Whether you’ve had a long couple of days or feel like you need a good cry and just wallow in your own misery for a while, we’ve got you covered with the best selection of tear-jerking, heart-breaking and absolutely gut-wrenching movies.
So, grab your favorite snacks and some tissues, cozy up with a blanket and get ready to bawl your eyes out with any of these brilliant movies.
#1 My sister’s keeper- Starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin and Sofia vassilieva
13- year old Anna Fitzgerald’s life seems to only serve the purpose of being a donor for her older sister Kate, who’s struggling with cancer. The movie follows Kate’s touching battle with her illness, eventually leading her to convince Anna to get medical emancipation from her parents against her wishes when she is asked to donate a kidney- (as revealed towards the end).
With the help of Attorney Campbell, Anna fights a battle in court while struggling to keep Kate’s wishes a secret from her family. This adversely affects her relationship with her mother who’s determined for Kate to survive- even when Kate seems to have accepted her dreadful fate.
Hold onto your tissues though because as Anna wins the case in court, her sister takes her last breath in a heartbreaking scene after saying goodbye to her family.
#2 The boy in striped Pajamas- Starring Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis and Jack Scanlon
Set to the theme of the Second World War, it is the story of a forbidden friendship between two 8-year-olds- Bruno, son of a Commandant at a concentration camp and Shmuel, one of the Jewish kids at the camp. In the midst of a cruel war, the kids try to navigate their friendship blinded by sheer innocence.
With all of the hatred against Jews that surrounded him, on one occasion Bruno manages to get Shmuel in trouble with his father. The story takes a tragic turn when Bruno sneaks into the camp to help Shmuel look for his lost father as a way of making up to him. There, along with other prisoners, the boys are escorted to a gas chamber where they are burnt alive. Before the credits start rolling, Bruno’s parents are shown crying in pain over the loss of their son.
#3 Still Alice- Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin
Alice is a 50-year-old Professor who gets diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease when she goes in for a checkup after having some memory issues. She uses daily questions to keep track of her memory and records a video instructing her future self to commit suicide if things get bad.
As her condition deteriorates, she desperately tries to hold onto the shreds of her identity but fails to remember basic things like the location of the bathroom at home, all this takes a toll on her family. Prepare for the many tears to come as her children struggle to remind her of who they are and her husband, breaking under pressure moves away, unable to see his wife in that condition.
#4 Fruitvale Station- Starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz
Based on a true story starring Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, this film recounts Oscar’s last day before he was shot and murdered by a BART police officer at Fruitvale Station. This tragic tale depicts the racism and injustice endured by innocent civilians like the poor Oscar; who was not only wrongfully arrested but also verbally and physically abused along with his friends as the police responded to a fight that took place on the train.
With heartbreaking scenes from Oscar being shot, to his friends, girlfriend, mother and daughter finding out about his death, this film is one for the ages and will have you sobbing with anger, empathy and pure sadness.
#5 Miracle in Cell no.7 – Starring Aras Bulut İynemli and Nisa Sofiya Aksongur
Set in Turkey, this is a gut-wrenching story of how Memo, father to 6- years old Ova is wrongfully accused of murdering a high-ranking military officer’s daughter. The accused, suffering from a cognitive disorder is unable to vouch for his defense against the officers resulting in his imprisonment on death row.
Any hope of success in Ova’s struggles to find proof of her father’s innocence is taken away as quickly as it comes- until the very end when the memo’s cellmates and the prison warden join hands to truly perform a miracle that reunites him with his daughter. The child-like innocence of Memo, unity amongst the cellmates and overall compassion portrayed in this movie heightens all feelings of empathy towards the characters and won’t leave a dry eye in the room.
#6 A bridge to Terabithia- Starring Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb
Jack is a 12-year old artist whose life changes for the better when he befriends Leslie, his new neighbor. In the time they spend together, he forgets about the bullying at school and neglect at home while being constantly fascinated by Leslie’s uplifting energy.
During one of their adventures in the woods, they swing on a rope above the creek to discover an abandoned treehouse. Letting their imaginations run wild. There, they invent the Land of Terabithia- a beautiful magical kingdom.
All seems to be going well until one rainy day; a tragic accident in the storm kills Leslie in the woods while Jess is away on a trip. Upon hearing the news, he is crushed with guilt and in denial until he is consoled by his father. The movie ends on a bittersweet note as Jess passes on the leadership of Terabithia to his younger sister with whom he’s had a rocky relationship in the past.
#7 Lion- Starring Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel and David Wenham
Lion is a heart-warming film, based on a true story about a little boy named Saroo who gets lost at a train station and is trying to find his way back home. After spending months out on the streets, running away from kidnappers, and sinister locals, he is finally placed at an orphanage by a police officer.
Luckily, a caring Australian couple adopts him, significantly improving his quality of life. However, as he grows older, questions about his past and biological family keep pestering him until he finally decides to try and locate his village back in India using modern-day technology.
You will surely be reaching for tissues when, after a lot of tears, fights and struggles, Saroo is finally reunited with his biological mother and sister, where he also learns of his brother’s tragic death.
#8 Room- Starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay
24 years old Joy Newson and her son Jack have been held captive for 7 years in a small room by Old Nick- A kidnapper and a rapist. While they are in there, Joy does whatever she can to make Jack believe that the room is their realityHowever, when the torture exceeds their endurance, she plots an escape.
Tricking Old Nick into thinking Jack is dead, she gets them both on the back of his truck while he drives and escapes as they are on the road. But their troubles don’t end there because even after being reunited with their family, life in the new world is an entirely different struggle. Coupled with depression, suicide attempts, broken families and feelings of guilt, join Joy and Jack in their attempt to come to terms with life outside the room.
#9 Hachi- A Dog’s Tale- starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen
There is no better tear-jerker than a sad dog movie and this tale will without a doubt, have you crying for hours. The movie is narrated by a boy named Ronnie who recalls the story of his grandfather Parker and his adorable Japanese dog Hachi. Ever since their first meeting at a train station, the two seem to be inseparable.
Hachi refuses to learn tricks but their love for each other deepens as they spend more days together. So much so, that Hachi learns Parker’s schedule and makes his way to the train station daily while waiting for Parker to return from work.
Until one day, when Parker doesn’t show up at the train station due to a fatal stroke. Unable to understand the concept of death and realize that Parker is gone, Hachi spends the next 10 years returning to the train station regardless of how hard people try to keep him away until he joins Parker in the afterlife.
#10 A walk to remember- Starring Mandy Moore and Shane West
This beautiful yet tragic adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel is a classic and has not only made many hearts swoon over young romance but also broken them at the end. Local trouble maker Landon Carter’s and goody-two-shoes Jamie Sullivan’s worlds collide when they meet in the school play. Despite Jamie’s warnings, after spending quality time together, Landon inevitably ends up falling in love with her.
However, on their first date, Jamie painfully confesses to Landon that she has leukemia and won’t be around for much longer. The movie then shows the bittersweet, tear-jerking moments spent together by the two, including Jamie’s dream wedding before her illness gets the best of her.
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