Failure can never conquer you if your ambition, inspiration, and motivation to succeed are firm.
Staying motivated is easier said than done, but one simple way to achieve it is by watching movies that inspire.
In this article, I have picked up some top movies that inspire and keep you motivated when you run through rough patches as an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur is an emerging trend with the new generation, but it’s not easy to pursue. It takes way too much out of you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When you start entrepreneurship, motivation never seems to be a problem. However, once you get to a certain level, you start to see the toll. At this point, you need the inspiration to keep you motivated as it helps you gear up by bringing creativity, productivity, and self-belief.
People use different sources of inspiration to motivate themselves. For some, inspiration can be a person while others find it in a place or a thing. For some, reading a book can be inspirational while for others a hobby can be stimulating.
But one source of impulse can surprise us all: Movies. Movies have been a great source of inspiration as they have the power to challenge our limits, push our understandings, and invoke powerful emotions.
A great movie can stimulate our minds and helps bring imagination, originality, vision, and flair, back to our life.
Though I am not a great fan of movies I do watch inspirational and motivational movies from time to time. After a lot of research, I’ve pulled together a few of the best inspirational movies that not only entertain but go beyond.
Top Movies That Inspire Every Entrepreneur
1- The Social Network
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
The movie is a real story of the world’s youngest billionaire and creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Starting as a student at Harvard, this young and intelligent man introduces a concept that leads to the world’s most popular social website.
The story also shows his struggle when he got accused by his two brothers who claimed he stole their idea.
The movie gives you a peek into how Facebook began and reminds you that big companies often start small. This must be in everyone’s list of movies that inspire.
2- Pirates Of Silicon Valley
The movie is a semi-humorous, biographical look at the men who established Apple and Microsoft, portraying the early days of their establishment.
Apple founder, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, are desperate to create something unique, and their conflict results in the two most iconic technology companies in the world.
The film attempts to compare the two and spots the primary differences in their founder’s operations.
It’s one of the best movies that inspire anyone who struggles for a successful startup and needs a boost in motivation level.
Too good to include in the list of movies that inspire.
3- Wall Street
This is a story of a young and impatient stockbroker, Bud Fox, who can do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information.
Bud Fox is a Wall Street stockbroker in the early 1980s with a strong desire to get rich. Admiring the power of a corporate raider Gordon Gekko, Fox entices Gekko into mentoring him by providing insights into trading.
As Fox becomes involved in greed and underhanded schemes, his decisions eventually threaten the livelihood of his scrupulous father. This happens when Gekko targets Blue Star airlines, the company where Bud’s father has worked for 24 years. Gekko secretly plans to despoil the employees’ retirement fund.
The movie alerts about how ambition can sometimes lead to an unethical path that further results in a miserable downfall.
Startup.com is a documentary film that showcases the story of govWorks, a promising startup that failed because of mismanagement and internal issues.
5- The Big Short
The Big Short has three separate but parallel stories of individuals able to survive and also profit from the American financial crisis of 2007-08.
Michael Burry, Jared Vennett, and Mark Baum join hands and together through their research, discover that the US mortgage-backed securities market will explode in the coming years as several subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting.
They invest accordingly taking full advantage of the economic collapse in America. What they don’t initially realize how structurally flawed the MBS system is and the level of corruption in the market?
6- Glengarry Glenn Ross
Glengarry Glenn Ross portrays what goes behind the scene in the world of sales.
The story shows a Chicago real-estate office where the salesmen (Shelley Levene, Ricky Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow) face a hard time to make sales and there is a lot of pressure to succeed.
The movie depicts how difficult can life be in a high-pressure sales environment when the company goes through a stormy phase.
The movie teaches you how to use your sales skills to survive and flourish in the challenging sales world. Since its release, the movie is inspirational for salesmen and is used across companies to train their sales division.
7- The Aviator
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes’s career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.
Billionaire Howard Hughes starts film-making as the owner of R.K.O. Pictures, however, his focus was on designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes is a risk-taker spending several fortunes on scheming exceptional aircraft and eventually makes TWA (Hughes aircraft company) a primary rival to Pan Am airlines.
Too good to include in the list of movies that inspire.
8- Boiler Room
Boiler Room is a story of a college dropout Seth Davis, attempting to live up to his father’s high standards.
Seth operates a casino from his apartment. It’s a good source of revenue but doesn’t meet the high expectations of his father. To satisfy his father’s expectations, Seth starts a career with J.T. Marlin, a wirehouse on Long Island.
