June 5, 2020

Streep, Pacino, Nicholson: Moving Film Characters 60+

Movies about life are some of the greatest stories, especially the ones about people over 60. They show how exciting and surprising life can be after an active professional life so we’ve compiled a list of the most inspiring films featuring older characters and the actors that play them.

Films filled with heart and soul

About Schmidt

In "About Schmidt" the lethargic Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) shows how difficult it can be to get used to retirement after 40 years on the job. His marriage, his everyday life, everything is turned upside down. He simply cannot find his way in his new life. So he decides to do something he's never done before - and embarks on a strange journey.

It’s Complicated

After separating from her husband Jack (Alec Baldwin), Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) embarks on a new life but complications ensue when she becomes re-involved with her still ex-husband and her architect, Adam (Steve Martin). Funny, touching, heartwarming.

Danny Collins

Danny (Al Pacino) is a rock star who is still chasing the fame and creativity of his youth. Although he hasn't written a new song in 30 years, he still fills concert halls. However, the aging process is taking its toll on him. So does the fact that his fans are now around 60 years old. When an old letter from John Lennon comes into his hands, he decides to become creative again. But it’s not as easy as he imagined it to be.

The Last Laugh

Retired talent manager Al Hart (Chevy Chase ) unexpectedly meets his first client, Buddy Green (Richard Dreyfuss), a comedian who gave up show business 50 years ago, in a retirement home. They immediately reconnect and Al persuades Buddy to flee the retirement home and tour the country with a comedy show. A heartwarming story about seizing opportunities.

Hope Springs

Kelly (Meryl Streep) and Arnold Soames (Tommy Lee Jones) have been married for 31 years but the last few years haven’t been the greatest. They visit a couples therapist (Steve Carell) and listen to his advice and we watch how they struggle through overcoming rejection, disappointment, and reignite interest and affection.

The Intern

Who says you can't start an internship at 70? Charismatic life expert Ben (Robert de Niro) wants to spend his time doing something meaningful so he joins a start-up as an intern. It’s all a bit too much for him at first--digital, fast moving, with co-workers driven by youth and their values--but he gradually finds his place in the company. In addition, he begins to spend more time with his boss, Jules (Anne Hathaway), and they begin a wonderful mentoring relationship and friendship.

The Bucket List

In "The Bucket List", entrepreneur Edward (Jack Nicholson) and mechanic Carter (Morgen Freeman) work through a list of things they want to experience before they die. Neither has much time left and the two couldn't be more different but the list brings them closer in a very special way. Tissues required.

Something’s Gotta Give

Nobody knows how love can develop. Harry (Jack Nicholson), Erica (Diane Keaton), Julian (Keanu Reeves) and Marin (Amanda Peet) are involved in some way with one another. The flirtatious Harry is dating the young Marin but when he meets her mother, Erica, he develops surprising feelings for her. However, she has an eye on the young doctor Julian. A tricky love story between generations shows how unimportant age and status are when it comes to love.


Recently widowed 78-year-old former balloon salesman Carl wants to keep his promise to his wife and fly their house down to South America using balloons. Soon after he leaves, Carl notices that he is not travelling alone. Young wilderness explorer, Russell, is on board and together they learn life’s most important lessons. A heartwarming story for young and old.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent (Bill Murray) has his life under control and knows what he wants. Mostly it's visits to racetracks, bars, and strip clubs. When his new neighbour has to work overtime, he is forced to step in as a babysitter and take care of her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Martell). How does that work? Not at all but it’s the beginning of a maddening, provocative, and intimate friendship.

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A run-down hotel in the middle of India is the scene of the gathering of a group of British senior citizens. They have come here for a variety of reasons: Vacation, distance, escape from the old life, new beginnings. With one laughing and one crying eye you watch as the personalities - Judi Dench, Bill Nighy or Maggie Schmith- reveal their fates, unfold their innermost secrets and find their personal truth. Touching, funny, honest.

