As the New Year begins, many people set resolutions. Many people adopt financial resolutions. One great way to learn is by watching good films. We wanted to highlight some of the best movies and documentaries behind one of the most interesting financial times in world history, The Great Recession. See our top list below with brief commentary and how to watch!

  • The Big Short
  • Margin Call
  • Inside Job
  • Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis
  • Too Big To Fail
  • 99 Homes

Summary: Based on the book by Michael Lewis, The Big Short is a drama based on some of the earliest people to notice that the subprime mortgage market was in danger of defaulting. It then goes on to show how popular sentiment thought that these traders were crazy for thinking that the housing market was going to fail on a national scale. The movie does an excellent job educating the audience on what happened during the housing crisis through storytelling and humor. The movie has a star-studded cast with cameos from numerous well-known celebrities. This is a must-watch if you want to know more about the mortgage crisis, and how some of Wall Street was able to make money on the fall of the national housing market.

Summary: This film offers a unique perspective as you follow an investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. This thrilling drama shows exactly how quickly some of the events unfolded during the great recession. Pulling on the heartstrings of greed, moral compass, and empathy, this film will cause you to question what you would do if you were in the same situation as this investment bank.

Summary: Narrated by Matt Damon, Inside Job is a documentary that provides insights and detail into the great recession that cost the world over $20 trillion dollars. This documentary has interviews with key financial collaborators who were involved in the creation of this recession. See how the great recession not only affected the United States but the world.

Summary: A short documentary and commentary post the great recession. This film is littered with individuals who predicted the housing bubble and forecasted a warning of the next financial crisis that could be near. This is a great watch if you watch Inside Job as it gives a different cause and effect relationship to the crisis and the best long-term solution.

Summary: This biographical drama centered around Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson showcases the relationship between the private sector and the government. Written by Aaron Sorkin, a brilliant film that bio’s a list of very notable politicians and CEOs. Follow Richard Fuld at Lehman Brothers, Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve, Tim Geithner of the New York Fed, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, and other US and British regulators as they struggle to keep the world economy afloat.

Summary: This drama starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon brings the financial crisis to your front door. Follow an unemployed single father who will do everything he can to keep his family home from foreclosure, by working for the same real estate mogul who evicted him. See some insights into what was happening with individuals being foreclosed upon and how predatory lending took place during the fall of the housing market.