21 Movies That Probably Made You Cry in 2018

Generally, there are two types of sad movies. First, there are the cathartic tearjerkers that leave us with a vague sense of hope even after depleting our tear ducts. Then, there are the quietly tragic films that haunt us with their depictions of human pain, but ultimately make us think about the world around us. This year in cinema, we've gotten a dose of star-crossed love, family tragedies, and loss, and there are still some to come. Brace yourself to feel all your feelings — we've rounded up a diverse list of 2018's saddest movies, which range from romances like A Star Is Born to dramas like What They Had.

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The film Nostalgia tells the stories of people who are affected by loss and how they find comfort in treasured memories and mementos. This star-studded Bleecker Street production features Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt, Amber Tamblyn, and Catherine Keener.

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Though originally released in 2017 in Russia, this film became available in limited released in the United States in February 2018. It received international buzz, even winning a Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in modern Russia, Loveless revolves around an incompatible couple amid a messy divorce process. Tragedy brings the separated couple back together when their young son goes missing.

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Every Day

Based on the best-selling novel by David Levithan, Every Day is about a teenager named Rhiannon who falls in love with a wandering spirit who wakes up in a different body each day. This star-crossed romance left us ruminating the meaning of love and life.

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Annihilation promises a stressful, dystopian kind of sad. In it, a group of women enter an environmental disaster zone to find out why almost no one comes out of the area alive — previous expeditions have resulted in deaths by suicide, cancer, and betrayal. The bleak, terrifying plot is paired with a talented ensemble of powerhouse women like Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Gina Rodriguez.

What They Had
Bleecker Street Media

What They Had

This family drama grapples with heavy themes of aging and letting go, which will resonate with the countless families out there that take care of their elderly members. In What They Had, Hilary Swank plays a woman whose Alzheimer's-affected mother walks into a storm on Christmas Eve. She returns home to Chicago to convince her father to move her ailing mother inside a nursing home.

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Final Portrait

Stanley Tucci directs Final Portrait, a film that details the final years of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti's life. In the movie, Geoffrey Rush plays the eccentric artist, who, despite his illustrious career, struggles with self-doubt as he fortifies an off-kilter friendship with American critic James Lord. This bold slice of life portrays the nuances of friendship and the curse of tortured genius.

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Midnight Sun

In Midnight Sun, a teenage musician suffers from a rare genetic condition that causes life-threatening sunlight sensitivity. While busking at a train station one night, she bumps into a handsome ex-high school athlete, and a romance soon blooms between them. Starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, this is a Nicholas Sparks-esque romance that's bound to pull at your heartstrings and draw out some tears.

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Motherhood and friendship is a recipe for some wholesome tears. Fans of the heartfelt film Juno will delight in screenwriter Diablo Cody's latest project Tully, which is about a mother of three who develops a bond with a nanny. The comedy-drama features Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis (who you might recognize as Yorkie from Black Mirror's "San Junipero" episode).

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Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz play lesbian lovers in the somber movie Disobedience. In the film, a New York photographer returns to her more conservative home in London when a family tragedy strikes. There, she falls for her old childhood friend, but they keep their passionate affair quiet in their Orthodox Jewish community.

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On Chesil Beach

Even though we're still recuperating from emotional tour-de-force that is Lady Bird (yes, still), Saoirse Ronan comes out swinging in this poignant drama. On Chesil Beach is written by Atonement author Ian McEwan, and it tells the story of a young married couple that falls apart because of a fear of intimate relations. The Lady Bird actress stars as Florence, a young wife who is tentative about sex due to a history of family abuse.

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At first, Adrift seems to be a charming love story: during a tropical getaway in Tahiti, Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Claflin) fall head over heels in love with each other. What could go wrong? Well, the two agree to an exciting adventure that involves sailing 1,000 miles to the coast of California . . . then sail headfirst into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. The film (which is based on a true story) is equal parts terrifying and heartbreaking.

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Christopher Robin

There's nothing more heartbreaking than the grind of adulthood wearing down on the soul. Moulin Rouge's Ewan McGregor plays a grown-up Christopher Robin who bumps into his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh and learns how to find the joys of life once more in this whimsical film.

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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is an eye-popping superhero display right up until the very end when half of our beloved heroes perish at the hands of Thanos. If you say you didn't shed a tear while watching that Spider-Man scene, we have to assume you're either lying or a sociopath.

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Won't You Be My Neighbor?

This documentary following the life and career of Fred Rogers will have you crying over and over again. Won't You Be My Neighbor? dives deep into his legacy, marriage, and the lasting influence of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and left entire theaters of adults weeping long after the film ended.

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Whitney Houston, "the greatest entertainer of the 20th century," is the subject of a documentary that looks deep into the late singer's complicated relationship with fame. Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald's Whitney includes testimonials from her family and friends, who shine a light on what Houston's "simple" life was really like. The film is intimate, to say the least, charting both her rise to worldwide stardom and her brilliant, record-breaking career before she eventually died at the age of 48.

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The Hate U Give

If you loved reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, then you need to see the George Tillman Jr.-directed film ASAP. But pro-tip? Bring tissues. The film centers around a 16-year-old girl named Starr Carter, who witnesses her childhood best friend, Khalil, get gunned down in cold blood by a police officer. It's a brutally relevant story with Oscar-worthy performances from stars Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, and more.

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A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga remade the sweeping romantic drama A Star is Born, which featured Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in past versions. The plot of this classic follows the life of a jaded musician, Jackson Maine, who falls for rising star Ally. Romance turns to drama when the musician becomes overtaken by alcoholism, just as Ally is reaching her big break. Needless to say, the film has major Oscar buzz.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

The biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody pays homage to the formation of the band Queen, with Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. Fans should prepare for some heavy nostalgic feelings in remembrance of the flamboyant, legendary frontman, paired with anthemic ballads.

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Boy Erased

Based on Garrard Conley's memoir of the same name, the coming-of-age drama Boy Erased unfolds the story of a small-town gay man who's outed to his parents. To avoid banishment from his family and community, the man undergoes a gay conversion therapy program. This heart-wrenching movie about identity and belonging boasts a talented cast that includes Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, and Nicole Kidman.

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Beautiful Boy

You'll see Timothée Chalamet in an entirely new light after watching Beautiful Boy. In it, Chalamet transforms from a lighthearted, suburban big brother enjoying Wednesday night family dinners, to a young adult battling a gruesome methamphetamine addiction. The movie, which is came out in October, is based on David Sheff's gut-wrenching memoir about his son Nic's spiraling addiction and the heartbreaking impact it had on every person around him (Steve Carell plays Nic's father).

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Ben Is Back

I hope you're emotionally prepared, because there's a very good chance that Julia Roberts is going to make you cry pretty soon. The Oscar winner is returning to movie screens with Ben Is Back, a drama about a 19-year-old former addict, Ben (Boy Erased's Lucas Hedges), who unexpectedly shows up at his family's home in the suburbs just in time for the holidays. Over the course of 24 hours, his mother, Holly (Roberts), struggles with the excitement and relief that comes with Ben's return but also the anxiety that he might resume his bad habits. The film also stars Courtney B. Vance and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton, and hits theaters on Dec. 7.