Top 10 Saddest Movies of All Time

These are the films that don't just flicker on a screen. They nestle deep in your soul, making you laugh, cry, and think long after you've left the theater.

Whether it's an epic drama like "Schindler's List" that takes you through the depths of human suffering, or a tear-jerking romance like "The Notebook" that leaves you reminiscing about love lost, the most emotionally-charged movies aren't just films - they're experiences. They take you on a journey through the highs and lows of life, showing that the most compelling tales often come from the most heartbreaking realities.
The Top Ten
1 Schindler's List

Certainly, a very moving and powerful film, beautifully realized and immensely crafted, is a true masterpiece. Among many amazing scenes, one always makes me cry. It is set close to the end of the film, where Oscar Schindler has to flee and is given a gold ring made from the tooth of one of the Jewish workers he has saved.

He breaks down, realizing that he could have saved more people. He looks at his car: Ten people, I could have saved ten more people. He looks at his gold Nazi pin: I could have saved two people. This is gold, two people, definitely one. There is a moment when he has a look of utter loss and despair on his face, and this is some of the finest acting I have seen, let alone in this film itself. How Liam Neeson did not win the Oscar for his performance beggars belief.

2 Titanic

I don't care about "girls cried during Titanic" jokes because this is a genuinely devastating film. And no, Rose and Jack aren't the only things I cried about.

In fact, the saddest moments for me didn't even involve them.

I really love this movie so much and I even have the DVD. I really love the music. It may be sad, but it is a love story between Jack and Rose.

This movie was amazing. The plot alone, not even including the detailed sets and historical accuracy, was heart-wrenching and beautiful. It showed how two people went against all odds to find each other, despite their class differences, and found a way to love each other even when it was forbidden.

They went through so much together in such a short time, and just when you think Jack and Rose have survived all their obstacles, you're proven wrong. He dies. Especially when they started playing that song in the end, My Heart Will Go On, and how Rose ended up doing exactly what Jack had made her promise: to live her life peacefully and reach her hundreds. My God, what a beautiful tragedy.

3 The Green Mile

This movie is one of Tom Hanks' greatest films and is Michael Clarke Duncan's best performance ever. The story is amazing, though I wouldn't have expected any less from Stephen King, and the acting is phenomenal.

Doug Hutchison's portrayal of Percy Wetmore perfectly represents the character in the book and is also the ideal example of how to play a character that the viewer, once introduced, wants to punch in the face after every word he speaks. Tom Hanks' portrayal of Paul Edgecomb is flawless, and Michael Clarke Duncan's portrayal of John Coffey is a work of art, the best of his career. 10/10 movie.

4 Forrest Gump

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You'll never know what you're gonna get." "Stupid is as stupid does." I am crying like crazy. Forrest is born without good legs, is bullied, isn't smart, loses Jenny on multiple occasions, loses his best friend Bubba, loses his mom, and then loses Jenny weeks after marriage.

And there's the little letter written by Forrest Jr. They even had to add the birds flying away in the final scenes. Writing that last line actually choked me up.

The end, where he stands over Jenny's grave and breaks down, is extremely sad. But also his best good friend Bubba dies, his mom (whom he adores) dies, and then of course there's the part where he meets his son, which is very emotional. Forrest Gump is the greatest movie of all time.

5 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I don't care how historically inaccurate this film is. The aunt's funeral already had me tearing up. I was bawling for 20 minutes straight, and I mean WAILING with sorrow. And keep in mind, I'm not the type of person to cry too much due to sad movies.

Titanic, Old Yeller, Bambi - all the classic examples of sad films - no waterworks, but THIS movie... There's really no reason to go back to this movie after you know the twist, but if there's any reason to watch it, it's to give yourself a good kick in the emotional crotch.

6 Up

"Up" builds the strongest, most simply wonderful love story ever crafted in less than five minutes. The love story of Carl and Ellie, highlighting the ups and downs of life, brings out raw emotion from the audience. At the end, when Carl goes through the Adventure Book and finds that Ellie put their life adventure in the back, it just brings the sadness full circle. This movie doesn't get the recognition it deserves on this list because it's an animated film, but "Up" and "Toy Story 3" prove that animated films sometimes mean more than any live-action one could ever dream of.

