25+ Saddest Movies on Netflix | Movies To Match Your Mood
Sad films make us cry, but they also help us connect with the characters to the point where we experience their anguish. The thing about sad movies is that they stay with us longer than any other kind of movie. Consider films such as ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,’ and ‘Never Let Me Go.’ These flicks are tremendous tearjerkers, and I still cry every time I watch them. After all, who doesn’t like a good tear now and then? Few films are able to elicit such an emotional response from their audience. So, after taking into account all of these aspects, we came up with a list of some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful films you’ll ever witness. Here’s a list of Netflix’s best sad movies that are now available to watch.
Table Of Content
- 1 6 Balloons (2018)
- 2 22 July (2018)
- 3 Alex Strangelove (2018)
- 4 Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
- 5 Boyhood (2014)
- 6 Brain on Fire (2016)
- 7 Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
- 8 First They Killed My Father (2017)
- 9 Irreplaceable You (2018)
- 10 Kiss and Cry (2017)
- 11 Like Father (2018)
- 12 Marriage Story (2019)
- 13 Milk (2008)
- 14 Palm Trees in the Snow (2015)
- 15 Punjab 1984 (2018)
- 16 P.S. I Love You (2007)
- 17 Revolutionary Road (2008)
- 18 Room (2015)
- 19 Schindler’s List (1993)
- 20 Seven Pounds (2008)
- 21 Starred Up (2013)
- 22 Tarzan (1999)
- 23 The Sea of Trees (2015)
- 24 The Lake House (2006)
- 25 The Spectacular Now (2013)
- 26 The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
- 27 The Theory of Everything (2014)
- 28 To the Bone (2017)
- 29 Winter’s Bone (2010)
6 Balloons (2018)
Drug addiction can destroy a family and cause the person affected to do things he or she would never have done otherwise. We follow Katie, a lady who has decided to host a surprise birthday party for her lover, in this 2018 short. Katie visits her brother Jack’s house to take him and his daughter to her house for the celebrations while she goes out to get the cake. Jack is a heroin addict who has failed to quit despite numerous visits to rehab facilities. When Katie sees Jack in such bad shape, she forgets about the party and begins looking for a rehab center that will accept him. We observe the siblings battle for aid, and it’s heartbreaking to watch the psychological damage it does them both. The film clearly demonstrates that no matter how much you care about someone and want them to recover from something as terrible as drug addiction, nothing will work until the desire to heal comes from within.
22 July (2018)
Domestic terrorism has become one of the most pressing threats in the Western world in recent years, as countries such as the United States, New Zealand, and Norway have demonstrated. The terrible attacks in Norway in 2011 are the subject of this Netflix original film. The film tells the narrative of Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right terrorist who kills a number of members of Norway’s Labour Party with a vehicle bomb before heading to an island where a group of adolescents have gathered for a summer camp. He opens fire on the teenagers while dressed as a cop, killing a number of them. Breivik is brought to Oslo after being apprehended by a tactical unit, and the film then chronicles his court case. The video takes a careful look at the events of 2011 in Norway, which shook the country to its core and made us aware of the global rise in intolerance.
Alex Strangelove (2018)
Alex Truelove and Claire have been best friends, if not lovers, for as long as they can remember. Alex’s mother is diagnosed with cancer while they are still in high school. When Alex is feeling lonely and alone, he turns to his all-weather friend Claire for support. They begin dating soon after and intend to have their first sexual encounter. Alex also meets a gay man named Elliot and develops mixed feelings for him, much to Claire’s dismay. Despite Alex’s mixed sentiments about the relationship, Alex and Claire decide to attend the prom together. Claire has secretly asked Elliot to be Alex’s prom date, much to Alex’s surprise, and the two kiss for the first time. ‘Alex Strangelove’ is about a closeted gay youngster who suffers from social anxiety and is unable to accept the societal norms around him – all that is subtly woven into the story.
Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
Cary Joji Fukunaga wrote and directed ‘Beasts Of No Nation,’ a Netflix original film. The film is set in a fictional West African country and follows the lives of a little boy named Agu, whose country is wrecked when the government collapses and violence ensues. Agu is enlisted by a rebel army and educated to be a cold-blooded killer with no remorse. This army is commanded by a man known only as the Commandant. He is a vicious guy who has no qualms about rapping the new juvenile recruits. This film depicts how many children’s lives are wrecked in these African countries as they are trained to shoot a rifle and consume drugs as part of their everyday routine. The film’s two actors are Abraham Atta as Agu and Idris Elba as Commandant, and their performances lend the drama a sense of realism.
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Now, on to a picture that took nearly a decade to complete. Growing up, confronting the odds, and making the right decisions are all themes in Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed masterwork. The titular “kid,” a 6-year-old Mason in 2002, who lives in Texas with his sister Samantha and single mother Olivia, is undoubtedly the film’s focal point. Olivia marries an abusive alcoholic man, who eventually changes and the three of them must flee the house once more. Mason’s father encourages him by taking him camping, watching sports, and rekindling his love in photography as he begins college. Mason learns that life isn’t all horrible, just as Olivia prepares to enter yet another romance. ‘Boyhood’ was praised as “epic” and received a perfect score of 100 on Metacritic. It is only the sixth film to achieve this feat.
Brain on Fire (2016)
The notion of ‘Brain on Fire,’ a true story based on a novel, is fascinating. Susannah Cahalan, based on a real-life character, is celebrating her 21st birthday with her now-divorced parents and lover. Susannah’s life appears to be in order as an intern reporter for the New York Post. Her world, however, comes crumbling down as she unintentionally begins to exhibit weird manic behavior. This is followed by seizures, and she is constantly hearing voices in her brain. What doctors initially mistook for schizophrenia is actually an uncommon brain disorder known as “Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis,” which starts with a headache and progresses to a severe state of psychosis. ‘Brain on Fire’ sets out to create something extraordinary, but falls short due to the premise’s incoherence.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Ron Woodroof lives a carefree life in Dallas in the 1980s, using drugs and having sex with hookers and promiscuous women. But, all of a sudden, he learns that he has AIDS and that he only has thirty days to live. Woodroof is determined to live his life to the fullest, anxiously seeking alternative remedies and medications. He goes against the FDA to purchase medications from over the border for himself, creates a club, and makes a lot of money while still fighting his inner ailment. ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is a riveting true story that will captivate audiences. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto deliver sad and mind-blowing performances.
First They Killed My Father (2017)
‘First They Killed My Father,’ a film from actor-director Angelina Jolie, is set in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and focuses around the Ung family. Members of the Ung family, Pa and his little girl Loung, have very little time to flee their luxurious home as the Khmer Rouge soldiers advance upon the city. The members of the Ung family are afraid about disclosing Pa’s true identity as they travel through the city and end up in a refugee camp. Doing so would put them in danger.
Meanwhile, Loung is enlisted as a child soldier and indoctrinated, while Pa is executed for his ties to the government. Despite her dissatisfaction with the situation, Loung continues to look for methods to hope for a brighter future. Following that, Vietnamese bombing destroys their army, liberating Loung and many other youngsters, who are then taken to another safe haven. ‘First They Killed My Father’ is a triumphant story of Loung and her perseverance in the face of adversity. It’s also one of the most depressing films on the list.
Irreplaceable You (2018)
Since they were teenagers, Abbie and Sam have been in love. Sam is a teacher and Abbie works for a publisher. Abbie discovers she’s pregnant when they’re both planning their wedding and future together. When they go to the doctor, she learns that the swelling in her tummy is caused by a tumor, not her pregnancy. Abbie joins support groups and begins chemotherapy, although she is well aware that she will not live to see another day. She decides to locate another girl for Sam who would be able to care for him once she passes away.
Kiss and Cry (2017)
‘Kiss and Cry’ is a tearjerker and, to some extent, an emotionally touching film about Carley, an 18-year-old girl who is passionate about figure skating and singing and wants to pursue a career in those fields. Based on an emotive true story in which the primary actress, Sarah Fisher, was a friend of Carley Allison, the film’s heroine. When Carley is diagnosed with a rare form of throat cancer, her world comes crashing down, putting her dreams and the love of her life in peril. As she begins treatment at the hospital, her supportive boyfriend John and family assist her in any way they can in her fight against the rare disease. Carley’s characteristic smile never leaves her face, despite the challenges she faces. For fans of tragic romantic films, ‘Kiss and Cry’ is a must-see.
