40 Movies That Will Make you Cry

By on August 27, 2014

Watching movies is one of the best pastimes ever! They aren’t like television series where you need to wait for months to find out what’s going to happen next. And although I love to read, sometimes you just need to lie down and watch a good movie to make all your worries disappear. Movies are also perfect for when you’re feeling down and all you want to do is cry.  Here is a list of 40 movies that will make you do just that. Make sure to have some Kleenex handy before pressing play!

1. Miracle in Cell No. 7


Miracle in Cell No. 7 is a South Korean film that won hearts all over the world in 2014. This movie is about a father who is mentally unstable and his daughter who fights for his freedom when he gets wrongly convicted with murder. Unconditional love between a father and daughter is always a nice plot to watch. Plus, it’s amazing to watch a young girl understand the disabilities of her father, even without the presence of a mother.


2. 50 First Dates


There are plenty of romantic comedies but 50 First Dates, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is such a sweet, heartwarming movie that it’s sure to make you cry. Imagine dating somebody who won’t be able to remember you the next day. Now it takes a real man to commit to this kind of relationship! Sure it’s just a movie but it makes you wonder if such amazing men exist in real life as well, doesn’t it?


3.  Titanic


Who hasn’t watched Titanic at least twice? It will make you cry for many reasons. Firstly, the fact that it is a true story of a tragedy that took so many lives. Secondly, the ending. I will never stop feeling bad for poor Jack. It’s such a depressing yet romantic ending. And lastly, because the movie was made with heart. All the elements put together make this movie really overwhelming! One of my favorite classics that I even have a VHS tape of!


4. Awakenings


Awakenings stars Robin Williams (RIP) and Robert De Niro. You can tell that this is a great film from the cast alone. This movie is about a doctor (Williams) who has found out about the dramatic effects of an L-Dopa drug on his catatonic patients including Leonard (De Niro).  It’s amazing to watch them “awaken” from their catatonic state and equally depressing to watch them revert back. Despite the pain that De Niro goes through, he still encourages Williams to continue with the study, in order to help out other patients in the future. How would you feel if you knew you were going to go back into a catatonic state and you actually had to break up with the love of your life because of that? That kind of selflessness will make you cry.


5.  Stepmom


Stepmom is a film about a mother (Susan Sarandon) who is dying of a terminal disease and has to deal with her emotions about her children’s new stepmom (Julia Roberts) at the same time. As you can imagine, everyone goes through a plethora of emotions but one of my favorite scenes is when Julia tells Susan that she fears that on her stepdaughter’s wedding day, all she’ll want is her mother, to which Susan replies that she fears that her daughter will forget her and won’t even miss her. You will break down when you watch the Christmas scene where Sarandon tells her children that she will be with them forever. This is one movie that I can watch over and over.


6. Armageddon


Armageddon was such a big hit back in 1998, mainly because it’s about astronauts who are passionate about their jobs and will do just about anything to protect earth from the threat of an asteroid. You will start tearing up (I know I did) when Harry (Bruce Willis) tells his daughter’s boyfriend (Ben Affleck) to leave so he can be the one to die and blesses him with an “I would be proud to have you as a son” statement. And all this happens in outer space! Now, how cool is that?!


7.  The Blind Side


The Blind Side stars Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron and tells the tale of  love and hope. Leigh Ann (Sandra) becomes the legal guardian of  Michael (Quinton), an orphan with a tough past. Slowly but surely, she unlocks his special gift as a great football player,  despite everybody’s doubts about him. This is a typical tear jerker film where you root for the underdog and he emerges victorious at the end of a long, hard road. The fact that it is semi-biographical doesn’t hurt either. It will make you realize that it is possible to love someone and consider them family even if they don’t have the same bloodline as you.  Never underestimate the power of love!


 8. A Walk to Remember


This movie makes me bawl like a baby every single time! It is the perfect love story with the most devastating, shattering end. Mandy Moore plays Jamie, a typical geek who  falls in love with Landon, the typical cool kid played by Shane West. Yes, they have very different personalities and backgrounds but who can stop the heart from wanting what it wants. They have a tough time in the beginning and when things finally seem to be going their way, they discover that Jamie is dying of leukemia. Landon helps her complete her bucket list, winning our hearts and breaking it at the same time.  You can’t help but feel their pain and sadness.


 9. The Fault in Our Stars


TFIOS was a big hit when it hit bookstores. The Young Adult Novel written by John Green became so popular that Hollywood simply had to have a piece. Sure enough, it was a block buster! TFIOS is about two witty young cancer patients who fall in love with each other at a cancer support group. It’s amazing how true love can make people happy despite very miserable circumstances.


