People look to movies for characters to relate to, shared experiences, etc. Looking for Alzheimer’s Disease movies to understand the experience is also common.
While the following movies may describe some aspects of Alzheimer’s and the physical and emotional experiences that accompany it, it’s important to remember that many of these are designed for entertainment purposes. Your personal experience with Alzheimer’s may not be similar at all. However, you may also find very similar themes to what you experience as a caregiver, volunteer in a nursing home, or as someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
This list is intended to be a complete list. I may not have found them all, and new movies come out every year. Please, if you know of any other Alzheimer’s Disease movies that are not listed here, leave a comment at the end of the article so I can include it. Many thanks.
Age Old Friends (1989) – John Cooper and his best friend Michael Aylott are residents in a nursing home. John is failing physically while Michael is deteriorating mentally. They do their best to help each other cope.
Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory (2014) – Dan Cohen, social worker and founder of Music & Memory, stars in this documentary about how music can be used to combat memory loss.
The Alzheimer Affair (2003) – Angelo Ledda was a former hitman and agreed to his last contract, despite developing Alzheimer’s disease. After discovering that his target is a twelve-year-old girl, he refuses to kill a child. His employer sends another hitman to get the job done and dispatch Angelo in the process.
The Alzheimer’s Project (2009) – This is a four-part documentary that focuses on possible causes, symptoms, and treatments for Alzheimer’s.
The Artist’s Wife (2019) – The film centers around Claire, the wife of famed artist Richard Smythson. Richard is diagnosed. Claire tries to shield his illness from the artistic community to reconnect him with some of his family.
Ashes (2012)– Frank is living with his illness in a residential home. A stranger wishes to help him be reunited with his now forgotten father. However, after he breaks out of the residential home and goes on the run, Frank realizes that not everything is as it seems.
Aurora Borealis (2005) – Duncan is an unemployed youth trying to cope with his fathers’ death. He moves in with his grandparents. Ron, his grandfather, has Alzheimer’s.
Away from Her (2006) – Fiona and Grant are a retired married couple. Fiona begins to lose her memory to Alzheimer’s disease. Grant reflects on his past life and tries to keep Fiona as happy as possible.
Angel’s Perch (2019) – Jack is an architect who returns to his Appalachian hometown when his grandmother, Polly, shows worsening signs of Alzheimer’s disease. He is eager to return to Pittsburgh and his successful job. When Jack cannot find a suitable facility for his grandmother, he is forced to confront painful memories of growing up, memories he has kept locked inside. To face his future, he must now face his past.
Beautiful Memories (2001) – Claire Poussin recently lost her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, and is in the process of losing her memory. She then consults a clinic about this problem and falls in love with someone she meets there.
Before We Forget (2011) – The film focuses on Joyce Fernandez, a middle-aged woman caring for her mother, Celine Fernandez, who has had Alzheimer’s. The story takes a tragic turn after Celine suffers a mild stroke and loses her ability to speak. The duo, staunch Catholics, keep their heads above the emotional turmoil through daily prayer.
Black (2005) – Shot in India, this movie is about Michelle, a child who grows up deaf and blind. It is a miserable life until Debraj Sahai enters her life as her teacher. Michelle blossoms and creates a life for herself with Sahai’s guidance. Until years later, when she must confront her beloved Sahai, who is slowly losing his memory, including his memories of her.
Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped? (2016) – A PBS Nova documentary follows clinical trial participants as they search for a cure.
Carpe Kilimanjaro: An Alzheimer’s Project (2016) – In this documentary, Zach Jordan climbs Mount Kilimanjaro as a physical representation of his challenges of fatherhood and Alzheimer’s.
Capone (2020) – After spending a decade in prison, Al Capone is old and suffering from dementia as he tries to come to terms with his criminal past.
Choke (2008) – Victor Mancini is a sex addict leading a haphazard existence. After a day at his day job, Vitor works his con game nightly in expensive restaurants by pretending to choke on his food. He proceeds to make whoever saves him feel sorry for him with a sob story. This gets him enough money to keep his mother in an exclusive sanitarium for Alzheimer’s patients. Until his past catches up with him.
Diminished Capacity (2008) – Newspaper man Cooper, suffering from a concussion, visits his old home and his Uncle Rollie, who is suffering from dementia and is about to lose his home. When a valuable baseball card is found that may save Uncle Rollie, everyone, from fan to conmen, wants the card, leaving Cooper to wonder at the value of memory. It turns out, the value is priceless.
Elizabeth Is Missing (2019) – Maud is an 80-year-old woman dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, uses sticky notes throughout her daily life to keep track of things that happen around her. One day, her friend, Elizabeth, fails to show up and meet up with her. Maud tries to tell those around her that something sinister may have happened to her, but this is dismissed. She then has to investigate further.