Like Father (2018)
Kristen Bell plays Rachel, a young woman who is abandoned at her altar. Given her history as a workaholic and planner, she had planned a fantastic honeymoon following her marriage, which is now in jeopardy. She ends up in the cruise ship she had booked for her honeymoon with her father Harry after a drunken night with him. While she initially dislikes the choice, she begins to reflect on the difficulties she has always had with her father, and she quickly realizes that she has not been very fair to him. All is well between Rachel and Harry after a few bonding, tear-jerking moments, but the former is still looking for her first true love. ‘Like Father’ is an entertaining father-daughter story that is both hilarious and sad, but infrequently.
Marriage Story (2019)
Noah Baumbach is a filmmaker that tackles the issues and complexities of marriage in a unique way. Both his 2005 film ‘The Squid And The Whale’ and his 2019 masterwork ‘Marriage Story’ are about divorce and its consequences, but the former is presented from the perspective of the couple’s children, while the latter is told from the perspective of the adults. Charlie and Nicole Baker, played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, are going through a divorce. They want to settle it amicably, but attorneys enter the picture and make the process dirtier than they ever intended. The performances by Johansson and Driver are among the best you’ll ever see on the big screen. Both of them present their personalities with such realism that you have no idea who you should be rooting for. Baumbach has woven a tale of love in which a lot of things remain unsaid no matter how hard one tries to depict a picture of separation.
This is the story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the first openly gay public figure in San Francisco. We follow him from his early civil rights advocacy through his assassination, which occurred just months after his victory. This biopic, directed by Gus Van Sant, is both emotional and inspirational. Unless you are a rock, Milk’s life will make you cry uncontrollably. This is due not only to Van Sant’s brilliance and humility, but also to Sean Penn’s outstanding performance. Despite the fact that the story takes place forty years ago, the fight and message are still relevant today.
Palm Trees in the Snow (2015)
A lady named Clarence discovers journals, photographs, and other artefacts from her family’s colonial past in the current day. During her uncle Kilian’s time in Equatorial Guinea, where he had relocated from Spain in the 1960s, the country was enslaved and in a deep state of despair. Kilian joins his brother, who is in charge of a slave-labor cocoa plantation. Kilian develops feelings for Bisila, a nurse at a local hospital. Bisila is apparently married to another man, and her affair with a guy of a different race (considerably, at the time) sets off a chain of events that leads to a great revolution in the country. The tumultuous love story is surrounded by a bereft nation still reeling from decades of enslavement.
Punjab 1984 (2018)
Operation Blue Star, which took place in 1984, is one of the worst periods in India’s independent history. Following the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Indian Army began searching for a terrorist commander, killing many innocent people in the process. The story of Satwant Kaur, a widow who loses her husband during an operation, is told in the film Punjab 1984. Her son also goes missing and is quickly called a terrorist. While the entire state of Punjab is plunged in violence, the film follows Kaur as she anxiously searches for her son everywhere she can. The video depicts a horrific moment in Indian history during which untold numbers of innocent lives were lost. Kirron Kher’s portrayal as Satwant Kaur is unquestionably the best part of the film. She eloquently expresses the agony of those who endured in silence, terror, and loneliness when their sons and spouses died during this terrible period.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Gerry and Holly have a wonderful marriage. While Gerry is a charming, fun-loving Irishman, Holly is as attractive and has a positive attitude on life because she is married to her true love. When Gerry is diagnosed with a brain tumor and dies shortly after, Holly is left in a severe state of grief.
Holly’s life appears to be an unbelievable hell on earth, with her birthday approaching and nothing to look forward to. Despite his illness, Gerry appears to have prepared ahead for Holly, as she receives a letter from Gerry on her 30th birthday. He advises that Holly let go of her sadness and enjoy life with her friends and family. Holly eventually finds another man at the behest of the many post-dated letters she receives from Gerry, unknowing to Holly’s mother, who was the curator of those letters. ‘P.S. I Love You’ is a heartwarming, dramatic, yet fairytale-like love story aimed at niche audiences. Is it possible that you’re one of them?
