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25 Movies Similar to The Wolf Of Wall Street

25 Movies Similar to The Wolf Of Wall Street

This epic biographical black comedy crime film was released in 2013 with much acclaim and was directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. It was based on a memoir published in 2007 by Jordan Belfort of the same name.

We follow Belfort, played expertly by Leonardo DiCaprio, as he and his company engage in fraud and corruption on Wall Street. We see how greed and an insatiable hunger for more ultimately lead to his downfall.

In The Wolf of Wall Street, we witness how living the high life isn’t all it’s built up to be. There is unmatched greed and overconfidence that come along with hoards of money. Belfort starts as a small timer, but soon makes it big, and with all that money and too much to balance, things begin to unravel. 

The movie certainly delivers on all fronts, and the cast of DiCaprio, along with Jonah Hill, his business partner, Margot Robbie, his wife, and Kyle Chandler, as an FBI agent trying to bring him down, give sterling performances. The film was nominated for various Academy Awards, and DiCaprio also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Our favorite films like this one are The Big Short (2015), The Founder (2016), and The Social Network (2010). For more like these, read on and see what gems we have in store for you.

1. The Big Short

The Big Short

Released in 2015, The Big Short is a biographical comedy-drama, and it was directed by Adam McKay and written by him along with Charles Randolph. Like The Wolf of Wall Street, the film follows true accounts of events, particularly the financial crisis of 2007–2008, which was started by the housing bubble in the United States.

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The film is different in structure, though, as it follows three simultaneous stories that are faintly connected by their actions in the years that bring us to the housing market crash of 2007.

The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Melissa Leo, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Hamish Linklater, among others. The film won itself an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and received other nominations as well. All in all, it was well-received by critics and managed to turn a budget of $50 million into a box office of $133.4 million.

2. The Founder

The Founder

The Founder is a biographical drama, directed by John Lee Hancock and was released in 2016. The story does not follow shady deals and drug-induced scenes, though it does show us the story of Ray Kroc’s creation of the McDonald’s fast-food franchise.

We have the well-versed Michael Keaton in the lead role, praised by critics for his performance as Kroc, who started as a traveling milkshake machine salesman. Additionally, Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star in the film as the McDonald’s founders.

As mentioned, the film received good reviews for Keaton’s performance and as a whole. Financially though, it was not a great success and only raked in $24.1 million box office of an approximate $10 million production budget.

3. The Social Network

The Social Network (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

The Social Network was released in 2010 and is, like The Founder, a biographical drama. This film having been directed by David Fincher. It gives us an insight into the founding of the Facebook website and the lawsuits which followed. As with The Wolf of Wall Street, there was a substantial amount of perhaps not technically illegal work, but undoubtedly unethical acts.

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The film cast Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role of the founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Additionally, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, and Max Minghella join in.

The film was hailed for being expertly directed and impeccably performed, and the critics found little to fault it on. At the box office, it also hit the right notes and came out with $224.9 million from a budget of $40 million.

4. The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby (2013)

If you are a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, then this film will certainly satiate you. It was based on the book of the same title and follows the life of a millionaire in the roaring ‘20s. Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) is our leading man, and we follow him and our “narrator” Nick Carraway as they party their way through life.

An old flame, Daisy Buchanan, who is now married, comes back into Gatsby’s life, and his desire for her has not subsided. But love can be blinding, and things go from stellar to abysmal pretty quickly.

Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, and Jason Clarke accompany DiCaprio on this whirlwind of an adventure, and together they both dazzled certain critics while others were not too taken. However, the box office reads in their favor, having brought in $353.6 million from a budget of $105 million.

5. Joy

Joy

A 2015 biographical comedy-drama, this film was written and directed by David O. Russell and is about a self-made woman, who became a millionaire by creating a business empire. If you liked the tensions and drama of The Wolf of Wall Street and the idea of someone making it, regardless of the naysayers, then you’ll certainly appreciate this film.

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The film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Joy Mangano, and with her is a just and seasoned cast comprising of Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Édgar Ramírez, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen.

Joy received a mix of reviews, but for the most part, the consensus was that the performances were good, yet the script and overall pacing were slightly lacking. Lawrence got an Academy Award nomination and received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. The film made $101.1 million off of a budget of $60 million.

6. 21

21

This high-stakes heist drama movie came out in 2008 and was directed by Robert Luketic. If you enjoyed the suspense of whether or not they would get away with things in The Wolf of Wall Street, you’ll love this film.