The Father (2020) – A man struggles with aging as his daughter moves with him.
Firefly Dreams (Ichiban utsukushî Natsu) (2001) – Naomi is sent to live with her aunt for the summer. She takes on the caretaker position for an aging relative with Alzheimer’s disease and develops an unlikely friendship.
Floride (Florida) (2015) – Claude’s daughter Carole has had a hard time dealing with him and his memory issues. A sudden trip to Florida from France causes all sorts of mayhem.
Forget Me Not (2010) – Will Fletcher, a musician, and Eve Fisher work in a pub. They stay up all night together, and then the next morning, Eve takes Will to see her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s.
Falling (2020) – John lives with his husband and adopted daughter. He tries to cope with his father, the emotional and violent, Willis, who suffers from dementia. John feels responsible for his father, but how much can he take from the man who never accepted that his son is gay?
First Cousins Once Removed (2013) – This is the story of poet Edwin Honig’s descent into Alzheimer’s recorded by a family member. It depicts the slow but steady memory loss through interviews with Honig and those who knew him.
Friends With Benefits (2011) – Jamie Reillis and Dylan Harper have a complicated relationship involving sex without emotional commitment. Both believe that committing emotionally will ruin their friendship. Dylan meets with his father, who is developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The father thinks he sees a woman he used to love and says not keeping her is his biggest regret. This leaves Dylan pondering his own relationship with Jamie.
The Genius of Marian (2013) – Pam White, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and her filmmaker son work together to create a tribute to Pam’s mother, Marian Steele.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014) – This documentary covers Glen Campbell’s final tour after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Gray Sunset (Hana ichimonme) (1985) – A university professor loses his job as a result of advancing Alzheimer’s.
Happiness (Hang wan si ngo) (2016) – The story follows Chan Kai-yuk’s life, who tragically lost his mother and attempted to reunite with his long-lost father. Chan Kai-yuk then meets a woman in Hong Kong named Tse, and they become friends. Later on, Chan Kai-Yuk realizes that Tsu may have Alzheimer’s.
Harvie Krumpet (2003) – A clay comedic animated story, Harvek Milos Krumpetzki is born “upside down and back to front.” As his life goes on, Harvek develops many different illnesses and diseases but remains optimistic for as long as possible.
Head Full of Honey (2014) – Amandus is a retired vet who has Alzheimer’s disease. He is visited by his son and granddaughter, who decide that Amandus can no longer live independently. They make room in their household to accommodate him. The new living arrangement causes problems between Niko and his wife when Amandus causes a few near-disaster situations.
The Head Vanishes (2016) – This is an animated short where the film’s central character is literally losing their head while on a train trip. The film is inspired by Franck Dion’s grandmother, who at one point had asked his mother to look for her head under the sink, believing it had fallen underneath it.
I Remember Better When I Paint (2009) – This documentary highlights creative therapies those with Alzheimer’s may benefit from.
Iris (2001) – Iris Murdoch meets fellow student John Bayley at Somerville College, Oxford, and they fall in love. Iris begins experiencing forgetfulness a few decades later, and John becomes her caretaker.
The Iron Lady (2011) – Margaret Thatcher struggles with clearing out her husband’s things after his death and her increasing memory loss.
The Leisure Seeker (2017) – John and Ella Spencer take one last road trip to the Ernest Hemingway House in the Florida Keys before his dementia and her cancer can catch up with them.
Lovely, Still (2008) – Robert Malone falls in love with Mary, the mother of his neighbor Alex. The couple spends some quality time together. The film closes off with Robert experiencing the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no kioku) (2006) – The film starts by showing the final stages of Masayuki Saeki, who has Alzheimer’s disease. The story then flashes to the man’s earlier life, when a brilliant and successful advertising company executive.
A Moment to Remember (Nae meorisokui jiwoogae) (2004) – Su-jin and Chul-soo fall in love. The film tells how they got married and eventually to Su-jin developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Noël Blank (2003) – A short movie about a man with Alzheimer’s who visits his son over Christmas.
The Notebook (2004) – Duke is an elder who lives in a nursing home. Every day he reads a romantic story from a notebook to a fellow patient about a young couple forbidden to see each other by their parents.
On Golden Pond (1981) – Ethel and Norman Thayer, an elderly couple, continue the long tradition of spending each summer at their cottage on a Golden Pond lake. As they settle in, Norman begins having trouble remembering his family members’ names and faces.
Poetry (Shi) (2010) – Yang Mi-Ja is a 66-year-old grandmother who consults a doctor about her forgetfulness and decides to enroll in a poetry class.
