Film Fanatics: Total Tear-Jerkers

Some of the best sad movies in history


New Line Cinema

Tissues? Check.

Waterproof mascara? Check.

Enough junk food to drown your sorrows in? Check.

And now you’re all set for our list of several total tear-jerkers. We wish you the best of luck, and we are not responsible for anyone who sits down to watch one of these movies thinking they will walk away without a single tear falling. Because they will soon find out how impossible that may be, but like, hey, we warned you.

*Some of the reviews may contain SPOILERS. Read at your own risk*

Bridge to Terabithia

Hayley: This is a truly magical film, to say the least, and it for sure tugs at your heartstrings. This might be one of the first real tear-jerker movies that I saw as a kid, and to be honest, I was left a little bit scarred the first time I saw it. For a children’s movie, it definitely handles some incredibly dark and sad topics and delves deep into bullying and other struggles that kids face as they grow up. I do look back on this film fondly because it does take a great movie to draw that much emotion out of someone, whether it leaves you feeling good or bad. The acting in it is nothing short of amazing, especially considering the two main characters were played by a couple of barley-teenagers at the time. Josh Hutcherson and Anna Sophia Robb put on astounding performances that really brought the theme and message of the movie full circle.

Rachel: One of the saddest movies you can watch is definitely Bridge to Terabithia. To make matters worse, it is a children’s movie. In all, this movie is a great movie; it follows the friendship between Jesse (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie (Anna Sophia Robb). The story shows the innocence of children and how important kids imagination is to them; Jesse and Leslie create this imaginary world called Terabithia where they go after school every day. Near the ending of this story, Jesse becomes annoyed with Leslie and decides not to show up to Terabithia. Leslie, who is no more than 13 years old, falls and dies on her way to Terabithia that day, and Jesse blames himself for not going with her. I honestly don’t know why they had to make this movie so extreme as to kill off one of the main characters; however, it is a great film.

If I Stay

Hayley: If I Stay is such a powerful film, and extremely unique as well. After a devastating accident, Mia Hall is trapped between this world and the next and spends nearly the entire duration of this movie having an out-of-body experience. The story progresses nicely through the use of flashbacks to build each character, and it displays a wide variety of dynamics to different relationships. This movie dives into the importance of family, love, and following your heart and really does a fantastic job of putting things into perspective for its viewers.

Rachel: A truly fantastic film is If I Stay. Although it has a hopeful ending, it is filled with emotional situations that Mia has to go through alone. Mia and her family get into a car crash where her mother and father died, and her younger brother, Teddy, later on, dies from internal bleeding. The movie advances through memories of Mia and her friends and family. It is revealed that Mia has all the power if she wants to leave or stay; when Mia’s grandfather tells her it’s okay if she moves on with her deceased family, she decides against it and the movie ends with her opening her eyes and her boyfriend, who was with her in the hospital the entire time, calling out her name. Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Mia, performs perfectly. 10/10 would recommend — you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Hayley: As an animal lover, this movie just absolutely makes me sob. It beautifully displays the unconditional and loyal love of a dog, and how sometimes we take that gift for granted. This true story follows the friendship between Parker Wilson and his Akita dog, Hachiko, and takes us through the ups and downs of life and love. I highly recommend this movie to any dog lover, but as goes for all of the movies on this list, make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready.

Rachel: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, is undeniably one of the top tear-jerker movies you could watch. A true, heartbreaking story where a dog’s owner unexpectedly dies after they bond throughout their lives together. This man and his dog, Hachi, walked to a train station every morning and Hachi would wait for him at the end of the day to get off the train. One day Hachi’s owner dies at work and doesn’t return on the train. Every day Hachi returns for his owner unable to understand he is gone. A dog’s love for his owner is truly one of the purest things on earth. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone, animal lover or not.

The Notebook

Hayley: One can hardly make a list of truly moving movies and exclude this classic. The whole movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, yet my tears come mostly from the few little clips shown of Noah and Allie as an elderly couple, reminiscing on their journey together for as long as they can before the memories slip away. This movie is dramatic, to say the least, but if you go in knowing already it will be like that, and accepting the slightly overplayed romance, then you really can’t go wrong. Besides, even if you haven’t seen this movie (what the heck do you mean you haven’t seen it?), you should know by now exactly what you’re signing up for when you sit down to watch.

Rachel: No matter how much The Notebook is overplayed, you can’t deny the fact that Noah and Allie’s love story is pretty adorable. The story is told by an elderly Noah to Allie who suffers from dementia. He tells Allie the story of how they met, fell in love, had some ups and downs, but ended up together years later. Every time Noah finishes the story a short time later, Allie forgets who he is and what is happening and he has to retell it so she never forgets. If you chose to watch it prepare for some teary-eyed moments, and a cute love story you won’t forget.