10 Movies Every Entrepreneur Must Watch

An average person from Kerala is fortunate to understand at least four languages. While most of them might not speak Hindi or Tamil fluently, Tamil and Hindi movies are watched regularly by most people in Kerala, hence choosing ten movies might be slightly difficult. Anyway, here are my top picks.

10. The Social Network.


Why is it important? :  “The Social Network” chronicles one of the biggest success stories in recent years. For those you haven’t watched it yet, the story of Mark Zuckerberg is pretty amazing and has been made famous by this film. He starts off as a Harvard student with a strong streak of arrogance and huge potential and creates a new social network based upon the most prestigious email address in the country, the Harvard email address. The rest, as they say, is history.

Best line: You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A BILLION DOLLARS!

09. Rocket Singh (Hindi)


Why is it important? : This movie has several lessons for the entrepreneur about starting up, boot-strapping, working your ass off, putting together a good team and the importance of superior service. For those of you who do not know Hindi, watch it with subtitles. It is worth it.

08. Rocky series


Why is it important? : The entire Rocky series is about perseverance and following your dreams. It is a rags-to-riches story of a boxer. One of the most inspiring aspects of the first Rocky movie is that it was made on a budget of $1 million and went on to gross $225 million, making it the highest grossing film in 1976. Apparently, Sylvester Stallone who wrote the script for the movie, wanted to act in it. However, he had very little money and had to sell his dog outside a liquor store for $50, just to get by. The twist in the story came about when – after months of trying to sell the movie, he got an offer of over $100,000 but he could not play Rocky. Since he was very particular about playing that role, with barely enough money to eat, he declined the offer. Higher offers kept coming in, but he continued to turn them down, even to the sum of $400,000, purely because he wanted to play Rocky. Eventually, he was offered just $25,000 if he wanted to play Rocky… He took it. The first thing he did was go back to the liquor store to buy back his dog but it ended up costing him $15,000 and a part in the movie for the man he’d sold him to. After everything, Sylvester Stallone made it as a huge movie star, with Rocky winning an Oscar for best picture, all because he continued to follow his dream. This is seen throughout the film and is part of the reason it makes it a great film for any entrepreneur to watch.

Best line: The entire Rocky series is filled with inspirational lines. Perhaps the best line is from 2006 Rocky movie: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

07. Wall Street


Why is it important? : Though this movie was not intended at entrepreneurs, it highlights ambition and success, not in the way ambition and success is supposed to be but it’s still a good movie to watch.

Best line: “Greed is good.”

06. Glengary Glen Ross


Why is it important? : This high pressure sales story is about meeting your deadlines and achieving sales targets. It shows the extent people would go to, to achieve their goals. A cult film of the 90s, starring Al Pacino and Kevin Spacey, Glengary Glen Ross is a must watch for any entrepreneur.

Best line: The entire speech that Alec Baldwin… including “ABC – Always be closing”. “coffee’s for closers only”… “Only one thing counts in this life, get them to sign on the line that is dotted”.

05. Midhunam (Malayalam)


Why is it important? : This movie is one of the finest works of director Priyadarshan. In spite of having copied/remade numerous films from Malayalam to Hindi, it is a shame he never bothered to remake this one. This movie, in a very hilarious ways chronicles the life of a struggling entrepreneur who is trying to set up a biscuit factory “Dakshyani Biscuits” and the real life struggles he faces in the process.

04. Jerry Maguire


Why is it important? : This is one movie which has elements of pursuing passion, balancing one’s career with life and a sports agent’s relationship with his client. One must see movie that all entrepreneurs would enjoy.

Best Line: The famous “Show me the money”.

03. Pursuit of Happyness


Why is it important? : Will Smith starrer, “Pursuit of Happyness” is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. This movie shows how one man overcame obstacles and worked smarter and harder than the competition. He never lost sight of the his goal and did everything he could to realize his dreams.

Best line: “Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it, period.”

02. Shawshank Redemption


Why is it important? : Apart from being one of the greatest movies of all time, this movie shows you how to hang on to hope even under the worst circumstances. If you want to do something, you can get it done even if the odds are against you. In this film, a falsely imprisoned Andy manages to make the best out of a very bad situation and through perseverance manages to achieve more than he ever thought possible.

Best lines: “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” & “Get busy living, or get busy dying”.

01. Jiro Dreams of Sushi


Why is it important? : Perhaps the most unfamiliar name on the list, this is one exceptional documentary. It is a Japanese documentary about a three Michelin Sushi chef in Japan, Jiro who had been making sushi all his life. It shows the effort that goes into making sushi, right from choosing the fish and all the right ingredients. It begins with Jiro addressing the camera – “Once you have chosen your occupation, you must fall in love with your work. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill” and the movie does justice to this theme. You learn the extent to which a person can work to attain perfection. It’s not a movie an entrepreneur would want to miss.