10 Best Movies for Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and economic hardships, some people just need a little downtime this year. For the busy mind of the entrepreneur, however, downtime just means time to sit down, relax, and do some research. With all this extra time, what better way to research than to watch a few movies?

For those looking for some new inspiration, or yearning to see other people’s stories to assure yourself that you’re not alone, or wanting to remind yourself of the basics of entrepreneurship, here are the top 10 movies for entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Rated R

Glengarry Glen Ross tells the story of a group of real estate salesmen who are running out of time when things don’t go the way they should. This film is perfect for those who are going through tough times who want to know they’re not alone. 

With a colorful cast of characters, the film shows the full spectrum of personalities working in the hustle and bustle of a New York City real-estate office. However, even those not interested in sales will be struck by the film.

What happens when everything goes wrong? How do last year’s mistakes affect this year? In 2021, the pressure of earning a living has become overwhelming, but this film shows us that we are not alone, and luckily Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV have you covered.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Rated R

While this year might be an especially tough one, Jerry Maguire shows us that all it takes to get back on our feet is some ambition, headed by a good heart and virtue.

With business set to reopen soon, it’s easy to let ambition take over. However, those ready-to-rumble entrepreneurs should sit down and watch it on Amazon Prime when they can and remember that while ambition can get you through the door, virtue is the key to unlock further doors to success.

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Rated R

It seems that we’re all down on our luck this year, but so was Erin Brockovich, the titular character of this film named after her.

After discovering a large company is illegally dumping toxic waste and poisoning the surrounding areas, Erin Brockovich sets out to do what is right. In this classic David and the Goliath story, Erin goes into the ring and sets up one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history. 

This year has brought us plenty of challenges, but this film reminds us to always look out for the little guy—even when the odds are stacked against us. Watch it on Peacock or Amazon Prime when you can and you won’t be disappointed.

Startup.com (2001)

Rated R

For those who are seeking comfort in these trying times, Startup.com is the film for you. This documentary follows GovWorks, a promising start up that rose quickly and failed just as fast.

In short, the film is about how GovWorks was mismanaged, and how internal power struggles lead to its downfall. In the bigger picture, the film looks at how inflated ideals and dreams of instant wealth became supplanted by harsh economic realities and broken promises.

In this challenging year, it’s good to take a step back and look at where others have failed while you map out your plan to success. The documentary is available to watch on Tubi and Apple TV.

The Aviator (2004)

Rated PG-13

Wash your hands! Even Howard Hughes, entrepreneur and pioneer, knew that. However, the film reminds us to not let the outside world overwhelm us.

With this peek behind the curtain, entrepreneurs take note. Don’t let the outside world crowd in on you. Don’t think that success isn’t always the key to all your problems because, quite often, it can be the opposite. Catch this instant classic on Pluto TV, Amazon Prime, or both!

Thank You For Smoking (2005)

Rated R

As people get used to staying indoors and buying things online, every entrepreneur must become even savvier and more clever than those who have come before. And how hard is it to sell cigarettes?

Thank You For Smoking is about Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman defending the cigarette industry against the odds. It teaches the power of persuasion and the art of selling. It also reminds us not to trade morals for money, something which many need reminding of during this crisis. Watch it on Apple TV or Amazon Prime and you won’t regret it.

The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

Rated PG-13

This year has been hard for many, but The Pursuit of Happyness reminds us that we are not alone.

Even after a single father lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, it ends up being an unpaid internship. With a young son to care for, he goes through many hardships but always refuses to give in to despair.

With its touching portrayal of fatherhood and failure, this film is for any entrepreneur trying to make a better life, not just for themselves, but for those they care the most about as well. Catch it the next time you’re either on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Flash of Genius (2008)

Rated PG-13

When a college professor invents the windshield wiper that is embraced by all the auto giants of the 1960s, he thinks he is set for life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen because the automakers refuse to give credit where credit is due.

Not only does this film teach entrepreneurs the importance of protecting their ideas, it also shows what happens when people are tossed aside and abandoned by those they are helping. Sadly, that’s become far too common this year. 

May this film remind all to keep watch and take care of those around them, no matter what happens. Watch it on either Peacock or Apple TV.

The Social Network (2010)

As Facebook has been a hot topic in the news lately, this film will educate you in how the controversial social media platform was started.

Flashing between Zuckerberg and his friends at Harvard creating the controversial website, and the litigation between Zuckerberg and his friend-turned-partner-turned-rival Eduardo Saverin.

Any up-and-coming entrepreneur can take both inspiration and caution from the story of how a college student became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. This film is available to watch on Netflix and Hulu.

Contagion (2011)

Rated PG-13

Yes, we’re going here. While a film following a fictional pandemic might hit a little too close to home right now, it can be a reminder to everyone, including entrepreneurs, that everything must end. 

The closing credits on this current crisis are just around the corner, however the time between now and then is still important. Watch this film on either Amazon Prime and Apple TV to learn what to expect, and how to and plan, prepare, and learn in the face of a global disaster.