This week, Maggie Smith will fill a role she's perfected — the ornery yet lovable elderly woman — in The Lady in the Van. Senior citizens are often the highlight of a movie. They stand out in the best way, mostly because the characters are often written to have (almost) everything figured out. They aren't worried about what they say. And in the world of film (unlike at your holiday dinner table) if their unchecked honesty does come with a hint of bigotry, a younger person comes along before the end of the movie to teach them the error of their ways.
In movies, grandparents and their contemporaries often serve as mentors. But they're also the sort of best friends who might not like your playlist, but will always give you better advice than the pal you met in algebra class. They also have the best stories and serve up the best side-eye.
So cue up these flicks featuring our favorite on-screen elders, and dial up your grandma for a heart-to-heart.