We’re based in Cambridge, MA. As the weather gets colder and the temperature begins to drop, it seems our desire to stay in and watch a movie goes up.
Throughout the year I keep track of certain movies, TV shows and documentaries that I hear about and seem interesting. Then, when the temp drops below 20 degrees F, I have an interesting bank of things I already know I want to watch. My list includes everything from box office trillers to British comedy shows, and Netflix original series to documentaries from the financial industry.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of a good documentary – they’re generally entertaining and informative. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with the opinions presented in a documentary film, I walk away with somewhat of an understanding of current debates, scandals, and events people out there care about. On this note, when considering the list of 4 films below, please remember that documentaries present opinions (financial, political, personal, etc.) that you may not particularly agree with*, but there can still be significant value in watching.
Below, I’ve outlined 4 documentaries about the financial industry I think you’ll find particularly interesting. Consider watching one (or all) this season. To give you an overview, I’ve collected each film’s summary from IMDb.com, critics’ reviews from Metacritic.com, and a link to the film’s trailer. Grab some popcorn and stay warm with these:
IMDb Rating: 80%
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Rating: 100 – “It’s coolheaded and incisive, a thorough and informative study of corporations, their origins and their place in the modern world.”
Dan Jolin, Empire
Rating: 80 – “What it covers is so fundamentally relevant, and its polemic so persuasively structured, it’s worth braving the runtime even if it could easily have been more concise.”
Watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/xa3wyaEe9vE
ii. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California’s deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron’s rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are.
IMDb Rating: 76%
James Greenberg, The Hollywood Reporter
Rating: 90 – “Not only a great cautionary tale, it’s a civics lesson that should be seen by every concerned citizen.”
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Rating: 80 – “Gives us the same sort of perverse pleasure that’s been a staple of “60 Minutes” over the years — watching world-class crooks tell world-class lies.”
Watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/1dNZaKLjYbc
IMDb Rating: 73%
Mike Scott, New Orleans Times
Rating: 100 – “After watching the bailouts, the bank foreclosures and the Bernie Madoffs of the world dominate headlines, Michael Moore is mad as hell, and he’s going to try to make you mad as hell, too.”
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
Rating: 75 – “This lively, infuriating and occasionally moving film certainly leaves you thinking, and there isn’t a dead spot in it. That’s the mark of a real filmmaker, not just a muckraker.”
Watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/JeROnVUADj0
IMDb Rating: 81%
Richard Corliss, Time
Rating: 100 – “This is a true-life heist movie, and the thieves not only got away with their billions, they’re still doing business. Pay attention and blow a gasket.”
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
Rating: 88 – “If you think you’ve absorbed all you could about subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and the arcana of elaborate derivatives, think again. Inside Job traces the history of the crisis and its implications with exceptional lucidity, rigor and righteous indignation.”
Watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/FzrBurlJUNk
Have a recommendation?
Share your suggestion in the comments!
Or have you seen one of the films above? Share your rating with other Blueleaf Blog readers! Post it below, then click here to share your review on LinkedIn.