Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Best Binge-worthy Movies on Business

Every year, I offer my students the option of writing an extra credit paper on what Hollywood gets wrong about business. They can also apply what they've learned to a popular movie, television show, or book (the Godfather, Game of Thrones, and Sex and the City have provided some of the more interesting analogies). Often I provide a list of TV shows or movies that they can consider. Today, I’m asking my co-bloggers and our readers for their binge-worthy movie or TV choices. Some movie lists for business students are here, here, here, and here but I welcome your suggestions. For those of you who aren’t in my class and just want a break from the news, these lists may come in handy.

Corporations, Current Affairs, Film, Marcia Narine Weldon | Permalink


Thanks for these lists, Marcia. If folks are looking for movies with a focus on white collar and corporate crime and/or business ethics, this article by Geraldine Moohr--"White Collar Crime Goes to the Movies"--is helpful. ( Because the article was published in 2014, there are some additions (War Dogs (2016) comes to mind), but overall it's a great list. In the past, I have gotten a lot of milage out of Margin Call (2011) in my business ethics classes. I love that it is relatively short, has a limited number of key characters, and the script is online so students can refer to it if needed--not to mention it's a really fun movie to watch!

Posted by: TJH | Mar 9, 2017 7:05:34 AM

Several good movies came out of the financial crisis: The Big Short, Margin Call, and HBO's Too Big To Fail (I have shown the latter several times in the Financial Regulation class I co-teach).

Posted by: Brett McDonnell | Mar 9, 2017 9:41:21 AM

Thanks for this fun prompt on an evergreen subject.

I have three suggestions, all TV shows. The first, Silicon Valley, is basically self-explanatory: engineers get themselves into trouble when they foul up a bunch of decisions at the intersection of business and law. The next two may only be worth it if you like the shows themselves: Westworld and Arrested Development. In each case, shenanigans (by owners, managers, directors, or employees of the company) are only possible because the company is privately held, controlled, poorly governed, or some combination. The shows tee up these issues well, if you are looking for it. I once used Arrested Development to illustrate the need for buy/sell agreements in closely-held corporations.

I'll throw in Moneyball, too. A good illustration of law and economics principles and agency costs.

Posted by: Greg Shill | Mar 9, 2017 11:50:09 AM

I always liked Michael Clayton--it would be interesting to see one of your students tackle it.

Posted by: Marcos Antonio Mendoza | Mar 10, 2017 11:57:27 AM

I was glad to see Jerry Maguire on one of the lists. I have always liked that one. What about The Social Network? Lots of lessons for lawyers and business folks alike in that movie. And, for fun, maybe Monsters, Inc. . . .

Posted by: joanheminway | Mar 11, 2017 1:49:35 PM

An oldie but goodie is Barbarians at the Gate about the KKR takeover of RJR Nabisco; a bit of fiduciary duty of directors law in it in the context of dealing with a management LBO proposal and the emergence of white knights. The more recent The Social Network presents an array of contract, equity dilution and intellectual property issues. I quite agree with the mention of the trilogy of The Great Recession films to which I would add the docudrama Inside Job. The now classic antitrust informant film based on price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland, with Matt Damon, is The Informant. And, finally, a couple of ancient documentaries from PBS, Triumph of the Nerds about the history of the PC featuring, of course, Gates and Jobs; and Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet.

Posted by: Craig Sparks | Mar 13, 2017 9:33:15 AM

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