Revolutionary Road (2008)
Frank and April Wheeler were once in love, but after seven years of marriage, they are having trouble dealing with each other’s outbursts and shortcomings. From the outside, their lives look to be great, yet the two are deeply unhappy. Frank despises his job, and April has given up her dream of becoming an actress in favor of settling down as a housewife. When April chooses to do something to make herself happy again, the entire family’s life are permanently changed. This film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, received three Academy Award nominations.
‘Room’ is a sorrowful story about a young child who was born and raised in a small room with no access to the outside world other than the sunlight that streams in through the roof. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that 5-year-old Jack and his mother have been kidnapped by Nick, who has them imprisoned in a small shed in his garden. Ma had been kidnapped and raped by Nick years before, and she’s been held captive ever since, even after giving birth to Jack. Nick visits the shed on occasion while Jack hides in the closet while having sex with Ma. As events unfold, Ma pushes Jack to flee and obey her orders to the letter, which he does. He summons the cops, who apprehend Nick. After that, it’s an uphill battle for Jack to adjust to the outer world in the same way that an infant does when he’s born. ‘Room’ is one of the best tear-jerkers I’ve ever seen, with a terrifying plot set against the backdrop of a terrible story.
Schindler’s List (1993)
The film ‘Schindler’s List’ tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a wealthy businessman who risks his life to rescue the lives of 1,100 Jewish men and women in German-occupied Poland. ‘Schindler’s List,’ which has won seven Academy Awards, is a vital story that reminds us that there are good individuals in the world who are attempting to repair other people’s mistakes. Steven Spielberg has constructed a three-hour dramatic story that is harsh and ruthless at times, but ultimately warms your heart. Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson give outstanding performances that set the tone for the movie.
Seven Pounds (2008)
Ben Thomas is the sole survivor of a tragic car accident in which everyone else, including his family members, died. Ben, a bereaved IRS officer, decides to help “good” people out as a benevolent act. He starts with Emily, a woman who has been suffering from a fatal illness, forgiving her back taxes, donating his organs to a local basketball coach out of sheer generosity, and assisting a single mother and her children in fleeing an abusive partner by donating the beach house that was given to him. His real name is Tim Thomas, and he’s been hiding under his brother’s alias all along. Before committing suicide at the end, he saves his heart to be donated to Emily in the hopes of saving her life. If you don’t cry your heart out while watching ‘Seven Pounds,’ you’re unlikely to cry while watching any other film.
Starred Up (2013)
‘Starred Up’ tells the story of Eric, a kid who has been sent to an adult prison after displaying ultra-violent tendencies. When he arrives to the prison, he runs into his estranged father, who is also serving time. Eric’s brash demeanor quickly enrages several of the inmates as well as the jail guards. He can’t even trust his own father in this boiling pot of anger. As his life looks to be slipping away from him, a ray of hope arrives in the form of an anger management group led by a psychologist. The video realistically depicts the miseries of prison life, whether it’s gang culture or corruption among the facility’s officers. The story has a frightening reality thanks to excellent direction and performances.
A young Englishman and his wife were washed ashore after a shipwreck and are now stranded in a highly forested area of Congo. The couple uses the wood from the wreckage to create a treehouse to shelter their young son. While they’re at it, a tiger named Sabor kills the pair, as well as many other animals in the jungle. Kala, a gorilla who had previously lost her kid to Sabor, adopts the infant who is miraculously spared. Tarzan is the name given to the newborn who must choose between the forest and its creatures and humanity, where he actually belongs. He’s smitten with Jane, a jungle adventurer, and finds himself pitted against Clayton, a vicious hunter. Many people think ‘Tarzan’ is overrated, yet it’s nevertheless a bittersweet childhood tale with aspects of both joy and sadness, intensity and light on the heart.
The Sea of Trees (2015)
‘The Sea of Trees,’ starring Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts, begins with Arthur Brennan, who has journeyed to the fabled Suicide Forest at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan to commit suicide. While he’s at it, he encounters Takumi, a man of Japanese heritage who is also about to commit suicide. Arthur commits suicide as a result of his wife’s loss, while Takumi is tormented by problems at work. Takumi realizes he can’t die too soon, leaving his wife and child, because they’ve both opted to commit suicide by overdosing on drugs and cutting their wrists. In the midst of hypothermia and flash floods, Takumi and Arthur strive to find a route out of the 12 square mile forest. ‘The Sea of Trees’ is a story of transformation, yet despite McConaughey’s trademark performance, the story falls short.
