Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by ashley.davis
The list of great movies for seniors can be endless and is multi-generational. Every period in history has great films that the then generation grows up with. Then, when they become older, those movies make for great re-watches because the best portal back in time is not a DeLorean but rather the films themselves.
So here is to some of those great movies that are not just enjoyable but a nostalgic bridge back to better times!
Top 20 movies for seniors to watch
Yes, the top 20 does not cover decades and decades’ worth of intricate films, especially that the seniors will get a kick out of. Still, we think the following list will be an excellent nostalgic watch for seniors of almost all generations!
Schindler’s list is considered one of the greatest films of all time. Even though it was released in the early 90s, the movie genre, ratings, and target market were adults, who would be in the active 55+ senior segment.
It is deeply philosophical and political and can make men out of boys. Schindler’s list can be an excellent watch for seniors who viewed such films at the height of their careers.
When Harry Met Sally
If you are looking for one of the best movies for seniors on Netflix that is part comedy, part romance, and a lot of fun, with a dash of Meg Ryan, then ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is the one to click on.
This is one of the most modern yet humble takes on a quirky relationship that builds up to something even more significant. This is for quirky guys who are now seniors because they have Billy Crystal to relate to. As for the ladies, nothing can bring out the dreaminess like putting themselves in Meg Ryan’s shoes.
Both versions of the dimwitted but equally lovable detective are a hit with both young viewers, especially seniors. Why? Because it can be fun to watch a detective fumble around looking for a coveted piece of treasure! What makes The Pink Panther an excellent watch for seniors is the hilarity of a person they can relate to in terms of age.
Grumpy Old Men
As the name states, this movie is about grumpy men or neighbors in an almost endless feud with one another. Sound familiar? It is to most seniors who have lived it in their youth.
This is one movie that seniors can watch together in a large group and reminisce about their neighborhood memories from their adult livelihood.
Though the movie may have come out in the 1940s, it is still one of the most talked about classic films in the Rom-Com genre. What makes this an excellent watch for seniors (aside from the intricate story) is the style of the film. Seniors of all ages can relate to the period of their past, in just the portrayals by the actors.
The Godfather (1 & 2)
It is nothing personal, but The Godfather means serious business regarding being one of the best movies of all time and for seniors to watch. Why? It has Al Pacino, DeNiro, the mafias, and a lot of drama and inter-family politics.
What makes The Godfather one of the best movies for seniors to watch? It can take them back to a time when sleek hairdos were in style with seasonal trench coats and, of course, being that mysterious cool guy —something everyone finds appealing.
The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews brings this movie alive and makes it a great watch, especially for seniors (ladies mainly) who grew up young at that age. Even adults who viewed this movie has fallen in love with the musical astonishment that is The Sound of Music. Hence it makes for an excellent film for seniors to watch.
This is a tear-jerker of epic proportions. A movie that is still hyped and talked about, especially in terms of references: Titanic is a movie; seniors can get on board without having a sinking feeling of boredom. Why? Because it is a fictitious love story about events, watching it can bring back specific memories or events from the past of seniors.
This is a film for every generation and will never get old! The Notebook is a great watch for seniors, especially couples living together in senior communities.
This movie is and always will be on everyone’s list because it is a generational thing. The movie transgresses from the youth of the characters into their old age; something seniors can relate to and enjoy from the minute the film starts.
The Breakfast Club
At some point in their youth, most kids have thought about sticking to the school system; nothing delves deeper into that essence than this movie.
The Breakfast Club is an excellent movie for seniors because it is more than just some troublemakers in detention. The film is not only coming of age but can make you think deeply about your life. And that is something seniors can sit back and rest on!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Another Audrey Hepburn-starred film is the infamous Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This movie needs no introduction as seniors (particularly the ladies) know how invaluable the movie’s essence is for them.
A re-watch into their present 60s is sure to bring back feelings of watching the majestic actress on the screen, where many women wanted to be her at one point. So if you are looking for some of the best movies on Netflix for seniors to watch, then check out Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Some of the best movie quotes for seniors can be found in this film. Pure action and nostalgic, Die Hard is more than just an action film. It is a Christmas holiday movie that everyone can enjoy and cheer to.
Seniors will get a kick out of pure action bliss and portrayal of the manly Bruce Willis, who was not just a heartthrob in the late 80s through to the 90s but is a great actor who everyone loves to watch.
West Side Story
Think Romeo and Juliet, but more catered to the American culture! West Side Story is a classic romance with a gritty backdrop of then America. What makes West Side Story a great watch, particularly for seniors, is the story itself. Particularly for women and men who are entwined in forbidden romance due to family obligations. It can be nostalgic for seniors wanting to reminisce about their love lives or those who got away.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The father of all epic fantasies that can reel in any walk of men and women. Tolkien birthed the Lord of the Rings trilogy and created an entirely new universe and language.
Seniors who are into epic fantasies or medieval fiction will surely enjoy what The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has to offer. Orcs, men, elves, dwarves, winged monsters with incredible scenery, and lovable hobbits, let us not forget!
What’s more, actors like Sir Ian McKellen, that brought specific roles to life, have a senior mass following of their own!
Stanley Kubrick films
This is a bit of a cheat, but we cannot write this article without mentioning Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces. From the adaption of The Shining, which shot Jack Nicholson to incredible fame, to the intricate Clockwork Orange, Kubrick is one of the masters of film art.
