Swindlers, scammers and con artists: Here’s what to stream if you love a good fraudster film
The genre du jour occupying much of our downtime, the golden age of the scammer is well and truly upon us.
From Netflix retellings and documentaries to dedicated podcasts and television shows, the art of con has truly taken over the entertainment world.
Whether it’s The Tinder Swindler, Inventing Anna or The Dropout, it’s highly likely that you’ve spent an evening or two enveloped in a true crime story, and we’re right there with you.
While many chronicle real life scams, others invent their own, and both varieties leave the audience wondering whether they would be able to pull off a con quite so easily.
If you’ve been swept up in the cultural fascination with getting inside the mind of a scammer, seeing if you can figure it out before anyone else, and watching on in equal parts shock and awe, we’ve rounded up some of the best streaming options you may have missed.
Pick your poison…
The Good Liar, Netflix
Based on a bestselling novel by Nicholas Searle, The Good Liar have remained in Netflix’s top ten since it was added to the streaming platform. Starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, the film follows the standard conman plot: cagey man pursues doe-eyed professor with a whole lot of savings. However, “nothing is quite what it seems with this mark.”
The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman, Netflix
Based on the true story of Robert Hendy-Freegard, this gripping docuseries centres around siblings Sophie and Jake Clifton as they struggle to come to terms with the coercive control their mother is experiencing at the hands of a man she met on a dating site. Filled with twists and turns, each episode follows Hendy-Freegard’s infinite appetite for manipulation.
WeCrashed, Apple TV+
Starring Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto, WeCrashed is all about the love story at the heart of the rise and fall of one of the world’s most valuable startups, WeWork. Growing from a small co-working space to a multi billion dollar company in less than a decade, then plummeting in less than a year thanks to the antics of founder Adam Neumann, this isn’t your traditional scammer story.
Dirty Money, Netflix
They say the rich just keep getting richer, but how exactly do they do it? This documentary series looks at the many illegal, corrupt and immoral methods used to get ahead in the corporate world. Featuring firsthand perspectives from both perpetrators and victims, tales include a car company cheating emission tests and the shady deals that built the Trump empire.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal, Netflix
Who else remembers when Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman and Full House star Lori Loughlin got all caught up in the controversial college admissions scandal? Well this documentary takes a long look at just that. Recounting how the upper echelon of society got caught trying to pay for their kids to get into college, it asks whether the wealthy will ever be held accountable for their scams.
Art and Craft, Amazon Prime
A critically acclaimed documentary for 2014 that might have slipped under your radar, Art and Craft tells the story of one of the most staggeringly prolific art forgers in history, Mark Landis. Donating his knock-offs to art museums for 30 years the documentary shows us a con artist confronting his own legacy.