It follows an MIT math student who is faced with the trouble of having to pay his tuition fees, but his lecturer and some fellow students get him involved in counting cards in casinos in Vegas. All seems to be going their way until they are found out.

The film stars Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, with Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, and Liza Lapira in this heart-stopping film, which despite some negative criticism, managed to turn a budget of $35 million into a reasonable $159.8 million.  

7. War Dogs

War Dogs

This 2016 dark comedy crime film was directed by Todd Phillips and certainly packs a punch in all areas. If you enjoyed the money, drugs, and extreme energy of The Wolf of Wall Street, then this is a must-watch for you. Also, this film has guns, a lot of them.

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Based on actual events of two arms dealers, who receive a U.S. Army contract to supply ammunition worth roughly $300 million for the Afghan National Army, the film, though, is highly fictionalized and may not completely mirror the story in the books Once a Gun Runner and Arms and the Dudes.

The film stars Jonah Hill, Ana de Armas, Miles Teller, and Bradley Cooper. It is a wild ride which, unfortunately, was only able to turn a budget of $50 million into a conservative $86.2 million.

8. Pain & Gain

Pain & Gain

Released in 2013, Pain & Gain is another film based on actual events. It is an action-comedy directed by Michael Bay, and like with many of his movies, it’s either go big or go home. Like the Wolf of Wall Street, there are drugs, money, and an insatiable hunger for more, even when one has it all.

The film is loosely based on the book Pain & Gain: This Is a True Story (2013). It involves the kidnapping, torture, and extortion of Victor Kershaw, based on Marc Schiller. All this was performed by the Sun Gym Gang, who also killed and dismembered individuals.

This movie stars household names, such as Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, and Dwayne Johnson. It had some controversy surrounding it, mainly how it translated its story from the source. Overall, the film performed relatively well, making $86.2 million from a $26 million budget.

9. The Intern

The Intern

This 2015 comedy-drama was written, produced, and directed by Nancy Meyers. It does not share the elements of The Wolf of Wall Street, which would be uncomfortable to watch with your parents, and is undoubtedly what one would consider more wholesome. But don’t think that this means a film that will bore you, as it has a lot to offer.

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The story follows a 70-year-old widower who becomes a “senior” intern at a website that sells fashion. He inevitably forms a somewhat unlikely friendship with the company’s CEO, and the two are able to learn from one another as their relationship grows.

The cast is made up of Rebert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo, along with other supporting characters. The movie was not considered something to write home about by the critics; however, they did commend the performances and clever humor. At the box office, the film turned a budget of $35 million into $194.6 million.

10. Jobs

Jobs

This is a 2013 biographical drama film based on the life and times of Steve Jobs, one of the key founders of Apple computers. The film follows a man who is driven by a passion for making the impossible possible.

This film that starred Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as the co-founder, Steve Wozniak, was directed by Joshua Michael Stern. Although the drama and performances of the film were remarked on as being well done, overall, critics felt that it lacked the substance of its true-life source material.

This production was made on a minute budget of $12 million and was able to get a return of $42.1 million at the box office.

11. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

If you liked the rush and adrenaline that came from seeing our characters work on Wall Street in Wolf of Wall Street, then this drama certainly matches up. It is the sequel to the original film and follows the story of the 2008 financial crisis.

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The plot is centered on a supposedly reformed man, Gordon Gekko, who was involved with insider trading. He is trying now to remedy his relationship with his estranged daughter, with the help of her fiancé. As the movie progresses, though, things begin to boil over, and as they say, “It’s easy to get in, but harder to get out.”

The cast comprises veterans in the game such as Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin, and the film was directed by Oliver Stone. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics and earned $134.7 million from its $70 million budget.

12. Limitless

Limitless

In this 2011 science-fiction thriller, it is not talent or corrupt antics that see our protagonist rise to fame and fortune, but rather a drug, known as NZT-48, which allows the user to utilize the total capacity of their brain. However, there are side effects, and as the money rolls in, our hero begins to unravel.

We follow Edward Morra, played by Bradley Cooper, and watch as his life is turned around and he climbs the ladder on Wall Street, only for things to fall apart later. With Cooper are Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro, Andrew Howard, and Anna Friel.

Critics were torn over this Neil Burger film, and some praised it while others felt that certain aspects of the script were “uneven”. However, the box office speaks for itself, and the film did well enough, bringing in $161.8 million with a budget of $27 million.

