Top 10 Saddest Movies of All Time | Movies That Will Make You Cry

Sometimes all you need is to have a good cry session to make things better. Good thing, the film industry isn’t short of just the kind of movies that could make even the strongest ones of us cry like a baby.

So if you’re looking for the perfect film to bawl your eyes to, here’s a list of the top 10 saddest movies of all time. Better get your tissues out before choosing which one to watch alone tonight.

Top 10 Saddest Movies of All Time

10The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

saddest movies of all time The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith and Jaden Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) tells the true story of Chris Gardener, played excellently Will Smith, a bright but poor salesman struggling to make ends meet as he pursues a job in the stock market.

The film is both a sad and inspiring story about hard work and success as it portrays the many obstacles Gardener faced to be able to take his family out of poverty. This is the perfect film to watch when you’re at your lowest and need something that will motivate you to get back up and move forward in life.

9The Notebook (2004)

saddest movies The Notebook (2004)
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook (2004)

You already saw this coming, didn’t you?

Well, what can we say this romantic drama starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams just did it for us. While Nicholas Sparks is no Shakespeare, he sure knows how to write an amazing love story nonetheless and we’re here for it.

The Notebook (2004) tells the story of a young love foiled and rekindled in 1940s America. Its narrative switches from present to the past revealing how true love can transcend anything, be it a scheming mother or Alzheimer’s.

8The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

saddest movies ever The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Adapted from John Green’s bestselling young adult novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars (2014) tells the story of two chronically-ill teenagers meeting and, of course, eventually falling in love with each other.

But as you may have already guessed based on its premise, they won’t get to have the regular happy ending we see in most teen romantic movies.

If you haven’t watched this one yet, be warned of an unexpected plot twist towards the end. Teen or not, this film would surely make you bawl your eyes out. The Fault in Our Stars is one of the saddest movies ever that make you cry.

7Titanic (1997)

saddest movies Titanic (1997)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

James Cameron wowed the world when he released his ambitious film Titanic in 1997.

The award-winning and record-breaking film tell a fictionalized story of the days leading to the historic sinking of the Titanic in the early 1900s. Its plot centers on the love story between a poor boy Jack and an aristocratic lady Rose whom he convinces not to jump off the ship the night they met.

The film does a great job at getting us attached to its many endearing characters before hitting us with the inevitable tragic end we were shocked to see although we knew it was coming.

6Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

saddest movies Hachi: A Dog's Tale
Sarah Roemer in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

What makes Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) particularly heart-wrenching is that it is based on a true story.

It tells us the story of an abandoned dog, Hachi, who finds a home with a professor. The dog, developing great loyalty to its owner would go wait at a train station for his master to come home every afternoon even after his death.

This is the perfect movie to watch for all dog lovers out there looking for a good movie to ugly cry too. It’s best to watch with your own pupper by your side.

5The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

saddest movies The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
Asa Butterfield in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

While most films that deal with the topic of the Holocaust are sad by just that fact, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) is on another level.

The film portrays the horror of the Nazi extermination camps through the innocent eyes of two eight-year-old boys from the two opposing sides: one a son of a Nazi commandant and the other a Jewish inmate.

The film is a compelling look at the stark contrast between the lives of the two boys at one of the darkest parts of modern history.

4Brokeback Mountain (2005)

saddest movies Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger star together in Brokeback Mountain (2005) as a pair of star-crossed lovers at a time when homosexuality isn’t as accepted as it is today. Finding that they can never be together, they live their lives according to the dictates of the time and marry other people.

The film is most notable for its complex portrayal of the subject matter at hand and the amazing performances from its lead actors Gyllenhaal and Ledger. Brokeback Mountain was both a critical and commercial success at the time of its release winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

3Schindler List (1993)

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Schindler’s List (1993)

Of course, no saddest movie list would be complete without a mention of Schindler’s List (1993).

An adaptation of the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, the film chronicles the life of the real Oskar Schindler, a man who defied the Nazi regime by saving thousands of Jews from death during the Holocaust.

Considered one of the greatest films of all time, it won seven Oscar awards including best picture, best director, best original score and best adapted screenplay.

2The Elephant Man (1980)

saddest movies The Elephant Man (1980)
John Hurt in The Elephant Man (1980)

Based on a true story, The Elephant Man (1980) tells the story of the titular Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick, a man with a severe deformity which resulted to him living his life in ridicule as a circus attraction.

The film is praised by critics for its ‘powerful depiction of Merrick (played by John Hurt)’ which ‘moves a viewer from revulsion and fear to empathy and tenderness’ thanks to David Lynch’s skillful direction.

1Sophie’s Choice (1982)

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Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice (1982)

In Sophie’s Choice, we see Meryl Streep, who won the Oscar award for Best Actress for her role in the film, as the titular Sophie a Holocaust survivor who had to make perhaps the hardest decision that a mother ever has to make. Her harrowing past is unraveled in parallel to her present living situation in late 1940s New York as she talks with a young writer Stingo, played by Peter MacNicol. Sophie’s Choice is one of the best saddest movies of all time.

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