June 7, 2023

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The 8 Best Movies of the Year for Entrepreneurs

The film industry did not offer a very rosy view of the business world in 2021. 

Dominated by streaming giants and independent studios, the year in movies had a wealth of poignant stories about financial distress in a range of cultures and locations. There was a mass of gig economy workers struggling professionally and financially. A daughter helping to keep her deaf parents’ fishing business from collapsing. An Albanian widow in Kosovo working to start a small business amid civil unrest. Inspirational and tragic alike, each film has a lesson to offer for entrepreneurs.

Here are eight 2021 movies every business owner should see, listed in order of release date.

1. Silk Road 

This high-octane thriller tells the true story of how Ross Ulbricht created his infamous dark web-based “Amazon-for-drugs,” which amassed more than $1 billion in sales before being taken down by the DEA. It’s an instructive parable about the dangers of unfettered e-commerce.
Where to see it: Hulu

2. WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

The epic documentary about how WeWork’s frathouse-like office culture, unrealistic expectations, and cartoonish overspending caused the co-working business’s IPO and its utopian vision to unravel in just six weeks. Along the way, co-founder Adam Neumann demonstrates some excellent examples of how not to lead an organization.
You find Inc.’s review of the doc here.
Where to see it: Hulu


Ruby, a Child Of Deaf Adults (CODA), spends every morning before school working on the family’s struggling commercial fishing boat in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Embroiled in the local fishing industry’s fight with authorities, Ruby must choose between her family obligations and her dream of pursuing a music career. A critical darling, CODA is a touching story of learning how to communicate and the challenges of running a family business.
Where to see it: Apple TV+

4. The Gig Is Up 

The Gig Is Up explores the human costs of the $5 trillion gig economy. Told through the lives of people working for Uber, Deliveroo, and other companies, the documentary offers an alternative view of the much-hyped transformation of the global workforce.
Where to see it: Google, Amazon, and Apple TV+

5. El Buen Patrón (The Good Boss) 

El Buen Patrón is the thrilling Spanish-language story of the owner of an industrial scales manufacturing business (Javier Bardem) who works tirelessly to pacify his disaffected staff before a visit from an awards committee. Satirical and witty, the film is focused on what happens when supervisors cross boundaries into employees’ personal lives. 
Where to see it: In theaters

6. Hive

This Albanian-language darling of the Sundance film festival tells the story of a widow in Kosovo starting a business selling honey and ajvar (a traditional relish made from red bell peppers) to provide for her two children, in the face of overwhelming grief and a repressive patriarchal society. 
Where to see it: In theaters

7. Dear Rider

Transforming a niche (and often dangerous) hobby into a globally recognized sport takes an entrepreneurial vision. The late Jake Burton Carpenter did just that for snowboarding. By tenaciously pulling together sponsors, ski resorts, and major athletes, Carpenter launched his business–and ultimately a worldwide phenomenon.
Where to see it: HBO Max 

8. Black Friday

Produced by and starring The Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell, this horror-comedy film pits an unmotivated team of toy store employees against a horde of bloodthirsty, parasite-infected shoppers on Black Friday. It’s a gory–but apt–satire of what life is like on the front lines of the retail industry during the Covid pandemic. Fittingly, Black Friday will premiere on Black Friday, November 26.
Where to see it: In theaters