Top 10 Tear-Jerker Movies


It seems odd to think that many of us choose to spend our time in front of the big screen in tears, but crying seems to indicate a quality flick in many cases. Whether you are shedding tears of joy when the main character finally triumphs or lamenting the loss of a favorite, tear-jerker movies never go out of style. While my opinions may be slightly flawed (after all, I cried at Bambi all 17 times I watched it), I believe I can shed some light on the best films to rent if you want a good cry on a Friday night.

10. Old Yeller

There is nothing more touching than a boy and his dog and Old Yeller and Travis tug on our heartstrings from the first moment the two connect. Old Yeller proves himself to be eternally loyal to Travis and the rest of his family – even to the point of fighting off a rabid wolf. Unfortunately, the wolf means the long and painful end of Old Yeller and a devastating decision for Travis. It’s a multi-tissue movie that does provide a happy finale – thank goodness for all of us who suffer through to the bitter end.

9. Ghost

Forget the fact that Patrick Swayze is at his sexiest in this chick flick – the scene with the pottery wheel is sure to bring out the romance and the tears in all but the toughest. Dealing with the loss of someone close to senseless violence is a subject that most of us fear too much to ever think about too seriously, but Ghost handles the experience with heart-wrenching finesse.

8. Terms of Endearment

Isn’t this on everyone’s list of best tear jerkers? There is nothing sadder than watching a child die, no matter how old she might be, and Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine portray this scenario brilliantly. And how about the moment when Debra Winger bids farewell to her two young sons? Pass the Kleenex.

7. Gone with the Wind

After a four-hour commitment to the characters of this epic film, you would like to see at least one of them enjoy a happy ending. Instead, numerous characters meet their demise and the rest resign themselves to the devastation and hopelessness that lie ahead. Does it help that Scarlett shows renewed spunk and spirit at the end of the film? Most of us would have rather seen her end up in Rhett’s arms. Alas, poor Scarlett! Your life inspires more tears than a Shakespearian tragedy.

6. Romeo and Juliet

Speaking of Shakespearian tragedies, we couldn’t complete this countdown with at least one making our list. We are referring to the 1968 classic that won multiple awards the year it was released, including Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Who can hear the story of these star-crossed lovers without a feeling of profound sadness and many tears? The double funeral at the end finally brings the two feuding families together – too little, too late. Don’t even try to hold back the sniffles.

5. E.T. the Extraterrestrial

Rumor has it even male viewers have to whimper a bit at this movie. Steven Spielberg uses his mastery of the film venue to draw us in to the life of this extraterrestrial and the lonely boy Elliot who he develops a close friendship with. Tears are guaranteed in the scene showing Elliot standing by the motionless body of his companion in the medical facility where the two have been quarantined. And if you make it through E.T.’s near death experience, try sitting through their farewell without the tissues. It can’t happen.

4. It’s a Wonderful Life

Sure, the tears are happy tears at the end, but don’t we all deserve an uplifting ending once in a while? Especially at Christmas. I’ve watched this film every holiday season for the past twenty years, and I still get teary when that darn bell rings on the Christmas tree. Nobody can tug on the heartstrings like Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey and his adorable daughter Zuzu. Not bad for a film that could boast the title of the ultimate sleeper – enjoying unprecendented popularity years after its original release.

3. My Life

In this amazingly touching flick, Bob Jones (played by Michael Keaton) is eagerly anticipating the birth of his first child. When he is told halfway through his wife’s pregnancy that he has cancer and about four months to live, he begins to videotape himself to provide his child with the father he will never know in person. As if this tragic concept is not enough, the process of self exploration that Bob Jones experiences will inspire tears and laughter nearly simultaneously. It’s like an emotional amusement park ride that will keep you wanting more, even after the peaks and dips have left you completely exhausted.

2. Beaches

The two main characters of this film, brilliantly played by Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, find friendship transcends the challenges of life even to death. The two women share a long and arduous relationship at times, with many conflicts and much time spent apart. However, when push comes to shove, they are there for each other, which is what true friendship is all about. This movie should be viewed with your best pal, a bottle of wine and plenty of Kleenex to go around.

1. Titanic

This breathtakingly beautiful movie explores much more than a love affair that meets an early and tragic end. It explores the historic significance of this event, the devastation of the class system of the times and a society that reveled in sophisticated luxury and leisure. And then there is the gripping relationship between Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet). Who says youth is wasted on the young? These two lovers make every fleeting moment count together. By far, the top movie if you want a good cry with the one you love.

by Wendy Travis

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  1. Philadelphia (ending, with the home movies)

    A.I. (ending, where he’s reunited with his “mom”)

    Toy Story 3 (ending, last “playdate” with his toys)

  2. Rushmore (The dance at the end)

    Map of the Human Heart (The Ending)

    Tae Guk gi (The ending with the brother crying over his older brothers grave)

    Smoke Signals (The end where Victor throws his dads ashes into the river)

    The Passion of the Christ (The entire movie just about. Also the scene where Mary sees Jesus fall and remembers him falling when he was a child)

    Glory (The ending)

    Benji (I can’t remember which film it was, but I remember crying a whole lot at the end of one of them where Benji was almost left behind by his owner who kept calling out for him. lol ah, childhood memories…)

    Snoopy Come Home (Just about the whole movie)

    The Land Before Time (The whole movie had this harsh reality to it that still bothers me to this day and I’m 28. I didn’t cry at it because I was too shocked to understand the depressiveness of it. It’s even more sad today because the actress who played Ducky was killed by her father)

    An American Tale (This is similar to the one above. Dang, just about all of Don Bluth’s films were depressing and surreal. He took a nosedive though after all Dogs Go To Heaven though.)

