The Most Emotional Movies Ever Made

Are you emotionally prepared?

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Who doesn’t feel better after a good movie sob-fest? Sometimes, you just need to let it all out while watching someone be crushed by life, love, tragedy, or all of the above. Because we know that you'll need one every now and then, we've rounded up the best tearjerkers of modern cinema, from animations to rom-coms to foreign films. So sit back, relax, and settle in for a serious emotional whirlwind. (Don't forget the Kleenex.)

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'My Girl'

Release date: November 27, 1991

This 1991 coming-of-age classic is probably the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word "tearjerker." I mean, if you didn’t shed a tear when Vada cries over Thomas J’s coffin, you might not have a heart. He just needed his glasses, guys (if you know, you know).

'Life is Beautiful'

Release date: October 23, 1998

This story’s angle is a bit atypical: it revolves around a comical Jewish-Italian waiter who treats the concentration camp experience as if it’s all just a fun game in order to shelter his son from the horrors around him. I’ve probably watched the movie about 20 times now, and I still haven’t found out how to get through the end scene without sobbing. If you figure it out, please LMK.

'Marley and Me'

Release date: December 25, 2008

This movie really hits a soft spot, especially for dog lovers. To be fair, we all knew what was coming. But it should be illegal to bring someone along on a golden retriever’s life journey only to kill them off.

'Lion'

Release date: November 26, 2016

In this adaptation of a true story, helmed by the incredible Dev Patel, we follow a young boy in India who gets lost hundreds of miles from his family, is adopted out to a wealthy family in Australia, and decides when he's an adult to try to find his birth family using Google Maps. As if the ending wasn't sad enough, it then cuts to the true story ending, which...I can't even talk about it.

'The Boy in The Striped Pajamas'

Release date: November 7, 2008

A tasteful perspective of the Holocaust from the eyes of a child, this story is a testament to the power of friendship and the innocence of childhood. The impish personality of the main character (you'll fall in love with him in the first ten minutes) makes him the perfect voice to narrate the story.

'Pay It Forward'

Release date: October 20, 2000

Think that this is a sweet movie about a kid who tries to change the world using a "pay it forward" method? Well, yes, it's about that, but also so much more. Brace yourself.

'One Day'

Release date: August 8, 2011

A romantic tragedy with a ton of heart, One Day tells the typically overdone story of a classic playboy and a nerdy girl in a surprisingly fresh way. After nearly two decades of flip-flopping feelings, the evolution of Em and Dex from cheeky friendship to full-fledged lovers is a complete emotional whirlwind. Fair warning: The ending will gut you.

'Time Traveler's Wife'

Release date: August 14, 2009

This movie is probably one of Rachel McAdam’s greatest feats (don’t @ me, Mean Girls stans). The gist: A man who is cursed with uncontrollable time travel speaks to his future wife as a child before he even meets her in real life. But it’s not just a wacky, metaphysical sci-fi plot–the tortured relationship between the two lovers as a result of his “condition” is hopelessly romantic.

''Up

Release date: May 29, 2009

Don’t dismiss this animation as just another children’s movie. Aside from being the only film to execute a flawless and heartbreaking love story in two minutes flat, the underlying message of life’s adventures and overcoming loss is absolutely worth watching.

'Perks of Being a Wallflower'

Release date: May 29, 2009

This YA book adaptation shows the awkwardness of high school in all its cringey glory and has more layers than you'd expect. You'll be rooting for the socially inept Charlie from beginning to end.

'Christopher Robin'

Release date: August 3, 2019

Who knew we could get so emotionally invested in a group of talking animals? This movie hits you in the childhood feels. It tackles serious themes like loss of innocence and distant family relationships, and although it does stray a bit from the original storybook, it’s a sin easily forgivable in light of the many, many heartstrings it tugs.

'Avengers: Infinity War'

Release date: April 26, 2019

Without giving anything away, this movie was an emotional roller coaster. Granted, I’m not the biggest Marvel fan in the world (or action movies overall at that), but I was still holding my breath for the duration of this one–which is saying a lot, considering that the movie is almost three hours long.

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