Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.
Steeped in chaos, manipulation, and a bittersweet love affair, The Wolf of Wall Street is a one-of-a-kind movie that sets the benchmark for black comedy movies. Disarmingly poignant yet hilarious, this biographical story about a stockbroker is a rollercoaster ride—one crafted with passion and love.
But I shall be brief. Tempting as it may be, I don't want to spend too much time praising this film. You're here to find some movies like The Wolf of Wall Street. Let's get right into it.
Films Similar to The Wolf of Wall Street
- The Big Short
- War Dogs
- The Social Network
- Margin Call
- There Will Be Blood
- American Psycho
- Molly's Game
1. The Big Short
Directed by Adam McKay, The Big Short is a bit of a catch-all that has comedy and drama. It's an eccentric film that looks into how the 2008 financial crisis occurred. Starring Christian Bale in the lead role, the story follows a few shrewd investors who predict the impending collapse of the US economy. They bet against the mortgage market and make millions in the process. However, the gravity of the situation becomes clear as disaster inches ever so closer.
The topic of economics might sound like a snoozer, but don't let my synopsis dissuade you. Even if the stock market is not your cup of tea, the storyline is explained well enough for you to enjoy the whole affair.
Bale’s Michael Bury, a security market genius, steals the whole show. He's never been one to pull any punches, and his sheer dedication and talent seep through whenever he gets any camera time. The rest of the cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, and Ryan Gosling, have done ample justice to their parts as well. Bale's performance, however, is head and shoulders above the rest.
2. War Dogs
Based upon a true story that appeared in a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, this sly feature stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as two young guys engaged in the business of selling arms.
However, the film has been dramatized with a fair amount of fiction. The story covers two guys in their 20s who land a big deal where the US government assigns them a contract to supply arms to their allies in Afghanistan. The dealers go about their business in a professional manner in the beginning, but they soon find themselves in more trouble than they had bargained for.
It's a bit hard to take this movie seriously when Jonah Hill is in the lead role. This film’s dark and comical plot provides the perfect canvas for his patented humor to seep through. Even in its darkest moments, War Dogs is tremendously funny, especially with its tongue-in-cheek script.
After the success of The Hangover trilogy, director Todd Phillips came back with a film that was clearly inspired by the likes of American Psycho and The Wolf of Wall Street. If you want to see a film that critiques modern America, give this movie a shot.
Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as a baseball team manager working on a shoestring budget. Constrained by the lack of money, he goes against the grain and utilizes non-traditional methods to build his team. What nobody knows is that he's about to turn his limitations into an asset, building a team of talented individuals with a chance at winning the World Series.
Moneyball is absolutely worth your time. Even if you don't know a thing about baseball, you'll love this sharp and funny feature. I might get some flak for saying this, but Pitt's performance here was better than what we saw in Fight Club.
If you're looking for some movies like The Wolf of Wall Street, Moneyball should serve you well.
4. The Social Network
David Fincher directed this biographical film, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the programming genius who we all know as the eccentric founder of Facebook. Mark's non-existent social life and his desire to be cool pushes him to build a social network along with his friend, Eduardo Saverin. Things go south when two brothers claim that this social networking idea was originally created by them. The sudden fame that the site brings leads to trouble and legal complications for Mark as people turn against him.
2010 was a stacked year for cinema and David Fincher’s The Social Network clearly stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. The movie, just like the trailer below, is a piece of art. Fincher has a knack for eliciting dread, suspense, and paranoia in every movie he helms. From the jaw-dropping Gone Girl to the sinister Zodiac, he has repeatedly proven his mettle. The Social Network fits alongside his long list of critically acclaimed movies.
5. Margin Call
This movie follows the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis in the US, chronicling the lives of a company's management division. It's an ensemble cast with heavyweights like Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, and Demi Moore. When the department head is fired without any specific reason, he hands over a USB stick with his ongoing research to his amateur protégé.
This is what I call a thinking man's movie. There are no action scenes, jump scares, or screeching music. This taut Wall Street feature still manages to evoke a wide range of emotions as it keeps you squirming in your chair. Inside the USB drive lies a secret so sinister that it will impact everyone around the world.
If you're a finance buff, you'll love what Margin Call brings to the table.
Nightcrawler is a cruel, sadistic story revolving around a ruthless man seeking any kind of job to make ends meet. Lumbering around the sparkling city of LA, he comes across something that might just be the perfect fit for him. It's a thankless and relentless job that will change the course of his life. His job is to capture every road accident, shooting, or any other crime in painstaking detail. Things turn ominous when he starts fabricating these accidents.
The ghoulish story has a mocking undertone. It's a commentary on our contemporary media that delivers fear and uncertainty to the masses.
The first half plays like a personal story before it trades its slow-burn narrative for a heavy-handed rollercoaster ride. The film marks Dan Gilroy's debut as a feature film director. Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of his best performances as a disturbing sociopath.
