15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked
Image credit: Legion-Media,, Miramax Films

Remember, sometimes, a good cry is just what the soul needs.

If these don't guarantee ugly crying, I'd say you're made of stone!

15. "Bridge to Terabithia"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 1

Ever built an imaginary kingdom as a kid? Jess and Leslie did. Their fantastical realm, Terabithia, is a refuge from bullies, family troubles, and everyday mundanity. Yet, magic intertwines with reality, leading to unexpected heartbreak. Fantasy, they say, is an escape. This film? It brings you back to reality with an emotional thud.

14. "Manchester by the Sea"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 2

Let's shuffle over to New England, where landscapes are as brooding as our protagonist, Lee Chandler. A janitor by trade, a hermit by choice. Yet fate's an unpredictable mistress; the death of his brother thrusts him into reluctant guardianship of his nephew. But why is Lee so haunted? Ah, therein lies the gut-wrenching twist. Tragedy is like the tide here; it comes and goes but always leaves a mark. Some say it's slow, but isn't life often like that? Moments of quiet, interspersed with tumultuous pain.

13. "Schindler's List"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 3

World War II? Again? But how can we talk of sorrowful cinema and not mention this Spielberg masterpiece? Oskar Schindler, an opportunist businessman, exploits Jewish labor for profit. Yet, as the Holocaust horrors unfold, he's compelled to save lives. The list becomes his salvation and theirs. Filmed in haunting black and white, it's a visual reminder of a world starkly divided. It's heavy, it's historical, but by God, it's unforgettable.

12. "Blue Valentine"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 4

Love's a funny thing, ain't it? Starts with fireworks, often fizzles into rain. Enter Dean and Cindy. Their tale isn't grand. It's no fairytale. Just two people falling in love, then falling apart. It's like watching a dance, where steps once in sync grow increasingly mismatched. Raw, real, relatable. Some say it's depressingly realistic. Others? They nod, sigh, and say, "Been there, felt that."

11. "The Green Mile"

Step into Cold Mountain Penitentiary, where miracles and maladies exist side by side. The setting? Death Row. The protagonist? John Coffey, a man mountain with a child's mind and a healer's touch. He's accused, possibly falsely. The guards, especially Paul Edgecomb, slowly recognize his otherworldly gift. What would you do if faced with divine innocence on the electric chair? It's long but lingers longer in the heart. Heavy stuff, but who said introspection was light?

10. "Brokeback Mountain"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 5

Two cowboys, Ennis and Jack, find something unexpected amidst Wyoming's vastness. Their love story is as tumultuous as the terrain, filled with societal judgment and personal strife. It isn't just about two men in love; it's about the love we all deny ourselves. Some call it groundbreaking; others, heartbreaking. Either way, tissues are non-negotiable.

9. "Atonement"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 6

Ever told a lie in childhood? Little Briony did. And oh, the ripples it caused! Cecilia and Robbie's love story gets derailed by a single act of juvenile misunderstanding. War, letters, and a lot of yearning follow. The sprawling English estate, the Dunkirk evacuation—grand settings for personal tales of love and, well, atonement. It's a visual and narrative treat. But a word of advice? Brace for that ending.

8. "The Pianist"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 7

Music amidst mayhem? Sounds like a paradox. Yet, for Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist, it was reality. As Warsaw succumbs to Nazi brutality, Szpilman's music becomes his refuge. Hiding, evading, playing—his journey's a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Adrien Brody's skeletal frame speaks volumes of the horrors of war. Some films are a spectacle, this one? It's a soul-stirring symphony.

7. "Room"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 8

Not "The Room", mind you (that's a whole different kind of tragedy). This tale's spun around Ma and her son, Jack, imprisoned in a tiny shed for years. The world, for Jack, is this room. Their escape and ensuing adjustment to the outer world tugs every heartstring. It questions resilience, motherhood, and the vastness of the universe, both outside and within. Claustrophobic yet expansive, it's a paradox you need to witness.

6. "Up"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 9

An animation? Again? But only Pixar can make you cry within the first 10 minutes. Elderly Carl, mourning his adventurous wife Ellie, takes flight (literally) in his house tethered to balloons. He's joined, unexpectedly, by young scout Russell. Their journey to Paradise Falls is filled with humor, yet underscored by palpable melancholy. It's about lost dreams and newfound purposes. Don't let the balloons fool you; this one's weighty in emotion.

5. "Requiem for a Dream"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 10

Drug tales are a dime a dozen. But, buddy, this one? It's a gut punch. Follow four dreamers: Harry, his gal Marion, buddy Tyrone, and his ma, Sara. Each chasing a dream, each spiraling into addiction. From pills to heroin, their fates intertwine in a ballet of despair. The rapid cuts, the haunting score—it doesn't just show addiction, it feels like it. It's a descent, not for the faint-hearted. "Beautifully traumatic," they say. An oxymoron? Watch and decide.

4. "Marley & Me"

Oh, the joy of adopting a puppy! The Grogans—John, Jenny, and their mischievous dog, Marley—take us on a rollercoaster of life's highs and lows. Marley's antics are hilarious, but as time ticks, it becomes evident that he's the anchor in their ever-evolving life. A tale of tails and tears, it's a must-watch for every pet lover. And if you claim you didn't cry at the end? I'm calling bluff.

3. "My Girl"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 11

Childhood, with its innocent friendships and harsh life lessons. Vada's journey through adolescence is marked by her bond with Thomas J., her geeky but endearing pal. Yet, the sting of loss is never too far away. Be it first love, first kiss, or first grief, it encapsulates moments that shape us. A film from the '90s, but timeless in its emotion. Bright with a chance of tear showers.

2. "Grave of the Fireflies"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 12

Ever watched animation and thought, "This is for kids"? Think again. Set in World War II Japan, this tale follows two siblings, Seita and Setsuko. War is unforgiving; it takes their mother and leaves them struggling to survive. We see their descent into destitution, witnessing childlike innocence facing the harshest of realities. It's like watching a beautiful painting crumble to dust. Not a tear-jerker, you say? Please, reserve judgment until you've witnessed their story unfold.

1. "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"

15 Saddest Movies That Guarantee Ugly Crying, Ranked - image 13

War seen through children's eyes paints a different picture. Two kids, Bruno and Shmuel, meet across a barbed-wire fence. One's a Nazi commander's son, the other, a Jewish inmate. Their innocent friendship amidst Holocaust horrors is poignantly painful. Their tale proves that innocence isn't bliss; it's often tragic. Movies come and go, but this? It lingers, long after the credits roll.