The Lake House (2006)
‘The Lake House’ centres around Kate and Alex in what may be described as a sweet love story. Kate works as a doctor in a hospital, and Alex works as an architect. Alex lives in a glass Lake House given to him by his father, which is eventually occupied by Kate in the film. The film follows a chronologically reversed history, with the catch being that when Kate and Alex share the same residence, they belong to different timelines. Kate leaves a note in the mailbox for the new tenant, requesting him or her to forward her mails to her new address before she vacates the residence because she is relocating to another address. Alex, it turns out, picks up the message two years earlier. The rest of the film follows Alex and Kate as they interact via mailbox across multiple realities. The romance is endearing, but the story has no logical progression.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
Sutter Keely is a hedonist, a spendthrift, and a carefree adolescent who enjoys drinking his life away and drowning his sorrows in alcohol. During the day, he works as an attendant at a men’s clothes store, but at night, he becomes the life of the party. Sutter drinks and wakes up in the front yard of Aimee’s house after being abandoned by his girlfriend, who is seeking the most popular kid in the high school. Sutter doesn’t recognize Aimee at first because she is a shy, unpopular girl.
Aimee and Sutter are wary of their differences as they get to know each other. While Sutter like to “live in the moment” and believes in “The Spectacular Now,” Aimee has a more forward-thinking attitude on life. The rest of the plot is around whether or not Sutter and Aimee are compatible in their relationship. Critics have complimented ‘The Spectacular Now’ for its pragmatism and solid acting, as well as a love story that is a breath of fresh air.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Luke is a motorbike stuntman who travels from town to town with a carnival. He realizes he has a kid named Jason after reconnecting with his previous lover Romina. Luke chooses to provide for his new family by planning bank robberies, having gained a new perspective on life and a new feeling of duty. However, his life is turned upside down when an ambitious police officer gets in his way. ‘The Place Beyond the Pines,’ starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, and Bradley Cooper, is a gripping and intriguing drama. This film will undoubtedly make you emotional as it explores themes of revenge, family, and ambition.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
The real-life narrative of the world’s most famous theoretical physicist, the great Stephen Hawking, who hailed Eddie Redmayne’s performance in the film, as well as the story, “very similar to his own life,” went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne.
Hawking is a young astrophysics student at the University of Cambridge when he meets Jane Wilde (later Jane Hawking), a literature student. Stephen is diagnosed with motor neuron disease, often known as ALS syndrome, as they fall in love, and is given two years to live before his physiological functions end. Jane persists in marrying Hawking and bearing his children, even as Hawking’s condition deteriorates and he becomes entirely reliant and wheelchair-bound. Many of Hawking’s mind-boggling theories, great lectures, and a stormy relationship between Hawking and Jane, followed by their separation, are all shown in the film. The film is a tough, emotional story that will leave you feeling both sad and happy.
To the Bone (2017)
Ellen, a 20-year-old woman, suffers from anorexia nervosa. Ellen is placed in a group home with others suffering from other eating problems after an appointment with an unconventional doctor. She is suddenly confronted with the reality of her illness, and her outlook on life shifts. ‘To the Bone’ is a terrific play that promotes awareness about eating disorders and other ailments that society frequently overlooks. With multiple noteworthy performances, this Netflix original is an incredible treasure of a film.
Winter’s Bone (2010)
In this 2010 film directed by Debra Granik, Jennifer Lawrence plays the lead role. Her character, Ree Dolly, is the sole responsible member of the family, with both of her parents being neglectful of their younger children. Ree is enraged when she learns that the house they live in has been placed up for bond by her father, and she vows to find him and remedy the situation at any costs. While on her search, Ree encounters a number of perilous scenarios that demonstrate how harsh life can be when you are impoverished and your parents are unconcerned about your well-being. Lawrence’s performance in this film cemented her reputation as a Hollywood powerhouse. Despite the film’s overall depressing tone, it does leave us with a ray of optimism.