Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today




Movies for Grownups


Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Virgo - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between August 23 & September 22


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Most Popular


Defying the Macho Culture

An independent filmmaker takes an honest look at the challenges of a gay boy

Gun Hill Road – Scene from film of family sitting at dinner table

Gun Hill Road portrays a family struggling to reconcile reality and expectations. — Courtesy of Gun Hill Road

En español | In the new film Gun Hill Road, Esai Morales plays a convict who, after three years in jail, returns to his Bronx home and finds that his wife (Judy Reyes) is emotionally distant and his teenage son (newcomer Harmony Santana) leads a secret life: He's a transvestite who performs at a local club, is coming out as a gay man and ultimately wants to have a sex-change operation. Morales's character tries to interest his son in sports and takes him to a hooker to lose his virginity, all to no avail.

See also: Hispanics and the Fight for LGBT Civil Rights.

"Latino men feel betrayed by sons who don't live up to the expectations that society and the family have for them," says Morales about his role in the movie. "It's a challenge — not only to my character but to an audience — to say people are what they are and not ready to be put in some category."

A challenge that writer-director Rashaad Ernesto Green was eager to confront in his first feature film. The movie's themes, he says, stem from a relative who struggled with a similar transition with his own child. "There's a whole machismo thing that happens in our culture," says Green. "Our sight is colored by this idea of manhood. What I want to illustrate is that we should investigate what we're taught so we can open our hearts and minds to people who are different."

The film doesn't shy away from the seamier aspects of this story; it is explicit in language, violence and sexuality, and dabbles in honest, if sometimes bigger-than-life, emotions.

But if Gun Hill Road, which is well-acted, sometimes suffers from an excess of sincerity and melodrama, that's okay. It's an honest look at macho culture and how it deals with young people who happen to be lesbian, gay or transgendered. The story is not new, but it deserves to be retold.

"When you deviate from the norm, we as a culture want to smack you back into place," says Morales. "And that's just old school. What this movie shows is that love is the only thing that needs to be applied."

Movie Trailer

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Scoop on Cinema

Movies for Grownups is focused on films with distinct relevance to a 50-plus audience. In reviews, previews and interviews, we look for actors and themes that speak to the experiences of older moviegoers. Find more about us on:


100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
January 2015

A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points