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Top 10 Money Movies of the Decade

in Money Basics, People & Products

We’ve all heard of the classic money movies.  Wall Street, Trading Places, Glengarry Glen Ross, Indecent Proposal, The Money Pit, Casino… the list can go on and on.

But with the current decade coming to a close, I thought it would be neat to highlight those films involving money that were released between 2000 and the end of 2009.  You may disagree about which to call “money movies,” but that’s all part of the fun!

Here’s my own list of the top 10 best money movies of the recent decade:

Note: Taglines and Plot Summaries are those featured on IMDB.com.  Photos and links are shared through of Amazon.com.  The quotes selected are my own personal favorites!  :-)  Enjoy.

#1 – Boiler Room

BoilerRoomTagline: Where would you turn? How far would you go? How hard will you fall?

Plot Summary: A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success.

Favorite Quote: “Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn’t fucking have any.” -Jim Young

#2 – Slumdog Millionaire

SlumdogMillionaireTagline: Love and money… You have mixed them both.

Plot Summary: A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

Favorite Quote: “No. I’ll play.” -Jamal Malik

#3 – The Pursuit of Happyness

ThePursuitofHappynessTagline: [none listed]

Plot Summary: A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.

Favorite Quote: “What would you say if man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say?” -Martin Frohm…  “He must have had on some really nice pants.” -Christopher Gardner

#4 – American Gangster

AmericanGangsterTagline: There are two sides to the American dream.

Plot Summary: In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Favorite Quote: “How you feel about monopolies?” -Dominic… “What, the game?” – Frank Lucas

#5 – Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room

EnronTheSmartestGuysintheRoomTagline: Come see where all your money went.

Plot Summary: A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Favorite Quote: You know what the difference between the state of California and Titanic?… At least when the Titanic went down, the lights were on.” -Jeffrey Skilling

#6 – The Counterfeiters

TheCounterfeitersTagline: It takes a clever man to make money, it takes a genius to stay alive

Plot Summary: The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936…

Favorite Quote: “It’s ok. We can soon make some more.” -Sali [after losing a bunch of money gambling]

#7 – American Psycho

AmericanPsychoTagline: No Introduction Necessary.

Plot Summary: A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.

“You hate that job anyway. I don’t see why you don’t just quit.” -Evelyn… “Because I want to fit in.” -Patrick Bateman

#8 – Startup.com

StartupdotcomTagline: The rise and fall of the American dream.

Plot Summary: Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com.

Favorite Quote: “What do you mean… it’s over?”


#9 – 21

21Tagline: Inspired by true story of 5 students who changed the game.

Plot Summary: “21″ is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions.

Favorite Quote: “You are only ever as good to me as the money you make!” -Micky

#10 – Ocean’s Eleven

OceansElevenTagline: Hollywood’s A list stars come together to pull off the most daring heist Las Vegas has ever known…

Plot Summary: Danny Ocean and his ten accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Favorite Quote: “There’s a 95 pound Chinese man with a 160 million dollars behind this door.” -Danny… “Let’s get him out.” -Linus

Bonus: Barely too old…

Honorary mentions need to go out to Office Space and Fight Club, two of my all-time favorite movies about money which were unfortunately released in 1999!  Just missed the mark!  :-)

Which recent money movies are your personal favorite?

Did I forget any no-brainers?  Which would you have left off?  Let me know by leaving your comment below!

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Thirtysomething Finance December 3, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Nice list! I’d have to add Envy. Nobody out there seemed to like it, but it cracked me up!
.-= Thirtysomething Finance´s last blog ..PAYDAY! =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:34 AM

I haven’t seen or heard about it, but will definitely be looking into it!

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Jason Ford December 3, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Nice list! My favorite of all time comes from the 80′s. Wall Street! I hear they are making a sequal too.
.-= Jason Ford´s last blog ..Book Review – Riches Among the Ruins by Robert P. Smith =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:36 AM

Yeah, Jason… one of the best performances of a character I’ve ever watched. Don’t go throwing around rumors about a sequel and get my hopes up! :-)

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Bradley December 3, 2009 at 12:41 PM

american psycho…. loved the book… was luke warm about the movie.

nice list.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:36 AM

I try to keep an open mind about films, but that one did play tricks on me! :-) Although, I can admit to not having read the book.

