There are some of the best money laundering movies out there to watch.

This article shows you 25 of the best ones and why each is a must-watch.



If you are saying that you are going to the laundromat this can be an innocuous thing as typically you would think about packing up the dirty laundry into a laundry basket, placing the basket in your vehicle, and heading off to your local laundromat to get your clothes cleaned utilizing a washer and dryer.

However, the connotation of going to a laundromat as it relates to money can take on a whole different meaning.

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Money laundering is defined as an individual or group concealing money that is obtained, typically, illegally and utilizes foreign banks or legitimate businesses to launder or legitimize this money that is brought in through these financial institutions.

Although illegal, it can make for a good plot line when it comes to movies.

Let us therefore sit down in our favorite chair, grab a bowl of popcorn and your favorite soft drink, and go to the “laundromat” as we look at movies that talk about laundering money.


Greatest Money Laundering Scheme

One of the largest money laundering schemes ever revealed happened in the years between 2004 and 2007.

In 2010 it was revealed that Wachovia was involved with the drug cartels in Mexico and allowed money laundering to occur through their financial institution in the total amount of $390 billion throughout various branches.

This continued despite the attempts of in-house employees to bring this to the attention of the leadership.

Their penalty for being complicit and not having adequate measures or ignoring measures that were in place to identify money laundering schemes was the paying of a $160 million fine


25 Best Money Laundering Movies


1. Ozark

The main character in this movie is a financial advisor who has a business partner.

As the movie unfolds this financial advisor, Marty, realizes that his business partner has cheated a dangerous client.

To escape the ramifications of these actions by his partner, the main character along with his family moves to the Missouri Ozarks.

It is here in this mountain range that Marty struggles to find a local business that he can use as a front for his laundering of money.

Click here to learn more about Ozark


2. American Made

This movie is a comedy based on a true story.

That true story that it is loosely based on revolves around the Iran-Contra affair.

The plot line revolves around a pilot who is recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency and whose job it is to smuggle drugs into the country.

The pilot, played by Tom Cruise, eventually turns on the CIA and becomes an informant which creates different plot twists and turns.


3. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a movie about prison life and follows the main character, Andy Dufresne, who is an experienced banker.

There are a number of themes including the ugliness of humanity especially behind incarcerated walls, friendships, how a career prisoner manages his freedom once released, corruption, greed, etc.

The story is also about money laundering as the warden of the prison is involved in a scheme where he uses the labor of the prisoners to win public contracts and Andy Dufresne manages the books for this process.

There are a number of well-written twists that make this movie engaging.

Click here to learn more about The Shawshank Redemption


4. The Wolf of Wall Street

In this movie we are introduced to a fraudster who works on Wall Street and uses illegal methods to bilk his clients and other people and separate those from their money and in the process make millions of dollars for himself.

In order to avoid detection by the FBI, he endeavors to hide this money and utilizes a smuggling process and a Swiss bank account.

The movie depicts this action and ways that individuals endeavor to smuggle large amounts of money into a foreign country.


5. The Infiltrator

The storyline of this movie is set in the 1980s when a U.S. Customs Service special agent goes undercover and becomes a significant part of a money-laundering scheme involving drug lords and their dirty cash.

As the movie unfolds, he gets involved with the world’s largest cartel and exposes one of the largest money-laundering organizations and in the process takes down a significantly large bank which had taken illegal ownership of First American Bank shares in the nation’s capital.


6. The Accountant

This story is about money laundering with the main character being a math savant.

This action thriller movie develops the plot line where this accountant takes on a new client and cooks the books for that client.

The Treasury Department gets involved and begins to close in on this illegal activity and, with anything illegal and greed is involved, people begin to die.


7. The Firm

Mitch McDeere, played by Tom Cruise, is a recent graduate from the Harvard Law School.

He is recruited by a prestigious law firm that is located in Memphis.

He accepts employment and he and his wife move to the city to begin their dream job which includes the benefits of a house, student loans paid off, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

As the protagonist learns more about the law firm he is involved with, he realizes that the majority of the work helps wealthy clients hide their money in offshore shell accounts.

The plot line involves infidelity, gangster like actions, dead bodies, seduction, etc. in this money laundering movie.


8. Get Shorty

In this movie, John Travolta plays the role of a Miami mobster by the name of Chili Palmer.

The plot is that Palmer is sent to collect a bad debt from a Hollywood producer played by Gene Hackman.

Love ensues as Palmer falls in love with one of the leading ladies and through it all, including money-laundering, Chili Palmer learns that being a mobster and a famous producer of movies in Hollywood are comparably the same.


9. Riviera

A recently married woman and whose profession is that of an art curator uncover some significant shady dealings of her husband who was the head of the Clios Bank.

This all occurs after her husband is killed in a yacht explosion.

As the story unfolds, she must work out who in the family she can trust to determine whether this explosion was an accident or was all part of a devious scheme to keep everybody quiet.

The added question and twist about the possibility of her husband still being alive is an added dimension of the movie.


10. The Fall of the American Empire

The main character of this movie works as a deliveryman to pay his bills despite the reality that he has his PhD in philosophy.

During one of his deliveries, he witnesses a robbery that ends up with one of the guards being shot and two bags stuffed with millions of dollars are left on the ground.

He takes the bags of money and places the money in his delivery truck before the police arrive.

With all of this cash laying around in his apartment and in a rented storage facility he seeks the help of a criminal with the offer of hiring him as his financial analyst.

And so the story unfolds with many twists in the plot including the reality that the robbery was staged by the owner of the bank.



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11. The Big Short

The Big Short is a fairly accurate depiction of a group of investors who saw the financial crisis of 2008 looming.

