32 Sad Movies to Watch on Netflix for When You Need a Good Cry

Stacey Grant, Noelle Devoe, Tamara Fuentes

From Seventeen

No matter what is happening in your life, sometimes you just need a good cry to let everything out. Instead of bottling up your emotions until you can't take it anymore, try watching one of these tearjerker movies on Netflix.

We've compiled a list of sad movies currently streaming on Netflix that span across several different types of films, so you're sure to find something that sounds right up your alley. From coming of age dramas to historical stories to animated classics that know just how to push the 'cry' button on your heart, this list has it all. So, what are you waiting for? Start scrolling and pick a film for one emotional movie night. Make sure to have a box of Kleenex handy.


1. Before I Wake (2016)

Photo credit: Netflix

Parents Jessie and Mark are mourning the loss of their son when they adopt another child, Cody. Strange things start happening overnight and they realize their adopted son's dreams are coming to life. Jessie finds herself doing everything she can to protect Cody from his dreams and make him a part of their family.

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2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Photo credit: Sony Pictures

In this film based on a true story, a man named Chris is a single father who gets evicted from his apartment. He and his son are homeless while Chris takes an unpaid internship hoping it will be the opportunity that turns their lives around.

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3. 1 Mile To You (2017)

Photo credit: Netflix

A high school track star named Kevin loses people he loves in a car accident and is sent to finish out his senior year at another school. He realizes that running helps him deal with his past and the track coach at his new school not only wants him on his team, but wants to understand why running is so serious to him.

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4. A Fall From Grace (2020)

Photo credit: Netflix

This Tyler Perry movie follows the story of a woman named Grace who meets the man of her dreams, or so she thinks. After she marries him, he goes out of his way to ruin her life and reputation. So when he turns up dead, Grace is the one who's pinned for the crime. But wether or not she killed anyone is up for debate.

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5. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Photo credit: Disney

A young woman from New Orleans is struggling to chase her dreams of opening up a restaurant. When she meets and unintentionally kisses a frog prince she turns into a frog herself and makes friends with some unlikely characters, as she goes on a journey across the city while trying to become human again.

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6. The Little Prince (2015)

Photo credit: Netflix

The animated film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's book of the same name is about a little girl who's mother is trying her best to get her ready for the grown up, serious world around her. But her neighbor has other plans. He takes her into the world of The Little Prince where anything is possible as long as she believes.

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7. The Theory of Everything (2014)

Photo credit: Sony Pictures

This tearjerker is inspired by the life of the life of physicist Stephen Hawking. Over the years, his body was taken over by ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and he became more and more dependent on his wife, Jane.

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8. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

Photo credit: Netflix

This movie follows a small boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves in India's jungles. He faces many challenges growing up in such a harsh environment, but almost all of the animals accept him as one of their own — except a tiger named Shere Khan. The face-off between the the boy and tiger causes Mowgli to face his humanity and discover how he ended up living in the wild to begin with.

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9. Leap! (2016)

Photo credit: Netflix

This animated movie follows two French orphans, Fèlicie and Victor, in 1880s France. They dream of bigger and better lives as a dancer and inventor respectively, but dreams aren't too important where they're from. So they plot their escape and dare to dream big.

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10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

Sex Education star Asa Butterfield will break your heart in this film adaptation of John Boyne's book of the same name. Asa plays Bruno, the son of a World War II Nazi commander, who befriends a Jewish boy named Shmuel, a prisoner in his dad's concentration camp. The ending will gut you, fair warning.

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11. The Spectacular Now (2013)

Photo credit: A24

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller star in this rom-com based on the Tim Tharp novel of the same name. While not nearly as sob-worthy as, say, The Fault in Our Stars, this film will still leave you gasping and reaching for Kleenex. Sometimes, love is just really, really, really hard.

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12. Moonlight (2016)

Photo credit: A24

This Oscar-winning film follows the exploits of one man's childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood as he explores his sexuality while growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood.

