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Must watch movies/shows for HR professionals and business leaders

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12 January, 2023

Lights. Camera. Action.   

If you are browsing for a good movie or show that can keep you engaged and, at the same time, take you a step ahead in your professional journey, we have got your back.  

So, why not curl up on your couch or bed with your favorite brewed drink and snacks and unwind as you slip into the world of cinema and web shows?    

Up in the Air Up in the Air movie poster for HR leaders

Released in 2009, Up in the Air is a comedy-drama that revolves around corporate downsizing during the Global Financial Crisis. Up in the Air brings into the spotlight Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), aka corporate hitman or a termination facilitator in an HR consultancy firm.    

The movie presents the importance of bringing a personal connection while terminating employees, which is often challenging to achieve while adopting impersonal video conferences instead. Along with this, the film touches on themes like mentorship and belongingness.  

This movie, coupled with elements of comedy and dramatization, can be a perfect holiday treat to gauge how HR professionals strived through the tricky waters of the Global Financial Crisis.

By the way, you can learn more about recession and how to recession-proof your talent strategy from here!

Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich movie poster for HR leaders

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich is a legal drama and a biography revolving around the life of Erin Brockovich, an American legal clerk, and consumer advocate.  

This drama with a comic spin focuses on how Erin, a simpleton without much understanding of the legal nuances, learns more about the complications within a case misjudged as a real-estate case. As Erin explores further, she doesn't know then that she is untangling one of the gravest environmental crimes.   

In a nutshell, Erin Brockovich is a hard-to-believe journey of self-discovery and leadership. As an HR professional, this legal drama can offer you profound insights into how you can move forward with confidence while confronting different challenges in your professional journey.  

So, why not add Erin Brockovich to your holiday watchlist? 

Chak de! India (Let’s Go! India) Chak de! India movie poster for HR leaders

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, and others, Chak de! India is a Hindi sports film directed by Shimit Amin. In a way, Chak de! India is a movie showing how an underdog can build a high-performing team to attain an impossible feat, like winning the Hockey World Cup.    

But, Chak de! India is more than a patriotic movie; it shows team leaders how to manage diversity, develop winning teams, and make the best out of limited resources. It has the perfect touch for building future-ready teams and nurturing talents.

With a lot to offer, Chak de! India is indeed a must-watch for all HR professionals globally. 

Moneyball Moneyball movie poster for HR leaders

Moneyball is more than any baseball lore. It takes baseball from a mere sport and presents it as a cutthroat business. Moneyball shows how data and numbers can perform much better than human instincts while creating winning teams.  

Based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, this sports drama takes its viewers on a mesmerizing journey, depicting how a combination of certain stars or people can help create successful teams.   

The movie, in short, depicts the transition from eleven losses in a row to the creation of a 20-game winning streak. This movie also teaches you about group dynamics, leadership, the importance of being analytical and data-driven in making talent decisions. 

Filled with soul-baring scenes, this is a movie worth watching! 

Apollo 13 Apollo 13 movie poster for HR leaders

Revolving around the real-life stories of three astronauts- Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, Apollo 13 is a space docudrama film. Directed by Ron Howard, Apollo 13 delves into the complications associated with NASA’s failed mission to land on the Moon.    

As the movie moves forward with a spellbinding narrative and riveting attention to detail, Apollo 13, in reality, depicts the importance of displaying rational leadership during a crisis. Although it’s a scientific movie set in the 1960s, it can also act as an example of virtual team management for leaders.   

With these many elements in stock, why not add Apollo 13 to your movie list for this holiday season? 

The Intern The Intern movie poster for HR leaders

Renowned for crafting romantic comedies by bringing middle-aged women to the spotlight, The Intern is another addition to a list of Nancy Meyer's best movies.

The Intern showcases the journey of Jules Ostin as a young mother with a challenging profession as the founder of a startup and how she grows further personally and professionally with the support gained from her senior intern. Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower, steps into the movie as Ostin's senior intern.

The film, then, unravels a lot of meaningful lessons that can be enjoyable for HR professionals. 

In short, The Intern can be a casual and fun watch for HR professionals like you. It can help you resonate with the importance of communication in a team, how passionate leaders can inspire their members, how taking care of small things matters, etc.  

So, watch it or skip it? 

Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India Lagaan movie poster for HR leaders

Lagaan is a sports drama and a Bollywood classic directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar. The movie, set in 1893, takes its viewers back to the time of British colonial rule and the things that happened in a small fictional village in India.   

If you would ask us to describe Lagaan in a sentence, it is about how a group of villagers led by Bhuvan decides to engage in a cricket match with the colonial leaders to gain tax exemption. However, encapsulating this classic into a two-line summary won’t do justice to this incredible movie.   

Apart from its exceptional depiction of the Indian landscape, heart-touching music, and melodramatic acting, this movie is also about team building, the importance of boldness, perseverance, leadership, and more.   

Therefore, if you have time (it’s well over three hours), an interest in sports, especially cricket, and a willingness to learn more about inclusive growth and the power of motivation, Lagaan is something you shouldn’t miss. 

The Pursuit of Happyness The Pursuit of Happyness movie poster for HR leaders

Directed by Gabriele Muccino, The Pursuit of Happyness is a critically acclaimed movie depicting the human spirit's strength. The film revolves around the life of Chris Gardner, brought into life on-screen by Will Smith, a salesman facing several financial and personal challenges.   

The Pursuit of Happyness portrays how failures, missed opportunities, and unexceptional events can impact a person's life.  

In its very essence, it is a feel-good movie showing different ways of handling crises. This movie is the story of how when the going gets tough; the tough get going. As an HR professional, it can be a great watch as part of attaining self-growth and motivation. 

The Founder Founder movie poster for HR leaders

From a peripheral view, The Founder is the story of the creation of a fast-food empire, aka McDonald's, from a mere burger joint. However, if you analyze it closely, it brings to screen the importance of optimism, innovation, corporate expansion, persistence, the significance of talent, and how to create wealth through land and real estate.     

The Founder is a feel-good underdog drama that subtly showcases different aspects of building a successful business. Directed by John Lee Hancock, this biographical drama represents the role of solid work ethics in attaining business growth.     

The Office  the office web series poster for HR leaders

Filled with iconic characters, dialogues, and events, The Office is a mockumentary that makes this list of top movies and shows for HR professionals complete. This show is spread over nine seasons. By the way, we are talking about the American version of the show.   

In a nutshell, The Office takes you through the day-to-day lives of employees working at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. If you haven't watched this one already, consider this a must-watch and do include it in your watchlist. 

Final thoughts 

These are our top movies and show recommendations for HR professionals and leaders. 

Dim the lights and set the mood to unwind and relax by watching your favorite picks!  

So, why not let the show begin?

P.S.: If you enjoy reading, you can find the top 10 books for HR leaders and professionals here!

Revathi V Gopal
Revathi V Gopal
Revathi is a writer who fell in love with words from a very young age. She primarily writes B2B blogs, articles, listicles, whitepapers, e-books, and also enjoys creating content in niches, including HR-tech, Femtech, travel, digital marketing, e-Commerce, lifestyle, fashion, mental health. Apart from writing, she loves to read, travel, binge watch shows, try new things, go for long walks, window shop, and most importantly, be with her closest people. Find me on:
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