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Daniel December 3, 2009 at 1:12 PM

If it were 20 years later…Trading Places.
.-= Daniel´s last blog ..November Month In Review =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:37 AM

Agreed. Another great example of a money movies… 80′s style.

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Sean December 3, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Great list, I almost reamed you for not including Wall Street…until I realized that it wasn’t from this (or even the last decade).

Excellent choice with Boiler Room, I actually wrote an entire paper and did a presentation on that movie in college. Classic.
.-= Sean´s last blog ..Location 180 Guide to iPhone Apps =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:38 AM

Boiler Room is a must include if only for the quotes! I thought it might actually have been released before 2000, but was happy when I checked the release date. ;-)

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The Broken Penny December 3, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Awesome list! I like how you added quotes from the movie as well. The documentary Maxed Out (2006) was a pretty good movie about our extreme spending in this country. More of a what not to do type of money movie, but still pretty good.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:38 AM

Good one! That should’ve have made the list, but honestly I forgot about it as I’ve yet to watch it myself. I gotta get my hands on it soon, I hear lots of good things.

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Money Funk December 3, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Fight Club is one of my favorites. Too bad it didn’t make the cut. Love Boiler Room & Slum Dog (yet so sad). And i don’t care about the movie Ocean’s Eleven, just the men :) Andy Garcia, Brad Pit, Matt Damon… all in my ‘list’ (you know that list everyone has; top 10 hook up list – if the moment ever came up that you could be intimate with that person and they are on your list its okay).
.-= Money Funk´s last blog ..5 Winter Hearty Soups =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:39 AM

Too much information! ;-)

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leslie December 3, 2009 at 3:02 PM

I’m adding 25th Hour to the list!
.-= leslie´s last blog ..Daily Spending – 12/2/09 =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:39 AM

Yikes, another flick I’ve yet to see. Adding it to the list of other to look up. Thanks for expanding my list! :-)

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DeliverAwayDebt December 3, 2009 at 3:13 PM

I have to go with movie number 1. Boiler Room. I LOVE THAT MOVIE. American Gangster comes in second for me.

Baker: is that your number 1 movie on list because there are some parallel to your life too?
.-= DeliverAwayDebt´s last blog ..The Cycle of Debt =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:40 AM

There might be a tiny parallel, but not too close. :-)

Although, I feel you on American Gangster. I’m a huge Denzel fan. Almost as much as Will Smith. I don’t think I can pick. I should probably have been born black, though.

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Agency December 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM

The boil room was a great movie. Havent seen it in years so maybe I will go rent it again this weekend.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:41 AM

It’s one of the movies, you don’t regret watching every 5 years or so. I’d say go for it!

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Credit Card Chaser December 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Boiler Room is a great movie. I am surprised at how many people have not seen that movie when I mention it to people.
.-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:42 AM

Great point, Joel. Most of my circle of friends has seen it as it was so popular when we were in that high school to college phase. But there are a lot of people who give me the “huh” look when I bring it up, too.

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David Turnbull December 3, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Can’t believe I’ve only seen two movies on that list. I feel so out of touch. And although I haven’t seen Boiler Room I’m sure I’d have to put Slumdog at the top – that was such a fantastic movie. There was like nothing I could fault it on (which surprised me because I thought it’d be terrible based on the trailer).

Ocean’s Eleven is still one of my favorite movies ever too. Can’t beat a good heist flick. Still confused about the plot of Oceans Thirteen though. All I got out of it was it was something to do with a casino and diamonds.
.-= David Turnbull´s last blog ..Effortless Writing: How To Overcome Writer’s Block, Let Your Words Flow and Rekindle Your Love of the Craft =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:43 AM

Doh! I just commented about how everyone in my generation as seen Boiler Room and you go prove me wrong. ;-)

I’m with you on Ocean’s Eleven. Though I wouldn’t call it a ‘great’ film, it certainly was entertaining and fun all the way through. For the purpose it tries to serve it *was* great I guess.

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Live for Improvement December 3, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Boiler Room is a great flick. I used to regularly watch certain scenes while getting ready for work as a commision salesman. I would also blast Rage Against the Machine and Ramstein while driving, when I hit on the sales floor the customers didn’t stand a chance.

