Top 21 Must-Watch Motivational Movies for Entrepreneurs

Shubham Kumar Shubham Kumar
May 9, 2022 12 min read
Top 21 Must-Watch Motivational Movies for Entrepreneurs

If you’re an entrepreneur or someone who wants to build a career of his own, there comes a time in life when everything goes downhill, leaving you helpless and underconfident. Motivation is a factor everyone needs on a timely basis to keep going. Even the most successful entrepreneurs need motivation and inspiration from time to time. Watching inspirational movies is one of the proven ways to get motivated. Many entrepreneurs have admitted to watching startup movies like 'The Founder' to get a much-needed motivational boost.

A film can be more than a few hours of entertainment. It can stimulate your mind and help with imagination, motivation, and vision, and acts as a catalyst in the pursuit of your goals.

There are some inspiring startup movies which help entrepreneurs and businessmen feel motivated in their lows. Inspirational movies go beyond delivering entertainment; they are more than a visceral medium and can instil a sense of confidence and motivation that's lost somewhere. Examples abound — Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Chak De India, and Iqbal are counted among the desi movies which have left the audience energized. Hollywood chartbusters famous for leaving the audience in high spirits include Forrest Gump and Moneyball.

If you are among those people who are looking for movies similar to The Founder, we present you with a list of the best motivational movies for entrepreneurs. These movies will not only motivate you but also show you the life of an entrepreneur. They have the ability to activate the dormant innovator that lies within each one of us.

1. The Social Network (2010)
2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
3. The Founder (2016)
4. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
5. Wall Street (1987)
6. The Godfather (1972)
7. Steve Jobs (2015)
8. Forrest Gump (1994)
9. Moneyball (2011)
10. Rocky (1976)
11. The Aviator (2004)
12. Guru (2007)
13. Office Space (1999)
14. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
15. Something Ventured (2011)
16. e-Dreams
17. The Startup Kids (2012)
18. Any Given Sunday (1999)
19. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)
20. Margin Call (2011)
21. Jerry Maguire (1996)

1. The Social Network (2010)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

The accuracy to which the movie has described the rise of the biggest social networking site is often subjected to arguments, with some of the co-founders of Facebook has raised objections. The Social Network is directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. This movie is based on Ben Mezrich's 2009 book "The Accidental Billionaires". The Social network is considered to be one of the movies that are similar to The Founder.

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergraduate and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg began working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon transforms into a global social network and a revolution in communication. But no matter what the outcome of the debate may be, the dexterity evident in the movie’s making along with widely praised background scores will definitely inspire would-be entrepreneurs to make worthwhile sacrifices and achieve great rewards.

A popular dialogue from the movie is: "The toughest tests in life don't happen in the toughest time but after."

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

One of the best inspirational movies ever made is the 2006 release Pursuit of Happyness. This movie was directed by Gabriele Muccino. Watching Will Smith portray the role of Chris Gardner, a guy who is cheated, humiliated, and rejected only to become one of the best traders ever is awe-inspiring.

The relationship with his son and his never give up attitude will compel you to get up and chase your dreams. The Pursuit of Happyness reaffirms that there is no gain without pain and difficulties only lead to a better future. Being patient and committed is the key.

Nominated for a plethora of awards, the movie was so mesmerizing that the mayor of Chattanooga, a place in Tennessee, organized a screening of the film for the city’s homeless.

A famous quote from the movie is: “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. ”

3. The Founder (2016)

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

The Founder is directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. The movie has Michael Keaton play the role of Ray Kroc, a businessman. The movie follows the tale of Ray Kroc, who took two siblings' eatery business and turned it upside down through shrewd manoeuvres.

Moviegoers should see The Founder, not just for motivation, but to understand what it takes to survive and make a name for oneself in this world. The Founder is one of the most popular startup movies.

A popular dialogue in the movie is: " Nothing in the world can take place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

4. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Pirates of Silicon Valley is based on two huge tech startups that took over Silicon Valley by storm, Apple and Microsoft. It was directed by Martyn Burke and has Noah Wyle portray Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are inspirations for many.

This 1999 release describes the intense rivalry between the two at the turn of the 21st century. It depicts the struggles they faced in their journey to success. An important lesson from this film is that hard work and perseverance go a long way. Pirates of Silicon Valley received great reviews and that’s another reason to sit down and enjoy this flick.

A popular quote from the movie is: "You know how you survive? You make people need you. You survive because you make them need what you have. And then they have nowhere else to go."

5. Wall Street (1987)

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

This movie clearly depicts how people react to changes. Wall Street is about how a person changes his path to pursue something he thinks is right and shows the obstacles he has to face in his decision.

