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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

40 Tearjerker Films: The Ultimate List of Sad Movies to Watch When You Need a Good Cry

40 of the Best Sad Movies to Watch When You Need a Good Cry


There’s something uniquely therapeutic about letting yourself dive into a movie that tugs at your heartstrings, allowing the tears to flow freely in a safe space. According to Nicole Kidman, movies hold a unique power to evoke intense emotions, distinguishing us from the digital age’s cold embrace. Plus, science backs the benefits of a good cry, releasing oxytocin and endorphins that can refresh and calm you. So, whether you’re seeking a gentle tug on your emotions or a deep, cathartic sob, we’ve compiled a list of the 40 best sad movies guaranteed to deliver.

The Ultimate List of Tearjerkers

From recent heart-wrenching dramas to timeless classics, our list spans decades and genres, ensuring there’s a film for every type of movie watcher looking to indulge in a good cry.

Modern Masterpieces

  1. All of Us Strangers (2023) – A fantasy-tinged drama exploring love, loss, and the haunting presence of the past.

  2. Aftersun (2022) – An impressionistic dive into the complexities of memory and fatherhood.

  3. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) – A tragicomedy about friendship and isolation set against the backdrop of the Irish Civil War.

  4. Living (2022) – A poignant narrative on finding meaning amidst terminal illness.

Emotional Journeys from the 2010s

  1. Pieces of a Woman (2021) – A raw and powerful discussion on miscarriage and loss.

  2. Marriage Story (2019) – A deeply moving tale of love, divorce, and co-parenting.

  3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) – A beautifully tragic queer love story set in 18th-century France.

  4. A Ghost Story (2017) – An exploration of grief and time through a supernatural lens.

Classics That Never Age

  1. The Notebook (2004) – A timeless romantic drama that explores a love that spans a lifetime.

  2. Titanic (1997) – A tragic love story set against one of history’s most infamous disasters.

  3. Forrest Gump (1994) – A heartwarming and heartbreaking journey through the life of an extraordinary man.

  4. The Color Purple (1985) – A powerful tale of struggle, strength, and redemption in the early 20th century American South.

Why We Need Sad Movies

The Catharsis of Tears

The act of crying while watching a movie goes beyond mere emotional release; it’s a complex psychological response that can provide profound catharsis. Delving into stories of grief, love, and loss allows us to explore our own feelings from a distance, providing a safe space to confront and process difficult emotions.

Empathy and Connection

Sad movies foster a deep sense of empathy and connection, not only with the characters on screen but also with our own experiences and those of people around us. They remind us of our shared human experience, bridging gaps and fostering a sense of unity.


In a world that often demands constant happiness and positivity, sad movies offer a necessary counterbalance. They allow us to embrace the full spectrum of human emotions, reminding us that it’s okay not to be okay. So, the next time you’re in need of a good cry, consider diving into one of these 40 films, and let yourself feel the cathartic power of tears.

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