The Best Movies that Make Us Cry

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If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you have probably seen our story polls over the last couple of months. I have absolutely loved interacting with so many new people and have gotten very positive feedback about how much fun the polls are. Most recently I asked, “What are the best movies that make us cry?”

We had so many responses that I had to share over the course of two days and once the stories expired, I had DMs from people asking if I was able to make a list for them, as it would make a great movie recommendation list.

So, I went back and pulled all of the movies where over 50% of the votes said that the movie was a real tearjerker. Now when you are looking for something to watch, you can reference this list. But make sure to grab some tissues!

The best movies that make us cry

Here they are, in order of how many votes they received from our Instagram followers.

A Walk to Remember (2002) — 86%

Set in North Carolina, “A Walk To Remember” follows the rite of passage of a jaded, aimless high school senior (Shane West) who falls in love with a guileless young woman (Mandy Moore) he and his friends once scorned. The two develop a powerful and inspirational relationship in which they discover truths that take most people a lifetime to learn.

The Lion King (1994) — 84%

This Disney animated feature follows the adventures of the young lion Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the heir of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones). Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar (Jeremy Irons), plots to usurp Mufasa’s throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult (Matthew Broderick) to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella).

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) — 84%

Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner (Will Smith). Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son (Jaden Christopher Syre Smith) find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.

My Sister’s Keeper (2009) — 77%

Conceived as a marrow donor for her gravely ill sister, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has undergone countless surgeries and medical procedures in her short life. Though their older daughter’s life has no doubt been prolonged, the unorthodox decision of Anna’s parents has cracked the entire family’s foundation. When Anna sues her parents for emancipation, it sets off a court case that threatens to destroy the family for good.

The Notebook (2004) — 77%

In 1940s South Carolina, mill worker Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and rich girl Allie (Rachel McAdams) are desperately in love. But her parents don’t approve. When Noah goes off to serve in World War II, it seems to mark the end of their love affair. In the interim, Allie becomes involved with another man (James Marsden). But when Noah returns to their small town years later, on the cusp of Allie’s marriage, it soon becomes clear that their romance is anything but over.

Pearl Harbor (2001) — 73%

This sweeping drama, based on real historical events, follows American boyhood friends Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) as they enter World War II as pilots. Rafe is so eager to take part in the war that he departs to fight in Europe alongside England’s Royal Air Force. On the home front, his girlfriend, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale), finds comfort in the arms of Danny. The three of them reunite in Hawaii just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Titanic (1997) — 73%

James Cameron’s “Titanic” is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era — the “ship of dreams” — which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Up (2009) — 73%

 

Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house. A Pixar animation.

Marley & Me (2008) — 72%

 

Newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston) leave behind snowy Michigan and move to Florida, where they buy their first home and find jobs at competing newspapers. Soon afterward, the Grogans adopt Marley, an adorable yellow Labrador pup. But Marley soon grows up to be a mischievous handful. Still, even while he’s destroying the furniture and failing obedience school, he always manages to bring out the best in John, Jenny and their growing family.

Me Before You (2016) — 72%

 

Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Stepmom (1998) — 72%

 

Three years after divorcing Jackie (Susan Sarandon), the mother of his children, Luke Harrison (Ed Harris) decides to take the next step with his significantly younger girlfriend, fashion photographer Isabel Kelly (Julia Roberts). But, when the flaky Kelly meets Harrison’s children for the first time, their fierce allegiance to their mother is obvious. Try as she might, Kelly fails to endear herself to her young charges — and to Jackie — until a looming family crisis changes everything.

The Green Mile (1999) — 72%

 

Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters. Coffey had the size and strength to kill anyone, but not the demeanor. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Paul began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls.

P.S. I Love You (2007) — 71%

 

When Gerry (Gerard Butler), the husband of Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), dies from an illness, she loses the love of her life. Knowing how hard Holly will take his death, Gerry plans ahead. Beginning on her 30th birthday, she receives the first in a series of letters written by him, designed to ease her grief and encourage her to move forward to a new life.

