They make us laugh, scream, sigh, and even cry — movies evoke all types of emotions within us, especially when we can understand or relate to the subject matter. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, more than two-thirds of the populations in the United States and Canada went to the movies at least once last year. Those who didn’t visit the movie theater more than likely watched at least a few movies on DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes, Netflix, or another movie or streaming service.
Sometimes a movie changes the way we look at things. For instance, the movie Super Size Me had a profound impact on the fast food industry. Many fast food restaurants actually eliminated extra large portions after the film’s release. Some people even changed their diets.
With other movies, like movies about the workplace, the impact may not always be as notably profound, but we can usually relate to the characters or the subject matter in some way. We may end up quoting lines from these movies during lighthearted conversations or think of them in certain situations. In spite of how good or bad a movie may be, each workplace movie has something to offer — a takeaway, a lesson, or even a good laugh.
We’ve created a list of some of the best workplace movies. The ranking is based on reviews, ratings, and on how well each movie portrays the workplace.
This office comedy is not only a cult classic, it also highlights a few serious workplace topics that are present in office environments. The employees at Initech — a late 1990s software company — deal with employee burnout, stress in the workplace, bad management, and even downsizing.
The Devil Wears Prada
Although dramatized and even a bit romanticized, this film brings to light the challenges young people face during their climb up the corporate ladder. The main character — Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) — struggles not to compromise her character, or who she is, in efforts to achieve success. The internal conflict Andy faces is very realistic, but in real life it is perhaps not as defined as it is in this film.
The metaphorical devil Miranda Priestly — Andy’s boss and the famous editor of the fictional Runway magazine (played by Meryl Streep) — is the quintessential ice queen. She is intimidating, tough, and hard to please. The dynamic between Andy and Miranda effectively conveys just how much of a challenge it can be to stand out and have your hard work show in an large, corporate environment.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
This sequel stars comedy all-stars like Will Farrell, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell. After facing a series of ups and downs in their careers in the news industry, they finally get the opportunity they’ve been waiting for. Well, at least they think they do.
Rob Burgundy (played by Will Farrell) and his team get a job at GNN (a spoof of CNN). During their adventures at GNN, themes like the importance of friendship, the importance of humility, and the problems that can come along with success are apparent.
The Help is a powerful story that reminds viewers that society wasn’t always as racially tolerant as it is today. This film really places you in these maids’ shoes. You feel for them, understand their struggles, and you want to stand up for them.
These maids were treated as if they were second class citizens, unable to even use the same bathroom as their employers. This movie makes today’s workplace quarrels seem a bit more manageable.
While working menial jobs, these store clerks talk about love, life, philosophy, films, and even science. Although this film is a comedy, the main characters — Dante and Randal (played by Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson) — are surprisingly insightful. Responsibility, love, friendship, and customer service are some of the main workplace themes that are present in this film. Clerks also reminds us to try and make the best of each work day.
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