He’s a terrific salesperson so as a junior associate he quickly masters the art of sales. But he soon notices the commissions earned are much larger than average and becomes apprehensive of J.T. Marlin’s business practices.
While entering this profession to impress his father, Seth soon figures out he may have chosen the wrong profession.
It’s a movie that inspires not to sway away by the lavish lifestyle and get involved in unethical practices.
9- The Wolf Of Wall Street
The movie is a true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker to his fall due to involvement in crime and corruption.
In the early 1990s, Jordan Belfort teams with his partner Donny Azoff and starts a brokerage firm, Stratford-Oakmont. Their company quickly grows and so does their status in the trading community.
As their position grows they soon get involved in fraud and deception. With the FBI after Belfort’s trading schemes, he plans new ways to cover and hide his malpractices. He ultimately comes up with a scheme to hide his cash in a European bank, but with the FBI watching him like a hawk, they catch him and this results in his downfall.
The movie warns against “get quick rich formulas” and highlights the importance of hard work to achieve success. Too good to include in the list of movies that inspire.
The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by using a computer-generated analysis to recruit new players.
The Oakland A’s end their 2001 season with a loss and during the offseason, they lose three of their star players. Without more money, Billy knows they will never win the World Series as richer teams will always be able to steal their best players.
Billy meets Peter Brand and hires him to procure players using computer-based analysis. As the duo gain players that seem too old, injured, or inept to play major-league baseball, they face stiff resistance from team manager, Art Howe, who outright refuses Billy for more-nontraditional ways of acquisitions.
Billy Beane’s success story shows that you can achieve success through risk-taking, innovative, and data-centric approaches even if the odds are against you.
11- Margin Call
Margin Call is about the 2007-08 financial crisis and revolves around key people in a large investment bank and the actions they take over 24 hours.
A respected financial company is downsizing and one of the victims is the risk management division head, who is working on a major analysis. He completes the study late at night and then calls his colleagues about the company’s financial disaster he has discovered.
What follows, is a long night of panicked and reckless incidents as the senior management prepares to do whatever it takes to nullify the financial fiasco.
The movie shows the consequences of greed, dishonesty, and corruption for any organization and warns against them. Good to include in the list of movies that inspire.
12- The Founder
Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch
The film is a story of how an ambitious salesman, Ray Kroc, turned McDonald’s, a small town hamburger restaurant into one of the biggest fast-food restaurant chains in the world.
In 1954, Ray Kroc is an unsuccessful salesman, selling milkshake mixers. While he does OK to support his family and saves enough to live a simple and comfortable life, he craves more. Ray observes that many of the drive-in restaurants he tries to sell run inefficiently with a long waiting time for orders.
When Ray goes to California, he finds McDonald’s is a highly popular walk-up restaurant with fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Despite believing Ray a bit crazy, the McDonald brothers sign a contract to make him lead their franchisee division.
Then begins the real journey to make McDonald’s one of the largest fast-food restaurant chains in the world.
The movie shows that even a simple idea of a product or service if marketed effectively can bring loads of success to any business.
13- Steve Jobs
The movie portrays the career and the personal life of Apple founder Steve Jobs, told through three important product launches from 1984, 88, and 98.
The film is fast-paced and also provides insights into Job’s life. Flashbacks give us a further background to his relationships and how they impact him and his dear ones.
We get to see how Jobs rises to the top, the professionalism behind the product launches, and what makes him a successful man.
We all know Steve as an iconic figure and watching his story can be full of inspiration and motivation. This must be in your list of movies that inspire.
14- The Pursuit Of Happyness
The movie is about a struggling salesman who takes custody of his son and is confident to begin a life-changing professional career.
In San Francisco, a smart salesman and family man, Chris Gardner, invests the family savings in Ostelo National bone-density scanners, however, they do not sell well. As Gardner struggles, his wife leaves him and he loses his apartment.
Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner continues to sell bone density scanners while concurrently taking on an unpaid internship as a stockbroker. Before he can receive pay, he needs to outshine the competition through 6 months of training.
15- Thank You For Smoking
This is the story of Nick Naylor, the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations.
Nick’s son Joey needs to understand and respect his dad’s philosophy, and Nick works hard to respond without compromising his values.
16- Any Given Sunday
This is the story of an aging football coach who struggles with his personal and professional life while trying to hold his team together.
