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20 Great Movies Like The Wolf Of Wall Street Ranked

Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" became iconic and an often-cited dark comedy since its 2013 release. The movie told a fascinating true story based on Jordan Belfort's 2007 memoir of the same name. The script — written by Terence Winter — tells Belfort's rise to fame and wealth and how his stockbroker firm, Stratton Oakmont, gradually became involved with corruption and fraud. This led to a thorough FBI investigation that caused the fall of Belfort, who spent nearly two years in prison.

Although there's nothing quite like a crime epic directed by the great Scorsese, there are films that either thematically, stylistically, or tonally attempt to pull off something similar. Here, we gathered 20 examples that resemble the entertainment level of "The Wolf of Wall Street" in one way or another. Including some classics from the director himself, these are the flicks that you should definitely watch if you're a fan of this epic crime saga.

20. Rogue Trader

Although James Dearden's biographical drama didn't get much praise from critics back in 1999, it deserves to be mentioned on this list for two reasons. One, the plot tells the true story of Nick Leeson, who singlehandedly bankrupted the British Barings Bank as the general manager of the trading floor. He was sent to Singapore to control the bank's SIMEX exchange, but he secretly gambled away more than $800 million through an error account — which eventually led to the collapse of the establishment and put him in jail for a long time. Leeson didn't complete the entirety of his sentence because he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

The second reason is Ewan McGregor, who delivers an energetic and fantastic performance as the protagonist. As he proved many times during his career, he's suited for morally-questionable antihero roles — and in "Rogue Trader" McGregor adds one more to the list. Although the script and the movie's pace are unbalanced, his performance is certainly worth a look if you're up for a "The Wolf of Wall Street"-like feature.

19. Gold (2016)

Stephen Gaghan's gold-digger crime drama was a flop at the box office in 2016 — it only made $14 million on a $20 million budget. The poor reviews surely didn't help — and the film seemed to have missed its target audience entirely. But "Gold" still had something to offer: Matthew McConaughey. Just as in "The Wolf of Wall Street," he's at the top of his game here as well. He plays Kenny Wells, a big-mouthed and cocky opportunist who lost nearly everything in the '80s. But one day, he had a dream that led him to Indonesia to mine gold and uncover the biggest gold find of the decade. Of course, to actually capitalize on his discovery, Wells needed to go through a hell of a journey, which almost killed him but also made him insanely rich.

Thanks to McConaughey's electrifying portrayal, Gaghan's feature is an underrated hidden gem that tells an old-fashioned story and holds surprises until the very last moment.

18. Blow

Ted Demme's 2001 gangster film is as Scorsese-esque as it gets. Starring Johnny Deep as protagonist George Jung — a small-time criminal from Weymouth, Massachusetts — who established the American cocaine market in the 1970s with the help of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel. "Blow" is a wild and intoxicating trip into the heart of the drug trafficking business that began in South America. Alongside Depp, the movie features such familiar faces as Ray Liotta, Penélope Cruz, Cliff Curtis, Franka Potente, and Ethan Suplee.

Although it received mixed reviews from critics, the film was an undeniable banger among viewers — and a fresh and inspired true story about the drug industry. Of course, it was made more than 20 years ago, when we didn't have such a vast selection of gangster epics about infamous drug lords like Escobar. Nevertheless, even today "Blow" can be considered one of the most entertaining features in the genre — with a bombastic soundtrack to boot.

17. Lord of War

Andrew Niccol's bleak drama, "Lord of War" has one of the best movie opening sequences of all time — and the rest of it is pretty phenomenal too. But first and foremost, it's a Nicolas Cage film front and center. An exceptionally great one. As Yuri Orlov, the son of Ukrainian refugees, Cage introduces us to the heartless world of arms dealing. Partnered up with his younger brother, Vitaly (one of Jared Leto's most convincing roles), the two provide guns for troops, dictators, drug lords, and basically anyone who needs supply. Through his captivating lifestyle, Yuri shows us that for some people war is nothing but a lucrative business in which the definition of evil changes its meaning frequently.

"Lord of War" is a brutal, uncompromising depiction of a world where the lines between right and wrong are adjustable depending on the size of profit. Yet, thanks to the outstanding performances and Niccol's approach to the material, it's a highly entertaining feature with a sense of humor as dark as night.

16. American Made

Doug Liman's 2017 movie is another flick on drug trafficking. This time, however, it's told from the perspective of a Trans World Airlines pilot who worked for the CIA before he became a drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel. Guns, drugs, and money laundering? Add to those the unmistakable charm that Tom Cruise brings to this action-comedy, and you have a delightful two hours of pure fun. Despite its serious subject matter, "American Made" is a light-hearted and appealing take on the drug trade.

