19 Movies To See Starring Women Over 40

Universal Pictures

It's no secret that Hollywood is not kind to women over 40. It's a well known fact that there are more leading roles for men than women in Hollywood, so movies starring women are in the minority, ad movies starring women over the age of 40 are even more rare. Still, that doesn't mean there aren't some great ones that deserve your attention, like these 19 movies starring women over 40, all of which are worth seeing.

A recent study from USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism on 414 movies, TV shows, and digital series that aired from September of 2014 to August of 2015, only 21.4 percent of film characters over 40 were for women, meaning that there are three times as many roles available to men over that age than to women. And that's just speaking roles.

Furthermore, you'll notice a trend among these 19 movies starring women over 40 is that a lot of the roles featured are mothers, very few are romantic leads, and even fewer have love interests that are younger than them. On the flip side, if we were rounding up movies starring men over 40, you can bet that they would be a mix of single men, married men, and single fathers, all would be romantic leads, and none of them would have a love interest older than them.

It's an unfortunate truth, but thankfully, these movies are reminders that women over 40 can, and should, lead Hollywood movies.


'A Woman Under The Influence'

Gena Rowlands stars in A Woman Under the Influence as a woman who is trapped by her role as a wife and mother, as well as an alcohol problem.

Stream A Woman Under The Influence here.



Who says women over 40 can't party like teenagers?

Stream Sisters here.


'Please Give'

Catherine Keener starred in Please Give, an R rated family dramedy. Bonus: it was directed by a woman over 40, Nicole Holofcener.

Stream Please Give here.


'Enough Said'

Yes, the over 40 rom-com is a thing. (And, yes, Enough Said was also directed by Nicole Holofcener.)

Stream Enough Said here.


'Still Alice'

Julianne Moore won an Oscar for Still Alice for a reason.

Stream Still Alice here.


'The Kids Are All Right'

The Kids Are All Right stars not one, but two women over 40.

Stream The Kids Are Alright here.



Viola Davis is at the top of her game in Fences, in which she is one of the only women on screen.

Stream Fences here.


'The Proposal'

Because Sandra Bullock is ageless and hilarious.

Stream The Proposal here.


'Notes On A Scandal'

Notes on a Scandal starred an over-40 Judi Dench and an almost-40 Cate Blanchett, but it's also worth watching just because it's an amazing thriller.

Stream Notes On A Scandal here.


'August: Osage County'

You didn't think I'd leave Meryl Streep off the list, did you? Bonus: August: Osave County also stars Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale, and Juliette Lewis.

Stream August: Osage County here.



I don't care what the Academy says, Amy Adams is brilliant in Arrival and you should all see it.

Stream Arrival here.


'Saving Mr. Banks'

Is there anyone on this planet more charismatic and talented than Emma Thompson? I think not.

Stream Saving Mr. Banks here.



Gravity is literally 100 percent woman over 40. Get it!

Stream Gravity here.


'Adam's Rib'

Watch Katherine Hepburn tackle sexism and teach her husband a thing or two about gender in Adam's Rib.

Stream Adam's Rib here.


'Then She Found Me'

Helen Hunt directed and starred in Then She Found Me, a movie about an almost-40 year old (played by Hunt) who decides she wants to have kids as her husband leaves her.

Stream Then She Found Me here.



Where else are you going to get to watch a team of (mostly) over-40 women bust some ghosts?

Stream Ghostbusters here.


'20th Century Women'

Because Annette Bening is who we all hope to be.

Stream 20th Century Women here.


'How Stella Got Her Groove Back'

Angela Bassett was barely 40 when she starred in the classic How Stella Got Her Groove Back, so I hesitate to even include it, but, hey, it's a classic for a reason.

Stream How Stella Got Her Got Groove Back here.


'Miss You Already'

Miss You Already is about two BFFs over 40, and I can't wait to be like them.

Movies starring women over 40 still have a long way to go, but at least we know there's more than enough proof right here that people actually want to see those movies. We just have to spread the word.

Stream Miss You Already here.