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Making Sense of Retirement — 48 Great Movies About Retirement

Movies – like all art forms – can be a great way to explore important themes in your life.  Here is our list of movies related to retirement and aging.  While you should probably do more to prepare for retirement than watching movies — use a retirement calculator or consult a financial advisor for example — you can probably find inspiration, solace and a good laugh in these films.

Movie night! Watch movies about retirement and aging with friends, spouse or even grandkids!!
Best of all, you might be surprised to find some great animated choices to watch with your grand kids!Plus comedies, dramas and action heroes.

Start a retirement movie club or just start watching on your own!

Best Movies About Retirement and Aging — 2018

Tea with the Dames (2018): Join Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Joan Plowright for a weekend in the country to reminisce and share their entertaining thoughts on art, aging and love.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (2018): A fun music filmed romp about how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present.

The Wife (2018): A portrait of nearly forty years of marriage, secrets, betrayals and love. Starring Glen Close.

What They Had (2018): The familiar theme of the pain of Alzheimers’ and how it impacts the family dynamic.

The Old Man & the Gun (2018): Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek deliver warm charming performances.

Mirai (2018): An animated film from Japan explores love passed down through generations. Common Sense Media says: “The type of animated film parents might enjoy more than kids, this magical sibling adventure is a dreamy, touching look at the importance of family ties and knowing your personal history.

Bumblebee (2018): Even Transformers can find a second life after retirement.


A Man Called Ove (Released in U.S. in 2017): Adapted from a popular book, this was an Oscar nominee in 2017. Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.

Faces Places (Visage, Villages) (2017): A portrait of an unlikely cross generational friendship between a 30 something street artist, JR, and older filmmaker, Agnes Varda.

Logan (2017):  Part of the X-Men franchise, Logan must face off against dark forces and a villain from his own past on a live-or-die mission, one that will set the time-worn warrior on a path toward fulfilling his destiny.

Coco (2017): A Disney animated feature that is a vibrant, musical and joyful film about questions of culture, family, life and death.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017):  Bittersweet comedy and intergenerational tale of adult siblings contending with the influence of their aging father.

Lost in Paris (2017): The New York Times describes the style of the married directors of this film as “equal parts Jacques Tati, Jerry Lewis, Wes Anderson and “Wallace & Gromit.”  Co stars the late Emmanuelle Riva as an 88 year old down to party.

Marjorie Prime (2017): Eighty-six-year-old Marjorie spends her final, ailing days with a computerized version of her deceased husband. A.O. Scott of the New York Times describes this movie as, “…an alternately stately and brisk story in which the metaphor poses questions about mortality, loss and who our imagined “best selves” might turn out to actually be once they’re released from our own assessment.

Downsizing (2017): We talk a lot about downsizing as an opportunity for retirement.  This movie takes the concept to the extreme. This film was not terribly well reviewed, but entertaining enough with Matt Damon in the lead.

The Lovers (2017): Starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as aging everyday people asking questions about intimacy and love.


The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Released in U.S. in 2016): An Oscar award nominee, this film is about Allan Karlsson who finds himself stuck in a nursing home after living a long and colorful life. On his 100th birthday, he leaps out a window and begins an unexpected journey.

Fences (2016): New York Times Reviewer A.O. Scott has this to say about “Fences:” “What is most remarkable about this film is how thoroughly — how painfully, how honestly, how beautifully — it answers the question “What about my life?”

20th Century Women (2016): Set in 1970s Santa Barbara, this film is a story about generation gaps.


45 Years (2015): A portrait of a long happy marriage in sudden crisis. There is just one week until Kate Mercer’s (Charlotte Rampling) 45th wedding anniversary and the planning for the party is going well. But then a letter arrives for her husband (Tom Courtenay).

Grandma (2015): A teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy seeks help from her acerbic grandmother, a woman who is long estranged from her daughter. Stars Lily Tomlin and Marcia Gay Harden.

Chronic (2015): A home care nurse works with terminally ill patients.

I’ll See You in my Dreams (2015): A widow and former songstress discovers that life can begin anew at any age.  Stars Blythe Danner.

The Meddler (2015): Susan Sarandon stars as an aging widow who follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting anew life.


Cyber Seniors (2014): Cyber ludite seniors discover the world of the internet through teenage mentors.

St. Vincent (2014): A comedy where a hedonistic retired war veteran finds a second career as a babysitter.

Birdman (2014): A washed up actor who once played a superhero tries to reinvent himself and reclaim past glory by producing a Broadway play.