The Blind Side (2009) — 70%

 

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Sean (Tim McGraw), take him in. The Tuohys eventually become Michael’s legal guardians, transforming both his life and theirs. Michael’stremendous size and protective instincts make him a formidable force on the gridiron, and with help from his new family and devoted tutor, he realizes his potential as a student and football player.

The Lovely Bones (2009) — 67%

 

After being brutally murdered, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) watches from heaven over her grief-stricken family (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz) — and her killer (Stanley Tucci). As she observes their daily lives, she must balance her thirst for revenge with her desire for her family to heal.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) — 67%

 

Chicago librarian Henry De Tamble (Eric Bana) suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes him to drift uncontrollably back and forth through time. On one of his sojourns, he meets the love of his life, Claire (Rachel McAdams), and they marry. But the problems and complexities of any relationship are multiplied by Henry’s inability to remain in one time and place so that he and his beloved are continually out of sync.

Forrest Gump (1994) — 67%

 

Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save — his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

The Fox and the Hound (1981) — 66%

 

A little fox named Tod, and Copper, a hound puppy, vow to be best buddies forever. But as Copper grows into a hunting dog, their unlikely friendship faces the ultimate test.

Wonder (2017)– 66%

Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie Pullman becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Saving Private Ryan (1998) — 65%


Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency, and courage.

About Time (2013) — 64%


When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can’t change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love, and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can’t shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life.

Big Hero 6 (2014) — 64%


Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro’s closest companion is Baymax (Scott Adsit), a robot whose sole purpose is to take care of people. When a devastating turn of events throws Hiro into the middle of a dangerous plot, he transforms Baymax and his other friends, Go Go Tamago (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), and Fred (T.J. Miller) into a band of high-tech heroes.

Steel Magnolias (1989) — 64%


M’Lynn (Sally Field) is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), and as friend Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, they welcome a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process.

I am Sam (2001)– 62%


“I Am Sam” is the compelling story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) with the help of a unique group of friends. As Lucy turns seven and begins to intellectually surpass her father, their close bond is threatened when their unconventional living arrangement comes to the attention of a social worker who wants Lucy placed in foster care.

Coco (2017) — 59%


Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Ghost (1990) — 59%


Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is a banker, Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) is an artist, and the two are madly in love. However, when Sam is murdered by friend and corrupt business partner Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn) over a shady business deal, he is left to roam the earth as a powerless spirit. When he learns of Carl’s betrayal, Sam must seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) to set things right and protect Molly from Carl and his goons.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) — 58%

Young Ronnie reveals to his classmates that his personal hero is a dog named Hachi. Ribbed by his fellow pupils, Ronnie goes on to tell the remarkable story of his grandfather’s friendship with the dog.

I am Legend (2007) — 58%


Robert Neville (Will Smith), a brilliant scientist, is a survivor of a man-made plague that transforms humans into bloodthirsty mutants. He wanders alone through New York City, calling out for other possible survivors, and works on finding a cure for the plague using his own immune blood. Neville knows he is badly outnumbered and the odds are against him, and all the while, the infected wait for him to make a mistake that will deliver Neville into their hands.

The Help (2011) — 54%


In 1960s Mississippi, Southern society girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns from college with dreams of being a writer. She turns her small town on its ear by choosing to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent white families. Only Aibileen (Viola Davis), the housekeeper of Skeeter’s best friend, will talk at first. But as the pair continue the collaboration, more women decide to come forward, and as it turns out, they have quite a lot to say.

The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) — 54%

Denny Swift is a Formula One race car driver who understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate everyday life. Besides his career, Denny has three loves of his life — his beautiful wife, their young daughter and his best friend, which is a dog that wants to be reincarnated into a human.
 

Have you seen all of the movies that make us cry? Have we missed any? Comment below and share your favorites.