The true story — based on Barry Seal, who became a DEA informant to avoid jail for his crimes — might involve some of the most feared and dangerous criminals on the planet, but Liman's style of storytelling and Cruise's effortless charisma turns this feature into a smooth ride. The film was a box office hit and garnered mainly positive reviews from critics and viewers.

15. War Dogs

Todd Phillips became an established director in the early aughts, making such bonkers comedies as "Old School," "Road Trip," or "Starsky & Hutch." But he really went hot in 2009, when he directed one of the most popular comedies in the last 15 years — "The Hangover." That flick brought in some serious box office numbers, and Phillips got to make a trilogy out of it.

The 2016 crime-comedy, "War Dogs" was somewhat unknown territory for the director — leaving behind the field of nonsensical stories. He got a chance to make a more serious film while keeping his trademark humor. Loosely based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, the film follows two arms dealers, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller), who hit the jackpot by getting a contract from the U.S. Army to supply ammunition to the Afghan National Army for $300 million. Hill and Teller sell the quite unbelievable story effortlessly — which is spiked with hilarious one-liners and a strong message about war. Although Hill is only half as great as he is besides Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street," he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. If you seek a puzzling and exciting story told in an amusing way, you can't go wrong with Phillips's feature.

14. Boiler Room

Ben Younger's 2000 directorial debut could be easily called one of the predecessors of "The Wolf of Wall Street." The plot follows a bunch of young men, freshly graduated and hungry for success, who join the brokerage firm J.T. Marlin and begin to aggressively sell stocks to unassuming clients. They thrive on the job, chasing the promise made by the company's co-founder, Jim Young (Ben Affleck), to become millionaires within three years.

"Boiler Room" introduces these characters who look at Gordon Gekko from Oliver Stone's classic, "Wall Street" as a role model. They ruthlessly trick people into buying large amounts of stocks, hoping to get rich. The scale is a lot smaller here than at Stratton Oakmont, and nobody comes close to Leonardo DiCaprio's extravagant depiction of Jordan Belfort, but not for the lack of trying. The movie features an ensemble cast, including Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Scott Caan, Nia Long, Ron Rifkin, and Affleck. If you want to see another intriguing take on the dynamics of a brokerage firm, "Boiler Room" is an excellent choice.

13. Wall Street

Before Martin Scorsese made a film out of Jordan Belfort's life, Oliver Stone's 1987 classic, "Wall Street" was the movie most fans thought about when it came to stock trading. "Wall Street" was a sort of epitome of the sub-genre for a long time — directed by the man who wrote "Scarface," "Conan the Barbarian," and "Platoon." Stone was interested in telling epic stories about epic characters. He made this flick as a tribute to his father who was a stockbroker during The Great Depression. One of the main characters, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), became an archetype of brokers in the 1980s — and Douglas won the Oscar for his performance. Besides him, the movie features well-known actors such as Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Hal Holbrook, and Martin Sheen.

"Wall Street" was critically praised upon its release and became a hit at the box office — grossing more than $43 million worldwide on a $15 million budget. It was also well-received by audiences and earned cult status as one of the most famous films about cold-blooded stockbrokers.

12. The Founder

John Lee Hancock's 2016 flick is another biopic about an ambitious man who dared to dream big. The story follows businessman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a happily married salesman, who stumbles upon a Mcdonald's in the 1950s and decides to turn it into a fast-food empire. Kroc says it was persistence that made him an extremely successful businessman, but there's a lot more to it than that. "The Founder" is about greed and an insatiable obsession to execute one's idea even if he has to cheat, lie, and break contracts and hearts to get what he wants.

After his tremendous comeback in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" in 2014, Keaton had been offered more complex and worthy roles for his talent. "The Founder" — despite a slightly unbalanced and a bit too dry script — is clearly one of them. It's undoubtedly his show, and he makes sure we get that impression, too. Although it's modest and restrained — given the era — it's one of those epic tales that became historic for a reason.

11. Margin Call

J.C. Chandor's 2011 directorial debut was "Margin Call," a dark financial drama that takes place right before the 2008 financial crisis — it breaks down how a prestigious Wall Street investment bank collapses overnight. The head of risk management, Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), is on the brim of a crucial discovery when he gets laid off with several other employees. Before he's escorted out of the building, he hands a flash drive to Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto), who works under him. Not long after, Sullivan discovers that what's on the flash drive is a very accurate prediction of a mistake that will bankrupt the entire company in no time. Once he shares this information with his superiors, things take a rapid turn for the worse. The firm begins to strategize how it could minimize the losses, which eventually will have a seismic effect on the entire real estate market.

