!! This Surarai Potru is one of the best inspirational business movies that tells us about the life story of Captain G.R. Gopinath, and his struggles behind the founding of India’s low-cost airline, Air Deccan.

The film portrays the hero Nedumarana Rajangam, better known as Mara, and his relentless efforts to make air travel accessible to every common man in India. It is a story of destiny, love, and the power of dreams that challenges the status!

  • Year of Release: 2020
  • Theme: An entrepreneur facing struggles to create his own airline and make people fly at affordable costs in India
  • Movie Duration: 2h 33m
  • IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
  • Director: Sudha Kongara
  • Lead Role: Suriya

4. The Founder

I’m sure most of us know McDonald’s and have tasted the hamburgers and French fries, yes? But, we are unaware of its founder Ray Kroc, the salesman who turned McDonald’s from a single restaurant into a global entity.

It is one of the most inspirational business movies that highlights Kroc’s ambition, consistency, and ruthlessness as he buys McDonald’s from the McDonald brothers and turns it into a global phenomenon. I suggest this movie as it is one of the most inspiring films to watch to make your business ideas global!

  • Year of Release: 2016
  • Theme: The life of Ray Kroc and his business strategies in the expansion of McDonald’s
  • Movie Duration: 1h 55m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Director: John Lee Hancock
  • Lead Role: Michael Keaton

5. Moneyball

Moneyball is one of the most inspirational business movies that highlight the importance of innovation, budgets, analysis, etc in gathering a team. The movie is about Oakland A baseball team manager Billy Bean who assembles a competitive team despite limited budgets. This also applies to business owners when they recruit a team to perform a specific task.

The film also highlights Bean’s innovative approach to team building that changed the game and highlighted the way how undervalued players made success.

  • Year of Release: 2011
  • Theme: Sports drama based on the true story of Billy Beane and his attempt to assemble a competitive baseball team
  • Movie Duration: 2h 13m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Director: Bennett Miller
  • Lead Role: Brad Pitt

6. Startup. Com

Startup. com is a perfect movie for those who are about to start a company. It is a movie about the rise and fall of govWorks.com, a startup company founded by Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman. The film captures the initial development of the dot-com bubble and the harsh reality of its breakup.

The movie then tells us the entrepreneurs’ journeys as they enter the world of online startups, and focuses on the challenges of balancing friendship and professionalism to make the company grow. It is one of the most inspiring films to watch so that you will get to know how to understand people around you to make a successful business.

  • Year of Release: 2001
  • Theme: Struggles faced by two entrepreneurs in creating a startup.
  • Movie Duration: 2h 13m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Director:  Chris Hegedus
  • Lead Role: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman

7. The Social Network

What comes to your mind when I say “The social network“? Facebook?! Of course! This movie is an inspiring story about the creation of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg. The movie portrays Mark Zuckerberg’s journey from a Harvard dorm room to becoming the founder of one of the largest social media platforms.

The film also conveys several complexities in life and with people, making us understand the value of friendship, the pain of betrayal, and the battles that one faces when making a successful business.

  • Year of Release: 2010
  • Theme: Inspirational story of Mark Zuckerberg about the founding of Facebook.
  • Movie Duration: 2h
  • IMDbRating: 7.8/10
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Lead Role: Jesse Eisenberg

8. Ford vs Ferrari

Remember when Ford and Ferrari had a racing rivalry in the 1950s and 1960s?! Probably, most of us don’t, as it happened very earlier. This is a movie that actually tells the story of American car designer Carol Shelby and driver Ken Miles, who teamed up to build a revolutionary race car for Ford to beat Ferrari.

The goal of the Ford race team was to win the Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The film portrays their struggle against corporate interference, personal demons, etc. which every other entrepreneur would face in their lives.

  • Year of Release: 2019
  • Theme: A rivalry between the two greatest entrepreneurs Ford and Ferrari.
  • Movie Duration: 2h 32m
  • IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
  • Director: James Mangold
  • Lead Role: Matt Damon (as Carroll Shelby) and Christian Bale (as Ken Miles)

9. Wall Street

We all know that “Wall Street” is a street in New York City. It is not just one, but a place where financial markets thrive and economic power peaks. The financial crisis of 2007–2008, which led to a global recession, was due to the Wall Street effect. The crisis exposed the risks of financial products in risk leading to fundamental reforms in the economy.

