Sometimes you just want to let it all out. Crying is cathartic. That kind of emotional release is a way to start fresh. Stressed at work? Cry it out. Frustrated with your relationship? Have a good sob. Just bored on a Tuesday night? Time for some tears. And what better way to get in a good sob sesh than watching a classic cry movie. These films tug at the heartstrings, leaving you wrung out and emotionally drained. Stream these top cry movies right now or any time you need an emotional release.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
At this point, most Robin Williams movies have been added to the cry movies lists because of the impact that his death has had on the world. But even before his tragic end, Dead Poets Society was a surefire way to devolve into tears. In this drama, Williams is an English teacher in a boys’ boarding school. He connects with his students in a way that they’d never experienced, all while getting them to fall in love with classic poetry.
Watch Dead Poets Society on Prime Video.
My Girl (1991)
A coming-of-age film set in the 1970s, 11-year-old Vada tackles friendship and family issues while living in a funeral home with her funeral director father. Watch for the friendship between Vada and Thomas J, played by Macaulay Culkin. Honestly, this movie scarred me as a kid. There are entire generations of people who were victimized by My Girl and how absolutely tragic it is. You have to see it.
Watch My Girl on Netflix.
You might be confused why there’s a legal drama on this list, but hear me out. A lawyer, played by Tom Hanks, works for a law firm. He is gay and has AIDS, but this is the early ’90s, so he’s hiding both from his employer. They find a way to fire him anyway and so he starts a long battle to sue them for discrimination. After no one will take his case, Denzel Washington finally decides to take the case after he sees parallels between the AIDS discrimination and his own experience being black. This won so many academy awards, and for good reason.
Watch Philadelphia on Prime Video.
The Notebook (2004)
Now here’s a classic you’ve probably seen. Watch as Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, real-life couple at the time, struggle with their different class statuses while falling in love. He’s working class and she’s a rich girl from an important family. So much stands in their way, yet they keep finding their way back to each other. While that’s probably enough to get you crying, the ending is the true heartbreaker. Keep your tissues nearby.
Watch The Notebook on HBO Max.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This is all drama when two men start working the mountain together herding sheep. The guys are quiet and stoic, like any classic 1960s cowboy, but one thing leads to another in their tent and they suddenly have to contend with new feelings. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performances are masterful. Nothing like some forbidden love and tragedy to get you crying.
Watch Brokeback Mountain on Hulu.
Most movies wait until the end to really stick the knife in your heart, but not Up. Known world-over for how absolutely heartbreaking the first 10 minutes are, you’ll be sobbing as if these CG animated characters were your real-life grandparents. Show this movie to anyone you know who insists that real love doesn’t exist. Then stick around for the rest of the movie as Carl goes on a long-awaited adventure in his floating, balloon-propelled house.
Watch Up on Disney Plus.
Remember Me (2010)
Remember Me seems like any other relationship drama. Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin fall in love against the odds and have to contend with people trying to pry them apart. That’s not really what’s going to make you cry, though. The ending is so completely unexpected, I don’t want to spoil it for you, though. It’s best to go into this one with as little information as possible.
Watch Remember Me with a Showtime subscription.
About Time (2013)
Domhnall Gleeson has just found out that he has a genetic trait that lets him go back in time. He uses it to help him get the girl, played by Rachel McAdams. Although a lot of the marketing for About Time showed off the romance between the two main characters, it’s also a film about how important family is. No spoilers or anything, but it’s the family part that will leave you weeping into your popcorn.
Watch About Time on Netflix.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Hazel joins a support group for teens with cancer and meets the enigmatic Gus. They fall in love over their shared cancer trauma and interest in literature. You can’t have a movie about two young teens battling cancer and not cry at least once. It’s like a law or something. While it may not having you sobbing as hard as the book did, watching the movie will be a lot faster.
Watch The Fault in Our Stars on Disney Plus.
A woman, played by Brie Larson, has been living in captivity for years after being abducted. Her captor impregnates her and she has a son. All her son knows is the room they live in, which they call Room. Watching the pair try to make the best of their situation, both in and out of the room, is heartbreaking. It’s doubly heartbreaking because you know deep down that things like this happen in real life.
Watch Room with a Showtime subscription.
The Hate U Give (2018)
Starr lives in a poor mostly black neighborhood while attending a mostly white prep school in a prestigious area. When she witnesses a police shooting of her childhood friend, she must contend with the separate parts of her life. Does she stay quiet or fight for the unjustified police shootings that plague the black community. While based on a YA fiction novel, this one feels all too real.
Watch The Hate U Give on Hulu.
Irreplaceable You (2018)
Abby has just found out that she has terminal cancer. She doesn’t have much longer to go. She decides to start setting up her fiancé so he can have someone to love after she’s gone. They’ve been together since they were kids though, and this is a hard situation for him to deal with. It’s a story of love, loss, and dealing with life-changing bad news. Honestly, if you don’t cry through this whole dang movie, I don’t know what to tell you.
Watch Irreplaceable You on Netflix.