Top 10 Movies Every Marketing Student Should Watch

1:20 pm 7 Sep, 2013

Movies are not just a great source of entertainment but can also provide a bit of education and loads of motivation when needed. Movies about business, entrepreneurship, success and achievement are great motivation for anyone but even more so for marketing and management students. Other achievement stories such as in sports can not only be motivational but also teach important business and marketing lessons. Here are the top 10 movies recommended for marketing students.

10. The Damned United:

The Damned United is a sports movie about the true story of Brian Clough who was the manager of Leeds United, a football club in England. It is not just a great sports motivational movie but also has valuable lessons on management. It is an overall entertaining movie that contains a lot of wisdom as well.

The Damned United

9. Flash of Genius:

Flash of Genius is also based on the true story of Robert Kearns, an American inventor who came up with the intermittent windshield wiper which we all take for granted in cars today. It is the story of his legal battles for the copyright of his intellectual property. On one hand this movie is an endearing story of how one man can achieve great things and go head to head against big corporations and on the other hand it is also a story about product development and innovation.

Flash of Genius

8. Pirates of the Silicon Valley:

This is an obvious entry in this list. “Pirates of the Silicon Valley” is the story of how Microsoft and Apple came into being. It takes a look at the lives of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as they go about creating two of the giants of the Silicon Valley. It contains valuable lessons for any marketing or management student and is also highly motivational.

Pirates of the Silicon Valley

7. Up in the Air:

Up in the Air is the story of Ryan Bingham whose job is to fire other people. He spends most of his time flying around the country and firing people for other companies. When he’s grounded by his own company his life changes as he comes to terms with some realities of life and business. It is a good movie for any marketing student as it deals with HR issues, communication skills and personal issues of a businessman. It also shows how it is important to look at the bigger picture when thinking about efficiency in business.

Up in the Air

6. Thank You for Smoking:

Thank You for Smoking is a great movie for a marketing or sales student to watch. It is the story of a lobbyist for tobacco who uses his great speaking skills to defend tobacco and cigarettes in a time when everyone is cracking down on it. It not only teaches great lessons about marketing and how you can market even a drug that kills people but also talks about why you should sell something. It asks the all important question about ethics in marketing and business.

Thank You for Smoking

5. The Pursuit of Happyness:

The Pursuit of Happyness is also a true story and one of the most motivational movies ever made. It is the story of a bankrupt Christopher Gardner, who turns his life around to become a stock broker. The story covers his struggles as he tries to sell crappy medical equipment, struggles with his wife leaving him, tries to raise his son and interns for the largest stock broking firm for free in order to become a stock broker. The Pursuit of Happyness is a wonderful movie about the importance of perseverance and having faith in oneself.

The Pursuit of Happyness

4. Invictus:

Another great motivational sports movie is Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. This is the true story of the South African rugby team who are motivated by Nelson Mandela to win the rugby world cup against all odds and in the process unite a country that has just come out of apartheid. The movie is very motivational and focuses on leadership and the power of belief and purpose. It teaches how a good leader finds ways to motivate his team to achieve greatness.


3. Inside Job:

The only documentary to make this list is Inside Job. It is an important movie to watch for everyone but especially for someone starting his career in the business world. It explains how the recession of 2008 which has changed the world irreversibly happened because of the greed of a few individuals. It also shows how unregulated power in the hands of a few people can destroy the world. It’s an important movie to watch for understanding the world of business deeply.

Inside Job

2. Network:

Network is a classic from the 1970’s. This is the story of Howard Beale, a television host who is killed because of bad ratings. The story revolves around how the world of finance and business works, how the TV industry drives a man crazy and how then it tries to make money off of his craziness and when things go bad how they end up killing him in order to cut their losses. It is a sarcastic movie with great dialogues that talk about the hypocrisies of business without being preachy.


1. Wall Street:

Wall Street is the story of a young stock broker who wants to get to the top in a hurry. He finds himself entering the shady world of insider trading and greedy stockbrokers. This new life of easy money and fast women makes him question his motives and values as it conflicts with his middle class upbringing. An important movie for any marketing or management student who is entering the world of business and possibly dreams of making big in a short time.

Wall Street

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