Wall Street is directed and co-written by Oliver Stone. Starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah, "Wall Street" is the story of a young man who is trying to find whether he will follow the good guys or the bad guys.

A famous quote from the movie is: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies and cuts through to the essence of the evolutionary spirit.


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6. The Godfather (1972)

IMDb rating: 9.2/10

This movie has a lot of illegal dealings in it so we would not advise you to get into that. But the message to decipher is that little intelligence and some common sense can take you to places hitherto considered impossible.

The Godfather is not a typical entrepreneurial movie but tells a lot about business. The Godfather is based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name. It is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, produced by Albert S. Ruddy, and was the highest-grossing film of 1972. The movie won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

An awesome quote from the movie is: “I have learned more in the streets than in any class room.”

7. Steve Jobs (2015)

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Michael Fassbender starring Steve Jobs is based on the life of the Apple co-founder – Steve Jobs. The movie is directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. It is a biopic with three sequences – all depicting pivotal points in Steve’s life.

He faces many problems in his personal and professional life while trying to launch three products in the market. It takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution and paints an intimate portrait of the brilliantly talented man as its epicentre.

It is a must-watch movie for entrepreneurs. It is inspirational in its very essence – it shows how great ideas are not born through compromise but through vision and determination.

A famous dialogue in the movie is: "I’m not dismissing the value of higher education; I’m simply saying it comes at the expense of experience."

8. Forrest Gump (1994)

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

“Run Forest, Run!”, the movie is symbolic of how Forrest Gump, despite his handicap and adversities, turned the tide in his favour. Forrest Gump is directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth. It is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. The movie starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field.

Forrest Gump is considered a classic and has developed a large following over the years since its release in 1994. A must watch movie for entrepreneurs in times when nothing seems to work out!

A popular quote from this theatrical marvel is: "You have to do the best with what God gave you."

9. Moneyball (2011)

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Billy Beane is the reason behind Oakland Athletics' meteoric rise to the top in baseball in this adaptation of Michael Lewis’s 2003 book, ‘Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game’. The movie is directed by Bennett Miller and written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin.

The key takeaway from this movie is the spirit to do something different. And it is the very approach of being innovative which provides valuable lessons to innovators wanting to deviate from the rat race and make it big.

Billy Bean had to adapt in order to survive. He had to take risks and make tough decisions to achieve good results. Circumstances and scenarios are what most startups face when they go against stiff competition from already established ventures. Moneyball showcases how success can be achieved through risk-taking and inventiveness.

A popular quote from Moneyball is: “Hard work may not always end up in success but it will never end up in regret.”

10. Rocky (1976)

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

The entire series has delivered chart-topping entertainment, starting from the first released in 1976 to the last one, Rocky Balboa, released in 2006. This movie is directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The first part of Rocky depicts the transition of Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) from being an underdog to becoming famous in the sport of boxing.

While the movie deserves applause for showing how Rocky overcame atrocities, the real-life struggles of Stallone in establishing his presence in Hollywood add further fuel to the fire, signifying that struggles in reel life are often taken from real life. It implies that movies can actually help people by providing much-needed motivation.

A well-known quote from the movie is: “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”

11. The Aviator (2004)

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Often counted in the list of most financially successful people in the world, Howard Hughes was a business magnate, film director, entrepreneur, and the holder of flying records at the same time.

Once involved in an infamous scandal, Howard’s life was full of ups and downs but the man never gave up on his dreams. ‘The Aviator’ is based on this entrepreneur and has a lot to teach, not just for entrepreneurs but for everyone out there, be it a child or an adult. The Aviator is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by John Logan. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes.

12. Guru (2007)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Indian movies are on par with Hollywood flicks when it comes to delivering lessons on motivation and inspiration. Guru is one such entrepreneurial movie which depicts the journey of an entrepreneur.

The Mani Ratnam directed 2007 film portrays a villager's journey to acme. He arrives in Bombay with his wife in the 1950s and goes on to become a business tycoon. The movie stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar, and Mithun Chakraborty. It was well-received by the audience and critics alike. Guru is one of the best inspiring and motivational movies for entrepreneurs.

A popular dialogue from Guru is: "Jab log tumhare khilaaf bolne lage.. samaj lo tarakki kar rahe hon."

13. Office Space (1999)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

If you’re among the many stuck in the monotonous, vicious cycle of a nine-to-five job, then this 1999 movie will prove to be a breath of fresh air. Office Space is written and directed by Mike Judge. The cast included Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Diedrich Bader.