10. Patch Adams


Robin Williams was the best, wasn’t he? In Patch Adams, he plays a medical student who believes that patients must be treated using humor and compassion. He is the epitome of the saying “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” He does his best to give his services even to people who are unable to afford it. Another added element is a May-December affair that is just too sweet not to swoon over.


12.  The Pursuit of Happyness


Will Smith proves that he is indeed more than just a handsome face with a smooth singing voice. In this movie, he shows that a father’s love is like no other. He struggles as a homeless salesman who is left to take care of his son (played by Jaden Smith) alone after his wife leaves him. It is a tough life as they fight poverty, sleep in shelters and even subway restrooms but he doesn’t lose hope. He finds an opportunity in the stock market and works his way up the corporate ladder. Based on the real life story of Chris Gardner, this is a touching rags to riches tale of the pursuit of “happyness”. Watch this when you need a little ray of hope.


13. The Notebook


I can never get over Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie’s (rachel McAdams) love story. I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of finding our own Noah at some point or the other and who can blame us…he’s perfect!  The Notebook has got to be the most popular romantic film in the whole world. We all know how sweet young love is but the real deal is when you grow old together and continue to love each other just as much, if not more.  If this story doesn’t draw a tear or two from your eyes, you’re heartless!


14.  Marley & Me


Dogs just make life so much more worthwhile and this is THE perfect movie for animal lovers everywhere. Marley is adorable, incredibly naughty and oh-so-lovable. This movie takes us through the life of John and Jenny (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), Marley the labrador, and their two kids. As expected, Marley brings a mixed bag of experiences but most of all, he brings them joy. Unfortunately, as with a lot of dog owners in real life, they face a tough decision due to Marley’s  health reasons and it’s almost unbearable to watch! Marley & Me will make you go through a roller coaster of emotions.


15. Meet The Robinsons


Animated films these days really have a lot of hurt.  The first animated film on our list is ‘Meet the Robinsons’, a heart-warming film for the entire family. A boy travels back in time to meet his future family and figures out how he can undo mistakes from the past. In his search, he discovers more than just his family line. There is a very uplifting message in store for everyone who watches this adorable movie!


16.  Hachi: A Dog’s Tale


Another great tearjerker film for dog lovers! This movie is based on a true story about a dog named Hachiko who religiously met his master at the train station every single day. When his master suffers a heart attack and dies, Hachi continues the ritual of waiting for him for the next ten years, until he dies in the snow!  The fact that this is based on a true story just makes it that much more special. I mean, talk about loyalty.


17. Blue Valentine


There are love stories and then there are stories about falling out of love. A med student, Cindy (Michelle Williams) falls in love with a high school drop-out Dean (Ryan Gosling). They get pregnant, decide to keep the baby and fight for their marriage despite their constant fights and arguments. Unfortunately, as it happens in real life, people change, they grow apart and love turns to hate. Both Michelle and Ryan are brilliant actors and I love that this movie keeps it real. It’s a depressing movie but it’s beautiful!


18. Up


Up has got to be one of my most favorite movies ever! Sometimes, I just watch the video of Carl and Ellie’s life and feel so sappy and happy at the same time. Up is about Carl who has lived a long, wonderful life with the love of his life, Ellie and has recently lost her.  Carl wants to keep up his promise of taking Ellie to “Paradise Falls” and so embarks on an epic journey with his house, loads of balloons and Russell, an ADORABLE boy scout. The movie is about undying love, hope and special friendships…all my favorites!


19. My Girl


My Girl is one of those classic tearjerkers that everybody must have their own copy of. The story revolves around Vada (Anna Chlumsky) and her friend Thomas (Macaulay Culkin).  It’s tough to watch Vada go through so much, so early in life. Imagine being a 11 year old who has to deal with complex emotions like the death of her mother, adolescence, a distant father and loneliness to name a few. You will root for her the whole time but it will also shatter your heart like nothing else.


20.  P.S. I Love You


Awww! This is just the sweetest movie ever. It is about a woman Holly (Hillary Swank) who loses her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) to a tragic disease. But before he dies, he makes sure that his presence stays with Holly so he writes her a series of letters to help her rediscover herself and move on. His sweet and whole voice will have you crying every time she reads a letter. It doesn’t hurt that it stars the very handsome Gerard Butler.


