According to reliable sources, including my mother, crying is supposed to be good for you. Releasing the salty streams from your eyes is thought to be cathartic, important even. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a person who cries a lot but there are certain things that make my eyeballs leak. One of those things is the artform of cinema. And it doesn’t have to be an Oscar-winning drama to make me grab some tissues. Often all it takes is a chilling score or soundtrack. Here’s my list of movies that make me cry every. single. time.
(Disclaimer: Some of the things I mention about these movies include spoilers so if you just want to check out the titles, scroll through the pictures and headings!)
Anyone who doesn’t think this movie is incredible, I am ready to argue. I grew up with films like this, way too young to see them and therefore being all the more impressed (thanks, dad!). Usually, seeing Maximus’ dead family or his entrance into afterlife are answered with tears on my end. Their reunion is simply beautiful. And Hans Zimmer delivered a brilliant score to top things off.
Good Will Hunting
This movie will always have a special place in my heart and on my shelf. The loss of Robin Williams obviously plays a part in this but growing up in a damaging environment, the “It’s not your fault” scene just gets my every time.
I remember this so vividly, I still can’t bring myself to watch this one again. My parents got me the VHS – probably a random buy from the bargain bin – and as a child, I watched it every day for about a month. And every day I would cry at the exact same moment: the little mouse retrieves to her appartment behind the wall and gets comfortable in her bed, blanket, pillow and everything. As she slowly closes her cute little eyes, one of the main protagonists starts shooting the wall with a nailgun and the mouse has to flee. To me, disturbing her peace, terrorizing her, and destroying her home was the most dramatic thing ever.
The Lord of the Rings – Return of the King
The part that makes me cry is the ending and I have three reasons for you: 1) It is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking to see all the characters find peace but having to depart from each other. 2) It will always remind me of the feeling to never experience anything like this ever again in the theater, the end of an era, basically. 3) Into the West, performed by Annie Lennox, is a powerful song and amplifies 1) and 2) even more.
Anything where a dog dies
The Land Before Time
1988’s Land Before Time directed by Don Bluth is a treasured animated movie and beloved by so many. And with good reason. My VHS tape of the movie is still used several times a year and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying it is a timeless film. The animation, the story, the characters – everything is wonderful, exciting and enchanting for children’s and adult eyes equally. But also devestating at parts. Littlefoot’s mother dying even makes Han Solo’s frozen in carbonite heart melt.
Alright, this is one of those award-winning dramas. Gotta have one in here, ey? The incredible cast and their stellar performances marinade my feelings with sweet persuasiveness and then throw me in the frying pan with a tragic end to Robbie and Cecilia’s troubled love story. This was also the first time I noticed Saoirse Ronan and it is her character who is respronsible for the tragic finale. I am not a sucker for these kind of stories but one of my favorite (if not my favorite) actors, James McAvoy, knows how to press my buttons.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
This probably seems like the most ridiculous pick but I can explain: at the end, the Pevensie children, but especially Susan, are faced with the decision to return to the normal world or stay in Narnia with Prince Caspian. Although her desire to return is understandable and ultimately what she chooses, I could not get over the fact she would give up the fanstastic, exciting, beautiful, exotic, adventurous, magical place that is Narnia. Plus, I want to be offered that choice so bad. Escapism, ya’ll.
This one is on the darker and more quiet side. It was directed by Emily Young and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the lead as Veronika. Mental illness, suicidal thoughts and emotional outbursts as well as apathetic phases are what the main character has to live through every day, checked into a mental asylum. While it is probably Veronika’s state or the message of the movie that makes me cry, the music by Murray Gold and Michael Whalen really struck some chords with me. I taught myself how to play “Recital in the Night” on the piano and it is one of my favorite music pieces to this day.
Really? A Michael Bay movie? A movie that has an actual conversation about animal crackers? A movie that has a premise which makes less sense than Vibram FiveFingers? YES. The simple explanation is I watched it inumerable times with my father. In the movie, the father dies, ergo, I cry.
I’ve realized that this list offers quite some insight into my person and I’m excited to share it. More so, I’m very curious to hear some of your tearjerker movies! Tell us in the comments below!