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The 50 Most Heart-Wrenching Movies of All Time

It’s fall, and there’s something in my eye. Or it’s allergy season. Or I’m newly sensitive to hyper-emotional filmmaking. Or maybe it isn’t just me; every year, when prestige movie season begins, we find ourselves sniffling and dabbing through moving, heartstring-tugging pictures, though this year seems to already have a surplus of big-time weepies. In the spirit of those pictures, here’s a rundown of the 50 most cry-worthy flicks in movie history — not the saddest, mind you (though many of them are really fucking sad), but those most likely to move us to tears, be it through tragedy, triumph, or the sheer goodness of their protagonists.

50. Forrest Gump

Yes, yes, I know, Forrest Gump is a wildly overrated catchphrase factory that stole Pulp Fiction’s Oscars and whose political subtext is more troubling the more you think about it. All of these things are true! But when Forrest meets his and Jenny’s little boy for the first time, and he steps back and gets that worried look on his face and asks, “Is he smart, or is he, uh…” — well, maybe that doesn’t get to you, but if so, you’re trying awfully hard.

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30 comments
GoodwinLu
GoodwinLu

Grave of the Fireflies was....wow....tragic...

AlannaFoxStarks
AlannaFoxStarks

The Last Time I saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor was one of the saddest movies I have seen.  And Ice Castles.... especially at the end when they are skating...   he says "We forgot about the roses!"   Oh God, I saw that in the theater with my cousin when I was very young.  I cried for days over that one... it made me always laugh and cry too.   I don't want to explain this one in case younger generations want to see it and have a good cry.  LOL  It's a mystery!


HarendraKishor
HarendraKishor

what about bridge to terabithia.........................


MarkPeteSwin
MarkPeteSwin

Well done on spoiling the end of American Beauty for anyone who reads this and hasn't seen it...

Alexandr
Alexandr

What about "A Beautiful Mind", "Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind", "Silver Linings Playbook", "What Dreams May Come", "Chaplin"?

Shashank Jain
Shashank Jain

12 years a slave is a lot about how not to make a movie.. disappointing narrative.. not enough emotions.. its dry and very mediocre but highly overrated stuff... Its just the American platform which can make even a mediocre stuff popular..

JimiHerbert
JimiHerbert

The champ is sadder than all of these

EnrigueRuiz
EnrigueRuiz

Schindlers list? No one cares what the nazis did considering what murderous Jews are doing to Palestinians.

LenaLe00
LenaLe00

how about city of angel?

slumdog millionaire??

JacobConner
JacobConner

What about "The boy in the striped pajamas" I was upset for like 3 days after I first watched it. That is a sad movie.

KamilC
KamilC

How come "Hachi: A dog's tale" didn't show up? :O I never EVER actually cried while watching a movie. That movie is the only one that has ever made me cry. Deserves to be in this list

RobertCaputo
RobertCaputo

Not only was 'Without a Trace' left off the list, it should have been #1 ....if you told me you didn't cry during the final scene, I wouldn't believe you

Nebulesque
Nebulesque

Personally, the ending of Gladiator is an unfair, and unilaterally successful, way of making me cry like a girl. Also, Watership Down? "Bright Eyes" with dying rabbits is just heart-tearingly sad.

GlendaDue�ez
GlendaDue�ez

you are forgetting "La vita è bella" (by Roberto Benigni)

JonathanBurton
JonathanBurton

@MarkPeteSwin That movie was a beautiful, complex, deep, and incredible piece of art. On the list of my all time favorite movies for sure.

Some_Guy
Some_Guy

@Alexandr What Dreams May Come is the reason I Googled this topic in the first place...some of these films I don't even recognise as sad films.. others just have a scene or two but What Dreams May Come is a bawl-fest from 5-minutes in until the very end...And I don't even cry...ever.

KalebHaman
KalebHaman

@Shashank Jain umm 12 years a slave was an extremely well acted and emotional film.  And while it wasn't perfect in it's depiction of slavery, can you suggest a film that has done it better?  

MichaelKohen
MichaelKohen

@EnrigueRuiz
screw esau, you're really going to hate it when every muslim from the sea to the euphrates is annihilated, right

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