21.   My Sister’s Keeper


My Sister’s Keeper is a movie based on Jodi Picoult’s novel of the same title. I was personally very impressed with Cameron Diaz  whose role as  a mother is a far cry from her usual rom-com movies. Sara (Cameron) and Brian (Jason Patric) discover that their eldest daughter  Kate (Sofia Vassileva) suffers from leukemia and will need donors from time to time in order to survive.  So they decide to have another kid, Anna (Abigail Breslin), whose purpose in life is to donate compatible organs, blood, and tissue to keep her sister alive. It comes to a point where Anna is required to donate one of her kidneys to her sister and she refuses. She also sues them for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. It’s a beautiful movie that can get overwhelming at times and really get the waterworks going.


22. Seven Pounds


This is the second movie in our list starring Will Smith. This is about a man Tim Thomas (Will Smith) who ends up in a tragic texting and driving accident which takes the life of seven people including six strangers and his fiancee. Unable to live with himself, he decides that the only way to make amends  is to donate his vital organs to seven deserving people before taking his own  life. Does he find seven worthy people? Does he eventually take his own life? You’ll just have to watch and find out.


23. The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones is a deep and dark supernatural movie, based on a novel of the same name.  Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) plays a 14 year old who is brutally murdered by her neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). After her death, she finds herself in the “In-Between”, which is neither heaven nor earth.  She is unable to let go and watches over her family, trying to lead them to her murderer and her body. The movie has a very relaxing yet suspenseful temperament that will make you hold on to your seats. In addition to that, the strong love that the family shares will make you burst into tears and the cinematography will take your breath away!


 24. Selena


True stories always make the best movies! It is both heart warming and heart breaking to watch this film because it is about the story of Selena’s colorful life and how it ceased to exist. The twists and turns are undeniably tear-jerking! Plus, don’t you think its crazy how Jennifer Lopez looks exactly like Selena in this film. Of course she’s immensely talented too! It’s almost like she’s a reincarnation of the late Latina artist.


25.  The Lion King


This film will be a favorite for many generations to come! It has all the elements of a great film, laughter, tears, great characters…and music! Till date, nothing makes me cry like the scene where Simba finds Mufasa’s body.  Of course, Timon and Pumbaa are adorable and funny and I still get goosebumps when Simba falls in love with Nala. Hakuna Matata!


26.  Forrest Gump


Tom Hanks can do no wrong! He plays the good hearted but slow Forrest Gump who has many, many adventures. He runs like the wind, gets a college football scholarship,  goes to war, becomes a shrimp boat captain and becomes a millionaire stockholder to name a few.  Above all though, this movie is about Forrest’s love for Jenny (Robin Wright). It’s amazing to watch someone with such a low IQ actually understand the complexities of love. Only Tom could have done this role justice.


27. Brokeback Mountain


I remember watching Brokeback Mountain and feeling like I just got shot in the heart. Both Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhall play their parts as Ennis and Jack to a tee.  The reunion scene is one of my favorites. Even though, both have been married for a while, every emotion they’ve ever felt for each other just comes rushing back the second they see each other. It is a beautiful, vulnerable, tragic love story that is so much more than a “gay cowboy movie” and you have to watch it at least once in your lifetime.


28. Schindler’s List


There is no dearth of Holocaust movies, but Schindler’s list will always remain up there on my list. We all know of the horrors of the Holocaust and this movie brings it to life. Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson is a Czech born factory owner in Poland. When he witnesses the atrocities at Auschwitz, he sets off to rescue as many Jews as he can.  This is Speilberg’s finest movie in my opinion. When I first watched this movie, I couldn’t sleep for days. It is hauntingly brilliant and it will leave a mark on your soul.


29. The Book Thief


The Book Thief is one of my favorite books of all time! I remember when I started reading the book,  I didn’t want to do anything else until I finished it. So, I was super excited when I heard about the movie version. Sure, it’s not as great as the book but you’ve still got to watch it. Sophie Nélisse plays the protagonist Liesel, a young girl during WWII Germany who lives with her foster parents. She is illiterate and is made fun of, but her foster father takes it upon himself to teach her. She starts to love books but has to keep her love a secret and so she starts to steal them from the Mayor’s wife. As the war rages on, Liesel  also learns to write and life moves on until tragedy strikes. The fact that this movie is actually narrated by “death” itself adds to the experience.


30. Toy Story 3


Why not Toy Story 1 or Toy Story 2, you may ask? Well, both the previous ones are great but I think the third one was by far the most moving and the most “grown up” of the three. Andy is ready to head to college and that means getting rid of his childhood toys. Our beloved characters end up at a daycare center which is way less fun than you think it is. Yes, it still has it’s witty, funny moments that are amazingly interwoven with darker, sadder emotions. This one is best watched with a loved one who has a willing shoulder.


