It takes a huge emotional investment to really cry over a movie. That’s what makes it so special when a movie can pull it off. Regardless of how tough we think we are, there is something about a story that can make us feel vulnerable and force us to face our sadness. That said, if you’re looking for the saddest of the sad, have a seat: it’s time to see a movie!
From heartwarming stories of animal love and friendship in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, to heartbreaking war stories like Grave of the Fireflies and Schindler’s List, to more intimate dramas like The Pianist and A Silent Voice, there are sure to be tears ahead! Even if these stories don’t move you to tears, they’re sure to make an impression: According to Redditors, these movies affected them deeply.
Updated July 20, 2023 by Hannah Saab:
There is no shortage of incredibly sad movies that will leave a lasting impression on viewers. From classic war movies to recent award-winning films, these are the perfect options for nights when viewers just want to shed a tear.
‘A Silent Voice’ (2016)
A Silent Voice is a beautifully animated film that explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the importance of communication. The film portrays the story of a boy named Shoya, who struggles to make peace with a deaf girl named Shoko, whom he bullied in elementary school. The film highlights the themes of bullying and social isolation and emphasizes the importance of empathy, communication, and understanding.
The moving conclusion to the film leaves audiences with a deep sense of hope and a renewed appreciation for the importance of kindness and compassion, which was confirmed by Redditor XIV when he mentioned, «A Silent Voice [is an] anime movie that almost makes me cry, and I never cry in movies.»
‘Bridge to Terabithia’ (2007)
«Bridge to Terabithia (2007) is perfect because the ‘incident’ goes off the field,» said user Evil_King_Potato. The film is a beloved children’s novel that was adapted for the screen in 2007. The story follows two young friends, Jess (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb), who together create an imaginary world called Terabithia. The film is a beautiful tribute to childhood friendship and imagination, but it takes a sudden and tragic turn that leaves viewers in tears.
The film is a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of appreciating the moments we have with those we love. The performances by the young actors are particularly impressive and heartbreaking, making this a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good cry.
‘Everything Everywhere, All at Once’ (2022)
Everything Everywhere All at Once is a recent science fiction film that explores the concept of parallel universes. The film follows laundromat owner Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who is called upon by an alternate version of her husband (Ke Huy Quan) to save the multiverse. User qbookfox recommended it, describing how after they «let [their] guard down completely» and «before [they] knew it, [they were] crying harder than they [had] cried before with a movie.»
Evelyn’s journey is a poignant reminder of the importance of making meaningful connections with others and living life to the fullest. The film is a beautiful exploration of the human experience and a testament to the power of love and connection.
An infamously moving Pixar film, Up tells the story of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen. He gets away from his mundane daily routine by tying balloons to his house and directing it out into the South American wilderness, a lifelong dream he once shared with his wife Ellie.
As fans of the animated film already know, it’s the opening sequence of Up that will bring audiences to tears. In just a few minutes, the film tells the beautiful love story between Carl and Ellie, which sadly ends when she dies of an unspecified illness. User FallenButterflyTears shares how this affects them «always,» and viewers can expect a tear or two as the moving ending to the iconic book reveals Ellie’s final message.
‘Marley and Me’ (2008)
«What is it about animal movies that touches our hearts?» asks a deleted Redditor who admits they «watered [his] eyes» after watching Marley & Me. The 2008 film follows newlyweds John (Owen Wilson) and Jenny Grogan (Jennifer Aniston), who move into their new home and adopt the titular unforgettable Labrador puppy.
As the audience watches John and Jenny’s family change, Marley is there growing with them. Despite being a mischievous dog, it’s impossible not to fall in love with him, making the film’s inevitable ending incredibly painful (especially for those who understand the pain of losing a beloved pet).
‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale’ (2009)
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a heartbreaking film based on the true story of a dog named Hachiko and his owner, a professor named Parker (Richard Gere). The film portrays the bond between humans and their pets, showing Hachiko’s unconditional love and loyalty towards Parker. After Parker’s sudden death, Hachiko waits for him at the train station every day for the rest of Parker’s life, highlighting the themes of loss and grief.
The emotional impact of the film is powerful, leaving the audience with a lump in their throats and tears in their eyes. Frexxia was one of many Reddit users who reached out to this movie and said, «I literally never cry over movies, but this is the one that got me the closest.»
‘Life is beautiful’ (1997)
Life is Beautiful is a heartbreaking film set during the Holocaust. The film tells the story of Guido (Roberto Benigni), a Jewish man who uses his humor and creativity to protect his young son from the horrors of the concentration camp. Despite the dire circumstances, Guido remains determined to protect his son and keep him hopeful.
This movie is suggested by Redditor Alc2005 in a thread about «movies that will make even the toughest person cry.» It is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the importance of finding joy and hope even in the darkest of times. The final scenes of the film are both heartbreaking and hopeful, leaving viewers with a deep sense of empathy and appreciation for humanity.
‘Grave of the Fireflies’ (1988)
Always discussed alongside the saddest movies that will make you cry, Grave of the Fireflies is a heartwarming animated film that tells the story of two brothers, Seita and Setsuko, as they try to survive the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The film is a reminder of the devastating effects of war on innocent lives, showing the resilience of the human spirit.
Seita and Setsuko’s story highlights the importance of family and the sacrifices loved ones make for each other. The heartbreaking ending of the film leaves a deep sense of sadness and empathy for those who have suffered the effects of war. Redditor Firamaster assessed the film as: «It’s like getting smacked in the face by misery repeatedly. Great movie, but definitely a one-off deal.»
‘Schindler’s List’ (1993)
Redditor me_not_at_work suggested Schindler’s List in a thread for viewers looking to «cry during a movie.» It is a powerful film set in World War II that tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saves the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories.
One of the saddest movies of all time, the film is a testament to the power of individual action in the face of great evil, and it’s almost impossible not to be moved to tears by its moving conclusion. Often cited as one of the greatest war movies of all time, it highlights the bravery and resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable evil. It also stresses the importance of taking action to fight injustice and stand your ground.
‘The Pianist’ (2002)
The Pianist is a gripping and deeply moving film that portrays the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable odds. The film’s stark depiction of the horrors of the Holocaust is both haunting and moving, as Szpilman’s (Adrien Brody) love of music gives him the strength to resist and ultimately survive.
The film’s powerful message of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity is sure to leave even the most die-hard viewer moved. Redditor Fastbird33 suggests it in a thread on heartbreaking movies, promising that it’s the movie that can «invoke something» in audiences.