It is one of the most inspirational business movies that people who are into the stock market. It teaches what to do and what not with the deliberate story.

  • Year of Release: 1987
  • Theme: A movie about a young stockbroker’s involvement with a greedy corporate raider
  • Movie Duration: 2h 6m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
  • Director: Oliver Stone
  • Lead Role: Charlie Sheen (as Bud Fox) and Michael Douglas (as Gordon Gekko)

10. Pad Man

Pad Man is an inspiring biography of Arunachalam Murugantham, a social entrepreneur who invented an affordable sanitary napkin for women. The movie beautifully portrayed his journey to becoming a social entrepreneur despite facing social and cultural opposition to women in the life of rural India.

It is one of the most inspirational business movies that explains the importance of innovation, perseverance, and fighting against social stigmas to succeed in life. This is a must-watch movie for all entrepreneurs to understand how he enhanced the menstrual hygiene of women and became a successful entrepreneur as well.

  • Year of Release: 2018
  • Theme: An inspirational life story of the entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, who created a low-cost sanitary pad machine in India
  • Movie Duration: 2h 20m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
  • Director: R. Balki
  • Lead Role: Akshay Kumar (as Lakshmikant Chauhan)

11. Walt Before Mickey

Walt Before Mickey is an excellent biographical movie that portrays the early years of Walt Disney before the creation of his iconic character, Mickey Mouse. It is one of the most inspirational business movies which makes us realize how motivating Disney’s journey was right from his childhood in Missouri to the founding of his first animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

Despite facing bankruptcy and numerous setbacks, Disney’s relentless creativity and vision led to the establishment of The Walt Disney Company. The movie portrays Disney’s struggles and triumphs, and the inspiration for innovative Mickey Mouse, thereby providing a lesson to all entrepreneurs!

  • Year of Release: 2015
  • Theme: A movie about Walt Disney’s early career and his inspirational life journey
  • Movie Duration: 1h 47m
  • IMDb Rating: 5.9/10
  • Director: Khoa Le
  • Lead Role: Thomas Ian Nicholas (as Walt Disney)

12. The Call of the Entrepreneur

The “Call of the Entrepreneur” tells us the life stories of three diverse entrepreneurs, a Michigan dairy farmer, a New York merchant banker, and a refugee from communist China. The film explores the unique challenges in their lives in the journey of becoming entrepreneurs.

it is one of the most inspirational business movies that showcases the spirit of entrepreneurship and its impact on society. Moreover, the movie highlights how individuals can create profit and wealth by overcoming all the obstacles in life.

  • Year of Release: 2007
  • Theme: An inspiring movie about the life stories of three entrepreneurs
  • Movie Duration: 58m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Director: Simon Scionka

13. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

If you wish to become an entrepreneur, the most important factor that you will need to be successful is “innovation.” The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” portrays the life story of William Kamakwamba, a Malawian teenager who builds a windmill to save his village from starvation.

You won’t believe it, but he uses scrap materials and the knowledge from books use, to build a windmill for electricity and pump water for irrigation. The film is one of the most inspirational business movies that every entrepreneur must watch to understand innovation and determination.

  • Year of Release: 2019
  • Theme: A motivational movie about a boy in Malawi who builds a wind turbine
  • Movie Duration: 1h 53m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Lead Role: Maxwell Simba

14. 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible

If you feel that your step to become an entrepreneur is impossible, you need to watch this movie. 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible tells the story of Nepali climber Nirmal Purja and his crazy attempt to reach all the 8,000-meter high peaks in the world in just seven months. What makes this movie important for entrepreneurs is the fearless, determination, that makes businesses successful.

The movie is about facing physical challenges, but an entrepreneur must be able to overcome both physical and mental challenges to create history.