Essentially, "Margin Call" is a ruthless portrayal of some powerful and insanely rich men who do everything to protect their status and wealth, while the public and the employees on lower levels get screwed. The script — written by Chandor — was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The drama received positive reviews and its cast — which features Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Kevin Spacey, and Paul Bettany — was praised for delivering remarkable performances.

10. The Color of Money

Here we are, the first mention of another Martin Scorsese movie that came out nearly 30 years earlier than "The Wolf of Wall Street." As strange as it sounds, "The Color of Money" is a slightly underrated piece by the master — even though it features one of the greatest Tom Cruise performances from his early years, and Paul Newman won an Oscar for it. Based on Walter Tevis's 1984 novel of the same name, the premise follows Eddie Felson (Newman), a retired pool hustler, who spends his days as a liquor salesman in Chicago, staking bets on pool players on the side. When one of his finest hustlers gets beaten at nine-ball by an unknown rookie in a bar, Felson feels the need to step in. He tells the rookie, Vincent (a devilishly handsome Cruise), and his girlfriend that they have great potential for hustling. Eventually, Felson decides to return to the game and invites the young couple to join him on the road for six weeks to play tournaments and hustle games.

"The Color of Money" may be one of the simplest Scorsese flicks with a straightforward plot, but its unmistakable style and tone belong to the director, no doubt — a shady atmosphere filled with morally ambiguous characters and top-notch musical selection. As with his many movies from the '80s, you can't go wrong with this one either.

9. 99 Homes

Ramin Bahrani's feature is one of the meanest movies that came out in 2014. The premise focuses on Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), who gets evicted from his Florida family home by real estate broker, Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). In a desperate pursuit to regain his house, Nash agrees to work for Carver and soon becomes his assistant, carrying out evictions the same way Carver did. The whole process is an elaborate scam to exploit banking rules and the struggling homeowners who can't pay their mortgages. Nash quickly realizes that it's better to be the hunter than the prey and decides to help Carver and get rich along the way. However, he soon finds himself in the face of a moral dilemma as he commits increasingly worse things against innocent people.

Based on true events, Bahrani's drama is a dire and merciless account of the real estate industry and how the system preys on the financially weak and takes everything from them. "99 Homes" is as heartbreaking, cruel, and emotionally raw as it gets. It's no surprise that critics highly praised the movie and highlighted its leads, Garfield and Shannon, who both deliver astonishing performances.

8. Casino

"Casino" is among those Martin Scorsese features that contributed greatly to the gangster genre. Based on Nicholas Pileggi's 1995 non-fiction book, "Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas," the film tells the story of Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a professional Jewish-American gambler, who's asked by the Chicago mafia to oversee operations at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. Like any other movie about organized crime from Scorsese, "Casino" is a complex piece of art. It painstakingly details the dynamics and machinations of the Italian-American mafia and the fearsome, infamous figures, who, by now, have become a significant part of pop culture.

Although the film marks the eighth collaboration between Robert De Niro and Scorsese, it's Joe Pesci who steals the show. Playing the vicious Nicky Santoro — a "made man" — Pesci brings a violent and thrilling form that no one can ever forget about once they see it. Nevertheless, the entire cast is as good as it gets in a classic mafia movie.

7. The Big Short

"The Big Short" is Adam McKay's 2015 drama, a nuanced portrayal of the prediction of the 2008 financial crisis triggered by the American housing market. Based on Michael Lewis's nonfiction bestseller, "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine," the film breaks down some of the most complicated financial concepts. And it does so with a terrific cast. Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, and many others help explain some of the most intricate finance-related theories and dissect them meticulously.

Despite its sophisticated and weighty subject matter, the movie was a financial success that grossed more than $133 million worldwide and received praising reviews from critics. Thanks to McKay's comical approach — using visual techniques and employing actors to explain elaborate financial instruments — "The Big Short" is an amusing film that tells a quite unthinkable story. Whether you're interested in its topic or not, you shouldn't miss it.

6. Catch Me If You Can

Steven Spielberg's 2002 crime drama, "Catch Me If You Can," is one of the greatest con movies. Depicting the fascinating life of scam artist Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), who played cat-and-mouse with the FBI for years before he was caught. Although the truth about the real-life Abagnale and his tricks to gain millions of dollars is questionable, to say the least, it doesn't take away from the film's entertainment value. Allegedly, Abagnale created false identities such as a Pan Am pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a parish prosecutor from Louisiana — and lived a life of carefully constructed lies.

DiCaprio's portrayal of him is mesmerizing. Abagnale uses his charm, deceiving skills, and pseudo-knowledge to convince everyone around him that he's who he claims he is. Tom Hanks is equally convincing in the role of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who chases Abagnale through airports until he finally catches him. "Catch Me If You Can" is a thrilling and smart feature with a surprisingly heartfelt ending.