    The Shawshank Redemption (The latter half of the movie)

    Bridge To Terrabithia (When the girl dies and the boy asks if she’s going to heaven)

    The Deer Hunter (The hunting scene towards the end)

    Saving Private Ryan (Ryan kneeling at the graves. Ryan asking his wife at the end if he has lived a good life)

    GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (probably the saddest movie I’ve even seen…)

  3. A good number of those mentioned in comments I have to see! I am an American guy, but I don’t think I would be a whole person or parent, friend or lover without my empathy and the ability to show it… One question concerning Grave of the fireflies-what version should I see? Animated or one of the live actions? Thank you. Chas

  4. Titanic made me cry, A Walk to Remember, Notebook, Deerhunter made me weep buckets in the end..what else? Oh, there was this movie with Meryl Streep , in the scene she has to choose between her two babies which one to give up(i forgot the title)..MOulin Rouge, that one had me weeping like a child , Dying Young made my heart died also…

  5. Dead Man Walking! The ending is one of the saddest I have ever seen. I watched it in an airport on a layover. I’m sure everone there thought I was having some kind of breakdown.

  6. Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson was TRULY touching. In the theatre where we saw it, there were grown men crying all around us. I think it was because it really delved into the substance and powerful emotion of the bond between man and his best friend (dogs)…the memories you form with these loyal animals for years…and the heart break of seeing them go. It actually explored it in a pretty honest, yet emotional manner. I think the movie remains one of the biggest Christmas box office openers ever. I’d say aside from making ya cry…it was a pretty decent film.

    50/50 was also very a tear jerker because it got very raw at times.

    I’d definitely also add “Prayers for Bobby” to the list. Homophobia is not cool, and dang did this film explore that.

  7. It seems everyone forgot “I Am Sam” this movie was awsome.
    I couldnt hold back the tears. Really sad but beautiful story.

  8. Peter Boucher on

    The ending of the greatest Western Movie ever made……”SHANE” (1953) with Shane on his horse and little Joey who idolized Shane and there talk with each other and then Shane riding off into the sunset as little Joey repeatedly yells out his name. My theory on the end of that movie was because of the gunfight in the saloon Shane was shot, didn’t show it and hid it from Joey. As he drifts off on his horse, he knows that he is mortally wounded.

  9. ManWell from Philippines on

    – Kingkong
    – Cast Away
    – A Dog of Flanders (not actually a movie but a great tearjerker)
    – Titanic

  10. Yes, I think these movies are pretty sad, but you should add The Boy in the Striped pajamas. That movie made me cry my eyes out at the end

  11. chris boakes on

    lovely bones gets me every time….such a mix of emotion….its enough to make any man cry 🙂

  12. “Au Revoir Les Enfants”, directed by Louis Malle (French with English Subtitles). Nazi Germany, Jewish Children, I think you’ll get the idea and yes, a tearjerker at the end of the movie.

  13. Kramer Vs. Kramer
    Life Is Beautiful
    Simon Birch
    Seven Pounds
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Just Like Heaven
    To Sir, With Love

  14. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL! saddest movie of all time, sat in a class room of about 30 17-year-old boys, we all cried.
    ode to billy joe
    crazy in alabama
    stand by me
    edward siccorhands
    tuck everlasting
    the pianist
    and toy story 3 fo sho.

  15. Oh my Gosh! Three ignored tearjerkers that guarantee tears.

    1. Pursuit of Happyness
    2. Men of Honor
    3. I Am Legend

  16. Just give me a box of tissue and a DVD of the movie “The Pride Of The Yankees” starring Gary Cooper as the legendary Lou Gehrig and you can sit next to me and watch this grown man cry !!!!

  17. Whale Rider speech scene. I lose it every time. There is something beautiful about a child actor that can portray such depths of real emotion. I don’t know why this movie isd left off so many lists. It is definately top ten in my book.

  18. not in order:
    1. films based on nicholas sparks novels (the notebook, message in a bottle, a walk to remember)
    2. titanic (1997)
    3. love affair (1994)
    4. gone with the wind
    5. bridges of madison county
    6. the patriot
    7. waterloo bridge
    8. schindler’s list
    9. captain corelli’s mandolin
    10. malena

  19. “Dancer In The Dark” starring Bjork and Catherine Deneauve. The final scene of Bjork being led to the gallows for her death sentence is definitely in my opinion the most depressing and saddest scene in movie history

  20. Oh, I forgot. when I was growing up I saw a film called ‘Silent Running’, I had to run to my bedroom at the end and went to bed crying even though it was the afternoon. I was about 11.
    Then saw it again a few years back… still cried.
    I think there is something about loneliness that really makes me sad.
    Like the ending to Edward Scissor Hands. OMG

  21. There are some here I haven’t seen yet.
    I forgot about Moulon Rouge, I failed to sleep the night I watched that, I thought it was tragic and a film that surprised me in many ways, I thought I’d hate it.
    And Benjamin Button, that gave me a mega sore throat through crying at the end 🙁
    Seven Pounds, also left me sad but I think I was more depressed.

  22. Movies I HATE because they make my tears and snot flow uncontrollably: (Warning, SPOILERS)

    1. DUMBO, when he goes to visit his mom in her cell and all she can do is rock him with her trunk while the song Baby Mine plays. See! im crying again!
    2. AWAKENINGS, when he starts losing himself to the disease again and he cant even read his book anymore. Or when he goes to stand by the window to watch the girl leave after he danced with her. I cried so much I got a migraine.
    3. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, the unconditional love a robot boy has for his mother even after she abandons him.
    4. THE GREEN MILE… it even made my 11 year old son cry, and he claims not to have “feelings.”
    5. HATCHI (with Richard Geere), damn dog! why did it have to be so loyal. Another one that gave me a migraine from all the sobbing like a baby i did.
    6. TITANIC, okay i know some of you hate this movie but the part that really gets me is when the old couple are in bed hugging each other as they meet their watery grave.
    7. I AM SAM, its been a while since i seen this one. Cant remember exactly what part made me cry but i know i cried.
    8. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTON, the end is heartbreaking! the little baby in her arms closing his eyes for the last time… sobs!
    9. UP, this one one got me by surprise at the beginning. Like someone else said, i too am happy i saw this at home.
    & finally
    10. TUCK EVERLASTING… hope you like my list 🙂

  23. 1. Dear John (the book version coz they actually changed the ending in the movie taking away the whole point of the movie, in my opinion.)
    2. A Walk to Remember
    3. Triston and Isolde
    4. Hanamizuki (Japanese movie)
    5. Meet the Robinsons
    6. Little Mermaid (Triton lets his daughter go and live her own life far away from him with the man she loves. That always moves me to tears)
    7. Atonement
    8.Bridges of Madison County
    9. Casablanca
    10. The Notebook
    11. Titanic

    In my opinion, the most tragic and moving stories are where the two people love each other but know they can never be together. And even more than that, is when one party lets the other one go and live their life. Because if you really love something you will let it go. That’s what you call unconditional love.

