48 Movies to Watch When You Need a Good Cry
Nothing against feel-good movies, but sometimes you just need to watch something that makes you sob your eyes out. (Catharsis is a good thing.) Those times, turn to one of the following 48 films guaranteed to make you ugly-cry.
1. The Pursuit Of Happyness
When Chris is evicted from his apartment, he and his young son embark on a life-changing journey.
2. My Girl
Vada and Thomas gave us friendship goals before friendship goals were even a thing.
The achingly beautiful story is told from the perspective of Chiron at three different chapters in his life.
4. The Bridges Of Madison County
An unhappy housewife is torn between the life she’s always known and a brief yet exciting affair with a traveling photographer.
Cleo works as a domestic worker for a desperate family, whose world is turned upside down when the father leaves with his mistress.
We'll never stop arguing that Jack could’ve fit on the boat, but still…
7. The Farewell
Billi returns to China to say goodbye to her grandma, who has no idea she has weeks to live.
8. The Green Mile
Another tearjerker with Hanks in the lead as a death-row corrections officer during the Great Depression whose life is changed by an inmate with supernatural powers.
9. The Notebook
How could we not?
Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple after getting separated from his family. Twenty-five years later, he searches for answers.
11. A Walk To Remember
Is this story about a terminally ill high school student checking off items on her bucket list a cinematic wonder? No, but it is syrupy and wholesome and great for when you need to feel feelings.
12. The Butler
Loosely biographical, this 2013 hit stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who witnesses some of the most important political and social events of the 20th century.
It’s official: The montage depicting Carl and Ellie’s love story dethrones Bambi as the saddest animated opener of all time.
14. Brokeback Mountain
A deeply touching account of the emotional and sexual relationship between two men in the American West in the 1960s.
Robin Williams plays a doctor who discovers a drug that “awakens” a patient—played by Robert De Niro—from a catatonic state. Amazing, except for that the drug’s effects aren’t permanent.
16. The Color Purple
A young woman named Celie Harris (an Oscar-nominated Whoopi Goldberg) fights to overcome racism and misogyny in rural Georgia in the early 20th century.
Based on a powerful true story, Philomena tells the story of a woman’s arduous, 50-year search for her long-lost son.
18. Still Alice
Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, an Ivy League linguistics professor whose world is shattered by her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
19. Seven Pounds
An IRS agent decides to assist seven strangers who need miracles.
20. Love Story
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
21. Toy Story 3
In what's without a doubt the saddest Toy Story movie, Woody, Buzz and the gang face an uncertain future as Andy gets ready to leave home for college.
22. If Beale Street Could Talk
Tish and her soon-to-be husband, Fonny, have it all—that is, until Fonny’s arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.
While it may not be a masterpiece of a film, it is an excellent way to relive the groundbreaking Broadway show about a group of bohemians in 1990s NYC.
24. E.t. The Extra-terrestrial
Why couldn’t E.T. and Elliott just live in harmony?
25. Sophie’s Choice
A Polish immigrant recounts her time at Auschwitz, including the traumatic “choice” in the film’s title.
Try not to lose it when Bette Midler sings “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Or, actually, do.
27. Blue Valentine
A couple (Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling) fall in and out of love in this nonlinear quotidian heartbreaker.
28. Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Quvenzhané Wallis became the youngest actress ever nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress for her incredible performance as Hushpuppy in this story about life in the Louisiana bayou.
29. The Photograph
After discovering an old photo, Mae explores her estranged mother’s past.
Who would’ve thought a story about metal trash compactors would make us bawl our eyes out? But here we are.
31. Marley And Me
How could we not, part two?
32. Big Fish
A former traveling salesman is on his deathbed as his estranged son tries to mend their relationship and flashbacks show us the man he once was.
33. Lone Survivor
Based on a nonfiction book of the same name, Lone Survivor is about an unsuccessful Navy SEAL mission to kill a Taliban leader.
Alfonso Cuarón’s intense space drama really sneaks up on you.
35. Stand By Me
Four boys from a small town in Oregon go on a hike to find the dead body of a missing child. Coming-of-age melancholy ensues.
36. The Fault In Our Stars
Think A Walk to Remember set in 2014.
38. The Normal Heart
Another stage-to-screen flick, Ryan Murphy’s devastating depiction of the rise of HIV/AIDS in New York City in the 1980s will pretty much have you sobbing from start to finish.
39. I Am Sam
Sean Penn stars as a single father with a developmental disability struggling to raise his precocious daughter (Dakota Fanning).
40. Love Actually
Incredibly basic but you try to get through Emma Thompson’s storyline with dry eyes.
Young Tom Hanks and young Denzel Washington ripped our hearts out with their performances in this 1993 drama, one of the first to recognize the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
42. Good Will Hunting
Williams plays a psychology professor who is the only person to get a gifted but troubled young man (Matt Damon) to open up and realize his potential.
43. Terms Of Endearment
This touching story of a mother-daughter pair searching for love will tug at all of your heartstrings.
44. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
An estranged couple goes through a procedure to erase all memories of their relationship in this sad, imaginative 2004 science-fiction comedy-drama.
45. The Lion King
What did Mufasa ever do to you, Scar?
46. Steel Magnolias
A standout cast tells the story of the unbreakable bonds of a group of friends in a small southern town.
47. Forrest Gump
Sad as hell, but on the plus side, you can totally ease the pain with a box of chocolates.
48. Dead Poets Society
Four words: O Captain! My captain!