  • Year of Release: 2021
  • Theme: A motivational life story of Nirmal Purja and his adventurous trips to all the world’s 8,000-meter peaks
  • Movie Duration: 1h 41m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Director: Torquil Jones
  • Lead Role: Nirmal Purja

15. Becoming

Becoming is Michelle Obama’s biographical movie that tells the life story and her journey from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago to the White House. The movie gives an in-depth look into her life, her role as first lady, and her efforts to create positive change.

The movie reflects on the experiences that shaped her, from her education to her marriage to Barack Obama and her time in the public eye. It is one of the most inspirational business movies that every woman entrepreneur must watch to keep up the spirit and touch greater heights.

  • Year of Release: 2020
  • Theme: Lifestory of Michelle Obama
  • Movie Duration: 1h 29m
  • IMDb Rating: 4.8/10
  • Director: Nadia Hallgren
  • Lead Role: Michelle Obama

16. Darkest Hour

The best quality of an entrepreneur is the ability to make decisions in crucial and tough times. Agree? If you wish to become an entrepreneur, developing the quality of decision-making is the first step. Darkest Hour is one of the most inspirational business movies that portrays the life of Winston Churchill and his early days as Prime Minister during World War II.

The film focuses on Churchill’s struggle to rally Britain against Nazi Germany, in which he faced political opposition, and with Europe under attack. Churchill must decide whether to talk to Hitler or stand by the principles of freedom and liberty firmly.

The movie also showcases the strong spirit of Churchill, as he delivers the iconic “We will fight on the beaches” speech which is one of the best qualities that an entrepreneur must also have!

  • Year of Release: 2017
  • Theme: A movie about Winston Churchill as Prime minister and his crucial decision-making during World War II
  • Movie Duration: 2h 5m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Director: Joe Wright
  • Lead Role: Gary Oldman (as Winston Churchill)

17. Something Ventured

Something Ventured is one of the most inspirational business movies that explores the birth of American venture capitalism in the mid-20th century. It tells the stories of visionary venture capitalists who worked with innovators to build companies like Apple, Intel, and Cisco.

Laying the groundwork for modern start-ups and adapting technological developments emphasize the risks incurred and the rewards as well, which entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to.

  • Year of Release: 2011
  • Theme: Documentary on the emergence of American venture capitalism
  • Movie Duration: 1h 24m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
  • Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine
  • Lead Role: Documentary featuring various venture capitalists

18. Pirates of Silicon Valley

Pirates of Silicon Valley is again a biographical movie that tells the story of the booming tech industry with humor, focusing on the founders of Apple and Microsoft. It shows their college struggles, the startups of their companies, and the careers that built two of the world’s biggest tech empires.

It is one of the most inspirational business movies for all entrepreneurs as the film offers an overview of the personal and business challenges of great personalities like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

  • Year of Release: 1999
  • Theme: Biographical drama about the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates
  • Movie Duration: 1h 35m
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Director: Martyn Burke
  • Lead Roles: Noah Wyle (as Steve Jobs), Anthony Michael Hall (as Bill Gates)

19. Shirley

Shirley is an inspirational life story of Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman and presidential candidate. The film shows her campaign in 1972, showing his determination and challenges including opposition within his party.

Despite the obstacles, Chisholm’s unwavering commitment to her goals and her role as a symbol of hope and change are emphasized throughout the film. The unique qualities of Shirley set an example for all the entrepreneurs in order to create a business empire.

  • Year of Release: 2024
  • Theme: A Biographical film on Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign
  • Movie Duration: 2h 17m
  • IMDb Rating: 6.2/10
  • Director: John Ridley
  • Lead Role: Regina King

20. Shawshank Redemption

Apart from innovation, and motivation, what else is needed for an entrepreneur? I would say consistency! And I’m sure there’s no other movie in this world that can explain consistency and hard work better than Shawshank Redemption! This movie is the one which talks about hope and resilience.

The best part about this film is that it highlights themes of friendship, loyalty, and the enduring human spirit to succeed in their goals in life.

  • Year of Release: 1994
  • Theme: An inspiring life story of a banker in prison and his eventual redemption
  • Movie Duration: 2h 22m
  • IMDb Rating: 9.3/10
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Lead Roles: Tim Robbins

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