The Expendables 3 (2014): Even action heroes struggle to stay relevant as they age.

The Giver (2014): Your teenage grand child has probably read the book by Lois Lowry about a young boy chosen to learn from an elderly  man about the world.

Elsa & Fred (2014): It is never too late for love — Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.

2013 – 2000

Nebraska (2013): Aging father and son embark on a road trip.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2013): A Swedish movie about the events of Allan Karlsson’s life following his excape from the old folk’s home on his 100th birthday.

Armour (2012): Critically acclaimed German movie about a couple in their 80s struggling after the wife has had a stroke.

Quartet (2012): A home for retired musicians, directed by Dustin Hoffman.

The Artist (2011): Academy award winning movie about early retirement in Hollywood.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011): A British film about retirees traveling to India.

Arthur Christmas (2011): Santa refuses to retire?  Grand Santa comes out of retirement?  A cute holiday movie. (Great choice with grandchildren.)

Late Bloomers (2011): Adjusting to retirement.

Toy Story 3 (2010): You may be surprised to learn that this animated film deals with many retirement themes. In this installment the toys’ boy Andy is now seventeen years old and headed to college. As a result his toys are facing a kind of forced retirement. (Great choice with grandchildren.)

Red (2010): Retirees save the world.

Up (2009): Another animated film?  Yes – a beautiful one at that!A grouchy old man loses his zest for life until a persistent 8 year old enters into his world. (Great choice with grandchildren.)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): A man who starts aging backward.

Get Low (2009): Robert Duvall as a hermit wants to plan his own funeral.

Is There Anybody There? (2008): A family turns their house into a retirement home and copes with their decision.

Freezer Geezers (2009): Follow 83 year hockey coach Ray Tuller and his team as they take all challengers in the over 75 hockey league.  (A hockey league created by Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.)

Gran Torino (2008): Acclaimed movie withClint Eastwood as a retired Korean war vet.

The Bucket List (2007): Two terminally ill men try to accomplish everything on their list before they kick the “bucket.”

Young at Heart (2007): A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians.

Away from Her (2006): After a 45 year long marriage, Fiona is admitted to a long term care facility for Alzheimer’s treatment.

The Notebook (2004): A World War II love story is brought to life through the readings of a man, out of his notebook.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2004): This touching movie follows an 83 year old retiree through his death and into the tale of five people he meets in the afterlife.

Secondhand Lions (2003): A 14 year old boy travels to live with his two eccentric uncles who have a sketchy past and a seemingly endless supply of money.

Calendar Girls (2003): A true story based on a group of older women who become international celebrities by taking it all off for charity.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003): Love after 50.

About Schmidt (2002): A retired insurance salesman’s plans are altered and his life changes forever after the death of his wife and the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn’t like.

1999 and Before

Tuesdays with Morrie (1999): An old student visits his retired professor who has fallen ill and learns what is truly important in life.

Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993): Two retired men become best friends and travel together along a path of new insights into their lives.

Grumpy Old Men (1993): The title says it all.  Stars Walter Matheau, Jack Lemmon and Ann Margret.  See also Grumpier Old Men.

Unforgiven (1992): Clint Eastwood as a retired gunman.

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991): Stories of women gathering strength for themselves through other women.

Dad (1989): A son who returns home to care for his sick father learns a new way to see his dad.

Cocoon (1985): A swimming pool fountain of youth? These retirees find one!

The Trip to Bountiful (1985): An elderly woman yearns to break free from her son’s small home and return to her old life in the town where she was born.

Lost in America (1985): Comedy from Albert Brooks about retirement gone wrong.

On Golden Pond (1981): In this classic, Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn deal with what could possibly be a last birthday spent together.

Going in Style (1979): A comedy with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg living off Social Security.

Harold and Maude (1971): A story of how two complete opposites make their life happy together.

The Lion in Winter (1968): Who should inherit the throne from aging Henry II?

The Long Gray Line (1955): A retired army hero greatly influences generations of military leaders.

Shane (1953): Alan Ladd as a retired gunfighter.

The Quiet Man (1952): Retirement in Ireland in the fifties.

High Noon (1952): A man plans for his life as a retired marshal of a small town, but his plans soon change.

As Young As You Feel (1951): A comedy about a man who after being forced into retirement, pretends to be the president of his parent company.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946): A truly wonderful classic that follows a down and out George Bailey through the “what if’s” of life.

What is Your Favorite Retirement Movie?

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