  24. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    The Lion King
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Saving Private Ryan
    Forrest Gump

  25. what with all the titanic hate. it was a very good and sad film. it was also base on a true story so it isnt manufactured.

  26. into the wild made me cry like a baby even though ive seen it a hundred times i still cry such an amazing movie.

  27. I didn’t even cry when i watched The Notebook, but cried for a good 30 minutes while watching A Walk to remember.

  28. Eyeless Dog Pawless Dog Loveless Dog on

    Very annoying to see City of Angels in the comments when is nothing but a pompous lifeless yank copy of the immortal Wings of Desire

  29. A walk to remember ;Shane West, Mandy Moore
    City of angels ;Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan
    Autumn in new york ;Richard Gere, Winona Ryder
    P.S i love you ;Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow
    If only ;Jennifer Love Hewitt, Tom Wilkinson, Lucy Davenport
    Moulin Rouge ;Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor

    this movies will make you cry..

  30. Surprised nobody mentioned it, Brothers (2009) great movie showcasing the affects of PTSD…I cried like a baby. Also, My Sister’s Keeper for sure. Two great recent dog movies, Hachiko and Marley and Me.

  31. The latest film I cried at was De-Lovely; the final scene when Cole and Linda duet that beautifully sad tune gets me every time. But my number one tearjerker is The Joy Luck Club; made me sob by the end. Everything was perfect in that movie, it’s amazing how it didn’t even get nominated for an Oscar, yet manufactured crap like Titanic holds a record for Oscar wins. What an awful world we live in.

  32. Nachiket Bhatt on

    hey….i agree with your list well personally for me the saddest movie is ofcourse”My Life” what a gr8 n sad movie it was…i cried like a hell after watchin this movie man…n if you dont cry after watching this movie then there is somthing problem in you….

  33. can add the movies “i am sam” and “if only”
    also the movie “where the heart is”
    you should try watching these movies.. im sure u’ll end up having a headache due to crying huhuhu

  34. john victor angeles on

    Where is A1,somewhere in time,cocoon,on the golden pond,no batteries included or even fandango?

  35. Movies that makes me cry no matter how many times I watch it. No particular order.

    1. The Notebook( the ending part, where doctor or whoever try to calm her down by injecting something to her)

    2.Titanic( When Jack froze.)

    3. Selena( Part where the REAL Selena footages are shown together with the song Dreaming of You)

    Can’t remember the others…….

  36. Gotta give my shout out to a bit of an underdog, but John Q was one of those tearjerkers for me. It’s the happy stuff that gets me though. Similarly, Angels In the Outfield (you read correctly), at the end it always has me on the brink.

  37. Resurrection Ellen Burstyn I know what is going to happen at the end and I try to “man up” but I cry every time! Great movie not on anyone’s list.

  38. DYING YOUNG!!! anyone?? i cant believe its not mentioned in the list!

    the bridges of madisson county

    the english patient


    blood diamond


  39. All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 version was REALLY sad. I’m surprised it’s not on this list.

    • A friend of mine talked to me recently on a similar topic. His general rule is that in all American films there are guns, in all Japanese films there is blood, and in all Korean films there is a lot of crying. It’s not a sure shot theory, but it rings true A LOT of the time.

      Also, if you’re into the Korean flicks, Harmony is a tearjerker.

      • Thanks a lot for that! Do you like dogs? Try “Hachiko”. I was crying in every part of this movie.

  40. I agree with you Mia about Simon Birch.
    All in all, a good film that shouldn’t be avoided.
    For those who would like to know the plot, its about a young boy with stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him.

  41. Hey guys – what about Braveheart, Shawshenk Redemption (which i know has already been mentioned) and A League of Their Own?

  42. i've never cried at a movie before, but these ones got me real close.

    Road to perdition

    the champ

    dear john

    remember me

    into the wild

  43. i am a guy that loves tear jerkers movies my best are

    1 stepmom

    2 i am sam

    3 my sisters keeper

    4 simon birch

    5 life as a house

    6 the notebook

    7 a walk to remember

    8 the last song

    9 marley and me

    10 ps i love you

    i am not not ashamed to let the tears stream

  44. 1. The Last Song ( Id read the book before seeing the film, and the film still had me in floods of tears! Possibly the saddest film!)

    2. A walk to remember

    3. The Time Travellers Wife

    4. Dear John (From the point he finds out Savannahs moved on, frustrating cos you want them to be together but her husband is also dieing.)

    5. The Notebook

    6. Marley and Me!!

    7. Here on Earth

    8. P.S. I Love You

    9. Romeo and Juliet

    10. My Sisters Keeper

  45. ToughGuysDontDance on

    Havent seen quite a few of the movies being mentioned although i'll be sure to look some of them up, heres my list for what its worth:

    1. Forrest Gump (Just amazing and really sad)

    2. Peter Jacksons King Kong (Yeah i know its about a giant gorrilla but i thought this was really moving, surprised no one has mentioned it)

    3. Edward Scissorhands

    4. Con Air (At the end cage finally see's his daughter for the first time, moving)

    5. Titanic

    6. A.I (Loved this film, really sad aswell)

    7. Armageddon (The end coupled with areosmith…)

    8. Stand By Me (Shocked noone has mentioned this, great film and very moving)

    9. Gangs Of New York (Not exactly sad but pretty moving at the end with U2's ' 'Hands that built America')

    10. Lion King/As Good As It Gets/Boys Dont Cry/Sleepers (Couldnt decide lol)

    • i just watched up and cried my eyes out! My friend laughed att me she never cries at any films any suggestions?

  46. Mollie Pearce on

    Seven Pounds made my cry more than any other film in my life. It was terriblee 🙁 Will smith is an amazing actor.

  47. the one i cried the MOST is probably " Grave of the Fireflies"

    the Japanese story based on WW2..

