These Are the 20 Films to Watch at Every Stage of Your Career

Updated 11/07/19

Original Animation by Stephanie DeAngelis

This article is updated monthly with our latest picks.

The rich medium of film has much to teach us all. If you're looking for some career-minded savvy, we've queued up some of the most influential and under-the-radar job movies for your consideration. Full of quotable dialogue, rogue moves, and harrowing heroes's journeys, these relatable and instructional films are a consistent source of inspiration. Just press play for 20 career-related movies to watch now.

01 of 20

The Hundred Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey movie poster

Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios, Harpo Films, Imagenation, India Take One Productions, Participant, Reliance Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures 

What to Watch When: Landing Your First Gig

The Hundred-Foot Journey: After tragedy strikes their native home, culinary star in the making Hassan Kadam helps his family open an Indian restaurant in a remote, French village and attracts the attention of a restaurateur (played by Helen Mirren) with Michelin stars in her eyes. Kadam seizes this opportunity; a decision that will change his career trajectory exponentially.

02 of 20

Reality Bites

Scene from Reality Bites
Universal Pictures

What to Watch When: Landing Your First Gig

Reality Bites: As a valedictorian entering the workforce at the bottom of the totem pole, Generation X poster girl Winona Ryder's Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites cycles through the full spectrum of entry-level woes. From getting by on a pittance of a salary and maneuvering around a prima donna boss, to selling out and falling for the affable slacker, what Pierce goes through in this '90s classic will strike a deep chord with anyone starting from the bottom. 

03 of 20

The Intern

The Intern movie poster

 Waverly Films

What to Watch When: Learning The Ropes

The Intern: Seventy-year-old Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) jumps back into the working world and joins an online fashion site, only this time, it's as an intern. Watch as lessons are learned, for both Whittaker and his considerably younger colleagues, and boss (hello again, Anne Hathaway).

Available on: Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

04 of 20

The Devil Wears Prada

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Learning the Ropes

The Devil Wears Prada: As an aspiring journalist working as an assistant to the editor in chief of an iconic fashion magazine, Anne Hathaway's Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada learns to meet the unreasonable demands of a tyrannical boss—but at what cost? A cautionary tale about not getting caught up in the game, the film is a must-watch for anyone who's ever fetched a coffee or two in their day.

Available on: Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

05 of 20

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures movie promotional image

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Moving on Up

Hidden Figures: Three African-American women at NASA defy 20th-century gender and racial hegemony to help launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe.

Available on: Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

06 of 20

Working Girl

Working Girl movie poster

 Twentieth Century Fox

What to Watch When: Moving on up

Working Girl: Mike Nichols's 1988 dramatic comedy Working Girl stars Melanie Griffith as the ultimate secretary with moxie, Tess McGill. When her conniving boss, shrewdly played by Sigourney Weaver, steals her business idea without giving the proper credit, Tess doesn't get mad—she gets even. Impersonating her superior to land a major deal with a top investment broker (Harrison Ford), Tess's ascension up the rungs of the corporate ladder is as entertaining as it is inspired. 

07 of 20

9 to 5

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Gunning for a Promotion

9 to 5: The 1980 satire starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin, 9 to 5, is a classic (and the source material for the modern remake Horrible Bosses). The tale of three secretaries who exact revenge upon their sexist boss by kidnapping and subsequently running the business in his absence, it belongs at the tip top of the queue for anyone who has ever been passed over for a promotion. 

08 of 20

Morning Glory

Morning Glory movie poster

 Bad Robot, Goldcrest Pictures

What to Watch When: Gunning for a Promotion

Morning Glory: In this romantic comedy, ambitious television producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) takes on a failing morning show by banking on grumpy anchorman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to buoy ratings. Does she have what it takes to turn the show, and Pomeroy, around?

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

09 of 20

His Girl Friday

Warner Bros

What to Watch When: Besting the Competition

His Girl Friday: His Girl Friday remains one of the most charming plots ever weaved to get an ex back. When successful New York newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) learns his investigative reporter ex-wife Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) is engaged, he seeks to lure her away from her newfound domestic bliss with the promise of a killer story. Watching Russell's ruthless instinct take over is the ultimate girl boss throwback. 

