18 Movies to Watch When You Need a Good Cry
You know those times — those times when you just want to pop open a bottle of crying juice (aka wine) and turn on a movie you know will make you cry? It's not a bad thing. Hey, sometimes it feels good, and all of the movies on this list aren't just tearjerkers; they're genuinely good movies. Here is a list of of films contributed by POPSUGAR editors and employees who admitted their go-to tear-fest flicks.
"It's an obvious one, and even though I know that boat is going to sink and I know who is going to die, I start crying every single time Rose tells Jack she'll never let go. Every single time."
— Hedy Phillips, Voices Editor, Celebrity & Entertainment
"Forrest Gump now makes me cry when the opening credits roll, because I know what's coming!"
— Gemma Cartwright, UK senior editor
A Walk to Remember
"Nicholas Sparks really needs to be held accountable for all the tears he's cost me over the years (as well as being held accountable for far more important other things, but that's an entirely different conversation). Not only did reading A Walk to Remember wring my tear ducts out, but watching the movie with Mandy Moore and Shawn West as doomed soulmates experiencing true love for the very first time essentially took my heart and kicked it directly into the sun."
— Quinn Keaney, Entertainment Editor
A Star Is Born (2019)
"I'll never forget, just after seeing this movie, when I huddled in the bathroom with a bunch of strangers as we all collectively wiped our smudged mascara and tear-stained faces. And can you blame us?! A Star Is Born boasts both incredible performances by stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, as well as a truly stunning soundtrack. 'Shallow' might be one of the most overplayed songs of the last few years, but I'd be lying if I said the opening notes don't still make me feel a surge of emotions."
"If it's not Julia Roberts and her performance as a diabetic, it's Sally Field's unfailing love of her as her mother that makes you sob. Just hearing the score makes me well up."
— Shannon Vestal Robson, content director
Dead Poets Society
"Oh captain, my captain, dads are jerks, and teenagers have ALL THE FEELINGS. When I was young and emo, I would put this on and bawl. Young Robert Sean Leonard was too pretty to die."
— Sabrina Eldredge, VP, Product
"This movie is full of so much laughter and joy, but as soon as Ahmad's voice breaks as he yells out 'y'all messed up the family!' during the dinner scene, the tears start flowing. I can't help it! It's such a heartbreaking moment."
It's a Wonderful Life
"It doesn't have to be the holidays for this movie to get me all choked up. Those final moments when George Bailey rushes home and is so grateful to find that he still has a family who loves him . . . Hang on, I'm crying right now."
"Ellie and Carl's relationship summed up in four minutes — just pass the entire box of tissues already!"
— Lisa Sugar, editor in chief
"For a quick fix, first few minutes of Up about Carl's wife. Tears. Every. Single. Time."
"I love everything about this movie (the story behind it with Sting and Madonna), Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, etc. But the final press-conference scene always has me in tears!"
— Rebecca Gruber, Vice President, Native Content
The Pursuit of Happyness
"Why, oh why, did I go to see this movie in the theater without bringing an industrial-size box of tissues? (I'll regret that choice for the rest of my life.) The film has so much going for it: it's based on a true story, it stars a real-life father and son (Will and Jaden Smith), and it packs a serious emotional punch. Needless to say there are a lot of crushing scenes, but the part when Chris is struggling to keep the bathroom door closed overnight so he and his son can have a place to sleep . . . damn. Even as I type this, I'm tearing up. The love he has for his son, and the fact he'll go through hell and back to give him a happy life, is beautiful."
My Dog Skip
"Having a special love for Jack Russells and watching a boy create such a special bond with his best friend before scenes where the dog gets beaten at one point and then ultimately dies . . . I can't even watch the early scenes of joy when Willie first gets the dog, knowing the fate of what's to come."
"Whenever I have a fever, I always watch Big Fish. I weep like a baby, and then the fever miraculously breaks. I don't know how or why that works, but it's my go-to medicine."
The Fault in Our Stars
"The Fault in Our Stars is full of sob-worthy moments, and judging by the amount of sniffles reported in the theater when it was released, I think this might be pretty universal."
"Chris Columbus's 1998 dramedy has everything you could want in a movie built to make you cry: emotional monologues from Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, family dynamics that pull at the heartstrings, and a fatal illness. Bring on the waterworks."
"To this day I hate bees. I will save them, but I hate them."
— Mekishana Pierre, Assistant Entertainment Editor
"Yes, yes, this one is a bit of a cliché, but The Notebook always makes me wail. I can't help it. The big reveal about the old couple in the end? The Alzheimer's? The enduring love between Allie and Noah? It's all too much for my fragile soul, people!"
Marley & Me
"I mean, their beloved dog dies! I cry anytime an animal dies in a movie, though, let's be real."
— Melissa Pinpin, influencer and editorial partnerships director