    OMGsh.. saddest movie EVER.

    • The Lovely Bones.

      This movie will F your life up! One of the most compelling and saddest movies ever. Wow.

      • I was skeptical about a movie after reading the book, but Peter Jackson actually nailed the tone just right.

  48. i was glad to see someone finally mentioned braveheart as this is one of my all time favorites but also tom horn sand peebles breaker morant ten commandments

  49. I agree with them all. I would like to add that another scene that makes me cry when I watch Titanic is when the lady asks the captain where she should go. I start bawling right there and continue crying through the rest of the movie.

  50. Has anyone seen Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron? I cry everytime..especially at the part when the song 'Sound the Bugle' playing. I downloaded the soundtrack, and as soon as that song starts playing I tear up.

  51. -Titanic (when the dead jack drowns into the sea)

    -A walk to remember (landon crying at his dad's doorstep just to say thank you)

    -The Lion King (when musafa dies)

    -PS I Love You (The whole movie!!!!) < why does noone mentions it. it's soo depressing! definitely a must seeeee!!!

  52. Today I just watched The Notebook and Grave of the fireflies. Also 2 days ago I watched casablanca. I don't why people admire casablanca so much. I really didn't like it. "Grave of the fireflies" was an Emotional movie but not a tearjerker. So I think the only movie which literally made tears come from my eye was SOMEWHERE IN TIME. And The notebook ! nothing at all.

    • the tearjerker in casablanca is at the ending. rick makes ilsa believe that they are leaving casablanca together. she is prepared to leave her husband for him, but rick has other plans. he instead uses all his influence and money to get husband and wife on the plane, leaving him alone and losing the greatest love of his life… again. why? rick knew that victor would be ruined without his wife. victor won’t be able to lead the revolution, and he is the people’s only hope. rick makes himself to be a shrewd and selfish businessman whose only cause is himself, yet he gives up his own love to give hope to the people. he contents himself with “we’ll always have paris,” meaning his memories of ilsa. selfless, unconditional love does it for me every time…

  53. Hey you forgot:

    1. Imitation of Life

    2. Meet the Robinsons

    3. The Lion King

    4. Jungle Book

    5. Pursuit of Happyness

    6. Schindler's List

    7. The Color Purple

    Actually you have a great list.

  54. What about "Grave of the Fireflies"? That is one hell of a depressing movie although I didn't really cry, I was just kind of numb at the end.

    Another tear-jerking movie is a documentary called "Dear Zachary", I actually started to cry at the end of that movie. I don't think I cried that much during a movie ever.

  55. I have just watched SOMWHERE IN TIME. It cried a lot at the end.

    Also blood diamond, saving private ryan must had been on the list

  56. First, Titanic sucked. How about these, in no particular order:

    1. Brian's song

    2.Old yeller

    3.Shindler's list

    4.Pride of the Yankees


    6. Million dollar baby

    7.The green mile

    8.Saving private Ryan


    10.Terms of endearment

  57. Shawnny, I forgot about A.I. Yes that IS really sad. Two main bits get me, the moment when that robot is destroyed in the circus and then at the end where Joel-Osmond-bot see's his mum. It's a choker!

    I had a go at making my own tear jerker trailer in my blog Bob Versus Tearjerkers:

    Any good?

  58. I was surprised not to have seen Artificial Intelligence on anyone's list. It's so sad that the poor robot boy could never get the love he so desired from his mother. I cried my eyes out at the ending.

  59. There is one that gets me every time. 8 Seconds. Not when Luke Perry's character dies, but in the scene following when his father tells his mother, "I remember telling him that I was proud of him, and that he did a good job, but I can't remember a single time when I told him that…I loved him.". Gets me every time.

  60. My Sisters Keeper and Pay it Forward are THE most tear jerker movies EVER! I Never Ever cry and I have to pause My Sisters Keeper every 15 minutes to calm myself down and to not let the tears fall. Titanic I agree with also ET… enh it can make you tear up a bit. Stepmom I agree with but nooooo its not on the list.

  61. I'll admit it, I cry really easily when it comes to movies but I have to agree with some of the people who thought Titanic sucked, it did ! sorry ! here is my opinion on 10 of the saddest (in no particular order):

    1. Marley & Me (if you've EVER owned a dog you can't deny this is devestating)

    2. Green Mile

    3. Shawshank Redemption

    4. Cinema Paradiso (I cried so much I had to vomit)

    5. Beaches

    6. Central Station (when that kid wakes up to find Dora gone and starts tearing down the road after her..)

    7. Field of Dreams

    8. A Very Long Engagement

    9. The Sixth Sense (Tony Collette: "I asked her…..did I make her proud ?")

    10. Lorenzo's Oil (how has nobody said this movie yet ????)

  62. I agree with What Dream May Come,I cried at the end,but were tears of joy.Sweet November too,I never watched all the movie ,I lost it at about the middle and I couldn't stop crying.

    Two movies that are not "tearjerkers" per se but are unbearably depressing: Pan's Labyrinth (El Labirinto Del Fauno) and Requiem for a Dream.

    A recommend a very good movie,a beautiful love story: Jeux D'enfants.Watch it: it won't be disappointing!

    (Excuse my english,its my second language:))

  63. I don't see "Gone with the Wind" as a tear jerker. One of my all time favorites, but you know that she's going to fight like hell and win him back, so I didn't cry at the end.

    My list would be:

    1. City of Angels

    2. Pay it Forward

    3. My Girl

    4. Green Mile

    5. Forest Gump

    6. Ghost

    7. Steel Magnolias

    8. Terms of Endearment

    9. ET

    10. Beaches

    • sorry although a great movie I would not cry at forest gump not a tearjerker.
      and ghost was jus weird and not sad at all.

  64. Although this is only a japanese anime movie, "Grave Of The Fireflies" is highly recommended as one of the saddest whatever categories of sad movies. Watch it and if it not sad to you, i'm a liar then. Although it an anime, the storyline is for adult audience.