-Dan Malone-
.-= Live for Improvement´s last blog ..Quick Trick: Keep Toilet Paper at Your Desk =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:44 AM

It’s awesome the power of movies and music to change our states like that. I used to listen to upbeat music all the time when I was going door-to-door in Real Estate. Helped keep the spirits high.

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Fabian December 3, 2009 at 7:20 PM

I would probably add “The Bucket List”, even though it has such a cheesy tagline! :)
And I really have to check out the “Boiler Room” everybody is talking about… never even HEARD of it…

THE BUCKET LIST
Tagline: When he closed his eyes, his heart was opened.
Plot Summary: Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.
Favorite Quote: Thomas: What are you doing here?
Carter Chambers: Fighting for my life. You?
.-= Fabian´s last blog ..Procrastinate on TASKS, not on your LIFE =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:45 AM

Nice edition. I didn’t think of it, but I’m not sure it would have cracked the top 10. Close.

What is this I hear about Boiler Room? You guys are killing me, here. Go watch it right now! ;-)

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Jeff @ Sustainablelife blog December 3, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Love that you put American Gangster on there, It’s a personal fav of mine.
.-= Jeff @ Sustainablelife blog´s last blog ..November Month Review =-.

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kosmo @ The Casual Observer December 3, 2009 at 9:47 PM

You always mess up some mundane little detail.

:)
.-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..In Defense Of Scott Boras =-.

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Baker December 4, 2009 at 1:45 AM

Ummm… it would help if you actually pointed it out! :-)

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Kosmo @ The Casual Observer December 4, 2009 at 8:31 AM

No, I’m not actually serious … just quoting the line from Office Space :)

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Jacob December 4, 2009 at 2:22 AM

I might argue that Office Space and Fight Club are amazing enough movies to just round them up from 1999 to 2000 and include them in both decades.

~Jacob

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Agreed. I should’ve just thrown them on here.

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Financial Samurai December 4, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I loved “Wall St” and I can’t wait for Wall St. 2 coming to theatres next year! Whoo hoo.

Bank of America just raised $19 billion from the very same people who bailed them out again! Ironic isn’t it? They raised $19 bil just in time to pay back TARP, so they can pay themselves HUGE BONUSES this year!

Bless us all! Good times are back.
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Why The World Forgives Rich And Famous People For Cheating =-.

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Josh December 4, 2009 at 8:57 AM

How about There Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, or the Italian Job. Although I have not seen it I would guess that Get Rich or Die Trying is probably a masterpiece by 50 Cent. I think you need to take a break from the computer and start watching more movies. I can get you some really cheap bootlegs from Nairobi.

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I’m sorry I don’t speak Kenyan

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Nancy L. December 4, 2009 at 9:41 AM

You need some more girls reading the blog, lol. It’s not a “great” movie overall, but as a financial movie, I thought “Friends With Money” was very interesting. It was about 4 friends, 3 of whom have lots of money while one has taken on a job as a maid and just mooches everything she can. There were a lot of interesting scenes about how money or the lack thereof affected their friendships and relationships.

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Oh, Nancy. Please never ever type the name of that movie on this blog again. Thanks! ;-)

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Brian December 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Dude… how could you forget about “Wall Street”? And the ultimate 80′s movie “Can’t Buy me Love”? – I mean Patrick Dempsey at his finest right there.
.-= Brian´s last blog ..Friday Financial Foul Ups: Sibling Bailouts Cost More Than Just Money =-.

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM

7th word of the title!

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Adam December 4, 2009 at 11:38 AM

How can you not include Catch Me If You Can?

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM

A) I forgot about it

B) I’m not sure if it would have made it. Probably would have at 7-9 slot.

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Jane Reyes December 4, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I love Slumdog Millionaire. I really do not know why some other people didn’t like the movie. The director was awesome. Slumdog Millionaire should be in the Top Best Cinematography Films of this year. The movie immerses the audience in an alien landscape and shows it through the eyes of a young man fighting against history and his own culture’s expectations. I like how the director played with the scenes with the actors and the place! India became interesting to me after watching the movie. The film is beautifully crafted even when surrounded by trash and squalor, the slums burst forth with colors. The only thing I didn’t like in the movie is the Who wants to be a millionaire show. LOL Paperplanes by Mia is in the movie too! Haha!