Seniors will love walking down memory lane with his movies because they define a time and society, which is a conceit of the American culture. Stanley Kubrick’s films have gained a cult following, and you can bet that your senior loved and grew up with his movies and would love to dive back into his works again, just for pleasure.
The Graduate is one of the best Netflix movies for seniors to watch. Of course, it is applicable for most ages, but what can make this an intricate watch for seniors is Dustin Hoffman.
Dustin Hoffman was and still is a household name, especially in the early 80s. Movies like The Graduate are purely for adults but great to watch, nevertheless, and they can be suitable for watching with a significant other. Nothing brings out the fun like a risqué adult movie about a young man fascinated by his neighbor and trying to come of age.
This is a film that will get everyone’s adrenaline rolling! Not just because of Tom Cruise’s famous smile or the love-hate ‘bromance’ between the protagonist and Val Kilmer, but that hypnotic Kenny Loggins soundtrack.
Everything about Top Gun screams nostalgia. The audiences at that time were hooked on the young Maverick fighter pilot, dealing with inner demons at the academy while fighting for his place as top dog. What makes this one of the best movies for senior people is that when it came out, times were different, and the movie reflected a form of machismo and grandeur that young adults (then) could resonate with.
This movie is purely for the seniors who were cops or wanted to be cops or just Clint Eastwood in particular. Dirty Harry is up there as one of the most talked about neo-noir American action thriller films out there.
And why is it a good movie for seniors to watch? Well, imagine a group of senior buddies at an assisted living facility getting ready to view a movie about a rugged no-nonsense cop with a gun chasing bad guys. That is pure entertainment from the vault and great for men who want to play cop and have fun!
Star Wars original trilogy
Though it may not be everyone’s flavor of pie, we highly doubt if there are many people left who have not seen the original Star Wars trilogy. It has some of the best, most well-known casts in cinema history. The iconic space opera was something unique and a visual spectacle to watch back in the day, and it has a supermassive cult following, especially today.
Seniors who grew up with Star Wars can never get tired of watching the trilogy, including the controversial new ones. Why? Because it has space, laser, mystical monks, tough guys, and a severe, nostalgic musical score. It will bring back the fantasies of anyone watching, especially in their senior years.
Adventure is deeply rooted in human DNA; it just takes the right situation to bring it out. Though the adventures depicted in all the classic Indiana Jones films are highly fictitious (not to mention dangerous), the very imagery is enough to rouse the fantasy of whip-slinging academics in all, particularly the seniors.
What made everyone fall in love with Indiana Jones is not just the outfit but the portrayal of the professor/relic-hunter/ladies’ man Harrison Ford. What the character showed brought out was the imagination of adventures, something that can rope back seniors to when they first watched it during their youth.
There are many great movies out there, but for that to cover, we may need an entire section dedicated to film for senior living! BoomersHub may have to come up with more lists of movies to watch for seniors not covered in this article. Fingers crossed!
Why look for movie facilities in senior care
Finding the right senior living community for adults over 55+ is essential. Though senior living is very different from nursing homes and is a unique lifestyle, the extra facilities they provide make or break the difference between good and great. And movie nights, with screening facilities, are the ones to look out for.
Having periodic movie nights in senior living communities can liven up the atmosphere and the moods of the elderly. Movies are even suitable for patients with dementia, as they can bring back a sense of nostalgic moments they relieved in the past.
If there is anything that is the best thing next to a time-traveling machine, it is watching older movies. Movies every generation grows up with are the portal to their youthful times. Seniors who are enjoying their retirements in independent or assisted living facilities can travel back to simpler times just by submerging themselves in movies that can bring back a sliver of nostalgia.
So if you are an elderly adult or have an elderly family member considering moving to senior living communities, be sure to check if they have a movie-screening facility.
Aside from watching movies, seniors can take part in other nostalgic, fun activities that are engaging and good for their health. Read the following articles to have an idea.
- Top 10 Brain-Stimulating Activities for Adults
- Activities for Assisted Living Residents – Some Exciting Ideas for Seniors
What are some movies about ageism?
Dead Poets Society and Stand By Me are considered some of the most renowned films about coming of age. Seniors would enjoy watching these kinds of movies as it would bring back feelings of nostalgia, especially those in their mid-20s when the movie came out.
Why do older people watch older movies?
Seniors love watching older movies from their youth because they can bring back enjoyable memories. It is also helpful for seniors with dementia. Watching sentimental films is an excellent way for seniors to recollect specific memories or feelings that have long been dormant with time.
What are some funny movies for senior citizens?
From more modern times, The Bucket List, Mamma Mia, and Going In Style are delightful with a sense of comedy to them. From the vault of decades before, The Naked Gun, Three Men and a Baby are also funny for seniors, especially those who were adults in the 80s.
What are some good TV series for senior citizens?
The Andy Griffith Show can be a good TV show, a classic that ran in the late 60s. Moving on from then, TV shows like Charlie’s Angels, The A-Team, The Golden Girls, and Dr. Who are great shows that seniors can watch and relive in their youth.
What are some good movies for seniors with dementia on Netflix?
The Wizard of Oz can be an excellent movie for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It was a movie that most seniors today have seen in their youth. Other movies for seniors on Netflix include It’s A Wonderful Life, Sound of Music, and Calamity Jane.