Our List of Top 15 Bad Ass Movies

08/08/2015
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Out with a group of like-minded friends last night celebrating birthdays and all things great in the world, in the early hours of the morning, the conversation turned to the very serious topic of our favourite bad-ass movies for business and the entrepreneurial mindset. After careful consideration and much debate, in no specific order, here our are our list of top 15 bad ass movies every entrepreneur needs to watch:

Movie 1. The Social Network

No surprise here. The Social Network was a blockbuster when it was released in 2010. After all, everyone wanted to see how Mark Zuckerberg became transformed from a Harvard student to launching the most popular social-media network in the world. Why watch it? Never mind if this was overdramatized. The movie gives viewers a better understanding of how to make a startup succeed by exhibiting such qualities as being flexible and resilient.

Movie 2. Glengarry Glen Ross

Yup, the term “Always Be Closing” originated here.

“A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing”

shares the sales person’s mantra for succeeding and closing deals. Entrepreneurs are sales people. They have to sell their vision, product, company and purpose in everything they do. And usually closing the sale is the most difficult part.

Movie 3. Rocky

This is a movie that everyone has to watch at least once. The true underdog story of THE Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who is given the chance to fight the Heavyweight Champ. He has a chance to make a better life for himself by going head to head with the competition and winning.

Movie 4. The Godfather

One of the most watched movies of all time. The Godfather is a story about the growth of a small family business and fighting off opposition at any expense, how it changes through time until the business becomes the largest organised crime family in New York City. Forget the line of being illegal, there is still a lot to learn from the movie. The father and his son are the brains behind the operations and they show what it takes to get to the top and stay there.

Movie 5. Moneyball

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. Because the team didn’t have the finances to spend on players, Beane had to discover a unique way to compete. Why watch it? Beane had to be innovative and figure out how to make something better. Also, Beane never listened to the naysayers and never backed down from his vision.

Movie 6. Wall Street

Another no brainer, how could the legendary Gordon Gekko not be included on this list?  With his motto “greed is good”, the movie centers on the illegal and unethical decisions made by Bud Fox to become filthy rich like Gekko, a corporate raider.

Movie 7.  Boiler Room

“What do you mean, you’re gonna pass. Alan, the only people making money passing are NFL quarterbacks and I don’t see a number on your back.” – Seth Davis

Boiler Room takes an unconventional approach to the world of banking and finance. The main character embodies the entrepreneurial mindset, running an illegal and very lucrative gambling den in his house. Somehow, he ends up working at a Long Island telemarketing brokerage firm where every employee is a millionaire within one year of starting there. This movie will sensitize you to the very real struggle between right and wrong, money and greed and morality and legality in business.

Movie 8. Pirates of Silicon Valley

This was a made-for-TV movie released in 1999 that covers the early days of the country’s leading technology hub and the rise of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The documentary-style movie provides an interesting take on the lives of the founders of Microsoft and Apple. Why watch it? Entrepreneurs are still looking for inspiration from these two iconic “pirates.” It definitely provides pointers to learn from.

Movie 9. Jerry Maguire

You’ve all heard it “Show me the money” the well-known phrase uttered by the protagonist, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise). This is a movie based on a true story that shows just what it takes to stay at the top. Jerry Maguire is faced with rejection and his people turning their backs on him while making the leap of faith and quitting his full time job. Slowly, he is identifies the best road for him to follow, and ultimately ends up being successful in both business and life.

Movie 10. The Pursuit of Happyness

This movie gives you goosebumps and tears (and probably the reason why it didn’t rate so highly with the males on the panel!). Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, this is one of the most heartwarming and motivational films for entrepreneurs. If you’re not moved by watching this struggle to follow a dream, then I am truly puzzled…

Movie 11. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

“I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” – Jordan Belfort

This controversial movie might not have won Leonardo Di Caprio playing Jordan Belfort an Academy Award (robbed we say!), but it sure can teach you valuable lessons about success, fame, fortune, greed and respect for law. As Belfort says, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” However, with achieved goals, money, power, fame, women and drugs comes many temptations that can jeopardize your success.

Movie 12. Office Space

This 1999 comedy from Mike Judge focuses on Peter Gibbons, who eventually discovers how much he hates sitting inside a cubicle taking orders from his creepy boss Bill Lumbergh. This movie is a great reminder of why you are an entrepreneur in the first place. We’re not condoning that you embezzle though… it could result in jail time.

Movie 13. Blow

Another great movie based on a true story, it’s a movie based on George Jung and his career as a cocaine dealer. What started off as a small time operation working with pot, he is eventually imprisoned and introduced to cocaine and that’s where things start to explode. He’s rumored to have handled about 85% of all of the supply of cocaine in the 1970’s, making him an incredibly powerful and successful man, and this film is all about exactly how he did it.

Movie 14. The Aviator

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Howard Hughes, who was one of the wealthiest innovators in history. It wasn’t the money he made or the time he spent that made him so great, it was the attention to detail and perfection that he strived for that set him apart from his competition. Like a true entrepreneur, Hughes had his hands in everything from Hollywood movies to the commercial airline business. Equally as important, he was a big-time womanizer. Throw in a little paranoia and extreme OCD, and you’ve got the perfect formula for a blockbuster movie.

Movie 15. Oceans Eleven

Okay, drool worthy cast line up aside – Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia…ladies!!! – in any of the Ocean’s movies, you can learn the opportunistic mentality necessary to make money and the importance of having a diverse founding team to your startup.

Honourable mentions:

American Gangstar. Not your average entrepreneur movie, but Frankie Lucas was definitely an innovator. He applied business and startup values to drug dealing and became one of the most feared and loved men in New York at the time. Ironman. Billionaire playboy, innovator of game-changing technology, jetsetter, and a great executive, every entrepreneur loves Tony Stark.

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