10 Movies That Tried To Exploit Nostalgia (And Won)

Remember the thing?

Star Wars The Force Awakens Han Solo Chewbacca Harrison Ford

There's arguably no more powerful force in Hollywood than nostalgia. The film industry has proven time and time again that audiences can be easily manipulated by memories of the past, especially in the case of movies they fell in love with during their formative years.

Nevertheless, Terminator: Dark Fate proved that audiences do have a tolerance for cynical nostalgia-baiting, and despite scoring well with critics, Doctor Sleep's intertextuality with The Shining sadly failed to compel mainstream crowds.

And while the history of cinema is littered with countless examples of films that failed to tap the nostalgia vein convincingly, recent years have proven that smart filmmakers and shrewd studios can exploit fanfare for a few additional rounds of milking the cash cow.

Though not every movie on this list is great, they all nevertheless did a fantastic job of leaning back on their franchise's prior successes and exploiting them to incredible commercial success - and in most cases, critical acclaim also.

Nostalgia may be the enemy of creativity in many ways, but all these films tell us is that audiences love the comfort of familiarity, and as long as they keep spending billions on characters, images, and ideas they already know and love, nothing will slow the train down...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.