32 Devastating Films That Urge You To Pause To Wipe Away Tears

Most of the time, we watch films for two reasons: to laugh and to be scared. Many kinds of movies including action, comedy, horror, mystery, and suspense all fall under these two cinematic emotions.
But every so often, a movie comes along that doesn't care to convey either of those feelings. Instead, it simply tries to ensnare your soul and evoke emotions such as tears, grief, sympathy, and heartbreak that are less typical of the cinematic experience.
Here are some of the most emotionally devastating films, all of which are dramatic, heavy, and heartbreaking—right up until the very end. If you want to watch a movie that will make you feel something deeply, these emotionally devastating films are for you. And, if you're prone to quietly (or loudly) sobbing during an emotional film, here's a word of caution: stock up on tissues before watching the films mentioned in this article.

#1 All the Bright Places

Source: Netflix

"It DESTROYED me, I still wince when I see the title."—ldogalicious

#2 Bridge to Terabitha

Source: Summit Entertainment

"This film broke my heart."—dalmalki1

#3 City of Angels

Source: Warner Bros.

"Maybe nobody else remembers. Just about anything sad makes me cry, but that movie tops them all."—wantoblieve

#4 Finding Neverland

Source: Miramax Films

"It is consistently the worst I cry at any movie though. Child Freddie Highmore breaking down and crying at the end just wrecks me."—anonymous093

#5 Grave of the Fireflies

Source: Toho

"Studio Ghibli drew me in with their beautiful movies, only to rip out my heart when I watched this one."–bendzialdowski

#6 Interstellar

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

"When he watches his kids' messages."—mariep452f709e5

#7 Irreplaceable You

Source: Netflix

"It's absolutely tragic. The intro even tells you how it ends, but it still gets you. My sister and I don't often cry at movies but this one made us both uncontrollably sob for at least 10 minutes after it was over."—delaneypeterson9601

#8 Judy

Source: 20th Century Fox

"I had read Judy Garland's biography so I knew it was going to be a sad movie, but the end killed me. When she was too pilled up to remember the words to a song and the audience helped her by singing along, I was sobbing my face off."—dellarock

#9 Marley & Me

Source: 20th Century Fox

"It RIPPED my heart out! We couldn’t even finish the movie! We were all bawling when we found out he was sick. My mom, my dad, my brother, all of us. It was HORRIBLE!!"—lalalace1640

#10 Message in a Bottle

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

"It made me cry so much, I had a headache. I wept and screamed over how unfair it was."—honeyspice4ever
"That last scene after the storm and Theresa goes back to his house and reads that letter. I was totally in puddles."—teresenelson

#11 Remember Me

Source: Summit Entertainment

"I'm not a crier but that movie destroyed my soul."—taylormae927

#12 Return To Me

Source: United International Pictures

"I was sobbing within the first 15 minutes. Just thinking about makes me tear up. It's a terrific movie."—missrayne

#13 Schindler's List

Source: Universal Pictures

"Oskar Schindler was lamenting over how he could have saved more Jews, Issak Stern and the other workers hugging him, assuring him he did his best. Then the final scene... The real-life survivors placing stones on Schindler's grave, including his widow. I couldn't stop crying."—honeyspice4ever

#14 Seeking a Friend For the End of the World

Source: Focus Features

"This movie fucking gutted me. It still haunts me years after watching it."—j45b2f6094

#15 Somersby

Source: Warner Bros.

"It's the saddest movie I've watched. My teenage son sobbed at the end. Very poignant."—kaykayesmith

#16 Steel Magnolias

Source: TriStar Pictures

"When they're all at Shelby's funeral and Lynn loses it is such a powerful moment and always makes me cry."—ssmith7

#17 Still Life

Source: Redwave Films / Embargo Films

"I started full-on wheezing and sobbing crying and didn't stop until after the credits. I still can't talk about it without starting to tear up."—inthewintermoonlight

#18 Terms of Endearment

Source: Paramount Pictures

"One of my high school English teachers thought it would be a good idea to show us this movie in class. It’s a good thing it was my last class of the day because I was losing it."—francesjoys
"I will never watch it again."—eldirito

#19 The Art of Racing in the Rain

Source: 20th Century Fox

"I don't think I've ever cried so hard during the movie. Sobbed for half an hour after it finished."—s4c5713a63

#20 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

"It’s such a great movie but so, so sad."—jakyboo1

#21 The Champ

Source: United Artists

"Bawled my eyes out on my first date."—kiddo9950

#22 The Cure

Source: Universal Pictures

"It breaks me every time I watch it. I was full-on ugly crying in the theatre the first time I saw it, and left with big wet patches on my shirt. Nobody seems to remember it, but it's an excellent film. Just need a full box of Kleenex to get through it."—michelles42ac595b5

#23 The Fault in Our Stars

Source: 20th Century Fox

"Once upon a time my husband and I went to Mexico and one evening we decided to go to the movies to watch it. I’d already read the book (in a single day) and I woke my husband up sobbing so hard at the end. I thought I was prepared. I was not. I completely lost my shit. I was a fucking wreck."—francesjoys

#24 The Good Dinosaur

Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

"WTF was the start of this film? I know Disney always does something like that, but loooord was that a gut punch."–casualgem30

#25 The Green Mile

Source: Universal Pictures

"I cry every time I watch it."—suzettedunlap2804

#26 The Joy Luck Club

Source: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

"It had me crying from the voiceover introduction, till well after the movie was over. Mother-daughter relationships are complicated."—mrskreed

#27 The Kite Runner

Source: DreamWorks Pictures

"I had read the book and watched the movie in theatres. As soon as the beginning credits started, I remembered what happened and started crying. Sobbed throughout the movie. Tearing up now thinking about it."—atlas123

#28 The Passion of the Christ

Source: Icon Productions

"I cried through a lot of it and for hours afterwards. It's an experience, not a movie. One that should only be watched if you feel you should. Watch it out of curiosity and you only see the negative."—rebekahj6

#29 The Patriot

Source: Columbia Pictures

"If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s set during the American Revolution so there’s some heavy content like in all war movies. But there are at LEAST three moments in the movie that make me cry every time, without fail."—2dabdeb

#30 The Pursuit of Happyness

Source: Sony Pictures Releasing

"Honestly, when he cries, I cry right along with him."–casualgem30

#31 What Dreams May Come

Source: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

"It's the movie that sucker punches me every time I see it! It's such a beautiful movie, but so incredibly tragic at the same time. I literally cried so hard I couldn't breathe the first time I saw it. I actually had to pause it because I couldn't even hear the movie over my own sobbing. One of Robin Williams' best performances of his career."—faulknerdeanna

#32 Where the Crawdads Sing

Source: Sony Pictures Releasing

"The end was freaking sad."—m_ropiak
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