There have been movies about finance before: Wall Street and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, for instance. There are films about the financial crisis as well: HBO’s Too Big to Fail. But the best movie about finance has to be Margin Call, just out in theaters and available on iTunes and at Amazon.
It’s a fictional account of a Wall Street firm’s effort to save itself from a massive trading loss in mortgage backed securities. The writing is crisp, compelling, and completely authentic. The characters aren’t Occupy Wall Street caricatures of evil bankers; they have real dimension. They’re callous and loyal, principled and greedy, ruthless and erudite all at once.
Best of all, Margin Call is the only movie we know that features risk and the people who manage it. And the risk managers are played by Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore! We loved it, but don’t take our word alone. According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences loved it too. So we recommend you go long on Margin Call and invest a few hours of your valuable time watching Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons struggle with understanding and dealing with risk.