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Janelle December 5, 2009 at 12:32 AM

Oh Adam! You totally forgot to add one of my absolute favorites: Fun with Dick and Jane!
and my favorite obscure line….
Jane Harper: “Our lawn was repossessed today because we don’t have any money,” …..”I didn’t know they could even do that…”

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Hahaha, I didn’t see that movie, but laughed aloud at that quote!

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lostAnnfound January 2, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Definitely “Fun with Dick & Jane”

Garth: Hey, how do you like the new wheels?
Dick Harper: Nice.
Garth: Hooked up with a new company. Great benefits.
Dick Harper: Yeah?
Garth: Yeah. They trade energy. It’s called Enron!
Dick Harper: Huh.

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Matt Bell December 5, 2009 at 2:03 AM

I have to agree with Janelle — Fun with Dick and Jane deserves to be on the list. A couple of others I would add are Confessions of a Shopaholic and Millions.
.-= Matt Bell´s last blog ..A Lesson from Tiger’s Tale =-.

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Monevator December 5, 2009 at 5:34 AM

Is nobody else shocked that Fight Club is ten years old? How did that happen? When I watched that movie I thought for half a millisecond that people might become a notch less materialistic — which actually proves it must be old because any last vestiges of such hopefulness have long been burnt out of my rusting, aging heart by now! ;)

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Gordie December 5, 2009 at 7:26 AM

Wall Street and Fight Club are my favorites of all time.

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Jason Ulsrud December 5, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Just recently I saw 2012, which was graphically really nice. The plot was a bit lame but it entertained me for 2+ hours.

The Pursuit of Happyness was great… I would put that near the top of my list.

Fun stuff… Love your blog.
.-= Jason Ulsrud´s last blog ..Happy 40th Birthday to Me… =-.

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Augustine December 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Where’s IOUSA? It cannot be left out when it explains the sequence of events that led to the debacle in the infancy of the new century that will define it.

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Foxie | CarsxGirl December 6, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Ha, thanks for mentioning IOUSA….. I was searching for that not too long ago, but couldn’t remember what it was! :)
.-= Foxie | CarsxGirl´s last blog ..You’ve Come a Long Way, Girl =-.

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Another one, that I hadn’t seen, but that would’ve probably made the cut had I.

I still gotta get my hands on a copy.

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bloggie stylish December 8, 2009 at 4:14 AM

c’mon, glengarry glenross *should* have been in there! alec baldwin does a great cameo with the brass balls speech. so emasculating, so crushing!
.-= bloggie stylish´s last blog ..My Other Blog is a Christmas Blog =-.

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Thirtysomething Finance December 8, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Wow, how could we have missed Glengarry Glenross? Baldwin’s speech is amazing — with lines like “F*** you, that’s my name. You know why, Mister? ‘Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove a eighty thousand dollar BMW. That’s my name!” — and “That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that’s who I am. And you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a sh**. Good father? F*** you — go home and play with your kids!”

Good call, bloggie stylish!
.-= Thirtysomething Finance´s last blog ..How I Unfroze My HELOC — OR I Fought the Bank and the…Bank Lost! =-.

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Baker December 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM

You both are dorks.

…of the Decade…

;-)

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break even December 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Why isn’t Batman the dark night here?
Quote: Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.
It’s first time I read this blog so If that is something against your taste, don’t shout :)

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bEth December 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM

GlenGarry GlenRoss!!!

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bEth December 11, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I don’t care if its “of the decade” –it transcends any from *this* decade

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mugs December 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

21grams is great

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Roger December 17, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Add me to list of people who haven’t seen Boiler Room (although, now I really want to) along with most of the movies on this list. I did catch 21 (pretty good, although not that realistic; the MIT students (and their professor) were all Asian in real life, but that’s Hollywood for you, I guess) and Ocean’s Eleven (Interesting, fairly funny heist movie, although it ended up rather convulted (and the sequels didn’t help matters)).

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Steve Zussino December 23, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I liked Boiler Room. I can’t wait for the Wall Street sequel.

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Bill January 20, 2010 at 6:39 PM

What, no Wall Street?? Wall Street was the template for Boiler Room.

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Palmer Galante October 25, 2010 at 1:20 AM

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