Young @ Heart



Docu finds fountain of youth through hard rock.
  • Review Date: September 24, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Reveals the best of humanity and focuses on community, courage, motivation, and the willingness to learn new things at any age.

Violence & scariness

A mention of the deaths of two chorus members during the course of the documentary.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

"Bitch" is said in one song.


Features popular songs from artists like Sonic Youth, The Clash, Talking Heads, Coldplay, James Brown, and others.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a documentary about senior citizens, which might, to teens, sound like a snore. It isn't. The film is alive with music and resilience. But over the course of the movie, two chronically ill members of the chorus die and concerns of geriatric health and impending death are addressed.

What's the story?

This documentary follows a number of Massachusetts senior citizens (average age 81) who are part of the Young@Heart chorus, a somewhat unorthodox group of vocalists who perform rock, funk, and punk covers worldwide. Chorus director Bob Cilman, a kind but stern taskmaster, tries to teach the group some new songs as they rehearse for a sold-out concert, but some just can't get the hang of the new numbers. \"Yes We Can Can\" proves to be confusing, with its tongue-twisting multiple \"cans.\" And the duet of Coldplay's poignant \"Fix You\" is interrupted with the death of one of the singers. His death and the death of another member of the chorus that same week are hard on the members of the group. But they don't quit, knowing the show must go on.

Is it any good?


YOUNG @ HEART is an inspiring testament to the human spirit and perseverance in the face of death, illness, and difficult-to-comprehend punk lyrics. Plus this documentary may shed a new positive light on a life stage that younger people may fear.

Certainly some of the humor of the movie comes from the incongruity of "granny" types -- little old ladies and grumpy old men -- singing hard rock, and the assumption that this type of music would be merely "noise" to the elderly. It's really intriguing to hear these songs (which will be familiar to some) in a new context. Talking Head's "Road to Nowhere" takes on a new meaning about aging. As does the Ramones' "I Want to be Sedated."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about aging. How do you stay young at heart? To what extent do mental rigor and physical activity play a role? What about community and friendship? Why do you think this group of seniors wanted to be a part of a band like this one?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 9, 2008
DVD release date:September 16, 2008
Cast:Bob Cilman, Helen Boston, Steven M. Sanderson
Director:Stephen Walker
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Young @ Heart was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 2, 2010
This is a sad movie, but it's also a nicely made movie.
Adult Written bycaitlin414 January 1, 2010


It is a great movie for any age over 5!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byThinker96 September 8, 2009
I cried so hard! Too characters die, sorry to spoil, but you should know. Sad, but really, really, good.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Star Wars Guide