Princess Margaret Blvd. (2008) – Isabelle is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has to learn to live with the frustration and confusion she is experiencing.
Relic (2020) – Kay’s mother and Sam’s grandmother is showing serious signs of dementia. But is grandma’s mind going, or is her house holding it captive?
Remember (2013) – A survivor of Auschwitz, an old man suffering from dementia, hunts down the person he believes is responsible for killing his family at the death camp.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) – Will Rodman is working on developing a drug for Alzheimer’s. He tests the drug on a pregnant chimp, who gives birth to a baby chimp with human intelligence. The baby, named Caesar, grows up to develop a plot against the humans who have captured him.
Robot and Frank (2012) – Frank is a former burglar suffering from dementia. Initially, he resists his new caregiver, a robot helper. Until Frank learns he can train the robot to commit new and challenging jewel heists.
Safe House (1998) – Mace Sowell, an ex-DIA agent who believes his life is in danger from his former employer. Unfortunately, Sowell is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and has trouble convincing those around him about the threat.
The Savages (2007) – Wendy and John must assume caretaking responsibility for their abusive father as his dementia worsens.
A Second Childhood (Una sconfinata giovinezza) (2010) – Lino and his wife of 25 years have to come to terms with Lino’s failing health.
A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) (2011) – Simin has plans to move to Iran with her husband Nader and daughter. Nader has deep concerns about her grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s disease and refuses to leave.
A Short History of Decay (2013) – Nathan Fisher, a failed writer, visits his ailing parents in Florida. His mother has Alzheimer’s, and his father had a stroke.
Son of the Bride (El hijo de la novia) (2001) – Rafael Belvedere’s mother has Alzheimer’s disease. After suffering a stroke, Rafael is forced to reconsider his life choices and changes lifestyles dramatically. His father tries to remarry his mother because they were never married in a church. Rafael is unsure what to do about it, as his mother wouldn’t be much of a participant because of her illness.
A Song For Martin (En sång för Martin) (2001) – Martin, a Swedish composer, falls in love with Barbara, the concertmaster. Martin is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after their marriage.
Still Alice (2014) – Alice Howland celebrates her 50th birthday and is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The rest of her family take a genetic test and conclude that two of the three children will develop the disease. The story continues to show how Alice tries to cope with the disease.
Still Mine (2012) – Craig and Irene are in their 80s and can no longer manage their farm in New Brunswick. Craig decides to build a one-floor residence on their property but has difficulty getting the permits required.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) – Aging former silent screen star Norman Desmond lives isolated and forgotten in her mansion, protected against reality by her butler. Struggling writer Joe Gillis sees a profit in encouraging her delusions of a comeback, until Norma falls for him and descends into madness.
Supernova (2020) – Partners Sam and Tusker has been together a long time. After Tusker is diagnosed with dementia, they travel across England to recapture places and people from their past.
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) – Mia, Gavin, and Luis are film students who want to make a documentary about Deborah, an older woman who has Alzheimer’s disease. While Deborah is initially not convinced she will want to do it, her daughter reminds her that they need the money.
Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer’s (2009) – Author Terry Pratchett documents his diagnosis, his daily struggles, and his mission to find a cure.
A Timeless Love (2016) – This film tells the love story between Harvey and Mary, who develops early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Traveling Companion (1996) – Cora is hired to take care of an aged man who hops a train out of Rome.
The Memory of a Killer (2006) – Angelo Ledda is a retired hitman with Alzheimer’s who has one final assignment – to kill a 12-year-old girl. Confused, he refuses, going after those who abused the girl, instead. With the cops on his trail, and his memory fading, he must act quickly.
The Father (2021) – Anthony, who is aging and ill, also suffers from dementia. When his beloved daughter leaves London for Paris, he slowly descends into a distorted reality while trying to make sense of his life.
U Me Aur Hum (2011) – Ajay Mehra and Piya couldn’t be more wrong for each other. Still, they marry and develop a good relationship. Until Piya develops Alzheimer’s just as she finds out she is pregnant.
Vater Morgana (2010) – This is a story about how Lutz has had a happy life. He reunites with his father as an adult who now has Alzheimer’s.
What They Had (2018) – Bridget Ertz struggles to convince her father to put her sister in a memory assisted care facility after she wandered into a blizzard. Her father is convinced that he alone can provide her sister with sufficient care and protection.
Wrinkles (Arrugas) (2011) – An animated story starts with Emilio being dropped off at a nursing home by his son, who says he will be happier there. Emilio is introduced to other people in the nursing home, who tell him how things work there.
Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Movies?
Again, anything we missed? Drop a note in the comments section so I can add it.