The enthralling comedy, witty dialogues, and turn of events in the movie are a stress buster for sure. The entertainer precisely depicts the situation of employees being grinded by their bosses, and the audience will be able to relate to it.

14. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

The toughest thing about sales is gaining the customer's trust. Glengarry Glen Ross is directed by James Foley. It highlights the difficulties a group of real estate agents face during a turbulent season.

The reason to watch this movie is to inculcate the importance of being smart to survive in the workplace. After all, hard work alone isn’t sufficient to hold on to your job. The cinematic piece is used also used as a case study.

A famous dialogue from the movie is: "If everyone thinks one thing, then I say bet the other way."

15. Something Ventured (2011)

IMDb rating: 7/10

Venture Capitalist or VC is the blood that runs in the veins of many flourishing startups; it is an imperative component from a funding standpoint, and the movie Something Ventured is about this very topic.

Something Ventured is directed by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller. The 2011 documentary investigates the emergence of venture capitalism in the American setting during the mid-twentieth century.

The culmination of stories of prominent VCs behind brands like Cisco and Apple along with archival footage makes Something Ventured informative and entertaining.

16. e-Dreams

IMDb rating: 6.8/10

e-Dreams is about the founders of Kozmo. Kozmo.com is among those ventures who took advantage of the dot com bubble before falling flat. The movie is directed by Wonsuk Chin and revolves around the founder Joseph Park and Yong Kang and their journey behind Kozmo.com. Kozmo.com was an online convenience store which used bike messengers to deliver goods within an hour of the order being placed.

17. The Startup Kids (2012)

IMDb rating: 6.7/10

The Startup Kids is directed by Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir. The new crop of entrepreneurs we see today is defying the so-called age barrier. The ripple effect is that more and more billionaires are coming up and disrupting the list of richest people in the world (no matter what the magazine is).

Startup Kids is a collection of interviews with the brains behind initiatives such as SoundCloud and Dropbox. Today’s generation would closely relate to this documentary and learn several lessons given that everyone is tech-savvy at present.

18. Any Given Sunday (1999)

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

No, this isn’t some documentary but the conveyor of an important lesson for anyone planning to become an entrepreneur—the struggle is inevitable. A fictional sports drama with a star cast unparalleled, watch the movie without falling for the movie’s reviews.

After all, the message being overshadowed by some bland elements is a frequent occurrence in movies; it’s up to the audience to uncover the teachings. Any Given Sunday is directed by Oliver Stone and depicts a fictional professional American football team.

A popular dialogue from Any Given Sunday is: " You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it."

19. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)

IMDb rating: 5.8/10

A car dealer must sell over 200 cars in a weekend. Enthralling, right? The movie demonstrates the wonders that attitude and capability can do. And both of these attributes are essential for an innovator to be successful.

Watch this inspiring movie to bring a change within yourself! The movie is directed by Neal Brennan and produced by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Kevin Messick and Chris Henchy. It is written by Andy Stock and Rick Stempson.

20. Margin Call (2011)

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

The 2008 financial crisis was an eye-opener for the entire world, and Margin Call is set against the same. It is written and directed by J. C. Chandor. An investment bank’s decisions over a 24-period highlight how sound reasoning and logical ability can mitigate even the most adverse of situations.

21. Jerry Maguire (1996)

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Jerry Maguire is written, produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise. Rejection and backstabbers are not the challenges a person wants to face. Jerry Maguire takes the viewers through the intense hardship and adversities Tom Cruise faces as a pilot. It is based on a real-life story. A cult classic that is personally recommended!

Conclusion

By no means is this list finite. One can go on and on about startup movies that foment the need for change and to break free from the chains of monotony.

FAQs

What are some of the movies similar to The Founder?

Some of the movies similar to the founder are,

  • The Social Network
  • Pirates of the Silicon Valley
  • Wall Street
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Inventor
  • Rocky
  • The Aviator
  • Office Space
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Something Ventured
  • e-Dreams
  • The Startup Kids
  • Joy

What are some of the best startup movies?

Some of the best startup movies are.

  • The Founder
  • Pirates of the Silicon Valley
  • Wall Street
  • The Godfather
  • The Call of the Entrepreneur
  • Steve Jobs
  • Forrest Gump
  • Moneyball
  • The Inventor
  • Rocky
  • The Aviator
  • Office Space
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Something Ventured
  • e-Dreams
  • The Startup Kids
  • Joy

What should I watch to motivate myself?

Some of the movies you can watch to motivate yourself are,

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Rocky
  • 127 Hours
  • Into The Wild
  • Schindler's List
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Freedom Writers
  • Amelie

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