A star quarterback player got out of the game and a new player replaces him only to become a danger to himself and fellow players. He gives a stunning performance and forces the aging coach to reevaluate his game plans.
This is one of the best movies that inspire and shows how to overcome all the challenges just by focusing on inner strength, self-belief, and willpower.
17- The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley
The Inventor is the story of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar tech company, its founder Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest self-made female billionaire, and the massive fraud that collapsed the company.
This movie conveys the message to never indulge in malpractices and get carried away to achieve success. This must be in your list of movies that inspire.
18- The Great Hack
The movie is about one of the most shocking scandals in 2018, the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm got accused of tracking the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent and used it for political purposes.
The movie is a must-watch if you want to know the consequences of your data being hacked.
19- Becoming Warren Buffett
The movie is the life story of Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Buffett made his fortune through canny, rational investment, and is probably the greatest and most successful person in the history of investing.
If you are an entrepreneur and looking for a role model for motivation, this is one of the best movies that inspire. Too good to include in the list of movies that inspire.
20- Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but very kindhearted. He faces many adversities throughout his life but lets none of them interfere with his happiness.
As a child, his only friend is Jenny and his mother continues to teach him the ways of life. Later, Forrest joins the army for the service in Vietnam, Here he finds new friends, wins many military medals, wins a college football championship, becomes an international ping pong player, runs across the United States (twice), builds a shrimp company, and inspires people nationwide.
However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood friend Jenny. Even though Gump is the main character of the film, it also tells the story of Jenny and the hardships she faces.
The movie inspires you to overcome the odds, maintain an optimistic outlook, treat others with respect, and prioritize what matters in your life. The movie tells us that one need not be born a super genius to succeed in life.
21- The Corporation
Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora
This is a documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.
In the late 18th century, America decided that the business corporation’s organizational model is legally a person. Since then, it has become a dominant economic, political, and social force around the globe.
The movie portrays the psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies.
This movie aims at explaining and exploring the concepts of a corporation and the malpractices involved in it. It must-watch movies that inspire all the businessmen. Great to have in your list of movies that inspire.
22- Jerry Maguire
The movie is about Jerry Maguire who is a sports agent: willing to do just about anything he could to get the biggest contracts for his clients and a nice commission for himself.
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.
When he voices these doubts, he ends up losing his job and getting stripped of his high earning clients and elite status. He is all alone, but one of his clients named Rod Tidwell supports him and he works very hard to get everything back on track.
The movie is an inspirational story that shows how loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness can lead to great success.
23- Tucker: The Man and His Dream
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau
This is the story of Preston Tucker, the rebel car designer, and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept.
Preston Tucker is a magnificent designer with a dream to produce the best cars ever made. With the help of Abe Karatz and his remarkable salesmanship, he gets funding and builds his factory. The cars he designed were attractive, economical, and safe, and had many features not found on the cars of that time.
The movie also has a few parallels with director Coppola’s own efforts to build a new movie studio of his own. Great to have in your list of movies that inspire.
24- Something Ventured
The movie is about the lives of the individuals behind the success of companies like Apple., Intel, Genentech, Atari, Google, and Cisco.
These investors had great timing, foresight, and a lot of luck to see opportunities when others did not. They back and build companies before the term ‘venture capital’ even came into existence.
Very motivational indeed!
25- 12 Angry Man
The movie is around 12 jury members who have to decide a young Puerto Rican boy’s trial for the alleged murder of his father.
The movie gives us a message that even with all the obstacles we must always stick to what we believe is true. Great to have in your list of movies that inspire.
26- How To Get Ahead In Advertising
The movie is about Dennis Dimbleby Bagley who is a brilliant young advertising executive but can’t come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream.
The movie is very hilarious with horror elements and is very inspiring for the people in the advertising industry.
27- The Startup Kids
Stars: Trip Adler, Alexa Andrzejewski, Mike Butcher
The Startup Kids is a nice documentary about young web enthusiasts in the U.S. and Europe. It contains interviews with founders of Vimeo, Dropbox, SoundCloud, and more who talk about how they started their company and their lives as an entrepreneur.
The movie is about Adam Jones, a young chef who was once a rising star in the restaurant world. He lost everything because of drug addiction. Determined to come back, he recovers from addiction.
Joy is the true story of a single mom who overcame every obstacle to become a wildly successful businesswoman. She dealt with cunning business partners, tragic life events, constant rejection, and many other personal challenges to fight her way to success.
