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The Best Corporate Movies of All Time

Updated on May 5, 2014

The world of cubicles has offered us much in the forms of entertainment, from Dilbert in our comic strips to Michael Scott to countless blogs bemoaning the corporate lifestyle. Films that truly capture how the stresses of the modern office shape our culture emerge every once in a while to deliver film making at its best. Get out the popcorn, turn on the Netflix, and get ready to bring your work home with you, because these are the best corporate movies of all time.

5.) The Corporation, Documentary, 2003: I bet you thought every film on this list would be ones where characters opined about business intelligence applications or something. Not only is it required viewing in the genre of corporate film, but it should be required viewing for anyone studying business – for better or for worse. This examination of how slowly but surely over the past 150 years the corporation has become equivalent to a living, breathing human being under US law will not only make you question the validity of the claims the corporation makes, but will make you wonder if the corporation is supposed to have the rights of a human being, then how come is it treated as superior to human beings? If nothing else, it will certainly make you realize how ridiculous people responded when they attacked Mitt Romney for saying recently that “Corporations are people too, my friend”. Because, as this all-too-creepy documentary shows you, they really are.

4.) Wall Street, Drama, 1987: Nominated for Best Picture, and picking up an Oscar for Michael Douglas, this Oliver Stone pic about insider-trading in the fast-paced world of the Yuppie-infested 1980s has it all – suspense, technology (albeit it seems archaic now, business intelligence platform technology makes one of its earliest on-screen appearances here) betrayal, romance and a tragic fall the Greeks would be proud of, all while reflecting the stresses of the workers trying to make it big who never will. Its major flaw, of course is that you just don’t see Wall Street types coming clean, telling the truth, or putting the needs of actual people in front of desire for profit. Sharp and well-made, it’s worth the watch.

3.) Inside Job, Documentary, 2010: This Oscar-winning documentary explains in layman’s terms the financial crisis, what led to it, who created it, and how the people who created it are still filthy rich and treated like kings. It will make you feel angry, empowered and powerless all at the same time.

2.) Primer, Drama, 2004: While not emblematic of the corporate lifestyle, the undertones of the sand trap of middle-management are on display in this wildly imaginative film. The thinking man’s science-fiction film that pushes you to think it is potentially science fact, it was shot on the cheap yet pulls no cinematic punches. Austere yet severe, it is definitely worth the watch.

1.) Office Space, Comedy, 1999: Come on – it’s the ultimate corporate movie, and one of the best of all time, period. “PC Load Letter – what the f### does that mean!?” and countless other quotes, the two “Bobs”, and not to mention the countless TV shows and films it inspired in its wake, Office Space is one of the funniest movies of all time. Never have the adventures of reporting software nerds been so interesting – or so funny.

Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street
Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street

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Bill Lumberg from the movie Office Space
Bill Lumberg from the movie Office Space

Honorable Mention - Boiler Room

Honorable Mention - Glengarry Glen Ross

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    • KickStart1 profile image

      Andrew Armstrong 6 years ago from San Francisco, California

      Glenn - Good suggested additions. After watching "Margin Call" recently, I might have to add that one to the list as well.

    • profile image

      glenn murray 6 years ago

      Lousy list, sorry. Since you are counting documentaries, you need to put Enron-The Smartest Guys in the Romm up there.

      Ditch Inside job; it was written for someone who doesn't understand anything.

      Michael Clayton is great, starring George Clooney

      Syriana with Matt Damon is very good.

      Boiler Room- how the hell is that not on there

      of course, probably the best Corporate movie ever is Citizen Kane from 1941. Forbes Magazine agrees.

      Barbarians at the Gate

      Rogue Trader

      All are good. If you count crime business, include godfather 1 and 2 only, layer cake, and Scarface.

    • bwhite062007 profile image

      Brianna W 6 years ago from East Coast

      Great hub! I have seen most of these movies. My former boss loved Office Space and was always telling me that he needed those TPS Reports -_- lol.

    • stacirenae89 profile image

      stacirenae89 6 years ago

      Very informative! I haven't seen any of these besides office space! I will have to go watch them! Awesome Hub!