7 Marley & Me

I had a yellow lab named Andy once. He was hit by a car, and I never got to say goodbye. I had a black lab named Luke after that, and we had him put to sleep. I wasn't there, but I hugged him, sobbing, saying I loved him so much before my mom drove off with him, trying his hardest to look out the trunk's window.

Every time I see Marley die, I see both Luke and Andy dying at the same time. Need I say more? I break down, screaming in tears every time I see that one close-up shot of him shutting his soft, little eyes one last time.

At first, I was happy in this movie, but when Marley ran away and they announced Marley was dead, I started to cry my eyes out. Marley was the cutest dog ever. I cried when I went to bed, I cried in my sleep, I cried in the morning and evening, and at any time of day because of the death of the poor dog.

I'm very easy to make cry. In Ariel, I was scared for the dog when the Prince was saving him, not for the Prince. That shows my love for dogs. Although I also get sad when humans die.

8 Grave of the Fireflies

I've watched Titanic, The Notebook, My Sister's Keeper, and all those other films that are supposed to make you cry, but they don't affect me. This film, however, had me in tears by the end of it. I was still crying long after the end of the credits.

There is something so brutal in the matter-of-fact way death is treated and shown in this film, the way it is accepted. Most sad films tend to err toward the melodramatic, but this simple, understated way of dealing with death shows how many thousands of others went through the exact same thing as the two protagonists, which doesn't help when you're already bawling your eyes out.

The artwork is beautiful and subtle. Everything about this film is perfect, and it's the only film I've ever watched that has made me cry, so in my opinion, it is by far the saddest movie ever. Number 1, biggest tear-jerker.

9 The Notebook

Every time I watch this movie, I cry at the end. I always cry the moment Noah walks into Ally's room. I think this movie represents the true meaning of love.

My father told me that every year after he dies, on his birthday, I have to watch this movie. I just love it. I would watch it every day if I could. My brother has no feelings, so he won't cry during this, and I won't talk to him.

I love the part where Noah fixes the house up just for Ally, and she comes back to the house. I just love it! I believe in love now because of this movie. This is the way I would like to die.

10 Requiem for a Dream

Totally agree with you. I haven't seen another movie sadder than this.

It totally crushes you and makes you feel and experience the futility and fragility of human life itself, filled with all the vices that so very convincingly lure us in the beginning only to leave us destroyed at the end. No words could describe the movie.

People who can appreciate movies for the stories they narrate - you have missed something if you haven't watched this movie!

This movie is so depressing it made me feel sick for a week. It follows each character to unimaginable lows. The only reason this movie is not number one is because most people have never seen it.

I don't blame them. Just the thought of this movie puts me in a bad place.

The Newcomers

? Au revoir les enfants
? The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
The Contenders
11 Hachi: A Dog's Tale

He waited for his owner every day. One day he died. Every day after that, he would lay there until he died, and this is based on a true story.

Oh my God, I knew what would happen to Hachi in the movie. However, on my bus trip to New York City, watching this movie, I couldn't help but cry. The whole bus burst into tears, with people asking others for tissues.

I cried for 75% of the movie because I had a dog that looked just like Hachi, who had died two years prior. I'm not a very sensitive person. I didn't cry at Titanic, etc.

This story in itself is amazing. For nine years, Hachi waited for his master to return, becoming a regular at the station where his master would arrive from work each day. Then you see this scene: a scene where Hachi remembers all the times he had with his master. And you break into pieces.

12 Million Dollar Baby

I still cry. It caught me in a strange way. I never intended to watch this movie, but somehow I sat down and watched it until the painful, heartbreaking end.

