Sometimes we all just need a good cry. When I do, I turn to my favorite tearjerkers.
This is my list and review of some of the best tearjerker movies of all time and where to view them. They probably aren’t what you’d call typical tearjerkers. They fall under different genres from action/adventure to horror, but they are all guaranteed to touch your heart and get you to shed some tears when you need to. I’m starting with my most favorites, but eventually hope to make this list grow.
I challenge you to watch any of these and not cry. (Unless you’re a guy who just never cries at movies, because hiding your feelings is not really the point of this post.)
If you’re looking for a good ugly cry, get ready to let loose some emotion and take a look at some of the truly the best tearjerker movies of our time.
MY LIST OF TEARJERKER MOVIES
1988, a Garry Marshall film
Starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey
Where to Watch: Unfortunately it’s not available for free on any of the popular subscriptions that I can find, but it’s pretty cheap to rent or buy.
The first on this list for me always has to be the iconic tearjerker classic, Beaches. This is the kind of movie you’d expect to be on this list. A true chick flick that brings out the worst ugly-cries in all of us.
Don’t be scared by the fact that this is an 80’s flick. This is a bestfriend slash mother/daughter story that is truly epic and any girl who has ever had a friend or been in a relationship can relate to it. If you’re a fan of Bette Midler’s music you’ve probably already seen it, but if you haven’t it’s worth it for that alone.
The tearjerker aspect is all throughout this movie but hits heavy at the end, I won’t spoil it for you. I personally love it because it really shows the ins and outs of a true friendship and how the bonds of friendship persist through all sorts of personal disasters. These are the types of friendships that carry us through life and make life meaningful.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
2014, a Josh Boone film based on the book by John Green
Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort
Where to Watch: This is another one that can only be rented or bought, I couldn’t find it on any streaming subscriptions. My preference is Amazon, but it is also on YouTube and iTunes.
As someone who deals with both physical and mental pain on a daily basis and somehow has to keep going, I relate to this film and the characters in it. It’s the kind of movie you watch because you know it’s going to be sad, but somehow uplifting. And it is, but so not in the way you might expect.
This story is far from predictable, which is kind of remarkable for a “teen drama.” As such, it’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me, like old Justin Bieber songs. I don’t think I can watch it without breaking down and yet somehow it makes me whole again at the end.
2013, a Stephen Sommers film based on the book by Dean R Koontz
Starring Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin and Willem Dafoe
Where to Watch: This one is available on Netflix, and if you don’t have Netflix you can still rent or buy from Amazon.
This movie might not immediately come to mind for most as a tearjerker, but it never fails to have me bawling by the end. It truly caught me completely off-guard as I went into it thinking it was just a typical murder mysterl movie.
It is categorized under comedy, horror/thriller, and action. This is not a super gross or scary horror (although not really for kids), but it does have weird evil creatures, chase scenes, and some violence. This is got a great mystery drama angle if you like Investigation Discovery Network type psychos and criminals.
On the other end of the spectrum this is a great love story and, in the end, a great tear jerker. These days I start crying thinking of the tragedy that befell Anton Yelchin and the fact that he’ll never bless us with another movie again. As much as I liked him as the adorable Scottie in the new Star Trek movies, I love him in this movie.
2017, a Netflix original movie directed by Bong Joon Ho
Starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and An Seo Hyun
Where to Watch: Netflix is the only place you can see this movie, but here’s the trailer.
This is a weird one for the tearjerker category and may not apply unless you’re a bleeding heart animal activist like me. If you’re vegan for more than health reasons, or truly love animals and don’t like to see them in pain, this will probably break your heart as it did mine. I broke down in the most ridiculous mess of garbage tears after watching this movie. I haven’t eaten pig or cow since….without thinking of it.
The movie is mostly action-adventure and gives an interesting and somewhat honest insight into the farming industry and how animals are treated. It hints at the idea that animals could have a sense of identity and sentience similar to humans, but we simply take advantage of their underdeveloped abilities and put them through awful conditions to farm them for food. This movie connects you closely with characters that are meant to be food and in the end….well, you’ll have to find out.
1983, a Martin Rosen cartoon film based on the novel by Richard Adams
Starring John Hurt, Christopher Benjamin and James Bolam
Where to Watch: This used to be on Amazon Prime, but recently is showing it doesn’t have permissions to be able to be viewed there. I was able to rent it from the library, and I’m sure it’s available for purchase at least.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this movie is a cartoon about animals. My mom was and she had me bawling for days straight when I was 12 years old. This movie is about dogs who get lost from their homes, then captured and tortured in a lab by the government. The dogs escape and the government goes on a spree to catch them while raising alarm by lying and telling everyone they have the plague. This is harrowing and nightmarish and eventually hearbreaking. Another one for the animal lovers, even the meat-eating dog lovers will appreciate this one.
What are your favorites?
I hope my list has been able to inspire a night of beautiful release, crying on the couch, cuddled up with your cat. I’d love to hear about some of your go-to tearjerker movies. Please fill up the comments with your ideas.