Whether you are a fan or not – Leonardo DiCaprio starrer The Wolf of the Wall Street is a classic you cannot miss. Based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort, it is one of the most disarmingly hilarious and poignant biographical depictions of a stockbroker on a rollercoaster ride. This expletive-laden crime saga of the real-life scammer was brought to life all thanks to the standout performances of Di Caprio, Margot Robbie, and Jonah Hill. Tempting as it may be to rave about this movie, it is time to check out some other movies like Wolf of Wall Street.
We at Biography Talk have brought you a list of movies that not only took inspiration from this classic crime biography but also highlighted multiple aspects that the DiCaprio starrer missed. Let’s see what the experts have to say –
Top movies like Wolf of Wall Street you must watch
For everyone who’s a fan of the fictional tale of men making it to the top (albeit not always by following the white path) – it is time you need to check out the other sets –
1. Wall Street (1987)
What’s a comparison with movies like Wolf of Wall Street if you haven’t seen the murky politics within the walls of Wall Street? One of the career-best performances by Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, this movie deals with the predatory trading mentality of the biggest stockbroking market in the world.
The character of Gordon Gekko depicts how the parameters of power and greed are viewed. One of the classic thought-provoking films of the 20th century, “greed, for a lack of better word, is good”, reverberates a Macbethisque mentality.
You can watch it on – Hulu, Google Play, and Apple TV.
2. Goodfellas (1990)
What’s the 90s if we do not talk about the Goodfellas? Before he inculcated Wolf of the Wall Street, Martin Scorsese had already tried his hands at editing and narrating one of the greatest crime films ever made.
Goodfellas follows the journey of Henry Hill, who rose to the ranks of a prominent member of the society engulfed with criminal activities, drugs and multiple affairs. For the ones looking for movies like Wolf of Wall Street – they can easily identify with the character as having shades of Belfort himself.
You can watch it on – HBO Max, YouTube, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video.
3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
What’s listing out movies like Wolf of Wall Street if you do not add Pulp Fiction to it? It is not without reason that the world bows down to Tarantino’s brand of cinema. This crime film, with a curious blend of dark humour, is a classic and, immediately on its release, catapulted John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel Jackson to the heights of fame. Lover of fast tempo? This is a film to watch!
You can watch it on – Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.
4. Casino (1995)
It is no secret that Martin Scorsese had, a long time back, mastered the art of delivering storylines that brought the rich but murky characters to the floor. Another of his masterpieces, this 1995 Robert de Niro classic, is symmetrical to movies like Wolf of Wall Street, tracing the rise and fall of a corrupt individual.
The stark difference between the characters of Belfort and Ace is that – Ace is selfish and to the borderline of being extremely self-centred. He does not sell the American Dream but is the American Dream. Enriched with details and the presence of sword-sharp characters makes, this gangster drama an all-time classic.
You can watch this on – YouTube, Google Play and Apple TV.
5. Boiler Room (2000)
This millennium starter is one you cannot miss out on! Setting the template for movies like Wolf of Wall Street, this depicts the journey of a young college dropout – Seth, who wishes to make it big in the precarious world of the greedy Wall Street only to realize that – ‘there’s no free lunch in this world’.
For the onlookers, the tie-shirt sharply dressed boardroom men might look enticing, but to work in those dark alleys is another story that this film depicts.
You can watch it on – YouTube, Google Play, Redbox and Apple TV.
6. Thank You For Smoking (2005)
Only when you watch this dark thriller, you will realize how similar its DNA is to movies like Wolf of Wall Street. Resting on the able arms of Aaron Eckhart in what is his career-best performance, the audience sees a dual character wherein on the one hand, the protagonist is a role model to his son, while on the other, he spins half-truths to save his bosses at work.
Based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley – this film curiously achieves a balance between the dark depressive world that the perfect comic timing manages to shade.
You can watch it on – Hulu, YouTube, and Apple TV.
7. The Social Network (2010)
Though it is not similar to the murky gangster dramas that this list boasts of, this David Fincher-directed storyline does manage to show the corruption embedded within the corporate culture. This is a tale of friendship, success, greed, and betrayal that takes the viewers down memory lane – the journey that Mark Zuckerberg made from a rookie Harvard University graduate to one of the shrewdest men in black, revolutionizing the concept of connecting with each other.
The concept of the American Dream has been used and reused in US cinema for years together in multiple movies like Wolf of Wall Street. However, this is a story of the unattainable dream standing true to the genesis of the concept of the American Dream.
You can watch it on – Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, and Apple TV.
8. Margin Call (2011)
Remember the 2008 Wall Street crisis, which shambled the well-crafted American paradisical economy? Taking that as a backdrop, this movie can well be compared to movies like Wolf of Wall Street. Set within the domains of the fictional Wall Street Investment Bank, this shows a dizzying initial crisis period at the company where the doomed employees are trying to tackle the crisis!
With intense performances from the ensemble cast, this gives us an insight into the very common unethical practices that this stockbroking industry works on. With a taut screenplay to boast about, this is one of the best performances put forth by Jeremy Irons – especially in the memorable boardroom scene.
You can watch it on – Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, and Apple TV.
9. Cosmopolis (2012)
One of the films on this list that emanates the chaotic energy and capitalistic greed of movies like Wolf of Wall Street – this Robert Pattinson-led thriller showcases the dangers of capitalistic greed and the universal principles which, despite standing strong, are not applied by the concerned people.
As the billionaire asset manager rides across the Manhattan streets, he seemingly sees his biggest investments collapse into balls of nothingness! With the film spanning over to show Eric’s transition to a self-destructive entity, it keeps the ending open, perhaps to give the readers a sense of hope in despair.
You can watch it on – Tubi, Hulu, and Vudu.
10. American Hustle (2013)
If you are a fan of black comedy and that too enmeshed in the world of economic corruption, American Hustle will be an immediate choice. With the characters participating in forgery and loan sharking, the movie has strict political undertones. The stakes are high, hustlers are working together, and you are in for nothing short of a treat!
You can watch it on – Tubi, HBO Max, Sling TV, and Paramount.
11. War Dogs (2016)
Another classic delivered by Bradley Cooper with Jonah Hill for company, this film deciphers the underlying dark story where the US government, via two unsuspecting businessmen, deliver arms to their allies in Afghanistan.
Canvassed skillfully with comic encounters, it is only when the businessmen realize that they have signed up for more than what they thought – does this film takes a new turn. The dark reality, restrained performances, and tongue-in-cheek humour make this film one of the top watchable films of all time!
You can watch it on – Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play.
12. The Founder (2016)
Scripting the failure and success story behind one of the fastest-selling and biggest food joints globally, McDonald’s – this film is a blend of truth and lies all entwined to create a masterpiece that depicts how no story of success is as whitewashed as they are portrayed. The winner stands tall and last, and in that rat race – has stomped some quite deserving candidates as well.
A real take on the fabled American Dream, this movie shows the real-life experiences of Ray Kroc, a struggling salesman and his complex journey towards making McDonald’s the success that it is today! Do you know what the biggest draw of this film is? The unapologetic exposure of the true character of Kroc, who did make it to the top but not without squishing many holds the film together.
You can watch it on – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and YouTube.
Which is your go-to movie?
As you can see for yourself that this list has been inspired by movies like Wolf of Wall Street; therefore, which from this list is your favourite? Would you like to share some snippets from the movies that you have loved? Do leave your thoughts here!
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.