This movie shows how a simple concept or product can lead to a successful business. It showcases all the skills you need in business and how to use them to your advantage.
30- Two For The Money
The story is of Brandon Lang, the former promising football player. After breaking his knee, he got forced out of the game and takes up the work in a phone service, foreseeing the results of the games.
The movie shows that unethical practices always result in a miserable downfall, sooner or later.
31- The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
The movie is about a car dealership. To save his rapidly failing used car dealership, Ben Selleck hires a team of cars hit-man. He aims to ramp up sales during the weekend by all means. The expert team was lead by the fast-talking, foul-mouthed, self-assured Don Ready.
They have three days to sell over 200 cars but as Don undertakes his newest mission, and quickly falls for the boss’s daughter Ivy.
The movie shows that success comes in many covers, and if you need to succeed, you must smartly use all the skills you possess.
32- Erin Brockovich
Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
The movie shows how an unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.
The movie teaches us to fight against any odds even if the entire world is against us.
33- The Devil Wears Prada
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier
The movie is about a smart but sensible new graduate Andrea Sachs, who lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine.
The first assistant Emily advises Andrea about the behavior and preferences of their cruel boss, and the stylist Nigel helps Andrea to dress more adequately for the environment.
Andrea changes her attitude and behavior, affecting her private life and her relationship with her boyfriend, her family, and friends. Finally, she realizes that she is losing her own identity.
The movie motivates us to always be what we are and never pretend.
34- The Company Men
Stars: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones
The story centers on the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing and how that affects them, their families, and their communities.
Bobby Walker has a lucrative job at GTX and dreams of a big house in the suburbs, a silver Porsche in his garage, and a beautiful family. But when Bobby got hit by company layoff in the wake of an ongoing recession, Bobby must join the lines of the unemployed. He also needs to deal with the effects it has on his family.
The layoffs also hit his colleagues, Phil and Gene, and all three struggle with their promising careers coming to a sudden end forcing them to redefine their values.
The movie teaches us how to survive if things don’t work the way you expect.
35- The Intern
This a story of a retired 70-year-old, Ben, who gets bored with retired life and applies to be a senior intern at an online fashion retailer. The founder of the company is Jules Ostin is a tireless, demanding, and dynamic workaholic.
36- Unfinished Business
This is a story of a hard-working small business owner Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) and his two associates. After an argument with his boss, Dan Trunkman quits his job and starts his own business.
The movie shows that even with all the distracting things around if you focus on your goals nothing can deter you.
37- Horrible Bosses
This is the hilarious story of three friends, Nick, Dale, and Kurt who conspire to murder their awful bosses. They were unhappy with their bosses but could not quit jobs in poor economic times.
The movie is the story of a twenty-eight-year-old man, Eddie Morra who gains the ability to use the full extent of his brain’s capabilities.
39- Lord Of War
The movie is a story of an arms dealer Yuri Orlov who confronts the morality of his work and is chased by Interpol.
This film inspires me to smartly use different growth hacks like building customer loyalty and negotiation techniques to achieve success in any business.
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is the story of a small-time thief, Louis Bloom, who is struggling to get work and moves into the world of L.A. crime journalism.
However, the more successful he gets the more clear it becomes. Louis will do anything to get visuals from the crime scenes.
41- Dolphin Tale
This has a story of a friendship between a boy and a dolphin that loses its tail.
The movie inspires how your determination and persistence can help achieve all your dreams.
42- The Shawshank Redemption
Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
The movie is about two imprisoned men’s bonds over several years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Over time Andy lives out life with relative ease leaving a message that while the body may be locked in a cell, the spirit can never be in imprisonment.
43- 127 Hours
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
This is a story of a mountain climber Aron Ralston who becomes trapped under a rock while climbing alone near Moab, Utah, and resorts to desperate measures to survive.
The film is an excellent illustration of how self-rumination can help us find ways to excel.
44- Office Space
Stars: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman
The movie is about three company employees who hate their jobs and rebel against their selfish boss.
However, a malfunction in the virus code causes a large sum of money to immediately transfer to their account. The trio must solve this problem without going to jail.
Entrepreneurship is a hard nut to crack and there could be moments when you may feel demotivated. If you ever need inspiration or would just like to take a break from your hectic work schedule, watch these movies and you’ll not get disappointed.
That’s it from me. Now, it’s your turn to try these movies and share your feedback comments.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out, I am glad to answer your queries!
Best of luck!