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Top 10 Movies to Watch When Working From Home

Updated: Jun 1

Working from home has become the de facto standard for companies these days which means things might get monotonous for you folks at times. In case you have a spot of time on your hands while taking a break, here are the top 5 movies to watch while working from home:

Top 10 Movies to Watch When Working From Home

I gleaned the plot of this entire movie with just a single easter egg from the movie "Coming to America" starring Eddie Murphy. I'm not saying the plot of Trading Places is that simplistic, but the movie was that popular and well-executed.

This movie revolves around two wealthy commodities brokers who run a social experiment on two people from different strata of society to settle the nature and nurture debate. Unbeknownst to them the two subjects of the experiments have plans of their own to turn the tide in their favor.

Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche play the role of the Duke brothers, the steel-hearted multi-millionaires who think it fun to play around with the lives of Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy as Lois Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine.

There is a lot of buddy comedy material, a cliche yet, well-done storyline, and an expected redemptive story arc.

In case you ever feel like taking a personal day off work, this is the perfect movie to watch. The plot here revolves around a slacker who fakes being sick to go on a joy ride through the city.

Mathew Broderick plays the role of Ferris Bueller who convinces his best friend and girlfriend to play hooky while going on an elaborate adventure. There's juvenile behavior, childish pranks, great music, and one awesome Star Wars reference.

There have always been theories of Ferris being the split personality persona of his best friend Cameron played by Alan Ruck. Another theory speculates that it is actually Cameron's fever dream, imagining the whole day while being sick at home.

This movie is part of pop culture and is hinted at in the Deadpool movie end credits as well.

One of the better movies by David Spade, Tommy Boy is a buddy comedy with a Laurel and Hardy dynamic, graced by the comedic stylings of Chris Farley.

Chris Farley plays Tommy Callahan III an easygoing goofball who rides on his industrialist father's (Big Tom) coat-tails until he dies unexpectedly thrusting the son into an unwelcome position of responsibility.

Meanwhile, Tommy gets a stepbrother in the form of Richard played by David Spade. As fate would have it, Tommy and Richard need to join forces to save Big Tom's manufacturing plant by getting a big sale order.

Tommy recognizes Richard's finely tuned people skills and puts them to work in procuring a massive sales order to save his father's manufacturing plant and legacy. The movie is a fun-filled road trip that sees the step-brothers forming an unbreakable bond while battling a common problem.

The dry humor in this movie is as applicable today as it was when it was released. The employees are frustrated, the boss is a gigantic douche, and growth prospects are non-existent.

Gary Cole as Bill Lumbergh in the Office Space Movie
Initech - The Company that popularized TPS reports

This is not a movie that goes with the laugh track approach wherein the comedy is obvious like in Horrible Bosses. Dark humor is employed in this movie. If you are feeling frustrated at work, then this movie might be highly cathartic for you.

All employees are seething with contempt for their jobs, workplaces, and everything related to those aspects. It is incredibly funny and reminds you of Dilbert comic strips.

Violence against people is not funny. Violence against malfunctioning technology however can be very entertaining as seen below. One of the central themes of the movie is the faulty printer that jams and swallows essential documents at crucial times.

This is what inspires the trio of employees in this movie to vent their pent-up anger against an inanimate object as if it messed up on purpose. You can see how this plays out in the images given below where they take the evil printer to an isolated location and take turns eviscerating it.

This movie has been a cult classic for quite some time with references to it in pop culture. Anyone who has watched The Mandalorian will know the reference to TPS reports by Bill Burr in one of the episodes.

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One of the most John Malkovich of all Malkovich movies is undoubtedly Being John Malkovich. This movie has the titular actor playing a fictionalized version of himself although the more you watch the more you feel this is him in real life.

John Cusack plays a failing puppeteer who finds a physical door that leads into the mind of the actor John Malkovich after which you can experience life in the actor's body.

You BECOME John Malkovich.

Catherine Keener plays Cusack's love interest Maxine and Cameron Diaz plays the third locus in this love triangle. There is also a cameo by Charlie Sheen which is interesting.

The sheer absurdity of the movie makes it funny at the beginning, but as the film progresses relationships get knotted with each other, taking a really dark turn. This is a movie that needs to be experienced without a plot summary giving things up.