  65. Thank you, collective detailed domain , straight to the the point. Great site very informative,

  66. My Girl- when she climbs in the cascet…i lose it

    A Walk to Remember- esp. the end when landon over-voices the last scenes

    Stepmom- honestly…i cried

    ARMAGEDON- bruce willis doesnt come back… Aerosmith- I DONT WANT TO CLOSE MY EYES

    Dark Victory- black and white- she knows she dieing and lets her husband leave anyway

    Where the Red Fern Grows- CLASSIC- no comment needed

    You've Got Mail- chick flick…i'm a girl

    Windtalkers- Nicholas Cage…when the native american gives his life- war movie

    We Were Soldiers- another war movie that breaks my heart

  67. Here are some classics that are sometimes overlooked. In no particular order. Invest in tissues.

    1. Madame X

    2. The Champ

    3. To Sir, With Love – Sidney Poitier – the end scenes are very moving, if you can overlook the song being played a million times.

    4. Love Story

    5. I am Sam

    6. What Dreams May Come – I'm not a big fan of Robin Williams but my god. So sad.

    7. Meet Joe Black – Man do you end up feeling sorry for Death.

    8. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

    9. The Green Mile

    10. Schindler's List

    11. The Color Purple

    12. Of Mice and Men

    13. To Kill a Mockingbird

    14. Dead Poets Society

  68. Here are my tearjerkers (#1 being the saddest and #10 being the "least saddest")

    1.Dangerous Minds


    3.Hoop Dreams

    4.Bridge to Terabithia

    5.Pursuit of Happiness

    6.Old Yeller


    8.No Reservations

    9.Disney's the Kid

    10.Fools Rush In

  69. You can add Marley and Me to the list of tear jerking dog movies. I rented it on demand because I was in the mood for a comedy, but HOLY COW my wife and I cried for like the last 30 minutes non stop. Not sure if it was really that sad or if it was because I was totally not expecting it.

  70. I have two ABSOLUTE tear jerkers for you…

    1. Dying Young (Julia Roberts & Campbell Scott…epic)

    2. Steel Magnolias

  71. Reign over me.

    I don't care for Adam Sandler's acting but he was good in Reign Over Me.

    I cried so hard when he told Don Cheadle about his family.

    I cried again after he told the Timplemans that he has to deal with seeing his wife's face everywhere.

    I cried when Charlie was walking down the hall way and he had flash backs of his family.

    I cried at the end when Don Cheadle told his wife that he wants to open up to her and she says she loves him.

    I cried in the freakin credits!

    I think the main reason why it effected me so heavily is because before I was even though of, my dad had a family and his family sadly passed away.

    The other movies that are really saddening are darn Disney movies.

  72. 1.Selena (the ending of this movie will hit you like a bolt of lightning)

    2.John Q. (It's sad almost to the point where it's intolerable)

    3.Pixar's Up (2009)

    4.Bridge to Terabithia

    It takes a *lot* for me to be moved by a movie (something that even the Lion King and Titanic failed to do), but these 4 movies were just so sad!

  73. I saw "My Sister's Keeper" last week. I think it's going to be in the top 10… definitely a 3-hankie bawler.

  74. I agree with you Sean, Brian’s Song's locker room scene was one of the toughest to watch.

  75. Brian's Song is one of the few movies that makes me cry. The end of Marley and me got me pretty good too.

  76. Has anyone seen “Dangerous Minds”? I don’t cry during movies, but when Ms. Johnson broke the news to her class that Emilio (a student) had been shot and killed, that was just….heartbreaking.

    • Total un-crier on

      XD wow your kinda like me i never cry during ANYTHING,but if a young child gets hurt in a movie or somethin i'd be bawling for an hour!!! >xD

  77. Rudy is a tear jerker, the ultimate story about a regular Joe with an inevitable future at his fathers steel mill. Rudy has a dream and will stop at nothing to overcome all the odds. Later walking on and playing football for the Fighting irish. Also just watched Marley and me and damn I found myself getting choked up in the end of that one, a very funny movie though.

  78. Movie that made me absolutley bawl. In no order.


    Rain Man

    The Godfather Part II

    The Deer Hunter

    Little Big Man

    Romeo + Juliet

    Into the Wild

    I tear up at a lot of films, but watching these seven I just absolutley lost it.

  79. Sorry, but I think the one thing Hollywood definitely sucks at is this 'genre', if you can call it that. Most of these films have me reaching for the sick-bag not the tissue box!

    I may be moved to tears at a film if it's 1, a true story [not adaption] or 2, the film is so damn good I believe that it's real.

    Now, seeing as movies are by their nature 'make-believe' it's not common to see films that genuinely would move most to cry.

    I find European or independent films more likely to hit home. Those film-makers are less concerned about entertainment than you 'have' to be in Hollywood to survive.'Life Is Beautiful' was one; the relationship with his son, not the Nazi death-camp backdrop.

    So sorry, Hollywood; love your comedies, action, drama, westerns, etc. but not your 'tearjerkers.'

  80. love your first and third choices, mine too, but my second choices are "bridges of madison county" and "born free".

    (what about "the notebook" and "pay it forward"?)

    • Finally someone mentioned "The Bridges of Madison County"! I can't believe I had to scroll down to almost the end of the page to find someone who had seen this absolutely touching movie. Also, try to check out "One True Thing" also with Meryl Streep. It is incredibly moving.

  81. OOPS – I forgot "Finding Neverland"

    Sorry, but it's one of my favorites ever, with added weight due to being at least based on a true story.. beautiful film! For me the best, most touching performances of both Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp.

  82. Has NO ONE seen the movie most GUYS cry at:

    1. "Pride of the Yankees" – with Lou Gehrig's speech, "today I consider myself the luckiest man alive" For me, that' #1 because it's a true story.

    – and b/c everyone missed it!

    The others

    2. The Best Years of Our Lives – perhaps the finest American film, certainly the best anti-war film, and our best filmmaker: William Wyler

    3. Hidalgo – tears of joy, perhap the teariest closing scenes of any Disney film

    4. Field of Dreams – if you're a guy and barely knew your father… like me

    5. Babe – tears of joy again; "That'll do pig!"

    This film actually hurt pork sales as no kids wanted to be eating Babe!

    6. Kolya – a terrific child actor from Moscow stole everyone's heart, including the director and his father, the star; the closing scene was repeated in reality after production!

