Many people think they'd enjoy being rich, and the private jet, Aspen winter home, and disposable income would undoubtedly be nice. However, many films about the ultra-wealthy prove that being generationally wealthy isn't everything it's cracked up to be.
1- Casino (1995)
One of Scorsese's all-time best, Casino brings the life of a casino magnate to the big screen. Robert DeNiro's Sam “Ace” Rothstein has garish vehicles, cutting-edge conveniences, a gaudy mansion, and a requisite stash of cash, clothing, and jewelry. It's everything you'd hope for from a man with all the money in the world—there's just one thing money can't buy.
2- The Aviator (2004)
The Aviator begins as an inspirational biopic about a titan of aviation (Howard Hughes) but descends into a Citizen Kane-like cautionary tale about fame and wealth's capacity to isolate. With nearly three hours of runtime to play with, legendary director Martin Scorsese captures the grandiosity of all things Hughes, including his extravagant lifestyle.
3- All the Money in the World (2017)
The Gettys are modern-day robber barons whose oil fortune makes them among the wealthiest people ever to walk the planet. So, you should expect that All the Money in the World—a movie documenting the kidnapping of one of the Getty progeny—provides a glimpse into the lifestyle you get when you're a Getty.
4- Gosford Park (2001)
A nominee for the 2002 Oscar for Best Picture, Gosford Park takes the Clue formula and applies it to a group of ultra-rich Brits (plus the help). Part expose of life for the wealthy in 1930s England, part whodunnit-style mystery, Gosford Park proves that being loaded doesn't absolve you from drama.
5- There Will Be Blood (2007)
Ain't no money like oil money because the oil money doesn't stop flowing. At least, that's the case for Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis), who became fabulously wealthy thanks to an unhealthy addiction to acquiring and bleeding dry oil-rich lands.
He ends up in a mansion befitting of his fortune, but There Will Be Blood hardly has the rich-guy-rides-into-the-sunset ending you might expect.
6- Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
The rumors are the Eyes Wide Shut allowed Joe Public a view into those invite-only parties you kind of suspected the elites were hosting but never saw for themselves. Public hanky panky, ankle-long cloaks, strange people in bird masks watching odd rituals from the mezzanine. You know, being middle class doesn't seem so bad, after all.
7- Trading Places (1983)
Super-rich businessmen (and brothers) Randolph and Mortimer Duke want to settle the age-old argument of whether one's nature or environment most dictates their success in life. So, being super-rich businessmen, the brothers orchestrate a social experiment in which they swap an accomplished businessman (Dan Aykroyd) for a street hustler (Eddie Murphy) and see if each can overcome (or mess up) their reversed fortunes.
8- The Menu (2022)
Jeff Bezos' hobbies are different from Cornelius Vanderbilt's hobbies. Though being rich has always been good, robber barons have gone from riding in their own trains to enjoying far more modern luxuries. The Menu touches on the thoroughly modern culinary benefits of being wealthy in the 2020s.
9- Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
A movie you can judge by its title, Crazy Rich Asians gives a behind-the-first-class-divider look at what it means to be crazy rich…and Asian! Based on the eponymous novel, Crazy Rich Asians executes a time-tested cinematic trope—guy meets girl, girl meets guy's family, guy's family is far wealthier than she ever expected, and social awkwardness ensues (in really fancy rooms).
10- House of Gucci (2021)
Critics didn't love Ridley Scott's House of Gucci, but the complaints didn't revolve around any lack of extravagance. The film examines the experience of an outsider who marries into the Gucci empire. In doing so, we see not just the ostentatious wealth of the fashion-first family but also the spats that inevitably arise when people have far too much money on their hands.
11- Triangle of Sadness (2022)
If you're inclined to re-post an “Eat the Rich”-style meme on social media, Triangle of Sadness may be the movie for you. An unabashed mockery of modern-day wealth, things go horribly wrong when a cruise for the rich strikes a metaphorical iceberg.
12- Barry Lyndon (1975)
One of Stanley Kubrick's most slept-on movies, Barry Lyndon, throws an Irish tough guy into the English aristocracy after he wins the heart of a widow. A period piece with plenty of action and a fish-out-of-water premise that's entertaining in its own right, Barry Lyndon brings the term “old money” to life.
13- Billionaire Boys Club (2018)
Billionaire Boys Club was a casualty of Kevin Spacey's unexpected cancellation, but it is nonetheless an entertaining movie about the consequences of get-rich-quick schemes. When the beneficiaries of sudden wealth are young and fueled by testosterone, you can bank on max debauchery.
14- Foxcatcher (2014)
When you combine a massive secluded estate, the U.S. wrestling team, and a megalomaniacal billionaire with a lifetime's worth of trauma hanging over his head, the result is unfathomably tragic. Foxcatcher is another film about how, in some cases, a billion-dollar fortune is best spent on therapy.
15- Babylon (2022)
If you thought celebrities partied hard today, imagine how hard they partied in the days before paparazzi and cellphone cameras. Or, just watch Babylon and see.
Pop Culture Writer, Life Hack Aficionado
- Focus: Film and Television, Life Advice, Comedic Writing
- Education: Bachelor's of Journalism from the University of South Florida - Tampa
- Published in several international publications, including stories completed as a Wealth of Geeks geek
- Nearly seven years' experience writing professionally
Experience: Sam Mire is a freelance writer with over seven years' experience writing about entertainment, global events, American law, and sports. He got his start as a journalism major at the University of South Florida, and has since spent weeks in the Alaskan wildlands, immersed himself in the world of Florida's homeless population, covered live sporting events, and served as a linchpin for media outlets in the legal, tech, and entertainment spaces. Sam has written news stories and Op-Eds featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, AP News, Fox News, and, most notably, Wealth of Geeks.
Sam focuses on popular culture, film and television, and general life advice in his role for Wealth of Geeks. He strives to turn readers onto the directors, actors, and other creatives who deliver compelling content outside of the box-office top-ten. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, woodwork, engaging in battles of strength and wit with his dog, and spending time with good company.