Facebook Share Twitter Share Linkedin Share Pinterest Share
Twelve Must-See Real Estate Movies

Twelve Must-See Real Estate Movies

1. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992, Starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin)- The Gold standard of real estate movies, Glengarry Glenn Ross was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play by revered playwright David Mamet. The plot focuses on a handful of real estate agents, threatened by the hard truths of a motivational speaker, to desperately increase their business in only a couple of days.

2. Pacific Heights (1990, Starring Michael Keaton, Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine)- A taut thriller that addresses multiple aspects of the real estate business, from house flipping and renovating, to the legal challenges of property management, and the nightmare tenant. In this film, Pittsburgh’s own Michael Keaton makes life rather miserable for a young couple by holing up in their investment property, doing substantial amounts of damage, and refusing to leave.

3. I Love You, Man (2009, Starring Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Jason Segel)- In this mid-aughts romcom, a California real estate agent has just proposed to his girlfriend and realizes he has no best man for the wedding. After hitting it off with a random investor at his open house, the two plan a “date” at an upcoming Rush concert. Could this be the guy? Hijinks ensue.

4. The Haunted Mansion (2003, Starring Eddie Murphy, Terrence Stamp, Marsha Thomason, Wallace Shawn)- The cinematic adaptation of the theme park ride from Disneyland, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a horror comedy produced by the House of Mouse. It’s a PG-rated, family-friendly ghost adventure when a real estate couple and their children find themselves trapped in the eponymous haunted mansion.

5. The Big Short (2015, Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt)- This Adam McKay-produced dramedy is an adaption of Michael Lewis’s New York Times Best Seller, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. It’s the feel-bad story of the 2008 housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis.

6. The Money Pit (1986, Starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long)- This is another one of his films that addresses home sellers/flippers. In this classic mid-80s comedy, a young couple purchases a mansion for a paltry sum and if it seems too good to be true, it is. Chaos commences as they realize they’ve thrown their money away in an expensive money pit. Or have they?

7. Poltergeist (1982, Starring JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke)- If you’re looking for thrills and chills, you’ll find it in Tobe Hooper’s early 80s supernatural horror film, Poltergeist. Poltergeist is the story of an All-American family who, soon after moving into a nice new development, begin to experience a series of unexplained and increasingly terrifying events. The father is a successful real estate agent and learns from his broker that the development was built over a former cemetery. Hmm… wonder if that explains why the furniture keeps rearranging itself?

8. Promised Land (2012, Starring Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand)- Mineral Rights. Everyone wants to know. Or they should know. This a film that addresses that subject head-on when two oil guys come to town seeking to obtain rights to drilling. The residents are not without concerns, however.

9. The Banker (2020, Starring Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, and Nia Long)- A more recent entry that addresses historical issues. The plot concerns a young black man trying to break into real estate in a less-enlightened 1950s America. It’s actually a docudrama centered on the real life of Bernard Garett, a businessman, and entrepreneur who fought to achieve success in business and real estate in the pre-Civil Rights era.

10. Arizona (2018, Starring Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson)- Another look back at the 2008 housing crisis, this time from the client’s point of view. The film straddles the line between dark comedy and thriller and addresses one man’s desperation after his home value plummets in value due to no fault of his own.

11. Furry Vengeance (2010, Starring Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Ken Jeong)- Another entry in the family-friendly line of real estate films. This one concerns a real estate developer who has his eyes on a swath of uninhabited forest. In an absurdist twist, the local wildlife is not too happy and seeks to sabotage his efforts in a flawed but humorous anthropomorphic critter caper.

12. The Brady Bunch Movie (1995, Starring Shelley Long, Gary Cole, Michael McKean)- Yes, THAT Brady Bunch. Remember that time they made two feature-length films with a new cast in the 90s? Of course, you do. What you probably don’t remember is that the entire plot of the 1st film deals with the right of eminent domain. See, the developer wants to level the Brady’s neighborhood to build a giant shopping complex and everyone has sold out except the titular family. Oh, what will they do? Well, seeing as it’s a 90s comedy I’m sure they’ll find some way to stop the development and deliver a sentimental message about a house not being a home or something. Who knows. I was 6 when I saw this thing.

Written By: Chris Petry (BHHS Photographer/Videographer)