    7. Phar Lap – the saddest horse story ever, I think, and a true one.

    8. Fandango – Coster's first, dir by Kevin Reynolds. When the college buddies part in the end, you know some will never see each other again, something we've all experienced.

    9. The Shawshank Redemption – hollywoodish and cornball, but such a great movie overall.

    10. Tie, Dog Films: add to Old Yeller: Sounder, A Dog of Flanders, My Dog Skip

    Special mention: the mother in Saving Pvt Ryan, falling down on her porch when she sees the military car approaching her country house. Heartbreaking without any dialogue whatsoever.

  83. Here are my tear jerkers:

    1. Cheech & Chong

    2. Epic Movie

    3. Camp Rock

    4. Detroit Rock City

    5. John Tucker Must Die

    6. High School Musical 1, 2 and 3

    7. Knocked Up

    8. 40 Year Old Virgin

    9. Bionicles – Mask Of Light

    10. Lion King

    The drama and acting was so well thought out, espically in High School Musical, Zac Efron's hair….so beautiful how it bathed in the light.

    • Leslie – the sarcasm in your comment deems it worthy to remain even when you list is so wrong, other than the Lion King. Mufasa dying gets me every time.

    • Leslie, You forgot “Clerks” as well. Sorry, but I am laughing my head off right now with that sarcastic bit of humor. Here’s to you, my friend !!!!

  84. Great call on Grave of the Fireflies. That's an amazing, powerful movie. Watched it once and I doubt I'll ever be able to watch it again.

  85. better watch "grave of the fireflies"… it made me cry for about 3/4 of whole the film..

  86. Uh, short circuit!!! where johnny five is getting f'ed up. Brings a tear to my eye every time.

  87. i agree on the notebook, city of angels … the others may just be a matter of preference IMHO

    but I have to suggest (although i'm youngish, i cried so much watching) "Somewhere in Time"

    • Somewhere in Time!
      Oh my God, I couldn’t see through the tears and got a proper sore throat.
      Reeve’s face at the end.
      I also wept buckets at the end of “Dead Ringers” 🙁

  88. its a lot sad a$$ movies…schindler's list,roots, the color purple…oh also bridge to terabithia, that movie was sad…i thought it was a fantasy kids movie, it was but it took a sad turn…took my daughter to see it she started crying and me water…lol

  89. Topher,

    I have to agree with you on your choices, especially "Where the Red Fern Grows". I read this book first and cried and then watched the movie and cried. It's very touching. I also absolutely love "What Dreams May Come" oh my gosh, that was a good movie. Robin Williams was awesome in that movie. I also like "The Shawshank Redemption". "A Walk to Remember" and "City of angels" gets me every time too. Wow, I want to cry just thinking about it. There are too many movies to count that I've watched and cried after watching. Too many sad stories or love stories out there that will make me cry.

  90. I agree on Field of Dreams (and for exactly the same reason), and The Green Mile.

    "Running on Empty" gets me every time. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at its conclusion had every female in the theatre weeping (and a few of the guys), and I still haven't been able to see it without tears.

    • Why would that be?

      When ever my wife thinks of a weepie moment in the whole franchise it's when Harry looks in that mirror and sees his deceaced parents for the first time.


    This film is worse the second time round, had me shouting at Danny not to go! :'(

  92. A WALK TO REMEMBER – I think its the best love story/romance movie. ultimate tearjerker.

    Here On Earth

    What Dreams May Come

    The Notebook

    Big Fish – the ending gets me every time

    Mr. Hollands Opus


    Sweet November

  93. In no particular order…

    1. The Notebook

    2. Mr. Holland's Opus

    3. Titanic

    4. P.S. I Love You

    5. Breakfast at Tiffany's (CAT!!!!)

    6. Shawshank Redemption

    7. Fox And The Hound

    8. What Dreams May Come

    9. Million Dollar Baby

    10. Remember the Titans/

  94. Kessie, you're the best for saying Man on Fire. You can fast forward to the very end of that movie, and I'd still cry.

    I don't think it was mentioned, but I Am Sam is another sad one. Also, A Walk to Remember was incredibly moving/ seriously brings out the waterworks.

    *** P.S. I Love You *** So touching, it had me fighting back tears so many times. Definitely a movie to watch alone if you like crying during movies but don't want others to see.

  95. Lots of good movies here! I'd like to add "Fireproof" because I'm divorced and the end brought up a lot of pent up sadness that I must be repressing! Since there are some goofy ones on the list, I'll add the one Geico caveman commercial when he's on the airport walkway and passes the billboard – the music and his sadness at being an object of ridicule strike some chord in my psyche and it gets me 9 out of 10 times. Weird.

    • I searched through the entire list looking for someone to mention Roberto Benini's 'Life is Beautiful'.

      #1 on my list. Definitely a must see.

  96. And am I the only person to have ever cried at the end of Rosemary's Baby? What is more tragic than finding out that you've been lugging around Satan's baby. Also, no mention for Edward Scissorhands?

    • Edward Scissorhands gets me every time!

      Some more of my favorites are:
      Moulin Rouge – I have a big cry there at the end.
      The Fox and the Hound – If you’ve seen it, you know EXACTLY what scene I’m talking about. I could fill a bathtub with all my tears from that scene.
      Marley & Me – I have three dogs and two cats, so pet movies absolutely kill me. My family made the mistake of seeing this in theaters on Christmas Day and we were all bawling in the front row.
      Where the Red Fern Grows – I still cry every time I read the book and even though I’ve only seen the movie a couple times, I cry hard at the movie, too.
      My Girl – Devastating!
      A Walk to Remember – Very, very sad to see someone so young pass on, but the movie is uplifting, too.
      Pay It Forward – This one gets me going, too. I read the book on this too and it was also very sad.
      Charlotte’s Web – I can’t help but cry when Charlotte dies.

      Most of the romance movies don’t get me crying, but every now and then I’ll shed a tear. But seeing an animal die just kills me!

  97. blood diamond, saving private ryan, forrest gump (but i miss u Jennaiy), rudy shawshank redemption, jerry maguire

  98. Movies that try too hard like City of Angels or Pay It Forward just make me mad. Don't people feel like their being manipulated when they watch that dreck?