31. The Green Mile


This movie was based on a book of the same title written by Stephen King. It’s a death row drama and the main characters are a giant (Michael Clark Duncan) and a mouse. Of course, that’s the simplest way to describe this heavy movie with moving emotions and Christian references. Tons of people will relate to this film especially those who were part of the Depression-era Death Row.  Tom Hanks as usual doesn’t disappoint but the real star for me is the late Michael Clark Duncan with his big and expressive eyes…that are sure to bring tears to your own eyes.


32. Million Dollar Baby


Million Dollar Baby is not just another boxing movie. The word ‘euthanasia’ is  a tearjerker in itself, now weave that into a movie where you’re rooting for the protagonist (Hillary Swank) one second and the next, she’s suddenly a quadriplegic with no hope for recovery. Great cast, great movie and one that is sure to make you cry. This universally acclaimed movie did get into a bit of trouble with the disability rights activists because of the theme of the movie. They particularly didn’t like the ending of the film and pushed for another instead. However, it’s not just the ending that matters right? It’s the whole film itself, and I for one would call this movie inspiring…devastatingly sad but inspiring!


33. Children of Men


Children of Men takes place in 2027 and is a science fiction film written by 5 different great writers – so you can already tell that you are in for a movie treat. This is a very interesting film as it deals with one of the main fears of all of humanity – extinction. During the film, 18 years have already passed since the start of global infertility. This is a great pick for those who have a heart for society and mankind. Plus, it has a really unconventional plot that you will enjoy.


34.  Blood Diamond


Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but this movie will make you really think about where that gorgeous diamond you’re wearing comes from and what’s the “bloody” tale behind it. Considering that Blood Diamond is a tale about racial politics, greed and pure evil, the movie could have ended up being preachy and boring but in the hands of director Edward Zwick and amazing actors like Leonardo DiCpario, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou, the movie manages to keep you enthralled at all times!


35.  About Time


Starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, About Time is just about the sweetest movie about time travel ever! Domhall plays Tim whose father (the amazing Bill Nighy) tells him  on his 21st birthday that all the men in their family have the ability to time travel. Instead of using it to make a lot of money or collect material things, Tim uses it to find and keep the love of his life. It’s got plenty of sweet moments that will fill your eyes with happy tears and make you appreciate all that you have.


36. Big Fish


You know a movie is going to be good when Tim Burton is involved.  Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) is used to telling larger than life stories about his past. While entertaining to listen to, his tall tales have caused quite a strain to his relationship with his son Will (Billy Crudup).  But when his health starts to fail,  Will and his wife return to Alabama to be close to him. Edward continues his tales. Will demands the truth. At his father’s funoeral, Will finds out that there actually was some truth to his father’s tales. This is a great father-son story that will warm you heart.


37.  Dear John


This is another sappy yet touching love story from the acclaimed novelist Nicholas Sparks. Dear John is about a soldier, John (Channing Tatum) who falls in love with Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) while on vacation. When John needs to go back on the field, Savannah and he continue their relationship by writing letters to each other. Unfortunately, long distance relationships, especially the ones involving the army are hard and Savannah ends up marrying someone else. My favorite scene is when John reads a letter to his father when he’s on his death bed. This is a must-watch for all Nicholas Sparks fans!


38.  Love Story


Based on the novel of the same name, Love Story is the tragic tale of two lovers, Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) and Jenny Cavalleri (Ali MacGraw). Jenny is dying of leukemia but the two get married anyway against Oliver’s father’s wishes.  They share a short but beautiful life and you will wail when she asks him to hold her tightly before she dies. My other favorite part is when Oliver’s dad tries to make amends with him and he repeats Jenny’s words “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. Aww!


39. Atonement


Nothing hurts like unfulfilled love. Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) fall in love and Cecilia’s sister, Briony (Saoirse Ronan)  accidentally watches them making love.  She gets jealous and also doesn’t quite understand what she’s seen.  She accuses him of raping her cousin.  He gets sent to prison and then to war. The two reunite before he is sent to war and get married later, or do they? The ending will make you hate Briony and wish you had a time machine.


40. 12 Years a Slave


It’s never easy to watch a movie about slavery without it breaking your heart. This Oscar winning movie based on an amazing true story tells the tale of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He lives a brutal life for 12 years before he is finally reunited with his family. The most heart wrenching scene is when Solomon is forced to whip his friend Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o). It will really make you think about human nature and how some of us actually have no heart.


There’s our list of 40 awesome movies that will make you cry from the 1990s up to the present. Did your favorites make it to the list? Tell us below.


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