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Tubi (free), Vudu, YouTube

10 of 20

Creed

Creed movie poster

MGM

 

What to Watch When: Besting the Competition

Creed: In the next iteration of the Rocky franchise, the narrative centers on Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of former boxing champion Apollo Creed. Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as Rocky, as Adonis convinces the former champ to train him. The partnership eventually lead them to face off for the title.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

11 of 20

Office Space

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Navigating Office Politics

Office Space: Mike Judge's 1999 cult classic Office Space is practically a how to succeed in business without ever really trying play-by-play. If you've ever had a gig that made you feel like more of a corporate drone than championed asset, there is solace to revel in such wish fulfillment scenes as destroying company property with a baseball bat, or channeling all one's energy into getting fired. Jennifer Aniston co-stars as the most adorable TGI Friday's waitress imaginable—flair or no flair.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

12 of 20

Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham movie poster

 20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Navigating Office Politics

Bend It Like Beckham: Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) wants to play soccer, yet as the daughter of strict Indian parents, isn't permitted to. So what does she do instead? With some convincing from Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley), she plays her beloved sport in secret, all the while navigating her family's expectations, her friendship with Jules, and a crush on her coach.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu, YouTube

13 of 20

Patton

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Leading a Team

Patton: Removed from command after his outspoken criticism of U.S. post-war strategy, World War II hero and general George S. Patton's biopic is not to be missed. Adeptly mixing laurels and politics, successes and failures, it is a reminder that the course of a hero's journey never did run smooth. If you need a pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps moment, look no further than this critically acclaimed classic. 

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

14 of 20

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 movie poster

NBC Universal 

What to Watch When: Leading a Team

Apollo 13: When an oxygen tank explodes during a lunar mission, three orbiting astronauts (under the leadership of Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks), along with their counterparts on Earth must work together to safely get back home. Based on real events of 1970's Apollo 13 mission.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu, YouTube

15 of 20

Up in the Air

Paramount Pictures

What to Watch When: Facing Layoffs

Up in the Air: Up in the Air is the most enjoyable downsizing experience the world has ever known. Directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga, it takes out layoff culture, corporate redundancies, and interoffice relationships in one cunning and clever blow. If nothing else, we love that this flick drives home the importance of face-to-face meetings. In our ever-evolving digital world, some things deserve to stay analog.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

16 of 20

Tokyo Sonata

Tokyo Sonata movie poster

Here Media 

What to Watch When: Facing Layoffs

Tokyo Sonata: Company man Ryûhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) loses his job to a management shake up, and instead of admitting his fate to his wife, pretends to head to the office each morning in his suit. His wife Megumi (Kyoko Koizumi), inevitably, finds out, and as they individually perpetuate this lie, the film takes aim at how societal pressures can make separating career from identity inextricable.

Available on: Amazon

17 of 20

Jerry McGuire

Sony Pictures

What to Watch When: Starting Your Own Company

Jerry McGuire: Cameron Crowe's heartfelt Jerry McGuire opens with the power of the company-wide reply all. When a slick and wildly successful sports agent (Tom Cruise) drafts a memo detailing his crisis of conscious and recent ethos, it is met with a swift and unceremonious firing. Armed with nothing but a goldfish, an equally idealistic secretary (Renée Zellweger), and a fledgling client roster, he starts his own agency on his own terms. Building a brand? This one features teaching moments set to Bruce Springsteen.

18 of 20

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman movie poster

20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Starting Your Own Company

The Greatest Showman: Charismatic P.T. Barnum is already a natural salesman before he creates the Barnum & Bailey circus. In this biopic, Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman assembles an eclectic yet authentic cast of characters who entertain 1800s America. Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya also star in this heartfelt musical.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

19 of 20

Concussion

Concussion movie poster

Columbia Pictures 

What to Watch When: Fighting Burnout

Concussion: Hollywood tackles the real life pursuit of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) as he endeavors to raise awareness of a brain disorder rampant among athletes—namely, football players—directly tied to sustained, repeated head injuries as a result of the game. The film is timely given increasing conversation, particularly regarding the NFL, around the impact of contact sports.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

20 of 20

A Good Year

Scene from A Good Year movie
20th Century Fox

What to Watch When: Taking the Career-Change Plunge

A Good Year: Ridley Scott's A Good Year stars Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard as the most deliriously beautiful love interests to ever meet on a vineyard. The ultimate quit-your-day-job fantasy flick, the plot follows the story of an investment broker who uproots his big city life and relocates to Provence after inheriting the vineyard where he spent his youth. It will surely make you want to own your own label. We didn't really need the extra push.

Available on: Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Up next: Take a break from adulting with one of our favorite coming-of-age movies.

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