    Hotel Rwanda was devastating. I agree with Aron on A League of Their Own. There is a French movie called Ponette that cried me dry. Does anyone remember Savannah Smiles from about 1982? It's a little goofy in spots, but overall it holds up well over time.

  99. I think it’s socially acceptable for guys to cry at movies, just not at manufactured crap like Titanic or Beaches. Here’s a good list to start:

    1. Best Years of Our Lives (1946)-Uncompromising for its time; a brilliant look at soldiers trying to adjust after coming home. Considering the current state of the world, it will probably always be timeless.

    2. Finding Neverland (2004)-The very reason to go to a movie theater: to become lost. I doubt the historical accuracy, but nobody could possibly resist the final performance of the play done for Kate Winslet (hey she CAN make good films)

    3. The Waterdance (1993)-Coping with paraplegia without the movie-of-the-week sentiment. You don’t feel sorry for anyone. You feel uplifted.

    4. and 5. Awakenings(1990), A League of their Own (1992)-Director Penny Marshall had a gift for the touching, non-manipulative moments. The ‘awakening’ scene from the former, and the Hall of Fame scene from the latter, are two of the best examples I’ve ever seen.

    6. Toy Story 2 (1999)-OK, we all have our dumb, weak moments. For me it’s the scene from this movie with the Sara Maclachlan song[Monster’s Inc. has some similar moments, too].

    7. The Wrong Man (1956)-What starts off as a typical Hitchcock film of an innocent man arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, soon turns into a heart-wrenching drama, as the man’s devastated wife is unable to handle the changes in her life, and suffers a breakdown. Emotionally draining to watch for anyone who has dealt with mental illness.

    8. The Deer Hunter (1978)-A movie that’s really hard to view more than once. The scenes in Vietnam are downright harrowing.

    9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)-My personal favorite movie made after 1960; the final frame gets me every time.

    10. Night Moves (1975)-Underappreciated Gene Hackman detective classic. Not a tear jerker, per say, but extremely depressing. Good film to watch if you feel you’ve hit rock bottom; every character in this movie is probably worse off than you.

    • Finally – someone mentioned Awakenings! I can't watch that movie without sobbing like a baby when they're dancing in the cafeteria.

  100. To me, I think that The Sixth Sense was a sad movie. For a guy like me, i cried like hell watching that show. The sad ending where he finally told his mom about his scary ability to see the dead put me into tears!!! Haley Joel Osment was simply amazing in that show.

    Also not forgetting Forrest Gump, Titanic, The Green Mile and Kramer Vs. Kramer.

  101. All time classic on

    I haven't seen all of the movies here, but 'Pay it forward' makes me cry every time. I agree with Green Mile and if you're going to mention Bambi, then what about 'Dumbo'? the scene with his mother's trunk through the bars is unbearably sad. A movie worth seeing for the inspiration and tear jerkeredness is 'The bucket list'.

    • I agree with you on this one! If you don't like to cry with movies, you'll end up crying on this one, no matter with who you are watching it with. The sadness is unbearable!

    • Briene Merrill on

      Come on. Those who commented on this site probably hadn't watched grave of the fireflies yet. ABSOLUTELY!

    • I havent cried in 14 years but after watching the grave of the fireflies i cried.. my God i wud recommend it for those ppl who think they can never cry and without any doubt this is the most saddest movie ever made. it shud b on the top of the list.

      • Grave of the fireflies is SO touching I don’t understand how that movie CANT be on your list

  102. I completely agree on most of the comments regarding the notebook..that should've been number one, but no one mentioned steel magnolias??

    • I agree. I love Steel magnolias, but there are scenes in that movie that make me cry like no other movie. Also, I cannot watch Schindler's List without crying. Just knowing these things really happened really gets to me.

      • Also, the first ten minutes of Up are the saddest of any movie. I am so glad I watched it at home, because I would have felt wierd crying in the theater with a bunch of children around me.

        • suckerfordepression on

          i totally agree with jpatte02…………the first 15 mins of UP were indeed emotional……..never expected an animated movie to be so touching………great choise there jpatte02.!!!!!

        • UP!!!! so depressing, notebook is good, pursuit of happiness gets me, pearl harbor, ladder 49 (idk it got to me), blood diamond, A Walk To Remember, at the end of Frequency, and there r so many more i cant think of right now

  103. Bambi, I have to agree with you about the Green Mile. I cry like a child every time I see it. I thought Beaches was awful. I sat watching with some friends, who were weeping uncontrollably at the end of the film. I just thought they'd gone mad. I could think of 100 movies sadder than that.

  104. Ummm… you guys missed out on The Power of One, Shawshank Redemption and Road to Perdition. All very moving films.

  105. i cried at We Were Soldiers when all the wives got the letters of the deceased soldiers.. it was very depressing.

  106. I'm female, but I don't generally cry over movies. When I do, it's usually not over the movies that other people cry over. Romances do nothing for me, no matter how sad.

    Off the top of my head, three movies that I've cried over:

    1. Where the Red Fern Grows (when I was about 8 years old)

    2. Man on Fire (weird, I know, but the end made me cry)

    3. Hotel Rwanda (I cried at least halfway through it)

  107. 1.Armageddon should be included. It's sad when a dad do that kind of sacrifice.

    Bambi is a tear-jerker too, but i will also cry in a movie like brother bear. Maybe i'm like that

  108. The Green Mile should be on the list. I could only watch it once because I cried so hard. Some others Untamed Heart, Stepmom, and Here on Earth.

  109. I haven't seen some of these, but the ones I have, I only agree on Beaches. My favorite tear jerkers would be, in no particular order,

    Grave of fireflies, what dreams may come, svaing private ryan, atonement.

  110. I just finished watching "Titanic" on TNT. OK. That's a good one. 5 out of 5 on the Kleenex scale. "Old Yeller" is another tearjerker. "Rabbit Proof Fence" made me cry when I saw it a few years ago. What's Number One on my list? "Imitation of Life" with Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, John Gavin, Susan Kohner, and Juanita Moore. Mahalia Jackson singing at the funeral will just tear you apart.