Despite its share of flaws, the story is rich enough to keep you hooked as you witness the depravity unfold on the screen.
7. There Will Be Blood
In what is arguably the best work from Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis stars in the lead role as a ruthless oil tycoon who is willing to do anything to get what he wants. He even goes as far as to manipulating his adopted son.
Though not billed as a horror movie, the story is set up in a way that will make you uncomfortable in some moments. Daniel Plainview's journey from being an earnest man to becoming an unflinchingly selfish mogul is lubricated with greed and manipulation.
A movie this tragic doesn't usually end on an uplifting note; that would make it lose its potency. The catastrophic ending thankfully stays true to the bleak tone of the movie. It's hard to watch, but the experience is rewarding to those that can endure it.
This British film is about a drug addict who tries to crawl out of his life of melancholy and irrelevance. However, his reckless friends try to drag him down the same old ways of addiction. With a clear choice to make, which path will he take?
This snarky feature has gotten flak in the past, primarily due to its romanticized view of drug use. However, it's a pragmatic picture that successfully depicts the lives of drug addicts. For better or worse, this movie doesn't lead to any concrete conclusion. In my opinion, it's for the best.
9. American Psycho
In this film by Mary Harron, Christian Bale plays Patrick Bateman, a sociopath with a pretty face. Beneath his perfect looks lies a monster waiting to be unleashed. In an attempt to hide his alternate personality from his peers, Patrick works for Wall Street during the day and turns into a serial killer at night.
I can't imagine anyone else doing this role other than Bale. He embodies the character to perfection. Bale’s Bateman (not Batman) is filled with confusion, hatred, self-loathing, and lust. Sometimes he shows all these emotions at once.
Fans of the original book might loathe the almost comical nature of this movie, but it somehow fits perfectly into this chaotic landscape. Yes, it deviates from the original source, but it's all the better for it. Check out this film for some crazy laughs and memorable performances.
Ace (Robert De Niro) has everything one could ask for in life. He has a loving wife, a budding casino, and a luxurious life people would kill for. But his life is no longer the same when his mobster friend tries his luck in the same business. They engage in fierce competition which changes the course of their lives as things spiral out of control.
Casino is much more than a personal story; it's a clever critique at contemporary American society that is too focused on winning and losing life's bets. Martin Scorsese is unarguably one of the greatest directors of all time, and this taut film cemented his place among my favorite directors. His ability to balance comedy and violence pays off big time as you gulp this strong cocktail. It's harsh at first, but you'll be glad you gave it a chance.
11. Molly's Game
Molly's Game, which is based on a true story, chronicles the life of Molly Bloom, a former competitive skier that had to retire due to an injury. The hope of starting a new life leads her to Los Angeles where she becomes the head of a high-stakes poker game. As the FBI inches closer to catching her, she resorts to desperate measures to save her skin.
This film's perfect script is complemented by an amazing performance from Jessica Chastain, who channels all her charm and energy into her dubious character. This driven and relentless protagonist is the movie's strongest asset.
Aaron Sorkin’s inexperience as a director seeps through at times, especially in the beginning. However, this is an enchanting story that features some excellent performances that keep the film on track.
This story focuses on three mobster friends played by Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro. The film follows them as they crawl their way up the hierarchy of the mob. From petty crimes to heists and murders, their greed and bloodlust eventually lands them in more trouble than they had bargained for. When one of them flips, their friendship deteriorates as all of them desperately try to outmaneuver each other.
Scorsese's Goodfellas tells the life story of Henry Hill, a mobster with the Lucchese crime family. With a runtime of 148 minutes, Goodfellas never outstays its welcome. It has an engaging narrative that demands your attention.
This masterpiece features superb performances from the lead actors. The film portrays mafioso life as something extravagant while somehow staying firmly rooted in reality.
The first half starts off slowly as it takes time to build up the plot and characters. When it fires on all cylinders in the second half, it's a whole new ballgame. There are so many great moments that it's hard to mention them all.
If you are looking for some gripping movies like The Wolf of The Wall Street, Goodfellas should be right up your alley.
Bonus Suggestion: Billions
This TV series follows the story of a US attorney and a hedge fund king as they engage in a fierce battle to outsmart each other. With the stakes so high, they will go to inexplicable lengths to preserve what's theirs and to possibly bring down their foes.
There are strong performances from this star-studded cast. It's a delight to binge watch this whole series, even when the acting is not supported by a strong script at times.
Most shows lose their initial intensity as they drift aimlessly in later seasons. Thankfully, Billions bucks that trend. Every season topples the previous one with panache.
That's it for now. I did my best to curate a list of movies similar to The Wolf of Wall Street. If you have any suggestions regarding this list, feel free to drop a comment below. I'll be sure to respond.