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47 voters

The Best Movies About Having A Midlife Crisis

February 18, 2020 1.1k votes 47 voters52 items

It's pretty common for both men and women to temporarily freak out when they hit a certain age. That's why it's a good thing that there are so many midlife crisis movies. These films not only shed light onto the reasons why people have these freak outs, they also provide viewers with a sense of understanding. If they've been made, then clearly someone else knows what it's like to hit the mid-point in life and wonder if you've met your full potential.

Films about finding yourself come in two varieties. There are the ones that are specifically about having a midlife crisis. City Slickers, Lost in Translation, and 10 are quintessential examples. Others are about something else on the surface, yet have characters going through the whole self-reflection thing. Movies of this sort include Thelma & Louise, Father of the Bride, and Fatal Attraction. In other words, a midlife crisis is what drives the protagonist, even if the plot isn't entirely about that.

Midlife reinvention movies are often comedies, because if you can't laugh about these things, you're doomed to be crushed by them. But there are several that are strictly dramatic. Many of cinema's greatest directors have tackled the subject, including Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Woody Allen, and Ridley Scott. And in case you think female directors don't touch the subject, just remember that Nancy Meyers has made two pictures of this nature: It's Complicated and Something's Gotta Give.

Vote up the best movies about a midlife crisis from the list below. 

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  • 1
    30
    4

    Crazy, Stupid, Love.

    Emma Stone, Julianne Moore

    Released2011

    Directed byJohn Requa, Glenn Ficarra

    Crazy, Stupid, Love is a 2011 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and written by Dan Fogelman. It stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma...  more
  • 2
    35
    9

    American Beauty

    Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening

    Released1999

    Directed bySam Mendes

    American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. An advertising executive (Kevin Spacey) has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend...  more
  • 3
    30
    5

    Lost in Translation

    Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray

    Released2003

    Directed bySofia Coppola

    Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, and Fumihiro Hayashi. The film...  more
  • 4
    38
    13

    How Stella Got Her Groove Back

    Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett

    Released1998

    Directed byKevin Rodney Sullivan

    How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's bestselling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, Taye...  more
  • 5
    31
    9

    The Weather Man

    Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine

    Released2005

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    The Weather Man is a 2005 American comedy-drama film, directed by Gore Verbinski. Written by Steve Conrad, it stars Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine and Hope Davis, and tells the story of a weatherman in...  more
  • 6
    25
    7

    City Slickers

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Crystal

    Released1991

    Directed byRon Underwood

    City Slickers is a 1991 American western comedy film directed by Ron Underwood and starring Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby and Jack Palance, with supporting roles by Patricia Wettig, Helen...  more
  • 7
    28
    13

    This Is 40

    Megan Fox, Melissa McCarthy

    Released2012

    Directed byJudd Apatow

    This Is 40 is a 2012 American spin-off comedy film written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow. It is a stand-alone sequel to the 2007 film Knocked Up and stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann....  more
  • 8
    31
    19

    Last Tango in Paris

    Marlon Brando, Jean Piere Leaud

    Released1972

    Directed byBernardo Bertolucci

    Last Tango in Paris is a 1972 Franco-Italian romantic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which portrays a recent American widower who begins an anonymous relationship with a young betrothed...  more
  • 9
    22
    9

    Thelma & Louise

    Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon

    Released1991

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who embark on a road trip with...  more
  • 10
    20
    8

    10

    Julie Andrews, Bo Derek

    Released1979

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    10 is a 1979 romantic comedy film directed, produced and written by Blake Edwards, and starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Robert Webber, Dee Wallace, and Bo Derek, in her first major film...  more
  • 11
    23
    14

    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell

    Released1993

    Directed byHarold Ramis

    Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis. A derisive weatherman (Bill Murray) finds himself reliving the same day over and over again after reporting a small...  more
  • 12
    15
    5

    Father of the Bride

    Steve Martin, Diane Keaton

    Released1991

    Directed byCharles Shyer

    Father of the Bride is a 1991 American comedy film starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, George Newbern, Martin Short, B.D. Wong and Kieran Culkin. It is a remake of the 1950 film...  more
  • 13
    25
    20

    Sideways

    Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen

    Released2004

    Directed byAlexander Payne

    Sideways is a 2004 American comedy-drama film written by Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne and directed by Payne. A film adaptation from Rex Pickett's novel of the same name, Sideways follows two men in...  more
  • 14
    22
    16

    Wild Hogs

    John Travolta, Marisa Tomei

    Released2007

    Directed byWalt Becker

    Wild Hogs is a 2007 biker comedy road film directed by Walt Becker and starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. It was released nationwide in the United States and...  more
  • 15
    14
    8

    Brad's Status

    Ben Stiller, Michael Sheen

    Directed byMike White

    Brad's Status is a 2017 American comedy film directed and written by Mike White. A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior...  more
  • 16
    19
    16

    Wonder Boys

    Robert Downey Jr., Katie Holmes

    Released2000

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    Wonder Boys is a 2000 Romantic comedy film directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Steve Kloves. An international co-production between the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, it...  more
  • 17
    21
    19

    Manhattan

    Meryl Streep, Woody Allen

    Released1979

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen and produced by Charles H. Joffe. The screenplay was written by Allen and Marshall Brickman. Allen co-stars as a...  more
  • 18
    12
    8

    Town & Country

    Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Chelsom

    Town & Country is a 2001 film starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Garry Shandling and directed by Peter Chelsom. It is a romantic comedy in which Beatty plays an architect, with...  more
  • 19
    15
    12

    Old Dogs

    John Travolta, Robin Williams

    Released2009

    Directed byWalt Becker

    Old Dogs is a 2009 American ensemble comedy film directed by Wild Hogs '​s Walt Becker and starring John Travolta and Robin Williams with an ensemble supporting cast played by Kelly Preston, Matt...  more
  • 20
    9
    5

    Fatal Attraction

    Glenn Close, Michael Douglas

    Released1987

    Directed byAdrian Lyne

    This film is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. The film centers on a married Manhattan man who has a...  more
  • 21
    18
    19

    Book Club

    Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen

    Released2018

    Directed byBill Holderman

    Book Club is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Bill Holderman. Four lifelong friends (Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Keaton) have their lives forever changed after...  more
  • 22
    8
    5

    Old School

    Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg

    Released2003

    Directed byTodd Phillips

    Old School is a 2003 American comedy film released by DreamWorks Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company and directed by Todd Phillips. The story was written by Court Crandall, and the film was...  more
  • 23
    21
    23

    Grown Ups

    Salma Hayek, Adam Sandler

    Released2010

    Directed byDennis Dugan

    Grown Ups is a 2010 American buddy comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, and written by Adam Sandler, who also stars in this film. Besides Sandler, the film co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David...  more
  • 24
    5
    5

    Lolita

    Christopher Lee, Peter Sellers

    Released1962

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Lolita is a 1962 comedy-drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same title by Vladimir Nabokov, about a middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with a teenage girl. The film...  more
  • 25
    11
    11

    Save the Tiger

    Jack Lemmon, Liv Lindeland

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Save the Tiger is a 1973 film about moral conflict in contemporary America. It stars Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman, Thayer David, Lara Parker and Liv Lindeland. The film was directed by...  more