Home Entertainment Movies that will make you Cry | A Collection of Sad Movies

Movies that will make you Cry | A Collection of Sad Movies

by Sangam Adhikari

The saddest movie is Up, for that heartbreaking opening act. While there are definitely movies that are sadder in a more philosophical or thoughtful way, that montage in Up brings a far more relatable and universal sadness. It’s perfectly nostalgic, the kind of wistful sadness that yearns for all the little moments in life that pass by too soon. In a movie that is otherwise incredibly charming and fun.

We have collected sad and heartbreaking movies that will make wanna cry. Please note that we have not included any number as we believe don’t rank any movie, Every person has their own taste and thinking. The description of the movies might include some summarized SPOILERS, You can skip the text part and only go for titles if you don’t want a little background of the movie.

Into the Wild (2007)

Alex had serious family issues. He wanted to live/die away from home and family, where he’d be getting some peace. So, he did leave home and started his travel journey. It was his choice. It’s debatable; but quite impressive for the guts he had. He chose the path he wanted to. And, the protagonist’s (Alex/Chris McCandless’s) journey, the stories of various characters, and the eye-catching nature scenes, everything seems so delightful until the end. In the end, we see the actual meaningful quote-“Happiness is real when shared.”

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

A very touching film with a dose of humor which makes a bit lighter the tragic experience of a Jewish Italian family during the second world war. This is not the classic portrait of a world war film. It goes beyond dead, concentration camps, and cruelty. It shows what parents are capable of doing for saving their children from traumatizing memories.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

Forest Gump (1994)

Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save — his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Made by Lasse Hallstrom, this is a movie based on a story of a dog waiting for his owner to come back from his work. It’s a gorgeous tale with plenty of moments to shed a tear. Just due to its emotional influence. The story is the most beautiful depiction of undying love and loyalty. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale will warm your heart with the bitter-sweet realities of life.

Richard Gere in Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption is written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a banker who is sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Prison for apparently murdering his wife and her lover. Andy finds it tough going but finds solace in the friendship he forms with fellow inmate Ellis “Red” Redding (Freeman). While things start to pick up when the warden finds Andy a prison job more befitting his talents as a banker. However, the arrival of another inmate is going to vastly change things for all of them.

Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, William Sadler, and Bob Gunton in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

During the Normandy landings during WW2 two brothers are killed. In another part of the world another of the Ryan brothers is killed in action, leaving their mother with one remaining son and three telegrams due to be delivered. A group of men, led by Captain Miller set out to reach Private Ryan and not only break him the news but to safely return him for return to the US.

Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, and Edward Burns in Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Pianist (2002)

This is a truly heart-wrenching story of one man whose family gets perished in the Holocaust and about his survival over solitude, deprivation, starvation and terror while in hiding during the Nazi occupation. It is one of the finest depictions of the holocaust. This movie came close to Schindlers list in depicting the horrors of Holocaust. Brody puts in a marvelous and utterly touching performance. The story depicts the emotional and cultural breakdown of persecuted Jewish community as Nazi policy tightens around them.

The Pianist (2002)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

To Kill a Mockingbird is the movie based on the Harper Lee novel of the same name about Scout, Jem and their father, Atticus Finch who is an attorney in a small southern town. It is both a coming of age story about the children as well as a hard-hitting drama, as Atticus defends a black man who is on trial for the rape of a white woman.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

The Green Mile (1999)

The sheer look of wonderment and awe on Coffey’s face is enough to melt the iciest of hearts, but alas, the film is preparing us for the traumatic finale. Coffey is strapped into the electric chair by the upset and unwilling guards. The final soul-shattering moment comes when he requests not to have a hood over his face because he’s scared of the dark. The deed is done and the gentle giant is executed. The needless cruelty and unfair nature of Coffey’s death is a hard thing to shake once the movie’s over and it remains one of the saddest deaths ever committed to the big screen.

Se7en (1995)

The movie, “Se7en”, starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Gwyneth Paltrow, is by far one of the most inventive, well-written, and cerebral films in recent history. The film, blending a well put together combination of dark visual style, intense plot development, and polished acting, remains tight and focused throughout, from beginning to end, never straying outwards into unimportant issues, or resorting to typical Hollywood clichés. Se7en is uniquely on its own for suspense dramas as it both fuels the need of the audience to be drawn in and entertained by the events unfolding, and remain uncompromising and shocking, thus satisfying the initial vision of the director, David Fincher.