13. Money Monster

Money Monster

Money Monster (2016) is a film that, in our opinion, was well written and, overall, exceptionally crafted. Jodie Foster directed the film. And it does not deal with one man’s making of money on Wall Street, but rather how a bitter investor, who lost everything, takes a television host and his producer hostage. All while in search of answers and justice.

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The film stars big names such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Dominic West, Jack O’Connell, and Caitríona Balfe. Although a lot of the movie takes place in one location, plenty of tension and great performances carry the story.

Like in a few other instances on this list, critics were a bit torn between whether it was exceptional or forgettable. At the box office, it faired alright with its $27.4 million budget making a return of $93.3 million.

14. The Irishman

The Irishman (The Criterion Collection)

Also, like The Wolf of Wall Street, this film was directed by Martin Scorsese, and it shows. Scorsese also produced this epic crime film, and Steve Zaillian wrote it. The story details the life of a truck driver who gets involved with a mobster and becomes a hitman.

This title was a Netflix production and sports some top-notch stars such as Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin, and Bobby Cannavale. It received great critical acclaim and many nominations for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and British Academy Film Awards.

It cost $159 million to make this masterpiece. At the box office, it only made $8 million; however, it only spent a limited time in theatres and was then available for streaming on Netflix.

15. Black Mass

Black Mass

If you like biographical films about people doing bad things, then Black Mass is a must-see. It was released in 2015 and directed by Scott Cooper. It is based on a 2001 book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

The film follows a small-time criminal, Whitey Bulger, who quickly becomes a big-timer with the help of the FBI that voluntarily turns a blind eye to his antics. There is murder, guns, betrayal, and plenty of thrills along the way.

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At the head of the cast is Johnny Depp as Bulgar, as well as Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, and Dakota Johnson. The film generally received positive reviews and made a sufficient return on its budget of $53 million, when it managed to garner $99.8 million at the box office.

16. Capone

Capone

Released in 2020, this biographical film, which follows the life of one of the most notorious gangsters of all time, was directed by Josh Trank, who also wrote and edited it. The movie is a must-see for anyone who loved the excessive splendor and lavish living seen in The Wolf of Wall Street. Along with that, there is plenty of violence and stellar acting.

The movie takes place after Capone served a sentence of 11 years at Atlanta Penitentiary. He now supposedly suffers from neurosyphilis and dementia, of which not all are convinced.

Tom Hardy plays Capone, and with him are Linda Cardellini, Noel Fisher, Jack Lowden, and Kyle MacLachlan. The film itself was rated as well constructed and performed, but not a “money-maker”.  This was unfortunately true, and despite its initial popularity with audience members, it only managed to make back $858,218 on a budget of $20 million.

17. Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

This is a 2002 pseudo-biographical crime film, which was both produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It is a much watch if you enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street because just like his role in that film, he once again is involved in devious activity and on the run from the FBI.

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The film is based on an autobiography by one Frank Abagnale, who supposedly pulled off cons worth millions of dollars before he was even 19 years old. He poses as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a prosecutor, and a doctor in the film. The truth of the story has come under question, but the entertainment factor has not.

It stars DiCaprio in the lead with Tom Hanks, hot on his heels, as the FBI agent Carl Hanratty. Along for this whirlwind of an adventure are Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, and Martin Sheen.

The film grossed $352.1 million at the box office after a mere $52 million had been spent on production. Additionally, critics were enamored with the work altogether, and special mention was made of DiCaprio’s performance. It was also nominated for Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

18. Goodfellas

Goodfellas (1990) Remastered

This 1990 production is a traditional gangster film directed by Martin Scorsese and is a biographical crime. The story of wanting to be somebody and then going after your dreams is something that this one shares in common with The Wolf of Wall Street.

The names on this cast list have appeared on a few of our other examples, and that is because they consistently deliver such outstanding performances. We witness the likes of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, and Lorraine Bracco.

The film, which has been named as one of the best films of all time, won an Academy Award and was nominated for Golden Globes and British Academy Film Awards, along with others. It unfortunately only managed to return $47.1 million after having spent $25 million on production.

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19. The Aviator

The Aviator

Once again, we have a film which features Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. DiCaprio certainly delivers as usual in this 2004 film, directed by Martin Scorsese (who has directed others on this list).

The film is an epic biographical drama film, based on the book Howard Hughes. It follows his life from 1927, for a full 20 years until 1947. During this time, he becomes an aviation pioneer and a successful film producer. Unfortunately, he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and this begins to hinder his life.