5. Glengarry Glen Ross

James Foley's 1992 drama is an adaptation of David Mamet's masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. Thanks to its strong script — which Mamet also wrote for the movie version — "Glengarry Glen Ross" is a masterclass of storytelling. Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, and Kevin Spacey all bring their very best as real estate salesmen who work for the same company and they're trying to stay employed. The plot consists of two workdays, during which these desperate sales veterans pull every trick they can think of to avoid getting fired.

The atmosphere of "Glengarry Glen Ross" is filled to the brim with desperation, tension and suspense. Although the film is considered a cult classic now, back then it was a box office flop. It only made $10 million on a $12 million budget. Al Pacino was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup award for Best Actor at the 49th Venice Film Festival. If you choose this film in hope of great entertainment, you won't be let down.

4. Moneyball

Bennett Miller's 2011 sports drama, "Moneyball," is an excellent example of Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin's exceptional talent as screenwriters. Based on Michael Lewis's 2003 nonfiction book, "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," the film tells the story of how the general manager of Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), and his assistant Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) built a successful baseball team from scratch — employing underrated, cheap players due to budgetary restrictions in 2002.

As Beane, Pitt delivers an emotional performance of a once-promising baseball player who wasted his opportunity to become really big. His regrets — always brewing under the surface — drive him to accomplish something extraordinary in the sport. Thanks to Brand's revolutionary method and assistance, together they achieve something that no one ever did before in the history of baseball. "Moneyball" was praised by critics and had great success at the box office. Pitt and Hill were both nominated for an Academy Award, and the film garnered six Oscar nominations overall.

3. Nightcrawler

Dan Gilroy's 2014 directorial debut isn't a conventional thriller in the slightest. But its themes of capitalism and obsession aren't unfamiliar — we just haven't really seen them captured from the point of view of a psychopath. The plot follows Louis "Lou" Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who's desperately seeking something to be good at. From a small-time thief, he becomes a stellar photojournalist — a stringer — in Los Angeles. He dedicates himself to the job and puts in the work to improve every day. His determination goes beyond a point where he becomes compulsive and begins manipulating crime scenes, creating a false narrative that only he can control. Eventually, Bloom's methods turn unethical and evil — and he makes sure that there's no one out there to stop him.

Gilroy's movie was one of the most acclaimed films of 2014. Made on a modest $8.5 million budget, "Nightcrawler" was a box office hit, grossing $47 million worldwide. Its screenplay — written by Gilroy — was nominated for an Oscar, and Gyllenhaal's performance was highly celebrated by both critics and viewers. Undoubtedly, Gilroy's feature debut is a triumph in every aspect.

2. The Social Network

A collaboration between one-of-a-kind director David Fincher and writer-genius Aaron Sorkin was always going to create huge anticipation and high expectations. But most people probably did not suspect a movie about the birth of Facebook and its creator would become a modern classic. "The Social Network" is a breathless, fast-paced, and intriguing story. Thanks to Sorkin's rhythmical and sharp dialogue — and Fincher's stellar visual storytelling methods — this biopic never becomes boring, even upon multiple viewings.

But to be super compelling, the cast had to be flawless. As Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg is an unlikable genius who becomes a billionaire in his early 20s. His best (and only) friend, Eduardo, played by a stunning Andrew Garfield, is just as captivating. And then there's Sean Parker, the opportunist who burns the candle on both ends, played by musician-turned-actor Justin Timberlake, who delivers his finest role to date. The drama won numerous awards — including three Oscars and four Golden Globes — and was celebrated by critics and audiences unanimously. If you want to see a film as breathtaking, exciting, and amusing as "The Wolf of Wall Street," this near-masterpiece is a great bet.

1. Goodfellas

There's a reason that many think of "The Wolf of Wall Street" as a white-collar, modern-day, brokers-instead-of-gangsters version of "Goodfellas." Both are based on non-fiction books — and both glorify status and greed to an extreme. Naturally, since the two were directed by Martin Scorsese, visually and stylistically they have a lot in common. Of course, the former was made 30 years ago, and it depicts an era that no longer exists in the same form. Its plot follows Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who wanted nothing but to be a mobster ever since he was a kid in Brooklyn. We see him make his dream come true and then ruin his life.

"Goodfellas" is a masterpiece for many reasons — story, cast, visuals, music, direction — and yes, it glorifies an immoral, criminal lifestyle. But it doesn't shy away from showing us the consequences that come with it. Truthfully, it's a better "The Wolf of Wall Street" movie than "The Wolf of Wall Street" itself. To really appreciate Jordan Belfort's story, you need to see the movie Scorsese is likely the most famous for. Without "Goodfellas," "The Wolf of Wall Street" might've been a very different film.