The Pursuit of Happyness ( 2006) 

American Biographical Drama based on entrepreneur Chris Gardener’s nearly one-year struggle being homeless. This movie depicts the love of a father for his son. Will Smith did an incredible job and deserves every accolade available to him. His son also did a fantastic job. There is a great lesson that is learned in this movie and it truly shares the struggles of everyday life. This movie was heartfelt and touching. It was truly an experience worth having.

Titanic (2001)

James Cameron’s “Titanic” is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era — the “ship of dreams” — which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Stand by Me (1986)

There were four of us that were friends and we were known as the Stand By Me Crew. Mike, Gary, Andy and myself were inseparable. And as this film prophesizes correctly, the group has since split up and now I am only good friends with one of them. This movie makes you remember what it was like to have friends when you were 12 and it makes you glad that they were there when they were.

The story involves these four kids going on a weekend hike to find a dead kid that apparently got hit by a train. Now if that is all the movie was about, it would probably be pretty boring. But this film explores the fears and anxieties of what it was like to be 12 again. Twelve year olds deal with a plethora of issues and it is not often that adults listen to what kids have to say or see what they deal with. But this film is honest about it’s assessment of how they feel.

Stand by Me (1986)

Dead Poet’s Society (1989) 

There are certain films that get under your skin, never to come out. They can change your life, subtly altering your perceptions of reality, almost always for the better. This is American Drama film which starred Robin Williams who did a change from his comedy genre to Drama in this movie and he really made me his fan after this movie. This movie tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of Poetry. Not only will this movie touch your heart and bring tears, it will inspire you to be a better teacher to others and to follow your dreams no matter what the boundaries may be. It is truly poetry on the screen… a great story and a touching social commentary on humanity and life’s greatest challenges.

The Fault in Our Stars(2014) 

American Romantic Drama film. This is about two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. It truly showed how exhilarating and comforting and exciting love is.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood shine in this tale of Maggie (Swank), a young girl from a poor family who rises to the top of the women’s boxing world with the help of cantankerous coach Frankie (Eastwood). Tragically, just as Maggie reaches her peak at her first title fight, a sore loser punches her from behind. Maggie breaks her neck on a corner stool and is left paralyzed from the neck down. After months of torment, poor treatment by her grasping family and the eventual loss of her leg due to poor circulation, Maggie begs Frankie to end her suffering. He does, injecting her with an adrenaline overdose before disappearing into the night. Directed by Eastwood, this film was released in 2004 to critical acclaim and received four Oscars. 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Based on a novel by John Boyne, this 2008 film is set in Poland during the Holocaust. Main character Bruno, the son of a concentration camp Commandant, befriends Shmuel, the titular boy in a striped uniform who lives behind a barbed wire fence. After a disagreement with his father, Bruno sneaks into the camp and finds Shmuel, who gives him a uniform to help him blend in. Along with a group of inmates, Bruno and Shmuel are ushered into the “showers” by a guard. By the time Bruno’s family discover he is missing, it is too late.

In addition to the horror of the camps and the fact that this was the fate of millions of innocent people, some sadness comes from the fact that Bruno’s simple desire to play with his friend led to his death. This is one of the bleakest endings in movie history.

Asa Butterfield and Zac Mattoon O'Brien in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

An entire family of young girls kills themselves for reasons that are never made clear to the viewer. True, their parents are extremely overprotective, but this should be grounds for rebelling or running away, not forming a suicide pact with one’s sisters. The girls are otherwise healthy, have strong bonds with one another, and live in an upper-middle-class Michigan suburb. This is no tale of sexually-abused, drug-addicted teenagers in Harlem who see no other way out. Rather, it is a group of intelligent, beautiful youth from the privileged white half of America, who decide that ending their lives in a graphic extravaganza is the best available option.

Kirsten Dunst in The Virgin Suicides (1999)

A Walk to Remember (2002)

Set in North Carolina, “A Walk To Remember” follows the rite of passage of a jaded, aimless high school senior (Shane West) who falls in love with a guileless young woman (Mandy Moore) he and his friends once scorned. The two develop a powerful and inspirational relationship in which they discover truths that take most people a lifetime to learn.