    • Madam X another Lana Turner incredibly sad and very old…wonder if anyone ever saw Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins…really really sad (a mom dies, a little boy cries).

  111. I would say:

    1. The Notebook

    2. City of Angels

    3. Selena

    4. I agree with Titanic

    5. Meet Joe Black

    6. The Green Mile

    7. Stepmom

    8. My girl

    9. Bambi

    10. Forest Gump

    • Raindrop279

      Your list is more right on. Especially your #2. I actually refuse to watch "City of Angels" as I cried for at least 30 minutes AFTER the end of the movie. And I don't mean just tears streaming, but sobbing and unable to catch my breath crying. It was awful.

      Another I would add to the list is "Pay it Forward." I had nearly the same reaction to that one as "City of Angels."

      • I won't watch City of Angels either! I also cried after the movie ended. When I lived with my brother I wasn't working so I had lots of time on my hands and I watched every single one of his and his wife's DVDs except for City of Angels and when I moved out it was still in the plastic wrapper! I think my sister in law felt the same!

        I cried my eyes out while watching 8 Below, Homeward bound and Benji. Animal movies get me all the time. I also cried during the Patriot when Benjamin Martin's youngest girl cried out "Papa!" Gets me every time!!

        Movies involving children and animals in sad circumstances make me cry and I sobbed for a long time after AI ended.

  112. For some tear-jerkers that make you think outside the box, check out "Barefoot Aphrodite–A Women's Guide to Sensual Film." Whilel most women don't find truly sad films sensual, there are definitely some that leave you sad but glad which can be a very sensual combination. I would add these to the list for tear-jerkers:

    Harold and Maude

    Water (watch out any Moms of girls–this made me cry and cry as a mom of a 5-year-old daughter)

    Il Postino

    The Lover

    Betty Blue

  113. Philidelphia?

    across the universe made me cry, but because i was happy that the end of the movie turned out good.

    I agree with topher about my girl…one of the best movies ever!

  114. PhineusQButterfat on

    As a guy, I don't cry over movies. Maybe it's a learned response to hold it back. The only one that will give me a lump in my throat and a little dust in my eye is Field of Dreams.

  115. This is a good list! My wife's favorite movies are tearjerkers & I've been known to well up or cry at some too.

    I have to totally disagree with Titanic though, far too cheesy for my tastes. And your choices don't match mine, but of course we all have different tastes.

    My top ten tearjerker list would be:

    1. The Notebook – An enduring love that withstands both war and disease. I don't want to say anything else in case you haven't seen this movie except to say this is the rare movie that appeals to both males & females. Easily #1 on my list.

    2. My Girl – The story of Vada and Thomas J., inseparable friends.

    3. Field of Dreams – All because of one line, "Hey dad… you want to have a catch?"

    4. Brian's Song – One of THE best sports films AND tearjerkers all rolled into one!

    5. Rudy – RUDY… RUDY… RUDY! (overcoming overwhelming odds)

    6. Where the Red Fern Grows – See Old Yeller. And I agree with TopTenzMaster, if you don't cry at this movie or Old Yeller, your heart is made of stone. Old Yeller's a classic, but personally I like this better.

    7. Life as a House – A father, a son, and a terminal illness. Yes Hayden Christensen sucked in the Star Wars prequels, but this film proves he can be a great actor.

    8. The Cider House Rules – Racism, romance, saying goodbye & Spider-man *cough* I mean Tobey Maguire.

    9. Jerry Maguire – "You had me at hello".

    10. Lord of the Rings Trilogy – A. Sam nearly drowning trying to chase after Frodo, not wanting him to go alone. A sign of true friendship. B. Frodo saying he will take the ring from Rivendell to Mordor and face certain death when nobody else would, and the look on Gandalf's face. C. Sam carrying Frodo up Mount Doom when both were absolutely exhausted. D. Everyone, including the king, bowing down to the hobbits at the end.

    Honorable Mention: What Dreams May Come – Love, loss, life and the afterlife of Chris Nielson. Robin Williams seems to be one of those actors you love or love to hate. Regardless of which side you stand on, he's remarkable in this film.

    • Titanic is the best and one of the saddest movies of all time so how can you say it cheesy.You obviously have bad taste if you like the notebook, now dat movie is CRAP

        • lol Kendall, Jenia is right on the movie. You are the one that seems stupid. Titanic is sad in more ways than one especially when you stop and think about the fact that people really did die and this movie portrays that very graphically.

        • Ok, Titanic gets me everytime. That is one of my all time favorites, but i must admit half of my tears are because Leonardo Da Vinci dies. On the other hand the Notebook is just as good in my opiniion and i also always cry at the end of it, so lets just except that everyone has there own opinion and get over it already.

  116. Zombine – You didn't cry at Old Yeller? or It's a Wonderful Life? I will have to ask if you accompanied a lion, a scarecrow and a girl named Dorothy to the Emerald city?

    What movies did make you cry?

  117. I usually cry at sad movies, but I didn't cry at any of these movies; so I'm going to have to personally disagree with you on all 10.

    • agree with most of list but does anyone remember teen flick from late seventies or early eighties about a kid that was a champion swimmer in high school that became sick with leukemia or some other terrible illness and there was a scene where he swam in a race and all others had finished but he was struggling and everyone cheered him on?

    • a love story or real facts of a sad story will make me cry? no.a matter of faith yes.
      i double dare you on this 2 movies after watching all the movies that you have mentioned.
      -ben hurr
      -the robe

      • I totally agree with the responder who cited Lana Turner in MADAME X as one of the saddest movies of all time. I am old man of 75, and I’ve watched the movies dozens of times, and I always end up with tears running down my cheeks. As my wife once said, “If you watch this movie and you don’t cry, there’s something wrong with you.” At first reading that may sound humorous, but the remark is true. Anyone with a heart will surely be deeply touched by this movie and the extraordinary acting by Lana. Just wonderful!

    • Madame X, Lana Turner, 1966, about the saddest movie of all time. And Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins, a mom dies, a little boy cries, need I say more? And another sixties film that I sobbed in was Shenandoah with James Stewart.
      Love your list, agree with your list, especially Old Yeller, Beaches, Terms of Endearment, ET…