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Some of these movies will make you want to call your loved ones. Others may make you want to eat a pint of ice cream. Either way, make sure you have a big box of tissues nearby! These are the best movies that make us cry.
Some of these movies will make you want to call your loved ones. Others may make you want to eat a pint of ice cream. Either way, make sure you have a big box of tissues nearby! These are the best movies that make us cry.

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. Nnniiiccceeeee…”A Walk To Remember” has captured my imagination. I’d love to start with it. Thanks for sharing your list. I’ll watch the rest of them as the lockdown goes by!

  2. The pursuit of happyness and The Hachi are my all-time favorite movies! I need to watch the last film, The art of racing in the rain, sounds wonderful 😍

  3. I love a good movie that makes me cry… sometimes I cry a bit to easily LOL and my husband and kids make fun of me. Many fo the Nicolas Sparks movies do that to me… and will have to check out a few of these. Great list!

  4. We’ve seen most of these. I lost track of how many times we’ve seen The Green Mile and Forrest Gump. Such great films.

  5. Indeed such good movies! It really brings back the memories! I am going to rewatch some of this. So many feel good and movies that made me cry on the list!

  6. Those are all wonderful selections of movies to check out and I’ve seen some of those already, I can assure you they are indeed tear-jerking movies.

  7. The Notebook and A Walk To Remember really brought me to tears. It’s a masterpiece! I love those films so much!

  8. Some of these shock me that they are t 100% percent! Steel Magnolias is a guarantee that I’ll be sobbing…sometimes even as early as the opening credits since I know what’s coming.

  9. The “Pursuit of Happyness” gets me every SINGLE TIME! I’ve watched it so many times and it never gets old. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Not ashamed to say that I cried watching most of these films. I remember sobbing in the theatre when I watched Titanic! It was so heartbreaking

  11. Lovely and inspiring list. It’s nice to allow yourself to let those feelings out. “Up” gets me every time.

  12. I’ve probably seen about half of these movies but somehow have never cried during a movie. Up got me the closest to tears though x

  13. And I have only seen about half of these! I have some catching up to do- just need to make sure I have tissues handy.

  14. The Pursuit of Happyness still remains as one of my favorite modern day films. I loved watching Will Smith and his son together in it. So many great films here though!

  15. You certainly have picked so many favorites of mine. I need to see some of these great movies again.

  16. I saw some of these movies and I loved them! I need to remember this list so I can watch them all!

  17. These are some real classics. Some of my favourites are Forest Gump, The Green Mile, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

  18. I know all of these movies but I’ve only seen Forrest Gump and Titanic. Oh yes, they are indeed filled with emotions.

  19. Ha, most of the ones from here that I’ve seen made me cry. I’m such a soppy thing and purposely avoid anything sad if it’s a film.

  20. This list is very on point. Many of these movies made me cry. They are such wonderful movies too. Now I want to watch some of these again.

  21. I’ve seen all of these movies, and I love them all. I don’t know why, but I love movies that make me cry.

  22. All of these movies will trigger my water works, but nothing makes me cry buckets like the beginning of UP. Just rip my heart out and get it over with!

  23. I have not seen all of these but I have seen many. I think The Time Traveler’s Wife was my favorite. I also really like the lead actress.

  24. I love so many of these movies. I will have to watch some with my daughter. I did show her Titanic and she was like “they both could have fit on that door.”

  25. I kind of want to laugh at this because I pretty much ugly cry at all of them, can’t watch Coco without violently sobbing, same with Titanic, anything by Nicholas Sparks and are you kidding me? I was watching Up the other day and I was a mess. But let’s face it, I’m literally the joke in my family because I cry even at the last valzer at the end of Sleeping Beauty…

  26. Every one that I’ve seen on this list made me cry. Also, Bridges of Madison County. I could only watch it once, lol. It was so good I bought the DVD (back when DVDs were thngs) and never ever opened it because I didn’t want to bawl like a baby.