The Bucket List (2007)

“The Bucket List” is certainly a sentimental favorite that as a viewer touches your emotions and has you hoping for finding a friendship in the end, even though the film is funny and somewhat unrealistic.  Jack Nicholson is billionaire hospital CEO administrator Edward Cole who as a grumpy and aging four time divorced playboy finds he has terminal cancer. With Freeman a character that’s much different a blue collar working class auto mechanic named Carter Chambers who’s a loving family man with a wife and kids and on the side a beloved history buff and trivia enthusiast yet he discovers his fate of having terminal cancer. Upon meeting in the same hospital room they share at first it’s a cold and tough bonding only later to grow into a friendship by journey and discovery. The concept is thought up by Chambers by making a list called “The Bucket List” of things to do before we die. Oddly opposites agree the journey starts. The adventures include the heart pumping sky diving, auto drag racing, and trips to exotic locations and foreign countries. Many scenes like the mountain tops and pyramids seem unreal, yet are carried on by the witty and funny lines from Jack’s character.

Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List (2007)

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Based on a book by Hubert Selby Jr., Darren Aronovsky’s 2000 movie follows heroin addicts Harry and Tyrone (Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans) as they try to pull off a huge drug deal. Also in the picture are Harry’s girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) who longs for fame and fortune, and his mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn) who wants nothing more than to lose weight and fit into her beloved red dress so she can be on a game show.

The movie beautifully deconstructs how destructive hopeless dreams can be. It ends with Marion prostituting herself for heroin, Sara in a mental hospital after overdosing on weight-loss amphetamines, and Harry and Tyrone in jail for possession. Harry has also lost an arm to an infected injection site, and has given up hope of Marion ever loving him again thanks to his actions.

Philadelphia (1993)

This Oscar-winning 1993 movie stars Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Antonio Banderas. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it tells the tale of Andrew Beckett’s (Hanks) legal battle against the company that fired him for being gay and having AIDS.

Of course, a movie about AIDS in the early ’90s was unlikely to have a happy ending. After Beckett finally succumbs to his condition, the movie ends with the uplifting and devastating footage of his funeral, full of family and friends celebrating his life. As the camera slowly pans into home videos of Beckett as a child playing on the beach, you would need a heart of stone not to cry. Scored by Neil Young, this scene is the most powerful and beautiful ending you can imagine a film about a legal battle.

Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in Philadelphia (1993)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2008

Born under unusual circumstances, Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) springs into being as an elderly man in a New Orleans nursing home and ages in reverse. Twelve years after his birth, he meets Daisy, a child who flickers in and out of his life as she grows up to be a dancer (Cate Blanchett). Though he has all sorts of unusual adventures over the course of his life, it is his relationship with Daisy, and the hope that they will come together at the right time, that drives Benjamin forward.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Stephen Spielberg released this take on the Pinocchio story in 2001. David (Haley Joel Osment) is an advanced robot boy capable of love. Rejected by his family when their human son returns to them, David is fated to be destroyed. Instead, his “mother” Monica (Frances O’Connor) releases him. David then goes on a quest to become a “real boy”, so she will love him. After waiting patiently for two thousand years, he finally gets his wish. Advanced robots, all that is left of humanity, can manipulate time and human DNA to bring his mother back – but only for one day. After the happiest day of David’s life, Monica tells him she loves him and goes to sleep, never to awaken. Finally happy, David shuts down for good. If you can watch the end of their last wonderful day together without crying, you may just be a robot yourself.

Seven Pounds (2008)

Gabriele Muccino directed Will Smith in this fantastic 2008 drama. Tim (Smith) tests people to see if they are good before donating organs to them. He donates bone marrow, a lung lobe, part of his liver, and a kidney to different people before giving his house to a struggling woman. Finally, he chooses the last two candidates before committing suicide by climbing into a bath of ice with a lethal box jellyfish.

Why would he do this? Through flashbacks, we discover that two years previously, Tim caused a car accident that killed his fiancée and six other people. Wracked with guilt, all of Tim’s actions since have been part of a mission of atonement. Smith’s performance is outstanding, and Tim’s suicide is heartbreaking. The final scene reveals the man who received Tim’s corneas meeting the woman who received his heart. The mixture of joy and sadness at this moment will make you cry.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

The protagonist gets separated from his father and sister during the Korean War in 1950, when he was a little boy. The movie then shows how the protagonist sacrifices his future and risks his life numerous times in order to support his mother and younger brothers financially.

Atonement (2007)

When Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), thirteen-years-old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) at the fountain in front of the family estate, she misinterprets what is happening, thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola (Juno Temple) is raped, she tells the Police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed.

Children of Men (2006)

The movie shows the deep depression caused by the fact that in a few years, we will all be old people that will be dying slowly, leaving nobody to take our place. It shows people trying to live a normal life, but a meaningless life because anything we do in life will be lost and forgotten forever. Under this scenario, nothing makes sense. There are quotidian scenes like men with suitcases staring at trains and throwing themselves to the rails, and all this looks like normal things that happen all the time.

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