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The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

These are the business stories we couldn't get enough of this year.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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BY BEN SHERRY, STAFF REPORTER@BENLUCASSHERRY

Hollywood has finally realized that starting and running a company makes for great drama. In 2023, several major studios released films about iconic brands ranging from Nike to BlackBerry to Ferrari. In addition to being fascinating stories in their own right, these business biopics contain lessons for founders and small business owners.

Here are the top 10 business movies of 2023, listed in alphabetical order.

Air: Courting a Legend

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Amazon

Ben Affleck recreates the story of how Nike talent scout Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) turned around the company's flagging basketball division by signing an exciting rookie player: Michael Jordan. The movie illustrates how Vaccaro and Nike co-founder Phil Knight (Affleck) crafted an unprecedented deal to woo Jordan from then-bigger competitors like Adidas and Converse. The film is the first project from Affleck and Damon's new company Artists Equity, which the co-founders say will offer more generous profit participation points to crew members. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime.

Barbie

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Warner Brothers

The biggest box office hit of the year follows a stereotypical Barbie whose perfect life is thrown upside down when she has an existential crisis. Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz gave director Greta Gerwig enough creative freedom to include a bumbling fictional Mattel CEO played by Will Ferrell, and in return, Gerwig delivered a story that deals with the poisonous nature of patriarchy. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.

The Beanie Bubble

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Apple

This Apple-produced comedy-drama follows toy entrepreneur Ty Warner (a beardless Zach Galifianakis) through the rise and fall of his most iconic creation: Beanie Babies. Warner and his partners had the idea to turn the toys into high-status collector's items by limiting how many toys any retailer could purchase at once, and by retiring characters over time.  But like all speculative economies, that bubble could only get so big before it eventually burst. 

Where to Watch: AppleTV, YouTube TV.

BlackBerry

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: IFC Films

In Matt Johnson's darkly comedic story of the company that started a revolution in mobile computing, inventor Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) brings in investor Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton) to help him sell the world's first smartphone. The company was riding high until 2007, when Apple announced the iPhone, setting off a chain of events featuring the SEC, false promises, and betrayal. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, AMC+, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube TV.

Dumb Money: The Gamestop Story

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Sony Pictures

In January 2021, an army of Redditors turned the tables on Wall Street short-sellers when they rallied around the struggling stock of video game retailer GameStop, raising the stock's price from $17.25 to over $500 per share in a few weeks. Director Craig Gillespie's retelling of the story centers on stockbroker Keith Gill (Paul Dano), whose $53,000 investment in GameStop rose to a value of more than $48 million by the end of January 2021. Through the power of an online community, Gill leads a mini-financial revolution that sees several hobbyist investors make it rich and leads to a standoff with short seller Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen).

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube TV.

Ferrari

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Neon

In 1957, Enzo Ferrari's racing company was hemorrhaging money, and the only way to stop the bleeding was to find an external investor with deep pockets. In Michael Mann's depiction of the sacrifices required to be the best, Ferrari attempts to attract an investor by winning the 1957 Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile countrywide race across Italy, where the legendary racer's greatest triumph and tragedy both await him. 

Where to Watch: In theaters December 25, 2023.

M3GAN

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Universal Pictures

January is often referred to as a box-office graveyard for new releases, but the horror-comedy M3GAN managed to slay its way to $181 million through a marketing campaign that captured the minds of Gen-Z film fans. The filmmakers updated the classic haunted doll archetype by giving her stylish fashion, a sardonic personality, and an instantly iconic dance scene that's been copied millions of times on TikTok. To ensure its target audience could see the film, M3GAN was recut to take its rating down from R to PG-13, but for those with a love of gore, an unrated cut is also available. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.

Show Her The Money: The Power of Funding Female Founders

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Girls Just Want To Have Funds

Did you know that female entrepreneurs get only around 2 percent of all venture capital funding? This new film from documentary filmmaker Ky Dickens explores why women have been historically left out of VC funding and highlights four woman entrepreneurs and the female investors who are funding their businesses. The filmmakers are currently distributing the movie via a 50-city tour

Where to Watch: Opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 1, 2023.

Spinning Gold

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Hero Entertainment

This 1970s-set music industry biopic tells the story of how record executive Neil Bogart (Jeremy Jordan) founded Casablanca Records, one of the largest independent record companies of all time. The film starts out with Bogart signing a then-unknown rock band named Kiss, before rising to the top of the industry by capitalizing early on the rise of Disco, signing the likes of Donna Summer, the Village People, and Parliament before they became icons of their musical era. 

Where to Watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.

Tetris

The 10 Best Business Movies of 2023, From 'Barbie' to 'BlackBerry'

Photo: Apple TV

How far would you go for a great idea? That's the question powering director Jon S. Baird's dramatization of 1988 journey by American businessman Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) to Soviet Russia, where he undertakes a quest to help Nintendo secure the publishing rights to game developer Alexey Pajitnov's Tetris to create an exclusive version for their Game Boy device. Rogers fends off corrupt communists looking to profit before the fall of their regime and forms a close friendship with Pajitnov. Today, Rogers and Pajitnov are the co-owners and founders of the Tetris Company, which manages and licenses the Tetris brand. 

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