However, Catherine Keener takes on movies relating to mind control such as in Jordan Peele's Get Out and Brad Bird's Incredibles 2. For some reason, this sends a chill down my spine - does she know something we all don't?

One of my all-time favorite movies is this Jack Black vehicle that feels like his personality made into a movie. Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, a wannabe rockstar who is down on his luck and living with a dweebish roommate Ned Schneebly played by Mike White.

When Finn gets kicked out of his band, he stumbles upon an opportunity to impersonate his roommate as a substitute teacher at a private school for substantial money. As he goes about pretending to be a teacher he finds that the kids in his class have exceptional musical abilities that he immediately plans on exploiting for money.

However, while chasing money, Finn forms a genuine bond with his students, helps them overcome their challenges, and finds his purpose in life.

This movie has great music, an amazing comedic cast, and original songs, and one of the few to have inspired a successful musical and a not-so-successful series.

A down-on-his-luck man sinking into a self-destructive spiral of despair and negativity comes across a self-help program that changes his life. Jim Carrey's overacting is put to good use in this movie where Carrey learns to say YES to everything in his life - to hilarious effect.

The images given below show the moments when Carrey is introduced to the concept of saying yes, when he meets the semi-cult self-help leader, and when he is taking action as a Yes Man. ( Saying yes to all that life has to offer)

What will you learn from this movie:

  • All skills you pick up from random workshops will be directly useful in everyday situations ( Re: Slumdog Millionaire)

  • Take things literally at first when attending a self-help workshop

George Clooney at his dramatic best is something you wouldn't wanna miss. As an instance of the old ushering in the young at a corporate workplace, this is insightful and entertaining at the same time.

Clooney serves as a contrast against the vulnerability of a corporate drone while being considerate to the people he fires - for a living. The tables are turned however when a young ivy-leaguer decides that the company needs a makeover.

The whole movie is about Clooney training his replacement and getting a dose of his bitter medicine in the process.

The cinematography is great in this movie, with beautiful aerial shots and stills portraying silence and contemplation. They explore loneliness and self-discovery in Up in the Air.

George Clooney as Ryan Bingham and Anna Kendrick as  Natalie Keener in Up in the air movie
Clooney mentoring Kendrick

This is a quiet movie with a slow pace and great acting. You get to see many metaphors play out throughout the movie.

Taking the a**hole boss stereotype to the max, Horrible Bosses is a laugh riot with a lot of physical comedy and dirty jokes aplenty. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day play Nick, Kurt, and Dale, the hapless employees with a monstrous boss.

The comedy in this movie is due to the great chemistry shared by the three actors shown below. They always end up quarreling and at each other's throats, but make it through dire straits through sheer dumb luck.

Anyone looking for a whole load of laughs will find this movie delightful, with Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Julie Bowen adding to the comedy.

Nancy Meyers always makes pleasant movies, leaving you feeling all warm and fuzzy by the end. This movie is no exception with Robert De Niro playing a man (Ben) who thinks that "he still has music left in him," and Anne Hathaway playing the role of a young CEO (Jules) running a growing e-commerce start-up.

The movie brings both the actors together by having DeNiro volunteer as a Senior (Citizen) Intern at Hathaway's company. De Niro and Hathaway form an unlikely bond that enriches their lives and watching this happen onscreen is a genuine joy.

You also get memorable performances from comedy regulars such as Adam Devine, and Zack Pearlman, and a great cameo by Rene Russo. One of the cutest actors in this movie is JoJo Kushner playing the adorable child of the CEO and she does an amazing job, adding to how warm and fuzzy the movie makes you feel.

Is it OK to watch TV while working from home?

Now, this is an interesting question. The purpose of this post is not to make you drop all you're doing and start streaming content.

In case you are on a break from work (Lunch/Tea) or experiencing unexpected downtime, then it's good to have a backup playlist of movies. You can stream a show or watch part of a movie when you are taking a break from work tasks.

What should I binge-watch while working from home?

If you are working from home, then I would advise you not to binge anything during work hours and even during your off-time. Binging content means spending more than an hour of your time watching consecutive episodes of a show or two complete movies back to back.

Binge-watching is best done over the weekend when there's no other good alternative such as hanging out with your friends.

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First published on 10th November 2021 and updated 1st June 2024



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