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13. Christopher Robin (2018)

Photo credit: Courtesy of Disney; Walt Disney Pictures

Your childhood animal friends will make you laugh and cry in this new adventure starring a grown up Christopher Robin who tried leave Winnie the Pooh and Co. in his past. There are some seriously heartwarming moments that will make you tear up.

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14. A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Based on the beloved Madeleine L'Engle novel of the same name, this revamped version follows Meg as she, her little brother, and her friend travel through time and space to find her missing scientist father. It will make you want to hug your family so hard and never let go.

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15. One Day (2011)

Photo credit: Focus Features

After spending one night together in college, the film follows Emma and Dexteron that same day every year. Sometimes they're together, sometimes they're not. C'est la vie. Based on the David Nicholls book of the same name.

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16. P.S. I Love You (2007)

Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

After her husband dies, a young widow finds he left her 10 messages to help her grieve and move on. Bring tissues!

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17. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Photo credit: Netflix

Netflix's war film follows the journey of a child solider named Agu as he fights a civil war in Africa. Your heart will tear in half watching everything this child has to go through. It's based on the Uzodinma Iweala novel of the same name.

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18. Tarzan (1999)

Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The first part of this Disney film is surprisingly dark and depressing: a baby gorilla is killed by a leopard, Tarzan's parents are mauled to death by the same leopard, and a young Tarzan is ostracized by the gorilla patriarch. It's a lot to take in, despite the upbeat music of Phil Collins playing throughout the film.

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19. Brain on Fire (2016)

Photo credit: Netflix via Netflix/YouTube

This Netflix film stars Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays a New York Post writer who begins suffering from erratic behavior, and none of the doctors can figure out why.

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20. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (2016)

Photo credit: Lionsgate

While this film, based on the James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts book of the same name, is more comical than sad, there are a few twists and turns that will hit you right in the honey nut feelios.

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21. Mudbound (2017)

Photo credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Netflix's film adaptation of Hillary Jordan's book of the same name follows the struggle two men face after returning to rural Mississippi after World War II. Racism and post-war struggles run rampant.

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22. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Photo credit: Focus Features

Based on a true story, this Matthew McConaughey-led film involves the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s in Dallas, Texas. It follows the horrifying mistreatment Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) dealt with after his diagnosis. Ron eventually starts working to get other people suffering from the disease the medication they need.

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23. Seven Pounds (2008)

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Will Smith stars in this film as Ben, a man set out to change the lives of seven people while harboring his own fateful secret.

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24. Blue Valentine (2010)

Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play lovers in this tragic romance. This film will be a big wake-up call to anyone who thinks time won't affect a relationship.

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25. Revolutionary Road (2008)

Photo credit: Paramount Vantage; DreamWorks Pictures

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, your faves from Titanic, teamed up again in this film adaptation of Richard Yates's novel of the same name. They play a 1950s couple dealing with marital problems while trying to raise their two children.

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26. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Photo credit: Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Your tear ducts will really kick into overdrive at the end of this epic superhero film. Get ready to have your heart stabbed repeatedly. For the sake of spoilers, that's all we'll say about that.

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27. 3 Generations (2015)

Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

When Ray (Elle Fanning) comes out as transgender and wants to transition from female to male, his mother, grandmother, and absentee father must all come to terms with his decision.

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29. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Photo credit: Wild Bunch

A girl named Adèle struggles with her sexuality after she becomes infatuated with a blue-haired girl she sees while crossing the street. This heartbreaking romance will leave you breathless.

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30. Irreplaceable You (2018)

Photo credit: Netflix

Abbie and Sam have been best friends since childhood and have taken their relationship to the next level after officially getting engaged. While everything in their lives seems perfect, Abbie soon receives a cancer diagnosis and only has a short while to live. Before she dies, she hopes to find the perfect partner to be with Sam once she's gone.

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31. Room (2015)

Photo credit: A24

After being kidnapped and raped, Joy tries to plan her escape after her son turns 5 years old. They soon find themselves out in the real world and must learn to live with their newfound freedom.

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32. Her (2013)

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

After his divorce, Theodore purchases an artificial intelligence operating system that is able to talk to called Samantha. Through their deep and meaningful conversations, Theordore finds himself falling in love with Samantha despite the fact that she is not human.

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