‘Blackberry’ is a biographical comedy film that tells the tale of the rise of Research in Motion (RIM) and its most famous product to date, the Blackberry mobile phone. Directed by Matt Johnson, the story revolves around RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and his friend and co-founder of RIM, Douglas Fregin (Matt Johnson), who pitch their PocketLink cellular device to Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton), but to no avail. But when Jim ends up losing his job, he teams up with Mike and Douglas on the condition that they make him a co-CEO, and the two friends agree. With Jim’s insights and business sense, and a little rebranding, Blackberry becomes a household name. But when Jim and Mike’s vision for the future of Blackberry start to clash, things start going downhill for them.
The invention of mobile phones has been a blessing when it comes to time-reducing products. The Blackberry, in particular, has been a neat little device that was built for office workers and other professionals, whose fast-paced lifestyles and globalization meant that they had to be available at odd hours for work. Blackberry facilitated this need through its QWERTY keypad and easy-to-use interface; knowing about the history of such a device would thus be interesting for many. If the film’s premise intrigues you, then here are a few more suggestions that we believe you might like. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘Blackberry’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. The Hummingbird Project (2018)
Vincent Zaleski (Jesse Eisenberg) and his cousin Anton (Alexander Skarsgard) work for Eva Torres (Salma Hayek), in whose company the latter programs trading software for her. Seeing an opportunity in reducing the time it takes to transfer trading data from stock brokering firms to Wall Street, Vincent pitches an idea to lay down fiber optic cables from the Kansas Electronic Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange, thus facilitating a new form of high-frequency trading (HFT).
At the same time, Eva is also working on a similar project, which creates tensions between the cousins and her when they leave her employment in pursuit of their new project. Vincent and Anton’s relationship in ‘The Hummingbird Project,’ directed by Kim Nguyen, is much the same as that of Jim and Mike in ‘Blackberry.’ In both cases, the former is the marketing genius who talks fast and sells the product, while the latter creates the product itself.
7. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’ is a television biopic that chronicles the rise of Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) and Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall) as founders of Apple and Microsoft, respectively. Divided into different time periods, the film follows Jobs and Gates individually, with one of them being discussed by the other at times to show what they’re working on, and through the occasional partnerships that Microsoft and Apple have enjoyed with each other. Directed by Martyn Burke, ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’ depicts the foundation and development of two companies that have been instrumental in the advancements of computer technology, much like how RIM is responsible for the development of versatile mobile phones for working professionals in ‘Blackberry.’
6. Steve Jobs (2015)
‘Steve Jobs’ narrates the story of the Apple founder who was at the epicenter of a digital revolution. The film, directed by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, follows 14 years of Steve Jobs’s (Michael Fassbender) life as he works to put Apple on the map by launching three new products in the market while facing problems in both his personal and professional life at the same time. The conflict between Steve Jobs and his business partner Steve Wozniak over the direction of the company echoes the conflict between Jim and Mike in ‘Blackberry.’
5. The Founder (2016)
Directed by John Lee Hancock, ‘The Founder’ follows Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), who turns the efficient McDonald’s fast-food restaurant into a popular and successful franchise, effectively turning him from a milkshake machine salesman to the founder of McDonald’s. The way Ray forces the original owners to hand over control of the entire franchise to him will remind fans of ‘Blackberry’ of the way Jim looked out for his own profits instead of the future of the company, thus leading to its downfall.
4. Tetris (2023)
‘Tetris’ is a biographical thriller directed by Jon S. Baird. It tells the story of Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), an entrepreneur who discovers the game Tetris in 1988 and is immediately taken by it. Rogers – who travels across the planet to secure the rights of upcoming games for console and handheld machines – makes it his mission to visit the USSR and convince Tetris’s creator, Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Yefremov), to sell him the rights for the game amidst rising Cold War tensions. While ‘Tetris’ and ‘Blackberry’ don’t have a lot in common, both are films about one of the most pivotal pieces of technology in terms of collective human history and culture.
3. Air (2023)
‘Air’ revolves around Nike’s basketball talent scout Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), who is tasked with finding a new basketball player to be the face of Nike’s basketball division by Marketing VP Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) and Nike’s co-founder and CEO Phil Knight (Ben Affleck), failing which the division is at of being shut down. Vaccaro, for his part, sees Michael Jordan play and decides to win him over from Adidas, despite his superiors’ apprehensions about it, even going so far as to create a new line of shoes solely for the basketball player. The film, directed by Ben Affleck, shares similar themes with ‘Blackberry,’ with Mike and Douglas bringing Jim on board or face bankruptcy.
2. The Social Network (2010)
‘The Social Network,’ directed by David Fincher, chronicles the founding of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) battle over ownership following the website’s unfathomable success. The film is based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaire’ by Ben Mezrich, and much like ‘Blackberry,’ focuses on the unfair tactics employed by the founders to try and buy each other out of the company due to their greed.
1. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
‘Ford v. Ferrari,’ directed by James Mangold, is a sports drama film that revolves around the Le Mans race in France, in 1966, between automobile companies Ford and Ferrari. Automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) are hired by Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) to build a race car to defeat the Italian racing team, Scuderia Ferrari. The rivalry between Ferrari and Ford, which led to new revolutions in automobile technology and manufacturing, is the same as the conflict between RIM and Palm Inc., in ‘Blackberry.’
Read More: Is Blackberry a True Story?