It is a story of these investors shorting the market through a number of illegal activities including the laundering of money.


12. Silver Bears

This movie is about a prince was part of the Morocco kingdom and his wife, that doesn’t know what is going on with her husband.

A scheme is entered into devised by a banker who is laundering money in Switzerland.

The actors in this movie are Cybill Shepherd, Michael Caine, and Louis Jourdan.


13. HighVoltage

This movie is about unprofessional robbers who pull off a big heist only to realize that the money that they have stolen from a bank is just a front for a money-laundering operation.

The money-laundering criminals or mobsters then come after the robbers looking to take back the money that was stolen from them and take revenge on the amateur robbers.


14. The Mechanism

This is an international intrigue movie that involves the Brazilian government and several engineering firms of notoriety.

The scandal erupts in this South American country after a detective cracks open a case after pursuing a money-laundering ring.

There is not enough evidence to indict the individuals, but the partner of the original detective picks up the case years later and moves forward.


15. Killerman

This is a story about a money-launder who finds himself waking up without any memory of who or what he is but only that he has millions of dollars in stolen cash and drugs.

The story ensues as he searches for answers and his identity while trying to evade a variety of crooks and dirty cops.


16. Crypto

The storyline for this movie is about a Wall Street banker who is sent by his firm to a branch that is located in a small town in the upper portion of the state of New York.

Ultimately, through his banking knowledge, he connects an art gallery to a global conspiracy and when pursuing the illegal practices involved, he puts his own family and himself in serious danger.


17. The Big Ugly

The storyline of the Big Ugly is when a group of London mobsters decide to invest in an oil deal in the state of West Virginia.

Their purpose is to utilize this oil deal as a front for laundering dirty money.


18. The Laundromat

This movie is a compilation of three individual stories but all with the same theme of money laundering.

Included in these movies are hot topics such as insurance claims, IRS investigations, shell companies, money-laundering, etc.


19. Made

This is a comedy that is about two friends who are clueless but find themselves suddenly involved in the world of organized crime.

Their involvement is through the acceptance of taking on a high-stakes delivery where they are flown first class to New York and find themselves immersed in the gangster world of laundered money and crime.

The movie unfolds, comically, as the entire operation unravels and both individuals find their lives in jeopardy.


20. Bullet Proof 2

A special agent is tasked to investigate and take down a powerful crime family located in South Africa.

To do this the special agent assumes an identity of being a criminal with close ties to the case.

Upon meeting with the cartel syndicates the gathering goes horribly wrong for both the special agent and the identity of the individual that he has assumed.

The two then must come up with a plan of action to try to stay alive and also breakup an international money-laundering scheme.


21. Seoul Vibe

The backdrop for this money-laundering movie are the days leading up to the Olympics that were held in Seoul, Korea in 1988.

The storyline is that a group of drivers and mechanics decide to go undercover to disrupt a significant money-laundering ring that has the implications of jeopardizing the entire Olympics.


22. Johnny 100 Pesos

A low-level criminal, who is only 17 years old, becomes entangled with four older crooks that are planning on robbing a money laundering business that has as its front a video store.

Johnny, the main character, is inept and during the course of the robbery things go wrong and the gang is forced to take hostages which bring significant media attention to the situation.

During the course of the hostage situation Johnny becomes attracted to one of the hostages and the plot unfolds as the gang trys to negotiate their way out of the situation.


23. Money Monster

The stars of this money-laundering movie include Julia Roberts and George Clooney.

George Clooney plays a television celebrity whose show surrounds buying and selling stocks on Wall Street.

Julia Roberts is the producer of the show

The plot line is set against the backdrop of Wall Street in which an average individual from Main Street gets involved with the finances of Wall Street.

This person has a negative experience with Wall Street and shows up on the studio set during the broadcasting of George Clooney’s show.

Strapped to his body is a bomb.

His motivation is to take revenge and what ensues is the unraveling of all of the underbelly financial dealings on Wall Street.


24. Lethal Weapon 2

Two cops, who are the opposite ends of the spectrum as it relates to personality and conducting themselves as law enforcement officers, get involved in a case that swirls around South African smugglers.

The smugglers are protected through the diplomatic immunity process and so these two police officers are assigned to witness protection duty.

As the plot continues to unfold, the two cops uncover a massive drug trafficking scheme which involves money laundering.


25. Boiler Room

In this movie, the Boiler Room, is defined as a place where aggressive individuals in their 20s can become millionaires almost overnight.

The boiler room is a brokerage firm where overly aggressive, young, up-and-coming stockbrokers make outlandish investment claims of riches and wealth offered to their unsuspecting buyers.

In return for the lies, these stockbrokers receive monetary awards, expensive cars and luxurious items beyond their dreams.


Must-Watch Money Laundering Movies FAQs


How Much Money Has Been Determined to Be Laundered Funds?

In 2009 a report was conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The purpose of the study was to estimate how much money was generated by illegal activities and amounts of money laundered.

In this report it was indicated that 3.6% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product or equating to $1.6 trillion was being laundered.


What Agencies Provide Oversight on Money Laundering Activities?

The agency that regulates and monitors financial banking transactions to prevent, as much as possible, money laundering is the department of the Secretary of the Treasury.

Enforcement and the appropriate authority given by the Secretary of the Treasury to enforce the Bank Secrecy Act is to a department within the Treasury bureau known as FinCEN.



Movies are a good form of entertainment and help us to escape from the reality of real-world living.

However, sometimes there are movies that mirror real-life activities.

One particular theme in a movie that is compelling, dramatic, suspenseful, etc. are movies swirling around the illegal action of money laundering.

The reality is that this happens which makes the intensity of the viewed movie even more compelling.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!