Today, when I was telling a friend about it, I cried like a river. The moment when Clint Eastwood told the girl (Hilary Swank) the meaning of the oriental name on her fight-silk coat, the moment he removed the respirator, her tears of love and happiness (she was loved), death, silence - it was all too much. The speed, the lack of sentimentality, the bond between those two - it just breaks my heart, the bittersweet end. The cruelty of fate. It's not fair! The loss... I still carry that loss along with me.

Strange how some movies can grab your heart, hold it, squeeze it, and you'll never be the same. It usually happens when your heart is touched - strongly - in ways only God and/or higher powers will understand.

13 Saving Private Ryan

I saw this movie when I was 12 with my aunt and cousins. It was the strangest experience I've ever had in a movie theater. When the movie ended, it felt like a funeral. No one looked at each other. Everyone was silent. And some men still sat in their seats, staring blankly at the screen.

It felt so somber, like it was an accepted sadness for what had to be done. It probably didn't help that my great-grandfather was in that war and had never spoken of it at all. Until the summer before he died that winter, we sat up one night playing cards, and he told me everything. From how he hid against a tree and could feel the bullets, to how he felt he couldn't get small enough. How he got his two Silver Stars, and ultimately how his brother died in the war.

My aunt honestly apologized to us in the car, saying she didn't know it was going to be like that.

14 Old Yeller

I think for Disney, this should be the saddest Disney movie. The reason it's sadder than Toy Story 3 and Up is because of the ending. If you've seen the movie, or even heard of it, you know what happens. Other people have said it, so I shouldn't have to say it.

The ending is just so sad. It can't be topped. I'll give Titanic props for being almost, if not just as, sad, but I love dogs.

I grew extremely attached to Yeller by the end. I could also hardly sit through this movie without getting misty-eyed.

I remember I saw this movie when I was a kid, and I ran to my room and bawled. I was depressed the next day too. It's also the first time a movie made me cry.

I read the book later on in school and cried. Rest in peace, Old Yeller.

15 Toy Story 3

I am not the type to cry over books and movies, but the scene when Andy was giving his toys to Bonnie was so emotional that I burst into tears along with the whole cinema. Titanic is a sad movie too, one of the saddest by far, but this one has just left something in me.

The same thing happens to everyone. As we grow up, we get rid of things from our childhood. It just reminded me of myself a long time ago, playing with my toys, being a happy child, and now I am leaving for college like Andy, and thus we are both leaving our memories behind us.

16 I Am Legend

I have to admit, it was sad, but in my opinion, the book was sadder. Because, spoilers, the dog, of course, dies, like in the movie, but he dies as well. In the movie, there are other people, as he finds out. In the book, there are no other people. He is completely alone, and the writing makes it even more bleak.

He is betrayed in the end by a vampire whom he falls in love with and who is pretending to be human, and is executed in a new vampire society. The movie is sad, I'll admit, and I cried when the dog died and during the touching moment when he had to say goodbye to his family, and they ended up dying. But the book portrays more of an empty sorrow. All in all, I'm voting for the movie because it was pretty sad.

17 Life Is Beautiful

Reading these comments made me cry again. By a mile, the saddest movie I've ever seen. The second time I watched it, I had to pause it because I was crying so much I couldn't breathe.

But not only is it the saddest movie ever for me, it is also the greatest love story of all time, with both his love for his son and for his wife.

If we weren't in class while watching it, I would have been bawling and tears would have been flowing like rain. But I did watch it in class, so only a few tears happened.

Joshua's (I forgot his original name - we watched it with subtitles) face when he sees the tank. He is just so full of wonder and joy, and I just can't.

18 My Girl

This is an amazing movie. The fact that he cared enough to get the ring is truly heartbreaking. I've watched it over and over again, and every time it leaves me depressed for the rest of the day. I love this movie, but every time I feel my heart ripping into shreds as if someone is stomping on it. (If that makes sense.)

I first saw this movie. The part where the boy dies is so sad. I saw this on TV and really felt bad for the boy who got stung by the bees because I think he might have been allergic to bees.

I am so sorry about the death of the boy. It is sad.

19 The Elephant Man

From the beginning to the end of this movie, I seriously did nothing but cry. I was a mess and I cried for days. This movie isn't sad because he died at the end.

