Fraud. Swindling. Corruption. Scams. White-collar crimes. All for one motive-money.
Financial crimes have been around since the evolution of money itself. This carefully curated list features award-winning movies, TV shows, and documentaries with great reviews and ratings, that we think are enlightening and entertaining.
1) The Laundromat
Duration: 1h 36min IMDb: 6.3/10
After losing her dear husband in a boat accident, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of illicit deals, offshore accounts, shell companies, and massive networks of shams that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world's corrupt financial system.
Starring Meryl Streep, David Schwimmer, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas this film is a perfect case study on the infamous Panama papers. This movie explains to a common audience how money is moved through invisible shell companies behind closed doors, through the eyes of an unknowing, old widow.
2) The Infiltrator
Duration: 2h 7 min IMDb: 7/10
A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Directed by Brad Furman, this thriller movie showcases an outstanding performance by Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur, who goes undercover to infiltrate a trafficking network, along with fellow agents.
Mazur poses himself as a slick, money-laundering businessman named Bob Musella, and gains the confidence of Roberto Alcaino(Benjamin Bratt), Escobar’s top lieutenant to uncover the inner workings of the gang. The movie builds suspense and goes through many thrilling moments where Mazur’s act might slip, and one wrong move could cost him everything.
3) The Big Short
Duration: 2h 10 min IMDb: 7.8/10
The Big Short is an award winning adaptation of the famous book Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ by Michael Lewis. Directed by Adam McKay, The Big Short visualizes the years leading up to the 2007-08 global economic crisis. Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt, this movie tells the story of how a finance professional predicted the US housing market collapse early and gained personal wealth through the flaws and corruption in the system.
“the most thrilling, rewarding crime show around” - The Guardian
A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss. Created by Bill Dubuque in 4 seasons for Netflix, the movie stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, and Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde trying to reconnect the family, while the dire circumstances force their fate to hang in the balance.
Duration: 1h 45min IMDb: 5.2/10
Crypto is a 2019 American crime drama thriller film, directed by John Stalberg Jr. Demoted back to his hometown, a young Wall Street anti-money laundering (AML) analyst is drawn into uncovering a multi-million dollar money laundering scheme with the help of his childhood friend. Investigating this tangled web of corruption and fraud in Upstate New York puts his personal life and business career at risk.
6) L Storm('L' fung bou)
Duration: 1h 37m IMDb: 5.7/10
L Storm is a 2018 Hong Kong action thriller film directed by David Lam. Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigator William Luk and Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) officer Lau Po-keung are respectively investigating a corruption and money laundering case. This intense, gritty movie stars Louis Koo and Julian Cheung.
7) Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King
Duration: 1h 30 min IMDb: 6.3/10
“In the paranoid world of cryptocurrency, there's only one rule – Trust No One” - Netflix
Exploring the mysterious death of Gerald Cotton, and the vanishing of millions worth of bitcoin funds of investors, this movie is another gripping true crime documentary from Netflix. Directed by Luke Sewell, this documentary is investigative, and suspenseful and examines the controversies around the scam.
8) Madoff:The monster of Wall Street
“grubby and jaw-dropping from start to finish, grimly fascinating testimonies and astonishing curveballs about the ‘financial serial killer”- The Guardian
Madoff:The monster of Wall Street is a four-episode long documentary by Netflix, directed by Joe Berlinger, featuring the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff, who orchestrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in Wall Street history, ripping investors off more than $64 billion. The documentary, containing real-life footage and gripping interviews from investigators, employees, and whistle-blowers, describes Madoff as a ruthless, remorseless ‘financial serial killer’.
9) Inside Job
Duration: 1h 48 mins IMDb: 8.2/10
The inside job is an Oscar-winning documentary directed by Charles Ferguson detailing the 2008 financial meltdown. It narrates the causes and consequences of the real estate crisis, with interviews studying the role of financial organizations, governments and regulators involved. The Inside Job does a great job of untangling the complex architecture of the meltdown and articulating facts to laymen and is often recommended for a quick watch to understand the global financial crisis.
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