12 Sad Movies to Watch If You Need to Cry
According to Reddit users, these movies are tried-and-true tearjerkers.
We’ve all been there some time or another. Whether it’s something happening at work, in your personal life, or just an odd urge, sometimes we just need to cry. So good thing there is a whole catalog of movies called tearjerkers, just waiting for you to plop down, and go on a journey that ends in you sobbing into a pile of tissues. And thanks to Reddit, you don’t have to take any chances on a “sad” movie that doesn’t actually do anything to you emotionally. More than 1,500 people responded to a thread on AskReddit that asked “What is the absolute saddest movie you’ve seen in your life?” Here, 12 of the top-voted sad movies that will make you cry.
Lilo and Stitch may seem like a fun, happy, uncomplicated movie about aliens, Hawaii, and Elvis. But look a little deeper and you’ll see a story about a grieving family struggling due to unfortunate circumstances. Reddit user LivingstoneInAfrica put it best, “Lilo goes through rituals and mechanisms, some of them odd to an outside view, in trying to come to grips with her grief. Nani is never allowed that, as she’s simply to busy looking after Lilo to allow herself to grieve or find support.”
This 2007 movie is a beautiful adaptation of the 1977 Newberry Medal-winning novel about friendship and fantasy. Just like Katherine Paterson’s book introduced many a fourth grader to death and unexpected tragedy, the movie version of Bridge to Terabithia will leave no eye in the room dry—even if you know what’s coming.
Let’s be frank: a lot of people die in very sad ways during this movie. And even though you’re destined to shed quite a couple of tears throughout this film, it won’t necessarily put you in a depressive mood for the rest of the week. Surprisingly, a number of Reddit users said they found the movie comforting and heart warming. “The greater the darkness, the greater the victory,” user Strikerhawk wrote.
Looking for a critically acclaimed tear-jerker? Look no further than Schindler’s List, winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay (Steven Zaillian), and Best Original Score (John Williams). This 1993 film retells how Oskar Schindler, a German businessman, operated a factory employing Jewish workers during World War II, saving them from becoming victims of the Holocaust. As user renegadecanuck says, “It’s an amazing movie that everyone should see, but I never want to see it again, because it just destroyed me.”
Not only is Tim Burton’s fantastical film a beauty to look at, it also has an incredible message that really doesn’t get old, no matter how many times you’ve seen it on cable.
The twist and turns in this 1999 mesmerizing fantasy crime drama adapted from Stephen King’s 1996 serial novel might leave you emotionally exhausted by the end of the three hour movie, but this story following a prison officer and a special inmate is well worth the time and energy—especially if you’re looking for a good cry.
Dear Zachary starts out as the compelling project of a filmmaker creating a video scrapbook for his close friend’s son after his father is murdered. But as Kuenne creates footage, this heartbreaking story twists into a true crime tragedy. Make sure you keep a box of tissue next to you with this one. As user StarlingClarice says, “I woke up my boyfriend sobbing in the middle of the night when I got to the ‘twist.’ As a parent now, it completely shattered me again when I rewatched it.”
You might be familiar with the films from Studio Ghibli, like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle. However, Grave of the Fireflies, a critically acclaimed animated war drama, might have passed your radar. The haunting story follows two Japanese siblings attempting to survive the devastating effects of World War II in an occupied city.
This movie might seem like a slapstick comedy featuring Italian actor Roberto Benigni, but this 1997 Holocaust-set film about how much a father will go to protect his son’s innocence features enough tragedy to induce tears from anyone.
A lonely eight-year-old from Australia decides to write a recluse 44-year-old New Yorker and an unexpected friendship emerges from across the world. Over the years, the pair keep in touch and help each other throughout the exciting, tragic, and eye-opening events in each other lives. But of course, what starts out as simple doesn’t always remain that way as life twists and turns for both of them. “The actual depth and dimension to this movie along with the animation are absolutely beautiful, especially knowing it was based on real people. It has heart and love. It feels like a real journey,” said user nyvz.
Though it didn’t pull an audience at the box office, this 2016 film did tug at the heartstrings of those who did see it. The movie tells the story Conor O’Malley, a 12-year-old boy whose life is being upended by his mother’s terminal cancer, when he is visited by a fantastical tree-like monster. “When the film has finished… I realized the emotional blow out was actually, exactly what I needed,” said user FrearKA.