It was sad because of how awfully they treated him. Humans are sick. That's how sad this movie was.

This film is heartbreaking! It doesn't involve a love story or a revenge story. It's just about one unfortunate man who wants to be accepted in society.

John Hurt's performance was outstanding here.

I had to keep pausing this movie because I couldn't hear it over the sound of my crying. It's sad at first because of how badly they treat the Elephant Man. But then, when you learn that the Elephant Man is a very intelligent, sensitive man, you realize he's been fully aware of everyone's cruelty, and it becomes ten times sadder.

20 The Fox and the Hound

The sad song, Goodbye May Seem Forever, is my favorite song. It's not only my favorite song but also my favorite film! I'm not joking. It actually is my very favorite song now. For years, it was Once Upon a Time in New York City from Oliver & Company.

About the song, it's from the scene where Tod (the fox) is left in the woods. The old woman (Widow Tweed) left him there to protect him from the hunter (Amos Slade). The message of this song is perhaps the best thing about the whole movie. Even when we can't be with the people we care about, we never have to forget them.

It's a message that almost everyone needs to know because we all have those times in life when friends or loved ones die, or we just can't be with people anymore. Over the years, I've lost so many things. More and more, I remember these words whenever I lose something or someone important.

21 West Side Story

I was a freshman in high school when I got cast as Maria in our production of West Side Story. I didn't know the story that well, but being a Romeo and Juliet-based story with rival gangs, I cried so hard in the end when everyone was fighting and dying.

I was crying so much that I used up a whole tissue box. It's really sad when Tony dies trying to look for Maria.

It's so romantic and sad! It's my favorite movie ever, and I cry every time!

22 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

I see this one every now and then with Grandma. It's very good and sad. It's funny that it comes before Bambi, though.

Also, shouldn't The Lion King be higher? I would say that The Lion King is as sad as Bambi, for the same reason. You should know why.

This was the first film I ever watched as a six-year-old, and it's the saddest movie in the world! I didn't go to a concert for it because they were also showing a movie. This was the only list on this, besides the top ten actors, that is accurate.

But this should be number 1!

This movie made me cry when I watched it, but I never cried at Titanic. It's so funny that I never cried at Titanic. Titanic is a very sad movie.

23 The Pursuit of Happyness

I love this movie, but it hit too close to home with my father. I paused this movie about a hundred times, trying to catch my breath. I cried so hard I just couldn't control it.

I love whoever wrote this. It caught raw emotion, gripped me by the heart, and didn't let go. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry as I am typing this.

I was so happy for him at the end that I stood up in my living room, face full of tears, and clapped and cheered with joy. I just love this movie and will watch it all the way through again when I have a box full of tissues and my boyfriend lends his shoulder to cry on.

24 A.I. - Artificial Intelligence

Just a sad story about a boy who is not a boy and is programmed to love his mother, who loves him enough to save his life but not enough to make a stand for him. Then to wait for thousands of years for one moment - one wish - it is so bittersweet, but so extremely sad.

I probably project too much of my own experience to be objective, so well done, Steven! I have only been able to watch it the one time.

As I scrolled down the list, I was wondering if that wonderful movie Spielberg made with that masterfully directed ending (spending one last day with his deceased mother) would make the list. The ending, with the breathtaking score by John Williams, leaves one deeply moved for some time afterwards.

That kind of effect on its viewers, I feel, is what truly constitutes movie magic!

25 Into the Wild

It's one of the saddest movies I've ever watched... I am horrified it's not in the list. I really started to cry at the end of the movie. I couldn't help it. And I couldn't stop crying! It was so... Tragic. I mean it's no very famous movie but I think it should be. It's based on a true story and... Well, I don't know how I can describe the feelings that I has while watching it...

This one should be in the top 10 for sure... It is both insperational and sad. It is based off a true story of a man who has it all but still chooses to break from society.

The saddest movie I have Ever seen and one of the best with the best soundtrack as well. Should be number 1.

8Load More
PSearch List