Robot & Frank

Aging jewel thief Frank (Frank Langella) suffers from dementia and is experiencing certain difficulties in everyday life. To help around the house, his son gives him a robot to do small jobs for him. However, Frank decides to entrust him with other tasks - and together they plan something big.

Calender Girls

In North Yorkshire, aging housewives gather weekly to network. The issues they discuss are often mundane and most of them don't find what they’re doing very exciting. The same women publish a calendar every year - usually with flower motifs or regional bridges. However, due to a tragic death, their friends Chris (Helen Mirren) and Annie (Julie Walters) need higher proceeds from calendar sales this time so they try to persuade the other housewives to do a nude shoot for the calendar.

Broken Flowers

Don (Billy Murray) discovers from an anonymous letter that he has a son. In total, four women in different cities are considered potential mothers. With the help of his would-be detective friend, Don decides to search for the woman and his son.


Former CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is terribly bored in retirement. He gets a new lease on life when his former client decides to eliminate him and other older CIA agents - after all, they are senior experts with specific knowledge that is considered to be a potential threat. But as it turns out, they’re not so easy to get rid of.


Mr. Morgan’s Last Love

Mr. Morgan, a widower, can’t find his way back to life after his wife dies. He walks the world in a trance, letting the days go by. During a bus ride, he meets Pauline, a young dance teacher. She carefully shows him the way out of his depression and a very special relationship develops between the two.

Woman in Gold

In "Woman in Gold", art collector Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) engages in a bitter legal battle over a very special painting: Adele by Gustav Klimt. It shows her beloved aunt and actually belonged to her family before it was taken by the Nazis and brought to Vienna. Star-studded, dramatic and based on a true story.

The Mule

At almost 90 years old, Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) has to close his shop. When he is offered a supposedly easy job as a driver, he doesn't hesitate. However, little by little he realizes what kind of job he agreed to do. He’s a drug courier for the Mexican drug cartels and his life is in danger.

Million Dollar Baby

The inexperienced but iron-willed boxer Maggie (Hillary Swank) wants to be trained by no one else other than Frankie (Clint Eastwood). He reluctantly agrees and soon realizes what an exceptional talent she is. During her most important fight the story takes a dramatic turn, which also throws even the tough Frankie off track.


Two artists, two eventful careers, one retired holiday together. While screenwriter Mick (Harvey Keitel) works tirelessly on his screenplay, composer Fred (Michael Caine) simply wants to enjoy his retirement. A potential job for the Queen finally kills the holiday mood.

Red Joan

One day MI5 stands at the door of 87-year-old Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) and arrests her. She is accused of having given secrets to the Russians in her youth. Her quiet pensioner's life is turned upside down, thus revealing the story of her youth: how she fell in love with a communist as a young physics student, how she collaborated on secret nuclear research during the Second World War, and how she was in a constant struggle with her values and ideals. 

Gran Torino

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is grumpy, tired and just wants to sit on his porch for the rest of his life. One night, a gang tries to steal his Gran Torino. Not only does he prevent the theft, he also becomes the hero of his neighborhood. As a result, an unexpected friendship develops between him and his young neighbour.

The Irishman

The movie retells the true story of contract killer Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran (Robert de Niro) and his involvement in the disappearance of union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). The actors are digitally deaged to appear younger in certain parts of the movie that take place in the past showing that actors can really play any age these days.

Pain and Glory

Aging film director Pedro Almodóvar cannot cope with aging. In a melancholy and tragicomic movie, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) looks back on his life and his decisions with self-pity but also gratitude and reflects on his loved ones, his mother, and his art.

Shows that will make you smile

The Kominsky Method

Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) has his best acting years behind him. As an acting teacher, he passes on his expertise to his students always hoping to make it big himself. While he strives to keep up with Los Angeles' expectations of youth and wealth, he goes through thick and thin with his long-time friend and agent Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin).

Grace and Frankie

What do two friends Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) do when they confront their husbands with the fact that they have been having an affair with each other for years? Freak out, mourn, reinvent themselves, and laugh - you can watch and follow them through all of this.

Photo credit main image: Warner Bros.

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