The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, and others include Ian Holm, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law. With a fantastic director and stellar cast, it garnered 11 Academy Award nominations, of which it won 5.

The British Academy Film Awards saw it win 4 out of its 14 nominations. Additionally, it was nominated for 6 Golden Globe Awards, and it managed to take home 3. And finally, Blanchett won the award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the Screen Actors Guild Award.

Along with its numerous accolades and wide stretched praise, the film brought in a box office of $213.7 million after spending $110 million on production.

20. Casino

Casino (4K UHD)

Casino is an epic crime film, which was released in 1995. Although an older film, it was produced by Barbara De Fina and directed by Martin Scorsese. It also has strong elements of greed and power-hungry characters that are only out to satisfy their own desires.

The film stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Kevin Pollak, and Don Rickles. The primary characters were based on real people, and the film follows the story of a  gambling expert hired to oversee the daily running of a casino and hotel. Unfortunately, there are some elements involved that soon make things a matter of life or death for De Niro’s character.

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For the most part, it received critical praise, won a Golden Globe, and was able to turn a budget of $40 million into a noteworthy $116.1 million.

21. Boiler Room

Boiler Room (2000)

This 2000 film, written and directed by Ben Younger, is a crime drama film similar to The Wolf of Wall Street in that it follows the story of someone who is trying to earn big, by not precisely doing things by the book.

The film was set in 1999, and our protagonist, Seth Davis, who is 19 at the time, is a college dropout who decides to run an unlicensed casino from his home. One night he is introduced to Greg Weinstein, who recruits him to join a brokerage firm.

The film was praised for its outstanding writing and on-point pacing; however, some were disappointed by the ending. Nevertheless, it was able to make a $7 million budget into a relatively good $28 million return.

22. Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club

Jean-Marc Vallée directed this 2013 biographical drama that tells the story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient. He soon discovers unapproved pharmaceutical drugs and smuggles them into Texas to treat his and others’ symptoms.

It is not a case of a man who is trying to make an absolute fortune for his own benefit, but rather a man struggling to survive, and this is why we have decided to add this one to our list.

The film features Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto, and their performances and the film received great critical acclaim, particularly for McConaughey and Leto’s performances. It won multiple Academy Awards for performance and other aspects thereof.

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It was made on only $5 million and garnered $55.7 million at the box office. So although not a huge amount, the percentage return was immense.

23. Molly’s Game

Molly's Game

A 2017 biographical crime drama, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, in his directorial debut, is an epic story of making one’s way to the top and then watching as the pieces begin to tumble.

It was based on the memoir, by Molly Bloom, which was published in 2014. The film follows Bloom’s story as she becomes a target of an FBI investigation after being found out to be running an illegal poker empire.

The film stars Jessica Chastain (Bloom), Kevin Costner, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, and Jeremy Strong. It got Chastain a Golden Globe nomination, and the movie itself received nominations at the Academy Awards, Writers Guild of America Awards, Golden Globes, and BAFTA Awards.

Although the film received high ratings and great reviews, it only made $59.3 million at the box office, with a production budget of $30 million.

24. Margin Call

Margin Call

Like others on this list, this 2011 financial thriller occurs during the 2007–2008 financial crash. This particular film was written and directed by J.C. Chandor in his feature directorial debut.

The majority of the story takes place over 24 hours at a Wall Street investment bank. The main story focuses on key employees and their actions during this time. Much is at stake, and as we see in the film, trust is in question, and the right thing to do is brought under scrutiny.

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The film stars an ensemble cast of Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, and Simon Baker. It received an exceptionally positive response; however, for some reason, it was only able to turn its small budget of $3.5 million into a box office return of $19.5 million.

25. Gangs Of New York

Gangs Of New York

In this 2002 epic historical drama, we once again see the keen hand of Martin Scorsese. Gangs of New York is about power and building an empire, only to have that challenged by another. Leonardo DiCaprio plays in this film and The Wolf of Wall Street, offering another striking performance.

It is 1863, and a feud erupts between the Irish Catholic immigrants and the Protestant Confederation of American Natives. There is an epic battle between the two groups to see who will hold power over the territory. However, “Priest” Vallon is struck down, and his son witnesses it. Years later, he returns for vengeance.

Along with DiCaprio are Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz. Additionally, Jim Broadbent, Henry Thomas, and Brendan Gleeson join the cast.

The film received great critical acclaim and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. All in all, the reasonably large production budget of $100 million managed to make $193.8 million at the box office.